It’s been a wild summer but last week I completed my summer job: 9 weeks of teaching Talespinners camp for STUDIO EAST Training for the Performing Arts. In this camp I helped kids entering 1st and 2nd grade as they wrote and performed original plays. It was challenging, exhausting, fulfilling, and seriously fun. Big thank you to co-teachers, admin support, and students for making this summer amazing.
With a little extra time in September I was able to finish a cover song and I’m hard at work on two originals. This song is called the “Yeah Yeah Yeah Song” and it’s originally by the Flaming Lips. The song asks the question “What would you do with all your power?” There is not a single day goes by that I don’t think about the people in power in my country, in my community, in my neighborhood and wish they were doing more good with that power. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my own power and privilege and how to make the world a better place through my words, my work, and my voice. I’m thankful every day for the social justice training I received last year in TAT Lab so I know how to address any oppressive language I in my classroom. A comment as simple as “you look like a girl!” is an open door to educating young people about sexism, (why is it a negative thing to look like a girl?), transphobia (what does “looking like a girl” even mean? girls can look like anything!) and toxic masculinity (stop shaming each other, especially young boys, for the way they look, what they choose to wear, or how they express emotions!). As a teacher I want to create safe spaces for all students and educate students not just with theatre skills but with life skills. I want to empower students to do good beyond my classroom. I want them to see the power they have and how they can use that power for good. Sometimes the internet is absolutely overwhelming and honestly not good for my mental health. That’s why I’m only trying got “click” the articles that give me advice on what I can do to help so I don’t wallow but instead act. What are you doing with all your power and what advice do you have for me?
Here’s what’s next for me:
I’m excited to be directing my first mainstage play at Youth Theatre Northwest. The play is Rikki Tikki Tavi and it’s for students in 1st-4th grade. The auditions are this week!
I’m also a new teaching artist for Seattle Theatre Group and begin training for their awesome Disney Musicals in Schools program this week!
Also! Fun fact, I’m sitting at ACT Theatre right now because I’m a new teaching artist for their Young Playwrights program. Training is today and next week I’ll be at a local high school teaching a twice-weekly playwriting class.
On top of all that teaching I’m excited to start rehearsals in October for the world premiere of Tortoise and the Hare with StoryBook Theater and don’t miss me in some fantastic readings with STAGEright Theatre!
Where did all this opportunity come from?! Two years ago I was teaching one class a week and going to one audition a week. I’m truly thankful for all the lovelies I’ve met along the way who have held my hand, taught me important theatre AND life skills, and guided me toward success. You know who you are. ❤
Thank you for reading to the end. I hope you’re doing well. If you’re in the Seattle area let’s meet for a drink sometime soon. Love ❤
I did it! I survived another trip around the sun. Being 23 was incredible. Throughout the year I kept a photo record of the amazing things I did and posted it in an album called “Imma keep running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves”. <— This is a Yonce quote and I knew I needed to think about it this past year. My biggest challenge in 23 was being proud of myself, taking in my successes, and marching forward with confidence. I have a tendency to be down on myself because of the slow pace of my career. Last May I was still dealing with a lot of anxiety about the future. I’m still confused about whether I’m doing and pursuing the “right stuff”. I know there’s not a “right” but I want to pursue what makes me happy and I’m still not certain about what the next step is for me. I do know that now, this May, I’m less anxious than ever. I participated in more theatre projects this year than last. I’m gaining valuable teaching artistry skills and I’m getting offered more new and exciting teaching opportunities because of it. I’m drawn to adventure and I successfully planned and executed some amazing trips for myself this year. As far as adventures, I don’t think next year can possibly top this one. But that’s okay. I have to pace myself. My biggest overarching goal will always be to keep pursuing balance between all the different parts of myself and finding contentment in that balance. I’m trying to find the right balance of me time and friend time, creative work time and relaxing with a book time, family time and independent time, mental health time and fighting with the resistance time. It’s not easy and I know I can do better but I need to give myself some credit too. That’s why the quote I’ve chosen for next year’s photo album is “I am not a star. I’m the whole galaxy.” It’s from a Girl Blue song. I have star qualities but I also have darknesses and empty spaces that make up the whole of me. Ultimately, the galaxy is way cooler than a single star. It’s our brightness and our darkness that make us human, that make us strong, that make us uniquely us. Here’s to my awesome year. May 24 bring it’s own challenges and successes.
Here are a few highlights from my amazing year!
- I saw Beyonce LIVE at Century Link with friends!
- Good college friend Mei Mei visited me in Seattle!
- I threw a hybrid animal birthday party!
- I went to Folklife Festival with Rachael!
- I went to Canada for 3 days with my mom!
- I went to the Washington Beer Festival with my dad!
- I went to Seattle Pride Festival with Devin!
- I taught theatre summer camps all summer long!
- I musically directed a teen production of Urinetown!
- I went on a kayaking adventure with the family.
- I celebrated my mom’s retirement at Mt. Rainier
- I went to the Barnes & Noble midnight Release of Cursed Child with Devon!
- My study abroad friend Rachael visited!
- I went on an awesome camping with friends!
- I chaperoned a teen trip to New York and spent the week seeing old friends, exploring the city, and seeing 7 Broadway shows!
- I celebrated my 1-year anniversary with Devin at Bumbershoot Music Festival
- I went on the trip of a lifetime – spending 10 days on a tour in Japan!
- Big life success: moved out of my parent’s house into an apartment with my awesome roomates and friends Sarah & Lauren
- I went to my first Seattle convention – Geek Girl Con!
- I voted for a woman for president! (we know how that ended up but it was an exciting moment then)
- I crafted a Jigglypuff costume for a very Pokemon Halloween!
- I went to the Fantastic Beasts AND Sun & Moon premieres on the same night!
- Celebrated Christmas with the family!
- I went to Universal for Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Devin’s family!
- I ran a 5k with my mom!
- I played Wolf in Boy Who Cried Wolf with Storybook Theatre
- Was one of 3 actors in Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) with SecondStory Repertory
- I cosplayed as Rey from Star Wars for Emerald City Comic Con!
- Graduated TAT Lab – a training program from Washington State teaching artists.
- Played lots of parts in The Fog Machine Play with Copious Love Productions
- I went on a weekend Trip to Portland
- I directed FIFTY 4th & 5th grader’s at Lakeview Elementary “We’re Having a Ball”
- I spent my last day being 23 in DISNEYLAND!
Not to mention I saw lots of amazing Seattle theatre, went on some lovely hiking and biking day trips, I skyped far away friends, and had many fun-photo free excursions to movies, concerts, weddings, restaurants, coffee shops, bars etc.! I also did more personal things like reading lots of amazing books, writing songs, and cuddling with my cat. I’m working on a play. It’s slow. I’m still learning and changing and living. Let’s go.
Happy Friday! Is it happy? With each new political disaster (yes, I believe healthcare is important!) I feel dragged down and sad about the way this year is shaping up. This song was inspired by many things. The book I was reading was called “The Soul of an Octopus”, the story of a woman befriending invertebrates. I was also listening to the beautiful podcast “S-Town”, the story of a New York City reporter befriending a man from rural Alabama. I was missing faraway friends while creating new friendships with amazing people and artists. I was thinking both about how many things feel horrible and divided while experiencing the magic of intertwining stories and friendships through vast differences. I’ve also been directing 50 elementary schoolers in an after-school play and I keep telling them: “You are only as good as the rest of the cast is so please, please, help each other. Stick up for each other. Work together to make this show awesome. You are you but you are also part of a cast.”
I think we are more powerful as individuals when we’re also thinking about the collective. Anyway, enjoy the song!