start where you are
Mondays are beautiful, aren't they? New week. Fresh start. So much to accomplish since it's day one of the new week. If I ever feel overwhelmed, I remind myself of the phrase “start where you are.”
Where you are now is a new place that’s, most likely, very different from where and what you’re used to in life. I’ve written before about my views on how the world works and the idea of purpose - or destiny - which you can read about here. Assuming we get on board with the theory I’d previously written, it becomes easier to relax and start from your current position. Everything ahead of you is unknown and it’s an unknown full of discovery, which is exciting; it’s not something to be feared. If you're afraid, that's your ego talking. Actively tell your ego to be quiet, and feel the peace as your soul takes over.
When I first moved to Los Angeles, I did not know where to begin. I reached out to people I knew from my network back home to see if they could connect me with anyone they knew in the LA area. That is a move I highly recommend. Even if those relationships don’t provide anything more than a cup of coffee and some company, that’s a nice coffee meeting you wouldn’t have had otherwise. And you never know what else might happen because of that interaction. That nannying job I wrote about in my last post? I got that job nannying because I got coffee with my college friend’s cousin who got me in touch with a family that got me in touch with another family whose nanny was leaving to go to school. Tap into your network! For me, one of my first cups of coffee in LA led to a job, which got me a West Coast family! Our destinies are all intertwined!
When I moved to Los Angeles, I used the network of connections I’d made back home in Philadelphia to connect and guide my path. I got headshots from a young woman I knew from my four years at The Hill School, I started taking scene study classes at Beverly Hills Playhouse (BHP) via a recommendation from another connection, and I researched different ways to meet new people in a new city based on recommendations from friends who’d moved to other new cities. I met some really cool people in those classes I took early on at BHP, but I didn’t feel like it was the right environment for me, personally, to grow as much as I wanted (if you haven’t been able to tell by now, I’m someone very dedicated to challenging myself and personal growth). Had I not taken those classes and had I not listened to myself that it was time for more growth, I would’ve never met some of the most unique collaborators and talents I’ve worked with to this day.
After my stint at BHP, I decided to try some more technique-based acting, which led me to James Franco’s Studio 4 in North Hollywood. I met more great people taking those Meisner-based classes and even collaborated on a couple short films. Tony Montes and Michael Bradley are fantastic teachers, and I cannot speak highly enough of their talent and ability to help actresses and actors express what is already inside themselves. I had to step away from Studio 4 for a short while, but I am hoping to get back there very soon.
It was during my time at Studio 4 that a class finally opened up for Improv 101 at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). After a year of unsuccessfully attempting to register for 101 due to schedule conflicts and class availability, I finally had the chance to start UCB’s improv track. Since I financially could not do both Studio 4 and UCB, I opted for UCB because studying long-form improv comedy at UCB was a dream to which I could not say "no."
And, wow!, am I glad I did not hesitate to take that 101 class. My journey at UCB has been such a rewarding, winding road that it needs its own post. So for now, I’m going to put a pin in the conversation and pick up next time! And, of course, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further, feel free to subscribe below or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m here for you!