Checkmate

Tomorrow will be the first Saturday morning without rehearsal for Checkmate, our new one-act musical written and performed by twelve fantastic middle schoolers, and facilitated by Krista Eyler, Arwen White, and myself. (Badass lady boss team FTW.) 

Checkmate is a game of choice, change, and challenge. Characters are taken from their everyday lives and forced into alternate realities or times where they must make a choice, fight for change, or face a challenge. They play at the mercy of the Game Masters, but as the game unfolds our characters learn they might have to bend or break the rules if they want to survive. 

Behold our fearsome team: 

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We wrote this musical over the course of two months, meeting for five hours every Saturday and Sunday morning. We started from the ground up, brainstorming for a theme, creating characters, and inventing scenes together. Throughout the entire process these kids were creative, hardworking, and most of all kind. We had no drama. They were nice to each other. They listened, offering suggestions without tearing one another apart. They played together and included one another, or respected each other's space. I couldn't have asked for a better group of young artists to work with. 

On opening/closing night Krista told our team to always "Stay Humble. Stay Kind." I couldn't agree more. Too often as we garner success it's easy to lose sight of where we've been and to remember that we're all in this together. The professionals I most admire are the ones who don't let their ego take the lead, the ones who learn my name and chat with me back stage even if we don't have a scene together and who treat every person in the room with respect, from stage hands to designers to producers. 

I'm thankful to the universe for sending me a reminder of how wonderful the artistic process can be when everyone stays humble and kind. 

xoxo

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Leaping into Freelance

While on vacation with my mother and best friend back in July I made the decision to leave my part-time job in ticket sales and sustain myself entirely on freelance work. It was a big leap of faith for me, but one I finally felt courageous enough to make. Worst case scenario: I fail, and as we all know if you're not failing you're not taking risks, and if you're not taking risks what the hell are you doing with your life?! (Confession: It was actually this book that inspired me to finally take the leap. Follow-up blog post to come.) 

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Since leaving the security of the Kansas City Symphony I've taken up an array of new jobs. First, I was selected to be the playwright in residence at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Community Center, where I'm working in conjunction with resident artists Krista Tatschl Eyler and Arwen White to guide a group of middle schoolers as they write and perform a brand new musical one-act: "Checkmate." The program is free for students and funded entirely by the National Endowment for the Arts (w00t w00t!) We just wrapped up writing the script and dive into rehearsals this Saturday. We're the first resident artists to lead this particular program so everything has been one big test lab, but I'm very proud of our funny, creative, enthusiastic students. It feels good to be doing work that is both financially and artistically rewarding. 

I was also hired on as a peer educator in The Coterie Theatre's Dramatic Health Education Project, a sex ed program geared towards high schoolers. The material for this has been beastly to learn (ask me anything about STDs. Go ahead, ask me!) but ultimately very rewarding.

With moving to a new apartment, starting multiple new jobs, living the life of a bridesmaid for a weekend, and participating in the Midwest Dramatists Play Conference (which could be a whole blog post in itself), AND beginning my grad school application process (top choice: UCSD!) I haven't had much time for the one thing I do best: writing. Something I intend to fix PRONTO. As Dr. Who would say...

but hey, this blog post counts right?

but hey, this blog post counts right?

Bed Play: The Elements of Intimacy

I thought I was going to take the summer off this year, but the universe had other plans. 

This July I was fortunate enough to produce Bed Play: The Elements of Intimacy at The Living Room Theatre, July 8th-15th. With Director Katie Gilchrist at the helm and PSM tech goddess Lacey Pacheco we mounted this workshop in just two short weeks. Our cast included R. H Wilhoit, Alisa Lynn, T. Eric Morris, and Kyra Weinberger. 

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This was a major learning experience for me! Mostly, once again I realized I'm capable of way more than I thought I was. However, I couldn't have done it alone. I owe a big thanks to our show sponsors: The Living Room Theater, Ron Simonian, Carter Publishing Studios, Melinda MacDonald, Rebecca McMillan, Ben Mayne, Morgan Myers, Leah Wilczewski, Zach Faust, Jen Benkert, Pete Bakely, Nancy Erickson, Amanda Davis, and Kristin Cook. 

Next up: my first musical! I'm soooo close to finishing draft one of "Working Title: Spellbound." This is a collaboration with composer Krista Pojman and we plan to have a stage reading in January of 2018. Stay tuned!

Adulting

25. A quarter of a century gone by, a fourth of which I can't even remember. Some women my age already have husbands and children. Some have comfortable jobs, a stable income. I have amazing friends, adoring family, and a pillowcase emblazoned with Nicholas Cage's face.

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The Mindful Badass

Happy New Year!

Welcome to my professional website, and to my newest (attempt) at a blog. Do people still read blogs? I don't know, but I'm going to start one anyway. You're welcome to come along for the ride. I can't promise I'll post consistently and I can't promise to write about one specific thing, but if you're at all interested in anything I've written before (or if you're related to me: hi mom) I can promise to at least keep it interesting. 

This year, instead of setting the usual "new years resolutions," I dove head first into Danielle LaPorte's "Goals with a Soul." The takeaway? This year I'll do whatever I can to FEEL the way I want to feel: open-hearted, mindful, and badass. Hense, "The Mindful Badass."

Part of my plan involves eating healthier, part of it involves working out consistently, but instead of setting my sights on "giving up gluten" or "losing 20lbs" I'm focusing on working out "like a badass" or being "mindful" in my eating. Choosing to be proactive: "DO eat more vegetables, DO choose yoga this morning" vs. "DON'T eat sugar, DON'T skip a workout." 

This year is about finding the balance between work (for money), work (for love), friends & family, my personal life, self-care, etc. 

I'm proud to say all of this self-work has already resulted in "Bed Play," my first new play of 2017. The majority of the work was done in four days because I CHOSE to make time for my writing. No excuses. "Bed Play" is scheduled for a public reading at The Living Room Theater on Monday, January the 23rd, 7:00pm. It's Pay What You Can and BYOB. For more information, check out http://www.thelivingroomkc.com. 

So, I'm feeling pretty good right now! Determined to make 2017 a year of writing, a year thriving, a year of feeding my core desire feelings every. single. day. 

Won't you join me?