I know it has been a while; it's been a really busy few months!
Today I am grateful for all the kids I work with, all my co-workers, and my bosses, who I look at as mentors. I am surrounded by such incredible human beings.
A quick recap of the past few months: I have assistant directed and stage-managed numerous shows, I have continued as a teaching artist throughout the bay area, and I have started auditioning for shows again! It feels great to be so active in the theatre community.
In one of my more recent teaching jobs, and by recent I'm talking the week of Christmas, I got to teach in Berkeley, and I had a blast. On my lunch breaks, I would walk downtown, window shop, have a coffee and a pastry, and just enjoy the Berkeley scene. This particular week was quite busy as people were doing some of their last minute holiday shopping. I spotted a couple of people, a guy and a girl, on the sidewalk trying to get the shoppers attention as they would walk by, however most of the people I saw barely acknowledged them. As I approached the guy, he asked me if I had a minute to chat. I consented and after a few minutes I learned about 'Hip Hop 4 Change,' an amazing organization that strives to change the perception of the hip hop culture while empowering the youth. I was really inspired by what he was telling me and how they are empowering all these young people and I was happy do donate a small amount and got a T-Shirt (Pictured) in return. It reads, "We all know the industry sells sexism, drug abuse, homophobia, greed and gang violence as if these problems represent the cornerstones of Hip Hop culture. In reality, these are just symptoms of hollow marketing schemes, and when young people buy into them; it perpetuates another generation of closed minds and more hollow marketing. Hip Hop Stems from the roots of artistic, creative, and militant demands for justice and the acceptance of diversity in all its forms. In this way, Hip Hop is what we, as individuals want it to be. Help us take back the game." In the season of giving, it felt fantastic to give in support of a good cause. Please look them up and see how you can help!
On a separate note, I drink a lot of bottled water, as I always seem to be on the go, so I end up collecting a ton of empty water bottles in my car. Instead of going to a recycling center to collect my CRV, I like to save them until I see someone in need who is looking for extra recycling. Well, yesterday as I was about to head into work I noticed a woman digging through the trashcan in the parking lot. She had gloves on and had a nearly empty plastic bag next to her. I was hesitant to go to her as I was running a tiny bit late, but I decided to take that large garbage bag full of empty water bottles out of my trunk and go hand them over. As I approached, she didn't seem to hear me coming so I said, "Excuse me, I just wanted to give you these." What happened next was incredible. The look on her face was priceless! It was was a mix between shock, confusion, happiness, and gratitude, I think she may have even shed a tear. After a few seconds she took off her rubber gloves with lightning speed, gave me a huge hug, and with her thick accent said, "You a good person!" I thanked her and I approached the building to my work I couldn't be more grateful for all I had, including a job to go to, a car that transports me to and from the roof I live under. I am reminded that life is part give and part take, give when and if you can, and never take for granted what you have.
Please remember to never take for granted what you have in life and if either of these stories inspired you, even a little, I challenge you to pay it forward. Do one good deed for someone else. If you accept this challenge, please let me know how and what you did, and how it made you feel!
Until Next Time,
Be kind to one another