Weight Loss

              (Early January 2014: 230 lbs)

I have never been a small girl. I’m tall-ish, my build is traditionally more muscular and I like to eat. My weight had fluctuated consistently throughout my life and I would crash diet or workout extra hard to lose the pounds. People would give me constructive criticism on how to drop the weight, but still I would feel a bit low. I do like to be physically active and had a very good athletic career despite whatever extra pounds I may have carried on my body.

        (Besides Pole, I also did Competitive    Cheerleading and Tae Kwon Do.)

When I was laid off from my incredibly stressful corporate job, it didn’t occur to me how much it damaged me until the top photo above was taken. That job took it’s toll, from having an awful boss, to making up impossible deadlines, constant monitoring by surveillance to see that we were sitting at our desks. Early mornings, long hours and an hour commute there and back home. I was exhausted physically and mentally. Food and coffee loaded with excess sugar we’re the only things that kept me going. It also kept my weight going up.
For the majority of 2014, was just a year of recovery and healing. Because the stress was so great it created physical symptoms that I had to recover from first. (Anxiety, depression, hair loss, skin break outs, sleep deprivation, etc.) Honestly I think during the time when I was collecting unemployment, I slept for the majority of that time. Sleep is the best medicine for a worn out body.

               (Circa July 2015 at 160 lbs.)

The real change happened for me around May 2015. I made the decision to begin my training in New York. Since I had no car and Amtrak was expensive, it meant taking a train and bus to get to New York and walking most of the way. (I didn’t use the subway unless really necessary to save on money.) This also aided in limiting time I would normally use to sit around and eat. (New York is fun to explore.) After the cost of traveling to NY was too great, I resumed my training closer to home in Philadelphia. Still this involved lots of walking and limited time for food. While I was busy pursuing my passion the weight began to fall off! In about 2 months time, I dropped from my previous weight of 210 lbs (20 of it came off from sleep and recovery) down to 160 lbs. By no means did I starve myself, but I didn’t eat out of boredom of stress either. This weight loss was done happily.

(Photo courtesy of Pete Lounsbury. May 2016 180 lbs)

My progress stuck for a bit until November 2015 when I was rear-ended in a really bad car accident that sent my mother to the hospital and required both my parents and myself ongoing treatment for our injuries. While I still have a case pending and can’t discuss my injuries, what I can say is that I was not allowed to do anything physical for a while. This broke my spirit 😞. Slowly 20 lbs began to creep up on me. 

By the time Troilus and Cressida opened, I was 180 lbs. Thankfully it wasn’t a 50 lb jump; still after feeling like my old self again, it was a bit of a disappointment.

(Circa last week on the set of Quantico s. 2)

From June until now, I was given permission by my medical team to do light workouts. Being able to go walking and do non weighted workouts like Taijutsu and Yoga (In addition to depression dieting 😕) helped me to shed off those 20 lbs. I noticed while working on the set of Quantico that I was not much heavier than the lead actress Priyanka Chopra. In fact, another 13 lbs, I would be able to wear the same size as her! (So stoked)

(Those arms! I call this move “The Gun Show”)

Today I found out some absolutely wonderful news, I’ve been cleared by my medical team. Not only will this help my case but it also means I can workout like normal again! That means ALL of the pole classes, martial arts classes, gymnastics, roller derby and fencing lessons I can afford! I am so ready to go full force I can’t wait! 150 here I come!

Falling in Love…Convincingly

(Actually, I’m paired with another woman.)

The play that I am cast in and working on right now is my first part where I have a romantic relationship with another person. I’m a little nervous. I consider myself to be a friendly person, I love people (though my posts lately have been about cutting people off. I’ll fix that, I promise. Not everyone in my life is bad.) But being the introvert that I am, sometimes I feel that I don’t connect with them fully. It’s scary to be vulnerable, especially when it comes to love. My history of real love has ended in me being broken time after time. And it has been such a long time since I have genuinely been in love that I don’t remember what that feels like. Now I have to do this for a role, with someone I have no attraction to. So far this is my plan of attack:

•Watch as many mushy romance films as possible.

•Listen to equally mushy music.

•Read romantic poetry

•Pretend this girl is someone else that I would want to fall in love with. (No offense to her, I’m sure she is a lovely person.) 

Hopefully as rehearsals go on, that I will be more convincing. I want to give a good performance.

When You Compare Yourself…

Just finished watching a movie featuring an actress who I would like to be like. A friend of mine said over dinner “as long as you keep plugging away at it, there will be a point where you are opening doors where you were previously looking in windows.” The words are well meaning…sometimes I just don’t know. 

