Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks...even if sometimes things suck!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING (Well, happy day after! I mean, how could I write when I had so much eating to do? And believe me, there wasn't a dish left untasted, except for anything with fruit, I don't eat the fruit)!! Anyway, I have decided to be more grateful for the things I have, even if they aren't exactly as I would like them to be (let's face it, nothing and nobody is perfect, except for maybe Clooney). It seemed appropriate to start on Thanksgiving (or the day after, see above food coma explanation) and so it is my intention to express my thanks everyday for a specific thing (no matter how small, or silly it may seem to others) until December 31st. I will try to make a daily thankful blog post but lets face it, I'm lazy so don't get your hopes up, but I will make a shout out on my Facebook status for the thing I'm grateful for:!/JAGarrish

DAY #1: I'm grateful for the gift of music (and for a moment that changed my life). I hope you enjoy the story below (I wrote it in a writing class I took this fall)! And be grateful for something today, maybe while you are waiting on a completely ridiculous long line at the mall. Hey, at least you aren't at work like I am (Yes, I'm grateful for my job, but let's not be too thankful on the first day, I gotta space it out):

As the lights went down, I clutched the sleeve of my jacket and my excitement grew. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, but I had a strong feeling I was going to like it. Why wouldn’t I? Music has always been a part of my life since I was old enough to remember hearing a song play on the radio. I sang around my house, into my hair brush, as well as other various substitutes for a microphone ( I was too shy to talk to someone I didn’t know but give me a song and watch me go). Sometimes you could find me making up songs about farm animals, though I’m not sure what my obsession with farm animals was about. And it wasn’t unusual to find me and the neighborhood kids putting on shows in our backyards, much to the chagrin of our parents. Come to think of it, I don’t think we sold one ticket, nor did we ever perform for an audience but boy did we rehearse for that show. I can clearly remember lip-synching, before it had a name and dancing my improvised choreography to “What a Feeling” from the movie Flashdance on the white cracked pavement of the Miale’s driveway. Man I had some really good moves. I also remember the first cassette album I ever bought, I don’t know where I got the money for it but I can still smell the plastic as I held that tape with Madonna’s picture on the front. Or my brother giving me the 45 of Elton John’s Little Jeannie, because they way he sang it kinda sounded like Little Jean Ann. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

So as a ten year old sitting in my red plush seat with my parents and my aunt, I was overwhelmed by the Cole Porter overture that had begun to play. Of course I had no idea who Cole Porter was at that time, but after that night I would never forget him. Nor would I forget the magnificent Patti LuPone. That lady knocked it out of the park. They say you never forget your first and it’s true. I may not remember what I was wearing or how close we were to the stage and I cannot recall the smell of the theatre or whether I got candy during the intermission, but I’ll never forget the moment I sat in my seat during the song “Anything Goes” and with absolute joy in my heart I said to myself, This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

It’s still like nothing else in the world. Going to see live theatre and being transported to another world. That tiny moment when the lights go down and the first chord is played, or the timpani of the drum is heard can send shivers down my spine in a totally good way. Music in general has such a strong hold on me. It can bring me back to a moment in my life within 4 seconds, it can bring a smile to my face quicker than finding a $20 in my pants pocket, and it can also break my heart. It is truly the universal language and when I get the opportunity to sing I know it’s where I’m supposed to be. I feel completely alive.

I may not be on Broadway yet, nor have I won an Academy Award, but that hasn’t stopped me from making my dreams come true, for I believe once you are given the gift of a dream it is your duty to follow through until you either make that dream a reality or until the dream no longer has a hold on your heart. That one moment in a darkened theatre changed that child’s life forever (not sure had my dad known it would make me want to be a performer, he would have rethought the purchase of those tickets) but I’m grateful for that moment every day, even when I struggle with the disappointments, the let downs, the hurts and the tears, it has shaped my life for the better and I was never the same.

Monday, September 20, 2010

all limitations are self-imposed

Happy Fall!! Happy new season! Perhaps it can be seen as a happy new beginning? I'll be honest, I'm surprised I remembered my password (well it took me about five minutes) because its been quite awhile since I actually sat down to write my thoughts for the good old blog world. But let's not dwell on the negative, THE BLOG IS BACK, so let's move forward shall we? Because I've started running!! Yep, you read that correctly, I started running!! Always wanted to be "runner", never thought I could.

Okay, okay, let's not kid ourselves, I've been jogging for a few minutes but I've started a program where you add on to the amount of time you run each week until you get to the 9th week when you are hopefully jogging/running for thirty minutes straight (not sure what happens after that, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself, since I just finished week 2). I then decided I would post my distance and times on my facebook page to continue to motivate myself, and I got some mixed reviews (including a few comments, that were supposedly written for "encouragement" but to me, were anything but). And I started to feel bad about myself and embarrassed about my time, and then stupid for posting it at all.

But then I started to get some really supportive comments. Like the one from my dear friend Ashley who said "don't listen to them Jean Ann!! Everyone started from somewhere. I started running at age 30 and it took me three weeks to be able to run a mile straight. And you know I just completed my first Olympic Triathlon this year!! My run pace, after swimming a mile and biking 25, was about a 10 minute mile, for six miles. Just go girl!!" And Pete, an old friend from high school who reminded me to not "listen to anyone giving you crap about time / distance. You're not running a race against them. Start small, listen to your body and keep at it. Looking forward to seeing more updates! :)"
Thank God for supportive people!

I know it won't happen in a week, which is why I'm starting out small and adding on each week. And as I was jogging along at my (very) slow pace it hit me, the idea that I wasn't a runner came from me and I'm the only one who can change that. And if I can do this, I can change anything else that I didn't think I was, or could be, or could do! What I think about running is a metaphor for all the other limitations that I have placed upon myself. The fact that I think I'm not pretty enough to be on TV/film, or that I don't have the vocal range to be on Broadway or any other negative thought that has jumped from my mind, crossed into my real life and thus has affected my career in a less than positive way came from me. And since I was the one who placed these things out there, I'm the only one that can change them!! Just like running, I'll have to start small, but I believe I'll do it!

I'll leave you with a video that another high school friend/runner, Suzanne, posted on her Facebook page that was so inspiring (God what did we do before you FB?)! I think it's not only about running but about doing anything that you've wanted to do but have let your limiting beliefs about yourself stop you. So what do you want to do? Decide and then take Ashley's advice and "Just go girl" or boy!! Just do it! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Ever wonder why you are here? Like, what's your purpose? I started writing this post on July 11th and now its August 9th. So apparently publishing this post isn't one of mine. I kid of course. I'm not sure why I could never press the "PUBLISH POST" button but its almost been a month and I just haven't done it. Sure I've been busy but I've actually sat down to write and edit this thing and it never felt worthy (not sure its there yet, but I can't keep sitting on it. It needs to get out.) Maybe because its pretty personal to me. I didn't think I was afraid to publish it but maybe I was. When you write about yourself, you put it out there and that can lead to criticisms (something most of us don't really enjoy). Maybe I didn't think the conclusion was good enough. I'll explain later**. defines it as "the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc." '' you say. I know, I know, but hey, they had the best definition! "Why am I here"? Its a pretty good question. We've all gotta be here for a reason right? I've been thinking about it, I guess in part because my birthday passed recently (well at this point, its been over a month, but like I said I started writing this in the beginning of July). Birthdays can bring alot of feelings to the surface. They can make you think about your life and what you are doing with it, and what you have done with it, and what you are going to (or should) do with it.

Sometimes we are all so busy and have soo much on our plates, juggling millions of things at once (ask for the definition of multi-taskers and our entire society would appear) it can be difficult to remember or fully see what we should be doing (and by that I mean, what we should be doing for our own selves). I know I get overwhelmed sometimes with all I have to do: a day job, classes, the other job trying to make my dreams of being a full time performer a reality, writing this blog occasionally, all the while trying to have some semblance of a social life and to have a little fun. And it gets hard for me to just focus on one thing and give it 100% so that I can actually get something accomplished. Sometimes with all the everyday things we NEED to do in life, we forget why we are really here. So I'm gonna ask the question, what the hell is my purpose? Feel free to offer your suggestions and get back to me! ;)

I was actually a little surprised that I still needed to clarify it, if not figure it out all together, because I've always thought I knew what I was supposed to be doing since I was a little kid. I guess when you aren't automatically a 'success' at it (whatever that means to you), you start to second guess it. Am I doing the wrong thing? Wasting my time? Maybe it would help to construct a bit of a mission statement, to help shed some light on it or to simplify it so that its more easily attainable.

So I decided to do a little experiment. Its called "The Life Purpose Exercise" by Arnold M. Patent, who is a spiritual coach and author.


