Let’s Get This Over With with Claudia Lonow – Episode 25

Let's Get This Over With with Claudia Lonow

The Recap

Jennifer welcomes actor, comedian, and TV writer, Claudia Lonow. Her career began at the tender age of fifteen and, as a result, Claudia has lived most of her life in the limelight. As a result, she understands all too well the trials and triumphs of a career spent in show business. She is most known for her work as an actor on Knots Landing and as a writer/producer for Rude Awakening, Accidentally on Purpose, and, most recently, I Feel Bad.

In this episode, we talk all about Claudia’s background in acting, writing, and producing. Claudia discusses the difficulties she encountered throughout her career, including a particularly stagnant and long stretch of time that Claudia equated to wandering in the desert for fourteen years. According to Claudia, however, something incredible happens to her every fourteen years. Claudia discusses her passion for the arts and her experience sharing that passion with both her mother and daughter. Claudia takes us through her creative process when writing a TV show, from character development to emotional conflict and plot. She talks about her career influences, including the classic film, Postcards from the Edge. Finally, Jennifer and Claudia share their theories on hair, failure, and the importance of abiding by your own timetable.

Episode Highlights

00:54 – Introducing Claudia

01:37 – Claudia and Jennifer talk about Claudia’s hair

05:09 – Claudia’s theory on hair

07:31 – The importance of creating your own timetable

09:06 – Claudia’s background in acting

13:50 – Claudia chronicles her difficult journey from ages 22 to 36

18:47 – How Claudia got her start in TV writing

25:31 – Jennifer recalls auditioning for Rude Awakening

30:10 – Why Claudia felt more comfortable behind the scenes

34:23 – Claudia’s childhood

39:32 – Jennifer recalls How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), a show written by Claudia

42:01 – The importance of creating habits

44:35 – The challenges of show running, as told through the lens of Claudia’s current show, I Feel Bad

49:37 – Claudia’s creative process

57:05 – Where you can follow Claudia online

58:06 – What does Claudia think about when she hears the word MILF?

59:20 – How does Claudia define success?

1:00:42 – One of Claudia’s self-proclaimed “superpowers”

1:07:05 – Lightning round of questions

Tweetable Quotes

“Every fourteen years, something incredible happens hto me.”

“I’m doing improv with my mother and my daughter…I can readtheir mind. I can read my mother’s mind.”

“I do think that nothing is more important than your habits.”

“I don’t know any normal people.”

“One of my superpowers that I got from my fourteen years in thedesert was I can eat shit longer than anybody.”

“I don’t know if I believe in success. I try not to focus onthat. I really try to focus on the thing I’m doing now.”

“The majority of people are crazy and just doing the best they can.”

Links Mentioned:

Jennifer’s Website

Claudia’s Website

Claudia’s Twitter 

Claudia’s Instagram

Transcript

Read Full Transcript

Claudia Lonow: You know, for me it did come down after, you know, I became a writer. I think I felt, even though I enjoyed performing, and especially now at this time in my life, I'm pretty good at because like the stakes are non existent. So like it's okay to fail, who cares? It's good to fail and, you know, you'll get over it.
Announcer: You're listening to the MILF podcast. This is the show where we talk about motherhood and sexuality with amazing women with fascinating stories to share on the joys of being a MILF. Now here's your host, the MILFiest MILF I know, Jennifer Tracy.
Jennifer Tracy: Hey guys. This is Jennifer Tracy, your host of MILD podcast, the show where we talk about motherhood, entrepreneurship, sexuality and everything in between. Thanks so much for joining us. Today on the show we have Claudia Lonow. Claudia is a TV writer. She began her Hollywood career at the age of 15 and I will save the rest for the interview. Her story is really fascinating and wonderful and Claudia is one of my favorite people and one of the funniest people I know. So I think you're really gonna enjoy this interview with Claudia Lonow, thanks so much for tuning in guys.
Jennifer Tracy: Hi, Claudia.
Claudia Lonow: Hi.
Jennifer Tracy: Thank you so much for being on the show.
Claudia Lonow: Thank you for having me.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God, it's such an honor and you're one of the first MILFs on my list.
Claudia Lonow: Wow.
Jennifer Tracy: So this is such an honor to be here. There's so much to talk about. Let's start with your hair.
Claudia Lonow: Okay, yes. I've been on a curly journey.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: I have naturally curly hair, that was fantastic for like before my daughter was born and then after that was sort of like never the same. I got a sort of transformational blow dry after I started doing Rude Awakening, maybe in the second season for a magazine story and I was like "Oh my God, I look like a movie star."
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: Then I got addicted to that while I was also constantly anxious that the heat and the pulling would make me [inaudible 00:02:20] bald. So but I was like regular trips to dry bar twice a week.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: Then my boyfriend and I went to New York and like we got off the plane and it was raining. You know, we went out to eat and it's like "Oh God, we're in the rain, I'm gonna have to book a stupid blow dry tomorrow." But then when we got back to the hotel, I was like "This looks pretty good." You know?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I was like "I think I'm done. I'm just done. I've gotta figure this out." Then I started following all these girls on Instagram and about doing your hair.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Now I think it's great.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's so much easier.
Jennifer Tracy: It's beautiful.
Claudia Lonow: Thank you, it is and ...
Jennifer Tracy: I love you so much.
Claudia Lonow: Thank you. It is. I mean and I feel like it's healthier. That's good. Anything healthy looking is youthful and you know it is true, I mean I hate to talk about this sort of topic but when you get older, you know, with the straight hair if it wasn't exactly right, I felt like ... Well, first of all, that would make me crazy but I also was like well now you just look like a bank manager, you know? Going to a meeting, you don't look like a show business person. You don't look cool at all. Wearing a blazer doesn't look cool like it did even though I have to wear one all the time but, you know, you could really look like a newscaster was another thing I didn't want to look like. That will not happen with naturally curly hair.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes, yes. No, it's very hip.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. Hip, I mean the thing about your ...
Jennifer Tracy: I don't even ... Actually the word hip isn't actually even hip anymore.
Claudia Lonow: Hip is so unhip. But the thing is with curly hair is that there's no other style. You either have bangs or you don't but you can't make too many shapes. You know, it is what it is. Like so whatever. So I've been on my curly journey and it was really helpful. Like I was on a writing staff of a show which was I Feel Bad. That was on NBC, I think it has some more episodes. It just makes it easier to get to work in the morning if you don't have to worry about blow dries and dry shampoo. I had like bottles of dry shampoo. Now I have bottles of other things, of curly things. You can also support a lot of women owned businesses, the Instagram for these hair products and also women of color own businesses because there's a lot of overlap which I came up with a theory about. Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay, do you want to share?
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: With curly hair or natural hair, that's in the natural aisle which is like the African American women aisle.
Jennifer Tracy: Right, okay.
Claudia Lonow: They want to keep you segregated.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: They don't want you to want your hair to be that way. They don't want you to ...
Jennifer Tracy: Because it doesn't serve their commodification of you?
Claudia Lonow: Yes. They want you to want ... I mean if you're white, you know, they want you to want, which I did want, and thought I could and I think also being Jewish, you know, to be like Gwyneth Paltrow. You want to be Gwyneth Paltrow. You don't want to curly hair. I mean, I don't know. So I don't know, it's sort of ...
Jennifer Tracy: Like Madeline Kahn comes to mind.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, Madeline. Well Sarah Jessica Parker.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh thank you.
Claudia Lonow: Remember and she had her great curly hair.
Jennifer Tracy: Amazing. There's so many.
Claudia Lonow: There's so many but the thing is is like if you are straightening it ...
Jennifer Tracy: Oh yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, there's a flat, now you have no volume and you need lift. You need lift on the top of your head. You don't need flat.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Anyway, that's my curly journey.
Jennifer Tracy: It's very exciting to watch and follow on Instagram.
Claudia Lonow: Thanks. Thank you.
Jennifer Tracy: I love all your selfies. I love to watch what you're doing. It's also brave and it's a beautiful example of surrender and the way you just described your journey, it's like an amazing surrendering that we all sort of have and I just had photos taken last week and I'm 43. I hadn't had my photos taken in a while.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: I got back the photos and I looked yesterday, I was like "I look really great and I look totally 43."
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: That's fine.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Because I'm all about that but it is interesting just kind of watching myself and watching all the programming that's been inputted into me. Like what you're saying about the hair aisle at CVS or wherever it is.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: That I'm like "Ooh, I meant to get Botox before but then I decided not to cause I was like 'ooh, I don't want to get my photograph taken this way.'" It's like this constant battle of surrendering that I'm 43 and this is what I look like.
Claudia Lonow: Well, you know what? This is another big revelation is especially if you're a mom, our time table is not their time table because we take time out to have children.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: Like even if you have the most supportive partner in the world ...
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: Whatever the societal expectations or biology, you know, that is a thing. So you know a lot of, you know, your best time to accomplish things is ...
Jennifer Tracy: Also, your most fertile.
Claudia Lonow: No.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh.
Claudia Lonow: Your best time to accomplish things is after your kids are grown.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, yes. Right. Yes, that is true.
Claudia Lonow: That is the best time.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Because you've, first of all, you've accomplished this great thing.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: You know, I'm not saying you're not working while your kids are ...
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: Kids, but it's a, you know, your brain is split.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It is or, you know, and if it's not then you feel guilty.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: So but once, you know, once your kid's in college or whatever, building their own life, it's like well now you're free.
Jennifer Tracy: You're free to pursue. Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You're free.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You just can't let the world tell you that, you know, you're ... I create my own time table. I don't need you to tell me when things are happening.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes, yes.
Claudia Lonow: Look, because that's the way it worked for me.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's like my everything was kind of, you know, my most fertile years were not my most fertile working years.
Jennifer Tracy: Well, so let's talk about that.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: I want to go back to so you started your acting career on a show called Knots Landing.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: In the '80s.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: You were a teenager.
Claudia Lonow: I was. I was in high school.
Jennifer Tracy: Did you legally emancipate to work?
Claudia Lonow: No.
Jennifer Tracy: Or did you have to work under the kids hours thing?
Claudia Lonow: Yes, I had to work under the kids hours. It was a, you know, real surprise. Everything about it was very surprising. Both my parents were actors and I wanted to do that. We moved out here when I was 15 from New York and I had gone to that stage door manor, that theater camp, whatever. My stepfather's agent came over for dinner and I sang a song that was my song I wrote on my guitar which was like I'd sing it everywhere I went.
Jennifer Tracy: That's amazing. So you're also a singer/songwriter? I did not know that.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. Yeah. Sure.
Jennifer Tracy: I did not know that.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: That's incredible. Okay.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I was, you know, in musicals and stuff and I played the guitar.
Jennifer Tracy: I never knew that you were musical also.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, wow.
Claudia Lonow: Very musical.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: I wrote the theme song to Rude Awakening.
Jennifer Tracy: You did?
Claudia Lonow: I did.
Jennifer Tracy: I didn't know that.
Claudia Lonow: I sang it at a table read.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God.
Claudia Lonow: I went "How about this? Is this okay?" I write theme songs in my head for every show I'm on.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: By the way. Although I didn't do one for I Feel Bad.
Jennifer Tracy: You have time, there's time.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, I come up with them as I'm sitting there. They're mostly silly, just things for the room. Anyways, so I sang my song, can I curse on this?
Jennifer Tracy: Absolutely.
Claudia Lonow: It was called Fuck the World.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God, yes and you were 15?
Claudia Lonow: 15 and the agent said, you know, "We can send her out if you want." My parents were like "Okay, I guess it's okay." You know and I was like "Great." I mean I thought "I probably won't get anything, but you know it's a good experience." Like I got something within months.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: I had I mean like a ridiculously large, I almost got fired, but guest star part on ... This was only a 13 episode long show on the Mary Tyler Moore hour.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh wow.
