Believe in People....And Beautiful Things

Little things to make us smile and remind us life is good.

The Cast Of ‘Anything Goes’ Is Beautiful.

There are moments when I think the theatre community at large is full of crazed ego maniacs who make dumb choices based on silly ideas and negotiations. I ask myself why I’m in a business that treats me like a dollar sign, an object and a pawn. I think about all the skills I have, the education, and wonder why I don’t just get up and do something else! Start my own business, work for a worthy cause, or finally start focusing on creating a family of my own.

Then a video like this comes along. It changes my whole perspective and gets me out of my rut. in the few minutes it took me to watch this, within the first 10 seconds actually, I was reminded of the power of art. Of song and dance. That power, mixed with passionate people and great talent, really does have the ability to change the world.

In my moments of frustration I try to remember that the theatre community, as crazy as we are, is continuously spreading a message of love and light. It’s what keeps me coming back for more.

I saw Anything Goes on Broadway last year. I can confirm that this is an incredibly talented group of people. It’s nice to see that they are also eager to spread a positive message and share the magic of heart and music.

Let me end this by saying that Joel Grey is perhaps the cutest thing since my grandfather.

Enjoy the magic.

www.littlebirdnightowl.wordpress.com

When I Think of Bliss….

The coast of Lima, Peru near Miraflores. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I made it even more beautiful by putting a 1960s filter on the photograph. I’m in love.

Some things are just bred in the bone. For me it’s the need to have family around. To learn. To be kind (to try to, anyway). To laugh. To be almost too introverted. To dream. To keep wanting more…and to find peace and clarity near the water. The ocean and the sun have never let me down. Just being able to smell the sea is enough to put me in a good mood. Sitting in the sun, looking at this view with family around, is what I miss the most about Lima.

Just add a plate of Ceviche and you’ve got heaven.

              

I just wanted to give a little shout out to Mr. President Barack Obama for coming out in support of gay marriage. I’d like to think that he had always been a supporter and was waiting for the right moment to make the announcement. I hope this was it, and that it helps to propel him into his next (fingers crossed) term. I’m not a political person, and I often can’t stand politics because there is nothing real or sincere about it. There is no one to trust in politics it seems. I can’t be bothered with the games. However, since Mr. Obama came along people, young people especially, have had a reason to hope. I’m not even American, but what I wouldn’t give to be able to vote for him!

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A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words….

….a journey through my adventures on the 1st Broadway National Tour of West Side Story.

I had almost forgotten what a special time this was in my life. Thankfully, the tour is now in Toronto and the memories are flooding back. It’s almost an entire new group of actors, but the energy and passion is still the same. I’m so excited to have them here and I think you should all go buy a ticket to see this incredible production. You don’t believe me? Then, this might convince you.

Ok, you must be convinced now, so please go buy your tickets at DanCap Productions here. Done? Ok, good.

Below is a photo journey of the cities I got to visit while on tour. Some were magical, some were hard. However, they were all an adventure and I could not have asked for a better, more talented group of people to take the journey with. We being with…

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Owl Tea Cups!

I might like these because they are owls (and I love owls), or I might like these because as I said, everyone needs owl tea cups. However, I think the real reason I like these is because they remind me of an owl cup that my father used to have on his desk when I was growing up. Somehow, my sister has it now. I don’t know how that happened, but it makes me smile to think I could have one just like it. Sort of.

If you must have these, and I’m sure you must, you can purchase themhere.

www.littlebirdnightowl.wordpress.com

Tea Wisdom For Any Occasion

                          

For me, a cup of tea represents time, quiet and reflection. When I sit down with a cup of tea I know I am giving myself an opportunity to think about my day, reflect on it and rest. After a long day at work, with people, and on my feet, I am so excited to sit down with my tea and think. Sometimes I bring along a good book. Other times I write. I usually like to drink a cup before bed.

For some reason tea has become this thing of beauty and sophistication. It’s untouchable. It’s synonymous with goodness, patience and knowledge. I think it makes people slow down and take life in. Next time you’re having your cup of tea think about these little mantras. What do they mean to you?

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On To The Next Adventure….

….whatever it may be!

I have a weird sense of adventure. I will not eat something if I can’t really tell what it’s made of, or if the texture seems weird to me. I don’t usually talk to strangers. I don’t usually experiment with my clothing, and I tend to socialize in a coffee shop rather than the local bar.

However, when it comes to travel I’ve realized I want to try it all. I discovered I could be away from home for long periods of time when I was a kid. I spent a few summers with relatives in Peru  and never had any issue with leaving my home in Toronto or my parents. Years later I spent 2 summers in New York City on a whim, and managed to have the time of my life. Since then many trips to NYC have followed and I relish in the possibilities that city has to offer.

