Dear Dancer (A Love Letter to You During Audition Season)

Dear Dancer, in the holding room at Ripley, Pearl, or wherever you may be, let's take a moment to remember things. As the room fills and your confidence wavers, give yourself this pep talk and acknowledge the sheer brilliance of everything you are.

You are capable. You are a dancer (singer, actress, friend, etc.). You have likely been training and honing your craft for years. Why doubt your ability now? You deserve to be in that room. Your talent is so unique and desirable. No one can dance like you. Do you know that? There is only one you, and there will only ever be one you throughout all time. Somewhere out there a casting director/choreographer/agent is looking for exactly your talent. How will they find you unless you shine bright like the beacon you are? Don't let yourself be intimidated by the other bright beacons in the room. Under no circumstance will their talent dim yours. There is room for everyone to shine and if we all shine together, the world will be a much brighter and more enlightened place to inhabit.

You are beautiful. Give thanks to your amazing body for its strength, grace, and willingness to comply with the incredible demand placed on it. You are so lucky to have an instrument from which you can express so many voices, stories, and emotions. Your body literally brings people joy simply by moving. Not everyone possesses that gift. It is your responsibility to share it. Don't get caught up wishing you had flatter abs, more defined legs, a super flexible arch. While you are wishing you had what they had, one thousand more people are wishing they could have merely a fraction of what you have. You are created perfectly just as you are. Celebrate your body and the experience of being you.

You are exactly where you are meant to be. No matter how the audition goes, remember this: what's meant for you will not pass you. You are on a journey completely unique to you. You can do your best to shape your journey, but ultimately what's meant to be will be. Take comfort in the fact that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing and have faith that in the end, everything will be okay. I promise. Enjoy the journey. Learn from every person and every situation you encounter. You were meant to encounter them. Don't take those rejections to heart. They are preparing you for your personal destiny. Keep yourself open and the wonderful gifts that are meant for you will have no trouble finding you. Be receptive and vulnerable even though it is difficult. Keep the faith.

And if all else fails, remember that even Beyoncé has had to audition for gigs. Look how far she got by shining her own way.

Love and light always.
I'll see you in the holding room,


Five Resolutions That Aren't "Eat Less, Exercise More"

Write down your goals & visualize success!

January 17th is widely known as Resolution Ditch Day - a day where all good intentions go to die, just like the crisper drawer in the fridge. (Guilty!) It's easy to start the year busting out new workouts or happily chopping salads but as the month passes, resolutions fade and old, comfortable habits can creep back in. With general resolutions like "be healthy" or "lose weight", it's easy to become frustrated by slow progress. If those general goals are broken down into specific actions, that sense of accomplishment is achievable every day. Here are a few of my resolutions that make me feel confident and powerful:

No. That's all you need to say. You don't need to justify your feelings or create excuses. Say "no" to people, to invitations, to that bagel you want "as a little snack". You are not required to do anything. Say no guilt-free. Releasing the feeling of owing something to the universe makes your load so much lighter. Do not take on more stress than necessary.

Or in my case, just go to bed! Sleep is an amazing gift to give yourself. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Your body needs rest to attack your day. Trust me, your immune system will thank you.

You know who's always going to be in your corner? You. Never forget that. You are your own most powerful ally. Remember to say thank you for consistently showing up for yourself in ways you couldn't begin to name. You are awesome. Be grateful for you. You are lucky to be you.

If you need help, ask for it. If you need a friend, reach out for support. It always feels nice to be needed. If you need something to achieve a goal, do not be afraid to ask for it. Direct communication is difficult but rewarding, and as my mom says, "You can't get fed if you don't open your mouth." 

What can you do to win the day? Ask yourself what it means to have a successful day and do that.. consistently. Make excellence a habit. Set realistic goals and win them. For me, a successful day looks like a healthy meal, exercise of any kind, and laughter. Checking any one of those things off my list makes me feel like a winner. You don't have to climb the mountain in a single day, but you can take steps toward the peak. Forward motion towards a goal should not be measured by the size of the move, but by the effort and intent behind the action.

TIP! The best way to keep yourself motivated is to have someone that keeps you accountable, so grab a buddy and ask for honest feedback! Conquering goals in groups is destined to lead to a more successful result. Surround yourself with greatness and rise together.


Attitude of Gratitude

A friend of mine said it best: You love New York when you move here, you hate New York once you are settled and realize how overwhelming it is, and you become a true New Yorker when you accept that you will forever have a love-hate relationship with this city. I am currently transitioning into this last phase. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving and gratitude, I am dedicating this post to loving the things about New York that I hate.

Thank you, Q Train, for the incredible views on my daily commute

1. I am grateful for you, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (aka MTA).

I could start this post with nothing other than the bane of every New Yorker's existence, the MTA. You are consistently late and unreliable, you make questionable decisions, and every time I hop on it feels like falling back into an abusive relationship. But I forgive you, MTA. I don't hold it against you. Thank you for making all five boroughs of Manhattan easily accessible 24/7. Thank you for giving me freedom and independence. Thank you for forcing me to witness humanity close-up from so many different perspectives that I might not otherwise experience. But most of all, thank you for transporting me to bagels.

Working on a photoshoot with Mary for ivivva in Times Square

2. I am grateful for you, Times Square. 

If you have spent any extended time in New York City whatsoever, you will avoid walking through Times Square at all costs. Even reading the words "Times Square" made you New Yorkers shudder, admit it! Times Square is the most quintessentially "New York" part of the city, but it tends to lose its magic after becoming a resident. I am grateful for the way it continues to light up the faces of all the visitors I bring. I am grateful for the opportunities it has provided, from photoshoots to Good Morning America appearances. Walking through Times Square is an exercise in patience, which is practice for being a good human. You may be my least favorite part of Manhattan, Times Square, but I appreciate you and all of your twinkling wonder.

3. I am grateful for you, people. 

Yup. Every single one of ya. I am grateful for you, deranged preacher man screaming at me before 9AM on a train running local. I am grateful for you, tourists that walk (slowly) on the sidewalk, inevitably in a formation eight people across. And I am even grateful for you, grumpy bodega owners that sell expired goods and grumble at me when I attempt to pay with my debit card. You all teach me to be better. You create innumerable life experiences for me that I am lucky to have. Being exposed to such diversity on a daily basis helps me to be more compassionate, more open-minded, and more unwavering in my pursuit of my goals. That is, after all, why we have all gathered in this magical place.

Not featured: the sea of people we had to push through for these views

There are many other facets of New York that continue to annoy me, such as endless lines for Shake Shack, walking through the farmers market at Union Square, and the expense of real estate, but I am still in search of gratitude for those. I can only do so much at one time. What are you going to love this week? 😇