Claudia Lonow: Which was a show that was about the behind the scenes of a variety show that Mary Tyler Moore was in and half the show was a sitcom. It was an hour, half the show was a sitcom and half the show was the variety show.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh wow.
Claudia Lonow: Anyway, it was a big ... I did the balcony speech from Romeo and Juliet.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God. Wait, how did you almost get fired though?
Claudia Lonow: I was nervous at the table read.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh.
Claudia Lonow: The director afterwards said "What happened to the audition you?"
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: You were on ...
Jennifer Tracy: But it was your first job, you were a kid. My God.
Claudia Lonow: I was constipated all week.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh.
Claudia Lonow: I was so anxious.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Anyway, the week I was shooting that, I auditioned for Knots Landing and I got it. I mean it was that week I auditioned for it. It was just like a, I guess a whatever, a moment or in the right place at the right time and somehow and I can not quite figure out how I accomplished this. I didn't leave high school. I stayed in high school.
Jennifer Tracy: That was gonna be my next question.
Claudia Lonow: I went to Beverly.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow, I don't think I knew that.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I went to Beverly. We lived in a one bedroom apartment. My parents slept on the floor in the living room.
Jennifer Tracy: So that you could go to that school?
Claudia Lonow: Yep, across the street. Like I was Andrea on 90210 sort of, you know? The poor girl on TV. It was so bizarre and nobody really watched the show, the people I went to school with.
Jennifer Tracy: Not your peers, but yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I don't think so.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I mean it wasn't like anybody cared or really and I was more involved with my position in the drama department at Beverly than really my position on the show, though I was also had a lot of thoughts about that. Anyway, yeah, I was on that for five and a half years.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: I know.
Jennifer Tracy: So while you graduated you kept working on it?
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: You graduated high school.
Claudia Lonow: I graduated high school. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to leave the show to go to college and I was talked out of it which I don't think was a good idea but whatever. I'm over it. Yeah, so I was on, yes.
Jennifer Tracy: What happened after the show, that part, ended for you? Then what was your next venture?
Claudia Lonow: Well, I think you know.
Jennifer Tracy: So when did you ... Go ahead, what were you gonna say?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I mean, you know, I never know about what you say on a podcast.
Jennifer Tracy: Whatever you want, whatever you're comfortable with. There's no ... Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know what I mean? I mean I got sober. That was my next venture.
Jennifer Tracy: Then you ...
Claudia Lonow: I mean I did that. You know, I had, in retrospect, I can see now that that was a very traumatic experience ...
Jennifer Tracy: Being a child actor?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah and being let go from the show.
Jennifer Tracy: Uh huh. Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Which was like, you know, a family situation and I was, you know, sort of ...
Jennifer Tracy: Sure.
Claudia Lonow: So I, you know, I guess it was a smart move. I found another sort of large family situation to be in.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Struggled to, I mean I didn't know a lot of basic information. You know, I didn't know how to do my laundry. I didn't know how to balance a check. I had a business manager. I mean I didn't know a lot of normal things. So that was a ... I mean I didn't know what normal, I don't even know how to describe it. I mean I hadn't had a normal life before then which I didn't realize and then that was really abnormal. To have all this money was like crazy. We didn't, my family, we didn't have money. We didn't have money.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Like that. You know, I started, I did stand up. I did, you know, my stepfather's one of the owners of the Improv. I worked at the Improv which was a weird move because six months or three months or whatever the months were before I started being a host at the Improv, a hostess at the Improv, I was on a television show. So it's like I was sort of in the most sort of humiliating, or that's how I felt, place to be. Like there's other restaurants is what I'm saying but I didn't know how to get it. I didn't know anything.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, when you were still a kid.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: You were what? 22 or something.
Claudia Lonow: 22.
Jennifer Tracy: I mean that's ...
Claudia Lonow: I know, I was 22.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: So I kinda got in and out of stand up and at that time I also started like writing on my own and that became something else I was sort of trying to do but I really didn't know how to go about it and I guess ... So that took quite a long time to figure out. I mean I sort of call like the period and I mean I met a guy. He had a daughter. I took, you know, I was like her nanny almost, you know? This little girl who hated me. I was only 20 years older than her.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Oh God. Oh God.
Claudia Lonow: So I had all that. I got married. I had a big baby and blah, blah, blah. Then I left my ex husband but the years from like 22 to maybe 36 even, it was like those were my years in the desert. I mean I would call that the most confusing period of my life.
Jennifer Tracy: How old were you in that space when you had your daughter?
Claudia Lonow: I was 32.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: I think.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: 31.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: 31, yeah. Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: So you weren't pursuing acting during that time?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, I was.
Jennifer Tracy: You were still pursuing ...
Claudia Lonow: I was unsuccessfully pursuing acting. For a long time I was doing stand up and, you know, I got far along, not far along, but you know, I did TV. I did some, you know, I did clubs. I did that kind of thing. I, you know, went on at the Improv four times a week.
Jennifer Tracy: That's really impressive. I mean not a lot of comics get to do that.
Claudia Lonow: Well, I had an in.
Jennifer Tracy: Still, I mean ...
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I mean my mother's a comic.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know.
Jennifer Tracy: You're also really funny.
Claudia Lonow: Thanks.
Jennifer Tracy: So I mean, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: So were you writing also during that time like for yourself?
Claudia Lonow: I wrote, during that period, I think I wrote five or six screenplays that I did not know what to do with nor did I take any class and the first one I started writing on a typewriter, that's how old I am. That took four years to finish and not because I wasn't writing everyday. It was because it was ... The main thing that I learned in that four years was the habit of writing. That was very, I mean it continues to be the hardest thing. I think that was what I was sort of learning and honestly, it really was easier once there were computers because the technology of the typewriter was something that I really struggled with. I put that [inaudible 00:19:50] screenplay in the closet inside the typewriter for so long I forgot how the typewriter worked. You know, I forgot how to put the ink ... I mean I forget how to use it and then I go "I guess I should go back to that thing." I didn't have an outline. I mean and I had it on pages.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh God.
Claudia Lonow: I mean, you know, it was like that.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: That's how and it was torture, torture.
Jennifer Tracy: And you had a baby.
Claudia Lonow: Well not til I was 31. This is all ...
Jennifer Tracy: This is before the baby.
Claudia Lonow: This is [inaudible 00:20:23], yeah, yeah. This is ...
Jennifer Tracy: So after you had your daughter, were you writing during that time or were you just like ...
Claudia Lonow: I wrote during the entire time. After I had my daughter and after I moved in with my parents or some period around in there, some period, I kinda looked around the world I was in. I mean things really take me ... I don't know if it takes me longer than other people and I went "You know, Claudia, you don't know anybody in movies, but all these comics are writing on sitcoms. At least you know those people, maybe you should see if you can write that." So I wrote a spec pilot. I mean I wrote like two of, you know, I wrote a bunch of those.
Jennifer Tracy: Sure.
Claudia Lonow: Then and we had some readings of them, I'm like whatever. I mean still nothing is happening and then, you know, I mean, you know, I'm like, you know, my money's in a fucking coffee can.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I mean I got nothing.
Jennifer Tracy: Well and you're living with your parents because you needed to move in with your parents, with your daughter.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I had literally ... With my daughter.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, things couldn't be worse. Things couldn't be worse. Then I got some opportunities to do some internet stuff like writing on the ... Which this is before it was a real thing. It's like during the first period when nothing worked right, you know? So like I worked for a company and it all fell apart and the show couldn't even be transmitted on whatever. Then my mom was managing a stand up comic who I was like, you know, who I was very competitive with and she sold a pilot that she was starring in. She wrote it and starred in it and I pitched jokes to her. She said that I could help on the pilot. It literally was one of these things where I was there and I was like this is where I'm supposed to be. We also happen to have similar sensibilities. So I was very effective. I was there every day. I mean I was like "You have to come at 10 and look at the sets." I'm like "I don't know what the fuck ... " you know, okay, sure. "You have to come look at the clothes. You have to run the room." I mean I ran a ...
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: A room, I think. Her non writing executive producer was just like really great, you know, because that is really great and after that show didn't go, I became that woman's assistant, personal assistant, and then I came up with an idea for Rude Awakening and I pitched it to that non writing ... He's dead, but that non writing executive producer and somehow, I mean not somehow, but it was just like, it was ...
Jennifer Tracy: Meant to be.
Claudia Lonow: It was meant to be.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It was like ... Everybody goes like, you know, "Astrology is so stupid." I know it is but ...
Jennifer Tracy: I'm way into astrology.
Claudia Lonow: I know. I know it doesn't make sense but the show's called Rude Awakening. I had just declared bankruptcy, okay? I'm with my parents. My script is getting around town. I don't have an agent. My phone number's on this script. I'm getting calls from people and Joe [Voche's 00:24:12] taking me to meetings. I have to wear my mother's clothes. I don't have any clothes.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: Okay? But it seems like things are happening and I read my horoscope. It was in November in the LA Times and it said people who thought you were down and out are in for a rude awakening. Everyone will be shocked. I thought to myself "This is gonna happen." And it did.
Jennifer Tracy: Was that already the title of the show?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: And it was in your horoscope?
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: That's crazy. I just got chills.
