Twenty-something in New York

Tales from a small-town gal living
in Brooklyn and studying at
The Actors Studio Drama School.

One Year

It amazes me how quickly time passes. 

On July 14, 2013, I woke up in my empty apartment in Springfield, OH at the literal crack of dawn. I got a phone call from my best friend Hannah, who hadn’t gone to bed yet. We talked as I packed up the last of my belongings and said goodbye to my air conditioned apartment with a dishwasher. I put my cat in her carrier, climbed into a Budget rental truck with all my belongings crammed inside, and drove the seven hours or so to Fairfax Station, VA to pick up Hannah. 

On July 15, 2013, Hannah and I got up early, said goodbye to her parents, and drove to New York City. And I will never, ever forget the way I felt. I felt a mixture of unbridled excitement and debilitating fear—a sweet combination of “I’m finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do” and “Holy shit, what did I do?!” I have many fond memories of getting settled into our new apartment during the worst heatwave ever, eating takeout on the floor of my bedroom, seeing Cinderella and Broadway and crying just a little bit. I worked as temporary file clerk for a law firm on Madison Ave. It was an exciting, terrifying time. 

Now, a year later, I can look back on that experience with a sense of pride and accomplishment. It was, in many ways, the turning point of my young adult life. It was the moment all those “whens” became “nows.” This has been a really important year for me. I’ve faced some difficult times—emotionally, physically, mentally—and I survived. I ran out of money more times than I’d like to admit, I cried on the subway a shameful amount of times, I got my heart broken a few times, I battled self-doubt and self-hatred and I’m a better person because of it. I’ve learned that there’s a huge difference between living on your own in a city like Springfield and living on your own in NYC. I’ve learned that being proactive is more satisfying than waiting around for things to happen. 

I’ve been trying lately to re-discover those feelings of opportunity, excitement, and wonder I felt when I first moved to NYC. This summer has been less than ideal—working 60 hours a week has left me feeling exhausted and frazzled. I don’t mind working hard, but I just feel this sense of panic clawing at me because I’ve spent my summer working at a chicken restaurant instead of focusing on my acting career. At this point, survival is more important—I have to pay my rent and bills and eat—but I feel like I’m just losing time. I was in such a good place at the end of the school year, and then everything just came to a screeching halt. And it’s something that bothers me every single day. I can deal with most things—but this has been really hard to deal with. I wanted this summer to be so much different than it’s turned out to be. And life just works out that way sometimes, and I have to keep reminding myself that everything will be okay. 

I had a really rough day at work yesterday where I was scrambling around trying to make a metric ton of guacamole from scratch, peel 3 dozen eggs, make pico de gallo, get the restaurant ready for service—and I just had to stop for a minute and go stand in the bathroom and ask myself “Why am I even doing this?!” And the answer was of course, “So you can live in New York and eat and have an apartment and go to grad school.” But there was a tiny part of me that just kept saying “Walk out of here.” Of course I didn’t, but I wanted to. I wanted to literally throw avocados at everyone and walk out in a blaze of glory never to return. But instead I put on my best fake smile and did my job, telling myself over and over again that I need the money and I have to just suck it up. And I got through my shift and changed my clothes and went to my other job at Signature. And I actually really love this job. I look forward to going to work there. But last night, I just sat inside the theatre, watching yet another intolerably bad NYMF musical (this one about Marie Antoinette and Sally Hemmings, featuring Thomas Jefferson in black skinny jeans), and cried quietly. And I’m laughing a little bit as I write this because that’s just so pathetic. But I’m just so tired and disappointed that I didn’t plan ahead enough, or find a better paying survival job, or whatever. Ultimately, I’m doing what I have to do right now. 

I did make a promise to myself, though. I promised myself that next summer, I’m focusing 100% of my time and attention on my career. I’m going to plan ahead and take the necessary steps to ensure that I have the time, energy, and resources to actually do what I came here to do. No more wasting time. 

And there’s a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for me: on August 15, after being away from my family for over a year, I will be flying to Ohio for two whole weeks to spend time with them. And I wouldn’t be able to see them if it wasn’t for this crappy chicken job. So, there’s a silver lining. I will end my less-than-enjoyable summer with a much needed vacation with my family and some great friends back home—and I’ll come back to NYC refreshed, happy, and ready to tackle another great year at the Actors Studio. It’s so close. So, so, so close. 

