MMIA: Melissa Missing in Action

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Hello blog world!

Although I know no one has been on the site for two weeks, I wish to greet you all the same.

Let me start off by saying, I am NOT sorry for being MIA. I take great joy in being able to say that I just have not had the time to sit and post photos, memories, and poems because the whirlwind of web series production has completely enveloped all of my free time.

Not only have I been in Shampagne production world, but add on top of that, my Adler Youth Shakespeare class, That Bachelorette Show, a new class in partnership with Pathways to Graduation, Rising Circle events and duties, and the continued NYU day job shuffle, its been pretty quiet on the NYDreaming front.

That being said, I have now determined I must return to the blog-o-sphere with a flourish! However, I’m not really sure how to go about it LOL.

So, I suppose the solution would be to just dive back in. Sure it’s October 12th, but look up and you’ll find my monthly motivations, and a dance video will be hitting the site this Friday (if I have enough media space. grrrr) Anyway, I am back, even while I haven’t really gone anywhere.

For those who stumble upon the page today, thanks for stopping by. For my avid readers, who have been pondering my whereabouts, welcome back! Persistent and Consistent, that’s the mantra for the year, so back on the blogging horse I go!

Ciao 🙂

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 🙂

Thursday Thoughts

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Holy Crap, I’m a teacher! It’s my one month anniversary this week and I think I can say, with confidence, that I am now a teacher. Super weird, when you reach those points in your life that you always dreamed about as a kid.

Living in New York? Check!

Finding my way in the world of acting? Check!

Writing lesson plans for actual students and then using them or completely tossing them out? Check!

Before my first day I was excited and anxious, no different from the feelings I had on my first day of studio seven years ago. I knew I had big shoes to fill (thanks Jason) and that Shakespeare and I have a love/hate relationship. I kid. I kid. It’s mostly love, but if I’m going to be truly transparent here: Billy requires a lot of work. Once I got past these fears, walked through the door, sat with my students (!) and absorbed the inspiring words spoken by Adler’s artistic director I knew I could do this.

I’m not going to make it all sunshine and rainbows. My students definitely keep me on my toes: forcing me to always be at attention, adjusting to their needs, listening, creating new rehearsal exercises to get them to the next level, and really learning to be more confident in my own approach as a teaching artist.

Want to know a secret? Ever since I saw the Winona Ryder version of Little Women when Jo inherits Aunt March’s home and turns it into a school for boys, I’ve wanted to do the same thing. Not a school for boys, per se, but an acting school to establish and run in Jackson. Teaching at Adler is so rewarding, so invigorating, and so challenging. I’m glad that I have been exposed to this experience so much earlier than I thought possible. Sure, it still is a little terrifying when I head to class each week, but it’s from the place of not wanting to let them down, or Billy Shakes either, I suppose.

Ciao 🙂

Fall Firsts!

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If you look to your left, you’ll see there’s a new page in the menu bar: Fall Firsts. As I mentioned in my monthly theme post at the beginning of the month, I want to try and get the most out of my favorite season in New York before the snow and blistering, cold wind take up residence. This weekend is going to be a great one because I’ll be able to cross one of the items off of my list: the Dumbo Arts Festival!

The cherry on top of the weekend ahead is that it will be filled with amazing people! Not only is Cynthia in town (visiting from St. Thomas), but I’ll be celebrating my cousin Lauren’s 25th birthday in style AND, wait for it, spending time with Melissa and Ammon (for the first time all together in, I think, 8 years) here in New York. With these social appointments tacked on to rehearsals and a film short shoot, and my first two Shakespeare classes at Adler, this week is going to end on a very high note! Be sure to check the Fall Firsts page to see how I’m doing, but as I’m sure you know check the home page because posts will be a-coming.

Ciao 🙂

 

“Dancing in September, Never Was a Cloudy Day”

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Have we really begun the countdown to fall?

Fashion Week just kicked off on the Upper West Side, school buses are out and about, shuttling children to class, pumpkin EVERYTHING has popped up in every store imaginable, NFL season has officially begun, and Oktoberfest ales and seasonal brews are now on tap in bars and being sold in supermarkets.

Summer is pretty much over, even while the weather is trying to fight it with every ounce it has. (It needs to get the memo soon, I’m ready for sweaters and boots!) Seven years ago, I had just moved into my freshman dorm, wide-eyed and a little intimidated, but now I love the rhythms of this city and the challenges and amazing opportunities it has given me!

Ok, now that the sentimentality is out of the way (lol) time to move on to my monthly goals and aspirations. September will always symbolize new beginnings and as the countdown to the new year begins it’s time to up the ante. This month I will be cranking out a new page and writing series titled “Fall Firsts” which will feature posts, pictures and videos of me wandering around town completing a New York bucket list. Featuring a motley, ragtag bunch of “I should’s,” “it’s on my list’s,” and “i’ve always wanted to do that’s,” September 22- December 21 will be filled with all sorts of activities that will help me welcome and enjoy Fall in all of it’s glory!

The month will also be a time of financial scrutiny, increased work ethic, an acting job or three, having a positive energy and open mind when I tackle my Shakespeare and Rikers Island acting classes (taking the lead in both places and embracing my teaching legacy), and learning to fully embrace the idea that “I’m not perfect, I am just me, and that’s ok!”

As far as the blog goes, look for some new poetry, Wandering Wednesdays a plenty, Adventure Recaps from my Outer Banks vacation, reflections from my Adler classes, and as mentioned above my Fall Firsts (launching Sept 22).

Adieu Summer, you shall be missed!

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Autumn, I have your number, you better pick up when I call because we are going to have a real good time. 😉

Ciao

 

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 🙂

Happy Friday

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“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”

– Juliet, R&J by Billy Shakes

Took a quiz over on The Quiz Creator yesterday to see what the name generator had to say about the meaning of mine. Pleasantly surprised that the attributes given to my name are the same words I use to describe myself: modest, energetic, loyal, intuitive, sincere and amusing. Good words that hopefully others can attest to, especially my friends and colleagues. Head on over to the site and type your name into the generator and see what you get!

If you picked up on that Shakespeare quote at the beginning of the post, you must get the sense that the Elizabethan wordsmith is on my mind today. Why, you would be right! Opening night for Midsummer is upon me and really looking forward to putting this whimsical and kind of strung-out production before an audience tonight. After all any show that has me go from:

 is a show worth seeing.

Am I right? Go ahead and reserve your FREE ticket for an evening of debauchery and love, you won’t be disappointed.

Ciao 🙂