Three actors and a prairie dog.

October 13, 2011 11pm

I’m sitting in an airport in Detroit.  My flight is delayed.  I’m tired and cold.  (Yes, my boyfriend was right, I should have packed a jacket.  FINE).  But I just had the most awesome trip.  So I won’t complain.

I think it’s very easy for anyone to lose sight of the big picture.  Sometimes we don’t get our way.  Sure, the day-to-day inconveniences of life can be annoying.

But wait..why am I even stuck in an airport to begin with?

I am here because I get to do what I love to do…for a living.  With such a nasty economy, I am especially lucky to do what I love.

Since the middle of September I have been slammed with a very busy schedule.  And it’s all been for acting or Artistic Director business.  How awesome is that?

I landed a small featured role in a film with some awesome actors (William Sadler, Ellen Albertini Dow to name only a couple).  One night of filming, the principal actors and myself didn’t wrap until 4:30 in the morning.  I drove home to CT, passed out for an hour, and then Dillon drove me to my film set in New Haven where I was directing, producing, and acting, for my first day of my new webseries, “Holding.”

On the way down, I was stressing out.  No sleep.  Not much planning due to my last minute booking, and well…low blood sugar.  Dillon was lucky he was still in one piece by the time I got out of the car.  I will admit, eating a granola bar suddenly made things seem not so bad either.  In any event, the car ride consisted of me trying to ground myself again.  I guess I was worried that things wouldn’t work out, and all of the insecurities I had kept at bay with planning and a ton of legwork…were suddenly creeping out.

Filming went great.  I worked with a wonderfully talented crew and cast of SAG and non-union actors.  Of course, I slept for almost 11 hours that night, but…who cares!?

Two years ago I was a mess. I had no idea where I was going.  I was doing too much for others and essentially nothing for myself. Before that, I had a streak of doing so well; enjoying every moment of all the amazing film sets and actors I had met (some of whom I had been admiring since childhood), when suddenly, I got lost in the details.  Worrying.  Wondering.  What – If? – ing.

Two years ago I would not have been able to handle the intensity of being given a direction on a major film set, taking a breath, and giving a top-notch performance.  Instead I would have worried if I would be good, worried about what everyone would think, worry about the big picture.

Not anymore.

Today is my birthday.  A lot of people said to me in the past week, “Oh no, you’re traveling on your birthday!  That sucks!”

It so does not suck.

Hanging out in a Starbucks in Oklahoma, Amie, one of my fellow actors on the trip asked me, “So what was best about your last year?”  A good question to ask!

This year, I finally grounded myself in all of my hard work since age 17 when I decided I wanted to be an actor.  I drowned out the negativity and flooded myself in the positive image others have always seen me in.  I stepped up to the plate that was always waiting for me.  I became the Artistic Director of Deana’s Educational Theater.  I wrote my own webseries.  I landed some amazing roles in theater and film.  I’m finally able to recognize my brand as an actor.

Today on my birthday I was in Oklahoma with two very talented and amazingly warm and funny actors. This week we brought an original work about cyberbullying to high schools. We chased Prairie Dogs, we hiked in the Wichita Mountains, we ate local OK food, we laughed our butts off.

This morning, they even had 130 students sing “Happy Birthday” to me.

On my birthday…what more could I possibly ask for?