I Don’t Make Resolutions…


Welcome to the time of year when people swear specifics on how they are going to change.

The problem is that the failure rate for resolutions is HIGH!!  Instead of making specifics, why not make them more general? Vow to be a better person.  Help people.  Simply doing that, I feel will go a long way to getting me to those specifics that I am looking for.  For me, it is to simply be a good person.  Give when and what I can, when I can.  And be grateful that I can do so.

Thank you 2013 for the crazy ride.

While I bid you adieu, I would like to ask you for a favor.  I know that you are close friends with 2014.  Heck, for all I know you may even be BFFs.  I don’t even know if you feel comfortable doing this, but here goes:

Can you please ask 2014 to be better?  Not for me, but for my friends and for the many, many people that are struggling, although, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind the extra help.

Friends that have had a rough year of first not being able to find a job, but then landing what could’ve been a great gig, only to have it turn out to be less than ideal, and people that have seen all that they have worked for disappear through hospital bills or tragedy.

It’s not that you were a bad year ’13, can I call you that?  I feel like you and I connected in a very moving way.  It’s just that there are a lot of good people out there that just need a break.  Take for instance, my BFFs Sarah and Tom.  To me they are amazing people.  Objectively speaking, they are well above average in creativity, intelligence, hard working, and thoughtfulness than many.

Sarah is motivating and motivated.  She is funny and contemplative.  Her big heart is only matched by her incredible thirst for knowledge.  She is a smart cookie that people only smell that she’s baking.  But some people think “Is that too much to be in a cookie? I like the simple ones best.”

Tom is brilliant.  He’s a funny people person that looks at things from a different angle.  He’s analytic and creative.  Much like Sarah, he too has too many ingredients for people to appreciate and I worry that all that incredible potential wouldn’t be utilized to it’s fullest.

And there lies the problem.  Can you ask 2014 to wave its magic wand over the world to get people to open their eyes that simple isn’t enough anymore.

Much like the nursery, it seems as though people want to get information from them only to leave and find a cheaper way to put that new found info to work.  Speaking of the nursery, can you please get people to show some sort of loyalty?  Other gardening companies refer their customer to come to us for problems they can’t solve but we can! Yet, for all the amazing knowledge that is in the minds of the nursery people, customers simply walk away with thank you, if we are lucky.  It is bothersome to watch this happen. To see what it does to the morale of great people.  It’s like watching people drain a lake of fish.  Keep going back and taking and soon there will be nothing to take.  I recommend if you buy your plant at the orange box, get your information from there too.  If they can’t help you, maybe they shouldn’t sell it.

It’s been heartbreaking to hear of the natural disasters that have taken their toll on the human race, so can you please ask for a little less of that too? I know we are causing global warming and it’s just a side effect of our own making, but I am certain more people will get involved with making more environmentally conscious choices in the new year.

I know I am asking for the impossible, but if you could just at least ask 2014 to be… easier, shall we say?  Not “better” but easier.

Thank you for every thing ’13! I will miss you, but remember you with such fondness. You have brought some amazing people into my life and that is the best part.  Be well, my friend!


5 Musicals, 1 Staged Reading, 1 Webisode, and 1 Play in 12 Months…

Crazy cast of Sugar
Crazy cast of Sugar

To say that 2013 has been a busy year is redundant.  I have spent countless hours in rehearsals and still more in performances.  But it was such a wonderful, exhausting and yet fleeting year.  There were so many high points and a few low points.  I don’t want to bore you with them as I have feel I have already shared them with you.  There’s nothing that bothers me more than repetitive blogging.  That’s part of the reason that I’ve been a little less productive on the site this year.

Crazy cast of Promises, Promises. (rehearsal)
Crazy cast of Promises, Promises. (rehearsal)

One thing that never changed throughout was my positive outlook.  Life is too short to spend too much time marching in the “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” parade.  I always say honor your feelings, so if you feel sad, do it.  Feel that sadness, but only stay in the parade for a block or two. Don’t let it drag you down the street! There were a times when I was kicking myself for getting in way over my head. I worried and stressed about it, but once I worked through it, I had to come up with a way to fix my predicament.  I don’t like to be a victim of my life.  I don’t see how it helps me.  So the only thing to do is to remain positive.  Except when it comes to a strep test.  THEN you wanna be full of negative.

