2014: The Year of “See Ya Later’s” (Updated 12/15/14)

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2014

As with each year, brought with it a myriad of new opportunities, new friends and new memories, but it also brought a whole bunch of going away parties and tears too. This year I have had to say “See Ya Later” to my two rocks: Cynthia and Morgan, in the SAME MONTH, (you can read about that here), my main girls Jassmine and Nia, new friend Krystina, and Michelle (but she came back). These girls each hold special places in my heart and my life. And I take comfort in the fact that it is indeed a “See Ya Later” and not a “goodbye.”

Below are a few snapshots of the fun we got into in the city or all around the country this year.

*edit: Since publishing this post last week, I’ve had to say “See Ya Later” to another friend. Willow is on her way to Africa once again 😦

Grand total of “See Ya Later’s”: 6

Friends who have returned: 1

The feeling of love I have for them all: Priceless

Ciao 🙂

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Tuesday Thoughts

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“No one can tell you what lies ahead, least of all those who remain behind. One thing, however, they can assure you of is that it’s not a round trip. Try, therefore, to derive some comfort from the notion that no matter how unpalatable this or that station may turn out to be, the train doesn’t stop there for good. Therefore, you are never stuck– not even when you feel you are; for this place today becomes your past. From now on, it will only be receding for you, for that train is in constant motion. It will be receding for you even when you feel that you are stuck…So take one last look at it, while it is still its normal size, while it is not yet a photograph. Look at it with all the tenderness you can muster, for you are looking at your past.”

Margaret Bradham Thomas, Charleston: A Novel

O “Midsummer” I barely knew ye…

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The weekend after a show has closed always feels a little empty. There’s no rush to get on the subway to make your call time. No more gold eyeliner and purple eyeshadow. No warmup circle to check in with each other before the show. Goodbye to final costume and prop check before the stage manager gives the curtain speech. Au revoir to two hours of  rip-roaring Billy Shakespeare-composed fun, and sayonara to post-show drinks and dinner with my cast members.

“Midsummer”, took out a sizable chunk in my social calendar for three months, so yeah it kind of stunk to realize I did not HAVE to be downtown at First Street Green Cultural Park for three more performances this weekend. But hey! That’s why I’m in this business. To create short term families with people who want to achieve the same things that I do. To tell a  magical story to a new audience each night, reaching for each laugh and uncomfortable glare (trust me, those were good for this show.) As with most productions, there were ups and downs, dramatic entrances and exits over the course of the rehearsal period, unhappiness and discourse amongst actors and directors alike, but in the end we were able to ball up all of that energy and focus into a pretty solid show. This short photo diary below encompasses the last month of rehearsal, performance stills and cast bonding post performance. Enjoy and viva la theatra!

Ciao 🙂

Hello August!

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There is nothing like the start of a new month! Especially when job opportunities are sitting in your inbox waiting to be accepted! So with a short film shoot booked for tomorrow, my August begins. July was definitely a whirlwind of activity, auditions, performances, reviews and friend hangouts. As I adjust to have not having my two best friends a room or subway trip away (Cynthia and Morgan) we have fallen into a groove now thanks to new and old technology (FaceTime and snail mail, respectively).

If you checked out my Month Motivation post yesterday, you saw the Outer Banks photo wedged between two quotes of inspiration. Acting is a hustle. Point, blank, period. You have to be entirely focused on the endgame you have for yourself while also balancing the disappointment and “almosts” that come with it. Reminding myself to dream big and being ready for whatever may come my way are two big ideas I will try to carry with me this month.

About a week ago, I was speaking to my friend Nia at brunch about putting up a production of “Crumbs from the Table of Joy” by Lynn Nottage, one of my favorite playwrights. We’d discussed doing something like this almost two years ago and still nothing has come of it. I think now is the time. While I have never mounted a show on my own before, I know that it can be done, and luckily for me I am surrounded by so many talented and caring artists that could help bring this dream to fruition. Fingers crossed, that by the end of this month I will have developed a plan and hopefully rounded up a team to make this idea a reality!

On the flip side, August is the beginning of the end…of summer. Sure, I don’t have school to go back to in September but this month will always represent back to school  and everything that goes with it: new clothes, school supplies, friends coming home from various vacations and the overwhelming sense of possibility and new adventures! It also means a cherished vacation with my extended family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

If the Outer Banks means nothing to you, I only wish that you will, at some point in your life, understand the magic and beauty of this place. Family is what I immediately think of when I see a window decal or bumper sticker with “OBX” on the back. Dance parties, barbecues, afternoons lazing by the pool, a large group complete with towels, sunscreen, beach games and fun headed to the ocean, and the customary game nights played all week long flood my mind and a really ridiculous smile occupies my face. Guys! You have no idea how excited I am for this vacation!

I’m really looking forward to blogging about my time there and sharing you a small piece of my personal paradise 🙂

August! Let’s get this going…I’m ready for ya.

Ciao 🙂

Tuesday Thoughts

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Good friends, reunions, memories and time spent together get me through the day! Just a few photos of the people I’m extremely honored to call friends who make me laugh, keep me grounded, and support me in all that I do. Love you all and blessed to know you.

Ciao 🙂

Throwback Thursday

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With all of the warm and fuzzy feelings about surrounding Graduation Season, it seems only fitting to post a photo or two from High School and College. Here ya go!

In this photo there are two current grad students, two proud owners of master's degrees, and two actors cutting it up on stage in OH and NY. Not too shabby!

In this photo there are two current grad students, two proud owners of master’s degrees, and two actors cutting it up on stage in OH and NY. Not too shabby!

William B. Murrah High School graduation

William B. Murrah High School graduation

Myself and Annette, still my number one friend 10 years later!

Myself and Annette, still my number one friend 10 years later!

Now happily married in Staten Island, with our birthdays only 2 days apart.

Now happily married in Staten Island, with our birthdays only 2 days apart.

Flashback Friday – Friends Edition

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So, I apologize to my friends in advance for this post. I decided that, just for today, I would use the popular Instagram hashtag #flashbackfriday. The true motive for this theme is because over the past week I have either seen, interacted or talked to a lot of my friends that I haven’t spoken to in awhile. So because of this, I give you Flashback Friday. (I tried to pick the most flattering and, as of yet, unused photos, for this post). Enjoy! 🙂

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[Friends featured: Morgan, Kyla, Myles, Farah, Kathleen, Meghan, Cynthia, and Jason. The photos range from 2007-the present]

I guess we ARE turning into adults huh?

Ciao