The Show Must Go On

The Show Must Go On

Learning To Grow With Your Community Through Good Times and Bad

September is in full swing, which means the first semester of college is in full swing! While college students may be experiencing great change, many are doing anything they can to a) keep themselves safe and healthy and b) maintain whatever sense of normalcy they can. As fall rolls around in theatre departments, (the department that I am clearly the most familiar with), the season usually means Showcase audition season for senior theatre students.

For those reading who may not know what “showcase” is/means, generally, it is a group of students from an acting program that are chosen to perform at their school’s showcase for agents/casting directors in the spring of senior year. At my school, like many others I am sure, actor’s showcase was considered a big deal, and a lot of hard work and preparation went into both the auditions and the performance itself.

I want to speak a little on my experience with showcase, and hopefully offer up some encouragement and advice to those preparing to embark on their showcase journey…

I got into my senior showcase and, unfortunately, we didn’t get to take it to New York this past March as we had planned. Literally, about a week and a half before we were scheduled to head to the city, the world became a brand-new place and the showcase was postponed. If you experienced any sort of loss of work due to the pandemic, you could imagine how completely devastated we all were- myself, my classmates, and my professors. In school, the members of the showcase class met several times a week to rehearse and continue to learn about the industry. We continued to meet as a class over zoom once we were sent home but reaching the day our performance was supposed to take place and meeting on a zoom instead was extremely hard.

But let’s back track a bit and talk about the prep for this opportunity. At my school, the process begins at the end of junior year. The basic info is given out, and the summer before senior year, you begin the hunt for audition material. Mid-September you audition, that week you find out if you will be part of the showcase class, and if you are chosen from the auditions, you kind of immediately start searching for your materials that you’ll perform. There is a lot more to choosing material than you would think. We did scenes/songs, so pairs needed to be solidified and the order finely tuned. Even after we thought we had settled on material, it changed, and the process started all over. God bless my professor and her team because I am sure there was SO much more to it than I even know at this point, having been through it all. You rehearse. And rehearse. And rehearse. And then you’re supposed to take that work, do your thing, and celebrate when it’s all said and done. We got it all, but that last bit looked a little different for the class of 2020.

So, I swear I have a point here, and it is this: I’m sharing this experience and perspective because we went through it all only for it not to happen. If you would have told me a year ago (yikes, a year ago already) when I was preparing for auditions, “hey, maybe don’t stress so much because…what if the world enters a pandemic and showcase gets cancelled?,” I would’ve laughed right in your face and proceeded to stress anyway. I started going back over every aspect of the class and the preparation that I had worried myself sick over, and I just kept thinking, “wow, I was so upset in that moment and so worried in that moment, and so frustrated in that moment…and for what?” Now, I understand that when I was upset/frustrated/worrying in the moment, there was no way for me to see into the future. I felt as though every feeling I was feeling was valid and justified, and in those moment, they were, but it was a major lesson for me.

I was so stressed the day before auditions, my mom and aunt took me to get my nails done in an attempt to get my mind off things
I was so stressed the day before auditions, my mom and aunt took me to get my nails done in an attempt to get my mind off things. If it looks like I had been crying…it’s probably because I had been.

Not to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you here, but the whole experience got me thinking about the weight I place on moments in my life, the importance that I assign to things, and how I often allow little stressors to overtake my life in a much larger and unhealthy way. I spent many months in preparation for showcase allowing myself to feel anxiety, frustration, and pressure and allowing those feelings to really run me dry. There were lots of time I just couldn’t focus or sleep because I just couldn’t turn my mind off. It was like a hamster wheel of deadlines, scripts, notes, judgments- you name it. On the other side of it all, it made me take a deeper look at myself and the bad mental habits I had created and ask myself, “would I be this worried if I knew I wouldn’t have this to worry about in a month?,” and if the answer is no, then I shouldn’t assign so much weight to that task. If I had that mentality throughout the whole process, I can guarantee the work I was producing would’ve been even better, too.

