Fly

I’ve never done this before, but I’ve got a bad case of the feels today, and this happened. Responses welcome, as always.

Aha.!?

“Something has changed within me 
Something is not the same. 
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game. 
Too late for second guessing, too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap.” 

You know that thing that happens, where you know that there’s something you should do, but you don’t really know what it is, and so you just start doing anything you can think of in hopes that something will be the thing? You know,when you start out dusting, and end up rearranging your entire apartment, or run to the store to pick up a pint of ice cream and leave with $200 in stuff you never knew you needed, or, you know, you sit down to update your blog and end up writing a dissertation on the origin of man. 

I’ve been wrestling with the question of what I “should” do post-graduation for about a year now. I’ve had my fair share of meltdowns, and thrown myself into productions and art projects. I’ve been exploring, and researching, and thinking and thinking and thinking, and nothing has felt… right. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying life to the fullest, but I just haven’t found “it”. 

Then on Friday afternoon, we opened our production, State of Emergency, at Beecher High School. In addition to students from Beecher’s ninth grade academy, our audience included faculty from the school district, some funders, and a reporter from Michigan Public Radio who has been following the Emergency Manager situation in the state. It’s worth mentioning that I didn’t feel the normal pre-show jitters that I experience before a show, and that was a little disconcerting. Still, we went on with the show. Kids fell asleep, and laughed at inappropriate times (as ninth graders are wont to do). Some sassed and made snarky comments. But those few students in the audience who admitted to being deeply affected… those kids made it worth while. This is not new news. 

Later that afternoon, while the company disassembled and packed away the set, props, and costumes, I sat down for an interview with Kate Wells, the arts and culture reporter from Michigan Radio. I had no idea that I would be interviewed until it was happening, so needless to say I was totally unprepared. But the conversation we had was… amazing. I found myself saying things that I never even realized that I felt. 

Tonight, I attended a staged reading of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at Flint Youth Theatre. I ran into an old family friend in the lobby of the theatre afterwards, and we started talking. She introduced me to her friend Kim, and we had the routine check in: “How’s the family? What are you working on? Etc.” As I began telling them about SOE, they got more and more invested. As they got more invested in the conversation, so did I. We went on to talk about Flint’s Master Plan, and the crisis Michigan is facing, violence in Flint and Genesee County, education… and before I knew it, the rest of the audience was gone, and we were being shooed out of the theatre by a clearly exhausted staff. We carried the conversation into the parking lot, and it didn’t dawn on me that I had been talking, sharing, bouncing ideas off of these two women for nearly an hour with no coat on in twenty-degree weather until after I was in my car on my way home. 

That was it. That was my “aha!” moment; when I realized that this is exactly what I need to be doing. I live in this world, and I need to be a part of it. If we don’t like it, we can work to change it, but we can’t affect change if we’re not aware of the problems to begin with. Art is one way. Theatre, is one way. Conversation, education, increasing awareness. Now that I’m in it, I don’t think I’ll ever stop. I feel this call to action like I’ve never experienced, and I’m so fortunate to have found this particular group of artists, and activists, and members of my community to learn from and grow with. And while we’re in a very different situation, The problems that we face aren’t unique to Flint, or Genesee County, or even just Michigan. 

This world is a scary place right now, and I know that this is not the life that I want for myself, or my future family. 

But we can change it. And we will. 

It starts now. 

S.O.E Livestream

http://livestre.am/4m3BIhttp://livestre.am/4m3BI

I posted an article several days ago about my current production, State of Emergency, about the Emergency Manager Law in Michigan. We were fortunate to have last night’s performance livestreamed and archived on the #newplay tv channel. So, here it is, if any of you want to check it out, and start this conversation.

Watch live streaming video from newplay at livestream.com

if music be the food of love…

Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Alex. She grew up in a [mostly] healthy, happy family. She had a good life. Despite all of the wonderfulness that surrounded her, she always felt a little… incomplete. Then one day, she got a Facebook message from a man named James who said, “Oh by the way, I’m really your father.”
Alex was torn.
On the one hand, she loved her dad more than any other person in the world. He had always been there for her. He raised her. He nurtured and formed her into the wonderful young woman she had become.
On the other hand, she couldn’t help wondering, if what James said was true, what parts of him were genetically inherent in her…

State of Emergency… not what you might think.

State of Emergency... not what you might think.

If you’re in the Flint area, you should see this. If you’re not in the Flint area, but have an interest in community, politics, and the Emergency Manager situation, you should see this. AND, lucky for you, our performance on 2/23 will be live-streamed on the #NEWPLAY TV project. You’ll even be able to participate in the post-show discussion by tweeting your questions or comments! See click-through link for more info.

24, still playing with crayons.

IMG_452124, still playing with crayons.

