Sunday, August 11, 2013

"If you build it, they will come"...

Remember that movie "Field of Dreams"?  Yeah, it's a baseball flick (and when I first saw it as a kid, I was a huge baseball fan), but man, it's so much more than that, and it's one of my favorites (if you haven't seen it, stop here, watch it, come back, we'll discuss.  No worries we'll wait.  Well, at least this post will still be here when you return).  Anyway, this guy, Ray, is on this journey he doesn't understand, but he can't stop. He's faced with the possibility of losing his farm, but he has to keep going. Everyone thinks he's crazy.  But still he continues.  More and more, I'm beginning to see that I'm just like him. I'm Ray.

Times are hard...for everyone, a lot of the time, I know that.  I'm not the only one that struggles. Even the super successful, seemingly perfect, I have it all people, have bad times.  Unfortunately, it seems like the past few weeks have been a little bit harder for me.  The times are a'changing and new issues have popped up.  Anxiety creeps in slowly and self-doubt enters quietly until both break down the door of your sanity and self-esteem, replacing them with fear and self-doubt.  They sleep peacefully right next to you, while you lie awake for hours worrying and trying to make it all right (Is that too poetic? Guess someone's been trying to write too many lyrics lately).  And I get it, I'm in a business with absolutely NO GUARANTEES!!  I also can leave at any second, and choose a more safe and secure life; and just for the record, sympathy is the one thing I am not after.  So I choose to hide the craziness from most people, and only let those that understand it, in.  But since I know I'm one of many that struggle, I share it all here, with you.

Lately, I've been so worried about my future, and money (or lack there of), and how much longer I can go on like this, and thinking "how the fuck is this all gonna play out?" (pardon my French, but sometimes the good old F-word is needed). Sometimes I wish I could see the future, and then I take a breath, I'm grateful that that gift was not bestowed upon me. But then I get angry.  Why did I choose this life? Better yet, why did it choose me? Why was this overwhelming desire to perform and create, given to me (and I do believe it was given to me)?  And if this is supposed to be my destiny, why is it so unbelievably tough sometimes?  Can you tell that I think a lot, far too much maybe?  But it's the only way I know to try, and make some sense of things I don't have answers to, or understand.

After many mornings (or really late nights) of thinking and thinking, this is what I came up with.  I don't for one second regret the dreams that were given to me, no matter how many struggles or how many obstacles cross my path.  This is because I know it's all pushing me along the road to my destination.  I could have denied the dream, my gifts, who I am, and chosen a different path, one that would have given me far more money and much less stress (as well as, less rejection, less fear, less heartache), but that was not the desire that was put into my heart.  And since I don't have that crystal ball with all the answers, the one that will that tell me 100% that these struggles will be worth it in the end, I just have to BELIEVE it!

So when the s*#t hits the fan (one profanity in a blog post is enough, at least for the time being), I now ask myself, why?  Why is this happening?  What can I possibly learn from this? And what am I doing, or not doing, that is causing the extra struggle.  To me, these things are happening because it's leading me somewhere else. Even if I don't understand it, and even if I hate it at the time...I believe I feel the pain, the disappointment, the anxiety, so I can take action and move forward.   I refuse to let it hold me back, but rather to propel me forward.

I have a few friends and family members who tell me (paraphrasing of course), "you should go back to school and be a teacher", "you should work here or there"," you should do this or that"; and I get it.  I understand it's all out of love, because they are scared for me (some times I'm scared for me too) but what they don't get is the desire I have in my heart, down to my bones, for telling stories, in whatever capacity that takes form, or flight.  The desire I have to entertain and to communicate, all in the hopes that one day I can help someone get through their day, just as countless other performers and writers, have helped me get through mine.  I do get it, but I can't go there.  I just keep going. Because just like "Field of Dreams" and that iconic quote I titled this post, I do believe that if I continue on this journey, one day it will all be worth it. And if I continue to do the work, one day the people who need it, will see it, and hopefully feel it.  If I build it, they will come.

