Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dear Self,

You love theatre. It makes you happy. The thought of experiencing theatre and immersing yourself in theatre is exciting. You have something original and completely unique to who you are. No one can take that away. No one can match that.

It hurts to think of being inadequate. Remember that heartbreak, because paired with the heartbreak of failure is the desire for success. It wouldn’t hurt so much to fail if the desire to succeed weren’t so great.

Don’t forget how you felt today. Don’t forget that when you thought about not being good enough—about theatre being an impossibility in your life—you nearly cried. Don’t forget the drive and passion you felt to have the best. Don’t forget that your reasons are noble.

You have vision and understanding that is individual to yourself. No one else sees things like you do, and that is a gift.

You don’t need to show people you are passionate. You don’t need to shove your personality onto others, they will see it. It is safe to “show” that personality. The scariest thing is to be completely and plainly yourself, vulnerable and susceptible to rejection. It is also the only way you will truly be able to succeed.

Know that no matter what, there will be hard times. But, through it all, you love theatre! Don’t forget it. And if you do, read this letter again.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

First Semester

So, I never blogged about my first semester of college and I've decided that-at least for my own sake-I should do so. I learned a lot. Changed a lot. Just a few reflections and lessons learned from my adventures at school:

Self reliance.

When it boils down to it, I am all I've got. People will disappoint. People have their own lives. No one can fix your problems for you. No one can make decisions for you.

Life sucks.

That sounds pessimistic. I don't mean all the time, but sometimes life just sucks. Things happen. Crap hits the fan, but you just have to push through it regardless of whether you want to or not.

Work ethic.

I always had an easy time working hard at the things I love. It wasn't until this semester that I was really forced to work at something that I had no passion for whatsoever. I got a job at the U Phonathon (a place that calls alumni and asks for donations. Let's just say their turnover is so high they are always hiring). I hated it. I wasn't passionate about it, but I learned to just suck it up and do it anyway. Sometimes you just have to do what's necessary, regardless of how you feel about it.


Contrary to popular belief, it will not wash itself. Even if you ignore it. It doesn't respond well to the silent treatment.


People are different. I knew this before. I knew there were a lot of different viewpoints out there, but it wasn't until recently that I realized the reality of what that means. Life isn't a New Era magazine. Stories of conversion don't run rampant across campus. You can't go around preaching to people. I have found the way that I feel embodies the teachings of the gospel in my life is accepting everyone around me. Isn't that what Christ teaches? To accept and love everyone. I can't-and nor do I want to-go about spouting my beliefs to everyone, but I can accept them and be a good example of what religion should be about.


No. It does not grow on trees. Nor does it magically appear in bank accounts or in parent's wallets.


It was always a part of my life, but now I have found a real reliance on it. I have come to realize that I need the balance. I need church and without it I feel sick and disoriented. I love theatre, but for all the theatre I have in my life I have to make sure it is balanced with religion. Not so I can tell others that I have stayed faithful, not for the reputation that my upbringing insists upon, but for myself.

My life is not a drama.

No matter how crucial something may seem at the time, it isn't that big of a deal. I don't need to talk to someone every time a crisis occurs. Still working on this one.


Eating a brownie will not make me happy. That basket of fries will not fix my problems. I am happiest if I take care of my body. If I sleep, exercise, and eat right I have less problems with anxiety and function better in everyday life. If life seems too overwhelming I probably just need to go to bed.


I have become a much better listener. I used to be very selfish in my conversations. I don't think I really was even aware of it, but I was. I have learned to listen and enjoy it. Often now, when I am talking to my friends I would rather listen to what is happening in their life than talk about my own problems. Sometimes I do slip into old habits, but I have learned the importance of nurturing relationships through listening.


I contemplated getting rid of mine. That sounds bad, but I don't mean it in a rude way. I just mean, I contemplated taking away relationships and social life. No time, no energy. But, I have come to realize that friends are a huge part of my life. I can always rely on them and I will always be there for them. Even if life changes, I choose what will happen with my life and I choose to hold onto my friends.

Public Transportation.

It is my friend. A temperamental, smelly friend but a friend nonetheless.

Its ok to be alone.

I need people. As much as I hate it, I do need people. But, I have learned to be solitary. Sometimes, it is nice to be alone. It is nice to do something by myself and not need someone to come with me. It is nice to have my own agenda. I like my space and I feel free and independent when I choose to be alone.

I am a unique, worthwhile human being.

If I don't care about myself then who will? If I am not going to take the time to care about myself and have confidence in who I am, then no one else will. I will not be worth an director's time if I walk into an audition without any confidence.

I don't know who I am.

I thought I knew. I thought it was simple, but then I got into the real world (sort of). There are some things I just never thought of that were suddenly brought to my attention. Like what do people see when they look at me? Who am I really? Who do I want to be? When theatre is taken away, what is left? Am I more than my profession, my passion? I still don't know. Still trying to figure this one out.

Hopefully somebody out there gained something from all that. If not, I still feel better for having written it down and seeing it in black and white.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I am an actor. I commit...

to put myself on the line.

to be uncomfortable.

to react.

to rid myself of limitations.

to keep my mind and body clean.

to explore my emotions.

to be brilliant.

to be ok. with everything.

to work hard.

to be an artist.

to change humanity.

to observe.

to have empathy, and compassion.

to love.

to make decisions.

to be courageous.

to be scared.

to be vulnerable.

to be aware of how others and I feel and react.

to learn.

to open myself up, one notch at a time.

to accept rejection, and move on.

to be confident despite adversity.

to be absolutely insane. Relatively.

to be willing to play.

to be talented.

to not be judgmental.

to be self-disciplined.

to be curious.

to accept.

to be ok with mistakes. Actually, to embrace them and learn.

to be me. And love it.

I am a human being.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Enough Said

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sisters... just have to love them. My mother insisted on taking our pictures together while we were all home for break. I'm not a big fan of getting my picture taken, but I think they turned out pretty cute. These are some of the pictures we took that my mom and my younger sister, Kylee, edited. I think they capture the essence of us, and what it means to be a sister. I may not always be the nicest sister and we fight sometimes, but I do love them.

From left to right: Me (Ana), Shaleene, Clarissa, and Kylee

Us, Plus Jersey and Rex :)

Monday, January 4, 2010


...falling through my hands like sand through a sieve. When my hands are empty will I know what happened while I was trying to stop the flow? Or will I have learned to live instead?