Friday, March 8, 2019

New Adventure

Who am I if not a dancer? If not this one thing I've always been. I have to remind myself of the struggle. Of living out of a suitcase and never not worrying about what's next or if I'm enough or why I'm not booking things that I know I could be great at if given the chance. There was never rest or calm. I always placed my dreams above everything. Relationships, holidays, etc. I accomplished most of what I set out to and have no regrets since the right people and things that were meant for me stayed or found their way into my life. Now, in this period of transitioning away from everything I've always known or been, I'm having a hard time with this intense fear of missing out. I see auditions being posted and think I want to do that again. However, all the times I've acted on this feeling have caused me to turn my life upside down. They have created stress to the point of affecting my health or relationships. They put me back in the same place and although great on the resume, if I did it again, it would be detrimental to my soul and happiness and growth as a human. 

Dancing still makes me feel free and most myself though. Or maybe most not myself since the feeling is so surreal regardless of whether its onstage or in class. I was not the favorite growing up and I didn't have the best technique, but I wanted it so damn bad. I worked extremely hard all the time and improved so much so that I could compete with the NYC crowd. I feel on top of the world when I move. But at some point, you start to base your self worth on it. Will people still be interested if I'm not continuing to do what I've done? I would take class in NYC or nail an audition and walk out thinking I could conquer anything. Then I would have a bad day or get cut and feel worthless. I'm learning that what you do or have done is not all that you are. There are so many things I love about myself and about my friends that have nothing to do with dance ability or resumes. It's easy to forget that sometimes. 

I started realizing that maybe I should change my direction when I began to do things because I could instead of doing them because I truly wanted to. Just because you know you can do something and feel like you want to prove that you can, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. I'm on my way to finding more balance and meaning outside of everything I've always known. No one said that once you stop getting paid to dance that you aren't a dancer. Dance will forever be a part of me, but in a different way now. At this point in time, I've reached my limit with moving back and forth between the city and my parents' home. Although I was fortunate to have places to go, I never felt comfortable or settled anywhere. At the same time, when things did seem to get comfortable, I would be looking for the next thing to give me the high that travel and new opportunity brings. Not the healthiest. 

I believe in always evolving and creating new goals and standards for yourself. That being said, I've decided to pursue a more consistent position with a company that I've always been interested in. Technically, it can be considered a performing career. I think the fact that dance gave me discipline and taught me to always strive for more will benefit me in my new adventure. I'm so excited to interact with people and help make their experiences better. Everyone seems so nice and the location is really beautiful so I look forward to training. I studied communication in school and I love to hear people's stories and make connections. I can't wait to learn and make more friends and have my own place for once. 

I look forward to supporting my friends who come to town with tours and continuing to take class and maybe performing when time allows. I'm going to use all of the invaluable skills that I have developed through dancing to excel at whatever life brings. If you're still in it and dealing with the insanity of audition season, keep going if it's what your heart truly wants. I don't know of many feelings greater than that of doing what you love or achieving your wildest dreams.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Williams(barre)g Workout

I have taken barre classes for years as a way of cross training for dance. Eventually, I decided to train to teach barre a few years ago in NYC. Barre in the city ended up not being for me, but we used to practice for hours at a time and do exercises so many times that the burn you're supposed to feel would just disappear and I became so numb to it haha. Well...if you stop for even a week, it becomes hard again. While visiting The Burg for a few weeks, I decided to get an intro package at a studio I hadn't been to yet (idk why! I've only been dancing in the area for years...), Pure Barre Williamsburg. For an entire month, I challenged myself to take as many classes as possible. My goal was 15. 

The community at Pure Barre Williamsburg, VA is so strong. I've never been to a friendlier location. Everyone is so welcoming and wants you to do well and have fun from the teachers to the clients. It is a dedicated group! You see the same faces every day and it's awesome to work together toward a common goal. I made a new friend at my second class and that gave me the motivation to go back almost daily. There was one day that we both didn't want to go, but had told each other we would and hadn't exchanged numbers at that point. We both stuck with our commitment and were so glad after. It's nice to have someone to hold you accountable. I've been to some studios where no one wants to talk to you or get to know your name and that was not the experience I had here. Love it!

My personal fitness goal is to get more of a booty. I definitely think barre is great for your shape. Everything is so much more toned and lifted. I'm going to have to start lifting legit weights eventually if I want an actual butt, but this was a great start. It teaches you to push beyond what you think your limits are, but it doesn't give you fear that you will hurt yourself. It's all about proper alignment and modifying to make sure you're doing what is best for you. They are good about giving both physical and verbal corrections. I seriously enjoyed the classes of every teacher I went to at this studio and ended up beating my goal with 19 classes. 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Hanging out in DC

I have done some interesting things at events from singing and dancing to being a fairy and a living table. Now, I am able to cross human coat rack off the list. Tryon Entertainment hired a bunch of us for this unique experience at a party in DC. This was one of my favorite gigs ever! We had hangers on our heads, and guest's coats were draped on our shoulders before we walked around a life size coat rack. I felt like a robot Barbie. We didn't have much time to explore, but we got drinks at our cute hotel and I made sure to grab some Magnolia nanner pudding (my fav) before I left. I took the train in from Williamsburg and the bus back. Both were comfortable and easy and I got to see so much of beautiful Virginia. It was another fun weekend surrounded by friends in a city that I love almost as much as NYC. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Beveling Brunette in the Bahamas

Tryon Entertainment event in The Bahamas <3

I was in The Bahamas for 24 hours last weekend. An awesome entertainment company I work with offered me and a few friends the opportunity to perform in Nassau at a private event. We did our performance on the beach and then danced the night away. The next morning, we had some pool and beach time at our hotel before catching our flights. I had been to The Bahamas many times while working on a ship, but never Nassau. It was so so beautiful! We stayed at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. It reminded me a lot of Vegas. Apparently they have a million restaurants and things to do. It was my first time performing in another country (not on a ship) and it feels like a dream now. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