I am Ray.  I think we all are Ray, but sometimes we let Timothy Busfield (Ray's brother-in-law, who thinks he's completely off his rocker, and wants him to stop this crazy pursuit), we let him win the battle.  Let's just make sure we don't let him win the war.  And here's hoping no one needs to choke on a hot dog for us to believe in our dreams (really, go watch the movie, and don't even get me started on the "ease his pain" part, I lose it every time).   Just go build that sucker, someone out there is waiting for it!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Questions (part 2).

I'm an idiot (perhaps that would have been a better title for this post)! So, yeah, I am an idiot who doesn't seem to know how to take her own advice, or apparently learn from her own mistakes, I guess, until I do? My last post was all about how it doesn't matter how many people read my blogs, or listen to my music, or if they like it or not. Ideally, that it only matters that I put myself, and my work out there, and that I'm happy with what I'm doing. And then I spent the majority of the next two weeks getting really angry while comparing myself to everyone under the sun. So I took a breath, and I realized that I'm so busy looking at where everyone else is, and what they have, and whining about what I'm lacking and me, me, me, me that I'm MISSING THE POINT...I'm missing out on my life!!! Living this way has taken the love and joy out of my experiences. So how many blog posts do I need to write about the same damn thing until I make a real change? Can we say someone's a slow learner???

I've decided that I need to stop whatever I'm doing, and to start bringing the love and joy back into my life.  I've wanted to be a performer since I was a kid, because I LOVED it.  Nothing made me happier than singing, and listening to music and being on stage, but somewhere, at some point something changed. I think everyday (as I tried to turn this joy, into my career) a little joy left, until all that remained are doubts, and questions, and never feeling that my gifts are good enough.  When I record something and listen back to it, do you know what I hear?  Mistakes.  Once in a blue moon, I think "Oh that note was nice" but mostly I hear what's wrong. I think, you're not up to the same standard as so and so. You can't hit that note like what's her name. Well, that's bullshit. I'm here for a reason.  I've always believed, and still do, it's to entertain people.  All I want to do is to lift up others, but how in the hell can I do that when I cannot lift up myself?

So here's the deal.  No more. Yeah, I've said it before, but I don't see how much more I can continue traveling down the same road with the same attitude without going crazy, so I need to make this change for my own happiness. I can no longer be obsessed with every little move and decision I make.  I want to enjoy my life, because Lord knows, we don't know how long we've got.  I want to sing because I LOVE TO SING.  I want to do it and NOT judge every single note. And I don't want to do anything, if it doesn't bring me joy!! You know, it's funny, when you ask questions, sometimes you find the answers. Crazy, I know!! I started writing this blog on Wednesday night (I texted myself the opening paragraph) and then this morning on Facebook I read a post by Danielle LaPorte. She's starting her own magazine and she wrote this to her team, "We're going to grow this our way. In a way that feels good, healthy, fun. Joyful. Freedom-based".  And there it is, JOY! Why didn't I realize this before? I'm gonna do this my way, and it's going to be joyful. Why shouldn't it be?

I also went to see Sara Bareilles sing at the Highline Ballroom on Thursday night, and not only was she fucking amazing, it was the greatest thing I could have done for myself.  This was the last stop on her solo tour, called Brave.  And by solo, I mean solo (she was up there by herself with only a piano and a few guitars).  She owned that room, not only because she's insanely talented, but because she bared her soul up there and you could tell she loved every single second of it. She also was funny and self-deprecating...she fucked up, and called herself out on it, and it only made every one love her more.  She said a few of her friends told her to do this tour, and she didn't want to, it scared her, but because she was telling everyone else to be "Brave", she decided to put her money where her mouth was. So she risked and did it, and she said it was one of the best experiences of her life.   I was inspired.  I left there with more purpose than ever.  Life isn't supposed to be perfect.  You're supposed to make mistakes.  And as my teacher, the incomparable (Tony and Emmy winner) Helen Gallagher says, mistakes are the only thing you learn from.  You don't learn from success.  I'm tired of trying to do everything right; like if I don't do it this way, the right way, I'll never move forward.  I'm finally realizing that I'm going nowhere with that mentality.