"Keep on the Sunny Side of Life"

I realized today that I don’t laugh as much as I should. So, I made an effort to laugh today (and provide photo documentation of said laughter, naturally). I’ve been so caught up in how much I don’t like working long hours all day every day, that I haven’t taken the time to enjoy the little things. Like tonight, I stood on the roof of my apartment building in Brooklyn, and watched fireworks. I was alone, and everything was quiet, and I just stood there and watched the sky light up in the distance. And I remembered how much I love this city, and how happy I am to be here. 

This week, I was in charge of a little “drama camp” with three adorable six-year-old girls. Together, we wrote a play called “The Queen, the Unicorn and the Fairy Princess,” and performed it for their moms on Wednesday. There’s something so wonderfully special about a child’s imagination. The three of them came up with a story about a fairy that could change the weather, puppies that could plant flowers, unicorns that could fly, and friendship triumphing over evil. And it was such a nice change of pace to do something that left me feeling like I actually accomplished something. I felt a little surge of pride when the girls took their bows after their performance. And to see their moms light up with pride made me feel like I had actually done something that mattered. It reminded me of the days when my sister and I and our friends would perform shows in our basement for our parents. And I felt like I could finally reconnect with that kid that’s still inside of me—that little kid who used to sing and dance and make up skits. And I realized in an instant how far I’ve come and how much closer I get to achieving those childhood dreams every day. 

I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, mainly because working in the food industry is enough to crush anyone’s spirit just a little. And sometimes I just feel like I’m drowning in a bunch of needless stress. Today, I took some time to just do some little things that made me happy: I decorated my room (I recently moved into a new apartment and my room has been a trashy mess until today), I dyed my hair just for fun, I treated myself to some ice cream, and watched the fireworks. None of those things seem like much, but I truly feel happy and rejuvenated. It’s really, really important to stop and enjoy the little things.  

Sometimes, I get frustrated because things aren’t perfect. Well, a perfect life would be pretty boring. At the end of the day, the only person’s life I want is mine. Because I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve got, and I’m proud of that fact. I may be tired and a little frustrated at times, but everything—and I mean everything—I’m doing is getting me one step closer to where I want to be. And things will fall into place when the time is right. I have to keep reminding myself that even the worst situations have a silver lining. I just have to keep pushing forward. 

Just a Fleeting Thought

Sometimes, it’s just so comforting to know that there’s another human being in the universe who’s feeling the same things I’m feeling. It makes me feel like less of a misfit disaster person. And it doesn’t make things any less confusing, or scary, or frustrating, or whatever—but it’s just nice to know that I’m not alone. 

Chicken Wisdom

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working at a new fast-casual restaurant in the Financial District. Yesterday was the grand opening, so the management asked some staff to stay late the night before and help them get everything ready for the big day. They of course compensated us with overtime pay, pizza, cake, and heartfelt gratitude—but I’d like to think that maybe I would’ve stayed to help regardless. Because I’ve watched this restaurant owner—who is literally the nicest guy I’ve ever met—work hard every single day to make his dream become a reality. This isn’t just some shitty fast food place, this is the product of this guy’s dedication and hard work. This restaurant opening marked the end of over two years of preparation on his part. And he’s been there every night for the past two weeks marinating chicken at two in the morning. Last night, one of the last things we did was take the paper off the windows—and I watched this guy stand outside as we peeled it off, taking a video on his phone, with his eyes welling up with tears. I’m glad I got to see that. 

Seeing someone else’s dream become a really inspired me. I’m witnessing first hand exactly how much hard work, determination, and flexibility it takes. I also learned something really, really important today: everybody fails. Because today was an absolute disaster at the restaurant. At one point, we had a line out the door and we ran out of chicken. We ran out of pretty much everything. Some of the kitchen equipment started to fail. And the management team tackled things head-on, dealing with problems as best as they could. And it was a shitty day. And customers were pissed off. And after everything, the owner simply said, “Well, we’re just gonna do better tomorrow. And even better the next day.” 

I think it’s funny when people tell me, “Shouldn’t you get a real job instead of acting?” Well, people fail at “real” jobs too. Things aren’t easy. Doing what you love isn’t easy. And though I don’t plan on spending the rest of my life working at this chicken restaurant, it is nice to be working for someone who had a vision and is seeing it through. I know opening a fast-casual restaurant is entirely different from acting, but the amount of work and dedication is the same.

