laundry time

Not literally, but the past few weeks have been the kind that just go by in a blur, and all I can do to record this short but eventful time of my life is list it all out, laundry style. Ready, set, go!

Boston: Took a day trip to Boston with Miguel, Lotus, and Ray. We walked a lot, shopped a little, and ate quite a bit. I reintroduced myself to clam chowder, which I liked more than the last time I remember having it. But, for the record, I attribute this to the fact that whenever I'm with Miguel, I tend to try and like foods I never would have without him.

Boston Commons

We're boiling up in here!

AMDA Orientation: I worked the Spring 2009 orientation, welcoming incoming students, selling textbooks, playing the piano and leading vocal warm ups, setting up and breaking down tables, and having a good times overall. It didn't hurt that I made some extra spending cash.

AMDA 3rd Semester: I started my third, and second-to-last, semester at AMDA this past Monday. We had tap dance placements first thing Monday morning and ballet dance placements first thing Friday morning, and to my surprise, I was moved up to the intermediate levels in both classes. Turns out my rehearsal and hard work last semester did pay off. Still a beginning level jazz dancer, but that's fine by me. The rest of my classes are getting along fine. During the week, I've managed to get a tiny step ahead in my homework, which doesn't seem like much at the moment, but I know that once classes really start rolling, every little bit will help.

Yelp ROTD: I've been Yelping recently, contributing to the online community forum by writing reviews for local businesses. I have used Yelp for a little while now, getting recommendations for restaurants, shops, entertainment experiences, and the like. I decided to start writing reviews because I wanted to contribute to the pool of local expertise as well as gain more practice on my writing skills. Today, I received the Review of the Day (ROTD) recognition, and my review for a neighborhood restaurant was featured on the homepage of Yelp NYC. I'm aspiring to be a part of Yelp's Elite Squad, and hopefully, this will bring me one step closer to that fun little goal of mine.

My Review of the Day (bottom right)

Weekend Plans: I'm ushering for Second Stage's Off-Broadway production of Becky Shaw, a comedy about blind dates and bad dates and how people deal with them. I'm looking forward to it because I've heard great things and, since I'm ushering, I get to see it for free. This is the third show I'll be seeing as an usher for Second Stage, and I must say, I'm a fan. I hope to see more shows in the next few months; I haven't seen one in a while, mostly because I've been so busy with school, but I want to make it more of a priority because I will be auditioning for professional acting jobs in the very near future. I want to see what I should be working towards and scope out my potential competition. Also, going to see shows is a real treat for me, especially living here, right smack dab in the middle of New York City, so I should take advantage of my student status and get all the rush tickets I can afford. A few on my list include August: Osage County, Little Mermaid, and, if I can score tickets, the Kristin Chenoweth Gala at New York City Centers.

California, Here We Come: Plans are in the works for my trip home this summer. Cathy's graduating from college, and Danielle and I coming up with ideas for Michelle's bachelorette party. Michelle's getting married the same day of Cathy's graduation, but it will be a small private ceremony, so I won't be attending. But being that the three of us have been good friends since high school, Danielle and I are refusing to send her off into this new part of her life without getting into a little trouble with a bachelorette party. Oh, it will be legendary.

And that's all she wrote! More to come as the semester unfolds, along with all the unavoidable drama.


the sixth year

Well, here it is, my obligatory Valentine's Day post. This Valentine's Day marks my sixth year of being single. I broke up with my one and only boyfriend a little over six years ago, a few days shy of both Valentine's Day and what would have been our two-year anniversary. Since that time, I have been on a couple of dates, but I have not officially dated any one. The closest I got to "dating" was the almost-two-month-thing, whatever it was, that blew up in my face last fall. Depressing, right?

No, not really.

I'll be the first to admit, that came as a big surprise. Having wanted for a relationship for so long, and having been so pathetically disappointing in the romance department for the entirety of my adult life, I was sure that today would be akin to a slow and torturous death. I made plans to lock myself in my apartment, stay in my pajamas, sit on the couch, and drown myself with cheap alcohol while watching toilet humor comedies all day long. Instead, I found myself surrounded by love.