1. List two of your unique personal qualities, such as enthusiasm and

_____________________________ _____________________________

2. List one or two ways you enjoy expressing those qualities when interacting
with others, such as to support and to inspire.

_____________________________ _____________________________

3. Assume the world is perfect right now. What does this world look like? How
is everyone interacting with everyone else? What does it feel like? Write your
answer as a statement, in the present tense, describing the ultimate
condition, the perfect world as you see it and feel it. Remember, a perfect
world is a fun place to be.

EXAMPLE: Everyone is freely expressing
their own unique talents. Everyone is working in harmony.
Everyone is expressing love.


4. Combine the three prior subdivisions of this paragraph into a single

EXAMPLE: My purpose is to use my creatively and enthusiasm
to support and inspire other to freely express their talents in
a harmonious and loving way.


So whatcha get?? I'm so curious! Well quite frankly I'm nosey. I get it from my mom, well I'm totally blaming it on her anyway (why not?)! Here's what I came up with...

My Purpose is to use my humor and compassion to entertain and inspire people to be who they are in a loving and joyful way!

Great. I got it all figured out now! So what the hell do I do now? (to be continued throughout my life I guess...)

**And maybe I was nervous to put this out there because to sum up your purpose in one sentence can seem almost trivial, or maybe its because I feel people would judge what I came up with, or maybe I was scared because putting it out there meant that I need to actually start living my purpose fully. And being who you truly are is a big responsibility.

Monday, July 5, 2010

DO IT!!!!!

So another birthday has come and gone and I don't feel a day over 18, ok 21. I had a great time celebrating but I had a really rough night before my birthday. I know that I have a wonderful life and I'm right where I should be (yadda, yadda, yadda), but that doesn't mean that I still don't have to look dissappointment in the eye and face it head on. Something silly happened (silly like getting snubbed by a dumb boy) but it hit me at the wrong time and I felt old and ugly and sad and well, dissappointed. Awww, feel bad for me, cause I certainly did!! ;)

Then I woke up on friday and it was MY DAY, yay (yes, I'm a baby) lol. I ate a bagel, cause it's my birthday, so kiss my ass, diet! And as I read through the paper, I got to the horoscopes. I don't remember what the horoscope was for that day but The Post (ya, I read The Post, they gots the good gossip) gives you an extra horoscope on your birthday. This is what my (along with fellow Strong Islander Lindsay Lohan's) bday horoscope was:

Are you kidding me?? Dear horoscope writer, did you write this just for me? Cause wow, I NEEDED to hear that. My whole perspective changed in a moment!! And you wanna know what my dream was when I was little? I wanted to be a singer! And so you know what I'm gonna focus on? That's right...SINGING (you are brillant, dear readers)!! I've been told before that I should be focusing on singing but I guess I just didn't know where I fit in with it. Pop music is a youth game (I lost out on my chance around the tender age of 26, which isn't really that long ago (I might add lol) and I don't have the belt that they want for Broadway. But I do have a voice and its a damn good one. So even though I don't know where I fit in, I will sing and I will see where that takes me, because singing (and music) brings me joy!!

What did you want to be when you were little? What did you love? What DO you love? Figure it out and then DO IT!!! Even if it's for just a moment, or as a hobby, just do it!! Joy is an amazing thing, and joy brings more joy. Who knows where your joy will take you! Wherever it is, I hope it is magical!!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's Time to Celebrate!!!

The time has come, again...that's right, it's my birthday on Friday. Yay!! I LOVE my birthday! I love to celebrate, to toast, and I'm not gonna lie (guess its the performer in me) I kinda love the attention! ;) Birthdays are a time to rejoice in the fact that we've had the opportunity to live another year. But it can also be a reminder that we are another year older (a fact some people may not enjoy, because it is almost like a big old road sign saying "Ha, Ha. You thought you would be here at this age and honey, you ain't left the gate yet". Well, at least that's what my sign says. Yeah, my sign is pretty bitchy). And if you've been reading this blog you know that those moments for me, unfortunately, aren't few and far between. However, I also realize that I AM WHERE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE (even if I don't know why right now). Regardless of where anyone else is, I AM HERE!! There's a reason I'm where I am and I'm choosing to accept it.

That being said, accepting is not the same as giving up. Just because I'm here doesn't mean I won't get there (apparently I'm just on the slow track). I read a quote recently that resonated with me and I think it fits perfectly: "Wherever you are, is just fine…You can get to wherever you want to be from wherever you are… It’s time to stop measuring where you are in relationship to where anybody else is. The only factor that has anything to do with you is where you are in relationship with where you want to be." --- Abraham Hicks

So on Friday when I blow out the candles and enter my Jesus year (that's right, I just told you my age fellow Jesus believers, lol) my goal for the coming year is to stop comparing myself to where others are and focus on my own course. I'm the only one that can get me there. And I won't put blinders on to what everybody else does or has, but instead, will be happy for them and content in the fact that I'm on my own way!

Enjoy your life because its the journey not the destination that's important (and not everybody got the chance to live and love and laugh and celebrate another year) so I will be celebrating my life and the wonderful people I have in it. And I will celebrate the accomplishments I've made this year because even if they weren't the ones I expected, they were still great and I'm proud of the work I've done.

Here's to the next year...I can't wait to see what's in store, whatever it is, it will be fantastic because its all part of my journey!

Cheers (to me and you and yours)!!!
Roxy Strago

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Well HELLOOOOOO there. I'm still alive!!

Well hellooooo there!!! Remember me? Yeah, you may not and don't feel bad about yourself, its my own damn fault, is been awhile since I've posted here. I have to admit, I think I got burnt out. Not just about this blog but about a lot of things. I ended a workshop for the show I'm doing next year at the beginning of May and now its the middle of June. And what did I do to further my career or to create? Not a whole lot. I don't know why but I've been feeling completely disconnected from performing and its weird because it happened right after I had this amazing creative experience. I felt kinda out of it and it was hard to figure out where I fit in. I'm still trying to work my way through it, so this blog has kinda been (not the furthest) but pretty far from my mind. Not to say that I haven't thought about writing or actually tried to write an entry. In fact I started one on June 9th and it went a little something like this...

I'm sad and discouraged and out of sorts...and quite frankly its pissing me off!! Why may you ask? Beats the crap out of me. I think it I have hit the proverbial wall my darlings and it sucks.

I'm reading the "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield and he said that "The professional arms himself with patience, not only to give the stars time to align in his career, but to keep himself from flaming out in each individual work. He knows that a job, whether it's a novel or a kitchen remodel, takes twice as long as her thinks and costs twice as much. He accepts that. He recognizes it as reality...He conserves his energy. He prepares his mind for the long haul."

Guess what? Being born and raised in NY (yeah I know, Strong Island, but its still NY) makes me have as much patience as...honestly, I have no idea. I can't think of a good analogy and I'm getting pissed about that too, so forget it (see NO patience). Anyway, this is a really difficult thing...waiting Y E A R S for what you want (or have dreamed about since you were probably about six years old (officially when I was ten and I declared that this is what I would do for the rest of my life), and have been actively pursuing for 10 years. But I'm still here. I haven't given up or in. I keep trying. I also needed a break and I'm just starting to feel like I'm coming alive again. I've slowly started doing things I should be doing. Like submitting my headshot, and following up and (gasp) writing again.

I'm thinking of this post as a rebirth. I even changed my template for this here blog (do you like it? I think its pretty)!!!! And as today starts a brand new season I feel its a time to celebrate in a way. I think its ok to take a break for a bit and to crash and burn as long as you get back on the horse (even if it takes a little longer than you had hoped). The point is to keep going and work through the hard times (the times when you want to bang your head or someone else's against the wall), because hard work pays off (eventually) and patience is a virtue (one that somehow has eluded me most of the time) but as a "professional" I've accepted that I need it. God, who knew this whole making your dreams come true would be so freaking difficult? ;)

Keep at it kiddies...the good things come to those who wait (or pay for it, but that's a different blog for a different writer)!

Ms. Strago

Sunday, May 23, 2010


***Disclaimer: actually written on Monday night, but due to the authors inability to get anything done, was edited on Tuesday and now apparently posted on Wednesday.

Summer vacation has come early, well at least for this here blog. My last entry was in the beginning of May and May is officially over and out!! Time really flies when you're the world's biggest procrastinator!!! Last week I had dinner with friends and we got to talking about how things could be better. And man, if they were better how great everything would be. If only our boyfriends would do this and not that, things would be amazing. If only we had this and not that then things would be PERFECT!!! If only...Really??? Would it?

