I'm nearing the end of my two-week mini-break from AMDA, most of which was spent in California. Few words can sum up what an enjoyable vacation I've had, spanning Las Vegas, Sacramento, San Francisco, the greater part of the East Bay Area, and New York City. Here are some photo highlights of the fun I had.

Michelle's bachelorette party in Las Vegas

Meeting up with the family

Relaxing by the pool

Touring the California State Governor's office

Street fairs on sunny days in San Francisco

Cathy's graduation from the University of California, Davis

Celebrating with the family

Playing with Photo Booth

My time spent in California was both relaxing and enlightening. I spent much of my time alone, since my friends and family were at work, and I had the opportunity to reflect on all that has happened in the last year. There are times, I must admit, that I feel guilty for leaving. My family ties are so strong that I often feel incomplete knowing that my family is so far away from me. Being in New York City is not what anyone had ever intended for me. I went to college to become a Human Resources specialist, not a performer on Broadway. Sometimes I feel selfish for going after what I want most in this world, in this life. Part of being an adult means making sacrifices, and I am being childish by refusing to honor those obligations.

Then I got to thinking: maybe that is my sacrifice. Leaving everything I knew, everything that ever made me feel comfortable, behind. Turning myself inside out and putting everything I have on the line. Opening myself up to criticism and judgement, all for the hope of just a little bit of recognition in the world. Because doing this for myself means being an inspiration for someone else who wants to take a life-changing leap. It's silly to think that anybody back home holds this adventure against me. Being here means being me, wholly, happily, and unapologetically. I'm starting to see that now. I take criticism with a grain of salt; everyone's entitled to their opinions. I no longer seek out to please everyone I encounter; it's a big enough job to please myself. I am proud of my work and where I've come, even if the steps I take are smaller than my peers. Relatively speaking, I've come a long, long way.

Returning to New York after my time spent away, I felt like I had slipped back in unnoticed. The currents of the Hudson and East Rivers, the pulsating current of Manhattan itself, engulfed me swiftly, easily, as if I had never left the water to begin with. It was a good feeling, knowing this place has become welcoming, without ceremony, and simple to understand. Home-home, California-Home, felt that way once. So then, I guess this is a big moment in my life.

Hello New York City. I'm home.


1... 2... 3... HEADSHOTS!

I took a major stride toward my career in the performing arts this past weekend: I took my headshots! As the first impression casting agents and directors will have of me, it's important that my headshot capture both their attention and the essence of who I am. Below are some of my favorites from this weekend's shoot with Beau Allulli down on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I'll have the final version picked out soon. Considering that I'll start auditioning for jobs this summer, I'll need something good to put out there. Yeah!