Let me be perfectly clear: feelings of stress/anxiety/frustration are all normal, but allowing them to run your mental health is, well, not healthy. My feelings like that and the weight I assigned to them also did NOT solely stem from my showcase, but from a combination of life as a college student in her senior year, plus all other aspects of life.

My best friend, Cathy, and I enjoying some margs post-showcase auditions
My best friend, Cathy, and I enjoying some margs post-showcase auditions

My showcase class and I always had a blast when we were together. When we were staging the showcase, we were all seated onstage to watch each other’s scenes and songs. The supportive, loving, and electric energy that I felt in that room every time we would sit and watch each other was simply remarkable and untouchable. I constantly had the chills or tears in my eyes while marveling at some of my best friends and colleagues bringing their gifts to life. We were each other’s support systems in the crazy process, and I feel very lucky to have shared every last minute of the journey with them. Showcase or no showcase, we will always have each other.

For my friends preparing to embark on this journey yourselves, no matter how different the experience may be, here is my advice to you:

  • Choose material that you love that speaks to your heart. Fight for it and for yourself.
  • If you don’t end up being part of your showcase class, do not let it stop you for a single second. Promise me that. Your art and your voice matter, showcase or no showcase. It does not define your worth or your career path WHATSOEVER.
  • Be kind to one another. Be kind to your leaders. Everyone is adjusting to a whole new way of doing this, so be gentle with each other.
  • Do the work. That’s all on that. Try not to allow yourself to get too overwhelmed. I promise, every aspect will fall into place. It may take 50 tries and you may not end up where you started but take comfort in knowing it WILL work out for the best.
  • Hold on to your classmates. All of them. That is your support system, now and forever. Celebrate each other’s victories and comfort each other in moments of struggle. Enjoy being in a creative space with your best people and be grateful for one another.

Be grateful. Be gracious. Be kind. Be you.

You will make it through.

~ Ang

Me First

Me First

Me First
Four Lessons Learned in my First Year of Self-Love

Four Lessons Learned In My Year of Self-Love

Hey y’all!

This week, I wanted to talk about self-love and the journey toward self-love. I’ve used this quote before in a post, but I think it is just so perfect. I love Sex and the City, and one of Carrie’s famous quotes is “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.” I have always loved this quote and have always heard people say that you can’t truly love another person or give them everything until you learn to love yourself and give yourself everything first. I will be the first to admit that I haven’t always lived by this mantra myself.

Around this time last year, I had just gotten out of a relationship, and I knew it was time for me to take some time to really learn how to be on my own. I didn’t truly know who I was independent of a relationship, so I made a promise to myself to be single and not enter a serious relationship for at least a year. It was about time that I started actively practicing self-love rather than seeking it out from someone else. I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant in making this promise. At the time, I didn’t feel like I had enough faith in myself to believe I could honor that promise, no matter how sad or lonely I felt. A year later, I am proud to say that I did kept my promise, and this has been a year full of growth, self-reflection, and lessons learned.

So, what have I learned? Here are some of the most important lessons I have embraced, for better or for worse, in my first year of true self-love:

I learned…how independent I am.

Cultivating independence after spending a lot of time being dependent on other people is one of the toughest things for me in the last year. I spent a lot of time looking for approval and justification from other people, and I realized that not only did I not need that validation from someone else, but I was capable of giving myself all the validation that I would ever need. I’m a very poor decision maker, so I always looked to someone else to back me up in what I was saying, doing, or choosing and by doing that I wasn’t always allowing myself to listen to and trust my intuition. Cultivating my relationship with my intuition is something that I always shoved down, because I knew I could count on someone else to help me decide, rather than just listening to what MY heart and gut were telling me. At the end of the day, my intuition is never going to go away, so why shouldn’t I work on trusting it?

I also spent a lot of time not doing things myself because I knew someone else would help me or take care of it. While it always made my life a little bit easier, I realize now how unhealthy that constant dependency was! The one person that will remain constant in your life is YOU! I think it is important to become as independent as we possibly can so that as we move forward in life, we won’t constantly be seeking some kind of dependency in any aspect of our lives!

