Tag Archives: moving

La La Land

11 Jan

Can I tell you a secret? 

I was avoiding going to see La La Land.

I know.

And not because I didn’t think I’d enjoy it. In fact, it’s totally my kind of movie. A musical starring two of my favorite actors – clearly a winner. But I was scared.

I was scared because I am getting ready to leave the real La La Land, and I thought it might hurt. A film that I’ve heard described as a love letter to LA. A film showcasing some of the most beautiful locations in Los Angeles. A film about aspiring artists, struggle in the City of Angels, creativity, hope, and finding your own way. A film that just might tug at the heart strings of a girl who tried to give La La Land her best. 

And I was right. It was beautiful, it was my kind of movie, and it broke my heart. 

I have to give it up for Damien Chazelle and the creators of this gorgeous film because they nailed it. They told my story. The story of every actor who came to LA with a dream – every interrupted audition, every draining day job, every frustrating minute stuck in traffic, every awkward moment trying to promote yourself, every rude question about what you are doing with your life, every ounce of doubt that makes you think “maybe I’m not good enough,” every YES that just might change your life. It’s exhausting! It’s exhilarating! It’s Los Angeles. 

And I’m leaving it behind. 

After almost five years, the allure of LA has dimmed, and I realized I was ready to move on. But then this movie ignited some of the old excitement. It made me question my choices. It made me wonder if I truly gave it all I had. Total gut punch. No one likes to question their decisions once they’ve already been made, right?

But I’ve been doing it – reassessing, going over all the options. Driving myself mad. But you know what? The same truths that brought me to the original decision to leave… they’re still true. I love the idea of LA. The real LA? It’s not the same thing. It’s easy to romanticize, sure. Like in a gorgeous movie musical that looks like a glorious dream sequence from one of the classics. (Good job, Mr. Chazelle.) But it’s not the reality, it’s not what it feels like day to day. Truthfully, I never fell in love with Los Angeles, the city. I loved things about it… good friends, the gorgeous view of the San Fernando Valley from Universal that will forever be etched in my mind, passing movie studios every day on my way to work… at a movie studio, new opportunities to explore all the time. There is a lot to enjoy. But it never really became my home. And as much as I love adventure, I also need home. I want both. 

So, we are closing this chapter. And it’s bittersweet. But just because I’m leaving LA doesn’t mean I am leaving my dreams here too. They have grown, expanded, shifted. Yes, I still want to be an actress. That will never change. But I want to get back to my roots – the stage. I want a fantastic theatre community where I can invest myself. A place where I might truly be able to impact people. I also know the Southern market for film and television is booming. Hollywood is not just in Hollywood anymore – not really. So, I can keep looking for my shot. Even more, I want to focus on relationships, family, community, and the things that were made so much more challenging in LA. Quality of life. I want to thrive instead just surviving. And Nashville feels like the perfect place to do it. How exciting! 

I might be leaving the City of Stars, but it will always be a part of me, a risk I’ll never regret taking. And maybe one day we will be back,  but for now I will just be thankful for the opportunities, experiences, and even grander capacity for dreaming that I found in La La Land. 

Favorite Five Friday (113th Edition)

22 May

Hey-o! There’s only a few hours left so I better make this quick. 😉 Here’s the highlight reel for my week…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  I am officially a UCB Improv 101 Grad! My classmates and I got to perform a graduation show to show off our new skills, and it was a total blast. We put ourselves out there, we listened, we supported one another. It could not have been any better. I can’t tell you how much fun I had taking this class. I learned so much about myself as an actor and a person. I met awesome people. I was brave. You better believe I will be taking more classes in the future.

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2.  Here are a few more thoughts on my Improv experience… (click the link)!

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3.  New apartment! Oh my goodness, guys. It happened. We moved. Our new apartment is bright and airy, spacious, gets cell signal, and will make a great home for a new cat some day soon. 🙂 We are still settling in, but it’s pretty fantastic.

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4.  We are so lucky to have friends who are willing to help us move! Dan and I never could have done it alone. Thank you, thank you to our besties for getting up early and spending their day moving us into our new place.

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5.  Burbank, amiright?! We are absolutely loving our new neighborhood. Our complex is quiet, our neighbors are kind, and there is so much to do! I love living within walking distance of great shops, restaurants, and friends. I can’t wait to explore all Burbank has to offer. I think we’re gonna like it here.

