Reflections

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December 5, 2021, I opened my fifth Broadway show and third Original Broadway Company. It was 2012, the last time I stepped onto a Broadway stage. My heart raced with excitement as I took my bow for singing the 11 o'clock number (Don't Judge A Book), and I beamed with pride, knowing big things lay ahead.

I was right, and HUGE things were ahead of me. I was asked to do a show with no audition (I think that's a big deal); I got engaged and married, performed in more shows as a lead or supporting actress role. I began a new career in teaching, got formal classical acting training, toured the country for a second time, gave birth to a beautiful and strong baby girl, And finished my BA as a Magna Cum Laude!

It hasn't all been glory, though. Some friendships ended, I had a bi-lateral voice surgery, was belittled and spoken down to in work and educational settings, to name a few. Which meant I had to look inward on myself each time. Who was I? How did I want to show up?

What I knew for sure was that I wanted and needed to evolve?

Tonight I can...

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I Teach. And one thing I have always wanted to do is my own “Favorite Things List” This is my first list and with it comes all the tools I use daily, or frequently, in order to live my best and most fierce life. Much like Oprah’s Favorite things list, many of these items range in price. So take a look at all of them and have fun checking it all out!

  1. Foam Rollers/Soft Ball Rollers: These two things SAVE. MY. LIFE. If not for rolling out, I doubt that I would have been able to make it through the past decade of my professional life. Especially during my pre and post surgery time this year, I spent a great deal of time rolling out b/c I couldn’t afford to get a massage or go to the chiropractor as much as I wanted. The soft balls - which are taped together with Duck Tape- (Shout Out to Sarah Nolan over at PhysioArts that introduced this to me when I was at Lion King) would...
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It’s 445am on a Wednesday morning in December. At this time last year I was just getting home from tour and poised to do something outstanding immediately. I was instead met with an injury to my voice that needed a tremendous amount of TLC.

I tended to it. I’ve learned a shit ton about my voice and why being patient can be both a virtue and a road block.

The Virtues

Because I didn’t have a choice but to heal one minute at a time I found myself with tons of time on my hands. Rest that I never seemed to get was suddenly in front of me. Ideas I wouldn’t allow myself to think suddenly popped into my head. Asking for community and support was foreign to me, now I couldn’t help myself than to seek it out desperately. Thankfully, I finally had the opportunity to invest in the much needed self care that I allowed to escape me for the majority of my life. The most hardest thing during this time was not being able to fully use my voice the way I wanted to.

Road Block

When the time came for me to get out there and use it, I...

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AAAHHHH! The moment has come when I make a Sex in the City post. Seeing Carrie begin each episode with her thoughts then plopping down in front of her trendy MAC laptop to write, always brought me so much insight into being a thirty something in NYC. Now I find myself smack dab in the middle of my thirty's with a few thoughts.....

This past week a few friends made it a point to say that they wanted a "Sex in the City" NYC life to me. The first time I heard it, I thought they meant, being wealthy enough to jaunt around the city and shop at high end designer stores. I brushed it off. I want that too! Then the second and third time I heard it, I realized it was referring to being in a relationship, having money, being carefree, and having opportunities just falling into their laps. No amount of money brings anyone a carefree life... Not even on our beloved show.

The women of this show all had top level jobs within their professions. Wasn't it awesome to see Miranda work her way into becoming a partner. Or Samantha let the men her in the publishing business know who was...

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Funny thing about “Do Overs”, they either are worth it or not. If it’s in between those things, I don’t want no part of it. When I moved back to Texas after living and thriving in NYC for 10yrs I hoped for the second time around to be filled with all the things I didn’t create for myself in the city. What I found was that “Do Over” was Not all it was hyped up to be. Don’t get me wrong. A shit ton of amazing things happened while there. Like cementing my love for teaching and reconnecting with my artistic mentors in Dallas, reconnecting with my best friends and sisters, and meeting great new friends. I almost forgot, living in a HGTV type home!

A big reason why it wasn’t right, was because I was running away from events that I didn’t smooth over. I snuck out. When I returned I still felt hurt. I still felt unsettled. I felt unwanted and problematic. I carried that hurt through state lines. Today a major part in my unsettling was healed. With a road trip, common ground, 2 hugs, a smile, and many laughs I got a reset. I got closure. I got someone to see and feel, I’ve grown...

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YO! Life is crazytown! A month ago I could barely speak. Today I’m singing higher than I’ve ever sang before. A year ago i was sitting in an acting studio learning more about myself than I ever had before. Today, I’m positive that then I had only scratched the surface of who I thought I was. I could go further back, but you get where I’m going.

When I came out the operating room, I wasn’t sure what my voice would sound like. I wasn’t sure if I’d work again. I, seriously, wondered if I lost a part of my artistic abilities. To a certain degree I did lose something. I lost unneeded, baggage. With that baggage now gone, I’ve found myself doing some spring cleaning on my life. Things that I said to myself at one time or another were coming out of my brain and into the world. One of the things I said in my head was “I Wish I could film my choreography.” “I wish I could write something and perform it.” “I want to be an Entrepreneur and build something of my own.” Aye!!! I’m doing ALL THOSE THINGS! I’m doing the damn thing! I have no plans on stopping either.

Last week I...