I learned…how important my friendships are.

I could write a whole separate post on this note, that’s how strongly I feel about it. I love my girlfriends more than anything, and this year really helped me be a better friend and strengthen my friendships. For the first time in four years, most of my close girl friends and I found ourselves all single all at the same time and we bonded even more than we ever had before. Being that it was my first-year single in a long time, I really leaned on my girls to get me through the moments of sadness and frustration I felt. When I needed someone to snuggle up and drink wine with, they were always there. Whenever I felt like giving up on my promise of self-love, they were right behind me to pick my back up and remind me what I was working towards. Next to myself, they are the other constant relationships I have in my life that I now know will last me a lifetime. I truly can’t imagine valuing my friendships any other way than how I value them now.

I learned…I am strong enough to get through tough times.

When I have been in relationships in the past, whenever something went wrong or I was upset and having a bad day, having that one individual to turn to always seemed like a security blanket. I knew I’d have someone to turn to who would unconditionally listen to me or bring me ice cream, or even just sit with me. Now, I am fortunate enough to have friends and family who would do all of that for me if I ever asked them to, but the relationship with friends/family in that way just never felt the same as it did with a significant other, if that makes sense? This year has been FULL of upsets, especially in the last six months, and sometimes, not having that one special person to turn to was hard and just different. But ultimately, NOT having that one person to turn to made me MUCH stronger. I have learned how to handle upsets and bad days on my own by developing my own healthy habits rather than dumping all my problems onto someone else. It’s a skill I think will serve me well in life, and I’m grateful for it.

I learned…how to value being on my own.

I’m an extrovert, but also an introvert. I think living with roommates in college (love you girls) did just make me value my alone time, and I cherish the times I can just sit in quiet and kind of do whatever I want. Obviously, when you’re in a relationship sometimes you have to sacrifice some of your alone time! I think at the place I was in last year I was looking to have some more time to focus on me and my personal growth. This year has given me just that! Were there lots of times I felt the exact opposite feeling and didn’t want to be by myself after having always spent my time with someone else? Sure. But being on my own helped me create more space for the things I needed/wanted to focus on in my education, my career, and my personal life.

Me First
Four Lessons Learned In My Year of Self-Love

This past year opened my eyes and shown me all I needed and wanted to work on within myself, and has also taught me a lot about my worth and what I expect from people that I allow into my life going forward. It also allowed me to be a little selfish with my time and my energy, as most 20-something’s should really have the freedom to do anyway! Life with a significant other was always special and beautiful in its own way, but life without one has also been special and beautiful too. I love myself more now than I think I have ever loved myself, and I have this year centered on self-love to thank for that. Simply, all in an effort to be better for myself, my friends, my family, and for people I haven’t even met yet.

Lots of love xoxo

~ Ang

Pause. Breathe. Reset.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

Experiencing Burnout and How to Combat It

Hi, sweet friends!

In case you’ve missed this detail about me- I am a planner by nature. Planning things out makes me feel much more grounded and secure. So, before the start of every month, in an attempt to keep on track and keep up with my writing for the blog, I plan my posts (which is usually why I’m on my insta stories asking what content you’d like to see!).

Based on my latest poll, y’all wanted to see some more posts about organization and goal setting. And I had every intention of making this week’s post all about that.

But, my plans changed.

Now don’t click out just yet! Here’s why:

As content creators, we have to write what we know. And this week, organization and goal setting were not two things I felt I could even begin to remember how to do myself, let alone make a blog post on how to encourage others to do so.

Instead, we are going to talk a little bit about burnout.

Whether you have called it burn out or not, chances are good that most of us, if not all of us, have experienced some kind of burnout in our lives. You may have felt it in your job, in school, in relation to the people you have spent too much time with, or in relation to your social media usage. It is that feeling when you’ve allowed yourself to be run down almost to your core, so much so that these things feel toxic and just not good for your mental health.

