To write well, you must write what you know.This is what I know......

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


“Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.”

                                                                        -Grey’s Anatomy

There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  Each stage looks different on every one, but there are always five stages.
      On August 7th, 2000 I lost my Papa. He is the one regret in my life. He was an abusive alcoholic. As a child, I was innocent and only knew but to love him. As a teenager, I was angry at him. His mental instability forced my Grandma to come live with us. There are times I remember, going over to the house, to check on him with my parents. The house reeked of alcohol, feces, body odor, cigarettes, and rotten food. He lied on the floor covered in his own filth and blood too weak and too drunk to even get up. It was heartbreaking to see. Eventually, his body could not take anymore and he died.
     Before he died, my parents brought my brothers and me up to the Veteran’s Hospital to say “good-bye.” My brothers were first. As it came for my turn, a knot grew deep in the pit of my stomach. The man lying in that hospital bed was not my Papa. He was yellow. He was tiny. He looked like death. I leaned into his forehead, kiss his cheek and whispered good-bye. As I turned to leave, he grabbed my hand and with all and any strength he had left…he pulled me back to his bedside. He whispered, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” I retracted my hand and quickly left the room. I sat in the lobby overwhelmed with emotions. I angrily waited for my parents to take me home. Three days later he passed away.
The only time I ever touched a dead body was when I went into the church for the funeral. I walked into the room, which held his casket. I touched his hand. I kissed his face and in his ear I whispered, “I forgive you.”A “forgive you” that came too late, but I had to say it. I had to hope on some level of a miracle, he would hear me.
The only time I have ever been to a military funeral was my Papa’s. I cried as they folded the flag. I cried when they handed the flag to my Grandma. I cried when my cousin played TAPS. I cried as they shot their rifles into the grey sky. As the last shot rang out, the tears stopped. Life moved on and I no longer missed him.Here’s the funny thing about grief, just when you think you are over it. It comes back full force.

Christmas the following year came fast. We were at Grandma’s house. We ate a wonderful Christmas dinner and shortly after began to open presents. I sat in my usual spot on the couch. I looked down on the floor, expecting to see my Papa there, lying on his big brown pillow. I looked and smiled… hoping he would see me smiling at him and there was nothing there but carpet. I got up and ran to the den, bursting into tears. I was sobbing uncontrollably and screaming, “He’s gone! He’s gone! He’s gone!” The family overheard, came into the den to comfort me and we all just sat there, holding one another and crying. It took me a whole year to accept the fact that Papa was gone. He was not coming back. There would no longer be the big brown pillow on the floor holding up his body. It was bare. It was empty. He was gone. He was gone.
           Family was always the one constant in my life. Suddenly, that constant changed. Life changed…I changed. I quickly realized that nothing in life is constant. It is forever changing; forever shifting; forever morphing. I cherish the moments of constancy; as I never know when life will shift and be thrown off balance. Life can change in an instant. Love life; live life in the here and now—“go live your freaking life.”


Tuesday, July 17, 2012


“We all get at least one good wish a year….over the candles on our birthday.  Some of us throw in more.  On eyelashes….fountains….lucky stars. And every now and then one of those wishes comes true.  So what then?  Is it as good as we hoped? Do we bask in the warm glow of our happiness? Or do we just notice we got a long list of other wishes waiting to be wished? We don’t wish for the easy stuff. We wish for big things. Things that are ambitious…out of reach. We wish because we need help, and we’re scared, and we know we may be asking too much. We still wish though, because sometimes they come true.”                 – Grey’s Anatomy

Sunday July 15th 2012, I celebrated my twenty-sixth birthday. It was a simple birthday with family and my person. I enjoyed it. As I blew out the imaginary twenty-six candles on my birthday cheesecake, I wished for happiness, peace, love, joy, a different job, and life in a new city.
           I was presented with the opportunity today to interview for a flight attendant position with United Airlines. I have to call to schedule it. The interview is in Houston, TX. I have to pay for travel expenses (flight, food, and hotel). When I read the email, I was immediately hit with nausea, confusion, excitement, frustration, anger, happiness and more nausea. Unfortunately, I do not have the means to pay for the expenses to get me to the interview. I do not own credit cards. I am sure I could loan it from someone, but I don’t want to risk the money if I don’t pass the interview. It would be all for nothing.
I applied for this position, as well as one with Continental, when I was having a bad week at work. This was four months ago and I honestly thought nothing would ever come of it. It had been four months. I figured someone else got the job. I have my good and bad days at my current job, but no matter what I do I still make the same amount of money. No matter how bad it gets, I still have a job. It pays the bills. I have made some good relationships, some in the office I work in and some in the other offices all over the United States. I am thankful for the experience I have gained, but seriously? I handle registrations, Department of Transportation rules and regulations. I have learned more than I have ever wanted to know about rules and regulations for truck drivers. I went to school for acting. I have been in plays. I have been a stage manager. I have been a dresser for actors. I have been on run crew. I was trained to do amazing things! Instead I sit behind a desk, forty hours a week and do data entry.
      I cannot sit here, writing and except an opportunity to just fall into my lap. I just don’t think this flight attendant position is my opportunity. I want to move to a city where I can work in film, television and theatre. I do not care if I never act again. I love the production side of entertainment. I like to be there from the beginning…watch the actors develop and see a show grow from nothing into something profound. All I really want is to be a part of a theatre family again. I miss my college theatre family, but now it’s time to find a new theatre family.
I thought being a flight attendant would allow me to move to an exciting new city. Truth. However, the demanding hours and rigorous schedule, it would be like I didn’t even live there. I want to be able to settle down, work somewhere interesting and have the flexibility to audition and/or work in a theatre.
I am at a crossroads in my adult life. I am stuck with a decision I cannot seem to make. Do I take a chance? Do I take a risk? Do I just stay where I am, save up money, and then move to a city of my choosing? I just feel stuck.
I have a choice and I just have to figure out what I want to do. I have to decide what I think is best for me for this moment in my life. As I sit here weighing the pros and cons, a hear the voice of Jiminy Cricket in my head.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star

