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

Wordy Wednesday

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As you know, I am currently in rehearsals for a production of Anton Chekhov’s “Ivanov,” and I got to tell you that not only am I growing and continuing to hone my “craft” (lol) but the group of people I get to go on this journey with are spot on and I’m learning by just watching them take the stage and give it all they got.

The production goes up a week from Thursday, with our invited dress, and I am not afraid to say that this is going to be some of my best character work to date. So if you’re in the New York area during Halloween and want to see a few chats in the garden and the strangest dinner party this side of Alice’s rabbit hole, head uptown to Columbia October 25-27th at 8pm in the Schapiro Studio at 122nd street and Broadway. Facebook event page info will be posted here as soon as it’s launched.

Having said all of that I’ve decided to bring back Wordy Wednesday with some great quotes from “The War of Art..” by Steven Pressfield.

Ciao 🙂

“The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.”

“Self-doubt can be an ally…If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ chances are you are.”

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“In West Philadelphia born and raised” ??? (probs not lol)

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Well even while my trip to the City of Brotherly Love was many moons ago, I do believe that it deserves a post fitting to the amazing experience that I had there with my chica Jassmine.

I doubt I’m the only one who loves getting to see new friends in their childhood element. How they interact with family, hometown friends, or even navigating their public transit systems and downtown areas, it illuminates another side of the person you consider to be an important part of your life. Seeing Jassmine in Philly opened my eyes to her urban character, her rooted and somewhat earthy perspective, and her ties to family and friends and how she fits into her family’s makeup. That’s a lot to see in just two days huh? But even though it may seem unrealistic, I have to admit that I think I was able to start to chip away at her essence and what makes her, HER. 🙂

I love being a tourist in a new place, especially if I was there once before  but was unable or unwilling to leave my hotel room. (haha) So, in semi-lackadaisacal fashion here is a small photo diary of my wanderings through Philadelphia with Jassmine and Derrick 🙂

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My first photo of Philly waiting outside in the courtyard by the bus station.

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Waiting for the train, making my “Philly face” with Jassmine

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Downtown Philly: City Hall, Ben Franklin Statue, another great building

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Trying to hold up this falling domino piece, the iconic LOVE sculpture (thought it would be bigger), playing in the fountain by the sculpture (it was hot and muggy)

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Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell (again thought it would be bigger, and ACCESSIBLE, guess not)

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Having fun with Rocky Balboa, getting some Fro-yo, and a picture with the Phillies Mascot. Mini photo shoot on Ben Franklin Parkway at dusk.

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Final shots of the city…

Ciao