Will You Wait One Second?

        We know the saying, “when God closes a door, he opens another” but sometimes He forgets to give you the key so you try and open the window next to it but then you start thinking “ugh, I don’t want to climb through a window” so you just kind of wait by the door and you’re about to lose it and call your mom but then just as you’re about to call her, someone who’s already home opens it so all you had to do was knock?

        Hannah Mae Coffey, Canadian-born, New York-based actress and best-name-ever holder, had one hell of a day last week.

        Hannah and I met through school and became friends through dollar pizza and one Youtube video. While working together in a group for a project with some other classmates, we all jaunted out to 5th avenue and got a slice of the best dollar pizza I have ever had (now closed and I am now bitter). While we were waiting for our pie to bake, I brought up a video I watched on Youtube by some Upright Citizen’s Brigade Alums and other comedians (Amy Poehler, Tina Fey*, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, etc…) in a show called “AsssCat”, filmed many moons ago.

        Unbeknownst to me, Hannah had already taken UCB classes and knew exactly what I was talking about. AsssCat still goes up every Sunday at UCB with their bouquet of SNL-players-to-be. Hannah and I grew together through comedy. Sketch, improv, stand-up and people tripping.

        This is a tough life that she’s chosen, a life with bouts of absolute nothingness, rejection and nighttime-tears. But she’s tough. She’s Canadian, after all.

        Now, being a Canadian and out of school, she has to fight for her Visa to stay in the U.S. This process is incredibly demanding, strenuous as well as tedious. She puts her back into everything she does each day and sometimes things just don’t go as smoothly as she hoped.

        She does acknowledge her privilege that she “might have an easier time with it than other people trying to get Visas,” Although she is just our neighbor from the north, she has heard of problems at the border. One family friend who lives in Canada but works in the states, crosses the Canada-United States border everyday. One day, he was stopped by a border agent. The agent quipped, “it’s about time an American had your job” and didn’t let him pass.

        Hannah was having a difficult discussion with her boss as she was unsatisfied with her pay. I’m sure you would also be surprised to hear, “I thought you could use your savings,” from your employer after they didn’t fulfill your expected hours and ultimately, your paycheck.

        At 21 years old, we almost feel lucky to live paycheck-to-paycheck because we are, in fact, getting a paycheck.

        Paycheck. I just wanted to say it one more time.

        But what if you weren’t going to get one? That you were expecting? That was promised to you? And you pay rent next week?! All this, on top of the fear from neverending auditions and the age-old questions like; “am I going to make it?” Anxiety ensues.

        Hannah is my favorite cleaning lady. She cleans the kitchen but she also cleans up good (see; hannahcoffey.com). More often than not, when Hannah cleans, she’s anxious. Something happened and if she can’t clean that up, she will clean the kitchen, her room, the bathroom and maybe the living room. God bless her.

        Kimmy, her roommate, noticed. She knew something was up. So thank goodness, they began to talk. And we all recognize that communicating, venting and reacting aloud will help us cope.

        Hannah was able to let out all her frustrations with her current job in a safe (and clean) space to a friendly face. It was, however, just one thing after another. And after an audition at an acclaimed comedy club, with no word, she felt lost. Hannah got to the audition really early after asking for a later time slot just in case her boss decided to show up later which is not uncommon. Showing up early to a later time slot meant that Hannah “had to sit for an hour and a half and worry if I actually knew my monologue and listen to a bunch of people audition and wonder what it was they were asking them to do other than the monologue”. The post-audition feeling was great. Hannah felt confident but she didn’t hear from them on the day she was supposed to. As she was talking to Kimmy she was on her way to say that she “thought it would be okay if she had only received THAT one role”, her phone rings.

        Hannah will be performing at The PIT Loft on May 5th at 7pm in the show ‘THAT JUST HAPPENED SKETCH COMEDY PRESENTS: THAT’S JUST NEW YORK!’

        She will also probably clean soon but not because of stress.

        Just wait. Wait one second, a minute, 5 minutes or a day. It will come. Whatever it is. It will arrive when YOU are ready. We may think we are ready for whatever we are asking or hoping for but there’s a reason we wait. That’s why dessert is at the end of the meal, we know we want it but it won’t feel as good if we just get it right away. It’s all going to be worth the wait.


        *Did not attend or study at UCB but did appear in this show.



Annie BehrensComment