Just last year I spent 8 months travelling throughout the US and in the process learned that I feel quite at home living in hotels and travelling around like a gypsy. 2 suitcases and a laptop bag to my name. Imagining what each new city had in store for me.

These are the adventures I feel comfortable with, and perhaps a new one is on the way…

Design Inspiration

One of my all time favorite things to do is look at design magazines and watch design shows on TV. If someone told me that in my next life I would be just like Sarah Richardson, I think I would be able to die in peace.

I realize I haven’t really shared this part of me yet so here are a few design shots that really made an impact on me last week. I enjoy pretty. I enjoy organized, and I enjoy granny chic.

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Bully Movie

I saw this movie last week and I encourage everyone to see it and share it with every young person they know. This problem needs to stop and kids need to realize what they are doing to each other. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ seems like a silly sentence now. Words do hurt, and unfortunately can push kids to do tragic things.

My sister also made a good point on our way home from the theatre. She reminded me that bullying doesn’t stop in school. As adults we also have a tendency to bully. People bully their children, co-workers, their parents, or anyone that might cross them the wrong way. If I think about it enough I think I’ve witnessed it. Child bullies turn into adult bullies if we don’t reach them in time.

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I Heart Toronto.

On gloomy days like today I try to remember that I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful city, and that I found such an amazing apartment with amazing roommates on an amazing street. I must repeat this to myself today as I walk through the fog, eventually it starts to rain and all I’ll want to do is get home, eat pizza and watch The West Wing.

There is lots to do today so I must remember. I heart Toronto.

There’s No Place Like Home.

I can see myself living on this street. There is something about cobble stone, colourful trees, a warm summer night and the close proximity of kind strangers that puts a smile on my face. I love being in a huge city, but living on a street that is quaint and beautiful.

I believe this is a photograph of a beautiful street in Germany. I’ve never been. I don’t know what I will feel if I ever get there. Maybe one day I will land in Germany and think, yes, this is where I was meant to be!

I really believe we are all meant to be somewhere. There is one place in this world that is meant for each of us. The place that will make us the most complete, at peace and happy. I’m not sure if I’ve found it yet, but I’m looking…and I have some ideas.

Most of us end up where our parents decided we were going to live as children. Where they felt was best to raise us. They were probably right to do so. However, as we get older we have to be open to the world, pay attention to what the universe is throwing at us, and explore the possibility of ‘home’ being somewhere else. We have to be alert to the signs our bodies, minds and hearts give us when we reach a destination for the first time. For me it’s the ocean. Palm trees. The sun. I think I’m at my happiest when I’m surrounded by all three. A close second would be the bustling city of New York. I am aware of the changes in my being when I’m in that city.

We should all be open to the possibility and opportunity to find our true home. There is no place like home.

www.littlebirdnightowl.wordpress.com

Rainy Afternoon

I created this playlist recently as a going away present for a group of friends. These songs have been a huge part of the last few months for me and I wanted to share them with the people I love. I can’t take credit for finding them….they are all songs that were used at some point or another (except for the Jason Robert Brown one which I just happen to love) in the wonderful CW show “Life Unexpected”. Seriously, go to itunes, download them, make a playlist and let them work their magic.

  • I Wish You Love – Sunflow
  • Kite Song – Rosie Thomas
  • World Spins Madly On  - The Weepies
  • Here Is A Heart – Jenny Owens Youngs
  • You Got Growing Up To Do – Joshua Radin
  • All This Beauty – The Weepies
  • Fall Apart Today – Schuyler Fisk
  • That’s How It Is – Paul Freeman
  • Can’t Go Back Now – The Weepies
  • Lovers Without Love – Joshua James
  • One Of Those Days – Joshua Radin
  • Since You’ve Been Around – Rosie Thomas
  • Brand New Day – Joshua Radin
  • Crash This Train – Joshua James
  • Beautiful Tree – Rain Perry
  • Sit With Me Tonight – Garrison Star
  • Someone To Fall Back On – Jason Robert Brown
  • Live High – Jason Mraz
  • Thank You – MoZella

Homework (Brain Food)!

I have a lot of work to do. This pile of books just keeps getting bigger and bigger, but I can’t stop buying more. I’ve been out of school for a while now, but I am a student of life and my homework is piling up!

In my defence, the top two books, The TV Writer’s Workbook by Ellen Sandler, and Screenplay by Syd Field I have already read. They just happen to be books I go back to a lot so I like to keep them handy.