Sure, I write this blog, and started it mainly, because I really do hope people like it, and get something from it.  That maybe my 'issues' might help someone else with their own.  But at this moment, I'm writing it for myself, in the hopes that I will learn from what I'm putting out there.  That when those gremlins creep into my ear, shouting doubts and filling me with fear, I will reread this and know that I cannot listen to them. To live for the love and the joy. Cause what else are we doing, if we don't?

One last thought...I really start to take notice of things, like someone is trying to tell me something, when I see things multiple times.  And I've seen this quote twice, two days in a row, on different sites, so I think it's a lesson I should learn and it feels right to share:

     "If you see your path laid out in front of you --Step one, Step two, Step three-- you only know one's not your path.  Your path is created in the moment of action.  If you can see it laid out in front of you, you can be sure it is someone else's path.  That is why you see it so clearly"
                                                                                                                 -Joseph Campbell

Sunday, May 12, 2013


So I made this promise to myself that I'd publish a new post every other week and I started to have a bit of a panic when I headed into the second week and I had no idea what to write about. That's not entirely true, I had a few 'ideas', none of which seemed to be organic but rather just something to say. I could have rambled on about the audition I went on last week but I don't know that I have anything inspirational to say about it. Well, I showed up, that's good, right?

It wasn't until I was meditating on Wednesday night (Yes, I meditate. I think I do, anyway. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure if what I do is meditating. If so, I'm probably doing it wrong. And no, that doesn't give me any anxiety at all during the one thing that is supposed to clear my mind and calm me down. And yes, my sarcasm seems to still be in tact). Anyway, during this "meditation" a thought popped in to my head (isn't a thought a so called "no, no" in meditation?); so this thought was about my goal, writing and recording these songs, and then immediately, this string of overwhelmingly negative thoughts flooded in. They sounded something like this, "Go ahead and do it, but no one will care, because the things you put out into the world do not get noticed in the ways other people's do. You do not affect people in the way you hope to. You will be disappointed yet again".

I tried to stop these thoughts, but did you ever try to NOT think about something? Let's try it now, do not think about orange...yep, all you can do is think about oranges, or the color orange, or an oompa loompa, right? And if you successfully did not think of orange, I want to know your secret. So I started to let those thoughts go, and they were replaced by many questions. Why am I doing this? Really, what is my motivation for all of this? This blog? This music? This career? What am I doing it for? Am I doing it so that I can look on my blog's main page and see how many hits I've gotten (don't think I don't do it, because I do, and readership has declined last post), or how many people listen to my clips on SoundCloud (yep, check that too), or what about how many comments I get on my statuses? Do we just do things now for a like on Facebook? Does it validate who we are if we have a few more 'friends' than our neighbor? Will I still be happy with myself if those thoughts come true and what I put out into the world, though it may make me feel proud, and productive, and of some service to the world, go unnoticed? Will I truly be okay with that? And if not, what am I doing it for? I told you, questions have come up, and I'm now struggling to find those answers.

Sure I think it's human to want to be accepted and liked. We want to matter. We want to be heard. But does it make you less of a gift if some one hates on your YouTube clip? And on that note, what's worse: a negative comment, or being completely ignored? I've dealt with both and I don't know. I'm trying to not hold onto the outcomes. I hope that what I share finds the people that might benefit from it, and I think I need to accept that it's okay if it's only a handful of people. I need to let go of thinking that my work is less important if only a hundred people hear it. Do I hope that thousands or hey, might as well dream big here, millions of people stumble upon my work one day and enjoy it, heck even love it? Of course. But if that is not the case, I hope I can look inside and know that I am the same worthwhile person I was before. And I will not let the fear of disappointment get the best of me. I may create something that people dislike, or have no opinion about, or completely ignore, but I will have done what I dreamt of doing. Maybe that's why I do it, because I have to.

