Happy Friday

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For today’s “Flashback Friday” I’m taking a look back at April-June. There was a whole lot of traveling in this little chunk of 2014: Philly, Richmond, Washington DC, San Diego, plus I did a show (Messiah Complex), saw a show (Bullets on Broadway) and started rehearsals for another show (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). I celebrated my Aunt Cynthia’s new position as Deputy Attorney General of Virginia, went to a sonogram appointment with Jassmine, supported my friend Jenna on her new web series, treated my cousin to brunch to toast her first PR job in the city, had an amazing reunion with Mississippi folks in town, went to the opera, enjoyed the sun and sand of San Diego, had a Mother/Daughter weekend in DC, and spent quality time with my friends as I rang in my 25th birthday. Enjoy the pictures below, some are old and some have never been published, and of course you can click the month’s in the menu on the left and relive these moments with me!

Ciao 🙂

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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 🙂

 

#About Last Week

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The first week of September brimmed full with countless friendship dates and celebrations. As the transition begins, from summer to fall, many of my friends were either about to say “see you later” or “just dropping in!” So for today’s post, check out this recap, in words and photos, of my pretty full social calendar last week!

Monday September 1st:

Happy Hour Drinks with Kyla (finally back in the city after a summer of work and travel away) and Kathleen (who has been super busy with her new post-grad job and travel, as well). So great to see the gals on the first of the month to catch up, be dumbfounded by the idea that we had basically met 7 years ago this month, and chatted about what to do for Kyla’s birthday on Friday.

Tuesday September 2nd:

Attended a “see ya later” party for my friend Krystina at The Corner Social. I met Krystina during The Messiah Complex I did this past spring and am sad to see her go, to LA, of all places (grrr California keeps taking my friends) to get her acting into full gear. It was great to meet other close friends of hers sorry to see her leave, but definitely supportive of the move and all the great things headed her way.

Wednesday September 3rd:

My calendar listed Wednesday as, “Chloe Day!” in all caps because Chloe was in the city on a quick trip from LA (grrr). I haven’t seen the gal in almost a year and to top it off not only did I get to see her, but Greg and Aidan joined in on the fun. Considering I haven’t seen Greg in almost two years and we both live in the city is outrageous! and Aidan had just come back into town after a summer of theatre in Maine. So good to see them all and we even ended up at Adler for words of wisdom and reflection from Jimmy Tripp, our master Shakespeare professor before parting ways. All in all, a good hump day.

That evening, another “see you later” took place at The Corner Social (it’s a favorite neighborhood spot) with Jason and Chris. Jason is off to do “To Kill A Mockingbird” in Virginia and wanted to have a drink and chat before heading off. So good to see him (why I didn’t take a photo of him I’m not sure) and know he will knock the audience’s socks off, per usual.

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Chris and I, at Jason’s see you later.

Friday September 5th:

Kyla’s Birthday was Friday and with it came another opportunity to hang with college friends and have a good time! I got to see Aidan and Kathleen again, finally saw Myles after what seemed like an eternity, Nolan, Trevor and Julia. Good drinks, Trivial Pursuit, Connect Four, walking down NYU memory lane, and making a dance floor in the bar made it a great night! Love them all and so glad I got to see them.

Sunday September 7th:

And last but certainly not least, hung out with AJ out in Brooklyn for a little Sunday football fun. My Saints didn’t get a win this week, but the overstimulation of EVERY game playing in the bar was pretty sweet. Don’t think I could make it an every week kind of practice, but being able to watch all of my fantasy team players live was great all the same.

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Maybe I should have titled September, Social September? But all in all, it was great jumpstart to the month before work (yes) takes over my schedule once again.

Have a great Monday!

Ciao 🙂

Good Friends = A Good Time

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Happy Friday!

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

Wordy Wednesday

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Howdy All!!!

If you’re living anywhere near New York, you know that this morning it’s blisteringly COLD!!!! brrrr, the season of multiple layers, followed by sweating profusely on the subway, in the office and at any public establishment and returning home to wear sweatshirts, flannel pjs and socks is upon us (o joy). But that’s not the main theme of this post today hahaha.

In case you missed it, I am currently working over at Stella Adler Studio (my training studio) two nights a week with the Adler Youth 2 Outreach program. My friend Jason, who has made a few appearances in photos and posts in the past, is the fearless leader of these high school and college students as they tackle Shakespeare verse and text for the first time! As with all theater education programs, even while I’m helping newbies learn to maneuver in this art form, I always end up learning a whole lot about myself and get reinvigorated to continue with my pursuits in the profession.

Never has that been more true than last night, when my Tempest scene partner, Melvin, gave me a surprising compliment: “It was pretty courageous of you to come to school in New York wasn’t it?”

*zoom in on me… dumbfounded*

As soon as he said it, I was thrown off balance. My moving to New York was seen as a courageous thing to do?

Immediately I said to him: “Well I don’t know if it was courage necessarily. I auditioned for the program, I got accepted, my parents were willing to support me in whatever college choice I made, so I accepted my admission and moved to New York for school.”

Melvin replied: “Yeah but it’s different here compared to there [Mississippi]. Was it a hard transition?”

“Well, I was lucky because I came here for school, so I was immediately thrust into an environment where most of us were coming from somewhere else and had RAs leading us through the city helping us get acclimated.”

*and then the phone rang*

While our conversation was prematurely cut short, it definitely left me thinking about how my choices can be viewed by others. I never saw my decision to attend NYU as courageous, instead I saw it as the next step to achieve the goals and dreams I had for myself. So when I reexamine the path I have taken thus far, the only thing I can see is how truly blessed I have been and continue to be.

Blessed to have the upbringing I had. Blessed to be raised with two of the best parents in the world, handpicked for me by God to support, love and encourage me. Blessed to have a brother who had dreams as big as mine, who is making it in his chosen field and eager to assist me in any way he can. Blessed for the friends, NY family I have cultivated, and the jobs and gigs I have booked along the way.

So my courage is rooted in faith and the blessings that came as a result further buttress the fact that I have been called to do this and my talents should not be frivolously thrown aside.

Wow. Talk about a great rehearsal 😉

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Adler Youth 2 Program

 

Ciao

Spontaneous September Update

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Talk about a busy month so far:

As part of my monthly theme of spontaneity I have taken on two roles in the production “Biting Tongues” playing this weekend in Queens! (Our play was able to advance to the semi-finals of The Secret Theatre’s One-Act Play Festival)

I’ve found a new outlet of volunteering and youth outreach by agreeing to participate in studio classes with the Stella Adler Youth Year 2 Outreach Program taught by friend and fellow Hangar Lab alum, Jason Gray.

So I gotta say that September has definitely allowed acting to land back in my lap and I couldn’t be more grateful or excited about it. 

I also made my last trip of the summer to Greensboro, NC to meet the newest addition to my brother’s family, my nephew Jaxen. 

Photos are coming of that trip, September goings on, and the long overdue post on my trip to Philadelphia. Whoo! Since starting this blog I have definitely been finding ways to keep myself busy (plus Netflixing OITB, Burn Notice, and White Collar) but all in all me being busy is a great thing for the blog. Because I get to go out into the world, learning new things and doing what I love I will have tons of things to share: thoughts, photos, poetry, criticisms and the like. Thanks for being patient with me and as always for more up to speed postings check out my Instagram: @dramagirl07.

Till the next post…

Ciao