Six months into the pandemic.
Hope you've all been able to rest in the stillness, slay any past or current challenges that have made their way to your foreground, and have continued to lead with love, kindness, and creativity. Wish I was able to share with you some work that I shot earlier this year on the set of Comedy Central's, "The Other Two" - but unfortunately, they are another show that COVID-19 halted. I'd also be reporting back about my work as Shelby in Steel Magnolias, but again, that too had to be pushed. Ah well. In the midst of these quiet moments, I've been writing a lot, a pilot script particularly. Grateful to have the time to focus on creating work, as that has been tough for me in the past. And - it's fun!
As Brené Brown says, "Stay awkward, brave, and kind."
Keep on keeping on, we shall overcome!
Well it's been interesting times to say the least. First of all, how are you? I hope you and your family are well. I hope you are navigating through this time with as much groundedness, patience, love, and sanity as possible.
It's been Ziggy and I for 47 days of quarantine; and, I have to say, I've been running through the gamut of emotions and experiences. I feel like my quarantine can be separated into acts.
- Act 1: Things just started to shut down. I'm working out in my living room every day, I'm soaring through The Artist's Way, I'm painting. I'm not feeling like I NEED to be productive, but I'm riding a wave of productivity that feels good. To be honest, I've been wanting some serious solo time anyway. So, this is kind of nice. Wooo! I can handle anything!
- Act 2: The weight of a capitalist society and the self-assigned
responsibilities of an artist and perfectionist avalanche upon me. As it starts to feel significantly stressful, I get struck with covid-19. Unable to get a test because I (thankfully) don't have life-threatening symptoms and am well under the age of 60, I take care of myself at home. Rendered completely useless, experiencing every single symptom listed, I feel angry, frustrated ("HOW?! I've been so careful!"), sad, and very, very lonely. Feeling emotionally low exaggerates feeling physically low. For any of you that have experienced it first-hand, you know. It's awful.
- Act 3: After a roughly 3 week journey, the light at the end of the tunnel has shown herself. I regain health, energy, the ability to smell and taste food, the ability to breathe without coughing. It's a slow climb for strength and stamina - but I am beyond grateful for the ability to work on that. I'm writing juicy morning pages (thank you Artist's Way for the habit) and incorporating yoga almost daily. Joy exists. Gratitude exists. My friends and family - thank goodness - are in good health. There's an overwhelming feeling of having gone through something and having learned from it...I wish I could phrase it in a single word.
So here we are, nearing the end of Act 3, but definitely just in the first season of whatever this life is now. Lots of things have changed, and I, like many others, believe that this is definitely the new normal for quite some time. Auditions have been slow of course, but not extinct. I could use a hug; but, I have my health, my home, my loved ones, and food on the table. And for that, I am grateful. I've been trying to figure out how I can be of use during a time like this, and have found a way to help deliver hospital gowns and PPE to hospitals in need. I am looking forward to doing that in a few days, and to personally thank healthcare workers on the frontlines for what they're doing.
Love to you. Be safe. Be healthy. Be well.
Grateful for my quarantine buddy!
Things that I've been enjoying/have been getting me through this time:
- daily writing
- the Star Wars saga
- cooking (not so much baking, but I've been making some killer dinners)
- dancing; on my own, and virtual dance parties
- virtual chats with friends and family
- all those weird instagram filters
- roof access
- Actor's Connection "Free at 3" series (I can't find a link, but they're wonderful Q&As with casting directors and agents via Zoom)
- the fur baby in the photo above
Keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of days for the newest Macy's fall fashion commercial! A fun short story where you'll get to see me sashaying down the streets of Chicago! Also, be sure to check out the gallery for some fun new production photos from The Gallery Players' The Tempest, where I had the wild experience of playing Ferdinand.
Fun updates! Broken Pieces took home 2 awards this past Friday night at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity award ceremony: Best Overall Production (of a one-act) and Outstanding Actress (to yours truly!). So proud of our team.
Also, tomorrow is the season premiere of NBC's Manifest - not only should everyone watch it because of an incredible story told by an incredible group of people, but in the third episode you will see a very familiar face! :) Catch me in the episode "Turbulence", 10/8 at 10pm on NBC.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to update while I was out of town, but now that I am back, I'm thrilled to talk about 2 wonderful productions I was a part of! During the month of May, I was once again in gorgeous Key West at the Waterfront Theater's production of The Legend of Georgia McBride. I had the time of my life working under the brilliant Danny Weathers in his final year as Managing Artistic Director and with my amazing cast and crew. In addition to playing the role of Jo, I was also able to dust off and exercise my choreographer muscles and create many of the drag numbers, including the finale with confetti canons! Everyone was able to let their inner queen out, and let me tell you, fabulous doesn't even cut it.
As soon as that was over, I returned to Virginia for another run of the Civil War adaptation of Wolfbane's Romeo & Juliet. It was my first time working on the same role twice, and it was honestly even more new and exciting than the previous time. Words cannot describe my adoration for everyone at Wolfbane Productions. They are a small company that do MASSIVE work, fueled by heart and led with artistic brilliance. I am so happy to have strengthened friendships, create new ones, and of course, put on a beautiful show in a beautiful park that so clearly touched the lives of everyone - on stage, back stage, and off stage.
So, I have returned to New York. It is great to be here now that the weather is warm again, and to be working on another fun project! In a week, I will be making my Planet Connections Festival debut in a series of pieces written by my friend, Mateo Moreno. Broken Pieces is "a father reconnecting with his daughter. Two lovers reminiscing in a rainstorm. A not so distant future where women’s rights are stripped away. Two newlyweds who are being torn apart by an unknown force. A low-level gangster hunted down in South London 1973. And a horrifying game show called America the Beautiful, where Freedom is a prize." Mateo is a fantastic playwright (having been in one of his plays before!), I truly think this is a must-see. Here is the link to purchase tickets.
Well, that has been my past few months! I am definitely looking forward to being home for a while and hope to keep the ball rolling! Happy summer!
Photo by Teresa Wood
From September to just about a week ago, I had the excellent fortune to be a part of Folger Theatre's Antony & Cleopatra. An experience that I will never forget, I was submerged in everything Shakespeare - in the biggest collection of his work and artifacts in the country, and (not just my opinion, but) one of the best theater's in the country. Playing Charmian, I felt a growth in my acting with mind, body, spirit, and voice voice voice! I just added some photos in the gallery - all the technical elements were stunning, it was truly one of the most cohesive shows I've ever been a part of.
Some exciting news that resulted from this run? Your girl is officially now in Actor's Equity! Words simply cannot express my gratitude and joy. I am looking forward to being in NYC as an equity actor and seeing where life takes me now. I've loved being away and performing in all these different cities, but I am so ready to stay HOME and work HERE.
So thankful. Happy holidays ya'll.