Sunday, July 31, 2016

Be The Light. Be The Change. Beat The Bully

“The best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing you can do is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

I’m not sure who wrote, or said, those words. However, that’s the message I tweeted in my Positivity Project today. The project, combined with Daniel J. Watts’ THE JAM: LOVE TERRORISTS (A Benefit for Orlando), is why I’m writing this blog.

I mentioned tonight’s event (link will be at the bottom) to some people. Their reaction was that it sounded good! However, some raised their eyebrows at the title of the event. Why? It has the word “terrorists” in it.

Let’s look at the word “terrorist.” One dictionary defines it as “a person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.” Fortunately, we (thank you to those who serve and protect) don’t often use terrorism and America in the same breath. However, I feel, that there are terror attacks happening in our country all the time. I’m not talking about the terror attacks involving bombs, guns or hostages. I’m talking about another kind of attack that happens every day… in every city… in every school. It’s an attack everyone has suffered or witnessed in their lives. It’s the terror of an attack from a bully. You don’t have to be a kid to experience bullying. It happens to adults too. It has to stop. I truly believe we need to raise each other up. We need to support each other on this journey of life. We can stop the terror.

The question is… will you do the right thing, the wrong thing, or nothing. Nobody should have to fight bullies alone. The man who walked into Pulse nightclub in Orlando was a bully. He created terror. As a country… as a community… we are stronger than any bully. We showed that on June 12th. 

Orlando Strong. Dallas Strong. Baton Rouge Strong. America Strong.



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sending Smiles: A Positivity Project


Social Media. It’s part of our daily lives now. I came home from work last night and marveled about the likes of Twitter and Facebook … how in one click of a button a message can affect one person … or dozens.

I also came home last night to a lovely card. So simple. One card. One smile. It’s a simple gesture I picked up from my mom. I send cards too and have been for years. Snail mail provides something more personal than social media can provide. I call it Sending Smiles. 

Besides coming home to a smile, I came home to find a children’s book I had written. I dug it up because at work we were talking about fish (Yes! The Bachelorette was on one of the dozens of monitors that lit up the newsroom with the red, white and blue of politics). Anyway, I’m digressing. If you watch The Bachelorette you’ll get the fish reference. Ok … so anyway, I wrote this book in 1997 for a college class I was taking. Here’s how it ended.

“Not everybody in the world is made the same. There is a place for everybody in this world and we can learn a lot from the people we meet. Annie learned that night that even though she is now different on the outside, she is a very special person on the inside and nobody can take that away from her … or C.J. or anybody!” 

Funny, how what I wrote all those years ago in Kansas is so relevant today. These past few weeks have been full of bad news. I can see the effect it has had via comments on social media. I’ve been reading a lot of hateful comments. I’ve been reading a lot of confused comments. I’m starting to become more aware of bullying type comments. We rise by lifting others. That is why I’m starting the Positivity Project on Wednesday at 9am EST. If you follow me on Twitter you know I typically start the day with a quote or something positive. I’m still going to do that. However, I want you to send that smile on. I’m asking you to forward that Tweet to one person you follow. I want you to do so in hopes of brightening their day. I’m sure it would make them smile. Hence…#SendingSmiles. Hopefully that person will forward that Tweet … and so on and so forth. At the end of the day I want you to Tweet one moment that brightened your day.

The Power of Positivity. Let’s help spread it, and send some smiles while we are at it. #SendingSmiles


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Just Breathe

Good morning you. It’s a new day. The sun is peaking from behind the fluffy, white clouds. The quiet buzz of taxis are starting down the street. It’s a new day. Breathe it in. 

Most of you know I work at a television network. I cover a region of the United States. I keep a pulse on what’s going on there. Among the states I monitor are Louisiana and Texas. The pulse in Dallas and Baton Rouge over the past few weeks have been all over the place… but the people in those cities continue to breathe. The spirits of those who were killed are felt. Their breath can be felt. They are felt in the words spoken by people they helped protect. They shine brightly in the candles that flicker across the country in remembrance. They are felt in hugs that are given by strangers to those grieving.

