Last weekend we performed "Seven and Ten" by Prisca Jabet Kendagore at The Pearl in Kansas City, MO. Last night we brought our reading to The Monicle in St. Louis, and we have one more performance tonight. It's been such a treat to dig my teeth into this beautiful script full of complex characters. I read for Sara, a young, white, Christian woman who dreams of being a wife and a mother. She's known since she was twelve what God has planned for her, and although she is strong in her faith she struggles to thrive in the mold the church has given her. I've never had the chance to play such a real, flawed, earnest human and I can't thank Prisca and the universe enough for giving me this opportunity. 


I have two projects cooking for next week: SPELLBOUND qualified as a finalist in the Olathe Civic Theater New Works Playwright Competition! We're presenting a ten-minute teaser of our musical on March 2nd and 3rd at the Olathe Civic Theater, along-side four other finalists. The audiences who attend these teaser nights will then vote for which show they want to see fully staged in a workshop production! It's a fantastic, local opportunity and we're so excited to be participating. 


On top of that I'm directing for the Fishtank Theatre’s Along The Line New Play Festival, a rapid-fire, theatrical response to a specific moment in history. This production contains 75 very, very short plays. (60 seconds or less.) It is a collection of the community conscious, a tool that contains, supports, and expresses many voices in one given community in one theatrical event, giving each voice equal weight. This work is about what the group has to say, not about individual plays. It’s not about “short attention span”, or “twitter theatre” or a “time race.” It actually requires great concentration to take in and process what this many voices are tuning into. It’s closer to epic theatre, than short form theatre in most every way. It’s one body of work, one cohort of artists, and one program.

I'm both a writer and a director in this process. At this point my responsibilities include directing  a chunk of twelve one-minute plays with my ensemble of fantastic actors, who include Matt Leonard, Margaret Shelby, Melissa Fennewald, Dashawn Young, Alexis Dupree, Joseph De Maria and Liz Kerlin. So far I love working with my playwrights, cast, and our BA stage manager Sonia Jacobsen. I can't wait to see all of the other plays in tech! 


Update # 2: New York, New Year

2018 is here and I can't wait to see what it brings.

Just a few weeks ago I finished off 2017 with a short trip to NYC where my play Wicked Creatures received a private table reading at the Stella Adler Acting Studio as part of he Harold Clurman First Breath Play Reading Series. The public reading will take place in June of this year, with an all Stella Adler acting alumni cast. 


And that's not all I'm looking forward to this year. Next up: a staged reading of Spellbound, a new musical collaboration between Krista Pojman and me. Ever wish that Disney would make a princess movie with a a homosexual protagonist? Wish granted. Come by the Living Room Theater in KC, MO on Monday, January 29th at 8:00pm to see this fairytale unfold. 

Next month I'll be performing again in 7 & 10, a new play about marriage and the lives of young Evangelicals, by one of my favorite playwrights and closest friends, Prisca Kendagore. We'll be doing script-in-hand performances in KC Feb. 18th & 19th AND in St. Louis Feb. 23rd & 24th.  

I won't bore you with my entire year's schedule, but 2018 is already looking to be a good one.

In other news...last year, when I started this blog-of-sorts, I'd just completed Danielle LaPorte's Goals With a Soul. So this year I revisited that program, and although this blog will remain forever and always "The Mindful Badass," I have some new core desire feelings for this upcoming year. I want to feel...

True. Hopeful. Faith. Connected. And Sheroic.

I want to feel True to my best self, to my moral compass, and to those I love.

I want to choose Hope over Fear. To believe the universe can be abundant, reconciliation is possible, and that each of us can make a difference. 

Faith in myself, those around me, and the universe as a whole

Connected on all levels. I want to strengthen my friendships, personal relationships, working relationships, and sense of community and belonging. 

And Sheroic in that sense that I still want to feel like a powerful, positive badass in all areas of my life: physical, mental, emotional, creatively, and spiritually. (I cannot take credit for this wonderful phrase. Check out the Sheroic podcast if you're looking to be a shero in your own life.)

How do you want to feel this year? You don't have to tell me. You don't have to tell anyone, so long as you know what your core desire feelings are and that every step you are taking is getting you closer to your truth. 

~ Happy New Year ~


Update #1 (Pre New York)

Phew, the times flies when you're crazy busy. Here's he scoop on what I've been up to:

Last month, I participated in The Fishtank Theater's The Insubordinates, a post-apocolyptic, ensemble-based intensive. It was great fun, and I made some new friends! (This is me in my crazy, apocalyptic circus costume.) 

The Insubordinates


As soon as Insubordinates was struck, I dove right into my favorite annual event: NO SLEEP NOVEMBER at The Living Room Theatre. Check out my badass team:

Dragon Slayer: Quest for the Egg of Armagon

In 24-hours I wrote and directed a new ten-minute play, Dragon Slayer: Quest for the Egg of Armagon, staring these amazingly talented actors. (Shea Ketchum, Pancho Javier, Erdin Schultz-Bever). We follow Shadowfox the Sure-footed and Tammy as their guide, Silver Stallion takes them on an adventure of teamwork and self-discovery (and dragon slaying, of course.) 

This month another new ten-minute play of mine, Friend Love, had it's debut as part of the Barn Player's annual 6x10 Play Festival. I also had the honor of writing content for the Fishtank's annual 12 Plays of Christmas. Check out this action shot of Fishtank Curator/Actress Heidi Van:

12 Plays of Christmas

And last (but certainly not least), the REASON for this blog's title...next week I will be flying to NEW YORK for a rehearsal of WICKED CREATURES, which is receiving a staged reading in NYC as part of the First Breath New Play Reading Series at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting! I am beyond honored and excited. Also a little bit terrified, but hey, what's life without a little adventure? 

I promise to write another blog post very soon, all about my experience in New York! Stay tuned...


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: 


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. 



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.) 


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. 


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!


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?