April 2014

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Life in the Arts

As we all know, the arts is never an easy path to follow in life. Expenses, time, commitment, all these factor into the difficulty artist’s face on a daily basis. It’s not a life for everyone; some people drop out to peruse other things. I almost fell down that path myself.  Thinking if it was worth it to follow my dreams of being an actor or producer or to even work in theatre. I’ve thought about doing other things as well, I wanted to be a social worker or a vet. None of those felt right to me. Studying these things I actually had no interest in doing. I fell out of my own mind set for awhile. I started looking at careers that I could make a solid living on, granted these paths would also lead me to helping others. I find theatre can do just that though, it can help others. Being a part of the Advisory Board for Paprika Festival, you get to meet with professionals and find out about how they got to where they are their struggles and challenges along the way. The opportunity to talk to established producers, writers and all the rest gave me new insight into the world of theatre. We all face struggles, we all find ourselves in hard times, and we all question if this path is the right one for us. With theatre, it’s such a community full of support and friendships you can’t do without. This support we all have and give to one and other, this strength we get from our co-workers and fellow lovers of this art makes the journey easier, but it doesn’t get you all the way there. If this is the path you want to do, something you know somewhere in your body it’s the right thing, you have to get through those times in order to reach your dreams. Learning from these established artists, you realize that if you want it, and you dream it, you can get it. You can see the joy in the faces of these artists who just love where they are right now, and that always gives me hope. As for me, ending my first year of Theatre School, I finally realize this. Though I am switching into a different program, my dream is that it will one day lead me back onto the stage or in the office producing new, or old, great works to be performed for the masses. The arts will never be an easy path to follow in life, but when you take that leap and you feel so right with what you’re doing, it brings a whole new definition to the word Love. 

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Being a Playwright-in-Residence at the Paprika Festival

Ok, I'm not gonna lie, I've sat long and thought hard about what to say about being a playwright in residence at the Paprika Festival. I am tempted to say all of the typical, though not untrue things such as doors of opportunities have been opened and I've been blessed by the magical touch of theatrical inspiration during my journey with Paprika (no sarcasm intended), but we all know that experiences vary greatly between individuals- I mean let's be real here, you may not have doors opened for you, they may already be open, you may not be touched by the divine hand of theatrical inspaghettio and whatnot but there is one thing that will remain constant, if you're a writer in need for a place to share the madness of trying to create a worthy piece of work, this is certainly the right place to find the right people to do that with. There is so much to learn in a place full of great minds generating original ideas, being a part of this program has pushed me to discover parts of myself that I didn't even know exist.... much like an astronomer (or more impressively, an astronaut) discovering a brand new planet that has been here in our very solar system this entire time...astonishing!

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Paprika Artists Shine a Light on Mental Health

For being such a taboo subject it seems like the topic of mental health is everywhere. With celebrities like Demi Lovato sharing their struggles with the world and movies like Frozen bringing characters with depression and anxiety into the homes of millions around the world, mental health has become today’s popular hot button issue. Yet despite this exposure it continues to hold the same negative stigma as ever, and it’s this stigma that a number of the plays at this year’s Paprika Festival are tackling head on.

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