In the end, I believe there's a plan. And when you follow your passions and dreams wholeheartedly, they'll lead you to your best life (maybe that's singing in front of 13,000 people, or maybe it's 13, you just won't know until you go out and sing). And if we're happy with who we are, with what we are contributing to the world, and the life we are living, we might just be okay.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Resurrections (part deux)...

You know when you get an idea and you're excited about it, because it could lead to something really special, so you make plans, and you're still really excited about it, because it's still far away, so the fear and doubts are kept at bay.  And then the days pass, and the time gets closer, and you start to feel uneasy (okay, fine, I'll say it) I start to feel uneasy.  And I think, maybe I'm just not ready, maybe I need a little more time? You ever feel like that? No? Okay, so let's take a time out on that thought for a second.  No worries, we'll come back to it, I promise.

Some of you may know I had the huge opportunity to tour Europe in 2011 performing in Neutral Hero as a part of New York City Players. Music was a tremendous part of the show.  So not only did I have an incredible time performing throughout Europe, but I became friends with a couple of totally amazing musicians.  Sure we performed music in the show, but we also had sing-alongs in our hotel rooms, maybe a lobby or two, and during, what we like to call, musical brunch.  What's that now?  Yes, I said musical brunch.  More on that in a bit.  Believe me, I have some sort of point.  I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

So when you kinda mention to these musician friends that you've been writing some music, and they offer to lend you their talents, you get so excited because these are real actual gifted musicians.  So you send out an email, and you make plans, and you're excited, and then it gets to be the day before, and you get a little bit nervous, but then you haven't spoken about it in a few weeks, so you start thinking (and yes, by saying you, I mean me) "Oh, maybe it won't happen.  They're probably just really busy, and I'll just send an email and say, 'Hey guys, I know you're so busy, no worries, we can reschedule '" and then before you hit send, you get an email saying "Just checking in about tomorrow...".  Oh shit, it's happening.  So you put your uke in it's plushy, new case (with fears and all) and you hit the road...

My uke is very cute.
to Brooklyn, for Musical Brunch (yay, it's a picture blog day).  Okay, so what the heck is musical brunch you ask?  It's brunch, you know with some bites to eat and some drinks, but mainly it's drinking early in the day without feeling guilty about it because well, it's brunch, oh, and you also play music.  The first time we had musical brunch was in Vienna.  We had it on the grounds of our hotel (and I think it was probably not quite acceptable to play and drink where we did, but when in doubt, just look confused, ya know the look that says Oh, we're American, we don't know any better) .  It looked something like this...

Andie, James and me in Vienna.

So at this point you (and now by you, I do actually mean, you), you may be wondering why I was hoping to postpone musical brunch?  Good question folks.  And the answer is, because I'm insane.  Because going to musical brunch would mean putting myself out there, and quite possibly embarrassing myself in front of my friends. Now if you know these folks, you know they are the nicest and most supportive peeps on the planet, but they are insanely talented, and I am not a trained musician.  Let me translate the voices in my head for you, they go something like this "You are going to make a fool out of yourself.  Do you really think people are gonna like what you write?  Who do you think you are?"  Well, I told those voices to shut the f*#k up, and now back in America, musical brunch looks something like this...

Andie, Katie and James tuning up.
After some heavy carb-loading, and a few mimosas, we got down to business.  Finding some courage I played a bit of my song (and in case you missed my first demo of the song, you can find it in this post:  Resurrections, and when you listen you'll hear why I was nervous to play in front of them), they did what they do best.  We talked about the feel, asking my opinions, giving theirs, working together.  The thing about making music is there are so many possibilities.  It's all about the possibilities, and then making choices.  You try things out, add a solo here, one more measure there, you bring back the melodica, you take away the mandolin, and if it doesn't work, you try something different.  And isn't that what life is all about?  You make a choice, take a chance and if you fall down, you get back up again.

