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Oh, a-Camping We Will Go…

During spring break, I spent a day with my friend Sarah.  We’d gone to breakfast, and decided to get out of town for the rest of the day, and we went to Pedernales Falls State Park, in Johnson City, TX.  It was my first time at a Texas State Park, but it won’t be my last.

IMG_8160IMG_8167I really needed to get out of town for a while and have some reflection in the great outdoors.

There were trees and deer, all kinds of plants and birds, and rivers and I felt like Henry David Thoreau:

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.  I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life! To put to wrought all that was not life, and not, when I came to die, discover I had not lived.

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We had an adventure, crossing water, getting our feet punctured by the tiny rocks in the water, almost getting eaten by mountain lions, losing cell phone service and having little to no light, but we managed to make it back safely.  And since then, all I can think about is going camping.  So, I’m doing something about it.

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I’m going to go camping. Tomorrow. It’s not going to be primitive camping, but it’ll be satisfying this call of the wild inside of me.  I’m going to hike, and swim, and eat some s’mores, have some weenies and burgers to roast, and spend time with my hubby and my dog.  I might write something new, play some new songs, and get a tan.  I’m not too far from technology, but I’m going to try to be somewhat electronic free.

Scheherazade

In other news, I am also going camping metaphorically.  You see, I’ll be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’ve got two cabin mates already.  I already have a project– a script of a play called Scheherazade.  It’s about a queer woman of Middle Eastern descent who must tell stories to save her life (and possibly the lives of others).  It deals with Islamophobia, refugees, and current political events.  It’s actually a collaboration between writers and actors. I’m not the only person writing it, all of the cast has been composing and devising for it.  Another writer and myself are forming the script from their writings and devising.  The play is set to go up in June… so finishing the script is going to be really important!  I’m so ready to get camping.  Happy Trails, and I’ll report back in April!

Art · Austin · Camping · Dance · Death · DIY · Family · Food · Friendship · Future · God · Health · Love · Music · Nature · Outdoors · Religion · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · Texas · TX · Women

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Growing up, my family always had a big party for my sister and my birthdays.  Our birthdays are four days apart, and it was always easier to have a big party for the both of us, so I’ve grown accustomed to having big birthday parties.  I won’t lie, I’d love to have a big celebration, but I also have one big fear.

What if I throw a party and no one shows up?

I know, it sounds stupid, but it’s a legitimate worry that I have, so I usually try to do several events.

Here are thirty three ideas that I have for birthday events.  I’m not going to get to do all of them, but at least there’s a starting point.

  1. Go Camping
  2. Ice Cream Social
  3. Birthday Breakfast
  4. Birthday Lunch
  5. Birthday Dinner
  6. Tres Leches Cake Tasting
  7. Karaoke Room
  8. Picnic Party
  9. Swing Dancing
  10. Wine and Cheese Tasting
  11. Board Game Party
  12. Escape Room
  13. Make Art
  14. Make a Movie
  15. Pool Party
  16. Tea Party
  17. Mall Rats Scavenger Hunt
  18. City Scavenger Hunt
  19. Blazer Tag
  20. Food Crawl
  21. Build a Bear
  22. Lush Treatment
  23. Get a Massage
  24. Rock Climbing
  25. Rent Bikes and Ride
  26. Cocktail Crawl
  27. Musical Marathon
  28. Crazy Outfit Thrifting
  29. Cupcake Decorating
  30. Amusement Park
  31. Costume Party
  32. Day Trip
  33. Birthday Blessings/Prayers
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Seizing the Day

I’ve been watching and listening to my Newsies soundtracks lately, and its brought back a resurgence of a group of fans known as the Newsies Mailing List.  I’ve been looking back  on some of my posts from 1998-present, and it’s chockfull of memories of youth. While some of the posts I made are cringe-worthy and full of awkward adolescent babble, other posts… they were from a version of myself that was full of life. I loved Seize the Day.  It was my middle school anthem song- my fight song, as you will.  I would burst into the song and was ready to take down giants.

Looking back on my past… it makes me feel so OLD and TIRED. Where is that girl who burst into song?  Where is that girl on a mission?  My exuberance for things seems to have gotten lost, and I am grasping to get back some of that life.  I have been so bored and sluggish in a lot ways.  My life feels like Belle in the Disney animated Beauty and the Beast- you know, the scene where she is out in the fields in her desire for the adventure in that great wide somewhere, and she picks up a dandelion seed plant, and she sings, “I want so much more than they’ve got planned!”