Finale of 9 to 5 with some of the crazy cast.  Photo by B. Heninger
Finale of 9 to 5 with some of the crazy cast. Photo by B. Heninger

In my lows, I will admit that it reached points at the nursery where I didn’t want to care about the place.  But again, what good does that do?  It just creates a cycle of waking up, grabbing a shower, followed by 8 hours of clock watching to then head to the theatre.  At that point, I would have to take a moment to shake off my day’s indifference so that I can commit to my characters.  Then I thought of how much more fully involved I could make my characters if I took all the aspect of my life and tried to commit to them. How much more can I experience LIFE and use it in theatre?

The kooky cast of Zombie Prom.
The kooky cast of Zombie Prom.

I began offering ideas to the management at work, and many of them they loved.  It astonishes me that once that line of thinking became vocalized how many other ideas seemed to come out of nowhere. Sadly, it took most of the year to pass before I even had the inclination to do this. Still, it opens a new way of thinking and I cannot wait to see how I can utilize it for future characterizations.

In all honesty, I feel like I have to say that this has been a totally selfish year.  My goal, in addition to continuing to perform, is to help promote the arts and to celebrate the people who create it.  I have been so wrapped up in only my shows that I have failed in helping.  So like my new mindset for work, I would like to throw it out to the wonderful community that I am lucky to be a part of:

How can I help you? 

I am all ears.  I have some ideas in the planning stages so, maybe you are thinking the same thing I am.

Until next time, (which may even be next year!)



P.S. Have a safe and happy New Year!!



Dear Dance Community…

After 16 years at the Cubberley Community Center, Zohar needs a few repairs. Please help make the studio safer, cleaner, and more dancer-friendly for all!

I think I’ve mentioned many times that I am a student at Zohar School of Dance.  I’ve been there for nearly a year now and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy it.

Since I’ve been attending classes here, I’ve heard about this lengthy ongoing process that’s kept the companies renting space at the Cubberley Community Center unsure if they would continue to have a “home.”  A few times we, the students, have been asked to come to hearings to support the studio maintaining its place.  As I understand it, it was announced a few weeks ago that Zohar will keep its space for at least another 3-5 years!  That’s definitely a cause for celebration.

While all this is fantastic news, the decision has been made that the facility could use some repairs.  As I am sure you all know, funds for non-profit companies have been tougher and tougher to come by.  And Artistic non-profits take the hardest hit of all.  So I have decided to turn to you, my dear, dear friends of Dance and fellow Dancers to ask for your help.

On Labor Day weekend, Zohar would love to kick off its “Facility Facelift” campaign.  There are a few ways to help.

1.  Time – If you happen to be free on either Saturday or Sunday, September 1st or 2nd, we would love to have some extra hands on deck to help with a number of tasks.  It could be anything from framing pictures to clearing chairs to assembling furniture or helping to repair our dance floor.  The fun begins at 1:00 pm on Saturday.  If you are handy with power tools and have some, we would REALLY love to have you come out and help.

2.  Wish List  – In the studios there is a message board that has our instructors on it.  Under their pictures, there is a “wish list” of items that each teach would love to have at the studio.  It ranges from things like CD racks or fans for cooling down the studio.  Simply pull off the tab of the item you would like to “purchase” for the studio (by donating that dollar amount)  place your name and contact information on it and place it in the little black and white box on the check-in window’s counter.  If you’d like to come into the studios to check out the board you can find directions here:  zohardancecompany.org/directions Maybe you can squeeze in a class while you are here!

3. Individual Donation –  Zohar accepts donations 24-7 via their website zohardancecompany.org/donors.  If you can’t help out with your time or by buying a wish list item, any amount that you can donate will go toward the improvements and will be GREATLY appreciated.

