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Performer Inspiration – Lauren Hope Krass

Lauren Hope Krass  didn’t grow up wanting to be a comedian.  Her courage led her to venture into the world of comedy.  She explains, “My thing is kinda just trying to be brave and try new things.  What I can say is that I knew I loved it from the first time I did it. It was a very loud open mic at a dive bar and when I got on stage, for some reason everybody shut up and listened so I figured I was onto something.  After about a year of doing it, I knew I wanted it to be my job job and then put the steps in motion to move to NYC. I told myself okay one year from today, I’m moving to New York and then I actually did it…I think it kind of shocked a bunch of people who were like ‘Wait. Really?  You were serious?’” Continue reading “Performer Inspiration – Lauren Hope Krass”

INSPIRATION AND MAGIC – ALLOW IT TO FLOW TO YOU THIS WEEK

Originally written for the New Moon Women’s Circle website

I love that moment when there’s a spark of inspiration, and I start writing or planning, and the result is a magical, beautiful work of art!  Unfortunately…my muse does not whisper in my ears 24/7. But that doesn’t stop my creative process.

I am a post-it queen.  When I think of songs that I want to sing, an idea for a story, a recipe idea, or even some other creative thought that’s not fully formed or actionable at that point, I write it on a post-it, stick it on my bedroom wall. After some time has passed, it will either grows into multiple post-its and be transferred to a notebook, or I will toss it.  It may or may not turn into a full project, but the process is what is important. The post-it system provides me with that the freedom to unleash my wildest ideas regularly and keep the creativity flowing.

When the post-it wall does becomes larger project, it is richer with all the ideas that I have gleaned by connections, by throwing out things, by fleshing out the glimmer of half-formed thoughts.  This constant flow of creativity provides the inspiration and the magic for my best projects. Creativity comes out of play and curiousity and practice. By rubbing the sticks together, a spark and flame may ignite; it is the tending of the flame that ignites a wildfire and creates magic.  To quote Kermit the Frog, “keep believing, keep pretending.” That’s the key. Keep creating and the inspiration and magic will appear.

Passion – What Drives You?

Originally written for the New Moon Women’s Circle website

It manifests in many different ways: from a small quiet voice to an overwhelming burning desire. For me, passion visits me as a persistent achy feeling in my heart and my gut. But what do you do with it?

When we moved to New York, I saw that there were so many opportunities to sing that I figured I might as well go back to voice lessons and see what would happen. Five years later, I’ve done two full cabaret shows, including a MAC (Manhattan Association of Clubs & Cabaret) Award nomination for my debut show. I’m currently working on my next time and having more fun than I thought was possible. I get to share this joy with the people I care about and with a wonderful community of talent.

So easy, right? Wrong. Continue reading “Passion – What Drives You?”

Performer Inspiration – Gretchen Reinhagen

Originally written for the New Moon Women’s Circle website

UNSUNG HEROINE: GRETCHEN REINHAGEN

By day, she might seem like any other corporate executive assistant, but by night she has the power to make you laugh until you cry within an hour and a half. Unless you spend your time around the New York cabaret scene, you may not know Gretchen Reinhagen, but let me share with you a little about this talented storyteller and why you should get to know her and why she inspires me on a regular basis, not only as a director, but as a human being. Continue reading “Performer Inspiration – Gretchen Reinhagen”

Breath of Life – How Do We Engage In Self Care?

Originally written for the New Moon Women’s Circle website

How can I help? Can I help you?  I love helping people and giving of my time and energy to lift people up.  In fact, I could easily give all of myself at anytime to be there for the people I care about.  And I have.

And I became exhausted.  And sick. I had nothing left to give.

After years of therapy, I have begun to learn what was missing:  I wasn’t giving anything to myself. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but I need to give to myself so that I am able to serve others.  Whether it is taking myself to see the latest “chick flick,” getting an ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, or sitting enjoying nature, these little gifts that I give to myself energize me; then I help others and as long as I continually treat myself, I do not get completely worn out.

Sometimes the gift is rest.  What yoga has taught me is that we need to be mindful of where we are and act from that place.  Sometimes I might want to go out, but I only have enough energy to watch tv. Sometimes the gift is saying “no.”  My friend recently asked me to go to an open mic. But I was running low on energy and had a busy weekend, so I said “no.”  It was incredibly difficult, yet at the end of that evening I felt my energy return, and I was able to give my best to my clients, and then I was able to be social with my friends.

This is a practice that I still struggle with.  When I ignore myself my body, my mind, and my spirit will shut down when they have no energy left.   We wouldn’t go on a trip without filling our car with gas, so why do we expect to go on life’s journey without filling ourselves up.  And we wouldn’t ask our friends and family to join us to get stuck in the desert.  If we want to take care of others, we need to take care of ourselves, first.

Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Originally written for the New Moon Women’s Circle website

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, Phd, LMSW

by Becca C. Kidwell

As I get ready to write this book review, I begin to look at my background as a high school teacher and having a master’s in English education and begin to worry about what will be the response to this review and will it be good enough, and then I remember what I just read in Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, and I am able to write this.

Brené Brown is a shame researcher, and in this book she explores how her work led her to embrace compassion (particularly for herself) and wholehearted living.  Brené discusses the struggles she’s had with perfectionism and offers suggestions on how to let go of the expectations that we hold for ourselves and for others.  She speaks about this compassion for ourselves, which leads us to be more compassionate, and loving to others. She differentiates between guilt and shame and how guilt is feeling bad about your actions while shame is feeling bad about who you are. Continue reading “Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection”

A Spirit of Adventure – Allow Your Inner Indiana Jones To Take The Wheel

Originally written for the New Moon Women’s Circle website

Only in a leap from the lion’s head shall he prove his worth.‒Dr. Henry Jones Sr.’s Grail Diary

Just one small step can change everything.  I graduated with a BA degree in drama, and I found myself in the rather comfortable position as an administrative assistant to certified public accountants. Continue reading “A Spirit of Adventure – Allow Your Inner Indiana Jones To Take The Wheel”