Shampagne September

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If you read my Monthly Motivations yesterday, you’re familiar with a term that will pop up again and again over the course of September: Shampagne. This month, Shampagne, will become the thing that I eat, sleep and breathe, I hope.

Guys, creating your own work is extremely difficult. I have been through a roller coaster of emotions and I haven’t finalized the script or shot one second on camera. Last week, I was calling everyone I considered to be a rock, sounding off my frustrations, stress, questions, and unresolved internal dilemmas preventing me from moving on to the next step. Luckily, everyone had a listening ear at the ready and some great advice to dish out and today I can tell you that I am back in the driver’s seat, eager to tackle the behemoth of challenges headed my way.

In addition to the show, I am coming into my own over at That Bachelorette Show at 42West! Last week my character almost made it to the final two, so that signals to me I have really started to come into my own as Mac Jenkins. If you’re in the city I strongly urge you to come to the show, it’s a great party with a live DJ, bar, and some eligible “bachelors” milling around the audience.

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Back to school, means back to the classroom for me as well! Sure I’ve been teaching out on Rikers Island for the past few months, but I’m super excited to meet the next round of Adler Youth 2 students in the coming weeks and tackle Shakespeare once again!

Me and my class

Me and my class (fall 2014)

Finally, September marks new chapters for some of my closest friends, weddings, birthdays, and milestones!

You know the name of the game:

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Gonna keep it going as I take on all the month has to offer.

Ciao 🙂

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Pulling Triple Duty (Wordy Wednesday)

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BREATHE…

i know that yesterday i conveyed that my life is moving at a crazy clip, and i thought today i would break it down a bit for you for this Wordy Wednesday. being able to say at the top of 2015, i am effectively wearing about four hats at a time, is a pretty awesome accomplishment. not only am i approaching my acting career with renewed vigor and focus, but i’m back in the teaching seat with my students over at Stella Adler and will soon set foot back on Riker’s Island. working with the Rising Circle Theater Collective now, i am exposing myself to the ins-and-outs of the not-for-profit theatre world, (grant writing, social media push, building community) and lest we forget, my day job is leering its head as well. talk about a whole bunch of responsibility! i am just chomping at the bit to give my all, placing my hands in the fire as it were, and marching forward with gusto and joie de vivre.

it’s so great to stretch every muscle that makes me a unique individual. calling upon my love of culture, of diversity, Shakespeare, the written word, the power of theatre, and the vitality of life and the human experience has already begun to shape 2015 into something truly spectacular, and the month isn’t even over yet. what whirlwind! so much in store, tons of which i don’t even know exist yet.

Ciao 🙂

Wordy Wednesday

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Imagine yourself…

hearing the sound of rubber brushing the tarmac as flights take-off and land.

seeing the gorgeous New York City skyline, clear as day, as gulls skim the water for the meal.

being able to see all of your friends and loved ones after having made a long trip to see you.

not having to worry about what to wear, eat, or drink, how to pass the hours of your day, and wondering if you’ll be able to get a full night’s sleep.

Now imagine yourself at Riker’s Island.

For the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of honing my teaching artist skills and carrying the Adler ambassador name working alongside Tommy on Riker’s Island. Let me tell you that there is never a dull day over there, and I am learning more about myself with each bus ride over the bridge. I have to admit that I am very honored to have been chosen to assist in Adler Outreach’s pilot program with East River Academy, (the school district placed at the prison for those inmates wishing to earn their GED while behind bars) and that the students are definitely giving me a run for my money, in a good way.

When you think of Riker’s Island, you may immediately think of “Law & Order,” (at least I did) and the connotations that went along with the place whenever Briscoe uttered the words, “Well you’ll have plenty of time to think over at Riker’s.” As with all penitentiaries, there is this mystery, a genuine curiosity for those “outsiders” who want to take a peek inside. And to those of you who feel that way, I strongly ask you to reflect on your reasoning for that attitude. Each week that I have been out there, I go through a myriad of emotions, scaling from doubt, to pride, to joy, to excitement, to sorrow, to confusion, to sympathy, to questioning. The boys and young men who choose to attend these classes, are just that boys and young, who have made choices in their lives which landed them in this place. But to see their eyes brighten when we walk into the classroom, or hear one ask as they sit down “Are we writing another play today?” brings their humanity to the forefront and as we work together bringing scenes and monologues to life, using their words to write them, the classroom can turn into one of those jet planes you hear across the river at the LaGuardia Airport, as the guys’ words transport us to 1950s New York City, Washington DC after Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream Speech” and into the kitchens of a fictional mother and son.

While I am still trying to discern my feelings about these boys, the place they now call a temporary home, and the snapshots I see of what their lives are like once we board the Q100 for home, I look forward to the early alarm clock every Friday morning, and hope that it will be a good day filled with creative fervor and possibly, a few smiles.

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Ciao