Comparison is something I come by honestly and taught at an early age. I used to hear my mother compare herself to others constantly. Not blaming my mother, because it was passed down to her as well. I think it is something we all do really. 

We compare ourselves to the successes of others when we are feeling low.

When we are dumped by someone and they choose someone else, we compare ourselves to the other person they chose. 

We compare ourselves out of dominance of others to make ourselves feel superior.

I’m guilty of all of these things. And frankly I’m getting tired of it. I know this is my journey to take. I know that the only person responsible for loving me is me. I know that comparing myself to another person will just make me crazy and more insecure. 

Savior Complex

Earlier today, I attended my former boss’ memorial service. One statement that stood out to me was when one of the speakers said “No man is an island. He (my former boss) wanted to be a helping hand in the community.” I love that philosophy and it is one that I want to stick to. Recently I have had the experience of dealing with “help” which is the opposite of helping and making a positive influence. This is the more of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” type of help and I have very little tolerance for it. It smells of a savior complex to me. (I’m not coining that word by the way.) 

A savior complex in my own definition would be described as someone who helps another, laced with ulterior motives. What would be an ulterior motive? It could be a couple of things like “I helped you, now you owe me a favor whether you like it or not.”  Or they could get some weird bragging right out of it. (See meme above.) 

Personally I’m not a fan. Which is often why I very seldom ask for help unless it is dire. I’ve accepted help in the past that was genuine and because I was blessed, I was able to either pay it forward or pay it back happily. 

Table Read

(Photo courtesy of Pinterest. Original Photographer unknown.)

Double post day! I had some good reads today. I’m really excited for “Carmilla” not just because of the story line, but also for a chance to work with a bigger part and an accent on top of that. (I desperately need to clean it up a bit and be more consistent.) I’ve worked on smaller parts in both film and stage with smaller dialogue and even in “Carmilla” most of my lines are clipped but I will have quite a bit of stage time and my acting will be more physical. (I danced in recitals and did competition cheerleading so using my body to convey a story is very easy for me.)

The earlier read I did was experimental and like I said in my previous post: nothing set in stone but a good test nonetheless. That play is based from an old Jacobean play called “The Patient Man, Amourous Virgin and Honest Whore” a strong title to be sure but for the 16th century, it is common language. This was written by Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton and adapted by my friend George to function in modern day theatre. Both scripts are in my possession and covered in highlighter. 😊

Pulling it All Together 

(Source: someecards.com and Pinterest.)

It’s going to be a busy few days starting with today. I woke up early this morning after having an extremely weird dream about someone famous who was really annoying and following me around because I was more of an adult than they were. This got me thinking…am I really getting my house in order? Am I really adulting or am I just pretending? Right now I think I am somewhere in the middle. Changing into a new life from years of accepting the status quo of how I should conduct myself has been a strange winding road. So this is a list of what I’m working on so far:

•De-cluttering my space. This for me is huge because I grew up with compulsive shoppers and disorganization and never really saw structure so now I’m just throwing away anything I don’t need left and right. (Which is probably why I’m also de-cluttering my relationships and my feelings. Throw EVERYTHING out and start over!)

•Today after posting this I have two table reads today. The first one is for a friend who wants to play around with the script a bit. Including working more with Iambic pentameter and the life of the character I’m reading for. (I will post about the reads later.) and later will be a table read for the play I was cast for in “Carmilla” which will give me more time to work with my accent since the script just came in.

•The memorial service for my former boss is coming up and I have my clothes ready for that. Though I don’t know about emotionally. Many of my former co-workers I haven’t seen in years so this will be a sad reunion.

•I put in for another open-call casting for a show that I put in for last week. This week is for a different scene and maybe a better chance to make it on the show. It’s network tv so hopefully I do. 😊

•I need to submit a formal request for my old college transcript from the school I attended in Philadelphia. I left previously because of grades and finances. (I was very lost back then.) And I may have to jump through some hoops of fire to get this record. We shall see. If I’m successful, it betters my chances of getting into the school in the British Isles and maybe not have to take as many courses. Working in the field helps me get experiential learning credit and may save me some money that way too.

Is this adulting? God I sure hope so. Otherwise it just feels like I’m running on a giant hamster wheel right now.


(Source: believe-toachieve.tumblr and Pinterest.)

One of the other catalysts that flung me into an acting career besides jumping back into modeling, was the opportunity to go back to college. I had attended a previous college years ago for Media Design (I wanted to move to Japan and design video games) but was unable to finish due to finances and the quality of education by the school. (It got shut down by the IRS for frauding students and the government out of money.)