Working here makes me miss school. I’m feeling a little unfulfilled these days. I’ve been feeling really isolated lately—probably because all I do is work and sleep. I need to be more adamant about making time for myself. I need to make time to work on my goals and my career. I need to make time to relax and see friends and enjoy things. I hope things settle down soon so I can focus on life outside of work. But I’m happy (and lucky) to be gainfully employed, and I’m glad to be constantly reminded that sometimes, you fall flat on your face. You just have to pick yourself up and do better tomorrow. 

Ready for Summer in the City

Summer has gotten off to a somewhat rocky start. Summer job hunting is always far from enjoyable (especially when you look for over a month, hear nothing, then subsequently run out of money and resort to mooching off your friends/roommates for food). But—now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m officially gainfully employed for the summer, which is a relief. It’s sort of funny how the universe works sometimes: you worry yourself half-to-death, then at the last possible second things work out. In the past two days I’ve been hired for two different jobs (one as a Street Teamer, which sounds fun, and the other as a Counter Server in a chicken restaurant, which sounds less fun), I picked up some shifts at Signature, started doing some freelance copy-writing, and picked up a babysitting job. I think I’ve about covered every possible twenty-something-living-in-NYC job there is, and I’ll be doing all of them this summer! Well, money is money, and as long as I can pay my bills, I’ll be happy. 

Despite all the anxiety surrounding the job, it’s been nice to take a break from school and just relax for a little bit. I’ve quickly discovered, though, that I don’t like being sedentary. After a week of lying in bed watching Netflix, I started to just feel pretty depressed and useless. I’ve gotten so used to being busy all the time, that I’m not quite sure what to do with myself when I have nothing to do. But, that problem’s been solved: no more lazy days…time to get to work! 

Speaking of, a friend and I got together at the beginning of summer break and set some summer goals. We both decided to help and support each other so we can really work toward things we want to achieve. The last thing I want is for this summer to go to waste. I just learned so many valuable things at school, and I don’t want to ignore all of it over the next several months. So, here are some of goals, mostly pertaining to my acting career/education: 

1. Read 1-2 plays per week, and keep track of scenes, monologues, and possible thesis ideas
2. Learn new monologues (find 10, learn/record 5)
3. Audition twice per month 
4. Learn more about film acting
5. Sensory work/journal once a week
6. Work on building my website
7. Investigate voice/dance lessons 
8. Read “An Actor Prepares,” “On Method Acting,” and “Respect for Acting”
9. Do voice warm-up twice a week (start developing different warm-ups for different situations)

Of course, we made sure to make goals pertaining to our health and life outside of acting, but I thought it would be more pertinent to share the career goals. The more I experience live theatre, the more I talk about it with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, the more I realize how essential it is that I use this summer to really get ahead of the curve. I need to be as proactive as possible. 

I’m enthusiastic about the summer and its prospects. Between working and achieving my goals, I want to take some time to just enjoy the city with my friends, relax, explore, try new things, discover new places—I’ve lived in this city for almost a year now, and I can’t wait to have a New York summer. 

The First Year

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this year has changed my life.  It’s hard to even process all of the things I’ve learned this school year—I’ve grown artistically, professionally, and personally. I’ve found a home at ASDS that I never expected to find. It makes me cry to even think about all of the fascinating, brave, compassionate people I’ve come to know since August. People who have supported me, loved me, picked me up, kept me grounded, challenged me, laughed with me, cried with me. It’s comforting to have an unspoken understanding with a community of artists—a deep human connection that is always there underneath everything. And I can think back to so many tiny moments of intense connection—discovered in handshakes and hugs and games and conversations. And I know definitively that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, with the people I’m supposed to be with, doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

It’s really difficult to put into words what this year has been like. It feels like someone ripped open my ribcage and finally exposed my heart to the world. I’ve discovered so much about myself—and I’ve learned how to love every part of me: all my pain, my insecurities, my idiosyncrasies, my body, my mind, my soul. And I’ve started to learn how to take all of those parts of me and share them on a stage through a character. And it feels incredible to be able to play a character without having it all be intellectual. It’s so much more satisfying and interesting to be in the moment, to listen, and to feel things organically. And I’ve finally stopped telling myself that I can’t do things. Because that doesn’t do me any good. I had a conversation with my acting teacher the other day and I told her that a year ago, I didn’t think I could do dramatic scenes or cry onstage or handle difficult material. And she just smiled and said, “You can do anything.” And I’m going to allow her advice to propel me through the rest of my time at the Actors Studio. I can do anything.