I'm thinking no! Getting whatever we think we need to make our lives perfect will not make them perfect. Why? Because we are NEVER satisfied. Sometimes that's a good thing. It makes us strive for things. But when we look past the things that we do have and only look at what we want we have a problem. I'm not immune to it. I think that if I only had that big break in my career my life would be perfect. I'd never have to worry again. I'd meet the man of my dreams and live happily ever after.

But when I get want I want, will I be satisfied? And if I'm always looking for the things in the future, how much of the moments I'm living right now am I missing out on? Does that mean that I should stop wanting the things I want? No. But I can't forget the things I have today, I need to be grateful for them. “Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have, we will not be happy– because we will always want to have something else or something more”.– David Steindl-Rast.

Now here's the question, how will I be grateful?? Yeah, its easy to sit here and say that I will be glad and appreciative of everything I have but its also a load of bullocks because when life happens we rarely appreciate the everyday small things (unless you are more highly advanced than I am and for that, I applaud you)! So how will I truly be grateful? I will be ME. I will be grateful that I am me and that I have the opportunity everyday to be the best me that I can be. And I will be truthful about who I am, what I have to offer and what I want to do! This will be the SUMMER OR TRUTHS!! Right smack in yo face truths. It might be a scary summer but I think it will be worth it! Be your truth!

Maurice Fernandez says, "It is about hearing a calling for truth. Things you have denied, postponed, avoided, feared, but things you know were true. This is a time to be more truthful and follow a calling." The time is now. ROCK ON!

-Ms. Strago

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wow, I sound like a spoiled brat! Is that wrong?

When I started to write this blog my intention was to write about my journey as a performer and the trials and triumphs that come along with that. But I realized that I can't only focus on performing because my life is not only about my career (although sometimes it feels like it). So from time to time, I think I will focus a bit on my personal life and how it gets affected because of the career path I have chosen. A friend of mine recently had a baby and she is thrilled beyond belief, and I’m not gonna lie, there were a few times I felt my uterus tug...and then I snapped back into my reality.

See I’m at a point in my life where many other people have gotten married and are having kids. They have done the things you're “supposed to do” at my age (and they love it). In fact, many of my closest friends are either having babies, getting married or actively searching for a husband (don’t get me started on that one, lol), while I am searching for my next acting job. I’m not at that place now, and there is a tiny part of me that feels like I might be missing out. When I was sixteen and I thought about what my life would be like at this age now, I can honestly tell you, it was a hell of a lot different than the life I’m living. Is that a bad thing?

Recently, it has come to my attention that I SHOULD be doing these things now: getting married and having kids, making my own family. But should we do things because we SHOULD?!! Or should we figure out what and when is right for us? Should I feel bad that my life is not what society says it should be at this point?? Should I feel like a loser, or less of a woman if my goal at the moment is my career, instead of finding a husband? Do I want all those things, the husband and the family? Yes…I think so. But they aren't in my cards now and I don't want them at the expense of my other dreams. I know everyone makes compromises, but there are some things that I just won’t give up on. Why can't I have it all?!! Why can't I make all my dreams come true??! Wow, I sound like a spoiled brat! Is that wrong?

I know people are starting to think there must be something wrong with me. Especially with comments like “when are you getting married?” or “Hey, you really should get on that”. Or my personal favorite, “Oh, you’re still doing that? (meaning acting). Well, good for you”. And I know from their tone, that this isn’t a compliment. I’m also not sitting here and complaining about my life, because I chose it!! The reason I am where I am is because I made it happen; and if I’m not happy with it or want something else it’s up to me to make that happen. A fairy godmother is not going to come down and wave her magical wand (no matter how much I would freaking love that), so it’s up to me to make my life the way I want it to be. I’m on my way…S-L-O-W-L-Y!

And I guess in 10 yrs if I still haven’t found Mr. Right (hell, if I haven’t found Mr. I can live with long enough to get married), and my uterus is still tugging and I'm financially stable enough, I can try to adopt because everyone needs love and a home. But here’s thing, I don't know where I'll be in 10 yrs. None of us to do. We all have our "plan", but sometimes life has other plans. The only thing we have is a path & its our own (and I will not apologize or be judged for mine). I will just have to trust that my path will bring me my happiness. I’ll end on this quote from an email I just read (its about the search for your soulmate, but I think it can apply to all dreams), “Most who are looking for mates that they haven't quite found yet, are so interested in getting to where they're going, that they're missing the fun of going there.” Hmmm, somehow after all these years, I’ve yet to accept that life isn’t a result, it’s a journey.

This is mine! I hope you're loving yours!

-R. Strago

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sometimes I'm not only a procrastinator but I'm LATE too!

So I'm a little tardy with this entry (like a week and a half), whoops. Its not because I didn't want to write one or I forgot about it, but it turns out when you worry about things, they have a habit of coming true...see when I started this blog I had a fear (it wasn’t a big one) but it was, what if I run out of things to say or to talk about? And last Sunday it started to come true. I’ve had this happen a few times when I went to sit down at my computer but somehow I always came up with something sort of relevant to say (well at least I hope it was relevant anyway).

And this time? Negativo, I had absolutely no idea. It reminded me of the Sex and the City episode when Carrie doesn’t have anything to write about, so she starts to compare men to socks!! And then she thinks of writing about men and french fries (yes, I've watched entirely too many episodes of that show) and needless to say, thank God my blog isn’t about men or relationships, or I think I’d have NOTHING to say...well, I’d probably have a lot to say but there’d be no way I could help myself or anyone else on that subject. Come to think of it, know any good blogs on dating? Sorry, I digress. ;)

Anyway, what should I do? An idea. Sometimes throughout the day I come up with little pieces of dialogue for a play or a monologue or whatever when I talk to myself (and I do, I totally talk to myself). And sometimes things pop in my head that I think will be a good focus for this here blog. In my search for what to write, I figured let me check my email because that’s what I do with these things, I send myself emails or texts in the hopes that someday these little nuggets will turn into gold. And I found this: “Trust & show up. Frazzled & crazy & worried. Plan. Be prepared!!” WTF?? Did I write this? Did I read it somewhere and wrote it down because it affected me in some way? Beats the hell out of me, but I like it! It sounds good (which probably means I didn’t write it lol).

And this week I'm trying to apply it (or at least trying to figure out what it means). I think its like that saying "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet”. So be prepared and show up, even though you're scared and feel out of place and trust that you are enough. Sometimes when I start a new project with other people (which I did last week) I get scared that I'm not talented enough, or smart enough, or I'm too shy, or not right for it, or (God forbid) I'll make a freakin mistake (I can go on but I won't, I'm even annoying myself) and I decided to throw caution to the wind and F*#k it. I'm throwing myself in, head first and letting things happen and in the process I think I'm not only learning about the "art" of it (whatever that means), but more importantly, I'm learning about myself. I think that's kinda the best thing we can hope show up, move forward, trust in yourself no matter how you are feeling, let it go and learn. That's all I got for now.

Man, I just hope I have something to say next week! ;)


Sunday, April 4, 2010

I'm a LIAR!!

I’m a LIAR!!!! I’ll explain in a bit, but its true!

What a crazy week! It started off not too good (grammar?) when Sunday night I waited by my computer refreshing my mail, oh, every few seconds to see if my play made the finals (by the way, I promised myself I wouldn’t do this and there I was doing it) until around 12:30am Monday morning rolled around when I found out we didn’t make them. Sigh. So yeah I thought I’d be completely be fine with this news and boy was I completely WRONG!! I started to cry (I know, I know...DRAMA). But see not making the finals made me feel like a loser, because if I can't even advance in this festival, how can I get something really big to happen in my career? And then the big moment hit (a moment I’ve had a few times before), I wondered if it was time to pack it all in. That’s when the waterworks really kicked in because the thought of giving up or losing my dreams was almost unbearable.

Now here is why I call myself a liar, because if you read last weeks blog post I stated (yes, I’m actually going to quote myself here), I stated: “As much as it would be amazing to hear tonight that I made the Finals, I don’t have to make them to feel like I’ve accomplished something…that’s enough!” Wow, it appears I’m full of crap. So after I cried & cried & cried some more, I finally stopped & said to myself, "f#*k it". Because I realized just how much I still want this!! So now is the time to get it together & work your ass off like never before. So that is what I promised myself I would do.

I won’t lie to you again, Monday SUCKED!!! I sulked like a little baby. I was a complete brat!! And Tuesday rolled around and I decided the time was now. So I called to set up two seminars with two different agents. I went to my singing class so I could do what I love probably almost more than anything which is to sing (cause that’s what you do in a singing class, in case you didn’t know)! Then I headed to the Network to pick out sides for the upcoming seminars and then I did probably my second favorite thing in the world to do: SHOP!! Got two cute dresses at H&M and I didn’t use my credit card, yay!