I can't tell you how great it felt to collaborate with my friends, especially listening to them play what I had only heard in my head, only now it sounded better than I imagined.  To me, now it sounds like an actual song.  They've inspired me to do more.  And I am.  I've also decided to set some goals for myself. Wanna hear 'em? Well, you don't have a choice (ok, you do, you can stop reading now, but I hope you don't) 1: to have four-five songs written, and arranged, by September and 2): to record those songs for an EP by the end of the year.  I'm excited and fear free (for now).

I think the time has come to share what we worked on.  We made a little recording again on my trusty iPhone, but I'm so proud to share it.   Mr. James Moore is on guitar, Ms. Andie Tanning Springer is on mandolin and melodica, Ms. Katie Cox is on banjolele (which is a banjo ukuele, and it's seriously the cutest thing ever) and I'm on vocals (yes, I chickened out and didn't play but, come on, it's hard for me to sing and play at the same time...cut me some slack, I'm learning to).   You can hear it by pressing this little link right here:

The Slaughter and the Lamb

And seriously, my friends are terrifically talented, and super amazing humans. I can't thank them enough for sharing their gifts and time with me. You can find out more info on them below:

James Moore
Andie Tanning Springer
Katie Cox

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Sometimes I doubt, and loudly. Sometimes the doubts get so loud, and scary, that it hurts. A few months ago they hit me so hard, I felt like I hit a wall. I really questioned if I should still be pursuing this career. I got up on a Saturday morning, took a shower and wept...for a long time. Thankfully, no one saw me because I'm one ugly crier. I mean like U-G-L-Y. Anyway, after I stopped, I realized I'm not ready to give up. BUT I could no longer continue on the same road I was on. Something had to change. Then I sat down to write (I'm not a big journaler, this blog is as journal-ly as I get. I've had a few diaries as a kid with entries like "I hate so and so, so much, everybody loves her blah, blah, blah". I filled in like three pages, and never wrote in them again. But something told me to write down what it felt like at that moment. Well, it felt like rock-bottom, and here it is, in all it's unedited, depressed gory glory:

     This is what rock-bottom looks like, well what it looks like to me. It’s a Saturday, early afternoon in February. Lying on the kitchen floor using a knife to pry the box of Benadryl that had fallen underneath the oven…Benadryl is expensive, when you are broke, not just broke but severely in debt. Rock-bottom is not knowing if you’ll have enough money to pay your health insurance this month or the next, but rock-bottom is knowing that you can no longer live in the state you are in. So there is a choice to be made, whether to continue on your path, albeit in a new direction, to give it up and try something new, or to end it. A brief dialogue goes on in your mind, and you then know in your heart that the option to end it is no option at all. So what to do? Get serious, because none of us have an infinite amount of time, and I’ve wasted enough minutes, and hours, and days, and months that have added up to years of, I can’t say complete failure because I’ve had some successes, and I’ve had some fun, and I’ve held on to my dreams, but holding on, and doing everything I possibly could do to move them forward...are different things, and I know I haven’t. I’m lazy and I get mad that things haven’t happened for me like other people but how can I? Yes, we may have the same dreams and I may even have more talent but they got up, and fell down and got right back up again the next day, and I got up, went to work and went back to sleep again. It’s not enough.

     I’ve spend my entire life afraid of making a fool of myself. God forbid I make a mistake, or even worse? I make a mistake in front of someone else, some one that I admire, or love, or someone I will never ever see again. I am so afraid to make a mistake, I don’t do a damn thing. You can’t get hurt, or embarrassed, or feel like a fool if you don’t do anything, but you can’t grow, and can’t succeed without a risk, a failure, having someone think that you suck, you’re an ass, you’re not good enough. Someone said if you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried hard enough. I haven’t failed enough. I haven’t done ENOUGH. 