The day began with a late breakfast at a cafe on the East Side, where I sat alone and indulged in a custard pastry and the eleventh chapter of The Kite Runner, which I am currently reading. That was followed by a much-needed hair appointment, during which I let the stylist have at it while I caught up on my celebrity gossip via Star! magazine. Afterwards, I made dinner plans with my good friend Marisa, who traveled back home from San Francisco to New Jersey this week to be with her family. I spent the rest of the afternoon Yelp-ing, which is quickly becoming a new hobby of mine; I'm aspiring to be a member of the Elite Squad here in New York City, which will not only expose me to more of what this amazing city has to offer but will introduce me to a handful of witty and intelligent people who are seeking the same cultural enlightenment I am. Marisa and I had a casual and comfortable dinner in Chinatown, and we ended the night with exotic ice cream desserts from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

After Marisa and I parted ways, I walked a few blocks to the nearest subway station, finishing up my ice cream cone and people watching as I went. I thought of everything that had happened today: watching a late-night showing of Slumdog Millionaire with friends; receiving a Facebook message informing me that my friends back home were checking up on me via their Blackberries shortly after midnight, while they were all out at a bar; having little details about my hair preferences remembered by a stylist who had only met me once, over three months ago; tasting ice cream that reminded me of the flavors of home; all of which led me to the understanding that despite the fact that I am alone, I am so incredibly cared for. Around me, couples were bickering over restaurant choices, significant others being late, or how a waiter's mistake over dinner ruined an entire evening. I smiled at how wonderfully simplistic my day was, in my solitude. And I thought about how I didn't want this contrived holiday to be about showering someone with material representations of affection. Rather, I like to believe it's more about understanding what love is and finding your own personal joy in experiencing it, no matter how that may be.

Maybe I'm making all this up because it's been so long since I've felt a romantic connection with someone and I have to find some way to comfort the pain of my loneliness. Because I'll admit it, if I had the choice, I would have loved to spend this day with someone who loves me. Regardless, I can honestly say that when I look back on this plain and simple Valentine's Day, I'll see myself standing on a street corner, ice cream cone in hand, enveloped by a cold winter wind, and smiling at the thought of all the things that made this day a happy one.



I've been in New York City nearly ten months now, and as of this past Wednesday, I am halfway through my conservatory training. The time I spent here has been enlightening, encouraging, and has really served to build my confidence. However, it has also brought about a new set of questions to be answered.

Compared to many of the students I attend school with, I have very little theatrical experience. I only began performing musical theatre a little less than three years ago, and in the few shows I have participated in, I have never had a large role. I'm usually relegated to the chorus. Perhaps it's because of my inexperience, my age, or - my worst fear and insecurity - my ethnicity. So naturally, being here among people who know their way around this complicated and obscure world makes me feel inferior. But I trust that I have the work ethic, dedication, and vocal and musical talent to get me where I need to go. And usually, that's enough.

But lately, I've started reconsidering. Musical theatre is amazing; I love how this stylized art form embraces the seemingly mundane moments of life and sensationalizes them, allowing us to question our habits and find the magic and romance in the little, common things. On the other hand, a cynic would say that musical theatre is desperately trying to create something out of nothing, using bells, whistles, glitter, and lights to cover up its imperfections and unrealistic representations of the world we live in. And the cynic in me is wanting to speak its mind.

I am so insecure about my future in musical theatre. But the parts that I can contribute to it - meaning acting and singing - are on their way. Maybe that's what I want to do: be a singer/songwriter and do a little bit of acting on the side. Those are my strengths, where I am most skillfully and emotionally mature, where I have the least hesitation, and where I have the most potential of success. Putting singing and acting together though, well, that's where trouble finds me. I feel like I'm trying to put too many things together, and usually it doesn't feel like it's supposed to be that way. I try so hard to make something out of nothing. And I deserve to feel like I'm good at what I do. So perhaps the answer to this problem is just to take a step back and focus on things that I know I'm good at and that make me happy.

I'm going to finish this program because I don't consider myself a quitter and it's been a lifelong dream of mine to attend a conservatory. But in the meantime, I'm going to keep my options open and be on the lookout for something more fitting.

And just so you know, this is totally a metaphor for something else.