I Want To Go To There – NYC

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New York City – I want to go to there. I saw this picture on Tumblr and I immediately almost started crying. It was that feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach but at the same time it’s in your throat, and if you try to speak you know you will break down. I’m not sure what that says about me or my feelings about NYC since last night I cried at ‘Ice Age – Continental Drift’, but I digress.

I think what struck me about this picture is that it captures a moment in time when you’re young, you have little to no responsibility, you can call up a friend, who clearly also has nothing much to do, and you both board a greyhound for a weekend in the city. In my case it’s a 12 hour bus ride, but if we were lucky we got one of our parent’s cars and we could make it down there in 10 hours tops!

A memory is coming back to me….there were 4 of us and we might have been cutting it a bit close. We left Toronto at about 10am and we were trying to get to NY before an 8pm curtain of a broadway show. We made it in time, but barely. Those little adventurous moments are the kind I live for (in moderation), and my friends never disappoint! However, it’s all fun and games until someone gets me to a broadway show late. Especially a show by Stephen Sondheim. Remember that lesson.

NYC has held a special place in heart for many, many years, and now that my moving there is pretty much a done deal I find myself reflecting on how it all started. When did I suddenly become obsessed with the city that never sleeps? I love sleeping, so that part of it isn’t even that appealing to me. Besides, NYC is full of people, and I hate big crowds. Sometimes on the subway people make eye contact with me and I’m sure they’re about to spit in my eye. The germaphobe in me finds the thought terrifying. Renting an apartment costs more than I will ever be worth…so that’s not it either. None of these things ever enter my mind when I tell people why I NEED to live there. I guess I’m just really amazing at spinning a story that works for my purposes. I’m an actor, after all. I can act like I love EVERYTHING about NYC and maybe I’ll believe myself. Those acting classes don’t cost a fortune for nothing (especially in NY)!

The longest period of time I’ve spent down there is 3 months. I did that two summers in a row, actually. Looking back on it there were moments that I definitely hated. If I think really hard and I let myself remember I recall crying every day for the first week of my very first 3 month stint. I had no money, I didn’t really know anyone, and I was living in a tiny room in an apartment with 3 other girls whom I’m pretty sure were all clinically insane. It also didn’t help that it rained every single day and anything I thought to do would have cost money. My parents of course thought I was having the best time because that’s what I told them. Thankfully, the skies cleared, and so did my crappy mood, and I quickly made lots of friends and wonderful memories. Every trip since then has been amazing. I mean, life’s never perfect so neither were my trips, but they were amazing enough that I could make myself believe they were perfect!

I don’t know what it is but I love the vibe of that city. I love the architecture, I love the streets, and I love the people. New Yorkers are not mean or rude, I just think they’re focused on a goal and they’re not interested in people that will get in their way. Tourists, unfortunately, are usually in the way. I have gotten so much help and good vibes from strangers in that city that I will defend them to anyone. Try me.

As I sit here right now typing this I am a nervous wreck. What if this move that I’ve been wanting for so long doesn’t actually happen? Even worse, what if it does and it’s nothing like I expected? Am I THAT good of an actor/liar that I can convince myself everything’s ok? Will I die alone of malnutrition and loneliness in my little corner of the studio apartment I share with 5 other girls because I decided to go see ‘Matilda’ instead of buying any food for a month straight?? Oh, did I mention I’m really dramatic sometimes. Surprise!

Ok, I know it will never be that bad, but I write this in an effort to put out into the universe the idea that this will be a whole new wonderful chapter in my life. I hope it brings me great adventures, lots of inspiration, and an embarrassing amount of new friends and experiences. I want to be able to walk down the street, to work, to brunch, to a show, and feel lucky and excited every step of the way. I want to create a life for myself that I am proud of, excited about, and that I can become successful at. MY idea of success, that I will not compare against any ideal or expectation set by anyone. A success that will allow me to bring along my friends and family, and give me the freedom and opportunity to help out as many people as I can along the way.

As I read this back it sounds like I have my s**t together much more than I actually do! I don’t, but if I write it, and I believe it, maybe it will come true! I read ‘The Secret’ once and that has something to do with it, right? (mental note to pull that book out again, and not tell anyone).

Dear NY, I don’t know what it is about you, or when it started, but I am in love. There, I said it.

I Want To Go To There – Venice

Venice. Another one of those places I can’t wait to get to. How can anyone not be inspired, in love and happy in that city!? Sometimes I can’t even believe it’s real! I mean, you get to and from places by gondola! I want to go to there!

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Cuba Libre

My friend, Mandy Zeller, went to Cuba recently and took this incredible photograph in Havana. It must have been one of those serendipitous moments in life when the stars align and all the elements are in the right place at the right time. The colors. The car. The clothesline. The kids stilling on the door step. A moment in time.