     In my some odd thirty years of life, I have never taken a NYC bus ride by myself, why? Oh, right, because I was afraid that I would do the wrong thing and someone might think I was an idiot, or get annoyed that I didn’t know what I was doing, or shake their head at me. I might make a fool of myself, on the bus, in front of strangers. Holy shit, how bad would that be? (Side note: the me right now writing this blog and re-reading this realizes that this is a ridiculous fear, but it was my fear and I'm putting it out there and owning it. Okay, continuing on.) Well, I took a trip on the bus Friday night and I didn’t know I was supposed to use my metro to purchase a receipt for the bus outside of the bus. So I waited for the bus in the cold, got on the bus expecting to use my metro card and Ouch, I was wrong. Off the bus. So I had to wait for another know what the worst thing was? Waiting in the fucking cold for another bus. I made a mistake in public, and I didn’t die. 

     And so this is my project, my goal for the next 365 days. I do at least one thing a day for my career (write a line to a song, rewrite a line in a script, write a new line, submit for a project, record a song and put it on my website, go on an EPA audition/open call etc) and then document it here. Maybe it’s a small step one day, or maybe it’ll be a leap, but I can no longer play small, or I will HAVE to give this up. I will pick songs that I feel uncomfortable performing or singing. I’m not only here to perform greatly, but I’m here to learn all I can. I will try to make a fool of myself as much as I can, I will risk, because then I will deserve my just rewards. The time to be a fool in now! 

Reading that back now reminds me of what one of my college professors said of my short stories: Melodramatic! I used to watch a lot of soaps as a kid (yep, digressing again). But it's 100% how I felt at that moment, after questioning giving up my dreams, and then firmly believing, and saying NO, I CANNOT DO THAT TO MYSELF! But reading it now also feels like a wake up call once again, because can I honestly say that I've done one thing every single day since February 2nd, the day of my breakdown breakthrough, nope.  That's partly because the "documenting" I mentioned above lasted all of three days, so I don't know what I did, and when I did what (hmm, could consistency be an issue for me?) And, dear friends, it's also because I'm a lazy broad, probably not entirely sloth-like but who's to judge. However, I've written, and I've put myself out there a little more, and I've been embarrassed, and I've stumbled still, and I try to look people in the eye everyday, hold my head up high, and show up for myself...and I haven't felt like quitting, because I don't want to get off this road, because it's where I'm supposed to be. I AM A FOOL, and I'm kinda okay with it (so far)*.

*Looking forward to sharing the result of a little risk I embarked on today (let's say next blog post shall we?)!

Sunday, March 31, 2013


I started writing this last night. I knew it would be a pretty busy day today, and I'm trying to post a new blog every two weeks, so I wanted to make sure I had something to share.  But I went to bed last night feeling uneasy about it, not really excited about posting it later on today because I just wasn't sure it said what I wanted it to, or if it was something I really should put out there.  Cut to the next scene, woke up this morning thinking I could do some editing after getting back from my cousin's house, but still not really feeling great about this post (I'm sure you can't wait to read it).  But hey, why worry about it now, my self-imposed deadline was hours away and I had a bucket load of food to eat (I am Italian).  So now I'm home, knowing I need to go to work on it, I immediately check Facebook and then went on Twitter (anything to procrastinate) but I saw this tweet from @TheSingleWoman "If ever there was a weekend to resurrect all those dreams you buried so long ago...this is it."  Ohhh, okay, I get it. You better finish the f*%king blog, because that's exactly what it's about...old, buried dreams.  I'm learning to follow signs.  So here goes (sorry, it's a tad bit longer than usual)...

Today, as most of you know, is Easter.  And even if you aren't a Believer (not a Belieber, two totally different things, as one worships a tiny man child who fashions himself a singer and sometimes thug would likes to pretend to beat up the paparazzi, but as usual I digress), I'm sure you're aware of Jesus' crucifixion and his resurrection three days later. According to trusty Wikipedia (why do we all trust wikipedia so blindly? Oh, not everyone does? Just me? Okay, good to know.) Anyway, according to Wikipedia, Resurrection is the concept of a living being coming back to life after death. And I'm certainly not comparing any of us humans here on earth to God but I think that anytime we get knocked down by life and choose to get back up, we get to experience our own type of resurrection. And it might not be three days later, some times it's three months or three years, but when we decide get back up and back in the ring, we are transformed. We are reborn.