Claudia Lonow: I know. No, it was like that. I was like "Oh my God, I think this is gonna happen. This is gonna happen."
Jennifer Tracy: And it sure did.
Claudia Lonow: And it did. It was just like the most unbelievable and my joke at that time was, I guess it was, yeah. Every 14 years something incredible happens to me. That was exactly what I said. Man I can't believe this happened now. It was like with Knots Landing. It was like wow, every 14 years something unbelievable happens. You just have to hang in there for another 14 years.
Jennifer Tracy: 14, oh my God.
Claudia Lonow: I know.
Jennifer Tracy: That's so good.
Claudia Lonow: Thanks.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my gosh. You, okay, so I want to tell this story. You may not even remember this.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: You called me in to audition.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, did I?
Jennifer Tracy: For the show.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: I was so awful ...
Claudia Lonow: Oh, I'm sure you weren't.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh no, no, no, no. I mean it was one of those ... I mean maybe I wasn't that awful but in my mind, I walked out of there, I was like "I just blew that so bad."
Claudia Lonow: Oh God.
Jennifer Tracy: You were so sweet and generous to like give me a chance. I was new in town and then after that I saw you or maybe it was even before the audition. I can't remember but you gave me the best piece of advice that I never took.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, what was it?
Jennifer Tracy: Which was, I was 23, I had just moved here. I was like "I'm gonna be an actress, yay!" You said "Get a job on a show as a PA." You said "Get a job on a show as a PA and work your way up." I didn't do it because I think I thought "Well, no, you know." I was just so gung ho on being an actress and what I thought that meant and I don't know, just trying to spend ... I, like you had said earlier about yourself, you had unsuccessfully. I feel like I unsuccessfully pursued acting for a good, until I had my babies, so a good like 12 years. Full throttle and I booked a lot of commercials but not a lot of TV and then after I had my kid I was just kinda like you said earlier, like just done. Just like I don't care about pursuing it.
Claudia Lonow: You know, it was funny, this is even before Rude Awakening, I was living with my parents and I had one of my screen plays, my ex husband's first ex wife is also a writer. She had a show and she had read the screenplay and she had me in cause they were doing non union writers and it shot in Czechoslovakia or whatever and I went in and I had a really good meeting and then I had to come up with a story and pitch it which I didn't know how to do.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I was, you know, this is like a big fucking deal.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know? I was working on it and I got an audition and I was like, you know, they want you to go to producers which by the way isn't that big a deal.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, it's producers and blah, blah, blah.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: My brain said "I'm probably gonna get this writing job and I know I won't get that acting job and I don't have time."
Jennifer Tracy: Totally. That's where I've gotten to where I just don't have time.
Claudia Lonow: I don't have ... I had a baby, I have to get this writing job.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I know I won't get that acting job.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: So that was it and I just went "That's it, I'm not doing this anymore."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I know it's not gonna happen. It was the same thing with stand up. It was like ... Besides the fact that it was unrealistic to be performing at night for me and my situation.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know?
Jennifer Tracy: Well yeah, with a kid and you were working as a writer and ...
Claudia Lonow: Well, it was a lot of reasons why it was unrealistic but at a certain point I went "If I'm not better than I am now, I don't think I have time to get as good as I need to be in time for it to work out for me."
Jennifer Tracy: That makes so much sense.
Claudia Lonow: You know?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It was just like I was 35, you know, Sarah Silverman's a little younger than me but it was just like she's already way better than you.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, you're not gonna be that good.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I had given her a joke which became a big joke of hers.
Jennifer Tracy: Uh huh.
Claudia Lonow: You know, I did it. I did the joke on stage and people would go "Ahhh." I gave it to Sarah and she killed with it.
Jennifer Tracy: Interesting.
Claudia Lonow: Which was great.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: She was so generous about it, telling people I wrote it which was a big deal.
Jennifer Tracy: That's nice.
Claudia Lonow: So, so fucking sweet.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, it meant so much to me.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: But it was like, you know, she's a natural at this.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: You know and you don't have time to become a natural, you don't have time.
Jennifer Tracy: Totally.
Claudia Lonow: You're running out of time. You've gotta, you know, get off it.
Jennifer Tracy: Sometimes, like if you were super passionate about it, sometimes passion can make up for that I think.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I think that, you know, for me it did come down after I became a writer, I think I felt, even though I enjoy performing and especially now at this time in my life, I'm pretty good at it. Like the stakes are non existent so like it's okay to fail, who cares? You know, I mean like you should fail, like that's good. It's good to fail. You know, you need to and, you know, you'll get over it. Whatever. But I think like I was uncomfortable being ... I was more comfortable behind the scenes which sounds insane especially to people who knew me when I was younger, where I was just like, you know ...
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, fuck the world.
Claudia Lonow: Yes, exactly. I'm like here's my song. Here's my thing.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I sort of like when I try to explain to people what I was like as a teenager, it was like I was like, you know, I mean I was dressed in sorta punky outfits or whatever but I was like Tracy Flick, but about the drama department. You know, really that's all I cared about. If you weren't in that, I did not care about you. I didn't know you. I didn't know your name. I can't talk to you. I was been like that since I was five. When I was five and my mom and I moved to little Italy, well maybe even three or four or something in New York, Greenwich village, this was like Italian. Like they all went to parochial school and I'd be with these kids, like about four or five and they say "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "I don't know. Why? What do you want to be?" "Oh, I want to be a famous actress." I thought that these kids who didn't know what they wanted to be when they grow up were like losers.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Loser babies.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I really did.
Jennifer Tracy: I love it. Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You don't know. I mean you gotta be working now.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, you gotta be thinking about that.
Jennifer Tracy: The clocks ticking kiddo.
Claudia Lonow: There's a lot going on. This competition is very fierce, you know? Cause I was so like ...
Jennifer Tracy: You were already in that world because of your parents.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, so that's what they were thinking.
Jennifer Tracy: Sure.
Claudia Lonow: You know, I mean I have two half brothers but the majority of my time, I only saw them on the weekends or every other weekend, was spent with my mother and stepfather in a very small apartment.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: So I was very like ...
Jennifer Tracy: Were you the entertainment? Were you the nightly show?
Claudia Lonow: No.
Jennifer Tracy: Did you put on a show?
Claudia Lonow: I was the audience.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, you were the audience with them. Oh my God. I wasn't thinking that. They like would perform for you every night.
Claudia Lonow: No, well ...
Jennifer Tracy: Or they just were doing bits constantly.
Claudia Lonow: Not intentionally.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: Their every move was like ...
Jennifer Tracy: Their being, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: They are every facial expression is more than other people.
Jennifer Tracy: Of course.
Claudia Lonow: You know.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: They were, this is the Yiddish word, [yiddish 00:33:25] constantly about their career and what they audition. You know, my mom would, you know, be ... I mean you can't imagine. You, you know, could fit this whole my living room is the size of the apartment, okay? There's a room.
Jennifer Tracy: Did you ever ...
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Did you complain? Because I'm just gonna interject here. My son, I live in a small bungalow about three blocks from here.
Claudia Lonow: Nice.
Jennifer Tracy: I'd say it's about 1,400 square feet. We have a tiny little backyard. We've got two little dogs. I have my own garage which is really fun. I love that.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: He's like "This is small. This is so small." I'm like and I always say "People grow in New York City in a one bedroom apartment."
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: "This is great."
Claudia Lonow: I don't think I ... No, I did not have those feelings. Complaining? No, we were ...
Jennifer Tracy: Maybe because you had other friends who had similar ...
Claudia Lonow: Well, I didn't have friends and no, I didn't have friends with similar ...
Jennifer Tracy: Because the other four year olds were losers.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I was not ...
Jennifer Tracy: You didn't want to hang out.
Claudia Lonow: I mean I had a couple of friends but I was not what you would call popular.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: Now could I identify with other children.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: They did not like me.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: I was an asshole, you know? I mean I was weird in many many ... I mean, you know, I was unsupervised. You know, it just did not really to have a normal existence.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: But I was ... Look, I don't know what voodoo my mother did on me. But I thought we are, first of all, her family wasn't talking to her because she left my father and taken me and I was one and a half.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh wow.
Claudia Lonow: Nobody was talking to her. My real biological father came from a well off family. My mother grew up on welfare. So the fact that she was leaving with this baby to go become an actress at that time was ...
Jennifer Tracy: Was insane, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Fucking crazy.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: To everybody.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I just thought "Well, we have to make it."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I mean there is nothing more important in this world than my mother following her dreams.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow, talk about pressure.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: On a kid, I mean ...
Claudia Lonow: That's how I felt.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: This is the most exciting adventure and we are on it and I felt like I'm on the team.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: I'm a part of the company.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: That's how I felt.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know and so whether we lived in a small apartment.
Jennifer Tracy: It didn't matter.