This past week, I acted in front of an audience for the first time in almost two years. This festival week has been the highlight of the year for me. Not only did I get to perform and share with an audience, I got to watch all of my incredibly talented classmates perform. For this first time, I truly felt as though I really shared something with the audience. I went out on stage and for ten minutes I gave them a huge piece of myself. And more importantly, I wasn’t focused on the results. I wasn’t hung up on who was going to like it or what people were going to think of me. I was proud of my work and I was excited to share it, and that was really mattered to me. I’m still learning, I’m still experimenting, I’m still growing. But this week truly inspired me. I took a risk with “Hello from Bertha” and I was proud of the final result. And I was so happy to work on “Relationtrip” because I essentially got to play a version of myself. I got to be honest and real, and it was a true gift. But now, more than ever, I’m excited to push myself even harder and try new things and play all types of characters.

My time here is sacred. It really is. It’s so important to me. This is my time to really grow and learn as much as I can. I’m here for myself and for no one else. And I think that has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned this year. I was not put on this earth to run around trying to make everyone else happy. It’s not my job to placate everyone at my own expense. I will always love the people in my life and will always have a sort of naïve faith in people, but I have to be self-reliant. I’ve taught myself how to be resilient this year. I’ve learned how to support and encourage myself. I’ve learned how to take care of myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. And that’s so essential. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m glad I did it.

Everything is different now. I’m different. And I feel like it’s going to take a significant amount of time to really process and understand this year. Because so much has happened (good and bad). I’m looking forward to the summer so I can sort everything out. All I know is that I’m so immeasurably happy to be where I am right now. And I’m so grateful to my classmates, my friends (near and far), my family, and my teachers for being with me on this journey. I’m so excited to see what’s in store next year. At our orientation, James Lipton said to us, “Students of the Actors Studio Drama School…come to the edge, and fly.” And for a long time, I stood at the edge. And this semester, I’ve let myself fly. And I’m not going to let my feet touch the ground—not yet. 

Secrets

Wednesday in one of my classes we did an exercise where we worked with secrets. Not our personal secrets, but our characters’ secrets. Right now I’m working on Tennessee Williams’ Hello from Bertha, a scene about a dying prostitute. So I reached inside of myself and found Bertha’s secret. Then, we wrote our secrets out on the floor. Then we ate them. Then we felt the secret sit inside of our belly. Then we puked it back out and painted with whatever colors came out of us. We painted our secrets on giant imaginary canvases. And as I stood there, staring at the words painted with pieces of me—my insides, my blood—I felt this strange liberation. It wasn’t inside of me. And it was Bertha’s secret—something she pushed down deep inside of her and hid from the world because she had no other choice. But it was also my secret. And it was no longer inside of me, eating away at my insides. It was spread out on a canvas in front of me—bloody, grotesque. And I remembered how it felt when it was in my belly, and how much better it felt to have it gone. 

And then I destroyed my imaginary canvas. I ripped it to shreds until it was nothing but a pile of rags in front of me. And I pushed the pile out of my sight until it disappeared. And we all filled that empty space in our bellies with white, healing light. And I felt so much relief and acceptance. I learned so much about my character—her pain, her internal suffering. But I also learned so much about myself. About the things I’ve been suppressing and carrying around inside of me because I thought I had to. But I purged myself and I feel so much lighter now that I’m not dragging that stupid secret around with me. 

I’ve really come to understand and realize that these three years at the Actors Studio are sacred. In just one year I’ve learned so much and opened myself up to a world that I’ve shut out for so long. And I’ve felt intense pain and heartbreak and immeasurable sadness. But I’ve also felt moments of euphoria and pride and joy. And I understand now more than ever that these years are for me. I don’t mean to sound selfish. But it’s true. It’s not about pleasing other people, or impressing anyone, or changing myself because people say I should. I’m here to become the best possible version of myself. I bought this time, and nothing is more important than doing the work and being as honest as I can. 

I know sometimes people don’t understand. And that’s okay. Not everyone has to. If I’ve learned anything this year it’s that I need to be self-reliant. People come and go. Things end. Things change abruptly and things disappear. Nothing ever stays the same. And through it all, I will always have myself. I will always have my belief in myself and my determination. When I crawl into bed at night, exhausted, I know that I’m working hard and doing my best. And that is enough for me. Right now, I don’t need anything else. 

