I have amazing news- an upcoming project I’m incredibly excited about!!
I’ve been cast with a group of actors and artists going to Ecuador this summer. We will be living there for 30 days, participating in a series of workshops, lectures, and incredible experiences.
The BEST part is that we get a chance to give back and make a real difference. Our group will work within disenfranchised communities and with indigenous people, empowering the local youth with theatrical education. We will help them find their voices through the magic of acting and playwriting, giving them the tools to tell their stories.
This will all culminate with the creation and performance of our own original pieces inspired by our experiences in Ecuador. Our casts will preview these works in Quito before performing them in a festival in NYC the following week.
Is this a dream or what?? I’ve spent my entire life sharpening these skills, and I can’t think of a more amazing way to give back. I know this will be a challenging trip- after all, I’m very much a creature of comfort. That was half the reason I wanted to go, though. Life has become a bit routine, and I’ve gotten used to certain things being easy.
We have so much here in America. Isn’t it crazy when you think about it? I hear on the radio about war and famine in Yemen, millions displaced in the Middle East, people starving in Africa, the atrocities women suffer around the world.
We have a lot wrong in our country, but my goodness, we have a lot right. When I do those gratitude lists- you know, the ones where you list, “I’m so grateful for…” and “thank you for…”? The ones that are supposed to make you pay attention to how blessed you are? I could go on forever. I have food, health care, a warm home, a safe neighborhood, people who love me, on and on.
I never forget how lucky I am to have found art and performing at a young age. When I was 7 years old, I was shy beyond belief. I was afraid to speak, I felt different and pretty much afraid all of the time. That year I started dance and did my first play, Annie. I found my voice. I found leadership skills. I found passion and thrill. I found purpose. I found me.
I think this quote shared with me by my brilliant friend Rachael sums up this mission best:
Artists have forever led social change and brought society’s ills to light. Telling our stories creates empathy and widened perspective, not to mention human connection. Art is necessary, and empowering youth in the world by putting this tool in their belt is definitely part of the reason I’m here on earth.
If you would like to be a part of the cause and this adventure, click the link below! We are each responsible for helping fundraise part of the expenses. Please know every single donation is so appreciated, no matter the size, and helping spread the word means so much as well!
I will be blogging the experience from Ecuador, so be sure to subscribe and stay tuned! If you have been there or have travel tips for that part of the world, I would love it if you shared in the comments! Thanks guys!