Claudia Lonow: I didn't care about that.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I mean I didn't care, we were artists. We're artists and those people are doing boring things. We're exciting, we're special.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: I mean I didn't know like well it would be nice if, you know, the shower wasn't in the kitchen.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh God.
Claudia Lonow: But I lived in a building where the people, I mean by the way we were lucky. I'm not kidding. We had a toilet in the apartment.
Jennifer Tracy: Most people had shared.
Claudia Lonow: They had a ...
Jennifer Tracy: A shared bathroom.
Claudia Lonow: A toilet in the hall.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: I would think to myself, "I can't think of anything worse than having to get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom in this hall."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: So we're the rock stars of this building.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, wow and that was the little Italy building?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. My stepfather was the super of the building.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, you're kidding?
Claudia Lonow: No, he became the super.
Jennifer Tracy: That's how they met?
Claudia Lonow: No, no, no. They met in acting class.
Jennifer Tracy: I see.
Claudia Lonow: He worked his way to be the super of the building.
Jennifer Tracy: He's still your stepdad now. The same ...
Claudia Lonow: Oh yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: Yes, yes, yes.
Jennifer Tracy: You're all very close. He's here.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: We're very close. Unnaturally close. Unnaturally close. I mean I'm doing improv with my mother and my daughter.
Jennifer Tracy: Which I love and I want to come see.
Claudia Lonow: You have to come see.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, I gotta come see it.
Claudia Lonow: You can't believe it.
Jennifer Tracy: So good.
Claudia Lonow: I can read their mind.
Jennifer Tracy: I bet.
Claudia Lonow: I can read my mother's mind, you know? We were at Thanksgiving last night, she was talking about something and somebody started to talk about something else and I go "You better listen to my mother right now. Don't you see she's giving a toast? You don't want to live in the world where you're not listening to her toast right now cause you know how that could go."
Jennifer Tracy: There's gonna be hell to pay if you don't, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You better listen to my mother. So my mother is talking, you better listen.
Jennifer Tracy: So good.
Claudia Lonow: Everybody be quiet, she's trying to do her toast. You know, it's not ... No.
Jennifer Tracy: You're still on the team. You're still on the team for your mom.
Claudia Lonow: I can't get off the team. I can't get off the team.
Jennifer Tracy: That's very sweet though.
Claudia Lonow: She's very entertaining.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, well I mean obviously ... Listen, the movie that influenced me the most, can you guess what it is?
Jennifer Tracy: Mommy Dearest.
Claudia Lonow: No.
Jennifer Tracy: No.
Claudia Lonow: No, but close. Oh come on. It's okay. Postcards From the Edge.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh God, of course. It was on the tip of my tongue.
Claudia Lonow: I saw that and I went "I'm an actress, my mother's an actress. I got a drinking problem. I'm just the less famous version of these people. We're just less famous but it's exactly the same ... I totally get everything about this." It was just like oh well ...
Jennifer Tracy: Well and so you ...
Claudia Lonow: And Carrie was an actress.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: So I thought "Well she's an actress, I'm gonna be ..."
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: "Now she's writing, I could do it. I bet I could do it. Why can't I do it? I bet I could try."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: That was basically I went "Oh well, people like this." I mean it's my favorite movie.
Jennifer Tracy: It's a fantastic movie.
Claudia Lonow: It's the greatest movie [inaudible 00:39:26].
Jennifer Tracy: It really is a fantastic ... It twirled up.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. I mean ...
Jennifer Tracy: It's one my favorites.
Claudia Lonow: Everything.
Jennifer Tracy: But wait a minute.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: So you actually did write your own TV version of your life.
Claudia Lonow: Yes, I did.
Jennifer Tracy: Not Postcards From the Edge, but you wrote How to Live With Your Parents.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, that's another one, but Rude Awakening.
Jennifer Tracy: What's it called? What's the whole name? It's a long ... Rude Awakening you did but then again you did it.
Claudia Lonow: How to Live With Your Parents For The Rest of Your Life. Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: How to Live With Your Parents For The Rest of Your Life.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: It was a great show.
Claudia Lonow: Thank you.
Jennifer Tracy: I really enjoyed it a lot.
Claudia Lonow: You know, I mean I hate to toot my own horn but it was the highest rated new comedy that season. So, you know, I do have to say there's one benefit of that not getting picked up for a second season which I think I thought at the time and which was "Well, the good part about this is nothing will hurt like this again."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: This is about the most painful thing in show business. I worked on that, developing that, for like 10, 12 years. I mean I really worked on it. But then I've been working on another thing about it so I thought, you know, and that's how I get through these things is I said "Just cause they're done doesn't mean I'm done."
Jennifer Tracy: That's right.
Claudia Lonow: You know?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Maybe I'll do something else. Now I don't know if I will.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, you will. Andrew, whose a mutual friend of ours.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Always says "Claudia Lonow." Am I saying your last name right?
Claudia Lonow: Yes, that's right.
Jennifer Tracy: "Claudia Lonow" he says "Is the most prolific writer I've ever met." Andrew, by the way, the man of whom we're speaking is 94 years old.
Claudia Lonow: Jesus.
Jennifer Tracy: And used to direct tons of stuff in LA. He's written tons of stuff and so he's a big fan of yours.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, that's sweet.
Jennifer Tracy: We both respect him very much.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: He always said that about you and, you know, I'm a writer and he would always, I've always looked up to you.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, thank you.
Jennifer Tracy: He would always ask me about my writing and then he would always mention you, you know, and say "She's just prolific writing, she just writes every day. It's blah, blah, blah." You know, and I'd heard you say that too and that's become a big part of my thing now is that it's just the daily time of putting it in. Like it's the habit.
Claudia Lonow: Oh yeah, nothing is more important than that.
Jennifer Tracy: Nothing's more important.
Claudia Lonow: It is, you know, look, it's easy especially because I do have a little bit of OCD but so it's easy to get ...
Jennifer Tracy: So it helps you write? Is that what you mean?
Claudia Lonow: No. I can be too, you know, rigid in general or, you know, I do think that like nothing is more important than your habits. You know, creating a habit, it's the only thing you can do are these things and, you know, daily whatever.
Jennifer Tracy: That's so true. Well, and I've started working with writers as well and helping them and I have so many writers that come to me and say "I'm blocked." I don't believe in writer's block. Or "I don't feel inspired." I always say the same thing "I don't feel inspired five days out of five when I sit down in front of my computer and I don't believe in writer's block, I just sit down and I power through it and sometimes everything I write gets thrown away."
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: It's for me just literally about sitting down at my computer.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, it's terrible. I mean especially if you have, like I do, ADD [inaudible 00:43:02] ADHD. Attention Deficit.
Jennifer Tracy: I think it's either or. I think ADHD is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, I don't have that.
Jennifer Tracy: So I think you just have ADD.
Claudia Lonow: No, I'm so tired, I can't possibly have that. I have ADD. I have self diagnosed ADD. It's like the only answer I can come up with for why it's impossible to focus but, you know, you can't, tell one doctor you're sober, they're not giving you Ritalin.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: They fucking write it on your permanent record and you go "I think I can handle it. I swear I could do it. I really believe in Adderall would be so great." But whatever. So, you know, gotta trick myself, many many many tricks, many tricks up my sleeve to get it done because it's the worst. You know, it's the worst. You just have to remind yourself that it's not gonna be any good. I mean it's so terrible just to sit there with your own thoughts. I mean writer's drink, that's why they drink. It's the worst.
Jennifer Tracy: It's painful.
Claudia Lonow: I'm not that good in school. How the fuck did I wind up doing this?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's like, you know, and then the other joke I say is if only you had been a better actress, you wouldn't have to be doing this. How'd you get yourself into this position? Where you're just writing all the time.
Jennifer Tracy: But you're so good at it.
Claudia Lonow: It's so hard.
Jennifer Tracy: So you are on this show now.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, we just wrapped.
Jennifer Tracy: I Feel Bad on NBC.
Claudia Lonow: I Feel Bad on NBC.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: It looks great.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, it's good.
Jennifer Tracy: Also, created by another female writer/creator.
Claudia Lonow: Yes. I know, she's a good friend of mine. So she did such a great job. She was ... Boy, she was doing, her name is Aseem Batra. We worked together on Sean Saves the World which is, you know, a mixed experience. But she was doing such a great job that I made a list one day of every good action she was doing for myself, like you know, it was like "Wow, look at how she does this. That's a really good thing to remember if I ever run a show again." You know, it's just like, just trying to, you know, keep track of what cool things other people do is great. "Oh that was a good, that's a good."
Jennifer Tracy: That's gotta be hard running a show because in a way, you're like the mom of the show.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Right?
Claudia Lonow: Running a show is ...
Jennifer Tracy: I mean it's massive. You're handling everything.
Claudia Lonow: It's pretty tough. It's the worst. There's moments of it that are great but it's, you know, especially if you're a writer which is like a solitary experience. I mean I didn't come up with this. I think Jonathan came up with it, that's my boyfriend who has run shows, but it's like one day it's you and your computer and then the next day you run a small business. Now you run a 7 Eleven. Every time someone walks into the writer's room or the phone rings, anything happens, they are coming to talk to you. So, you know ...
Jennifer Tracy: And you got the big wigs breathing down your neck too.
Claudia Lonow: Then you have that which is really difficult emotionally to manage because you get, you know, you get angry. You have to, you know, control yourself.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: And you gotta ...
Jennifer Tracy: I'm getting anxiety just listening to you talk about it. I don't think I could ever ... I don't deal well with conflict or I don't know.
Claudia Lonow: You'd be surprised.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Really?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, you'd be surprised.
Jennifer Tracy: Because when push comes to shove and you just kind of ...