I feel like I'm slowly coming into a little rebirth of my own.  Losing someone you love can feel like having the life sucked out of you (Kinda like auditioning again and again, and continuing to be passed over for someone else, maybe even someone less talented than you; that can suck the life out of you too. Or seeing your friends move closer and closer to the finish line of their dreams, while you feel like you are perpetually stuck at the starting line. Yep, life sucker. But I think you get it); and quite frankly when that happens, you don't feel like doing much of anything at all.  Now I think it's time to get back into the ring of creativity.

Over the past few years, I've been feeling the way I will be truly successful in this business of show, is to create my own work.  Not sure why, but I feel pretty freaking strongly about it, and I'm learning that when your gut is yelling at you to do something, you probably should do it.  I've wanted to be a singer since I can remember, and I also have written songs since I was a kid. True most of them were about farm animals or tropical breezes (yes, I wrote a song called "Tropical Breeze" for a school project in 5th grade. I got an A. I can still sing the chorus and I did the cover art as well, can we say talented?) but those songs were mine.  And then sometimes a little idea can creep into your brain and begin to stifle a dream.  Let's face it, the music industry is a youth game. And once you hit about 26, or if you don't look like Britney Spears did when she was singing "I'm not that innocent", well then you're screwed.    I was in my twenties, and I started to write again, but turns out the few people that I actually I played my music for, well let's just say, they weren't too impressed. Either they just ignored that they had listened at all, which is pretty much the equivalent of getting a haircut, seeing your friend out, and they said "Oh, you got a haircut", end scene (yep, not good). Or they flat out say, "I like your voice, but not those songs". Oh, okay, thanks?!  Looking back on it now, I realize that I put aside a dream of mine because two people didn't like what I had to say at the time.   That totally sucks. Well, I'm not that same girl. I've learned so much about myself, and people, and the world, and music, and so I'm READY TO TRY AGAIN.

About a year and a half ago I got a ukulele.  I used to play guitar but I have tiny fingers and it turns out the guitar has two strings too many (also I'm a bit of a perfectionist and if I can't learn something easily or quickly, turns out I don't like to do it, like playing a bar chord, ouch)!  So I've been writing some songs on my uke and I don't hate them; that in itself feels like a big step.  I've decided to take a bigger step and post a link to the first song I wrote on my ukulele last summer.  It's just a demo, a blue print if you will, that I recorded on my iPhone (and as you'll hear, if you listen, I'm not a great ukulele player either), it isn't the best quality. It isn't finished, it needs to be arranged with more instruments played by real musicians, but after all the excuses are done, it's mine! And you may hate it, you may judge me, and I may end up feeling like a fool but  you know what, I'm okay with that.  And some people may read this and think, what's the big deal?  Maybe to you, putting yourself out there isn't a big deal.  Maybe you look fear in the face everyday and blow right passed it, but most of the time when I look fear in the face I want to go back to bed.  No more. True, it's a small step and I still have ways to go and so much to learn, but I refuse to let someone else's opinion interfere with my dreams anymore.

Please don't feel obligated to tell me you like it (I'm not doing it for an ego boost), and by all means, please DO NOT feel obligated to tell me that you hate it, lol.  If it moves you in any way to comment on it, good or bad, please do, I'll listen (no worries, I won't stop writing if you hate it).  Quite frankly, I'm not entirely sure why I felt the need to post an unfinished work.  But it feels like this blog is about sharing parts of me, and this is me right now. Or maybe I'm being selfish by posting it because I want to do something that scares the shit out of me.  Either way, it's time:

The Slaughter and the Lamb (demo)

It feels like we need to go through pain and struggles to get to a place of resurrection, and most of time we're our own crucifiers, our own worst enemies.  In fact, I can guarantee that the moment I hit publish on this blog, I will beating up myself for thinking that what I posted is in any way good enough for people to hear but here is where I am at, taking risks.    I'd like this blog to be a place where I can share my small steps with you, and then you can share your own small steps. I hope we all continue to take risks and do what makes us happy, to look fear in the face and continue on because as far as I know we only get one crack at this life, and we don't get a hell of a lot of time. Even if we get to live to 100, I feel like you'd look back and go "shit, that was fast". I don't want to look back on my life and only see fear, and regrets.