  • The TV Writer’s Workbook is a book I bought when I was trying to teach myself to write a television script. This summer I got it in my head that I was going to write a television pilot. I’m almost done, and I think it’s pretty good! Anyone know anyone at HBO? lol…..anyway, I could not have even begun to write it without this book. Thank you, Ellen Sandler!
  • Screenplay was a book that was recommended to me by various people. Syd Field’s book is a staple for anyone that is looking to get into writing for film or television, but it’s more specifically for film. Regardless, I learned more that I ever imagined!
  • I am embarrassed to say that I have yet to read J.D Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye! I somehow got away with not having to read it when I was in High School, and I feel horrible about it. It has been on my to-read list for a very long time!
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, was given to me by a dear friend. Everything she has ever told me to read has been amazing so I have no doubt I will devour this one when the time comes!
  • Free For All, by Kenneth Turan and Joseph Papp was an impulse buy at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. I have been interested in Joseph Papp and The Public Theatre for years so I’m so excited to learn more about creation of the theatre company and its history.
  • A.J Jacob’s The Know It All has probably been on my list the longest. It’s one of those books that I know I will love and I bought it immediately…but somehow, for some reason, I have yet to read it! What is wrong with me?

I am book fanatic. If you’d like to see which self-help books I love make sure to check out my post, Give Yourself A Hand.

Happy reading!

www.littlebirdnightowl.wordpress.com

Miss Representation

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. – Alice Walker

I came across this video today and I wanted to share it with every Little Bird out there. If you’re reading this and you know of any young ladies who might learn something from it, or be inspired by it, please go ahead and share it.

Simply put this video is a creative and artistic way of sharing some unfortunate statistics of the influence of the media on young girls. It is also a small preview of what can be learned from the award-winning documentary Miss Representation. Describing it will not do it justice. Just take the time to watch this trailer and then spread the word to all young girls everywhere. I you are an educator you can also request to have a screening of the film at your school or organization. You will not regret it and we will all be better for it.

The film is written, directed and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Over a million people all over the world have seen the inspiring film to date, will you?

A Letter To My Younger Self

Some say that wisdom comes with age. I am now a year older….so does that mean I’m a year wiser? That seems questionable. What I do know is that I have evolved. A year ago today I was still in recovery mode. Trying to get my life back to normal after a magical 8 months on the road with the West Side Story tour. I was trying to get my feet back on the ground, back to reality, and dealing with the usual fears that come with the end of one adventure and the beginning of….who knows?

In one year I have evolved from a heartbroken ingenue to a motivated go-getter, to a terrified creative type and finally ended up as a centred,  hopeful optimist (on a good day, or course)! All I’m trying to say is that I am a year older and I DO feel wiser, but not because I have more knowledge or more answers. I feel wiser because I have gone through a year’s worth of experiences that have informed me of the world, my life in it, and what I need to do to get through it in one piece. For that I am grateful.

Have you ever read the series of books ‘What I Know Now‘? I read them about 5 years ago and they have stuck with me ever since. ‘What I know Now’ is a collection of letters that well-known and accomplished women have written to their younger selves. The letters are a reminder that we all start out the same. Scared, foolish, lost, optimistic and hopeful.

This picture is of me on my first day of Kindergarden in Lima, Peru. I still have this uniform and I will never get rid of it. It’s a reminder of a life I miss and am proud of…and it’s pretty darn cute. What follows is a short letter to my younger self.

Little one, 

You are so excited to begin this new adventure. You love school. The schedule, the order, the rules, the people, the curiosity! All things that will fuel you in the future. However, I also know you are nervous. What if the kids don’t like you, what if it’s too hard? What if, god forbid, the teacher doesn’t like you? All these questions are running through your head but you have always been able to keep your chin up and not show the fear. You are proud of your strength. 

I’m here to tell you that you will be fine! You will have friends. School will be an exciting adventure and won’t give you any trouble. Teachers will become friends, they will teach you more than just reading and writing and you will be open to the lessons. You will fill your head with your own opinions and your curiosity will enable you to dream big. I also want to tell you to let your guard down. It’s ok to show weakness, people will be there to help you. You can be strong and independent while at the same time need a helping hand. You will still have friends even if you share with them your curious interests…theatre, singing, going to Peru, Gloria, Bernadette! Make sure to never compromise who you are and what you believe. People will respect you for it. 

So little one, have a great first day. Just be yourself and learn a lot. Enjoy the playground, do some cartwheels and make some friends!

Excited for you,

Erika 

www.littlebirdnightowl.wordpress.com