4. Sharing – We know that there must be people out there that are able and maybe if you simply share this page with your friends and families, maybe we can reach enough people that are willing to help.  Zohar offers a number of community programs that are focused on youth and people who may not have the chance to be exposed to dance.  The earned income of the dance studio mainly pays for those programs and leaves just a very very small portion to help with this project.  If  you would like to learn more about the outreach programs Zohar offers you can find that here: zohardancecompany.org/outreach

A number of us students are happily rolling up our sleeves to help with this project but it would be such a quick project if we had the help of the community.

Please consider donating or sharing to help us make these improvements.  You will be celebrated as a staunch supporter of Dance by the faculty, students, and Board of Directors on the message boards!  Not only that, your donations are tax deductible!

I truly thank you for your time and leave you with these last few words:

“The next time you look into the mirror,

just look at the way the ears rest next to the head;

look at the way the hairline grows;

think of all the little bones in your wrist.

It is a miracle. And the dance is a 

celebration of that miracle.”

– Martha Graham


”Dancing is a very living art.

It is essentially of the moment, although a very old art.

A dancer’s art is lived while he is dancing.

Nothing is left of his art except the pictures and the memories

-when his dancing days are over.”

– Martha Graham



How to build character…

Dictionary.com defines character as the following: 1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. 2. one such feature or trait; characteristic.

3. moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character. 4. qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity
In light of recent world events, this is how to build character:  HELP THE JAPAN RELIEF EFFORT!
For those Lady Gaga lovers, like myself: Gaga designs a relief bracelet
or you can go the traditional route: Red Cross or Disaster Funding
For all you shoppers out there who need to show that you’ve donated to the cause: Cafe Press has some t-merchandise available
Your actions help to create who you are and the impact you have on those around you.  Use that influence to do something good!   I used to write “Help Me Do Good” everywhere.  There’s never been a better time than now to help!
Thank you.

Days of Reflection: Day Five

I just read that this weekend in LA there will be auditions for a “new” show called Thriller Live!   OF COURSE, IT’S WHAT YOU THINK IT IS…A live show based on the music of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5.  Here’s why I called it “new”.  Apparently, since 2007, it has been a well received show in London (surprise, surprise! Why do the Brits always get the jump on shows?)  that played to over a million people.  The casting is for the 2011 Worldwide Tour and to step into the West End production.  The weird thing was that the cattle call is for NON union members.  The best thing about this ad is that the very end reads: “Please prepare two contrasting Michael Jackson songs, that show your full range, bring a picture/resume, and be prepared to wait.”  As if one would expect to just show up and waltz right in and leave.  I couldn’t help but to chuckle lightly to myself.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.

Goodness, that would imply that I have regrets.  I can’t say that I have any, but let’s just say that it’s six things that I didn’t enjoy doing.

6. A while back while I worked for Structure (Express Men before the name change) I won a trip to a resort down in Palm Springs.  One of the three activities that I had chosen was to go shopping on the main drag in town.  I wish that I had chosen something more interesting.  While I loved the shops and just hanging out, I think I would have gotten more out of the trip had I opted for something more like my other two activities which were a major Spa treatment and a balloon ride.  The balloon ride was pretty damn awesome, except for the forced picture taking.

5. I wish I would have focused on something in school instead of just a mass of classes.

4. I didn’t enjoy having a root canal, but it was kinda important.

3. Oh, I wish I’d never jumped over the fence to get in to a club back when I was 16.  It led to meeting someone who made me greatly dislike the circus.

2.  I wish I never wasted my time watching the movie “Open Water” even though it was free!

1. This one was a doozey!!  And it’s over-share, but maybe you will learn from my mistake.  I wish I never took a probiotic, drank a large coffee, and had a fiber filled breakfast.  That’s all I’m sayin’!

Ron, Blaze, Mark, forgive me cuz I don't remember his name, and me

These guys were so cool to work with that I was comfortable enough to fall asleep on this guy’s arm.  it’s bugging me that I don’t remember his name.  Someone, HELP!!  Do you know his name?  Let me know, so I can change the caption.  When does big hair go away?  I always look like I have some sort of pompadour.  I hate it.  Is it so wrong to wish for flat hair? Is it?