Recently, I’ve really struggled being at home. I miss my friends, I miss doing the work I had set out and planned to do, and I just miss being busy. Past Angela is laughing at Present Angela making this statement, because whenever I’m busy I wish I had more free time. Well, I got my wish! I’ve thrown myself into my yoga studies and social media, but about a week ago I had a day that sent me spiraling.

It was one of those days where one bad thing happened right after another. The day started with continued disappointment due to Miss. Rona, and around every corner was something else to send me into a tizzy. The funny part about this is on that day, I shared a video about our self-talk on my IGTV that I had made a few days before, and it was meant to be uplifting and helpful. For me that day, it was anything but. I couldn’t seem to take a second to sit, listen, and practice what I was preaching. I continued to share things via social media and later, even shared how poorly my day had gone so far…

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

Later, I experienced an incident that sparked anger and anxiety in me I hadn’t experienced since being home and away from school. It was an incident in rooted in comparison, and it was really the icing on the crap cake of a day I had had. Not only did I begin to engage in negative self-talk because of it, but I completely and totally let the incident overtake me, my mind, and my rational thinking. I allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel in that time, but I knew the way I was allowing myself to handle it, and how I was talking myself through it was not as healthy and calm as it could be.

Another thing that came up for me in my little ~moment~ was how my social media usage was playing a role in all of it. In the last few months, I have kind of turned to social media as an outlet. Before starting the blog and deciding to make an effort to create a better brand for myself online, I didn’t spend consistent time online. I never planned posts, I never was vocal with my followers and did my best not to get too personal or in depth on social media. I think putting myself out there in that way was what kept me from starting a blog and a brand for so long. I was scared. I was afraid of judgement from myself and potentially from others.

I have come to love Instagram and creating content so much more than I ever thought I would. But even on my best days, I would find myself regularly (almost constantly) checking my follower count, how many people had unfollowed me, and how many people were viewing my blog pages and Insta stories. I would express the results of these constant checks to close friends of mine and they would remind me to, you know, not do those things, but I kept on. I’d check out other bloggers and compare how many brand deals they were getting and their follower counts with mine, and I started putting so much pressure on myself to try and expand and achieve goals I wasn’t even sure were mine. This pressure of comparison coupled with the incident of comparison I experienced did me in.

What I am getting at is that I needed a moment away. I needed to take a step away from social media and go internally to better assess how I could handle moments of burnout in a more productive and healthy way. I realize that life stops for no one, and we are all bound to have those days where it feels like a freight train of nasty is speeding towards us and we have nowhere to run. But the important thing on days like that or in moments like that is how we deal with them. How we talk ourselves through them.

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It

That crappy day made me realize just how few tactics I had for getting through moments like that based on the way I reacted. I did just that; I REACTED. I DID NOT RESPOND. And I think that made the day and all its events even harder to manage. So, I took a step away from social media for a few days. If I wasn’t posting, I wasn’t checking up on all those things I had listed, and I didn’t have to worry so much about putting pressure on myself in that way. But, at the same time, I knew that I would go back to posting. I knew I wasn’t going to give up on the brand I have begun creating. So how was I to deal with these feelings or scenarios when they arose again, because that would be inevitable?

The answer is, I don’t have an exact answer at the moment. I don’t know that I will ever have a cut and dry, straight forward answer to that question. I don’t know that anyone does. But what I do know is that this moment in my life has struck a chord in me, and has made my thinking mind go inward and consider the question at hand with tremendous compassion, not just for myself but for anyone else who may be going through these feelings at this moment as well.

I think we get very stuck in taking people for their face value; not their literal “face,” but for what they present us with on the outside. We don’t always consider what any given human being might be carrying with them behind the closed doors of their hearts. We can share and post and speak on social media and seem fine, but I think social media can sometimes allow us to put up a facade that doesn’t allow our followers to see the inner workings of our hearts and minds. This isn’t always the case, and also depends on the vulnerability of the individual and what they choose to share, but I think we all need to try and be gentle with one another in that regard, and respect the feelings we may not be explicitly seeing.