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You Guys!!!!!! I am Fully doing THINGS! I’m getting camera stuff together to shoot my scenes, scheduling rehearsals, meeting up with friends and growing my community of support, and getting better and better at speaking after my surgery! Things are happening! And I will be riding this momentum forward like my life depends on it. Because it does!

This week my website went live!!!! You know this b/c you’re reading this right now When I posted about my site going live, I was so excited! So excited I didn’t realize I had made a typo. Thankfully, a friend from HS caught it. I made the correction and proceeded to delete her comment. NOW, when I deleted the comment - and I’m being completely honest- I was upset and embarrassed. Then I sat with my feelings for a day. The next morning I couldn’t help, but feel gratitude. Gratitude because someone helped me. I do need A LOT of help with editing and Many other things. Always have. In school, I would read and consume everything I could. When I would put my thoughts down on paper, I would write the way I...

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Ya Knnnooooowwwww... My surgery was more than just a reset with my voice. It has become a reset for my life. I have renewed confidence, a stronger willpower than ever before, and a focus that will not be f**ked with! I am in Boss Mode!

Boss Mode has been in effect since I was cleared to speak. But it really popped off when my manager and I went our separate ways. She was ABSOLUTELY wonderful for a such long time in my career. When we met, I had no confidence in my representation and was lost as to whom I should trust. She took care of me. She helped to guide me along. But things change. People change. GOALS. CHANGE. The tools I learned from her will continue to help me in the future. I'm truly grateful for the time we worked together. To that ended relationship I say I wish you light, love, and continued success. I know you wish the same for me. I would put a fist bump emoji here, but I don't know how to do that on a blog yet. #notatechieperson #buticanplayone

I am grateful to have had every experience over 15 years of my professional career and personal...

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Today I started voice therapy again! It’s been two weeks since my surgery and SO much has happened. I've been cleared to speak. I've left my house after my "house arrest" AKA, Intense Vocal Silence. Now rehab begins...

As I entered my session, I found myself hearing the words of friends and loved ones saying “You’re so brave.” “Good for you making a decision to go through with this!” When I'd hear this, I couldn’t help myself but to think that getting surgery was neither brave or a hard decision to make. It was The Only decision I Had to make. When faced with singing and speaking at a severely decreased level or always sounding like I’ve just woken from a hangover, there was no question about it!

I knew something was wrong and worked around it for eight years! That’s a truly long time to be working on a Band-Aid. Not to mention, using every inch of technique I had to sing and speak over those past eight years. Toward the end of that time, I wasn’t booking the roles I wanted because the Band-Aid was coming off… All the F**king time! UGH!...

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It has been five days since I was on the operating table. I've learned a few things...

1) I need a lot of drugs to calm me down. And those drugs will generally stay in my system longer than I'd like. #anesthesiaisnojoke #hollaforvalium

2) Many of the things I eat cause acid reflux. Which makes me cough. Not good after surgery. Not good for my new cords. #operationlifestylechanges

3) Many of the things I've done post-surgery should be my everyday routine. DUH! PT is for more than when you are injured or hurt. #takecareofyoself

4) I love my wife! #blacklove

5) Sharing IS caring... AND EDUCATIONAL! Especially with something like this.

As you may or may not know, I teach in addition to performing. What I love most about it is that I will say something and see a light bulb go off for someone. In that very moment, a sense of pride takes over me like a new parent meeting their first born for the first time. It's as though my life was building to that point in time. That single lesson of love and instruction. When class is over, my chest sticks out a...

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The journey of finding out what exactly I had on my vocal cords has been an eight-year process! That seems crazy long, but it's true. When I first started to notice shifts in my voice, I was in my third Broadway show. I couldn't have been happier with the material I was singing. BUT, I didn't fully know the glory of knowledge that came with my voice. This is true for many performers and artists. How many of you out there really know every tool, trick, and height of your craft? BE HONEST! As a dancer, until I felt soreness for the first time I wasn't thinking about icing. Even though my teachers talked about it. Why would I? Only when I felt something and felt the limitation that came with it did I begin to do what I needed to do in order NOT to feel that and prevent injury as much as I could.

As a vocalist, I did everything my teachers told me. Throw into the equation a little youthful arrogance, and I found myself feeling "off." So, I went to the doctor. At the time, I was told I had some swelling on my cords. No big! I can do some steaming and I'll be fine. It wasn't...

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As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Dallas, Tx, I always had the feeling and desire to be popular! I wanted to wear the latest fashions, from Abercrombie and Fitch, to Doc Martens boots and Steve Madden platforms, to Joe Boxer. They somehow represented what I thought I wanted to do — fit in. Be Normal. Yes, you read correctly. I wanted to be "normal." I spent the bulk of my youth, and 20's, trying to be normal. I didn't want to be the most talented, stylish or outgoing, or have the most sense of self. It was as though I wanted to be held up high while at the same time fitting in. I wanted notoriety, but didn't understand how "normality" would not bring ANY special attention.

Thank the Goddess above that I found the arts. Thank you, Goddess, for telling me to take a journey to where I am today. (Thank YOU for taking the journey with me.) I now see what I dream and GO FOR IT! Even when I am scared, I make it my mission to act fearless as I move forward toward my goals. Being a dancer, singer, and actor (and now blogger, writer, and soon-to-be producer) taught me to stretch...

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