Ramblings of a (newly struggling) actor

It’s amazing what one day surrounded by nature can do for you. Whether it’s a forest or a sunshiny meadow or the beach…anything. ANYthing but New York City can make you feel at ease.

Don’t get me wrong, I love New York. Truly, madly, deeply. But this place can really make you question your sanity. I sincerely am grateful to live here for so many reasons, but also appreciate getting away whenever I can.

I have been trying not to get caught up in the fact that I am not currently on stage and performing in a show. I am, however, directing which is very exciting and rewarding, so to still be apart of the theater in some way is very satisfying. But I can’t shake this feeling of worry, this feeling of being held to the highest of standards. Most of the time I can keep it pretty hushed these days, but some days my mind runs wild and I panic over the fact that I am not “where I am supposed to be”, whatever that means.

I recently talked to some friends in the acting world who say that I inspire them and make them want to do their best, and while I really am very touched and excited by that, I always feel like I am somehow letting them down if I am not in the middle of working on a role. I have to rid myself of that idea. I got too used to things coming easily, to booking things quickly and being on the move. I got too comfortable in “success” that when I hit this little lull in my acting career, I started to freak the F out. I think that is only natural, as an artist and as a person, to be honest. But it eats me alive when I allow it too. Even if I have gone on a bunch of auditions, even if I tell myself I am doing super well, even if I inspire people around me and am always on the move, it eats me alive if I am not booking, even if it doesn’t remotely show.

Today I went to Cupsogue Beach in The Hamptons. One day away with my sister and brother-in-law getting tossed around in the waves and soaking up some rays was really cleansing. I took some time to just reflect (corny sounding but true) and I realized that what we feel is failure is an opportunity for growth and for experience. How you react to your perceived failure is what will make or break you. The other day I spoke to my friend who is also an actor and she said something that was pretty simple but also profound to me since I have been dealing with these sudden bursts of panic; she said that if you aren’t enjoying the journey, what is the point? Why do we do what we do? If everything came easily, would there be any growth for you as an actor or as a person?

As I lay in the sun earlier today, allowing the beams to heat my smiling face, I felt this so deeply within me. I know that this time in my life, this “lull”, is for experience. It’s for growth. It’s to propel me to the next level so that I can be learning constantly and defying the possibilities of what I thought I was capable of doing. I have time. TIME! I have time where I can travel, where I can learn new things and see new theater, where I can direct and spend time with friends and family. I’m young! How awesome is that?

This was a rant, yes. And maybe you aren’t a struggling artist, but every human struggles with something whether their lives seem perfect or not. They aren’t. And that’s what makes people interesting. Their journey, their triumphs, their low points, their passions and how they pursue them. You are always growing and learning and once you accept “failure” into your life, you can laugh it off and move forward towards your goals without getting too stuck on things.

 

To Do/ Bucket List: Summer Edition!

A couple of months back I made my bucket list on here. This is my summertime bucket list mixed with some ‘To Do’ list type things which I really look forward to checking off. So here we go with the top 10 as of now!

  1. Get 2 new tattoo’s
  2. Direct a show (x)
  3. Travel outside of the country(x)
  4. Join a summer intensive acting course in the city(x)
  5. Choose an acting studio for fall
  6. Sign up for MUA class to get my makeup certification
  7. Leave NYC as much as humanly possible to visit long island or upstate and rent a beach house, go to the beach, enjoy nature, etc.
  8. Go jet skiing and rock climbing (Water skiing and cliff jumping also X)
  9. Make my hair lighter or cut it(x)
  10. Kayak on the hudson

Devil May Care

Moments began to flare

as if they were tumbling down from the atmosphere

I felt the intensity of my focused stare,

as I struggled to hold back any real tears.

 

I felt a sense of wonder, I felt a sense

of joy,

I knew the flames would hurt a bit,

but, deep down,

I knew it to be a ploy.