It looks like an incredible place. It made me think of this.

I Want To Go To There – Paris

There are a few cities on my bucket list that I am incredibly sure I am going to love as soon as I set foot on their culturally and historically rich streets. Paris might be on the top of this list. It’s either Paris or Barcelona. The only reason New York City isn’t on this list is because I have been there so many times it’s almost my home away from home.

This incredibly visual and artsy video was created by Land of Nod Inc. and its founding members Robert Kolodny and Bennett Elliot. The amazing song is by Les Sans Cullottes. It captures what I hope one day will be my whirlwind adventures in that incredible city.

My mom lived in Paris for a couple of years when she was a teenager and I have loved growing up listening to her stories. In the last few years everyone in my family has made the trip and I can’t help but wonder when it will be my turn! I cannot wait to experience the museums, the food, the culture, and yes, the shopping. Mostly, I can’t wait to sit in some obscure Parisian cafe and people watch, read a book…and write. Bliss.

A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words….

….a journey through my adventures on the 1st Broadway National Tour of West Side Story.

I had almost forgotten what a special time this was in my life. Thankfully, the tour is now in Toronto and the memories are flooding back. It’s almost an entire new group of actors, but the energy and passion is still the same. I’m so excited to have them here and I think you should all go buy a ticket to see this incredible production. You don’t believe me? Then, this might convince you.

Ok, you must be convinced now, so please go buy your tickets at DanCap Productions here. Done? Ok, good.

Below is a photo journey of the cities I got to visit while on tour. Some were magical, some were hard. However, they were all an adventure and I could not have asked for a better, more talented group of people to take the journey with. We being with…

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On To The Next Adventure…

….whatever it may be!

I have a weird sense of adventure. I will not eat something if I can’t really tell what it’s made of, or if the texture seems weird to me. I don’t usually talk to strangers. I don’t usually experiment with my clothing, and I tend to socialize in a coffee shop rather than the local bar.

However, when it comes to travel I’ve realized I want to try it all. I discovered I could be away from home for long periods of time when I was a kid. I spent a few summers with relatives in Peru  and never had any issue with leaving my home in Toronto or my parents. Years later I spent 2 summers in New York City on a whim, and managed to have the time of my life. Since then many trips to NYC have followed and I relish in the possibilities that city has to offer.

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There’s No Place Like Home.

I can see myself living on this street. There is something about cobble stone, colourful trees, a warm summer night and the close proximity of kind strangers that puts a smile on my face. I love being in a huge city, but living on a street that is quaint and beautiful.

I believe this is a photograph of a beautiful street in Germany. I’ve never been. I don’t know what I will feel if I ever get there. Maybe one day I will land in Germany and think, yes, this is where I was meant to be!

I really believe we are all meant to be somewhere. There is one place in this world that is meant for each of us. The place that will make us the most complete, at peace and happy. I’m not sure if I’ve found it yet, but I’m looking…and I have some ideas.

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Ecuador Adventures

A video montage of our adventures in Ecuador. I still can’t believe I was there, and especially that I was there with some amazing people, and that I met such amazing people. RUNA and the Kichwa people embraced us with open arms and this video is a thank you to them for their generosity and spirit.

It’s so inspiring to be part of a generation that is trying to do so much good, reverse some bad collective decisions….and use their creativity and experiences for the better.

Beautiful Tree

I was in Lima recently for two weeks. I spent a glorious time with my family and as usual took some great shots and footage. Here is a glimpse of the good times. It’s a wonderful reminder that I’m a lucky girl and have some incredible people looking out for me and sending me good karma and love everyday.

“Bent or broken,
It’s the family tree.
Bent or broken,
It’s the family tree.
Each branch a part of a part of me.
This is my tree,
And it’s a beautiful tree.”

DAVIDsTEA In The Field: Ecuador Edition

I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a Guayusa Ambassador for DAVIDsTEA. Here is a little teaser of what our week was like in the Amazonian Jungles of Ecuador. We could not have had a better time. We learned so much and we are excited to be home and spread the message of the Kichwa people and the Guayusa plant.

I hope to share more stories and information in the coming weeks. It was a trip of a lifetime.

In the meantime, for more information and updates please check out www.davidstea.com and www.runa.org.

The Inspiration of Oswaldo Guayasamin

While I was in Quito, Ecuador recently, I had the luck to go to the Guayasamin museum. I immediately felt a connection to his paintings and his home where the museum resides. I feel so lucky to have discovered him. Although at first glance his paintings might feel a tad depressing, you quickly begin to see the hope and love he had for the indigenous people of Quito. Continue reading