Thursday Thoughts: Charleston

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Tears of heat stream down my face, as I once again watch my President, an African-American father of two, speak on the grave indecencies that have, once again, befallen members of his race.

The news of the Charleston travesty is still fresh. The rage, hurt, and confusion doing back flips in my heart and mind are intensified the more after watching President Barack Obama recount the events which occurred at a prayer meeting last evening in Charleston, South Carolina. There is a slight stoop in his posture, his eyes are downcast, a small feeling of defeat radiates from his being as he tells us about the need for gun control, about the inequalities so apparent in our country today, about the lives still being lost due to ignorance, privilege, vigilantes and bigots.

What can we do? What can be done? In a world, where a white woman believes she can carry the title of African-American woman for ten years and believe she is “trans-racial,” where do we stand? Is “The Dream” only a dream and nothing more? Have we, the nation, moved forward, or were just enough bread crumbs and rights afforded to a minority of people to keep us quiet and content. Was there an expiration on our rights and privileges? Did the powers at be proclaim, “When a black man holds the seat of power, as the leader of the free world, time will be up. If they didn’t ‘get’ everything they wanted, tough luck?”

Being cynical and suspicious are not words I use to describe myself. But this doubt cannot be suppressed. These questions are yearning for answers. I have no idea how to go about finding them, but I’ll start on this little old blog, and hopefully we can find the answers together.

M.

Happy Birthday to Me!

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Today is my birthday! While this photo was taken last summer in Duck, just know that my outfit is probably the same, but the sand is whiter and the ocean is greener! So happy to be celebrating my 26th birthday with Cynthia in the St.Thomas sun!

Home tomorrow, but until then I’m going to enjoy my last full day of paradise.

Ciao!!!

Throwback Thursday

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Graduation season has come and gone. Seeing the caps and gowns of various shades moving through the city brought smile to my face. Hard to believe it has been four years, since John Sexton announced we were officially graduates of New York University over the Yankees PA system.

Yes, graduating from NYU was, and is, one of my major life accomplishments thus far, however, the summer following graduation is what set the path I still follow today.

My apprenticeship at the Hangar Theatre from June-August of 2011, formed strong friendships, challenged me in unexpected ways, and helped me to see just what I would need to expect of myself in order to make it in the performance world. An exercise we did at the end of our time there is still with me to this day: a letter to myself to read the next year.

I wrote my hopes and dreams for the summer and my career, handed it off to Laura and Kris and forgot about it. Sure enough, one year later, almost to the date, my letter arrived in the mail. In honor of Throwback Thursday, and 4 full years out of undergrad, I have decided to post the letter here.

Life can be funny sometimes…

7/23/2011

Melissa can you believe its been year since Lab Company? Well little old me at the end of this journey want to leave you with a few hopes and dreams.

1.  I hope you are fighting the good fight and are finding work that speaks to you and allows you to bring a piece of yourself to the work that you know no one else can do.

2.  Your goal of having one paid acting gig before Christmas really did come and you, Myles, and Kyla celebrated in a great way. (karaoke preferably 🙂 )

3. That you continue to build strong ties with your sister-in-law showing your love through acts of kindness and not just words.

4.  Build a relationship with another casting agent and always remember you can call Stephanie whenever you need.

5. Stay true to yourself, listening to your voice and the voice of God. Making tough decisions with clarity and grace.

Never forget where you came from! Hope you enjoyed Jilia’s wedding, that Langston, Ava, Mom, Dad, and Frank are healthy and well and that you’re even closer to getting that Equity card.

Ciao,
Melissa

Hello, June!

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It’s June?!

Jeepers, where did the first half of the year go? I have literally been going full speed for 5 months now, and there is no end in sight (fingers crossed). Between acting, teaching, writing, creating and networking, 2015 has been very good to me. I’m pretty sure you’re getting tired of reading me say this every month, but it is honestly true. I am finding my stride so easily this year, and I think it has a lot to do with my new year’s resolution of “persistence and consistency.” I have always had prided myself on being organized, focused, and driven, but this year it has hit a whole new level, and I am beginning to reap the rewards on the left and right.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to participate in the Brooklyn Generator Project’s reading of Eboni Booth’s, Worthy. Ever since my summer in Ithaca, at the Hangar Theater, I have always loved working with a playwright as they refine their text in the rehearsal room, learning more about their characters and the world of the play, as I read them aloud. After the workshop performance, I was overwhelmed by the comments our audience had for me afterward. This is not a humble brag, instead it was a moment where I was able to take stock and realize once again, “I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I love to do.”

I think that is a great realization to have as my birthday approaches.

As I enter the second half of my twenties, there is a sured-ness present that I suppose just comes with time and life experience. I hope that this next continues to build upon this momentum and that there are amazing challenges and moments ahead that will continue to shape and strengthen me.

June, glorious June, so happy to see you again!

Ciao

My Second Family

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I have been so fortunate, thus far, to have been involved in a project or production since the first of the year. With this momentum, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with such beautiful people in talent, spirit, and joy. I think what appeals to me so much about the theatre, are the comrades I interact with along the way. I have been unable to post the many photos I have taken behind the scenes since The Fire This Time Festival, and I thought it would be a great post to publish today in light of Private Lives’ closing on Sunday.

I have had oodles of fun with each person you see in these photos and my heart has a place for each and every one of them. You see, they are not just cast mates and co-collaborators, they are my friends.

This photo collage includes photos from Cafe Le Monde, Private Lives and reunions with cast members from The Fire This Time Festival and Ivanov.

Ciao 🙂

Happy Friday

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Well, another Friday, another opening night! Dance party “Private Lives” edition is ready for ya! If you’re in the city this weekend please come down to the Schapiro Theater and check it out! Hope you enjoy!

Music featured: Karmin’s “I Want It All” from Pulses

Ciao 🙂