Sunday, August 15, 2010


This weekend marks the completion of my FIRST YEAR living in NYC! It feels like I have been here so much longer as these months have been so full of new places, new ways of doing things and new adventures. I can truthfully say that I am living a dream. A dream that I had from when I was live in New York City! For a period in my life I didn't know if I would ever live here, I kind of thought that dream had been released to make room for some other ones. And I think it was but I'm thankful that God brought that dream back to me and allowed me dream it again and to see it to fruition.

This year I've experienced and learned a lot but here's the TOP 10 Highlights of my past 12 months...

1. Packed everything I owned (well most of it) into an SUV and drove 12 plus hours to an apt in Jersey!
2. Auditioned for a Broadway show. And another Broadway show. And another.
3. Saw some famous people including Julia Stiles, Catherine Zeta Jones, Kelsey Grammer, David Letterman, Star Jones, and New York herself. Oh and the Naked Cowboy and scarily the Naked Cowgirl.
4. Discovered some amazing spots to eat including Shake Shack (thanks Linda), Juniors (thanks Bryan), Beechwood Cafe (thanks Marcie), and others. Many others.
5. Met some great know who you are!
6. Got my Equity Card! I'm now a REAL actor! :)
7. Saw the fireworks for 4th of July from our apartment rooftop...which looks out to the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline! Ridiculous!
8. Lived through my first East Coast winter! Had to get snow boots! Woo woo!
9. Figured out transportation both around New Jersey and NYC. Well, mostly.
10. Attended some great Broadway shows including Memphis and Billy Elliot!

So at the end of this first year I am completely looking forward to what the next year brings and the next, here in the Big Apple. I am grateful to all of you who have been so supportive of my journey both nearby and from afar. Your support has been immensely encouraging and largely felt. I'm excited for what God has in store in the coming months and years as I feel completely in the place where I need to be. There's nothing like the feeling of home and that's what I experience here...even when I'm lugging my groceries down the street in the sweltering heat.

I'm excited for this Fall and the new adventures it will bring. I've got no great expectations but just that, that great things will happen. There's such opportunity in this city that you can't help but be encouraged and feel the fuel to make your dreams reality. That is exciting. So I'm looking forward to seeing more of my dreams come to life. And to marking down more of my grand experiences here and sharing them with you.

Until them...dream on and live your life to its fullest!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ruby in Times Square McDonald's!

So lately I can't seem to go anywhere without hearing the songs of my dear friend RUBY AMANFU. Ruby and I met in college and have remained great friends over the years. She's one half of a duo SAMY & RUBY. They had a song in the movie "The Secret Life of Bees" last year and in the last few months I've heard her songs in TJMaxx, Aeropostale, and other stores while I've been out and about.

And last week Friday night was no different. I had gone to eat dinner with a friend to catch up and celebrate becoming a member of Actor's Equity. My friend had to head home early so I thought I would just hang out in the city for a while. I walked around for a bit and was heading back towards the Times Square area, always a hot spot on the weekend and a great place for just watching people and feeling the energy of NYC. I ended up going down a street that I frequent a lot. On this block lies the music store I go to for books for my students and recently I noticed this homeless man who always seems to be by the store, loaded down with all his things, or lack thereof.

And on this night there he sat still, despite it being a busy and vibrant night in Manhattan, he seemed just stuck there, loaded down in his normal place. I was feeling quite a life buzz from the previous week, getting my Equity card, going to three auditions in one day (something that would never had happened without my Equity card because I would have been sitting around for hours to find out whether or not I might get seen to audition), and just remembering how unbelievable it is still sometime to realize I live in this awesome city. When I passed by the homeless music store man I just felt a real sense that I should do something nice for him, partly because I had been so blessed over the last few weeks and because why not, I really had nothing else to do that night, so maybe this was what I was supposed to do with the rest of it. I just felt like I should get over myself a little and help someone who may not be able to help themselves.

So I headed down the block to find the nearest McDonald's...because everyone likes McDonald's, unless if you're a Vegetarian like me and you just occassionally swooop in for a HOT APPLE PIE. On the way down the block I said, "I will do this IF I can see a McDonald's when I get to the end of this block." I mean really, am I that lame. That I can't just do something when I feel like God is so plainly saying, here's an opportunity for you. Well of course there was one, it's NYC for crying out loud and more importantly this is what I was supposed to be doing so I think God might have just plopped one down in the middle of the intersection if he had to. Sadly to say, on the way down the street to the Mickey D's I was trying to come up with some excuse why I should just let this nudging go and move on with my night. Why do we do that? I don't know.