Claudia Lonow: Yep.
Jennifer Tracy: Step into the role.
Claudia Lonow: Push comes to shove and well for me as a person who I guess enjoys structure or clear directions.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes, because you have ADD and OCD.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah and OCD and need to check off a box.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, you did that right.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: That's [inaudible 00:47:17] on a piece of paper and you did it right.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: The fact that you're in a machine that is running and you are just going from place to place, like even going to have a terrible meeting where everybody yells at you or something or is mad at you, I had that.
Jennifer Tracy: Has that happened?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, on Rude Awakening. I had to go to show time meeting, everybody mad.
Jennifer Tracy: On your own show? People got mad at you?
Claudia Lonow: It was too broad, the show got too broad.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh.
Claudia Lonow: They thought in the second season and they wanted it to be this and blah, blah, blah and like I don't know, I thought everybody wanted to be funnier, you know? Who's telling you? I was whatever. It was funny, the girl, the woman who was at the network afterwards goes "Claudia, you did really good in that meeting. You know, I think I would have cried." I was like "Cried, I mean, you know ... "
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: "You must have had an easy life."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: That's nothing.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I had a drink thrown at me doing stand up, so no one's throwing a drink at me.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow. Yes.
Claudia Lonow: That's what I always say.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Here in LA?
Claudia Lonow: No, in Arizona. I bombed all week long and you have to stay on stage or they don't pay you.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God.
Claudia Lonow: It was terrible.
Jennifer Tracy: That sounds horrible.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, it was terrible. So yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: So you're on a show I Feel Bad.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Do we know ...
Claudia Lonow: No.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay, we don't know yet. Okay. We don't find out yet.
Claudia Lonow: No, we don't find out til May.
Jennifer Tracy: Are you working on other stuff on the side?
Claudia Lonow: Oh yeah, yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: I mean well I'm done with that show.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: So that's ...
Jennifer Tracy: You're on hiatus right now.
Claudia Lonow: I'm over.
Jennifer Tracy: Got it.
Claudia Lonow: I'm supervising a new pilot, a script.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: I think I'm gonna write one. I pitched it on the ... I came up with this anyway, I guess I'm going to write it. If I can get it done in time, I'm gonna write it in December.
Jennifer Tracy: You sound really excited about it.
Claudia Lonow: It's a good idea, I just finished this show.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: So I haven't really had time to think about it.
Jennifer Tracy: Sure.
Claudia Lonow: Thinking about all the details. That's the hard part. Writing it's not so hard. Once you have all the structure things worked out.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, so what's your process? Like let's say take me through you have this idea for a script.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: For a half hour comedy.
Claudia Lonow: Yes, uh huh.
Jennifer Tracy: Do you start writing scenes right away?
Claudia Lonow: Oh no.
Jennifer Tracy: Do you outline? Do you start writing ...
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, you gotta ...
Jennifer Tracy: Like what do you ... Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, you have to ... Well, the first thing is, especially now, we're really in the beginning stages, think about the characters.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know? I already know four characters but I need to, you know, flush them out.
Jennifer Tracy: But how do you do that? Do you write about them?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Do you just think about it? You write about them?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, yeah. I, you know, I'll write anything.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, come up with a name.
Jennifer Tracy: Got it.
Claudia Lonow: You know ...
Jennifer Tracy: Explore their ...
Claudia Lonow: Qualities.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Qualities.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Most everything I do is based on something.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Based on somebody.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: So or even whose the actor who I see.
Jennifer Tracy: Sure.
Claudia Lonow: So I can have a face in my head.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, free associate.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: No one else is reading this.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Right now, so that and then after you do that, then you have to do what is the hardest part in any ...
Jennifer Tracy: Format.
Claudia Lonow: Format is breaking the story. So, you know, what are the scenes? What's the sequence of events? You know, if I have an idea for something, I probably already know what the big moment is.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: What the emotional component is. In this case, I already have dialog areas and jokes I've written down. Like cause I can ... I sort of like, as I'm in my daily life a lot of the times, you know, I'll think of, you know, it's like you're having conversations with yourself.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: So I'll try to remember to write that down. "Oh, that's a good joke."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: "For these two people to have. Oh, that's the conflict." So you already know kinda like or I do, like what the emotional conflict is. But then you have to like break out the plot part which is the part I hate.
Jennifer Tracy: It's the hardest thing for me too.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, do I have to see them get out of bed that day?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, it's like is that important?
Jennifer Tracy: Right, what's important to the story?
Claudia Lonow: What's important to the story.
Jennifer Tracy: It's so hard.
Claudia Lonow: Is this dinner, is making dinner?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Do they need to talk about getting ingredients?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's like, you know, like those daily lifey things.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Then, you know, you want to shmoosh things together so as much of the story points are happening at the same time in the same place.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes, yes.
Claudia Lonow: So that you're making a thing.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: So it's like I know that there's gonna be a butting heads moment.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, for a pilot, look, you know, you're probably ... Is it a dating story? Is it a work story? You know, it's like you're ...
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, is there an event? I mean you watch a TV show.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: People go someplace to do something.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: Much more than anybody in real life does.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: You know? Oh, there's the big work party.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's like how many work parties do you ... You know? How many parties do you ever go to?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Where I'm making a speech.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: You know, you're not making a speech. I mean maybe once a year you're making a speech.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Or someone's making a toast.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: The people are coming and the other people are coming and those people can't know about those people, you know?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, you try to ... I mean the parts of those things that are interesting to me are sort of like the funny way or the way people look at a situation. The way they explain a situation.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: Is what's interesting to me.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: And what is funny. You know, the way they explain how they're feeling. The way they explain what they're doing. The way they're reacting. You break the story, then you, you know, you do an outline. This is a little bit like "Am I gonna have time to do a real outline?" I gotta do enough of an outline so I can write. But it doesn't have to be ... I think I can do, in this situation, the kind of outline that no one else has to read but me or maybe my friends.
Jennifer Tracy: Do you run your writing by people you trust?
Claudia Lonow: Yes. I have a group of people.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Then I'll just zoom through, get a draft done as quickly as I can and then, you know, smoosh, put it together.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: But I [inaudible 00:54:38] my approach to running a room and even writing. Let's get this over with. That's how I feel. Let's get it over with. I want to fuck off more than anybody in this room, but let's get this over with. It doesn't have to be perfect, let's just get it over with. I'm gonna try to zero in on this, like there's always like a couple of these questions. It's like if he wants this, then why's he doing that? You know? I need him to do that, why are you doing? I don't know. Oh God. Somebody say anything.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God. [inaudible 00:55:35].
Claudia Lonow: When somebody says something crazy, I go ... Like a crazy idea, I go "Listen, I'll do it. I'll put it in right now as long as either you've done it, somebody you know has really done that or you've heard of anyone in the world. Has anybody in the world done what you've just told me? If anyone has done this and it will fix it right now, then let's do it. But it's gotta be anybody."
Jennifer Tracy: Anyone.
Claudia Lonow: Anyone to ever said what you're saying. You know?
Jennifer Tracy: Then do people just fall out laughing when you do that or do they just go "Oh, okay."
Claudia Lonow: No. I mean they go "Well, oh, my cousin Susie's aunt." Great, that's fine. When people ask me I go "Well, that really happened."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Like yeah, people think that.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I don't know any normal people.
Jennifer Tracy: That's funny, oh my God.
Claudia Lonow: You know, sometimes if I'm working on a normally type show, like a family show, which is like normal, I go "You know, go to somebody else to find out. I don't know."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I don't know how you do that. I don't know anybody. Is that what mom's say? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.
Jennifer Tracy: I love it. Where can we find you online if my followers want to follow you?
Claudia Lonow: Oh my God. I'm on Twitter. I think I'm Crappaport now.
Jennifer Tracy: What's this?
Claudia Lonow: You know, Claudia Lonow Rappaport.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh.
Claudia Lonow: Like I added, I don't even want to talk about it but because that was the dumbest thing, but on Instagram I'm the Claudia Lonow Rappaport and on Twitter I might just be Claudia Lonow.
Jennifer Tracy: So it's Lonow. I was pronouncing it wrong.
Claudia Lonow: You were close enough.
Jennifer Tracy: You're very generous.
Claudia Lonow: No, you were.
Jennifer Tracy: I always say Lonow, but it's Lonow, okay.
Claudia Lonow: I think you said ...
Jennifer Tracy: I'm gonna get it right.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: No, I said it wrong.
