Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Letter For The Dreamer.

Dear Dreamer, 

You have spent your whole life wanting to get out; to perform; to live. Sometimes you're going to want to be a "normal" person and every time you try it will feel so so wrong. You will quit that good job with the salary and the benefits and the nice people, and all you will feel is relief as you book your ticket to Europe and accept your next dance job knowing it doesn't pay well. You'll feel your highest highs and lowest lows doing this. You come alive on the stage and die a bit on the inside with each audition rejection. 

You will doubt yourself and your body and your hair color and wonder if all of the hours of pain and sweat and tears were enough. You dance in your LaDuca’s until your feet bleed. They will keep you until the end of the audition multiple times. You will get measured for costumes and select which city you would like to perform in. Then you will wait weeks, months even for a call that may never come. And it doesn’t. And then you need another plan, because you can’t just sit around for a year until the next one. 

You’ll meet guys who think you’re the coolest and who are so impressed by what you do. Then when it comes down to it, they won’t put in the effort to keep you because you are too much work and never around. Then you’ll meet your dream guy and feel so comfortable in knowing that you are free to do what you love and he will stand by you. He will come to your opening nights and encourage you. And you’ll deal with the uncertainty of his profession as well since you are both adventurous gypsies chasing after nearly impossible dreams.

You will work short term, sporadic jobs to make ends meet, knowing you are fully capable of a full time, salaried career with health insurance, and let’s be honest…how many performing jobs give you health insurance? 

You will be so grateful for your parents who let you crash with them when you are home from a contract and don’t want to commit to apartment and car payments when you may very well be leaving again soon. You will wonder if anyone will even hire you in the real world someday or take you seriously because you switch from job to job. They won’t understand why contracts are so short or why you have lived all over the world. Hopefully you have an extremely supportive family and know that not everyone is not so lucky. Even so, you will feel hurt when they let you know what their friend's kids are doing with their lives and that their friends think what you do is a "hobby." It is possible to make it work though. You'll see friends wait tables, bar tend, and work retail. You can support yourself while simultaneously chasing that dream. It just takes hard work. 

You will miss holidays, birthdays, weddings, and other important events and pray that your friends and family will still want to keep up the relationship when you return. 

You will meet the best friends of your life. When you move out of NY they will miss you, but everyone is so busy doing what you’re doing that it will be hard to keep in touch. However, the second you are reunited it will be as if nothing has changed. You will take an amazing class, catch up over those $8 juices and those cupcakes you love so much, and the pain of rejection from that audition you just went to won’t be quite as bad because you are all in this together. 

You will see friends booking their dream jobs knowing you are just as capable and wondering why it hasn’t happened for you yet. You will deal every day with learning to accept yourself and your abilities and your body. There is never a time you stop moving or thinking about what is next and what more you could possibly do to ensure you get another chance to shine in the bright lights of a beautiful theatre. 

You will realize other goals you have for your life like family and a solid friend group and a home. You will have this internal struggle and ticking clock to deal with and wonder if you’ll ever get married or be content. Restlessness is a big issue. You will want so badly to have a place to call home, your own home, with the love of your life. You will work toward settling down a bit and then another contract comes a calling and you have decisions to make. And more often than not, you choose to heed the call and get back out on the road with no guarantees that the only stable things in your life will be there when you get back. 

And you know what? You will never have to regret that you gave your all in pursuit of your dream. You will be a great role model for your future kids and anyone trying to accomplish something larger than themselves. You will never regret seeing the world. You will never have to wonder what else is out there. You will know. You will have unbelievable stories to tell, advice to give, and pictures to show. If you have a hunger inside of you or something that makes you light up just talking about it, that is your calling. You are doing yourself a great disservice in silencing that internal dialogue. Now go wait in line 2 hours early to sign in for that audition! Break legs xo 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

That's A Wrap.

Last Sunday was our final performance of The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera of Chicago. This contract was even better than I dreamed it would be. I loved my job, the people, and the dancing. I really tried to take it all in and really watch the final show from backstage. My dad was able to see me dance for something other than arena football and I think he really enjoyed it. I feel bad that he paid so much money for a balcony ticket since I ended up being able to get him a free ticket in the second row. Oh well! We had a little after party at a bar with the cast and then my dad took me to fancy dinner at the Palmer House Hilton. This show is the highlight of my career and I'm so happy it happened and sad that it's over. 

A little pre-Kolo Act II warm up. 

My Girls!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Eataly Chicago

I definitely lived in NYC for years and didn't go to Eataly. Oops. My roomie works at the Chi Town one so we had a little date after my show tonight. I loved everything we had...and that was a lot of things. I got there early and started the night with some Espresso Torinese which is pretty much just incredible hot chocolate layered with espresso. At La Piazza, we split the Insalata di Rucola (Arugula salad) and a bruschetta with beets. Then we moved to another restaurant called La Pizza & La Pasta where we had possibly the best spaghetti ever and butternut squash pizza. OMG! Of course we washed it all down with tasty wine and roomie insisted that we get some gelato on our way home too. I tried banana chocolate chip and chocolate hazelnut. I can't decide on a favorite, because it was all spectacular. This is precisely why I work out. The neat thing about Eataly is that you can buy everything you try in the restaurants right there. I'm happy to cross this one off the bucket list and hope to go back someday. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mile of Murals

Along the Morse red line there is something called Mile of Murals. The community art project which began in 2007, has transformed  the walls lining the train with stunning street art. There is also a little bakery called Smack Dab near the train exit that has the dopest vegan donuts. I posted a few of my favorites from this fun day off. Follow me on Insta @therachreport for more cool pics. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Jingle Bells.

The super talented singer in The Merry Widow who had that to die for Halloween party a few weeks back, threw a beautiful holiday party in her home last night. There were Giordano's pizzas, 14 kinds of pie, and a huge selection of holiday themed drinks. With only one week of performances left, it was so nice to be able to spend time with some of the cast outside of the opera house. 

I tried the blueberry and Reese's pies, but this pecan looked flawless. 

The hot chocolate with Kahlua was on point.

I am the biggest fan of themed parties and hope to throw one as nice as this someday. 

The cutest little Grisette reindeers.