Finally I hit the front door of Ronald's house and it was packed. But in true NYC fashion the line was moving along quickly so I had no time to really renig. I ordered a Number 1. What else is there right ? The Big Mac is the crown jewel of fast food. Large Coke and Large Fry to boot. Surely this would make the music store man smile on this Friday night. The girl behind the counter handed me a bag and a large Coke, drizzled on the outside with soda. Yuck but whatever, I can go wipe it off on my own. So, I headed over to grab some napkins and clean off the cup. And then REenters my friend Ruby. Remember, I am in the McDonald's on a Friday night in TIMES SQUARE. And what do I hear as I am wiping down the cup...ONE OF RUBY'S SONGS!!!! Seriously. I really couldn't help but get hit by the moment. It had all been too random and yet perfect. I sort of welled up with emotion and looked like a fool with tears in my eyes in McDonald's on a Friday night in TIMES SQUARE. Oh well. It was worth it. Now the even cooler part was what happened next. I recognized the song but didn't really put two and two together until I called my friend Ruby. I mean I had to let her know as I always do that she is singing to everyone in the free world it seems like. So, I called her, she picked up, I briefly gave her the story and then she says..."you realize what that song is about don't you? A suitcase!" Of course, it was her song that parallels her life with the life of a suitcase and here I was getting some food for a man who what else...lives out of his suitcase. She and I both smiled and laughed on the phone and I headed down Broadway and back towards the music store man...with his suitcase.

I sort of feared that he might be drunk or just not with it and not even appreciate or realize that someone was bringing him a Big Mac on a Friday night. But despite my ridiculousness that all was fallacy. When I approached him I told him my name, shook his hand and gave him the McDonald's bag and soda. He was totally with it, talked very articulately and when I walked away a few minutes later he even called me by name. You just never know how things are going to turn out. You just never know.

So, what seemed like it might be a random few hours on a Friday night in NYC really had a great purpose and was quite eventful and fun. The best part was just having a small clue of what I was supposed to do and then seeing the rest unfold because of following my gut. It was better than what I could have imagined for sure.

Until next time...roll with the never know where they're going to take you.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy to Be Back in the BIG CITY

I returned this week to NYC after being in NC for three weeks working on the NC Theatre production of "The Full Monty." Despite the 2.5 hour trek from the Newark International Airport to my apartment (the last 10 minutes spent lugging my 50lb suitcase, small carry on suitcase, and my computer bag up what should be an illegally sloped hill), I was happy to arrive "home" after being away for so long.

My time in NC involved two weeks of rehearsal and one week of shows, 10 performances in all. The cast, production team, and crew were all fabulous, amazingly talented and professional people and oh yeah, really nice! Everyone was a complete joy to work with and some great relationships were formed. And it felt like an unexpected gift to think that I got to return to NYC with all these new friends in my life, as many of the cast are Big Applers too!

Some of the highlights of the show were... getting to know and work with the wonderful and gifted Sally Struthers. She is the perfect example of a true star...talented, gracious, and giving. And she is straight up hilarious, always cracking jokes and making everyone smile. Thanks Sally for being such a bright spirit! Also, I really enjoyed working alongside such talented people who really take their craft seriously, who work hard and know how to have fun while doing it. I learned so much from watching them from the wings during a performance or during the rehearsal period. They were each so inspiring and motivating. Finally it was a blessing to be able to share the show with so many people that I know and love from the Raleigh area. Many of my friends and family were able to attend the show and it made the journey that much more special. A shout out to my friend, Ruby, who traveled all the way from NASHVILLE to see me. You get the golden ticket girl. Overall, this was a true dream come true. I grew up in Raleigh and actually went to several NC Theatre auditions when I was younger. But I never got cast in a show there. I think it was because I was too young or too old for the parts in the shows but it always felt like I just wasn't good enough. I did have the opportunity to perform on the Memorial Auditorium stage with Ira David Wood's "A Christmas Carol" and as a dancer in the Miss NC pageant but I still always wanted to say I was cast in an NCT show. Now, I can say I have been. Thank you to Carolee and the Creative Team from this show for making that dream come true. You don't know how much this means to me. And to top it all off, through this show I will now be eligible to become a member of Actor's Equity, which is a huge step and a great thrill!