The school I will hopefully attend is a genuine accredited school located in the British Isles. The degree is entirely vocational which means NO MATH (yay!) Also the program teaches Meisner which is the training I started with here in the US. Two years ago before I started taking on work; I was working on the logistics on attending school there and encountered some big obstacles. 1) In order to obtain a student visa, I had to have roughly over €35000 or $50000 to my name to start with to be accepted in the country! (At this time I was in poverty and homeless…soooo, no.) There were exceptions to get around this, like verifying citizenship which was possible until I found out our family records were lost. (I have quite a bit of European heritage even though it’s hard to tell by looking at me.) I could start a business that provided jobs (except I had no job, no capital, was poor and homeless.) Or I could get married, but I have to prove that I am indeed in love with him and that I’m not getting married for citizenship and get deported. 2) I had to go overseas for the audition to get into the school. (I’m already riding the struggle bus financially and I had no experience on how to audition.) Needless to say I was a bit discouraged.

But the Universe gave me another chance.

A family member of mine now works on the board of the US branch of the school. One of the top officials of the school wants to speak with me and see if we can overcome some of the hurdles that would keep me from attending the school. And because I have some current training, a resume and my age (I’m 33), I may be able to shave some time off of my degree as well!

Pray that this works. I really want to train and put in some real work. I would love to do some stage and screen work in the British Isles and would love to make some new friends in a different part of the world. With everything I have going still, I’m willing it into existence. I’m also a firm believer in the Law of Attraction and packing my room as if I’m moving there next week. Hopefully soon I will post back with good news.

(Source: Pinterest.)

What To Do When You Hit a Brick Wall

(Source: Facebook)

I will preface by saying that some things are going right. I did land a role in “Carmilla”. I booked a gig and an audition for a local commercial. This blog site is catching fire and after I clean up the site, it will get even better. But all of this is coming at the heels of a family emergency that will cost us more money than we actually have and cuts into our daily schedule.

(Source: Facebook.)

So the question is how to maintain your sanity in a career where poverty is perpetual and still be able to accomplish your goals? The big thing is not to be concerned with money. (This is a biggie for me because that is what motivated me in the past.)  One of the exercises that I have been doing is taking stock of how I have managed so far. Like I have mentioned in a previous post I have lived through extreme poverty. And in the same post I also mentioned being homeless. I have a roof over my head currently and that is fantastic. (I couldn’t be more grateful.) Money however is getting back to that scary level though and that is what makes me a little nervous. One plus side is that I recorded a podcast detailing this story which, as soon as I get the link, I will share on this blog. What’s so cool about that? They paid me for it! (See; no “test”, no testimony.) Keeping track of the gigs I booked and how my resume is building up is helping as well. I’m doing my best to NOT rush the process like I normally do.

(Source: Dau Voire and Pinterest.)

In the past I used to do a blitzkreig of sorts to try and make money, even at the cost of being employed somewhere I don’t want to be or loving my job but adding 2 more to an already exhausting schedule. My experience was mostly retail and restaurant. I only peppered in the pole dancing and human resources gigs later. What I really wanted and what I still want right now is to be able to sustain myself and not rest on the laurels of others. Unfortunately I feel that way now which is causing quite a bit of guilt. Nothing would make me happier than to be that strong, independent woman. I’m already not dependent on a man (and I pray I never do.) Dependent on my family? Sadly yes and believe me I hear it everyday. I have a survival job but I would like to do more paid gigs in my field. I just want to be free.

Being a Thespian Peacock

(Source: Thespian Peacock Tumblr and Pinterest.)

I got some good news today and it means I will have a new script to memorize. Hooray!

(Source: Thespian Peacock Tumblr and Pinterest.)

I can’t really talk too much about the part until the official cast announcements are made, but I’m super stoked. I’ll have more to write about once I start working again. 😊

(Source: Thespian Peacock Tumblr and Pinterest.)

Troilus and Cressida Video!

(Source: Ron Ozer and Arden Shakespeare Gild)

This evening I attended the monthly meeting for the Arden Shakepeare Gild and it was announced to me that the video of one of our shows is up! I don’t have much more to contribute to this post other than besides playing the role of Alexandrea, I also played one of the Myrmidons in the scene with Hector. Enjoy!

Troilus and Cressida

A special thank you to the Arden Club, Arden Shakepeare Gild and producers, Director Jim Ewald and cinematographer Pete Lounsbury.