Claudia Lonow: No, you did it right.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: I'll agree with you.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, no, it's fine.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: I'm looking at my own Twitter thing now to see. Yeah, Claudia Lonow. I am Crappaport.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God, that's great.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: I love it. Okay great.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: So I'm gonna ask you three questions I ask every guest.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: Then we're gonna go into a lightning round of questions.
Claudia Lonow: Great.
Jennifer Tracy: What do you think about when you hear the word MILF?
Claudia Lonow: I think that I like the idea that moms have sexuality and everything but I also feel like we don't have to have sexuality to be like, it's so much work. Now I need people to want to fuck me, you know? All the time, everywhere I go.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I mean there's a part of me that's ... So I'm on the fence.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I'm on the fence. I get it.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I get it. You know? But we live in such a society where this is put on us as such an important thing and it is a burden that people don't, you know, that I think sometimes, you know, it stands in the way.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: It's a lot of work to be fuckable all the time, like myself.
Jennifer Tracy: How do you define success?
Claudia Lonow: I'm sure that the way I define success is whatever the person I'm jealous of has.
Jennifer Tracy: Give me a minute to let that sink in. Okay.
Claudia Lonow: I think that unfortunately, that's kind of how I define success. Whatever she or he got that I want, they're successful. That's how I define success.
Jennifer Tracy: Even though, I'm just gonna challenge you for a second, even though in your own life and all the story that you just told me, your journey, which is just a piece of your journey obviously. We've only been talking for an hour but you've had tremendous success.
Claudia Lonow: I know that. I mean I tell myself "Oh, you know, people could feel that way about you, Claudia."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: "You should be grateful." I am grateful.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, I'll tell you something ...
Jennifer Tracy: Well I should tell my listeners, Claudia's very humble. So that is something, no you are and you always have been and I admire that about you also. So I don't want to misconstrue this as like you not being grateful cause I know you are.
Claudia Lonow: Uh huh.
Jennifer Tracy: But it's ...
Claudia Lonow: I know what you mean.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Okay.
Claudia Lonow: Hey, you know what? Look, I have one of my super powers that I got from my 14 years in the desert was I can eat shit longer than anybody. You know? I can show up.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I can show up.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Places where other people would go "Why are you putting yourself through that?"
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Sometimes I go "Yeah, why are you?" Usually it's like eight hours after I've been there and I go like "Jeez, I feel terrible."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Then I go, "Oh, yeah, you can go. I think you did enough." But getting back to how I define success. Boy, you know, I don't know, I don't know if I believe in success. You know? I just don't think that that's ... I try not to focus on that. I really try to focus on the thing I'm doing now. I mean I try to be disciplined about that so that it's like if I'm working on this, let's say I'm gonna pitch a show. The only thing I'm working on is having a great pitch so that when I leave, they go "Wow, that was a great pitch. I'd love to have Claudia back again." Cause I go "Look, they may not buy it but how is this gonna be the best pitch I can do?"
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Because right now, of this show I'm creating, the pitch is the only part that's real.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's the only thing that exists.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's on pieces of paper.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: That is the show.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: There's no cameras.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: There's no cast. There's no script.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's like seven pages of me in an office doing a one woman show.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: About a show idea that really is the show.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: So I try to make myself not get too thinky about success because in real life, even when you sell a show, even when they pick up your pilot, even when they pick up your show, the good part about that lasts about maybe two days. The good part about that is everybody tells you you did a good job. That's fun. Maybe your name is in the paper. Maybe people are calling you on the phone and saying congratulations as a way to try to get you to hire somebody.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, how did you get my number?
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: You know, and then it's all work.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's all hard and this and there will be successes and there will be moments but the best part is for about two days.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: You feel great. You have something to talk about and everyone's congratulating you. After that, now it's like "I gotta be here, I gotta be there."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Then it's all just like "Am I gonna be able to do it?"
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Now you're back on can I do it again.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: So success is whatever it will be.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Whatever thing you get.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: There will always be two days later ...
Jennifer Tracy: It's like, what is that ...
Claudia Lonow: There's just no ...
Jennifer Tracy: Greek mythology.
Claudia Lonow: Sisyphus.
Jennifer Tracy: The guy pushing the ... Sisyphus.
Claudia Lonow: Yes, life is that.
Jennifer Tracy: It really is, isn't it?
Claudia Lonow: Yes, it is.
Jennifer Tracy: But you're just at different points of the mountain looking ... The landscape looks different but you're still pushing up that God damn rock.
Claudia Lonow: Sisyphus, it's like the best myth ever.
Jennifer Tracy: It really is. It really makes sense.
Claudia Lonow: It is so inventive to describe an emotional state.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: And like the daily struggle of life.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I mean every day you're pushing the rock up a hill.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: That is and so like success is I got, I don't know, I'm getting better at pushing a rock.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: That's really what success is.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: The better attitude about pushing the rock.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I'm not driving myself crazy while I'm pushing this rock.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I'm learning to love the rock.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Pretending to love the rock.
Jennifer Tracy: I had a young girl that I'm mentoring come to me the other day and she said "I'm just so lonely." She's 20 years younger than I am.
Claudia Lonow: Uh huh.
Jennifer Tracy: It's so lonely, I'm so lonely, blah, blah, blah. I said "I get that." I said "I still have loneliness. I still feel really lonely. It's still deep in me." I said "But I've just learned to kind of embrace it and like roll with it." She said "My God, that's so awful for you." I was like "Well, wait. No, no, no. Let me explain myself."
Claudia Lonow: No, you know ...
Jennifer Tracy: I said "No, it's not awful. It's actually okay."
Claudia Lonow: You realize like those people that you looked up to, that you thought knew what was going on, you know, "Oh, that person's fucking crazy."
Jennifer Tracy: Totally, totally, totally.
Claudia Lonow: "Oh, I'm crazy, that person I thought knew everything, she's crazy." The majority of people are crazy and just doing the best they can.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Try to have some, you know ...
Jennifer Tracy: Empathy.
Claudia Lonow: Compassion.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, totally, totally.
Claudia Lonow: And empathy but that person's not gonna help you.
Jennifer Tracy: It's so true.
Claudia Lonow: It was like, you know, during the writer's strike, I think this is when it really came home and we were all ... Everybody was so, I was so anxious, you know? Cause I was like "What's gonna happen after this?"
Jennifer Tracy: Oh yeah.
Claudia Lonow: And blah, blah, blah. I talk about it with my friends and they go "Yeah." I go "I don't like that, yeah." Then I go "Well they're going through it too."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know? Nobody can help you with this.
Jennifer Tracy: Nobody has an answer. Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: No one's gonna make you feel better. They're all freaked out.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: We're all freaked out.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know, you're doing better than a lot of these people and you're bitching.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: They can't help you.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You're just gonna have to get through it.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, all right.
Jennifer Tracy: So true. Okay, lightning round.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Ocean or desert?
Claudia Lonow: Oh, well what do you mean? Be near it?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, just what do you prefer to enjoy?
Claudia Lonow: What do I prefer? Oh, the ocean.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay. Favorite junk food.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, peanut butter and chocolate in any combination.
Jennifer Tracy: Ooh, yes. Movies or Broadway show?
Claudia Lonow: Oh, God. I think movies.
Jennifer Tracy: Daytime sex or nighttime sex?
Claudia Lonow: That's not always up to you.
Jennifer Tracy: That's such a great answer.
Claudia Lonow: You know? I think you gotta take into consideration how everybody's doing.
Jennifer Tracy: Texting or talking.
Claudia Lonow: Oh my God, well I mean I guess talking though I have gotten to the point where I can't talk on the phone like I used to and I do miss it. I miss that. I missed it. I miss it. I used to talk on the phone for hours.
Jennifer Tracy: Me too, me too.
Claudia Lonow: I know.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: But now I would rather blow my brains out.
Jennifer Tracy: Cat person or dog person?
Claudia Lonow: Well, neither but I guess dogs at least will do what you want and don't shit in the house. You know? Which is gross. My daughter when she was living here, she had her cats here and then she was gone and I had the fucking cats and I'm not into them, you know? A and they were the neediest one of them was so fucking needy. It's like aren't cats don't like you or something?
Jennifer Tracy: Not that one.
Claudia Lonow: And the smell. I mean after she took them with her, it was like I got a professional deep clean.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. I was just like this is ... I can't empty enough crap.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. Cat piss is a special kind of scent that just lingers.
Jennifer Tracy: Honestly, they don't need to be inside.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. Have you ever worn a unitard?
Jennifer Tracy: A unitard?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh yeah. I'm in show business.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah. Shower or bathtub?
Jennifer Tracy: I guess maybe bathtub. I used to be strictly ... You know when I was growing up in New York, I used to read comic books on the floor of the shower.