 

I approached the wreckage

with a grim half smile

I was expecting all to have been singed.

But just then I noticed something wild,

and had to know what was within.

 

It was a small box,

warm to the touch,

It had a certain kind of edge.

I tampered with it for a moment,

until I saw what it read.

 

‘Devil May Care”

I read aloud, confused and a bit thrown off,

I felt a real power here,

I didn’t dare scoff.

 

I took a peak inside,

admittedly scared of what I might find,

but the calm that I felt

helped to ease my mind.

 

It was my heart,

staring right back at me,

and it was glowing more than ever,

for it had been set free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running Free


The misty air encapsulates me,

I can barely see two inches in front of my face.

The comfort of the never ending greenery,

creates a sense of peace that is intricate and pure,

much like white lace.

 

I do not think about it much,

I do not take it for granted,

I simply breathe in the touch,

and like a dandelion

blown towards the sun,

I allow my soul to run, run, run.

The Forest

It’s impossible to describe getting lost in the forest of your eyes.

I dropped my map long ago.

Floods of tears and worries and regret do not escape me yet,

and the pale yellow happiness that has been ever present

seems to loom about in the most pleasant way

causing my emotions to sway.

 

What could be wrong when things have turned right?

How do I shake the whirlwind of thought that plagues me at night?

I try to see clear, push away the fog,

but somehow I only find myself wandering on.

 

Growing more curious with each step.

 

The forest of your eyes is not polite,

it causes me to lose the light,

I felt it lost for such a long while,

that mile after mile,

even when the sunshine warms me inside and out,

the eyes stare on and fill me with doubt.

My (still in progress) Bucket List!

Alright. So this is a list of things that I plan to break down into a smaller yearly goal sheet, but here is the grand scheme of my Bucket List so far. I will not include things that I have already crossed off my bucket list because there have been quite a few that I have already accomplished, but I do plan to mark what is accomplished on this list as time goes on. There will also become more specific, but cut me some slack it’s 1:30 am.

  1. See the northern lights
  2. Go Skydiving
  3. See all 50 states ( So far I have seen around 20)
  4. Visit as many places in the world as possible but would really like to see Greece, Thailand, Italy, and do a backpack across Europe.
  5. Go someplace far away and new at least once a year
  6. Do a roadtrip across the country
  7. Go camping on a mountain
  8. Do a really awesome hike
  9. Be on broadway as a major role/ become a successful actor/singer
  10. Be on a tv series or in a movie as a major role
  11. Get married
  12. Learn another language
  13. Try to ski/go on a ski trip
  14. Learn to play piano/guitar
  15. Go back to France
  16. Ride in a hot air balloon
  17. Swim in the hot springs in Iceland
  18. Explore waterfalls
  19. Go zip lining
  20. Go parasailing
  21. Go horseback riding
  22. Take archery lessons
  23. Ride a camel/elephant
  24. Visit the holocaust memorial in Berlin
  25. See the great wall of China
  26. Get at least 2 more tattoos
  27. Go white water rafting
  28. Go to the Tony Awards/ be nominated
  29. Possibly get my masters degree
  30. Volunteer/work for charities, hospitals and animal shelters
  31. Write a play and/or novel and have it published
  32. Learn how to cook amazingly and master the traditional key spanish recipes
  33. Become a certified/well established makeup artist
  34. Buy a really nice camera and start a portfolio/own headshot company
  35. Get out of debt
  36. Learn to Surf
  37. Repay/ be able to take care of my parents and help my sisters

Ch-Ch-Changes

Being in your early 20’s is really weird. Basically, you find yourself in strange situations that you never had to deal with before such as going to the post office or calling to get out of jury duty or buying milk. Weird. But what is really strange about your 20’s is the way things change.