I’m not sorry. 😉

A brave new year

Nearly a year has passed since I sat in the Aroma Cafe in Champaign, IL and decided on a whim to start a blog… That stated, what better way to start this potentially very sappy New Year’s Eve post than with a resolution — Blog more. Simple. Attainable. Boom. 

Looking back on 2012, my initial response is, “Well damn. I’m glad that’s over.” And then I really think about it, and realize that in 365 days I have done and accomplished so many more things than I ever even imagined I could. In January I competed in the Irene Ryan acting competition for the first time. In May I spent a month studying theatre in London and exploring France and Italy. In December I graduated from college. In 365 days I’ve moved twice, performed in Our Town (great plays bucket list), got a job that I don’t hate with a company that’s great to work for, worked on devising a play for the first time (hello, future!), wrote a play that I’m proud of, wrote a song that I’m proud of, lost 30 pounds, discovered jewelry-making, sold several paintings… In 365 days, I’ve learned so much about myself, and discovered so much about the world. I’ve laughed until I cried, more than once, and learned to accept that sometimes it’s okay to cry. I’ve danced the night away at a gay bar called Heaven. I’ve met the most amazing people lost on the night bus. I’ve watched the sunrise in an English garden. I’ve learned to love the sunrise. I’ve climbed the Eiffel Tower!  I’ve rid my life of negative energy, and deepened relationships that nourish. I’ve realized that I’m good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. I’ve uncontrollably burst into song and dance. I’ve sat in absolute stillness, watching amber leaves dance in the wind by the light of the waning moon on an autumn night. I’ve cried at the beauty of this world. 

Going forward into 2013, I’m not going to make any ridiculous, unobtainable resolutions. Would I like to lose another 30 pounds? Sure. Would I like to travel, win the lottery, see thirty live shows, find love? Absolutely. But what I would really like… What is really important to me, is to go into this year with the intent to be the best me that I know how. Whatever that means, however that goes, I will. No one knows what tomorrow may bring, or even if the morning will come, and I would hate to go out without being able to say that I truly lived. 

While I have much to say, I’ll end this here at the risk of getting myself into any more of an emotional fix tonight (t- 8 hours until I’m back at work. Sigh.)… And who knows… maybe I’ll be back in the blogosphere tomorrow, even! (It’s still early for promises… what’s a resolution if you don’t have to work at it? 😉 ) 

So for now, friends, I bid you adieu  And even if I’ve never seen you, I thank you for touching my life. ❤ 

THIS.

Wayfarer

I have a confession to make. I was a theatre major in college (yes, complete with the snooty but appropriate “re” spelling). I’ll wait for you to stop snickering. Judson University (it was Judson College when I attended), the small liberal arts college outside of Chicago labeled the major course of studies as “Communication Arts” which is what I tend to put on resumes and bios because I realize that “theatre major” tends to elicit thoughts such as “Do you want fries with that?”

When I chose my major, I had no pipe dreams about becoming a professional actor. I did it because more than one wise adult had advised me that my actual major in college would have less impact on my eventual job search than having the actual degree. “Study what you love” I was told, “not what you think will get you a job.” I listened for once…

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Things like this might explain why you haven’t heard from me in a while…

ImageImageImage

So, this is a thing that I’m into all of a sudden. These are the first three things I’ve made (beads made from advertisements and found text (Life Mask by Emma Donoghue). I think I’m going to keep with it. What do you think?

Real update coming soon, I promise! 🙂

I’ve seen gayer days…

And so, a somewhat-spontaneous adventure to Chicago. We got in on Friday afternoon, had a little sushi, a little swim, a lot of exploration. 

Nic and Kimi are sleeping. They both snore loudly, but I think I do too sometimes. I woke up around 6am when Kimi came back from her own adventure. Of course I wanted to know all about it, but I thought I would go back to sleep when she did. Naturally, my body had other plans. Ha. So, I turned on Lauryn Hill pandora and started my day (by people watching in the hotel Starbucks). 

Today is Pride. I’m nervous. I don’t know why. I wish I could just be… proud. Ugh. 

Yesterday was dyke march. I was just going to watch, but Nic talked me into joining in, and so we did. He made (and carried proudly) a sign that read, “Love is love. Get over it and Love.” Nic is one of the coolest straight guys I know. I ended up carrying the TransUnited Chicago banner for about half of the march. Someone handed it to me, and I didn’t think anything of it. Then I met Jen, who was just dumbfounded by the idea that I would support them, no questions asked. It was a pleasant reminder that it’s not all about me. I’m not the only one who’s confused. I’m not the only one feeling insecure. I’m not the only one who just wants to be loved and accepted. I’m not the only one who’s scared. 

So I guess if I’m not ready to do it for myself, I’ll do it for people like Jen. 

And so, here I go. 

Cheers!