I have been listening to Andrew McMahon since 8th grade. Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin got me through high school and I was finally able to see Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness live last week! It was in my Top 3 shows I've ever been to (and I've been to a lot). I love when bands sound exactly like their albums. They played the perfect combination of SC, JM, and current songs. I freaked out when they played Punk Rock Princess. It has always been my fav. He even came out and sang in the audience. I hadn't heard of opening acts Flor and Grizfolk, but enjoyed both. This tour is so fun and worth going to. 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Lyric West Side Story

My favorite place of work thus far is without a doubt Lyric Opera of Chicago. I had the most glam experience living out my dream as a Stro girl, performing as a dancer in The Merry Widow. I decided to audition for West Side Story at Lyric. My only expectation was to learn the original choreo from the amazing show and to see my ship friend. I ran into a bunch of my Merry Widow friends and had my stamina tested hardcore. The choreographer for this show, Julio Monge, is awesome. Seriously that choreo made me so so happy as I was performing it. I made it through the dance cuts and ended up having to do it 4 times in a row. Wow! You know all those jumps I do in my beach pics? We had to do that in heels multiple times *hairflip.* What an awesome experience! I ended up being cut after singing, but everyone was belting their faces off and I'm new to that game. I will continue to take voice lessons to build my book and confidence, but I feel that I improve with each audition. 2 of my friends made it to the end so fingers crossed for them! Lyric will always have a special place in my heart. This year wasn't my time, but maybe I'll give it another shot in the future. wouldn't be a trip to a city without Magnolia Bakery. I had nanner pudding and a chocolate cupcake. YUM.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

I Picked The Coldest Time To Visit Chicago

I am stuck in Chicago. At 630am, I woke up to a text from my mom telling me my contacts would freeze to my eyeballs if I went outside and that cars were freezing and breaking down. Drama. So many flights out of Chicago were canceled with the exception of mine. I ended up finding a different flight though so I am stuck inside for at least a day. Today is giving me Bird Box vibes. We are just trying to avoid the outside world and it's all over if you go outside. But in all seriousness, I hope everyone around here is safe and warm. 

During my time in Chi, I stayed with my ship friend, Kevin, whom I lived with when I worked with Lyric Opera of Chicago a few years ago. We went to Eataly on my first night for amazing pasta, wine, and dessert. I also had time to explore Evanston a bit. I found a cute coffee shop with legit cappuccino called Colectivo Coffee and had burg and a beer at one of my faves, Farmhouse. I also had the opportunity to audition for a dream show of mine, but I'll save that for my next post. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

AllStars of Theatrezone

With Rupert Holmes. We like pina coladas : ) 

We did it! Performing with Theatrezone is always a blast and the night was a success. From the stage, it looked like people really enjoyed it. The highlight of the night was Rupert Holmes, who was so sweet. We got to sing along to Escape with him at the end of the show. I'm looking forward to continuing voice lessons and hopefully improving. I've learned so much during my time with Theatrezone <3 

Friday, January 25, 2019

It's a Miracle to be heading back to Rio.

Ok so if you don't know, the title of this post contains 2 of the songs I will be performing again with my friends ;) This week has been absolute insanity, but it was all worth it. I had interviews in the mornings and rehearsals in the evenings. Tonight is the AllStars of Theatrezone fundraiser in Naples. There were only 4 nights of rehearsals, but it came together and we can't wait to show what we've been working on. We will be singing and dancing in a bunch of numbers including favorites from past shows. We even get to sing along to Escape (The PiƱa Colada Song) with special guest, Rupert Holmes! 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Thoughts On Switching Your Path.

Job hunting is hard no matter what industry you are in. You can be educated and experienced and still not be right for the positions or companies that you think you are. So many don't offer benefits or even pay that you can live on. As a performer, it is hard to explain that the only reason you have jumped from job to job is due to the fact that each contract must be auditioned for and has an expiration date. There are few consistent positions in this industry. It almost feels as if we are punished for having followed our dreams while we could. The hard thing about applying for jobs is that everything is online now. This makes it easy for employers to reject an application before even giving you the opportunity to sell yourself and explain your previous career path. Lucky for us though, performers are extremely resilient and used to rejection. 

When transitioning to another career path, I believe that getting in the door is difficult since all they see on your resume is a plethora of jobs all over the place. You look like a risk. Having pursued my dream for so long has been a blessing and a curse. On one hand, I have seen parts of the world I never dreamt I would. I was paid to perform in beautiful venues with like minded artists for packed audiences. On the other hand, it isn't easy to explain to someone you are ready for stability and how your performance skills relate to a job in another industry. I studied communications and have held jobs related to my degree, but I truly believe that my most invaluable skills were learned in studying and performing as a dancer. 

As performers, we are required to have excellent time management and attention to detail. We have the ability to be flexible and adapt to new situations. We have social media and marketing experience as we must promote our personal brand. We work so hard in the pursuit of perfection even though it is impossible to achieve. We are smart and go with the flow when we have to try new ways of doing things or change choreography on the spot. We don't give up until we reach our goals and still keep practicing long after. Performers are resilient and hopeful and fun to work with. My hope is that more potential non-entertainment employers can take this into consideration. I have been fortunate this month to have been given the privilege of a couple interviews. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Beveling Brunette At The Breakers

I just went to The Breakers for the first time ever last week. It is gorg! We checked out the shops and wandered around for a bit. My favorite was the pretty flowers when you first enter. And oh my goodness...that key lime pie and Flirtini with that ocean view! I absolutely love the glamour of it all.