Since I was about eleven years old (?) I have been the same exact person…I think. Of course, there has been a lot that has happened since then that has helped me to become the woman I am today. I have had great, insane, extremely fortunate adventures and don’t plan on having those end any time soon. I always think about this idea of a world that requires every single human being to write a book about their lives before they die. Like a true, real requirement before death and if they don’t complete it, there is some sort of major consequence like a version of hell or listening to country music on a loop until the end of time. Of course, many people compare life to a book and how there are different chapters. But what if for some reason at the end of each year we were all required to tell the truth in detail about each and every day of the year that was coming to an end only to compile them all into a selection of books ranging from birth to death? Obviously, anything before age 9 might be difficult to have captured by you yourself, but maybe the parent would be required to write theirs and yours? Who knows.

Okay. I got off topic. ANYWAY. I have been greatly influenced by the things that have happened to me, but I don’t rightly know if I have drastically changed as a person before. Sometimes you see people and they have had a major change in attitude, appearance, career, mentality, etc. I still think Spongebob (only the old episodes not this new fangled garbage they are trying to pass off) is an incredible source of comedy. I still have the same two best friends. I still do acting and singing and have never doubted that that will be what I do with my life. It’s interesting. But when you are in your 20’s, suddenly things around you begin to change and you question yourself and you are just going along with it because, well, that is how life works. You have to pay rent, bills, schedule appointments and meetings, buy groceries, go to work all while maintaining sanity, a good relationship with friends and family, and most of the time dating. These times are sometimes manageable, but most of the times at least one or more of these things are in complete chaos. I find myself worrying about moneyandthenextgigandmyrelationshipandfamilyandfriends pretty often. I also find that I am so aware of the changes that the people closest to me are going through and how it really can effect those around them and even themselves. You notice that your friend group starts to shrink and that the people who really care and matter most will always find a way to make time for you and be there for you, even if you haven’t talked for months.

I am very lucky to have my close friends in my life. I’m not sure what I would do without them. I have seen them all endure changes. Some bad, some amazing, some life changing. But they have always remained in my life. I guess what this whole post is about is just…have patience with the changes. Sometimes things will seem like the end of the world and you will have to start all over from scratch. That’s okay. Sometimes you will feel like you have no one in this world. You do. More than you know. Sometimes things will feel like they will last forever when it seems things aren’t going your way. And sometimes you think you have all of your ducks in a row with no cares and something or someone comes out of nowhere and throws you off completely. It’s all okay. That’s part of life and is placed before you  to challenge you and help you to grow, not to drastically change every single part of who you are. People are so resistant to change. They are worried that if they leave their job, their lover who things aren’t going well with, change their look, meet new people, travel to new places, that it will all change them as a person or change their lives drastically. The truth is, you won’t really change that much, you will just have more experience and will be growing and learning. Don’t be afraid. Most of the time, we know what is best for us and what will make us happiest. And sometimes, that means a little bit of change is in order.

Flying by the seat of my pants. Always.

Deciding to pursue an acting career came to me at the ripe young age of eleven. I thought (and still do believe) that everything was perfectly decided for me, as though the fates had reached out to me specifically to grant me with a golden ticket to knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Previous to this, I had wanted to be a singing soccer player who also happened to be a veterinarian because it sounded easy enough. Isn’t it funny how when we are kids we have absolutely no inhibitions? We questioned everything without much fear. Now it’s hard to smile to a person on a busy NYC street without fearing that they won’t smile back. I digress.

I felt a certain amount of confidence, passion, and pressure all at once as soon as I knew what I wanted to do. Now with every coming school show or family party I was expected to get the leading character and do a song and dance for friends and loved ones. If i didn’t get nominated for an award related to acting or music, it would be a shock for everyone. If my voice cracked it would be a question of if I had vocal nodules or if I had been rehearsing enough. If I had an off day on stage, it would be a serious talk from a professor saying that if I want to succeed then off days weren’t much of an option. And thus began the beginning of my seemingly endless anxiety.