Now that I am back in NY I am excited to be working on two great Spring recitals/concerts for the two studios I work with in the area. I really missed my students while I was gone so it was great to return to their smiling faces this week. This week I also attended two dance calls for "South Pacific" and "Rock of Ages." Both of which were very fun and challenging! It's great to be able to just hop on a train and go to a Broadway audition. I mean really. This month is very busy with auditions so I'm very excited about the days to come.

I look forward also to what the summer holds, hopefully some great opportunities both in the performing and teaching realm. I will be sure to keep you posted.

Lastly be sure to check out my brand new website... which has all kinds of info, pictures, and updates. You can also become a fan of mine on Facebook. Until next time, dream big, live big, give big.

Much love...


Thursday, February 11, 2010

From NC to NYC to NC!

It's been a while since I've last blogged but that's because 2010 has been a whirlwind of a year already. I am still loving every minute of my new adventures here in the Big City despite the occasional still missing the bus by 10 seconds or the hike up the infamous hill by my apartment that would wind even an Olympian. We were hammered this week with a huge snow and I was out in the gusts and downpour of flakes just yesterday thinking "what am I doing out here...really?"

This weekend I leave for North Carolina, my home state, to work with NC Theatre and their first production of this season's Broadway series, The Full Monty. The show will star Sally Struthers, Broadway actor Jarrod Emick, and Raleigh talent Ira David Wood, III. I have worked with David before in five seasons of his annual mammoth production of A Christmas Carol which is performed on the same stage that The Full Monty will appear. I will be a member of the Ensemble and this production is making me an Equity Actor. I am thrilled! Thanks so much to NCT and Carolee! You can find out more information about the production at

Since my last blog, the Christmas season has come and gone in NYC. As the saying goes, "there is nothing like Christmas in New York" and that is certainly true. The window decorations at Macy's, Sax, and Bergdorf Goodman were insane, totally works of art and truly awesome. I will say, while quite grand, the tree at Rockefeller Center seems much taller on television than in person but it was still a site and those lights, I'm just glad I didn't have to put them on...or take them off. And there's nothing like crossing off your shopping list while you dash in and out of the stores in this town. If you can't find a great gift in NYC then you just aren't looking. My family really loved their "I LOVE NY" tshirts. I mean, I had to.

I still find that I have to pinch myself at certain moments when I'm walking the streets of Manhattan and realize, I LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY! It's totally surreal and yet feels like a perfect fit. You can just smell the opportunity, even when your nose is so cold you can't feel it run. I love it here. Plain and simple.

Look for more posts coming in the next few weeks as I head for NC to be a part of this fun production. Until then...dream on.

With love,


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two Months Gone! What?

This week will mark two months for my arrival in New York City! It actually feels like I've been here much longer, which is not a complaint, believe me. While I am glad to be getting more used to shuffling around the city (hello, there are like a gazillion ways to manuever around this place), I am still pinching myself at times when I walk down Broadway with a Starbucks in my hand or work on a TV set, like today, and see NIGEL BARKER just casually walk by with his drop dead gorgeous wife. I mean, really. Not to mention earlier in the holding room this girl walks up beside me and it's Claire from one of the past seasons of America's Next Top Model. I just kept waiting for Tyra to jump out of the bushes! This is definitely a place where things are happening and that feels great.

I had my first visitor to the big city a few weeks ago. The original encourager of the blog, my friend, Linda, came to celebrate her Bday in big NYC fashion. We had lots of fun trotting around the streets, hitting great eats like Shake Shake, Balthazar, and Mister Softee (ice cream on wheels!). We also got to see the show "Groovaloo" which features the dance group that won on the recent TV show, "Superstars of Dance." Linda knows how to cook and so she did for me and my was insane. Be on the look out for Linda's cooking show someday. I am going to be a producer on it. Seriously, watch for it!

The chill has started to come and I hear it's going to be a crazy winter. While I love the cold I am sure I will have some interesting tales of me fighting the snow, sleet, and wind. Bring it on... I think I have had one white Christmas in my whole life so a ton of snow I am welcoming. I think. Brrrrr....

