Can A Place Hold A Memory?

I found myself thinking this while sitting in the audience tonight at rehearsal. I love sitting in the empty theatre of whatever show I’m performing in and coming to a state of comfortable balance in the space; just observing, centering myself. It’s a space of exploration for me. I’m curious about the great actors who may have graced that stage before me. How cool is it that I get to be in the same space? I’m not sure if it’s just me projecting my assumptions or not, but either way it’s special to me.

I learned about centering myself in the space in a class in college called The Speaking Voice In Performance. For the first few classes we laid on the ground, eyes closed, focusing on being in the moment and the breath. It may not seem like work, but you’d be surprised at how much emotional work and mental effort goes into quieting your brain and allowing yourself to let go of your anxieties or thoughts. After a while, with the noise of the outside world drifting away outside the black box doors, for an hour each day my mind quieted long enough to hear things I’d never noticed before. The hissing of the pipes, the creaking of a door, the sounds of the building becoming increasingly louder, as I myself grew increasingly quieter. The energy of the room became more apparent than it had before. This room had its own life, its own energy, its own vitality. I became just a passerby in the big scheme of things. I liked that. It reminded me that my anxieties are not the totality of the truth of my existence. There were many bigger elements outside of myself. For some, realizing that they are a tiny particle in a much bigger universe is frightening and makes them feel unimportant. For me, it started to relax me and showed me that the universe is vast and wonderful if you stop long enough to listen to it. It is not frightening nor depressing to me, my small nature in the big scheme of things; it is a relief. I am only in control of what I do. I can’t control the world outside of me, much as I can try, but at the end of the day I am not responsible for the actions of everyone and everything else in my vicinity. It’s a huge weight lifted. This vast world and the infinite space beyond all have their own marvels that I get to be privy to, should I choose to wonder at them. So, can this microcosm of a space in the big expanse hold a memory?

It may be far-fetched to jump from the contents of the last paragraph back to the original question, but in my brain it makes quite a bit of sense, so I’ll try to span the bridge as best I can for you, dear reader. Quieting my brain enough to be rooted in the space I’m in with no outside distractions, no cars honking, no passersby cursing, no trains humming, and getting in tune with the energy of the space leads me to question how one effects the environments they’ve spent time in, energetically. Who came before me in this space? On this stage? In this audience? In this dressing room? What great work has been performed exactly where my two feet are planted? How many wonderful memories have been created in this theatre? How much laughter? What did that sound like? How many memorable performances? How many standing ovations? Am I standing on the same ground, the exact spot, of the great performers who have inspired so many? There are so many that I admire. Have they left their energetic mark on these walls? As I experience the room, thinking these things, my imagination goes deeper and deeper, until I can almost see and hear each of these instances happening. Am I walking in the literal steps of the greats who’ve gone before me? I like to think so, and hopefully someone will come along and wonder the same about me…

RDP Saturday: Air

I love summer. I love the ocean. I love island life. I love the breeziness of the ocean air. I love the relaxing feeling that comes over people during a perfect summer evening; where the sun is setting, you’re enjoying dinner by the beach, sharing a laugh with family and friends, etc. It’s tranquil. It’s fulfilling. The light summer breeze gently blowing, it’s perfect. The air is perfect. It’s got a small scent of the ocean and the sand wafting through the community. You can smell freedom in the air. You can smell salt, fish, and hear seagulls squawking, their voices carried on the light, summer air. I love the summer air. It’s peaceful. I can’t wait for this air; for the beach. I can’t wait to feel the relaxation that only a small, quiet, relaxing beach community can bring. Those summer nights are perfect. My ode to this experience was the first thing that popped into my mind when I thought of air!

RDP Wednesday: Sibling

Today’s word…sibling…what to say about sibling? I didn’t expect that this word would be something I’d be writing about. I guess I would start by saying that family comes in many forms. Although sibling means that you are connected by blood as a brother or a sister (and I have 4 that I love dearly), I think that friends are also family that you’ve chosen. My best friend, for example, is more than a best friend to me.I call her my sister from another mister, and her daughter calls me her aunt. We talk for hours on end, probably even more so than I talk with my actual family. She and I are so tight-knit, I couldn’t ask for a better best friend. She’s been there for me through all of my ups and downs, my happiest moments, and the darkest times. She will be a part of my entire life. I love her so much! So yes, by definition siblings are biologically related to you, but in my opinion family is what you make of it. She is part of my family even though I only met her when I was 20. Here’s to hoping that each any every one of you gets to have a best friend and confidant as fabulous as mine (raises glass and cheers’s the daylights out of yours, too)!

Ragtag Daily Prompt Sunday: Surprise

Surprise! I love surprises! Do you? I’m curious! Just this weekend I received a wonderful gift from a very special love in my life! You see, I’m an artist living in NYC and loving it, but I miss my roots, too! I grew up in the mountains of Colorado, so I’m an outdoors girl, too! It’s so beautiful there…and here, too, in different ways. Well…recently it was my birthday…and he surprised me with the BEST gift of all…a trail ride in the Shenandoah Valley!!!!!!!!! I haven’t been on a horse in over a decade. I’m not even a regular rider, or anything, but I LOVE them. I LOVED IT! IT WAS MAGICAL! HE WON MAJOR POINTS FOR THAT ONE! The horse was amazing, so gentle and responsive to my commands. The guides were incredible (seriously, River’s Bend Ranch, they’re awesome), and the experience was excellent! We took a ride by the river, through the forest, and loved every minute of it! He won major boyfriend points with that one. The sweetest thing: he’s not an outdoorsy guy himself, but he knows how much I love the air, the mountains, the animals, etc., so he planned this whole day trip (zipcar, lunch) and everything and then surprised me with the bday gift! Such a lovely guy, and I feel so blessed to have him. Plus…this isn’t the first time he’s surprised me with something I wanted so badly…he surprised me with Hamilton tickets for our anniversary…so he’s definitely amazing!