As dreamers do

                                                             Like a bolt out of the blue
                                                  Fate steps in and sees you through
                                                        When you wish upon a star
                                                           Your dreams come true

Wishes on eyelashes, wishes on stars, wishes on fountains, wishes on candles. We wish. I still wish though, because maybe it will come true.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


“No one wants to pass up a chance for good luck---we rely on superstitions because we’re smart enough to know we don’t have all the answers. And that life works in mysterious ways.”
                                                                                                                             -Grey’s Anatomy

When you become a theatre major, you learn all about the superstitions within the theatre world. You never whistle in the theatre. You never say “good luck” in the theatre. You never say “Macbeth” in the theatre.
           In high school, we all used to lock pinkies and kiss our fists before the show began. I carried over this tradition when I was in college during the few shows I performed. I don’t remember us having any certain rituals in college; except we always did a group warm up with “No Bananas in the Sky.” College allowed for time for your own warm-ups—and maybe those were perfectly crafted based on the person’s own superstitions.
I have a quirk about numbers. I count stairs as I walk up and down them. I never go into an odd number of a bathroom stall in a public place; unless it ends in an odd number, then I go by a multiple of 3. I eat everything in even numbers. I have a quirk about colors. When I eat candy, it goes in a specific order: brown, orange, green, yellow, red, blue, purple, and pink. Seventy-five percent of the time, when I leave my room I have to tap the doorway with my right hand. As ridiculous as this may seem, it is what I do.
          My Type-A personality is to blame. Some Type-A personalities can turn their compulsions into something constructive, I just do strange things and have one too many superstitions.  Good luck—it’s there because we don’t know any better. Superstitions—they’re there because we have irrational beliefs or fears.
Find a penny, pick it up. Knock on wood. Don’t step on a crack. Don’t walk under ladders. Don’t break a mirror. Don’t open an umbrella in the house. An apple a day, keeps the doctor away. Find a four leaf clover. Close your eyes, make a wish, and blow out the candles. Cross your fingers. Don’t mess with karma.And, as Meredith says, “don’t diss the juju wherever it comes.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


“We all think we’re going to be great, and we feel a little bit robbed when our expectations aren’t met. But, sometimes our expectations sell us short. Sometimes the expected simply pales in comparison to the unexpected. You gotta wonder why we cling to our expectations, because the expected is what keeps us steady…standing still. The expected is just the beginning-the unexpected is what changes our lives.”- Grey’s Anatomy

I expected to be working in the arts after I graduated from college. I moved to Austin, TX to pursue a career in film/television and theatre. For the first few weeks things were very promising. I ran a sound board for a touring stage play. I got a job with NBC filming a documentary and then I fell off a ladder. I was laid up for eight weeks and got a nanny job as my bills fell behind. I worked as a nanny for five months, became home sick and moved back home. I have been home for almost three years and I’m nowhere near where I expected to be.

I know I am meant for something more. I have a job that pays the bills. I don’t loathe by job, but I don’t like it. I am in this weird “in between” place. I love the people. I love the relationships I have developed with the workers out in the district offices and our vendors. I am here at this job because I do not know where to go. I am afraid that if I leave home again, I will fail. And maybe this is true, but if I don’t try I will never know. I came back home because there was too much uncertainty. I came home because I wasn’t making the money I needed to live. For the past two years, I have worked so hard at getting my credit cards and car paid off. In three weeks, I will be debt free. I wish I could say the same for my college loans, but the rest of my debt will be gone. It is such an amazing feeling to know that I’ve accomplished another goal. I now know what it takes in order for me to live and what money I need to make.
I want to work in film, television, and theatre. I want to act, write, produce, direct, edit, assist, and design. I have such a passion for the magic behind the creation of a production. Being a part of the work that goes into a show is such a creative high, which is probably why I have never done drugs. I have such a passion for acting. I want to tell the truth of a character’s story, raise the stakes, run of the cliff, and be nominated for an Emmy or have the whole audience in the palm of my hands. I want to yell, “CUT.” I want to run around like crazy on a set and help the crew and actors prepare for day.

“The expected is just the beginning-the unexpected is what changes our lives.” As I sit here tonight writing, I keep close to my heart my hopes and dreams and maybe something unexpected will come my way and change my life. I am always searching for opportunities, sending my resumes and cover letters. I am always searching. I cannot just sit and hope for the unexpected. I have to sow the seed and hope that the unexpected will come and change everything.