Wednesday night I checked my “professional” email and saw that I got an email from a casting director for a commercial the next day but here it was like 9:30pm and I didn’t know the time or what I needed to do and it was so last minute and I’ll have to take off from work. What should I do? (yes, this is actually what goes through my head). I emailed him back for info…didn’t find out until 8:00am when I woke up, that the audition is at 11:30 and I need to wear a sexy dress. Oh dear God. Now comes the real true me (and its very difficult for me to admit that this is what runs through my mind, but I promised that this blog would be as honest as it could be so I’ll admit it to you). I started writing him an email that I couldn’t make it. You may be asking yourself, what the hell is wrong with this girl. That’s a freaking excellent question and if you know the answer, please email me pronto!!! I was thinking all kinds of crazy thoughts. What should I wear? Do I want to wear a sexy dress? I'm not sexy! What time will I get back to work? What do I have to do there? What if I’m horrible and he never calls me in again? What if this is an April Fools joke?(no kidding, that thought ran through my head as well as a few more that I won't mention). So before I hit send, I took a shower and remembered the promise I made to myself. So I picked out a dress, got my headshot, I deleted the email that I wrote before, I got on that train and tried to do the best impression of sexy I could muster (well, not on the train but you know). And while I was there I couldn’t believe I actually thought about not going. What an idiot!!!! I’d love to tell you that I got a call back, but being that the call backs are tomorrow and this being pretty late Sunday night and since I didn’t hear from them yet I think it’s a safe bet that I didn’t get one, but that’s okay. It’s okay because I pushed myself. Maybe "normal" people don’t have these thoughts going through their heads and the palpable fear in their stomachs, but this "nut" does. So when I push through that fear, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

On the way back to the train, I got an email from an old director/writer friend who cast me in the first professional play I ever did in NY after I graduated college. He needed my number. I later got a call from him asking if I would be in his workshop for the new play he’s writing. It’s a 3-4 week workshop and I will be paid (I'm sorry, what did you say?? Money? Yes, money…clearly I don’t do this just for the money, but man when you get real money on top of it, its AMAZING!). So I immediately said yes. Crazy thoughts came into my head again, but I won’t bore you with them as I refuse to entertain them. I’m learning that when you (well, me) open yourself (well, myself) up to new experiences and push through your (well, my) fears, good things start to happen. It’s a lesson well learned. And its one that I hope I continue to learn! God knows my fears aren’t going anywhere, but I will not let them have the power to control me anymore!

The time is now people. Make things happen!! Because you (well, I guess me too) ROCK!

-The R Stragster

Sunday, March 28, 2010

S#*t, that’s selfish!!!!

First, I must apologize for my absence last week. I feel I have failed myself (and you) but I’ve convinced myself that because I was performing in my play I could take a week off (truthfully I can justify just about anything because quite frankly, I didn’t have a show last Sunday, so it wasn’t like I couldn’t sit at the computer). Actually, I did sit at my computer and I wrote a little bit about how the festival was going and how we got through it and I think people liked it and then I stopped. I just didn’t feel inspired and I’d rather write something that I care about than just throw words together that are semi-grammatically correct and call it a blog post. Then I actually thought, “does it really matter if I don’t write one this week? Will anyone miss it?” And then I kinda felt like, I don’t even know if anyone reads this so who cares if I don’t post one and so I didn’t. Looking back on it, I’m disappointed with myself that I didn’t write one, because my goal when I started this was to write one weekly and now I can never go back and have that week again. Writing this now, I figured this out…I can’t write for other people. I need to write for myself and hope that it says something to someone or makes someone think, or makes them, in a very tiny way, feel inspired but I CAN’T do it for someone else. Shit, that’s selfish and soo not me, but there it is.

It dawned on me today that I do things for other people (and not like “Oh let me help you cross the street” but more like “wow, they'll finally think I'm worth something if I do this”). I do things for other people’s approval and you know what? That’s utter bullshit!! And you know when I realized it clearly? (I mean, I noticed this trait more than a few times but I didn’t realize that its not okay until I watched the movie Rudy today). Oh I can just hear a few of you chuckling, Rudy? Yes! I’ve never seen the whole thing before and it was one of my dad’s favorite movies. And I can’t honestly tell you I watched the whole thing today either, but I watched the last half hour (pretty much knowing the story of this kid who’s dream it was to play football for Notre Dame even though he was five feet tall and without a huge amount of athletic ability, but he never gave up) until he didn’t make the dress list (which I’ll be honest, I have no idea what the hell that means. My family loves football, I love the commercials at the Super Bowl, but apparently not making the dress list totally sucks). Here’s the part stolen from IMDB that blew my mind…

Fortune: Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey what are you doing here don't you have practice?
Rudy: Not anymore I quit.
Fortune: Oh, well since when are you the quitting kind?
Rudy: I don't know, I just don't see the point anymore.
Fortune: So you didn't make the dress list, there are greater tragedies in the world.
Rudy: I wanted to run out of that tunnel for my dad to prove to everyone that I worked...
Fortune: PROVE WHAT?
Rudy: That I was somebody.
Fortune: Oh you are so full of crap. Your five foot nothin', a hundred and nothin' and you hung in with the best college football team in the land for two years, and you were also going to walk out of here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame in this life time you don't have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself and after what you gone through if you haven't done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen, now go on back.
Rudy: I'm sorry I never got you to see you're first game in here.
Fortune: Hell I've seen too many games in this Stadium.
Rudy: I thought you said you never saw a game...
Fortune: I've never seen a game from the stands.
Rudy: You were a player?
Fortune: I rode the Bench for two years, thought I wasn't being played because of my color I got filled up with a lot of attitude so I quit, still not a week goes by I don't regret it, and I guarantee a week won't go by in your life you won't regret walking out letting them get the best of you. Do you hear me clear enough?

So now I’m about to cry as I watch this, because you know what, that shit is TRUE!!! Who am I doing all of this for, and I’m not talking about this blog, but who is all of this (everything I do) for? Why wasn’t I overwhelmingly proud when we did our first performance at the One-Act festival? Why didn’t I believe my friends and family when they said they liked it? Why do I never hear applause but I can’t forget the one person who doesn’t think I’m pretty enough for this business?? So, and excuse my french, what the F*#K has to happen so that we feel we have accomplished something? Do we need to win an award to feel like we are successful? Why do I need everyone’s (or at least the people I hold in high regard) to swoon over what I do, for it to mean something? And if they said that it was fantastic, would I even believe them? Shouldn’t I just feel like knowing what I did was enough?

So that is what I’m taking with me from this festival. As much as it would be amazing to hear tonight that I made the Finals, I don’t have to make them to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I wrote a play. I got to work with people I love and then I got to perform it for more people I love (and some people I didn’t even know). And then as a bonus, I got to perform it for members of the industry and that’s enough!

So, here’s the deal…I’m gonna continue to write this blog, even if no one reads it because it makes me feel good and it makes me a better writer. And I’m gonna keep writing plays and such, because I want to share things with people and I hope that others feel and think about things when they get performed. And I’m gonna keep acting and singing because deep down in my soul that’s what I feel like I was put here to do, and I’m sorry if I’m not at as good as Meryl or Barbra or Idina or anyone else I will inevitably compare myself to, because I only have to be as good as me! I will continue to try to be as good as I can be, but I can’t be someone else and I can't do it for anyone else’s approval!!

Whew, now this selfish bitch needs a glass of wine! ;)


Sunday, March 14, 2010

There's no business like show!!

Okay so I don’t know if this week’s blog will be that long or chock full of anything inspiring (well come to think it, is it ever? Lol), but its only because the time has come: Its show week!!! Yes, I’m excited and yes, I’m anxious. As I was just telling my friend Joe (before we went over lines over the phone) that I’m anxious. I’m trying to figure out why, because I truly believe that the play will go wonderfully (we’ve done the work), so what the hell am I anxious about? I think I’m anxious about being anxious before the show. I know me before a show (and if you been reading this blog, you know me too). So now I’m anxious about how I’m gonna feel before this show. Has my craziness really come to this??

I’ve been uneasy all day (with a strong need to throw up, no worries, I didn’t). I had a headache (I want to blame it on the weather, it may just be my body starting to freak out about Thursday). Who knows, but I’ve decided to try to relax. So I’m watching Godspell. I can just hear half the readers (all 5 five of you) saying, “What”? and the other half saying, “I love Godspell”! Godspell is probably my favorite musical and before my senior year in high school I did the show. And I had maybe the most fun doing a show ever. So I decided to watch it now. Maybe it will help me to remember how much fun performing can be. And if not, maybe Jesus will send me some good vibes of his own for the show, lol!