Being an adult is hard. I’ve lost friendships, gained friendships, had broken relationships that crushed me like a bug, went through some real life experiences that have tried to flatten me.  I feel like I’m drowning in financial insecurities, yet I am embracing the joy of creating art that I love while feeling the sorrow of not being able to live off of it.  I am trapped in a world where money equals power, and it sucks. I don’t know if I can carpe diem.  But I’m not going to just tuck my tail between my legs and call it a day.  Maybe I need a new anthem song.  Maybe not Seize the Day or the Belle Reprise, but maybe a mixture of both.

Art · Austin · culture · Friendship · Texas · theater · TX

Bippy’s and Acting Awards

Well, acting awards are great… and disappointing.  In Austin, there’s this thing called the B. Iden Payne Awards.  I’ve been calling them Bippy’s (rhymes with Yippie! or Hippy! or Skippy!), but I think they’re called something else.  I dunno.  I should really research what it’s all about, but I’m way too lazy at the moment to google it.  It’s like Austin’s version of the Tony’s.

I am honored to be a part of three productions that were in the nominations:
The Mikado: Reclaimed was nominated for two awards- Best original script; Best featured actor in a musical (Jonathan G. Itchon)
Persephone was nominated for best original score (Tyler Mabry)
Privacy Settings: A Promethean Tale was nominated for best theatrical event

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I was unbelievably happy and proud when Jonathan won for The Mikado: Reclaimed because it was well deserved!  I couldn’t stop crying out of a place of joy… but there were the other shows, and I got so disappointed that certain people didn’t win.  I was also kinda sad that some productions weren’t in the nominations, but I get it, not everyone can agree on stuff that was awesome.  Like other shows that I won’t mention who had original scripts and scores and amazing ensembles and casts, which in my opinion were super amazing and created by the cast and weren’t even nominated… but whatevs, dog.

I think it’s such a tough thing because so many people think they deserve an award or some kind of recognition for awesome work that they’re doing, but when you’re in shows, it’s hard to see other shows, so it’s hard to say what work was super excellent and what was just eh.

I guess that’s what the committee is for. Ah, well, if I wanted to be the one making judgment calls, I shoulda joined the committee, right?  Right.

At the awards ceremony, four of the six cast members of the TM:R performed in costumes (that had not been washed since February or March) and were in white face/ grey scale makeup… and we got to use our old fans.  It was really tough going back to that place- the feeling of being trapped in your skin color, that place of unjust imprisonment, being voiceless… singing Gilbert and Sullivan again.  I don’t know how to describe just how amazingly hard this show was, and how fulfilling it was to be telling a story like this one.  While I have had fantastic opportunities in the theatre community here in Austin, TX, this show will always hold the top shelf of theatre that I’m super proud to have been a part of.  I’m getting teary-eyed, just thinking about it.

Anyway, I’m starting to not make much sense, and getting ranty and on a tangent, so I’m just gonna end right here.

culture · Dance · Friendship · Future · Love · Music · Self Discovery · Self Improvement · theater · Theatre · Ukulele

Living the Dream

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To living the dream. To moving across the country to be able to pursue that dream. To finding opportunities to use my gifts in acting, singing, dancing, and playing ukulele. To being paid for those artistic endeavors.

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To being validated, and seen for who you are, however artistic and strange that may be. To working on projects that don’t make sense and don’t need to make sense.

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To working with artists who make an effort to represent diversity in a real way- who open their hearts and share their stories, and make you cry with their pain and laugh with their moments of joy. To being heard loud and clear without speaking a word in English. To singing about the injustice and making the truth known.

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To writing something and see that writing from page to stage. To dreaming and seeing that dream continuously deferred, but it finally happening- small and unpretentious, but it took place.

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To making an effort to bring life to the small parts in big casts, and to sitting through the long and tiring rehearsals to finally make it to opening night.

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To looking forward to the artistic journey you are embarking on and to be excited about the future projects that are awaiting to be seen.

To never giving up on that dream, no matter how many times you get knocked down or are told not to waste their time auditioning because they aren’t looking for your ‘type’. To living the dream you’ve had in you since you were young. To reach for it again and again.

Fitness · Friendship · Health · Running · Texas

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

I’ve been on a road to self discovery, and I’m not entirely sure where that road is taking me, but I’ve made a good friend and I’ve been running. I ran another 10k.  It was the Texas Flower Country Women’s Run in Fredricksburg, TX at Wildseed Farms. It was beautiful, and even though my time was longer than the Cap10K, by about three minutes and sixty eight seconds, I’m okay with it because I had a bum foot.

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