Love, life and death unfold every single day. It’s something every person, in every city, every village, and every suburb have to deal with every day. So, when you feel sad or mad stop and breathe. Remember, there is good in the world. There is some good that comes from tragedy. I believe that cause I hear it in the stories being told by survivors of the ambush in Dallas. I see it in the flowers being dropped off at makeshift memorials in Baton Rouge… flowers that bring color and light to what sometimes may feel like dark days. The flowers are being given by people who are, often unknowingly, leaving footprints in our hearts. 

I wonder what footprints I leave behind. Do you? Footprints in the sand may be washed away, but they are proof that you existed and did something. Even when a footprint disappears in the tide, it’s taking the sand and bringing it elsewhere. Maybe the sand mixes with a new beach… a beach overseas in Nice. The sand mixes with people walking along that beach. They are people you probably don’t know… but the sand mixes with their footprints and in an instant you are connected. We are all connected. Through this blog. Through social media. Through friends. Remember that. Remember to spread love. To show respect. To honor life. To breathe.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hello Fab 40's

It’s the final day of my 30‘s. I’m going to embrace it by sharing a little of what I learned over the years ... from childhood up to last year. Here’s to the Fab 40’s!

1.         Family is forever
2.         The grass isn’t always greener on the other side
3.         Find your passion. It’s okay if you don’t know what that is.
4.         Some friends are meant to be with you for a period of time. Others are for forever.
5.         Spend money
6.         Save money
7.         Be a risk taker
8.         Smile more
9.         It’s okay to fail. It’s what makes you stronger.
10.      Be giving
10.         Be thankful for what you have-- not what you don’t
11.         Remember where you came from
12.         You do turn into one of your parents as you get older ... well a little
13.         Just be
14.         Be proud of your journey. We all start somewhere.
15.         Don’t close doors that are half open
16.         Fall in love at least once
17.         Embrace your curls
18.         Don’t apologize for doing things that make you happy
19.         Thank your parents. They put up with a lot.
20.         Travel as much as you can
21.         Don’t work your life away
22.         There’s nothing wrong with being single. Finding love takes time. Don’t settle.
23.         You learn who your real friends are during your darkest moments
24.         Drink tea. It’s a cup of happiness.
25.         Admit when you’re wrong. It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.
26.         Don’t throw away your shot
27.         Workout
28.         When you have a bad day remember someone out there is having a worse day
29.         Life is short
30.         Years fly by the older you get
31.         Call your parents daily and tell them you love them
32.         Celebrate your Birthday. You never know if it will be your last.
33.         It’s okay to call out sick. Your colleagues will be okay.
34.         Bungee jump
35.         “People be crazy.” It’s a fact of life. It’s how you deal with the crazy that matters.
36.         Ask questions
37.         Dance around your apartment, home, condo (etc). It will make you happy!
38.         Let it go
39.         Embrace your imperfections. It what makes you special.
40.         Even if you don’t take it ... listen to your parents advice. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

My Happy Place


Everyone has a happy place. I truly believe mine is at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre watching Kinky Boots.

Yes, I understand I’ve seen the show 30-something times probably. Yes, I get eye rolls... a lot. It doesn’t bother me. I won lotto Saturday night and I was going to go see Wayne Brady as Lola for the first time! Yes, I feel some of your judgement eyes through the screen. It’s okay. Judge away!

There’s just something about this show and the people in the show. The cast has changed since the first time I went to final dress in Chicago. The show has changed. However, when I walk into the theatre it’s the same.  I just feel the love. It’s like coming home to a big hug from a friend you haven’t seen in a bit.  I don’t come as often as I used to. There are so many amazing shows on Broadway I’m blessed to see. However, I come back as often as I can to show my support to a show and cast that lifts spirits, spreads love and preaches to “Just Be!” 

As I settled into my box seat I was excited to see the changes. I appreciate live theatre. Every show is different. Every audience is different. Every stage door experience is different.

I haven’t been inspired to stage door shows lately. I honestly don’t think I stage doored any shows last year. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I can be a bit shy if I’m not with friends?  However, I really wanted to stage door Saturday to see some people I hadn’t seen in ... well ... probably a year. I settled along the barricade and was sandwiched between some really great people.  The man next to me asked why I’ve come so many times. I get this question a lot. I looked at him and told him, “It makes me happy.” The show has an important message and the original cast members still in the show have each left a footprint on my heart.  I explained I went to the final dress rehearsal in Chicago. I explained how I came back to New York the following morning and excitedly told my colleagues how I knew this show was going to be big. I just knew there was something special about it. 