I just want to take this time to thank Joe Iozzi (the other actor in my play) and Corinne Lee (my director) for all their hard work and for taking a chance on me and this play. In January, I set out to write this and it just a few short days will be performing it in front of a paid audience. It’s amazing to me! So now this week, I am determined to have fun!! Crazy, I know.

If you guys want to get tickets to the festival, you can do so at: We are "The Rooftop Play".

And as I finish this blog, I have just gotten a hive!! I can’t even have a drink because this week I was stricken with a cold and now I’m on antibiotics!! Ahhhh, there’s no business like show business!! Hahahahahaha!! Until next week!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Which way to the red carpet ride?

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this while watching the red carpet before the show!

Can’t believe I’m not going to be able to watch the Academy Awards!!! The Party’s over!!! And if you have Cablevision then you know what I’m talking about!! It’s completely unfair! It’s all about money (just like everything else) and it makes my blood boil. But I am watching the red carpet on my couch writing this blog, coughing up my lungs (yes I have a cold too so this day is turning out to be fun!) and I am thinking about these people’s lives and I wonder what they thought of before they hit it big. Did they think that they would be on that red carpet one day? Did they just do the work, working their hardest and one day they woke up with a nomination? I don’t know but it just makes me think (and this is very optimistic of me) you never know where life can take you (yeah, sometimes it takes you to really crappy places, I know I’ve been there a few times and I know you have too) but life can also take you to unexpected and exciting places as well, but and it’s a really big but, you need to be in it! You need to show up and be prepared and then be flexible enough to go with the wave. You need to put yourself out there and experience it! (I'm learning this slowly or at least putting it into action.) You never know when you turn the corner what will be waiting for you and I’m starting to get excited about that (hold on while I get a tissue as I just sneezed). I’m not usually excited about the unknown but when you think about all the great things that can happen, it’s easier to feel that way. I’m excited about all the great things that are possible!

Here’s another thing that I can’t believe I’m actually going to do but I’m gonna quote Simon Cowell. Yes, it has come this. I watched American Idol on Tuesday (which I don’t usually do until it’s the top 10 because I can’t care about all these people, lol) but I watched. And one guy (I think it was the mullet kid) was talking about how he threw up before he would play a sport and now he throws up before he sings (although I’ve never thrown up before a performance, I can relate to him). Well he sang, did a pretty ok job and then Simon Cowell basically told him to stop it. Then he said, “The only time to be nervous is when you are useless”. Interesting thought! Not sure I totally agree but I’m gonna try to accept it because I know that I’m not useless (well I am in some places, like the kitchen and with cleaning agents like a mop and soap and things of that nature, lol) but I’m definitely not useless on the stage (not saying I’m incredible, but I have something to give).

Then he said, “Take your opportunity and do your best”! So on March 18th and 19th (when my One-Act goes up for the first time) I will take my opportunity and do my best. I have no idea what will happen and I have no idea if people will like it but I’ll be there, I’ll take my opportunity and I will do my best. I’m gonna show up and be ready. And I’m gonna see where this ride will take me. It may take me nowhere but I will learn from it regardless. I’m excited about this unknown. If you want to take the ride with me, you can come see the show (shameless plug lol). The tickets will be sold on but unfortunately the tickets are not on sale as of yet!

Now, I’m gonna try to find some place on the world wide web to watch the show (without getting a virus)! And if I can’t see it, then I’ll try to do something that will be proactive for my career or I’ll eat something cause that makes me happy too, lol!! Be in your life, you gotta be in it to win it baby!

Update: I found a site online, but in the end it didn’t matter, ABC was back on! Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! It’s called the Academy Awards! No worries, I ate something too!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's Not a Test?

So if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I’m slightly nuts, lol. Okay, not like a total crazy person, but I have some “issues” (I like to say that they're all part of my charm), but sometimes, if I don’t deal with them head on, they can have the tendency to hold me back. One of them is stage fright. Most of the time I get so freaked out about it, I want to throw up. And right before I go on, I always ask myself, “Self, why do you do this to me?" (meaning: why do you make me go out there with the possibility to screw up royally and make an utter ass out of myself?) Now while I’m waiting in the wings as it were, I can’t find an answer to that question. I usually don’t want to go out there and if I could pay someone to go out instead of me I would (crazy right? I told you). But of course I go out there. I force myself to because I promised that I would. In a way its almost like jumping out of an airplane (not that I’ve done that or ever would) but I can just imagine myself in that plane before the big jump sweating, with my heart pounding so hard it could possibly break through my chest and my stomach in pain. And then me asking myself again “self, what have you gotten me into again?” Cause that’s what it’s like before I take the stage.

You might be asking yourself “self, if she gets so scared that she feels like she might die, why does she bother”? Good question!! The only answer I have is because once I’m out there I freaking LOVE it!! Last week before I sang at the cabaret, I was nervous. I just wanted to get it over with (some performer right?) but when I got up there and started to sing, I started to relax, something comes over me (remembering the first lines of the song usually helps, lol) and then when I did my patter between songs and people actually laughed, well that was it. I had such a great time. I don’t do drugs but performing is the closest thing to being high that I have experienced. It’s addicting!!

Now I NEED to remember that when my play opens in a little over 2 weeks (because I can just imagine the kind of wreck I’ll be beforehand). I think its the perfectionist in me that causes this. I want it to be perfect. I want to be perfect and then that little voice comes in and says "wow if you screw up you will be humiliated forever". But let's face it, what's the worst thing you can think of happening? Death right? Well if I screw up, I'm not gonna die. I will survive. I know this, but man, I still want to be good!! I read somewhere over the past week something that I felt I needed to remember. I wish I wrote down where I got it from but its about a woman who speaks for a living. “She stops asking, how am I doing? and moves to, are you with me? Instead of worrying, will they like me? She considers, what can I offer them? ‘The difference now is that I do not see it as a performance. I see my role as a sharer,’ says Shakin. ‘And when I share . . . my listeners are up there with me.’"

So I’m not going to see my play as a performance (although it is) but more as sharing a part of who I am. I love what I do, so I need to do it and I need to ENJOY it!! I can honestly sit here as I write this and tell you that I’m still gonna be nervous that I’ll forget my lines or that people will think the play is cheesy, but when I get out there and open my mouth I’m gonna enjoy every second of it because its what I love. And its an honor to be sharing an experience with those people in those seats. It’s not a test!! I need to remember that!

I usually feel like I've accomplished something when I write each blog, but I'll be honest with you, I'm not sure that I have here. It almost feels unfinished or somehow not cohesive. I guess it's because I'm not entirely convinced that I won't have a breakdown before the show, lol. I'll keep you posted. Its all a learning experience I guess. Thanks for listening! I hope you do what you love, because life is too short!!


Monday, February 22, 2010

“Stop the Insanity”

So I started writing this blog to talk about my "journey" as a performer, so I guess I should start talking about it. Well actually, I finally have something to talk about (yeah its been awhile, lol). I sang last night in a cabaret downstairs in the Rouge Winebar at The Paris Commune. That’s the reason why this entry is on Monday night instead of Sunday. I was pretty exhausted as well as in pain. I woke up Saturday morning unable to move my neck. As I told the crowd last night, I’d like to say its from some crazy, wacky, sexy event, but quite frankly I think it’s because I’m getting old, lol. I forgot to tell them that if they were smelling Bengay, don’t look around at your neighbor because its me. The tiger balm was in FULL effect last night and still today. Anyway, I took a muscle relaxer and went to bed, hence the no Sunday night blog, my apologies. I think it went pretty well, the cabaret, not the muscle relaxer, although it helped, but I’ll let you be the judge, when I finally get around to uploading the videos online (thanks JG for recording it).

On Saturday morning, I had my first production meeting for the One-Act festival. It was great to finally see what this festival is about and what’s in store for me and our crew. Everyone seemed really nice and supportive. Then I sat down with my director (and friend) Corinne Lee to map out our rehearsals. We talked about the play and its meanings and what I thought about it. I clearly remember saying to her, that “I’d love to be in the finals, but just doing the best that we could, would make this a success in my eyes”, or something like that. And I truly feel that way. Giving my all and getting things done, bringing these characters and this story to life is my goal. And I hope people are touched by it.

Then we met with Joe and read it for the first time aloud. It sounded good. There are things that need to be changed and transitions that need to be worked out (its a work in progress), but its good. I think. ;) But is it good enough? Am I good enough? As I got off the train and headed home, I said (in my head…I don’t want you to think that I actually talk to my self out loud, I mean, I do but I try not to do it in public) so I said “yeah it would be nice to be in the finals” and then I felt deep inside, but that won’t happen. Now why should I feel that way? I haven’t seen any of the other plays, I have no idea what anyone else has written and we haven’t even had a full rehearsal yet, so why the hell am I feeling like I won’t make the finals? Why am I selling myself short?

