Posts filed under Creative

To Be Seen

This weekend, I learned that I am a 2019 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist. I was among the 25 to make it to the final round of consideration out of an applicant pool of almost 300. So, even though I didn’t actually win the award, learning that I am a Finalist is its own boost of confidence. Because it means that I was seen.

It’s nice to just feel seen!

It’s nice to just feel seen!

I’ve been applying on and off for this particular grant for about 10 years now. I think in years prior, I applied with a sort of “please notice me” mentality - meek, somewhat apologetic, and really hoping the grant could be something that makes me. But last year, while applying for 2019, I felt different. There was a shift in me. I was no longer applying from a place of lowness, desperately hoping for a launch into the heavens. I was more sure of myself. I knew what I had to offer, and that it was worthwhile for the panelists to consider. And I believe that level of knowing myself helped me write a strong enough application to become a Finalist. I was seen, because I actually believed I was worthy to be seen.

Now, I don’t want to set up a “prosperity gospel” of “If you simply believe it, it will happen!” Over these 10 years, I’ve also worked hard, written lots, made connections, gained skills and momentum. But I am saying that while you’re doing the hard work, if you aren’t fully believing that you’re worthy of it all (and that’s to be read differently than “entitled to it all”), it will bleed out into how you go about seemingly mundane things like grant applications.

Where did my self-assurance come from? Honestly - time. It has taken time to develop and discover both my writing and my identity. To go from apologetically inserting myself into the musical theatre field to proudly claiming my own space within it. Of course, self-doubt persists. It has not been eradicated. But, I’ve learned some life skills to help me sort through those negative feelings and hold myself with kindness. I’m already thinking of how I might update my application for next year. Even if I’m never awarded this particular grant though, I know I’ll be able to carve my own path - the path I need - to be happy.

My Year In Review

The word that comes to mind as I reflect on 2018 is full. The year was full of amazing and unexpected opportunities for my creative projects. My contact list of other artists around the country has grown full. And my heart is full with gratitude for what came to pass and anticipation for what's next. Here are just a few of the highlights from the year:

JANUARY

  • Recording sessions for The Four Immigrants cast album

  • Tagged along on Brad Erickson's Djerassi Winter Retreat to work on Kinda Home

FEBRUARY

  • Invited as a Guest Artist to speak to a class at SF Conservatory of Music

MARCH

  • The Four Immigrants received 6 SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards

  • Inside Out & Back Again opened at Bay Area Children's Theatre

  • Story Explorers school tour began

  • Austin & Min Write a Musical launched

APRIL

  • Developed Kinda Home at the TheatreWorks Writers Retreat

MAY

  • Joined the TYA/USA Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

  • NYC Trip!

JUNE

  • Visited Charleston, SC to do research for Kinda Home

  • Calafia: A Reimagining developed at The Ground Floor

JULY

  • The Four Immigrants cast album released!

  • Reading of Act I of Kinda Home with Playwrights Foundation

  • Story Explorers received a Safeway Foundation Grant

AUGUST

  • Attended CAATA's ConFest in Chicago and met a lot of really cool people!

SEPTEMBER

  • 4-week residency at Djerassi where I also met a lot of really cool people!

OCTOBER

  • Invited as a Guest Artist at Harvard University

  • Workshop for Gold: The Midas Musical at Bay Area Children's Theatre

  • Joined the Just Theater Play Lab 2018-2019 cohort

NOVEMBER

  • NYC Trip!

  • Awarded a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in March 2019

DECEMBER

  • Calafia: A Reimagining recevied a Theatre Bay Area CA$H Grant towards a workshop in 2019!

Photo by Javier Briones

Photo by Javier Briones

Onward to 2019!

Posted on December 21, 2018 and filed under Career, Creative, Musical Theater, Performing Arts.

The Boring Days

Social media feeds can curate our lives in a way that we are really only seeing the most lively, eventful moments in other people’s day-to-day. When people see me in person, they tend to comment on how busy I am. And while it’s true that this has been a very full year, the truth is there are lulls and moments where there isn’t anything Insta-worthy. Here’s what you’re not seeing.

  • the days when, no matter what I try, I can’t quite seem to churn much writing out

  • the days filled with responding to emails and admin work

  • the days of grantwriting

  • the days I’m sick

  • the days of self-doubt and wondering again whether I have what it takes (even though I’ve gone through this rigamarole time and time again)

  • the days when I feel like I have nothing to say, post, contribute

  • the days I feel overwhelmed by the sadness and horrors in the world

  • the days when I’m just tempted to play video games instead

I guess I put this here to remind myself that social media is a version of storytelling, where we really only get the highlights. But these normal, tough, boring, less attractive days are as much a part of my writing journey as the successes and triumphs. Keep on keeping on, I guess?

Posted on November 28, 2018 and filed under Career, Creative, Thought, Writing, Story.