Springtime in New York 

Sometimes, I feel like I’m moving so fast I hardly have any time to really appreciate anything. As the end of the semester approaches, I am busier than usual—which I don’t necessarily mind, but I tend to get into a weird mindset when I’m this busy. Yesterday, I was sitting in the library at school, working on a project, and I kept staring longingly out the window at the sunshine. And I thought to myself, “Would it really be the end of the world if I took an hour to enjoy it?” The answer of course was no. The world did not end when I abandoned my homework for a while and went for a casual stroll down by the seaport. 

My thoughts lately have been hyper-focused on homesickness. I’ve grown a little weary of the daily grind—I feel like I spend more time at school than I do in my apartment. I’m tired of disgusting men shouting lewd remarks at me as I walk by or as I stand next to them on the train. I really miss cheap fast food and driving in my car and paying $5 for movie tickets. I miss the feeling of the Midwest in general. But yesterday, as I walked by the water, I realized how beautiful this city is. It’s amazing. One of the things I love most about New York is the constant of juxtaposition of beauty and industry: flowers bloom next to construction sites, tiny parks with beautiful trees sit tucked in between busy streets. And sometimes it’s nice to take a deep breath and appreciate the beautiful things in this city, instead of focusing on the shit. 

Last night, a friend and I stood by the water and talked about how surreal it is to actually be living here. For whatever reason, moving to NYC always seemed like some ridiculously unattainable thing. But looking back, it actually wasn’t that hard to do it. I put my stuff in a truck and I drove here with barely any money. And I’m surviving. I haven’t starved. I’m really glad I came to New York when I did. I think if I would’ve waited any longer, I never would have come. After a while, I would have become complacent. And that’s a life I’m interested in living. I’m happy to be here, despite the fact that sometimes I feel suffocated by this city and most of its inhabitants. 

I’ve been feeling sort of oddly detached lately—I’ve been extremely focused on my work, which I’m more than happy to do. But I’ve felt this weird sense of quiet brokenness that just sort of creeps into my subconscious and makes me feel uneasy and sometimes just sad. I don’t really have much to be sad about, but sometimes I just sit on the train or lay in my bed or walk down the sidewalk and feel crushed by nothing in particular. It’s hard to describe. I think I’m just burnt out from school. It’s been a grueling semester (and year, for that matter), and frankly, I’m fucking exhausted. 

But Spring is finally here, and this city is special. What I’m doing is special and gives my life meaning. And that’s enough for me. 

On the Right Track

Friday night, I was sitting at work chatting with one of my co-workers, and he told me about a game he created called the “coincidence test.” Basically, what he does is ask a question (his example was, “Am I going to be successful as an actor?”), and then he picks two completely random things and assigns them to “yes” and “no”. He gave the example, “Okay, so if I see a woman wearing a red hat carrying a suitcase in the next half hour, the answer is yes. If I see a man with a seeing-eye dog, the answer is no.” I left work thinking about the game—not consciously playing it, but thinking about how funny the universe is sometimes. I’m not a big proponent of fate or destiny—I think that you achieve greatness by working hard and making things happen for yourself. But sometimes, it is nice to get some sort of reassurance from the universe. On my way to the subway, I stopped in a Dunkin’ Donuts to get a snack, thinking about school and my career and whether or not I was going to be successful. And as I was looking out the window, Matthew James Thomas, who I had seen in “Pippin” just a few short months ago, walked by. Of course, it’s not unlikely to run into successful/well-known actors in New York, especially in Midtown. But I was just sort of amazed that it had been that actor, because I had been listening to his voice on the “Pippin” soundtrack all afternoon before work. It was a nice coincidence.

It’s been an eventful two weeks. Thursday night, I performed in my first “Bitter Bitches” cabaret, and I ultimately had mixed feelings about the experience. On one hand, I was grateful for the opportunity, but on the other hand, I felt sort of disappointed in myself. I got up there to sing and I just didn’t feel excited. And that was a scary thing for me. Any time I’ve gotten on a stage to perform, I’ve always felt that wonderful rush of adrenaline. But this time, I just felt nothing. And maybe it was because I was nervous, or I felt unprepared, or I was singing to a room with only a few familiar faces in it. But I just didn’t feel that rush that I usually feel. And it really upset me. I walked home later that night and I just felt so disheartened.

