investing in the future

I've come to learn that the most difficult thing for me to manage as an adult is my long-term future. For the first 21 years of my life, I had a lovely road map to follow, laid out by my parents, which focused primarily on schooling. I reached my final destination in record time and in good standing. Since the end of that journey, I've had little success in determining where exactly I want to go from here. My heart says to the stage. My head says up the career ladder. So which one am I supposed to listen to?

One thing is still for certain: come next year, I am leaving California. I'm continuing to lean toward New York for its performance opportunities and its alluring life style. But today, over an impromptu lunch with my parents, yet another opportunity presented itself to me.

I have never seriously considered going to grad school. Three and a half years at Berkeley were enough to last me a lifetime. And being the quick learner that I am, I always assumed I'd build a career for myself on experience alone. That's how my parents did it, after all.

But things are changing. In order to be a competitive job candidate, education is quickly becoming a necessity. And my parents want me to be a stakeholder in the future of our society.

We talked about what I could pursue; I immediately disregarded business, which I don't believe suits me and having been burned once, I don't plan on doing it again. From a personal standpoint, I would love to delve further into vocal performance but really, where is that going to take me? Then coincidentally, my mom and I simultaneously offered public health - an obvious choice considering it's the field I currently work it, but something that had never crossed my mind before. Once it did, it really started to make a lot of sense considering my undergraduate degree and my own interests in sociology and community health.

Then other ideas started popping into my head. During my sophomore year when AiR toured the east coast, I fell in love with Columbia University and lamented the fact that my parents didn't let me leave California for my undergraduate degree. During lunch with my parents, I remembered they had a school of public health and mentioned it. My parents agreed and offered some other schools back east. We had fun thinking of all the possibilities, none of which included California. As I made my way back to work at the end of the lunch hour, I thought about how great living in New York would be with the freedom of an academic schedule and my proximity to 42nd and Broadway.

Granted, applying to grad school terrifies me, let alone attending. Subjecting myself to that abstract mode of thinking is not something I will easily do. Moreover, there are the requirements I'd have to meet that I never previously thought of preparing for: the GRE, personal statements, letters of recommendation, not to mention getting a loan for my tuition. So is this really something I want to do?

Let's just say I'm doing my research.

where are you?

I've been awake for a while now
You've got me feeling like a child now
'Cause every time I see your bubbly face
I get the tinglies in a silly place

It starts in my toes, makes me crinkle my nose
Where ever it goes I always know
That you make me smile, please stay for a while now
Just take your time where ever you go

The rain is falling on my window pane
But we are hiding in a safer place
Under the covers staying dry and warm
You give me feelings that I adore

It starts in my toes, makes me crinkle my nose
Where ever it goes I always know
That you make me smile, please stay for a while now
Just take your time where ever you go

What am I gonna say
When you make me feel this way
I just...

It starts in my toes, makes me crinkle my nose
Where ever it goes I always know
That you make me smile, please stay for a while now
Just take your time where ever you go

I’ve been asleep for a while now
You tucked me in just like a child now
'Cause every time you hold me in your arms
I'm comfortable enough to feel your warmth

It starts in my soul and I lose all control
When you kiss my nose the feeling shows
'Cause you make me smile, baby, just take your time
Holding me tight

Where ever, where ever, where ever you go
Where ever, where ever, where ever you go…

-Colbie Caillat, "Bubbly"


the surreal life

To say these past few weeks have been flown by in a whirlwind would be an understatement. In addition to regular rehearsals, my social calendar has been overstuffed, and I've been going out waaay more than I ever have in the last year and a half. I'm starting to remember what it was like to be in college, only this time, I'm smarter and more organized about it. For the most part anyway. I got this past Friday off from work, which was well-deserved and much-needed, but I made some poor decisions in regards to my sleeping schedule. But you only live once, right?


Now that our season has ended, work has been growing progressively more boring. My eight-hour days have been devoted to accomplishing administrative work, forcing my mind into a lazy sort of haze as my wrists regress back to the year when I developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Gmail chat reminds me that there is a world outside the three walls of my cubicle, and I'm tempted to ask my supervisor if I can listen to my iPod while I drown myself in the paperwork needed for the preparation of the coming season.

If it weren't for the fact that I have rehearsals to look forward to each night, I might have just jumped off a bridge by now.


Reasons why I love rehearsals:

  1. I get to play every night after work.
  2. Castmates.
  3. Singing. Dancing. Singing and dancing.
  4. Regular and intense exercise.
  5. I have dropped a dress size in less than a week. Holler.


I've had a number of conversations with a handful of friends over the past few days, all of which left smile on my face. I learned about positive change in a high school friend, who now looks forward to an optimistic future. I spoke with an old friend about what we both wanted to do when we grow up, and I understood more clearly that nothing is ever decided and that anything really is possible. Over dinner with a new friend, I learned that my experience is not only valuable to me, but to others as well. While in Berkeley, a friend validated the quirks in myself that I find to be negative but are actually, according to him, indicators of a strength in character.

As cheesy as it sounds, I know I am incredibly blessed. My friends are amazing.


i can't...

...I have rehearsal. And all my time has become consumed.

The singing for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is far more difficult than I originally imagined. Maybe it's because I'm out of practice. Maybe it's because I haven't sang choral or a cappella music for nearly a year now. Likely it's both of those. Regardless, I am loving it.

Having been recast as a dancer for Cinderella is also not turning out to be the way I would have assumed. I'm reconfiguring my body into lines I've never seen on myself, and I'm being told to perform dance moves I've never heard of. Yet no one in the dancing ensemble can tell that I've only done little more than a pivot and jazz hands on a stage before. My hips are bruised, my muscles are sore, but my heart is leaping. Now if only I could get my legs to do the same.

It's true that I'm very tired and my time is very limited. With two shows in currently in progress, my calendar is filling up with rehearsals faster than I can write them down. Between now and the end of July, I only get six days off, five of which are in June. I will spend Independence Day inside Kofman Theatre, and my holiday actually will fall on July 6. It will surely get crazier once my third show begins at the end of this month. The trade off: I'm happy, I eat less junk food, I'm exercising more in one night than I normally would have in three, and I have a limitless amount of energy, despite the time and effort I am putting into rehearsals. I've spent the last few days with a ridiculous grin on my face, similar to the one Keri Russell wore in the movie Waitress, and people are noticing.

I wish that my "real life" could be an endless series of rehearsals punctuated by opening galas, Sunday matinees, and closing performances. Oh, if only.