Because things like this don’t happen to me. Winning does NOT happen! It's in our genes (like the Garrish curse, I told you about that right?) Well winning really hasn’t happened to me before, so why should it happen now, right? I did a monologue challenge once and I made the top 5. Did I win? Nope. Was it because I wasn’t the best? Was it because deep down, I didn’t think I deserved to win? Or was it because I was thinking that I’m not a “winner” and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy? Could be any of the above, or a combo of all.

Last night, when some of the guests were leaving the cabaret, they said a few kind words to me about my performance. One of them actually said something like, “you’re gonna go far”! I said thank you and I’m sure I said something like “we’ll see” or “I hope so” but a part of me didn’t believe her. I haven’t made it yet…will I ever? How do I mesh my desires with that nagging, annoying little voice inside? My dreams are screaming, “Go” and “Make it Happen”. But that little voice (I guess its my subconscious) inside says, “You’re not that good. You're not a winner”.

Well, you know what? Its time I tell that voice to “Shut the Fuck Up. You’re outta here, BITCH”!! So I’m stopping this NOW!!!! I’m not pouring everything I have into this, just to think that I won’t win! It stops now. As that crazy lady with the buzz cut, Susan Powter used to say, “Stop the Insanity”. I need to stop this before it continues to hold me back. Why can’t my play be in the finals? Why can't it win? Why can't I win an Oscar?! I can (well, I'm gonna start trying to believe it)! Change takes time!!

I’m plowing forward. Onward and upward- today, I booked all our rehearsal space…wow, I’m really like a big girl now, lol!!! I'll keep you posted!! Thanks for listening!

-R. Strago

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I got some good news this week. YAY! :) So why do I fee like the end of the world is at hand? :( Perhaps its because I’m CRAZY! Yep, I think that’s the answer, lol. See the One-Act play I wrote in January was accepted to the festival to be performed in March. You think I would be over the moon excited about it and a part of me is. It feels great to have written something and have someone think that it was good enough to be seen by real people (who aren't related to me) lol. But I am out of my mind scared and anxious about it. I know nerves are good most of the time because it shows that you care. And I care, a lot! I want this play to be amazing! It’s a great opportunity to have my work as a writer and actress be seen by people who can help me get future work.

However, I’m also extremely nervous because this is the first time I’m doing more than acting. Usually, I get a role and I work on it. I learn my lines, show up and do my best. Now I guess I’m the producer too (you think I would enjoy this since I'm kinda a control freak and yet I don't). I have to schedule rehearsals, get a director, make sure we have enough time to get done what needs to be done, get costumes and props, plus learn my lines and be an actress (what did I get myself into?). I’m not gonna lie…I’m OVERWHELMED!!! I'm having crazy anxiety dreams already and we haven't had a single rehearsal yet!

I don’t know why I’m so afraid of this. I guess I’m fearful of failing but if I’ve learned anything from writing this blog and putting it out there, its that the only failure there is, is not trying (thanks Kelley Lynn for that comment). FEAR can be paralyzing and I’m gonna have to fight my way through it everyday! But I also know that what can feel like the scariest thing, can also be the best thing for you. So I’m gonna work my butt off and get this thing done. Don’t know how, but I’ll do it!! I refuse to let my anxiety get the best of me. I’ve worked too hard to get here to turn back now. Honestly, I could also use all your good vibes and support as well. And I want to thank my dear friend Joe Iozzi for accepting the male role in the play. It means so much that I can count on him (especially since I have no money and can’t pay him, sorry)! Love ya!

I'll leave you on this note. I read something over the weekend and I decided that I’m gonna read every day, and somehow I will make myself believe it! I don’t officially know who wrote it. I looked it up online and two names came up: C. W. Longenecker as well as Walter D Wintle. However, I think its true and I think it will help…

“If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but think you can’t.
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will—
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”

I think I CAN! I hope you think you CAN too!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Here's the truth and it's UGLY.

I’ll be honest, this is not a pretty blog entry. But I decided that when I started this blog I would be honest. It’s almost like a diary that I let other people read and sometimes what I feel in my life isn’t pretty, meaning that, when you read this you're probably gonna figure out that I’m NOT perfect. But let’s face it as human beings, we aren’t always “pretty” so I’m gonna let this out and I hope that you won’t judge me too harshly.

This year started out, as most do, full of hope for all the great things to come and for the most part I still feel that way (since its only February lol) but there are times when the opposite comes to the surface and it rears its ugly head. We can call this DOUBT, sometimes we can call it JEALOUSY and sometimes it can be known as POOR ME. Now if you really know me, you know that I try hard not to get caught up in the POOR ME game. I don’t even like to play the game with others (but I always let them win). I don't think its fun. I feel like it doesn’t do any good, except make us feel worse and try to keep us there. I think we have control over our lives, so why not stop whining about it and change things. Well, that’s really easy to say, but sometimes its really hard to do. Sometimes it’s hard to be positive all the time.

Right now, I kinda feel like I’m in a waiting room or stuck in a shade of gray, like there are great things right around the corner but my car has stalled and I don’t have enough money to call a tow truck or pay the mechanic. And I’m starting to get a little pissed off about it. Not that this feeling has just come over me right at this moment, I’ve felt it before in my life. I even wrote my first play about this feeling. And here’s the ugly part, the feeling is “When is it my turn?” Believe me I completely understand that this statement is absolutely 100% self-centered, but there you have it. “When is it my turn?” When do my dreams get to come true, cause I know quite a few people who have what they want (true, I doubt their lives are perfect) but they laid out plans for their lives and are now living it. I'm v happy for them, but well, when's it my turn?

I try not to be this selfish in my every day life but the more I become aware of people living their dreams and me feeling like I’m still on the starting line, it makes me disappointed. And then to top it all off, I feel really bad that I feel this way because I know how truly blessed I am and how great my life is. Perhaps its all my Catholic guilt, but I feel guilty for feeling dissapointed or jealous. I told you it wasn't pretty, but I think its important to share the things that get us down and angry and upset.

I’m putting it out there so that we know we’re allowed to feel these things, but that’s it. We can feel them, and then we need to get them out and let them go. We cannot hold onto them. We can use them to work harder and prove that we deserve to be where we want to be but we can’t wallow in them. Tomorrow's a new day. I will wake up and try to see the day as a new start. I don’t know that I’ll get through the entire day and not feel bad about something though. I can’t promise that when I read on someone’s facebook status that they just booked a guest spot on Law & Order while I’m sitting at a desk, I won’t feel upset. And I can’t promise that when I read someone’s tweet that they just landed a fabulous agent I won’t be a tad bit jealous, but I do promise that I’m working on it. And I’ll use their successes to know that it is possible. If people I know personally are succeeding, than I can't be that far behind, can I? And maybe I don't need a mechanic. Maybe I just need a friend with some jumper cables to restart my battery. That is what you use to restart your car right?

I kinda want to eat a bagel right now! Is that weird!


Sunday, January 31, 2010

"You close when??" said the procrastinator.

So last week I wrote about my dad. I’ve gotten a few things from him: my love for music, my freckles and the horrible language I use while driving. Yes its true, I have the mouth of a drunken sailor. Its not nice and its certainly not ladylike. I mean awful words that I would never utter in my normal everyday life, will simple fly out of my mouth as if I’m saying “Hello, how are you”. Words that you would be embarrassed to use in front of your mother, except while driving, I have uttered those words in front of mine. I’m not proud of it and I’ll admit it. I try not to use them, but the drivers in NY usually deserve them. My dad drove like that, my brother drives like that and so do I. I guess the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree after all. I’m not making excuses because I know I have the power to not yell obscenities at people while I’m behind the wheel and yet I can’t help myself. I got a lot of other great things from my dad, like his sense of humor and his love of history and all things Irish. But I also inherited another thing that isn’t so great. And it’s called procrastination. I’m the queen of it. My picture might be in the dictionary next to the word, if not I’m sure I’m featured on Wikipedia's page for it. And this week was NO exception.

If you’ve been reading this blog, I mentioned that I decided to write a One-Act play for a festival here in NY. The festival takes place in March and the play needed to be post-marked by January 30th. I was writing and then life happened, and it was getting down to the wire. I hung out with a few friends Friday night and when I got home I figured I should finish this play. I also went online to see what time my post office closed on Saturday and to my delight, it closed at 5:00pm. Translation: I could sleep in a little and then I’d do some last minute editing and print it out, do my bio and character breakdowns…I mean, no worries I have a lot of time to finish. I did as planned and I headed to the post office around 3:30. Hello, done with time to spare. Success! I just needed to get an envelope while I was there because the envelopes I had at home didn’t fit the folder that was holding said play.

