A Part of Me

Being a part of a new cast. A new company of so many successful and talented individuals, who day after day I have the opportunity to know and work with.

Meeting new people has always been something I enjoy, especially theatre people. Growing up I didn’t know many people who could “speak my language” (theatre lingo) so to be surrounded by people in the biz is so fun for me. I try to hide what a huge MT geek I am, but usually it shows and most people don’t care!

I feel like some first impressions of me are:

1) I sing all the time! I pretty much have a song for any word. It can get annoying so I’m told but I really can’t help myself so… get used to it!

2) My eyes are squinty, I have incredibly long legs (36 inch inseam) and if you’re a dancer you’ll notice my lovely feet (my 2nd best feature in my opinion.)

3) People always think I’m older than I actually am, though most of the time they aren’t too surprised when they find out I’m 19. Lately I’m told I look like I’m in my mid-late 20s. When I was 5 years old, upon someone asking my age I would respond, “I eight.”

For the last two and a half years though, something that usually comes up if you get to know me well is June 3rd. That day affects me greatly and when you’re getting to know me you ought to know how important it is to me. I’ve learned so much about myself, others, grief, happiness, and pretty much everything else there is in life. I’ve never lost a friend other than Makenzie. I never knew true sadness until then. About once a month these days, I have a sudden urge to see her face or hear her voice. Sometimes I wish I could remember those last moments with her. If I had only known they would be the last… And that right there has changed me as a person completely. I hate quarreling and contention ’cause you never know what’s going to happen in the next second. That doesn’t mean I live every moment in fear… It’s just that I try to make each opportunity and experience the best and happiest it can be. And that is part of me.

olive oil,


I’ll go back to Manhattan

This has been my first summer in 6 years that I haven’t spent in New York. At the beginning of summer I wasn’t sure how I would like being away from my city. Looking back, I have to say it was one of the best summers I’ve ever had! So glad I was home for June 3rd. Had the time of my life in eating macaroons with Nikki in Paris for a week. Got to spend lots of time with my nieces and nephew and wonderful sisters and brother in laws. Then I spent three weeks building life long friendships with the most amazing group of people and doing what I’ve always wanted to do; getting payed to perform a character that got to sing and dance her butt off on a stage I’ve been dreaming about performing on since I was a little girl!

Not to shabby of  a summer if I say so myself!

I’m back in the city now and loving NY more than ever. I’m beyond excited to see where life takes me next! In the words of Eric Robertson, fellow cast mate in Urban, “New Life. New Look. New You. New York!”


(no pic today!)


June 3, 2011

June 3, 2011. I though it would be easier than the year before. I’m emotionally the strongest I’ve been in two years. I knew it was still going to be hard but boy did I not see what was coming.

In a weird way, I was actually looking forward to the two year anniversary. If I was to feel any emotion that day it would be nothing but gratitude. Two years ago my life could have been taken away from me. I think that is one heck of a cause to be grateful. I was also grateful to have been very close friends to Makenzie Stocker, one of the most wonderful girls I’ve ever met. I was grateful for her friendship and impact on my life, both before and after the accident. I was grateful for Aaron; for the amazing young man he’s become and the bond we share in every moment of every day. The list is endless… the ability to continue to perform and to touch lives through it, live my dream of being a professional dancer, strengthen my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s amazing how positive of a person I’d become. Not even June 3rd could get my spirits low. I of course would mourn, but I wasn’t about ready to go back into mean reds.

I’d made a lovely slideshow with the help of many friends. Planned a photoshoot with more friends. Cara planned a nice improvisational dance time for rehearsal that night. The day was supposed to be a good one. And it was… but unfortunately had a uneasy beginning.

Dear Madeline and I wanted to go to the intersection to lay some flowers on Makenzie’s cross in the morning, so with my mom and her dad, we did. It was lovely, we stood there together holding one another, without speaking a word, and shed some tears. Whenever I go to the intersection I can’t help but think about what had happened there and wish for just a second that I could remember it all.

We stood there for 10-20 minutes, I can’t tell time in moments like that. We walked back to our cars and said our goodbyes till later that night. In the car, I wiped my tear soaked face as my mom started the drive home. Not two minutes into our drive, the two cars right in front of us collided. The cars skidded along the median and then one car drove into ditch. Before I knew it my mom handed me the phone, I called 911, we were pulled over, and my mother was talking to the police. The car in the ditch had children in side. No one was seriously injured. I couldn’t stop crying for hours after. Two years later, when I thought I was this emotionally strong giant, I could handle anything, all of the sudden my greatest nightmare was flashing right in front of my eyes. The irony of it all was crazy… two years since the accident… I had just been to the intersection. The thoughts that filled my head that day were dreadful.

