Stephanie Lechner: Nametags and Hairnets

Failing career assessments since the 8th grade

Month: March, 2012

The Hero’s Journey

Everyone has coping mechanism. Some good stand-bys of mine are sarcasm, humor, and emotional eating. I’m just being honest here.

But my absolute favorite?

I see almost everything cinematically. Most of life can fit into a classic narrative structure (I know you have my back, Joseph Campbell!) If I am facing anything difficult, I feel most comfortable dealing with it if I can identify where it might fall in a three-act film.  It’s the reason I can find peace in an often-chaotic family. It’s the reason why I’m convinced my roommate is in the 2nd act of a romantic comedy where she eventually falls in love with her drummer.  It’s the reason why I was able to plow through being laid off from a terrible job. It’s all part of the hero’s journey! I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it makes putting up with setbacks and annoying people far easier. I’m telling you, you should really try it sometime.

This tool really came into play at the end of last year, which totally sucked by the way. A few family crises and major financial setbacks tossed in with some creative failures had me feeling pretty L-O-W. In the case of the creative failures, I opted not to take the film perspective and instead coped by allowing my ego to compare the situation to David Lee Roth getting ousted from Van Halen…..if Van Halen was an improv team that no one really cared about. Don’t judge me, we all do what we need to do to get by.  Anyways, back to my point. I was feeling depressed, so I called my BFF, Kylie. The great thing about best friends is that they usually know your coping mechanisms, and in this instance, she completely knew how to speak to my despair. The conversation went something like this:

Kylie: I feel like you are Rocky in the 10th round of a fight. You keep taking these punches, but you haven’t stopped fighting yet.

Me: (excited) YEAH! I’M JUST LIKE ROCKY (sheesh,  my ego is out of control sometimes) So I just gotta keep pushing, and I’ll kick Apollo’s ass! He wins the fight right?

Kylie: Well, no.

Me: BLERGH! Why would you say this to me? Am I gonna lose the fight? Which one does he win?

Kylie: Rocky II

Me: That’s not the one with the Russian, right?

Kylie: No.

Me: Ok, good. I think I’m looking for a Rocky II sort of situation.

And so it went. I stayed low for awhile, but eventually the dramatic plot points passed, and life leveled itself out. You could even say that I’ve kicked a few situations in the ass (take that Apollo Creed!). I guess the only reason I bring this up tonight is to share with you the t-shirt I just bought at H&M an hour ago:


 What’s your favorite coping mechanism?


Why I Hate Public Intoxication Holidays

Disclaimer: this post contains adult language. It was simply unavoidable, sorry.


Today is St. Patrick’s day.  A day when the whole city puts on a shade of green they would never dare to wear on any other day. A day when people drink….a lot. I live in Hoboken which means I got the extra special delight of witnessing two St. Patrick’s day (Hoboken has their own special celebration 2 weeks prior, but then they proceed to don their ridiculous green outfits on the actual day as well).

Public intoxication sucks. Two weeks ago the streets of Hoboken reeked of Bud Light and regret.  I love a good beer as much as the next person, but drinking to the point of sloppy obliteration? In the wise words of Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon: I’m too old for that shit.  So on these holidays, I tend to do my own thing, and stay away from those folks that perpetually seem to live in the movie Animal House, but sometimes, in the case of today, I’m forced to interact with the drunken public even if it’s to do something as simple as hail a cab.

I just got finished with class in Midtown, and took the Path back to Hoboken. The train was so ridiculously packed full of boisterous celebrators, that we were jammed in like sardines in a can. This happens from time to time, but I tend to get a little claustrophobic in these situations, so I got off the train with a pounding headache. I debated on whether or not to walk home or take a cheap cab. I decided to get in the long, very organized cab line. I say it’s very organized because it is obvious where the line for a cab is and, subsequently, where it is not. About 5 minutes of waiting later, a crowd of green, scantily clad drunkards made their way towards the line. It was obvious a new train of passengers had just been dropped off,  and as I made my way to the front of the line, I notice that this crowd is trying to cut across to the front of the line. This woman passes me, looks me in the eye and says “it’s alright, I’m walking around you” so I get the impression that she is aware how this line works. I’m next in line and as I approach the next cab and get in, somewhere along the way this very same woman gets very, angrily confused. She thinks that she and her group of girls and very-large scary men are next in line and that I have stolen her cab (mind you there is a  huge selection of approximately 20 cabs waiting for passengers essentially meaning she should be waiting only 10 more seconds to get her cab). Thinking that I have slighted she starts to aggressively yell in my direction. She approaches my cab and I see her lock eyes with me as she yells “I hope you gain another 20  or 30 pounds, you fucking whore!” She continued to rant, and I implored my driver to get the hell out of there, but if you know anything about Hoboken taxis, you would know that a cab driver is never going to take a single fare, so he reassures me that I’m in the right, but he gets out to look for another passenger leaving me alone in the car as this woman continues to shout hateful things about my physical appearance.  She exclaims that there is no way that she would ever get in a cab with me after what she thinks I’ve done, and I’m left dumbfounded as to why this cab driver is even attempting to linger in this mayhem.

I just got dropped off, and I’ll be honest: I’m completely shaken. When did it become okay to openly hate people in such a manner?  I wish I could expound further on what I’m thinking and feeling right now, but I’m at a loss for more words.  But I can say this: I absolutely hate St. Patrick’s day.

Baby Steps On the Bus

I’ve recently been focusing on my journey as a solo artist. Having spent the last 2 years as 1/8th of a team, I can honestly say I might have lost my way as a individual artist and performer.  I started this year by signing up for a storytelling class, and I can honestly say this might be one of my favorite classes ever.  I want to write and direct films. I want to perform comedy. I want to share my stories in oral and written form. The thing in common with all of these pursuits: storytelling! It’s opened my eyes to all the different narratives surround me: the ones I live every day, the stories  perpetually being developed around me, the tales I’ve already lived. Quite simply, I want to share them with you. Some of the ones that I desperately want to share with you might take me some time. In the wise words of Bill Murray in What About Bob: I’m doing the work, I’m baby stepping!  If you aren’t already aware, my dear friend Amy has challenged some of us to weekly blog challenge. The only requirement is that we publish at least one post per week. Baby steps. While I’m still getting my feet wet, I might be sharing, how do I put this, more inconsequential tales? Sometimes it’s just easier to publicly share that one time I went on a bad date, or that really terrible vacation that one time, or whatever. I’m not quite ready to bust out the big guns yet, so be a little patient. Baby steps.  I’m not counting this post as my “one post” for this week’s challenge. I just wanted you to know what’s coming.

……………………………………………………………….a few baby steps.