There was a feeling in my gut that said, “What’s gonna happen if the post office is closed”? But then I said, “No, I checked online”. I grabbed my script and opened the door. So far, so good. Yeah, the post office that holds the P.O. Boxes is definitely open til 5:00, however the post office the holds the mail people that take your mail and post mark your packages closes at 2:00pm on Saturday. FU*********K! What the hell am I gonna do? I worked hard on this script and I think its good. I don’t think its gonna change the world of theatre, but I feel like it has a shot at being in the festival. And I had this goal of writing it and getting it there, but it NEEDS to be out today and the freaking post office is now closed.

So before I start to cry (yes I’m a crier, sorry), I think “Okay, let me call 411 for another post office that has later hours. Some place needs to be open. It HAS to be.” Yeah, it would be great to have someone answering the phone at the post office when you call but that is not the case. So now I’m just driving somewhere. I don’t know where but I will find a place to post mark this envelope. Wait, let me call my friend Maria. She lives in (insert town here, well, there are stalkers out there), let me see when her post office closes. She looks online while I’m driving toward her town. Yeah, it closed at 1:00pm. What???? Then Maria, being the genius she is at times says “What about the one in the mall? Let me check. 6:00pm.” Yes. So here’s where the first paragraph comes in again. I’m driving to the mall thinking I’m not trusting online post office hours anymore. Let me get there as soon as possible. NY drivers get out of my way…they never do. The words coming out of my mouth would probably give this movie a R rating, if not, it’s definitely PG-13, I'm still thinking R. Then the gas light goes on. WHAT???????? Just get there. Just get there.

I get there. Here’s the worst part. Everyone on Long Island is at the mall. Yes, my secret is out, I’m a Strong Islander. Please don’t judge, especially after I tell you that J-Woww from Jersey Shore is my town’s claim to fame. Terrific. Anyway, everyone from the entire island that is long is at the mall (apparently no one on Long Island is aware that we are in a recession, at least not today). Now I cannot find a spot, I don’t know for sure when this post office closes and I need gas in my car. This is not a good moment for me. I’m grateful no one was in the car with me to witness my meltdown. Long story a little shorter, I got a spot. I ran to the post office. There’s a line out the door (most people are there to get passports), one person's working but I am there and this package will be postmarked. When I finally get to the counter I ask her "Can you post mark it?" She says, “The date's on the label”. I said “Can you just post mark it please?” (No worries I was nice). Done!! Success!!!! Whew, and I’m an idiot for waiting for the last minute!!

I have no idea if the play written was worth all I went through to get it out in time but I got it out and I felt good about it. I set a goal and it was accomplished (not easily though). Now the real question is, will I stop being a procrastinator? Hmmm, lets see, when I decided to write a blog I promised myself that I would write one every Sunday night. As I type this sentence its now 11:44pm. So what do you think? Do we ever learn??? I’ll keep you posted on the little play that brought out the worst in me this weekend…maybe some day soon,it’ll bring out the best! Have a great week!!! :) And I'll try not to curse while you're in my car!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BE ME, BE YOU! (sing to tune of "Say you, Say me"...80s Lionel Richie's song)

Last week, I wrote about my love for award shows. Seems pretty frivolous actually when thinking about the destruction and death that so many are facing in Haiti, so I’d like to just take a moment to share another place where you can donate (I’m sure everyone has donated whatever you could in these trying economic times, but if you haven’t donated yet and can, or would like to again) I just found out about texting UNICEF to 20222 and $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill. UNICEF works on the behalf of children and “100% of your donation will support UNICEF’s work in Haiti”. If you can’t donate, please continue to pray for them and the volunteers that are there now.

So last week I wrote about how the award shows inspire me, but this week I want to write a little bit about the opposite…how they make me feel inferior. Because as much as I was inspired by Mo’nique’s win and her speech, looking around that room of stars I wondered where did I fit in? And quite honestly, when I looked closely, I had to admit to myself…I don’t fit in there. I probably never will, but should that stop me from pursuing my dream? NO.

So I started to think about what I bring to the table, and its different from what Kate Hudson brings, but is it still valid? I have to think it is, or I might as well just pack it all in now. I actually started to think about this last week at the comedy tv class that I took, because since it was a class, I got to see others work and see what they bring to the table. And this isn’t just about looks, its about what I bring in terms of talent. Watching other people come in with their ideas and their choices made me realize that I better up my game. I need to make real choices when I audition and I need to commit to those choices, because if I don’t, someone else will and they’ll be the one with the role. I can’t change who I am. Of course, I’d like to be a better person and I’m always trying to improve myself but I am who I am, and I don’t want to be anyone else (Although I’m not gonna lie, I wouldn’t mind knowing what its like to be Kate Hudson for a day. Well I don’t really like any of the guys she dates. So maybe I’d be Angelina Jolie. But on second thought, she has way too many kids to handle. I guess I’d be Kate Winslet, though it might be difficult speaking with an English accent the whole day.) Anyway, you get the point. Yeah, it might be fun to be someone else for a day, but everyone else has their issues and problems too.

So what should I do?? I can only BE ME!! You can only BE YOU!!! I read another blog this week about singing (Um, yeah guess what? I have my issues with that too because I can’t “Belt” like other singers can, and it makes me feel inferior about my voice, which is utterly ridiculous because I know I can sing.) The line that struck me was “Have you claimed YOUR UNIQUENESS?” (If you are interested in that blog you can read it here:

So I have to wonder, have I claimed my uniqueness? I talk about it a hell of a lot, but have I done it? And the answer is a big old negativo; because just like when I was younger, I wanted to be accepted and be like everyone else, except I'm not like everybody else. And the irony is, now the only way that I can get anywhere in this business is to be unique, to be me. Have you claimed yours? Its time for us to take ownership of who we are and show it to the world, because seriously, if everybody was just like Kate Hudson, and no disrespect to Ms. Hudson, but we’d just have relentless re-makes of “You, Me & Dupree” and “Fool’s Gold” and then where would we be? Yeah, not a pretty place.

So God Bless the forward thinkers in this industry who looked passed Debra Messing’s nose (she was once told by a director to never show her profile on film) because where would Will be without his Grace. And where would the world be without you?? Thank God you are you. Be you and no one else!! I’m gonna be me, probably to the dismay of some people, but its all I can be (special shout out to my friend Joe for the subconscience inspiration, cause I just realized I stole his BBM status)! :)

And on a very personal note: I’m dedicating this blog to my Dad, because this week is his birthday. He would have been 74 years old on January 27th and I miss him more everyday. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, but I work hard in his honor to make my dreams come true, because he may not have been the most pleased when I told him I wanted to do this for a career, but he never stopped supporting me. He loved the arts, especially Classical music and the Opera. And although we didn’t have the same musical tastes, he was the one who first introduced me to musical theatre. I’m grateful everyday that he was my dad and I’m lucky to have been loved by him. Love and miss you daddy. Happy Birthday…

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where should you keep your Golden Globes?

Today begins my favorite season: the Awards season and I’ve never been nominated, lol. Yes there have been a few other small time awards before today but a biggie is tonight: The Golden Globes (I love this holiday). Nobody does it like the Golden Globes. Its funny, I seem to always do something “career” related on this day as well. Last year I had my first ever reading, of the first ever play I wrote, on the morning of the Golden Globes (yes, I’m still working on it. Re-writes are freaking hard, man). And today was no different. I took a television comedy class with two casting directors (that deserves a whole other blog that I will write another day). I guess subconsciously, I feel like I need to keep trying to move my career ahead on the same day all the big names are out celebrating their successes.

You may wonder why I like the Golden Globes so much. Why would I enjoy watching beautiful stars wearing diamonds and pearls with full hair & makeup and designer sparkly dresses (and if you know me, you know I love me some sparkles!!) walking the red carpet, celebrating the roles they had the privilege to play, while I’m sitting on my couch in my best friends (that’s what my good friend Jean calls sweatpants, lol) with no paying role in sight?? For me, it’s a reminder that dreams do come true. Yes, its true, I don’t look like Angelina Jolie and I don’t have Jennifer Aniston’s body (don’t ask me if I’m team Aniston or Jolie, I flip flop on that, so I’ll just say I’m on team Pitt. Aren’t we all? Except he needs to shave that ferret from his face pronto. To be completely truthful I’m team Clooney all the way, always have been, always will be but I digress.) I’m not even a tiny bit close to being the actress that Meryl Streep is (hell, I prob shouldn’t even mention her name in the same paragraph while I’m talking about my career) but I truly believe that if you work hard, dream big, be prepared and never give up, it will happen!! (And yes I am aware that that paragraph has more than one extremely long run on sentence, its just how I roll, lol).