But like all things, it got better with time. It wasn’t until later that day when I was surrounded by my friends taking pictures of them with yellow tulips and white roses till I was finally able to have the June 3rd I had wanted.

The improv dance we did during intermission of RAFA’s Informal dress rehearsal was so touching. To be on stage with everyone and dancing together was such a special thing. It’s amazing to see how in losing one life, so many others were affected. The countless tears that have been shed for Makenzie will never match the steps that have been danced for her. That continue to dance for her…

olive oil.


photo courtesy of vanessa garner.

Hello. Hi. How are you?

I got to see Maddie when she was in New York. My, how she’s grown… Hopefully I’ll get to see the rest of the fam one of these days. I miss them almost as much as I miss you.

I think often about what you at 20 years old would like like. I bet you’d be gorgeous and have dozens of men groveling at your feet!

I forgot how you were planning on going to Disneyworld to perform. You’d be so happy to see Dana there. I love how spread out we’ve all become and yet we’re still together.

Living in the city is so amazing. I’m so glad you got to come here and experience its amazingness.

Our closet talk on your 18th bday… I think about that conversation with you, me, and cara a lot. Oh how time changes everything!

I got my iphone a week before the accident. I treasure those texts that we had that last week, for I lost ALL of our old ones with my old phone. Along with our weekly photos we would take at your casa. I did get a few from Kade that I’d happen to text to him. I treasure those pictures.

You know, I can’t recall ever seeing you cry. You got close that one Mirliton rehearsal where I thought you were going to rip Luis’ head off, but you were solid as a rock. You were the most optimistic person. All the times I came sobbing on your bed, you’d know what to say. And even when you didn’t know what to say, you fed me ice cream which did the trick. Your comfort will always be one of the things I appreciated the most about your friendship to me.

Friday marks 2 years. It’s scary how fast time has flown. I’m glad I’ll be home with Aaron. Oh Kenzie, if you could only see what an amazing man he’s become. June 3rd changed all of us… for the better. As hard as it is sometimes, I know that we’re all better people now.

As lucky as I am to not remember what happened, it’s so painful not knowing sometimes.

You seriously never took a bad photo, did you?

I miss the homemade Stocker Salsa. Yummm…

Your mom gave me one of your statues from your collection. It means the world to me to have it.

The other night I saw Alina Cojocaru perform at ABT. I remember the picture you had of her in your bedroom. And how originally you put it there to cover the Thomas the Train art on the wall.

Hello. Hi. How are you. You look great today. And hey what’s new. And that’s so true. And oh my god. No way.

I finally watched The Notebook tonight. First time since we last watched it together. I teared up, but successfully did not cry. Then about an hour later, I sobbed. I’ll be seeing you…


photo by john gladu.

The Way I Cope

I learned many lessons from June 3rd, but one of the more important ones I learned was that everyone copes differently. I find that I have to vocalize my feelings. Since I don’t have any memory of the accident and the memories I do have of before and after will forever be fuzzy. The more I talk about it, the more real everything becomes to me and I find that is important to me as I continue to heal emotionally and physically.

Thinking of more than just June 3rd, I find that in order to move on from anything, I have to talk about it. Saying it out rather than keeping it inside, makes me get those negative thoughts or feelings of self pitty out. It makes me realize that most of the things I worry about on a day to day basis are trivial and unimportant in the eternal perspective of things. Big thanks to my friends who are there listening when I need it…

I’ve learned by watching my friends and family now that some people don’t want to talk at all about their trials or problems. They’d rather work it out by themselves with their own thoughts. Some have blogs where they turn to writing their feelings and sharing them. Others do it by expressing it through dance, art, song, performance, dedication. There are just so many ways we can turn negative into positive. I benefit from the way others cope. Sometimes not talking about it is better. Sometimes I want to write about it. I always express my feelings through dance, but some don’t. However you cope, I’ve learned you have to respect others as they deal with it in their own way because you never know how someone else is feeling. There’s no deadline on when you should be over it, whatever it may be.

Yesterday I said something out loud that I’ve been thinking for a long time now. By saying it out loud, I knew in my heart it was true. And I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders because of it.

That’s how I cope.