 

RDP Monday: Dazzle

“Give em’ the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle em”. Any “Chicago” fans out there? That lyric was literally the first thing that came to mind when I thought about the word dazzle. Dazzle sounds sparkly, doesn’t it? It sounds glitzy, like the 20’s, at least in my opinion. It reminds me of themed 20’s parties, songs, dances, movies, singing, and general stuff of that era. It also makes me think about how I can dazzle people…or at least “dazzle” my own life. You see, I’m an entrepreneur, so I’m always thinking of ways to dazzle my customers at all of my jobs (yes, you read that correctly, I have several jobs). I’m a waitress, dog walker, house sitter, e-commerce store owner, and aspiring actress/singer. There’s a lot of room to dazzle there!

Thinking about the e-commerce store, though (millennialpets.org), I’m always learning and growing. I’m not particularly technically inclined, and that is an uphill climb for me…but I’m always learning and achieving and acquiring new skills. I’ve learned more about how the internet/tech works in the last few months than I have in a lifetime, and it really is a whole other world. All in all, I hope to dazzle my clients every day with awesome customer service, speed, accuracy, and products that provide tons of incredible memories! I also hope to have the skills of Broadway stars so that I can literally dazzle entire audiences every night one day. It will happen. In the meantime, keep on being you, you fabulous ragtagdailyprompt’ers! Have a wonderful Monday!

Let’s Talk About Finances…

I can hear the collective groan now…do we, as artists really have to think about finances? Well, first of all, we’re still people, too, so the answer is: yup (unfortunately). I know that money and art don’t necessarily go hand in hand (I’m there with ya). I would like to share some information and tips that I have learned in the last year or more to help my fellow artists (and anyone who’d like assistance) to better their lives by improving their financial portfolio. Now, I am not a financial advisor or a guru of some sort, so please get professional help if need be and look at your finances with an advisor. These are simply the musings of an artist trying to get by!

About two years ago I was financially flailing. My credit score was about 1-200 points lower than it is now, and I came to the realization that a low credit score was really harming my ability to pay off a credit card that I’d gotten when I was young (and how that debt got there: that’s another story filled with me having no idea about the repercussions, aka interest, of my actions when I was younger). This debt has followed me around for years. Since I had such a high interest rate that was forcing me to throw money down the toilet every month, I decided that I needed to start working on improving my credit so that I could better my situation gradually. I also knew that I’d be moving out on my own at some point and that my credit would need to be elevated. Ah, being an adult. IT WAS DAUNTING. So…I started researching ways to slowly incorporate better financial strategy in my life.

The first step…is the hardest one: grabbing the bull by the horns and combing through your statements to see where you can begin to curb your spending. For me it’s been my Starbucks habit (I now only go once a week and I’ve cut my spending down from about $200+ to $50-$60 per month, at most). So yay! I get a special date with myself once a week and I get to keep more money, too! I know, it’s painful, but you can do it, as well! Think about it this way: for me that’s about $1,680 in savings per year…that could definitely pay a few monthly bills! What do you do that slowly demolishes your pay? The second step: still pretty daunting, but very liberating once you face it.

The 2nd step is to find out if you’re eligible for a credit card. I recommend applying for a secured credit card if you’re ready because they are designed to help those of us who are re-building our credit health. The way they accomplish this is by only having a very small credit limit (mine with Capital One was $200) so you don’t go overboard with your spending. It’s a great way to practice changing your habits while having a safer system than a regular credit card. There are lots of offers out there, but I recommend using Capital One because it comes with an easy to use set of tracking tools. The app allows you to see exactly how much credit you have and have used. It also informs you about your financial health by consistently showing you your credit score, providing information about the factors effecting your credit, and giving you tips on how to improve your score. By following the steps suggested, you can start to build your confidence in your financial setup. I have come to find out through my own experience how important and beneficial this is. In the last two years I have grown financially and I’ve realized many things, but one of the most important things I came to realize is that it is very expensive to not have money. Having a great credit score means that you will be offered better deals on financial products, especially interest rates. Interest rates are where the bank gets your money. With high interest rates you end up paying the bank more money in the long run because you have a low credit score. With a higher credit score the bank gives you a lower interest rate, and you end up paying less money in the long run than you would have otherwise. Weird, right? It seems backwards, but I hope to inspire you to think outside the box and turn the cycle back in your favor as I am trying to do on my end as well.

These ideas are just scratching the surface and there is more to come. Stay tuned and have a great day!

 

Disclaimer: please do what is best for you financially. My tips and ideas have worked well for me, but each situation is different. For personal advice please go to a financial advisor and find out your options.