Anyway, the thing I love most about the Globes are the acceptance speeches because even though some of them are awkward or boring, a few of them are truly inspiring. I love, love, love the first time winners who never believed they could win something that big, who were told by numerous people in the industry or in their lives that they don’t have what it takes or they’ll never make it, but there they are, standing there in front of their peers, in front of the world with that award in their hand. It gives me hope. And it doesn’t matter what your dream is, or how old you are, or what someone else tells you about it, you can achieve it, if you don’t stop!! As long as it continues to be what you want, why would you give up before you get it? There’s a lyric I love in a Jason Robert Brown song that sums it all up “Who would give up what they want without a trial”. Anything worth having is worth working for!! Or as a wise man name Winston Churchill once put it "Never Never Never Give up" (I have that on a magnet and I don't look at it often enough).

Lastly, I have a small career update, I have written almost 4 pages out of about 20 of the One-Act I need to finish by the 30th. Guess I need to write a little more this week. Grrhh!

So Enjoy Dreaming Big and Making it Happen (I wanna be there to celebrate with you...I like the champagne)! And I don’t know how or when, but I’ll get there one day. I may be 94 years old and in a wheelchair, but I’ll get to the Globes. :)

Lots of Love!
-Roxy Strago

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Attack of the B.F. and other "Wicked" things.

“I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn and we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them and we help them in return. Well, I don't know if I believe that's true. But I know I'm who I am today because I knew you.” –Galinda from Wicked.

So another week has come and gone. The first full week of the new year actually. Is this where we start to see how our resolutions are going? In my last blog I wrote “We need to focus on the good stuff that we bring to the table. When I'm negative about myself I hold myself back from all that I could be.” On New Year’s Day I promised myself that I was gonna stop being negative about myself. So how am I doing? Hmmm, not so good. I actually kinda forgot about it. But I was quickly reminded by friends Saturday night that I have taken some steps back.

You see, last week a few of us went shopping for bridesmaid dresses and we took some pics of the occasion. Upon looking at one of myself in the dress that we will wear in the wedding, I discovered something peculiar…I have back fat!! YES, I do! Sitting here, writing this now, I cannot believe that I’m going to press publish post and freely admit to the fact that I have back fat and well, seven people may actually read it and know that I have back fat. But its true, clear as day in that picture, there it was. I noticed it three years ago when I was in another wedding, but quite frankly I'd forgotten I had it. Now that’s the funny thing about back fat (lets just call is b.f. from now on, okay?). See b.f. is tricky cause you can't see it from the front (um, yes I know that's a very Captain Obvious thing to point out) but it makes it difficult for the person who has it to know that he/she has it. It makes me think, how many other people have seen my b.f. and I had forgotten all about it?

So you might be wondering what this has to do with anything. I’m not really sure except for that fact that as I sat there zooming in on that speck of b.f., my friends told me to stop it. We all admitted that we are all so hard on ourselves. So I promised to try & not say another negative thing about myself for the night, I lasted less than 10 minutes. I realize, of course, that this is an extremely superficial thing to be down on myself about. But isn't that what we do? We find a tiny thing that most people probably haven't even noticed about us and we blow it out of proportion. Then we feel bad about ourselves because of it. Sure this is a silly example and when I got dressed this morning I didn't think of my b.f. (I didn't think about it when I ate that bag of Doritos last night either) but in that moment, looking at that picture, it made my feel negative about myself and that's gotta stop!

So why is it that our friends can see the good things in us and we can’t? That’s why we need to surround ourselves with the right people who love and support us. We need people to say, “Shut up” and “Stop being so hard on yourself” or “You’re making the same mistakes over and over again, maybe you should stop”. If we only saw ourselves through the eyes of the people who love us, I think we’d be better off. I’ll try harder this week not to beat myself up as much! And even though I'm hoping the b.f. it just the curse of the bridesmaid dresses and I only have it when I wear one of them, I just might start doing some push ups to be sure (the wedding’s less than a year away and exercise is supposedly good for you)!

And on a quick career note, I have decided to submit a play for a One Act Festival in NY. If it's selected it will be performed in March. There's only one tiny issue, I don’t have a One-Act written yet. So I gotta write one. The play must be post marked by January 30. Guess I gotta get on that. I'll keep ya posted on how it goes.

Have a great week!

-Roxy (B.F.) Strago ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010


HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Happy 2010!! Complete Craziness! I can’t believe that we’ve entered another decade!! It's unreal how time flies and unreal how fast this week went by. This past week I was off from work (Yee Haw) not that I didn't need the money lol, but I needed the time. The time to do the last minute things that would "tie up" 2009. I wanted to kinda clean up some things in my life in order to start 2010 out with a positive BANG!! I also needed to clean my living room. It was getting cluttered with things from the past. Things that during the year I didn't have the time or the energy to open and get rid of; yes I’m lazy sometimes. And there's some really good (and really bad) tv that needs to be watched!!! As I started my big cleanup, I was thinking that I might need to be on an episode of "Hoarders"; thankfully it wasn't that bad. Although I did find a bill for my car insurance (just a few days late, no worries, I paid it and I'm still insured)! I also found a few unopened Christmas cards from 2007, yep you read it right, 2007. I felt awful!!!! I don't know what I was thinking. How much freakin’ energy does it take to open a card?? I also cleaned out my AOL mailbox because during the last few months I’ve gotten multiple texts from people telling me that my mailbox is full. Basically you get enough space for 1000 emails. Really? And my mailbox was full? Um, I’m not that important (well not yet) that I should have 1000 emails. That’s because I save EVERYTHING!!! "Oh, I’ll respond to this email later. Oh, this is pretty good info, I’ll read that one day. Oh, this seems like a cool place to go to, I’ll go there one day." I save it all (I have the same mentality with my clothes, I got a closet full of clothes that I might need one day). Then I never look at them again and you guessed it: MAILBOX FULL!! (And my closet's throwing up!) So it kinda got me thinking about things that we hold onto that we don't need anymore and why we do it? I guess that’s what the New Year brings...fresh starts. You get to wipe the slate clean and start a brand new year. It’s exciting because there's all this hope for the next twelve months and the greatness that could be in our lives.

I also read online at: about making fresh starts. World-renowned physician and mind-body expert, David Simon, M.D., co-founder of the Chopra Center, says to start by asking yourself two questions:

1. What am I carrying with me from my past that’s no longer serving me in my present? Take the steps, whatever you need to do, to release that misunderstanding, misbelief or negative self-messaging.

2. What am I holding myself back from, that if I allowed myself to ingest it, would bring me to a higher level of well-being?

Really good questions to think about. For me, I think that there's big part of me that still feels like an awkward, big haired, big glasses wearing, clumsy and self-conscience fourteen year old girl and guess what, I'm not that girl anymore...Lord knows I ain't a teenager anymore either (even though I did get carded buying a scratch off this week, score!) And although, I'm still really clumsy and sometimes awkward as hell (just part of my charm, lol), I'm not that girl anymore. I need to let her go!! I also need to stop saying negative things about myself. I don't know why we do that. Sometimes I think I do it to make a joke about stuff and make people laugh but sometimes I think I really feel that way about myself. We need to focus on the good stuff that we bring to the table. When I'm negative about myself I hold myself back from all that I could be. You do too!

And this week, I sent a few New Year's texts to some friends at midnight and I got some great ones back. One was from one of my best friends Patrice and she wrote to me, "Happy New Year, No Holding Back". I had forgotten about it because well it was New Years Eve and the drinks were flowing lol. But I just reread my texts again now to delete some, because yep, I save my texts, (seriously there must be a name for the condition I have, aside from just being called crazy) but seeing it again just now put things into focus and it made me realize that this is my mantra for 2010: NO HOLDING BACK!!!

Because how can you regret anything when you put everything you have into what you want?! Maybe you don't get exactly what you want but you'll get what's the best for you. Maybe I won't get a lead role in a movie opposite George Clooney (I heart him!) this year, but if I put everything I have into getting there and I don't hold anything back, I'll get a role in something, and now I'm on my way to my movie with George. Hey, maybe this year I'll star in a movie with Matt Damon instead, he's no Clooney but I'll take it!! :)

So here's to a fabulous year of "No Holding Back"! Wishing you the best 2010 filled with health, wealth, success, love, laughter and joy!! Happy New Year!! I'll clean out my closet this year too!

-RoxyStrago :)