mind over matter

Due to my lack of time and resources, my workout regiment for dance conditioning has been limited to everything that’s free. Running seems to be the number one choice in limited time with limited resources, and in doing so, I have found one thing to be true. My mind completely controls the success of my run. How far I can go, how fast I can push… if I am all-in mentally, I am all-in physically.

You’ll have to forgive me, the program is coming to an end, and my down time has been devoted to soaking in what’s left of this experience. Therefore, yet again, we have a lot of catching up to do.

Since we last spoke…


Failed attempt at “Let’s Make a Deal” after an evening with Harvard & Stone. Room mate got free passes to be in the on-camera audience. Turns out July 25th is historically the Christmas in July episode, and it was also family day. In other words, us goons showed up as a hippie, “we’re open” sign, explorer, and 90’s kid to find the line filled with parents and kids dressed as santa and his elves. No way we were getting in.


Lounging and being lazy in the picturesque setting of our third floor living room. Fat Sal’s sandwiches and a mad rush during rush hour to see the sunset at Griffith Observatory. Time stopped.



It was back to Griffith for 4 hours of hiking. We were rewarded at the top with a view behind the Hollywood sign. On our way, we stumbled upon the Tea House, apparently being knocked down in the near future. The little wooden structure held hundreds of tags bearing handwritten wishes and dreams for the city of Los Angeles. We contributed.


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Bob’s Brunch in the Beatles Booth (it’s tradition) and laughing our butts off in NoHo at Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck.


My teenage self waited her whole life for this moment. Tickets to the LIVE TAPING of the Top 18 dancers on So You Think You Can Dance, Season 12. Alarm buzzed at 5:45am, followed by peaceful drive to The Grove. Finding a colorful cluster of people pouring from the CBS lot. About 100 eager tweens (and their faithful mothers) jittered with excitement. Arguably the only guest in line by myself, I made small talk with a middle aged Canadian couple. The two were fascinated by the fact that I was an actual dancer. Interaction number 1 of the day convincing me to pursue performance.

Eight fourty-five and we finally were in the sound studio. In person, the place is much smaller than you’d think. Third row center next to a Hawaiian mother of two. Small talk and speculating about how the SYTYCD crew got to be standing where they were. Interaction number 2 of the day convincing me to pursue performance.

At nine, it was out to the Grove for coffee and a book, then right back to the front of the line for four hours. Yes, four. First-come, first-served and there was no way in hell I was missing that opportunity. Though I stared at the beautifully written pages of Harper Lee’s newly released novel on the side of Beverly Road, about two lines of the sixty pages I flipped through actually registered. What can I say? I was too excited (and distracted by people watching and eavesdropping). Turns out the contestant Hailee’s family and fan club was right in front of me. Number 23 in line, I made the cut to be in the studio audience, and was handed my golden ticket: B Sect 1 Seat 7… right behind Nigel at the judges table. Unfortunately, ten minutes before air, I was replaced with a well-dressed, 20-something male. Ratings? Diversity? Who knows the reason behind the seat switch. My new seat was conveniently in the center of the house, but directly behind a camera operator. Needless to say I got a behind-the-scenes experience, but was never visible on camera. I did shake Paula Abdul’s hand and smiled at Jason and Nigel. It was pretty darn incredible to be in the room during the entire thing. It wasn’t until I came home and watched the West Coast air of the show in the living room that it registered. I was about 20 feet from the judges. Cat Deely walked in front of me. I breathed the same air as tWich and Travis Wall. I was there.


Coming home to a house filled with friends, convincing me that NoHo and WeHo last minute was a good idea. I obliged.


Last day of class with Tom. Our final speaker was Jon Heely, a JMU alum who has worked for Disney for 20+ years. He is responsible for the archival of all of the classic Disney songs we know and love. His thrill for live performance struck a chord in me. He ended his lecture with a comment about the importance of doing exactly what it is that you want, no fear. So many young people fresh out of college with amazing musical talents come to him asking for an administrative job. His response? Hell no! Go out and perform while you can, don’t sit at a desk. Do the thing that you love and THEN go back and work the background stuff. Interesting. Interaction number 3 convincing me to pursue performance.

Lastly, LACMA. If you didn’t hear,  Kanye West and Steve mcQueen teamed up to create a ten minute, one-shot film that was on display for four short days. Jer and I caught it on it’s last day, and we were blown away. The physical representation of the songs he sang in the way the camera moved around him, the low rumble of the bass in the center of your chest. I’m so happy I read this article before going. Kanye admits he would trade all his fame to “be in an art context.”

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This week, it’s mind over matter. So many things to do and loose ends to tie up before my parents arrive on Friday. Keep trucking, keep pushing, but mostly, keep digesting. Three days.



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