And if you are a TV watcher, check me out on upcoming episodes of White Collar (USA), CSI:NY (CBS), and Nurse Jackie (Showtime). I am not sure exactly when the episodes will air but they should be in the next few weeks. Just some extra work but it's been really fun to be on set and get more involved in the television community.

Okay, I guess that's it for now. Enjoy some pics of my recent weeks here. The cruise ship was taking off down the Hudson River on Sunday when I was sitting on a bench reading by the water. Some others are just awesome buildings I have stumbled across through my adventures around town and a shot from Central Park when my friend Chuck helped me move here.

Lots of love and hugs to all the people I miss.

Until next time...


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Week 4 in The Big City

I think I have the hang of this blogging know me, I'm an actor, so it has to be a production, nothing basic. Blah. So things are seeming to click along here as I'm working on my fourth week here in NY. It has been busy, busy, busy and I'm am adapting well to all the changes.

I'm trying to include some photos from my first month's journey that I captured from my phone so hopefully that will work and you can see part of what I've been seeing. To recap a little, I've made several trips to Central Park, had quite a few cups of Soy Chai Latte in Midtown, mostly sitting at a small table people-watching, seen several celebrities - Julia Stiles, David Letterman, Andy Rodick, Rachael Ray, and America Ferrera, and was actually on a taping of Letterman in one of his outdoor scenes by the Ed Sullivan Theatre, shopped several times in Soho (love that area), been to several Broadway auditions and saw a girl I knew from NC and did theatre with 10 years ago. And on my Birthday I'm standing on the corner of the street, waiting for the crosswalk light to change and I hear my name being called out...out of 8.5 million people I actually ran in to someone that knew me, on my Birthday just south of Columbus Circle...this place is really small, don't let the population fool you. So adventurous and fun this month has been, there is no doubt.

I have really taken a liking to Hoboken, NJ's a quaint town adjacent to Jersey City and where I will be doing some work with a dance studio this year. They are the home of Carlo's which is the famous bakery featured on the TLC show called "Cake Boss." They have AMAZING brownies...they dip them in sugar. Yum! 'And during the summer they show movies out on an open lawn/park with the NYC skyline as the backdrop. I went and saw "Coraline" there the other week but the rain booted us out before it was finished. Oh well...I am sure I will be here next summer!

So to wrap this week I am heading to an audition/seminar tonight to meet with a talent agent. Next week brings about several auditions and who knows what else adventures. And of course tomorrow is 9/11 so I am sure it will be a moving and reflective weekend. They are already shining the beams of light from Ground Zero. I actually captured a pretty good photo on my camera so hopefully that will show up well here on the blog.

Until next time here from NYC!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My first blog in NYC

So per the request of my friend Linda, I decided to start a blog about my new adventures in NEW YORK CITY! I hope the blogs that follow will inspire, entertain, education, and lift your spirits in some way. This city can definitely do that. Who knows what will come about in these blogs, although I am sure a lot of it will be about the places I discover, the food I eat, and the people that I meet, or at least pass on the street. That in and of itself will be enough to keep us all entertained.

So, I guess I will just start with today b/c it might be hard to go back over the last two weeks and recount everything. Although I will try to bring back some highlites.

Today I had an audition for the Broadway musical "Wicked." It was a dance audition which turned out to be pretty challenging. Cool thing is I ran into a guy I met through the "Wizard of Oz" tour that came through Nashville just back in January. It's a small world and you would never think in a city of 8.5 MILLION people that you would run in to people that you know, but ya do.

So before I hit the audition I ate lunch at a new place for me (there will be lots of those to come!) called "brgr." Loved the spelling and despite being a vegetarian I thought I would check it out b/c the DID have a veggie burger on the menu and the decor was rocking. The coolest thing about the restaurant was the bathroom door assignment...two bathrooms, one labeled "Carnivore" and the other, can a I get a woo woo, "VEGETARIAN." Of course I used the VEGGIE facilities, I have to pay homage to my peeps when I can.

I took a photo on my phone of the doors because they were just too funny. I will try and upload these pics so you can get a good laugh.

Ok, that seems long enough for a blog right? Live vicariously through me if you wish. NYC is a grrrrrrrrrrrreat place and the end of the day was topped with a warm orange sky in the western view with a full moon hanging over Manhattan as I waited for the Light Rail to get to my apartment. Pretty sweet!

Well....peace, love and blessings from the city that never sleeps, except at my place in about an hour.