when I was little
I wanted to be a Power Ranger (specifically the Pink one). Or a member of the Scooby-Doo Gang. Or a marine biologist. Or a public interest lawyer. To this day I still get a twinge of jealously when I watch Casey Novak on Law and Order: SVU (Assistant District Attorney seasons 5-9). I start to think “I should be doing that!!”. Then that feeling gets replaced with panic when I remember how much pressure and potential life-threatening danger is involved with that job. I mean the Assistant District Attorney before her had to fake her death and enter the Witness Protection Program after prosecuting the employee of a drug lord. I don’t see me handling that very well. I’m not exactly sure when I made the switch from wanting to be a lawyer to wanting to be a performer. I had been doing theater since 2nd grade, starting with my riveting performance as The Little Bell That Couldn’t Ring in The Little Bell That Couldn’t Ring.
However performing was still something I considered temporary and not a lasting presence in my life. I had dolphins to save! It was somewhere around eighth grade when that all began to change. Lady Gaga and Kesha were making their way onto the music scene and I had just discovered Wicked, and with it Elphaba. For the first time in my short existence I suddenly felt seen. Here were these people who felt the same way I did at age 13: weird, different, eccentric, loud, defiant, misunderstood. Sure I wasn’t a platinum record selling pop star challenging social norms or a green girl hellbent on social justice, but I felt like I was or had the potential to be. I didn’t have the language for it then, but now I realize why performing became so important to me. There is power and beauty in helping others feel seen and validated. The art that resonates with me the most is the art that makes me feel like I’m not alone in the way I think or the way I see the world. I want someone to see art that I’ve put out into the Universe and I want them to feel that way as well. I want to help a diverse range of people feel safe the same way the Power Rangers, the Scooby-Doo gang, marine biologists, and public interest lawyers help keep the world and diversity safe. I would also like for Law and Order: SVU to never be canceled but that’s more self-serving than anything else. Most importantly, I want to live a life full of humor and inclusion.
p.s. If you also want to join the mission in helping others feel seen and validated, I’ve included links to three of my favorite organizations at the bottom of this page. Please consider donating or at least learning about the amazing work they’re doing.
my current favorites
Book: Life Is Going To Be The Death Of Me by Chelsea Handler
Movie: Gypsy: Live from the Savoy Theatre (Imelda Staunton is EVERYTHING)
TV Show : The Act
Album: Cuz I Love You by Lizzo
Song: "Ex-Wives” from SIX: The Musical
Theater: If Pretty Hurts Hurts Ugly Must Be A Muhfucka at Playwrights Horizon
Quote: “Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.” - Michelle Obama (Becoming)