Claudia Lonow: Oh.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, because I liked the sound.
Claudia Lonow: Oh yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Yep.
Claudia Lonow: So I like the sound of a shower.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: But, you know, I just want to lie down now.
Jennifer Tracy: I know, me too. Ice cream or chocolate?
Claudia Lonow: Chocolate.
Jennifer Tracy: On a scale of one to 10, how good are you at ping pong?
Claudia Lonow: I'd probably two.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay. What's your biggest pet peeve?
Claudia Lonow: People coming up with motives for your behavior.
Jennifer Tracy: Interesting, can you give me an example? Like to you?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Like saying "Oh, you behave like that because you da, da, da, da."
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Really? People do that to you?
Claudia Lonow: Everybody does that to me. Yes, there's a lot of analyzing of ... When I was growing up both my parents were in therapy. I use this in one of my How To Live episodes, I'm sure I heard it ... I don't know if it was in reference to me but it was something I heard a lot growing up. I guess my parents were worried that they had or somebody, they had subconsciously sabotaged themselves in various situations.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: And to tell somebody else that they have a child that they have subconsciously sabotaged themselves. So you're telling me I ruined something for myself.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: In a manner that is below my consciousness so I can't do anything about it.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God.
Claudia Lonow: Because there's some weird evilness in me that is self destructive and wants to ruin things for me?
Jennifer Tracy: It's terrifying, it's terrifying.
Claudia Lonow: I mean it's like what are you coming up? This is like the voodoo bullshit. I mean shut up. Maybe I forgot the fucking keys. You know, you ever heard of that? I mean where do we come up with this whole reasons for people? You don't know why I did it. I'm flighty, how about that?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I'm a genius. I was thinking of something more important than, you know, your picking up the bread.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I'm not trying to fuck you.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: My stepfather had lots of reasons why I was doing things that he didn't care for.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: You know, I was like "I'm [inaudible 01:12:00]."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I'm not thinking about you.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I got enough problems.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I'm not trying to ruin your life in any way.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I didn't do it. I didn't know there was a thing that happened. There's a perfect example. When I was a kid, one of my duties if I was home, you know, because there were no such thing as answering machines.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: So my parents had an answering service but sometimes people called the house and I had to write down the messages. I was home by myself quite a bit. So I'm like seven.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: Or eight and like writing down the message and I didn't realize that my step ... We were in the second floor apartment and my stepfather apparently was working on our new apartment was gonna be on the fifth floor. So he comes home and there's a message from Mort Schwartz who apparently, which is a name I will never forget, it must have been his agent. It was a call back and he had missed it. He's "Mort Schwartz, you couldn't schlep up the three flights to tell me?" I was like "I had no idea you were in the fucking building."
Jennifer Tracy: And you're seven years old.
Claudia Lonow: Eight, maybe eight or nine.
Jennifer Tracy: Still, whatever.
Claudia Lonow: Definitely, maybe seven.
Jennifer Tracy: Below 10. Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Definitely below 10.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Claudia Lonow: So, you know, so ...
Jennifer Tracy: Mort Schwartz.
Claudia Lonow: "Mort Schwartz, do you know who Mort Schwartz ..." "No, I don't know who Mort Schwartz is. You know I'm working on the apartment. I don't know that. I don't ... You're working on the apartment? What does that even mean? What has to be done? I don't know what people do to apartments. I'm in third grade."
Jennifer Tracy: Oh God.
Claudia Lonow: "You know, I don't know what that even ... What you're talking about. I don't know where the new apartment is. I mean I know it's upstairs."
Jennifer Tracy: Oh my God.
Claudia Lonow: So people coming up with reasons.
Jennifer Tracy: So good.
Claudia Lonow: "You're lazy. You're lazy and you don't care about me." I was like "I'm not lazy. I am lazy but I care about you. I didn't know you were here."
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: That's what I mean.
Jennifer Tracy: Right. Wow.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: That's a fantastic story.
Claudia Lonow: Thanks.
Jennifer Tracy: If you could ... This is a good one for you.
Claudia Lonow: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: If you could push a button and it would make everyone in the world seven percent happier, but it would also place a worldwide ban on all hair styling products, would you push it?
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Super power choice, invisibility or ability to fly?
Claudia Lonow: Wow. I guess invisibility because even though I would like to fly, I am afraid of heights and just because you can fly doesn't mean you're gonna be great at it. You know?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: When it gets down to it, so if those are the two choices, I guess invisibility though I really don't see what that gets you.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: Unless you want to do bad things.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: And I don't care about bad things.
Jennifer Tracy: Would you rather ...
Claudia Lonow: I'd rather have super strength.
Jennifer Tracy: I was just gonna toss that in, what about super strength?
Claudia Lonow: I would like to be super ... When I'm at the gym.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: I'm so competitive or jealous or something with men.
Jennifer Tracy: Interesting.
Claudia Lonow: They're so strong and I just feel like "Oh, if only I worked hard enough, I could be that strong."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It's like "No, like you can't."
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: You know, and I just feel like it would be so great to feel like you could punch somebody and handle yourself in a physical fight.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Which honestly seems a lot more productive than verbal fighting. I bet it looks ...
Jennifer Tracy: That goes along with your let's get this over with motto.
Claudia Lonow: I mean it looks great.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: When I used to fight my brothers, you know, my half brothers. Now they were both younger than me so it was not a fair fight.
Jennifer Tracy: Right.
Claudia Lonow: I'd get down on my knees and fight them, like physically fight them.
Jennifer Tracy: Really?
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Did you win?
Claudia Lonow: Yes. I used to ... My father would go "Claudia, you know, don't hurt them. Don't hurt them. You know, one day they're gonna be big enough to sock you." Which I felt like "Oh, you mean like one day they're gonna get to be stronger."
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I better get in my licks now.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes. Yes.
Claudia Lonow: But I thought it was great.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I was like "This is the best."
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: You know, I don't like any sports but I think I would be good at ... I'd love to fight.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah and what would you do? Like boxing or like martial arts or what do you think you would do if you ...
Claudia Lonow: Oh, I don't know.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I mean I don't know.
Jennifer Tracy: Not like that.
Claudia Lonow: [inaudible 01:17:03].
Jennifer Tracy: Just like ...
Claudia Lonow: This was wrestling.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, wrestling.
Claudia Lonow: I think wrestling.
Jennifer Tracy: Wrestling.
Claudia Lonow: This was just like rough housing.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Yes.
Claudia Lonow: I don't know where I ... They were two, you know, they were the most rambunctious boys in the world.
Jennifer Tracy: Sure. Sure.
Claudia Lonow: So, you know, they're fine.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: You know? They're gonna be fine.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, of course. Okay, would you rather have a penis where your tailbone is or third eye?
Claudia Lonow: A visible third eye?
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: I guess a penis where my tailbone is.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: I mean a working penis?
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Claudia Lonow: Oh yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Fully operational.
Claudia Lonow: Oh, yeah, that would be great. Totally.
Jennifer Tracy: I sold you with that second point.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, yeah. I think that would be interesting.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay.
Claudia Lonow: You know, I've always wondered what's that like?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: What's so great about that?
Jennifer Tracy: Yep.
Claudia Lonow: I can't even imagine.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: I imagine it's similar.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: It can't be as good. That's what I hear.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. I've heard that too.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: I mean just scientifically there aren't as many nerve endings there.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But it seems like at least you'd have that.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Claudia Lonow: Hey. You're not gonna get that with every girl.
Jennifer Tracy: What was the name of your first pet?
Claudia Lonow: Trixie.
Jennifer Tracy: What was the name of the street you grew up on?
Claudia Lonow: MacDougal.
Jennifer Tracy: So you're porn, as you know, because you're smiling.
Claudia Lonow: Trixie MacDougal.
Jennifer Tracy: Trixie MacDougal.
Claudia Lonow: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: That's a good one.
Claudia Lonow: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Thank you so much for being on the show, Claudia.
Claudia Lonow: Thank you, this was so much fun.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, it was so great. So great.
Claudia Lonow: Oh awesome.
Jennifer Tracy: Thanks so much for listening guys, I really hope you enjoyed my conversation with Claudia. Next week on the show we have Jen Schwartz of Motherhood understood. Jen talks with us about her post partum depression and anxiety and all that she's doing to contribute to more awareness of PPD and PPA. Also, if you guys are so inclined, please leave us a review on Itunes, give us some stars. Give us a little written review. That's really helpful to the show and head on over to MILFpodcast.com where you can find show notes for every single show and tweetable quotes if you're so inclined and also you can sign up for my monthly newsletter and keeps yourselves apprised of all things MILFy. Thanks so much for listening guys. I'll talk to you next week.

One Reply to “Let’s Get This Over With with Claudia Lonow – Episode 25”

  1. Congratulations! . What a fabulous show…Enjoyed every moment of it..
    Honest, Funny, Inspirational, and True…

    Claudia is one of a kind, talented, and so authentic…And I’m saying this from my Heart and my Vagina..

    Hope to do the show one day…Jenifer you are a brilliant interviewer.
    LvU

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