30-something shows later ... there IS still something special about it. I still cry during the same scenes. I still smile when I see familiar faces step onto the stage. I still love this musical.

I’m sure there are many of you who feel that way about a musical. Maybe it’s Spring Awakening. Maybe it’s Rent. Maybe it’s Les Miserables. For me ... it’s Kinky Boots ... a show that every time I leave ... has me, and everybody saying “Yeah!” 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

"Sylvia" A Play Worth Fetching A Ticket For


It’s been a bit since I’ve written a blog about a Broadway show. Last week I saw one of my favorites again ... Kinky Boots. I had taken a long hiatus from the show and was happy to be back at the factory again. It was at the Al Hirschfeld where I was introduced to the talented, Tony-award winning, Annaleigh Ashford. I’d been wanting to see Sylvia, in which she plays a dog named Sylvia.  I also wanted to see this show because of Matthew Broderick. My first Broadway show was How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  I hadn’t seen Mr. Broderick on Broadway since ... and figured it was about time! 

So, what did I do? I decided not to play dead on a Sunday morning and run over to the Cort Theatre to take advantage of the rush tickets. I got front row, dead center, for .... drum roll ... 32 bucks! You can’t beat that! So, with my tail wagging I settled into my seat. 

The show is still in previews. As I flipped through the Playbill I reminded myself of that. I went in with no expectations. So ... when Annaleigh bound out as a dog ... I howled with delight! Robert Sella’s (Tom/Phyllis/Leslie) and Annaleigh’s comedic timing had everyone barking for more. The play did more than make the audience laugh. They cried too. 

Sylvia chews away at Greg (Matthew Broderick) and Kate’s (Julie White) marriage ... but she also tugs at your heart. Though Sylvia is always the focal point, the play isn’t really about her. There’s a real message of connecting and community in A.R. Gurney’s work. It’s hard to always connect ... to feel part of a pack ... especially in such a large place as New York City. Every day though, we do connect. We connect with people, nature and animals. I almost connected with the pigeon that swooped down at me today. That was a bit scary! I connected with the young girl that smiled at me on my home, and I connected with the fellow theatre-goers at the Cort Theatre. For that time ... we were all in the theatre. We were all connected. We were all part of a pack. 

Just as Sylvia fetches Kate’s missing book, I recommend you fetch a ticket this play. I guarantee you’ll want to “sit” ... and “stay” ... for this work of art.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

All Aboard The Last Ship


It’s always the shows that I don’t expect much from that always surprise me.  Yesterday, I could say that about at least two musicals. Today, I could say that about three. “The Last Ship.” 

The show .... whose lyrics and music is written by Sting .... is closing January 24th. In all honesty I had no plans to see this musical. For some reason it just didn’t peak my interest. However, last weekend something in my gut told me, “Go see this show.” So, I bought a ticket. 

I had no expectations when I walked into the Neil Simon Theatre.  The theatre was packed, and I was happy to see that. Like myself, some of the people around me didn’t know much about the musical ... but came for the music and ... in part ... to see Sting on Broadway. 

I honestly can stay I didn’t go see the musical to see Sting. I came to hear his music. From the first song to the last ... it was the music that spoke the most to me and the people around me. The show is full of songs ... each with a different story to tell and each so different. Every song was so beautifully written and told by the actors on stage. I could hear people comment after certains songs, “Wow!” “That was great!” “Beautiful!” They were just whispering out loud what I was saying in my head! 

I left the theatre feeling shocked and impressed with Sting. Yes. He’s a humanitarian. Yes. He’s a Grammy winner. Yes. He’s a rock star. Now, he can add Broadway to his list of achievements.

I can’t say how Sting must have felt when he began The Last Ship’s journey. I know how I would have felt. I would have felt scared but excited. Nervous and unsure. Confident but anxious. Whatever Sting felt on this voyage he didn’t let it stop him. Sting saw this project through. He didn’t give up on it and he tried something new. He took a chance. For that ... I applaud him and thank him. Without him ... and the many others who jumped on board ... “The Last Ship” would have never set sail.

Don’t let this musical sail away without seeing it. Heck! The gal who said she didn’t want to see it might go see it one more time before bidding it bon voyage.

“If my ship sails from sight, it doesn’t mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends.” -Enoch Powell