2015: The Year in Dance

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Woof!

Greetings all!!!

Yes, I am alive. Yes, I have been busy. Yes, the year is basically done. While it has been almost a month since my last entry on New York Dreaming, the blog has not been very far from my mind. In fact, if any of my friends or family members are reading this, you have heard me say on numerous occasions “I haven’t blogged in WEEKS!”

Well, such is life.

I could go into the details of the long filming days for Shampagne, the readings I was able to participate in, That Bachelorette Show fun, my Shakespeare students’ final workshop presentation, et al, but I won’t.

Instead, I have made a compilation of all the dance videos I have created this year! At last count there were 12, one for each month of the year, but more importantly, each video represents a theater or film project I had the opportunity to “open” over the course of this year!

 

 

I hope that you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you nothing but the best, in the New Year. For 2016, there will be fewer posts and a new design, but the dreams continue to build and evolve, so I’m not going anywhere!!!

 

Ciao 🙂

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Tuesday Thoughts

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the stars are artificial here
The air is tinged with the fragrance of burnt pretzels and street meat
No grass to sink your toes into here
Just the climate controlled cement and concrete
Look to your left and you see “modernity”
Large glass windows, steel beams, posters advertising the latest blockbuster or reality tv show
On the other you see a more “classic” aesthetic
Brick and plaster, gargoyles and frescoes
Elaborate floral arrangements
Uniformed doormen at arched doorways welcoming patrons into a lush carpeted and exquisitely decorated lobby
A land of opposites
couples look longingly into one another’s eyes
Trying to touch every inch of the other
Consumed with lust and affection
Other couples, heavy with drink holding court with one another in the middle of the street
Pushing and shoving with all their might
Arguing about matters that won’t hold sway in the morning
Stickiness envelops us all
The breeze a sweet relief as I pass by each vignette

Tuesday Thoughts

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Yesterday, my dad asked me a question:

“What’s your testimony today?”

I rolled my eyes (he couldn’t see this) and said “Dad, that’s not why I called you this morning.”

“I know, but you know the last time I was asked that was…”

And my father went back to a moment, when he himself had to answer the unexpected question. Hearing him open up about the changes that were occurring in his life, and how it all worked out in the end personally, financially and professionally, I was moved to speak.

“Actually, Daddy, I do have something to say”

You see, yesterday was my niece, Ava’s, 6th birthday. My brother’s first child, and my parents’ first grandchild. Whenever Ava’s birthday arrives, it is a day of happiness and love, two-fold; one, because she is becoming more loving, beautiful, and exceptional with each passing year, and two, because my father has been blessed with another year on this earth.

Let me start at the beginning.

For me Ava and Papa’s lives will forever be intertwined for me. My brother and his wife announced the pregnancy with snow globes for each of my parents, with a small picture of Ava’s ultrasound, on a December morning in Jackson at the Cracker Barrel. In the new year, we found out that the soreness and pain my father had been feeling on and off for the past few weeks, were symptoms from his now diagnosed cancer.

Talk about facing life and death.

As the months progressed Ava grew and my father experienced numerous health setbacks and scares as the doctors tried to determine the best way to combat his internal foe. Meanwhile, marooned in New York, I felt helpless, unable to see Dad or celebrate with my brother as Ava’s birthday drew near. It was the first time my mother uttered to me, in the middle of the night, after waking from a terrible nightmare, “Lissa, we’re always where we’re supposed to be.”

In time, check ins with mom turned into “check ups” on Dad. I was afforded an amazing opportunity to flex my acting muscle at Williamstown Theatre Festival, I had my doubts about not going home for the summer, but Mom and Dad assured me, that I had to keep moving forward and if anything should happen, they’d get me home.

A few weeks passed before I got the phone call, “Hey Aunt Melissa!” from my brother. Ava was beautiful! All ten fingers and toes, and Dad was starting to receive treatment and was getting somewhat accustomed to his new circumstances.

Now I could keep going but I’ll stop here and say that just last month, my dad got to spend time with Ava and his two grandsons in Jackson. Look what God can do!

Birthdays are always amazing days filled with reflection, gratitude and joy. But when I think of Ava’s birthday, it’s a birthday for my dad as well. A day that symbolizes life for them both.

Ciao 🙂

Tuesday Thoughts

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they move in time to the music

their bodies infused with a boundless energy

observing them, from my perch at the bar, I am envious and enamored

catching glimpses of their syncopated movements

i notice the soft touches, a shimmer of joy in the eyes, and the brief inhalation of shampoo and cologne.

watching them, i come to know them

the tender moments spent in bed,

the passion that could erupt in an argument over whose turn it was to take out the trash,

grocery shopping trips, holidays, inside jokes, and vacations.

her head falls back as the drummer hits the snare again and again

the song’s climax sounds near

yet as he draws her close to him, ready to find an ending

the keyboardist picks up the melody and they continue…

Tuesday Thoughts

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There is such a beautiful freedom in tears
Permitting your heart, body, and mind to swell over the walls of others’ considerations
Sailing on the waves of bitterness, grief, insurmountable joy and fear
Being swept up in the currents of past, present, and the unseeable future
Does it ever catch you off guard when you whisper to yourself “Finally?”
We, as a people, sometimes ache for the salt water deluge which makes small rivers and streams down the contours of our face
Creates the quakes and shivers in the body, moving with an uninhibited freedom through our nerves, muscles and subconscious
It is in these disruptions we give ourselves permission to be.
To live in the here and now
To listen to the ghosts that haunt us
To lean into the dappled light that nurtures and powers us
Storms can come upon us suddenly or they can send messengers ahead to launch the warning sirens
Either way nature knows its limits
As each storm moves from place to place they always leave a serene hush over the landscape
A bright horizon filled with possibilities and new beginnings
A freedom you can only experience after the salt water has washed you clean

FULL-SPEED AHEAD January

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Whoa boy!

January came in quietly for me and now I am FULL-SPEED AHEAD! I don’t know if my vision board has anything to do with it, whether my focus is finally where it needs to be, in terms of who, what, when, and where and why, or if  divine favor is shining down on me. All I know for sure is that this has been without a doubt a great month for me, teaching, working, acting, auditioning, and broadening my scope in the theatre world, FULL-SPEED AHEAD.

While this post is short and sweet, I wanted to leave you with another quote from The Alchemist this week, to give you a nudge this Tuesday. Let me know if it helps you in or out of your current situation in the comment section below. Have a great day, and do at least one thing today, that will make you proud tonight.

“We warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and to know that the universe is conspiring in our favor, even though we may not understand how.”

Paulo Coehlo- The Alchemist

Ciao 🙂