i often struggle when asked to write a piece for someone or something else. whether it is an online magazine, another blog, or an essay for an application, i flounder. i don't know if there is more ease writing here, in my own space, because i know that no matter what there will always be another blog post, should i choose.

well, when katie asked me to contribute to volume two of the off switch i was nervous. her publication, which she produces almost entirely by herself (from what i can tell) is stunning. i mean, the first one was absolutely stunning. and i wanted to live up to that.

she asked me to expand on an idea that i've often touched on here: this last year and the profound effect that music had on me.

now i must tell you, i actually quite like the article i wrote. and so i would be deeply honored if you all would hop over and check out the publication.

my article is right near the front.

i can't wait to really dive into the publication--the photography, the ideas and the words--all stunning. refreshing, really.

so without further ado: off switch

and please do let me know what you think!


showing my heart

a few weeks ago, the lovely blogger micaela of dolce vita, wrote to ask me if i might consider participating in a series in which ladies show their heart through a picture, a poem, a song, a quote, a piece of clothing, and a place. i'm often not a fan of the typical "blog series"--i find them to be tedious and a little boring. but not this one. i so loved looking at what the others before me had done. so little said and so much revealed.

in fact, i liked it so much that i thought i'd share it here.

the other heart posts are so wonderful i must suggest you hop over to micaela's blog and scroll down--you'll be introduced to a whole new group of wonderful bloggers.

a picture: 

laugh 2

this picture was taken this last summer by one of my oldest friends and good lord was he making me laugh!
i've struggled a lot over the years with having my photo taken, but this has to be one of my favorites. because it's so not about vanity. i look at that photo and think, yeah, i'm happy there. and because i look at it and see that i'm happy, i then look and fall in love with my veiny forehead, my mole-peppered arms, and the way my nose crinkles when i snort.

a poem:

a song:

(so hard to choose, but this go round, let's go with this one)

a quote:

I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once

John Green

an item of clothing:

i got this rain coat when i was fifteen and about to head out on a two week tour of munich, salzburg, and then lucerne. over the years it has weathered quite a bit with me. i almost threw it out just a few years ago-- it was looking a little worn, but i couldn't bring myself to do it. there's too much history there. and thing is, end of the day, when it's raining, it still does the job.

a place: 

i don't have a picture for this one, so bear with me. a place? well, i'm in park city, utah right now. slowly, over time this place has begun to feel like home. it is a respite. a haven. the place i came as a child with my family and fell in love with the mountains. where i learned to ski and learned the power of the sport. now as my parents toy with idea of one day settling here, i find myself rooting for this, because it already feels like home. there are roots to this place. but really, the end of the day, home--a place--is with people. and family, well, that's all there is.

but when all else fails and i'm feeling a little blue...i'll take a bathtub any day of the week!

tub image

gadchick: issue 2

i was beyond humbled when asked to contribute to issue two of gadchick
to be included among such stellar women, oh-boy-i-tell-ya. 

i wrote about the important issue of self-portraiture in my usual tongue-in-cheek irreverent style (thats the hope, at least). but i do think there is a lot that can be gained by standing in front of a mirror and taking your own photo. want to know what it is? 

well read the magazine won't you?


when first asked to write this piece i was…hesitant. of the little i remember of my time at school, i regret much. my story is is certainly not one of juilliard's great successes. and yet. it is mine. for all its faults and flaws and that's worth sharing, no?

the white blank page before me disagrees. i've been unable to piece together...anything--about any of it. how does one sum up school or the subsequent three years in a nice and tidy pile of words? if the story is fragmented and messy how does one do it justice on the page? 

i lost myself at school. that's the long and the short of it. i came to new york at the tender age of eighteen and while others marveled at skyscrapers and central park i acquainted myself with an unnamable sadness. in fact, sadness became my sole companion. perhaps i was too young. perhaps i should have attended a basic liberal arts college. perhaps, perhaps....truth be told it's remarkable i survived at all. but when graduation day finally came it was not a marker of success but a desperate gasp for air. i had failed. deeply, i had failed. and i had lost that little kernel of faith in my ability to act, and as it turns out, myself. 

so i stopped. acting, that is. four years studying the thing and i couldn't stomach it. i know, i know, just what anyone wants to hear as they prepare to leave school or continue on in their education.

but here's the thing failure, as it turns out, proves fertile ground. and in the absence of acting i began to write.  i simply meant to document. to put pen to paper to help me remember or preserve a period of my life for the future. but those words became a solace that slowly unfurled me--revealed me to myself. the great roadmap of the journey inward. and i found that all that i had learned at school in terms of sounds and shapes of vowels and the discrepancy between what is thought and what is known leant itself beautifully towards writing. 

and writing, as it turns out, gave me back my life. does that sound terribly dramatic? well, it is. and it was.  
there are moments i wish i could go back and do school all over again. as the person i am now. perhaps this time i'd be ready. perhaps this time i'd get it right. perhaps, perhaps. but i have to remind myself that few stories are truly linear. we twist around, circle back on ourselves, and when we're lucky, move forward. and that's okay. my story is not done. i left acting but whether or not i will return  is a part of the story i've yet to write. 

what i mean to say is this. if things don't go as planned, that's okay. (i know, i know, everyone says that.) how to tell you--to make you understand.

how about this: failure is essential. fail as much and as gloriously as you can. fail in little, seemingly inconsequential ways when no one is looking. or fail on a stage under the lights. the thing is, others might not see it as such. and given enough time, it might actually reveal itself as something else. because when the failure fades or passes or wears another mask it gives way to a joy so profound, it lies beyond imagination--even that special brand of imagination that juilliard encourages.

and joy, more than anything else i've ever known,  is essential to art. (yes, joy).

sometimes i wonder how i'll look back on this period in my life--as a pause in the story? as a precursor to the next great plot twist? a time when i was tied to nothing, living anonymously in a small, sunlit apartment, way high north on the island of manhattan next to the train tracks and nestled against the river--and i think i'll be a better actor because of these days, a better person, if nothing else.