But after taking a step back from the experience, I’ve decided to focus on the positives of the situation. I sang in the basement of a bar in NYC for crying out loud. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And yeah, it wasn’t my best performance, but I did it. And, I sang one of my all-time favorite songs, “Last Midnight,” a song I used to sing in my kitchen when I was 15 years old. I picked that song because it meant something to me, it was a special song, a song to commemorate how far I’ve come. And that’s something to be proud of. I think sometimes I just get hyper-focused on results instead of just enjoying the journey. That’s what these next two and a half years are about. This is the time to learn, to grow, to try, and to fail. I’ve bought myself the time to explore, and I should be taking advantage of it.

Several weeks ago, I posted a list of goals in hopes of inspiring myself to keep moving upwards instead of plateauing. A few of the items on the list were “sing more,” “be more proactive in my social and professional life,” and “make bolder choices in my classes.” It feels good to actually step back and realize that I have made enormous strides in achieving these. I’ve certainly been singing more, and I hope there will be many more performances in my future. And in terms of my professional life, I’ve put together a website, updated my resume, joined Backstage, and went to my first professional audition in the city. And as for bolder choices, right now I’m working on a very challenging scene in Basic Tech, “Hello from Bertha” by Tennessee Williams. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and I absolutely love working on it. So, yeah, I guess I’ve got a lot to be proud of. Every little step in the right direction is worth celebrating.

I’ve been just sort of riding the roller-coaster lately, going through moments of extreme happiness and sadness and every day I just tell myself, “Keep moving forward.” Because that’s all I can do, really. 

Spring Break

This week, I started looking into job prospects for the summer. I sucked it up and subscribed to Backstage, got my website up and running, and started researching. I saw a listing on Backstage for a new cabaret series called “Bitter Bitches,” a professional cabaret that explores vixens, villains, and misunderstood women through theatre, pop, and rock songs. I submitted my headshot and resume, thinking, “Hey, how cool would it be to sing in public?” I love singing, I need new material for my book, and I really need to be proactive about my career. 

I got an email from the director Friday morning, asking if I could come in for an audition that day at 3:30. Of course I said yes, despite the fact that I wasn’t prepared, had no idea what I was doing, and had hardly any time at all to pull myself together. I walked into the audition room a nervous wreck, and completely butchered my first song. The producer just sort of stared at me blankly for a minute, and then looked at the director, who said kindly, “Well, that was an interesting choice. Because the beginning was really boring and didn’t really interest us.” I nodded and smiled, dying on the inside and berating myself. And then the producer looked at me and smiled, and said, “But you’re SUPER talented! Who are you and where have you been?!” I decided at this point that honesty was the best policy, since things couldn’t really get any worse. I told them I was from Ohio and still really new to the city. The producer looked at me knowingly and said, “Oh, this is your first audition in New York, isn’t it?” I nodded, embarrassed. They both laughed and offered some words of encouragement, then asked me to sing another song. Of course, my book was full of every song you should NOT sing at an audition, and once again, I let my embarrassment get the best of me. But they let me sing a second song, and after the whole ordeal, the producer drew a giant smiley face on my resume and hired me.

I know it’s not much, but this couldn’t have come at a better time. I love performing, and this will satisfy my need without interfering with what I’m learning in school. I really needed a little confidence boost, and I was really grateful to learn as much as I did at the audition. I literally did EVERYTHING wrong, and now I know exactly what not to do the next time I audition. Plus, I’m really proud of myself for going out on a limb—I said yes to that audition even though I wasn’t really ready for it. But I showed up and did my best, and even though I kind of fell flat on my face, things worked out this time. I know in the future, a botched audition won’t lead to a job. This producer found my naivete endearing a liked my voice enough to look past all of my blunders. That will probably never happen again. But now I know what I need to work on so my next audition won’t be such a disaster. 

Overall, this Spring Break has been really great. I was dreading it at first, because I couldn’t afford to go anywhere or see family or anything. But I was feeling really exhausted and mentally/emotionally fried before break, so I’m glad I had a week to relax and rejuvenate. I saw “Bridges of Madison County” on Tuesday with some friends, which was absolutely wonderful. There’s something so completely magical about seeing Broadway shows. To me, Broadway is just the most special place on the planet. We hung around at the stage door after the show and got to meet beautifully talented Kelli O’Hara and super gorgeous Steven Pasquale. I think what struck me the most about meeting them after the show was seeing how exhausted they were. Throughout the course of that show, both of them gave so much. It was really inspiring.

I’m really grateful to be at this point in my life where I’m learning so much every single day. Sometimes, it’s nice to have some time to take a step back and realize just how good things are.