Having anxiety, for me, is both amazing and horrendous. It’s like you have a little friend who is like “ALLLLLLRIGHT! TIME TO GET UP! TIME TO MAKE SOME MAGIC! LETS! BE! PRODUCTIVE!!!!” but there’s the rub: I literally cannot sit still half the time and I constantly feel like I have to be putting myself out there yet won’t know how which will only increase my anxiety. Let me be clear, anxiety does not run my life. However, it is something that I have to face more times than I would like to admit and plays a role in how I get things done.

This can especially come into play when I am auditioning and particularly with singing. I am working on it and getting better, but it just seems like when I have this pressure on me the audition room makes my brain think I need to overcompensate when I sing and I am not sure why. Want me to read sides? Amazing. Want me to do a monologue? EVEN better. I am so excited to do only acting related things but ask me to sing another song and my heart feels like it has been put through a spike. This was especially evident when I was called in to audition for the hit musical Hamilton. Yes. Hamil-mother-f’ing-ton. I sat staring at the email asking me to come to an audition in awe and in a strange fog for about 45 minutes straight before realizing I had to cancel all plans for the next 42 hours and focus on learning the material, which was all music. No sides. No monologues. Just music. I did it and it went very well and I am here to tell the tale but let me tell you, I don’t really know if there is any other way to scare the shit out of me after that. That is all.

Anxiety is interesting when you are an actor because…well…all you do is deal with instability. But I love that because it’s a challenge, and I am always up for a good challenge. I am constantly flying by the seat of my pants and working random jobs to get by in this life of sin. (I will go more into detail about said jobs in another post because you…you just aren’t prepared. From working on a farm with a strange overly sexual old man to tending to the richest people as a baby sitter to painting myself blue for a bar, I have seen some weird things.) I am still learning to deal with the instability financially, but have recently landed a stable and flexible gig that I really am thankful for every day. Now I am just in the midst of getting things in balance, which always is a bit of a fun struggle. And of course there is the universal understanding that everything cannot really actually be in balance all at once and that really is okay.

It took me a really long time to accept that one day I might come across someone who really doesn’t like me. That was an idea that made me very anxious. I had never really actually had a problem with anyone. My two best friends always called me Switzerland because I chose to remain neutral, unless something was clearly unfair. I have only met about one or two people that outwardly do not like me and it took me a really long time to be okay with it. It would consume my thoughts, leading me to believe false truths and question myself and wonder if what they believed of me was actually true. I would walk around thinking about it, sit on the subway obsessing and calculating how I could make things better. But then one day I realized; these are the only people who have an issue with me and the truth is…it’s okay. Who cares? There is so much happening in the world…how could I be focusing on this when people were starving or going through so much worse all around me? I looked at the tired faces on the subway and knew so many people had so many different stories and lives going on and almost felt ashamed that I was sitting here obsessing over some people who were never even close to me. Not to mention, I have so much love in my life. SO much. And so much support and kindness and I am extremely fortunate.

It is easy to let anxiety run your life like a bully who pushes you around and constantly wipes their boogers on you. But the truth is, you can become friends with your anxiety if you can be patient with yourself and slow down for a second. Appreciate where you are, who you have, where you want to be, and what you have done. You are very loved whether you believe that or not and are important to at least one other human being on this planet, but usually to a lot more than just one. Try not to be crippled by thinking of the future so much that it consumes your present and distorts your past. It’s hard to face it head on, but at the end of the day you will appreciate the motivation anxiety offers without allowing it to put you down. You are in control. You run the operation. When your heart speeds out of control, remember to breathe and know that no matter what you will get through the hard times. Whether that means making a major change in your life or just simply allowing some time to pass while you go through what you go through, allow it to happen and keep your head held high. I am not an expert. I still have anxiety attacks sometimes and worry about my future but it is never too late to take a second, observe what is making you feel pain or confusion or panic and say to yourself that it may be time for change or maybe some time to yourself to relax. It’s okay. It will always be okay.