Happy Friday! 

Favorite Five Friday (112th Edition) 

15 May

Happy Fri-Yay!! I hope you’re pumped up for an awesome weekend. I’m feeling pretty refreshed and excited after a great week…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  We celebrated Mother’s Day this week, and it made my heart so happy to see so many friends sharing photos, memories, and thanks for their mamas. My Mom is super woman. You can see my Mother’s Day “love letter” to her Here.

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2.  My college roommates are some of my favorite people on the planet. I am so lucky that one of them is about to move to L.A. for the next year! This week we got to catch up with Cammie and Steven during their quick trip to find a place to live. It just made me exceedingly excited about the year I get with them. The City of Angels is about to get a whole lot brighter!

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3.  So. Much. Packing. It is not my favorite. However, I am super stoked to be moving into our new place. My awesome husband has been working so hard to get us prepared for this move, and we are so close! Next time I write Favorite Five Friday, we’ll be residents of Burbank.

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4.  One of my besties was hanging out at Disneyland this week, and I got to go play too! I had such a blast laughing with her, catching up with her family, and enjoying the magic of Disney. I’m sure you know this, but Disney is probably my favorite place to spend time with my loved ones. I think it’s pretty cool that it’s essentially in my backyard.

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5.  This week it has been four years since I graduated from Belmont University. When I realized that, it blew my mind that it’s been so long. After the initial shock wore off, all I could think about was my amazing college experience. Awesome classes, teachers who became friends, expanding my knowledge and world view. Theatre that changed my life, friends who became family, and a city that will always have a piece of my heart. I’m so thankful for my degree (thanks to Mom and Dad for putting me through school!), the relationships, and the experiences. Belmont played a huge role in the adult I am today. I’m a Belmont girl for life.

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Have a fabulous weekend, party people!

And not party people.

Just all of the people. ❤️

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Favorite Five Friday (110th Edition)

1 May

Friday, you are looking good! I am looking forward to a fun, full weekend, but let’s slow it down for a minute to review an equally awesome week…

FAVORITE FIVE FRIDAY

1.  Dan and I are moving to Burbank! We’ve been ready to move out of our Studio for a little while now, and it’s time to make it happen. For the last several weeks we’ve been discussing the benefits of all the areas we like, searching for the things we absolutely need out of our new place, and visiting multiple locations. We finally found the one. It’s exactly where we wanted to be in Burbank. Close enough to walk to all the fun things down town, near our friends, and in a great neighborhood. We move in a little over two weeks, and we can’t wait to get settled! If I know my husband he will have packed our whole apartment by the end of next week. (Babe, if you are reading this. That was not the go ahead! :P)

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2.  A few weeks ago I booked a fun print ad for InterContinental Hotels Group. It was a fantastic day on set! This week I got to see one of the photos up on their website. How cool is that?! It’s possible more of these will be popping up. Let me know if you see any!

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3.  Guys, improv is a ridiculous amount of fun. I am really enjoying my class and my classmates. This week a few of us even got together outside of class so we could play and work on our improv chops. It’s great to find another community of super cool people. I love getting to hang out with them each week and seeing what we come up with. They make me laugh really hard. And make me feel like it’s okay to make mistakes. I’m sad we only have a few weeks left of 101! Don’t worry, UCB… pretty sure I will be back. 😉

4.  My talented and sassy friend, Leah, is awesome. You’ve seen her work all over my blog. Well, we got to shoot together again this week. And, of course, it was a blast. And, of course, she took stellar photos. (Did I mention she did my make-up too?!) Just thought I’d share:

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5.  Communication is awesome. Also, it is necessary. Talking with your loved ones, co-workers, the waiter at a restaurant. There has to be a connection there for all parties to get what they want/need. I am working on being a better communicator. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. This week I got to communicate with several people I don’t always get to hear from, and it just made my heart soar. Whether it was a Facebook message, a phone call, a brief text, or a Google Hangout… each conversation was important. I’m glad there are so many ways to keep in contact with the people I love. I’m glad I’m trying to get better at making sure they know how I feel.

Have a fun weekend, y’all! Enjoy your FRIDAY!