Going forward, some tactics to combat these feelings of burnout I would like to employ are:

Pause. Breathe. Reset.
Experiencing Burnout and How To Combat It
  • Most importantly, taking time away when I am feeling extremely overwhelmed. No post or platform is really worth me losing a piece of my sanity over. If a person/brand doesn’t recognize that your sanity should come first, they may not be for you and that’s ok! We must put ourselves first so that we can come up even stronger!
  • Talk to the people you trust the most. On that particularly crappy day I had, the two moments where I felt a bit of relief were when I texted my best friend and didn’t hold back and when I called another friend later just to vent before bed. Getting it out, talking it through, and gaining a little bit of perspective from another mind that isn’t in the thick of your thoughts can make all the difference.
  • Tap into my breath in moments of stress and anxiety. Taking a moment to pause, take a few deep breaths, and reset is very important. This is something I am working on, I don’t always remember or think about it but I would like to make more of a conscious effort to work this into my life and work.
  • Use the 3, 2, 1 rule- name 3 things you can see, 2 things you can feel, and one thing you can smell. This puts you back into your body and reminds you of where you are in the present moment. There are lots of different variations of this rule that you could do, you could utilize all 5 senses if you choose in any order you choose too!
  • Journal, journal, journal. Journaling is something I am very passionate about that always leaves me feeling like a weight has been lifted. The benefits of journaling are just endless. If you aren’t comfortable free writing, start by identifying reasons why you are stressed and upset and how that made you feel. Ex: “I was upset when ____ because it made me feel ____.” This is a journaling technique I am learning in my yoga training, and it is helpful in identifying reasons why you may be experiencing dis-ease in other parts of your life.

A lot to take in, I know. But I think this is an extremely important discussion to have with ourselves. Developing your stress and anxiety toolkit is essential if we are going to continue to grow and, you know, I am all about growth. For myself, for you, and for our world.

Take care, loves!

~ Ang

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute: June Round Up

June Round Up

Hi, friends!

Can you believe we are already at the end of June?! It seems like a second ago I was planning out my posts for the month, and this last post was a million years away!

Monthly Minute: June Round Up
June Bullet Journal Cover

I hope you all are starting to enjoy your summer a little bit! This summer may look a little different than summers in the past, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most out of what you’ve got!

So, to wrap up the month of June on the blog, I figured I’d take some time to highlight and share with you all some of the things I have been doing/reading/watching/etc. this month! I am hoping to continue to do this each month to share some new info and ideas with you guys to carry into your lives throughout the year!

Let’s dive in! (Get it, dive, swimming, summer…thanks for humoring me)

My Monthly Goals

I decided at the start of this month to sit down and evaluate my goals for the month. Big or small, I wanted to go into a new month with a clearer view on what I hoped to accomplish and a better sense of direction (personally and in terms of the blog). The list wasn’t long (and I’ll admit, not all of the goals were accomplished) but having this physical list did really help me stay more accountable than I have been in the past! Here are the goals I set out to accomplish this month:

Monthly Minute: June Round Up
My sweet yoga set up
My morning yoga set up!
  • Sing Every Day!- This is something that I incorporated into my habit trackers in my bullet journal this month! I wanted to set this goal for myself because as a performer, my voice is one of my instruments and tools that I need to be ready to call upon at any given moment. Admittedly, when I had to come home due to the pandemic, singing made me sad for the first time in my life. I wasn’t singing or vocalizing every day, and when I would sing it was clear to me that my instrument was not in tip-top shape. I’m happy to say that I only noted one day this month where I did not sing or vocalize at all!
  • Do Yoga Every Day!- Setting this goal came out of me hoping to start my Yoga Teacher Training this month, and wanting to make sure my body was in constant practice as I continued learning. I accomplished this goal!!
  • Be Up By 9AM Most Days- Most days, I was up by 9! As the month went on, I found it easier to get up earlier. There was one week where I really threw this goal out the window, but I was listening to my body asking for some more rest! That’s important to note: having goals is great, but when they are in relation to your physical and mental health LISTEN TO YOUR BODY/MIND!
  • Read 1-2 Books This Month (Ideally, 2)- This, I did! I love reading, so it wasn’t too hard. When I was finishing up school, I didn’t have a lot of time to read. Thankfully, I had more time this month!
  • Make and Keep A Spending Spreadsheet- I did this….did I like blatantly seeing the money I was spending vs. the money I was earning….not so much! BUT I felt like this was a good habit I needed to get into since I’m trying to be an “adult” now