So to those who celebrate, I'd like to wish you a Happy Resurrection Sunday! And to everyone else, a Happy Rebirth.  Let's keep going!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'M BACK (okay, so I never really left, I've just been in hiding)!

I guess we can say that I've been on a self imposed, let's call it a vacay, from this here blog for over a year. Say what now, over a year? Yep, did you miss me?  I'll be honest, I kinda missed myself (and I live with me).  And just because I haven't published a post, it doesn't mean I haven't thought about it or started to write one, but at the end of the day I just couldn't do it. I've been struggling with a huge loss in my life since April, when my 22 year old niece, Nicole, passed away suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition; and I just didn't want to share my feelings here, especially because for me I've always thought that no matter what I was struggling with, I wanted to add some sort of positive spin (even if it was the tiniest thing) to my posts, but it just didn't seem like I could squeeze out any positivity to share. And I didn't want to publish one endless depressing post after post. That wouldn't help me, and I don't think it would be something that anyone would want to read, so I didn't...until now.

Honestly, just because I've decided to bring this little blog back to life once again, doesn't mean I'm healed, or whole, or not in mourning, or not depressed. But it does mean that life has to go on, even if a part of me is forever broken. I'm still here, and I need to carry on with my journey. I'm just a bit heavier...yes, emotionally and yes, physically. C'mon, you didn't think I wasn't going to reach for the brownies/cupcakes/cookies/wine/chips/Taco Bell (I could go on, but I won't because I'm getting hungry, and I need to finish this post before I wait another year)?  Ok, forget it, I need a break...

And that, boys and girls, that's what I call comfort!  Anyway, getting back, well somewhat, back on track, I've recently realized that I can still blog about my art (Sorry I just threw up in my mouth, partly because I can picture other people gagging at the mere mention of 'my art' and partly because I don't really think of what I do as art, but maybe that's not entirely true either. Please excuse some of these ramblings, I'm a bit rusty with the blog-age). I can still write about my struggles, and my fears, and the baby steps taken, and my failures, my embarrassment, and my successes, but I don't have to share my very personal loss, not yet. I will write about it on here, how could I not? But I'm just not ready yet; and I'm a big believer in all in it's own time. So long story short, I need to write again. It's time!

To catch y'all up briefly on the last year: over the summer I toured again, this time for a week in Brazil with NYC Players; then we finally brought "Neutral Hero" home to NY last fall to rave reviews from the New York Times...

You can read the full reviews, as well as some more info on my brand spanking new website: Jean Ann Garrish.  I've also been working on some of my own projects, including a music pilot, rewriting my One-Act play into a short film, and music, music, music. From the time I could remember, music is all I wanted to do, and it's taken me a long time to accept that it's okay if not everyone wants to listen to or like what I have to say musically, but it's time to stop listening to the voices of doubt, and put myself out there. I'm not gonna lie, I'm scared shitless, because there's something so personal about it, so it seems a little more painful if someone doesn't like it/you, but if the events of April have taught me anything, we cannot wait to do what we want/love/are meant to do.

Speaking of putting myself out there, I made a little video to apply for a scholarship for a business marketing school (I didn't win, but I'm okay with that, as it is the time for me to create now, and market later) but it turns out the video says a bunch about where I'm at...

Whew, that was a chock-full-of-updates, but hey, it's been awhile. And it sure feels good to put myself out here again. Thanks for listening!  Now, I've gotta run, I've got that cupcake to eat.