Chronicles of a Musical Barista


I laugh a little inside every time I read that. It’s like I carry around this little ball of sunshine that giggles silently (in a very sarcastic tone) at motivational phrases, directors who look like directors, inspirational mugs, and exhausted PAs who still try too hard. Sneaky little thing. You act like these things in life are just ridiculous, but I see you. I know you. Every time we pass that motivational phrase plastered in white on the glass wall of the Warner Bros building you glow just a little brighter. Hush up. You know you’re waiting for something.

I tread lightly down the spiral staircase, balancing two wooden boards and a metal platter on my arms. I find myself doing mental push-ups to keep from dropping these things; I’m too damn stubborn to take more than two trips from the car so I clench through it, eyes wider than an ostrich, forcing myself not to drop anything. Heavy weighted and wanting to go unnoticed, I tip-toe past the old microphones and records displayed in the lobby. I see the name Casablanca, then Gremlins, and Batman. It’s cool, I have to admit.

My attention is quickly drawn back to my sticky fingers. I die a little inside seeing how much food is left on the trays. Freshly cut watermelon, untouched. The leaves of the massive green salad we made have barely been rustled, and all the veggies in the roasted meatloaf dish are soaking in their own tears. The cookies are gone though.

When I asked Mia if her girlfriend was hiring for her catering company, I saw dollar signs and black button up shirts. I saw pink bow ties (no idea why), white collars and free dinner! I saw a decent side job. I even heard that if you keep cigarettes, tampons, and mints in your bra, the patrons will desperately, and generously, tip you once in a while. I imagined an elder lady in faux with white hair tucked into a neat bun clasping her shoulder pads in angst…

Oh darrrrrrling you have no IDEA how mad he drives me…he’s going on and on about his stupid plans for his screenplay, and what do I care?! I can’t help but feel utterly embarassed for my friends, and they sit in real writing rooms all day…

She takes a skinny cigarette from my pack, I light one up for both her and myself, then stuff it all back into my bra…

...listening to subtly boring men like him babble on about their stupid characters. I mean how awful have you got to be to be subtly boring. How on earth he still runs this studio I do not--and the trouble is my image in all of this darling I hate to say but it’s just awful just THINK what they’ve been wondering—I mean I can absolutely assure you they think I’M the one who’s stup—darrrling this has gone out again would you mind?

Obviously I’m a lunatic. And obviously shoulder pads died with the 80s.

And obviously, this scene hasn’t happened, yet. But I’ve heard many a conversation similar as I pick up their dirty, nasty-ass plates still full of arugula salad. That expensive chunk of burrata just abandoned there in the middle of the bowl. That catering gig panned out believe it or not but I ended up also picking up shifts at her Cafe on the Studio lot, which now makes my life a combination of two specific shows: The L Word and La La Land. I’m neither an actress nor does my name start with the letter L, but I am a lesbian who idealizes being on the big screen. I play a waitress on Wednesdays and an elementary school music teacher on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

My core reality is being a broke musician who has figured out how to be a jack of all trades. This makes me good at, and unfortunately interested in, everything: archaeology, anthropology, psychology, spirituality, math, education, babysitting, acting, writing, music, and modeling. Oh and earlier today I asked someone I had just met for viola lessons.

Jack of all trades, master of some. I killed the viola the first time I picked it up, I gotta say, but I can’t model for shit. My sexy photog girlfriend is just really good at her job and wraps me in the perfect amount of light to make it look like I can model. And I get to play around in the props and rent-an-outfit’s.

Today, when I look in the mirror, I see a beautiful girl with a bright future coming her way. She’s just trying everything out as she waits in line for her “big break.” Little ball of sunshine laughs at this idea of a big break, but only to get attention.


Yeah, well, the thing is, doc, we all want the cliches. I don’t care how many times a week you make fun of the people who live their lives as RomCom characters or instagram celebrities. Everybody wants a story and well, the good ones get written. And it’s not just about happy endings, Cinderella.

Sure, we don’t want to die alone. But what people really want is the gripping at every moment journey-worth-bragging-about that takes us there. No surprise an idealistic, dreaming, wandering soul like me lives the jack trade life. I find stories everywhere I go, and MAN do I go a lot of places. Hell no, I haven’t dropped everything and picked up a sac to travel the world. I find stories right here. In my finger, tapping the “j” key as I wait for my computer to turn on. In the painting on my wall that I spontaneously turned upside down. In the somewhat country somewhat Destiny’s Child trio I perform with. I find storybook moments in between the lines, in run on sentences, and in the cue at my register of producers, writers, and interns waiting to buy a breakfast burrito with bacon and a large red-eye with no room for cream.

No, I don’t want to get discovered as an actress at my cafe. But boy does that little ball of sunshine glow with mischief every time someone thinks that’s what I want.

*cut to Little Ball of Sunshine laughing hysterically*

ariana tibi