|Jennifer Betit Yen||
There was a billboard in my neighborhood for an ad campaign featuring me. I was out with my significant other and we walked by and I saw the billboard had been replaced with a new billboard - for something to do with Curious George, the Monkey. Curious George himself was featured on it, eating a banana. I said, kind of sadly, to my significant other, "Oh, look, it's a new ad campaign up now." He looked up at it and said, "Yeah, but they're still using a picture of you."
Warning! Warning! This is so going to sound so like an advertisement but if you're an actor running all over Manhattan in the rain - like today - from audition to call back to shoot to fitting and so on, this is a gift from heaven. Heck, if you're a 9-5 commuter faced with a sopping wet, mildew-y packed subway or bus, this is a gift from heaven. If you already use Via, you already know it's true, but if you don't, I had to share because it's so awesome and so cheap and it's now my personal mission to get them tons of customers so they don't go out of business (not that they're in danger of going out of business but they're so ridiculously cheap, I can't figure out how in the world they make a profit). My friend, Kristin, introduced me to them as less expensive (a lot less expensive at only $5 a ride) than a cab but waaay nicer than the bus or subway (clean, fancy schmancy SUVs that pick you up and drop you off like a cab). The catch is they can pick up other people along your route (a ride share) but every time I've used them, I've been the only one in the car (another reason I'm terrified they'll go out of business). They work fabulously for travel within Manhattan Mon-Fri until between 34th and 110th. The first ride always free and I have a code for any of you who want it to get a free $20 credit (worth 4 rides): Use code, jenny0k8, to get the $20 of free credit. Download the app here: www.ridewithvia.com. For my actor friends, this is perfect for auditions in midtown (Broadway, anyone?). OK, enough gushing.
Just in case you're having a tough day and want to commiserate (misery loves company, right?): I had a call time that I was getting a ride to. It wasn't too far so my ride was picking me up 15 minutes before call time. The time came and left and, with 10 minutes to call, my ride called and told me the garage was backed up and there was no way the car would get out for another half hour, which would obviously make me late. I tried to flag a cab. No cabs wanted to stop. I started running and tried to use a car call app. My location settings kept thinking I was in Brooklyn (I was in Manhattan) and adamantly refused to update. I literally had to run all the way to my call (only a mile and a half, but still) and I was late. I try to make a habit of never being late - it's so unprofessional - so I felt terrible although everyone there was completely nice and understanding. Afterwards, I decided I'd just walk back and multi-task by returning voicemails. Somehow, the calls distracted me and I ended up walking in absolutely the wrong direction (really, really wrong - I walked southeast instead of northwest) for an entire mile before I suddenly realized I was in completely the wrong area. How I did that on numbered streets and avenues in an obvious grid system, I do not know. On the bright side, I got a lot of exercise.
Actor, Author, Attorney