Those were the big June goals! For the blog, I had hoped to partner up with at least one more brand as an ambassador…but you might have to wait a month to hear how that worked out!

Now, let’s talk about some of the things I read and watched this month that I really loved!

June Books

Monthly Minute: June Round Up
My June Reading List
  • Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid- So, I actually finished this book in May, but I loved it so much that I wanted to share. Reid is a Philly based author, and her debut novel was Reese’s Book Club February pick as well as a New York Time’s Bestseller! I only wish I had picked it up sooner. A little blurb: “With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such A Fun Age explores the stickiness of transnational relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” and the complicated reality of being a grown-up. It is a searing debut for our times.”
  • Year of the King: An Actor’s Diary and Sketchbook by Anthony Sher– I am WAY behind on this one, but this book is a MUST for my fellow actor/performer friends. It was extremely relatable and personal; I loved every second. The book chronicles Anthony Sher’s journey toward becoming Richard III with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1984. It was fascinating to have a glimpse into the mind of an incredible actor.
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo- This is an extremely important read. The title itself is self-explanatory regarding the content of this book. This was a required reading for a course I took in the fall, but I decided to go back and re-read it this month in much more depth, and I am so glad I did. DiAngelo does an incredible job of laying out what exactly White Fragility is and providing readers with the tools to examine their own whiteness and facilitate further important discussion regarding racial attitudes. Do yourself a favor and get this one.
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle- The perfect summer beach read. I got it on a Tuesday and finished it by Friday. I am excited to read more of Serle’s work in the coming months! A little blurb: “In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting. Expertly paced, finely observed, and utterly heartbreaking, this is a book readers will not be able to put down.” THAT IS TRUE!

Movies and TV

I will be the first to admit- I definitely do not watch enough movies OR TV, but I am working on it! I was pretty proud of the progress I made on that front this month, so here’s to that! I was fortunate enough to have many of the tools at my disposal to continue to educate myself on the BLM Movement as well, and I learned very much through watching many of these. Here’s to a continued education for the rest of forever! Here is my watch list and where you can watch them too:

Monthly Minute: June Round Up
My June Watch List
  • Just Mercy (Amazon Prime)
  • The Goldfinch (Amazon Prime)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)
  • When They See Us Now (Netflix)
  • 13th (Netflix)
  • Ken Burns: The Central Park Five (Amazon Prime)

I will admit, I have never watched Dance Moms and I did also watch the first season of that this month, but I’m a little too behind to be sharing that with others as something to watch….


That’s my June Monthly Minute! If you’ve already checked out some of these books, movies/documentaries, or if you check them out in the future, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I hope that the month of June brought you the gifts of joy, education, and fulfillment! And you know what, if it didn’t, how beautiful is it that July is right around the corner and you have another chance to reach your highest potential? Pretty beautiful if you ask me!

Thank you for a wonderful first full month on the blog, I have had so much fun sharing content with you all! I can’t wait to see what July will bring!

~ Ang

Turning Passion Into Practice

Turning Passion Into Practice

Passion Post: My Yoga Journey

Part One

Hi, beautiful friends!

Since Beyond the Footlights was born out of me wanting to have an outlet to share and explore my own passions, as well as inspire others to foster their own passions, I thought I would start to take some time and really share my passions with you! I wanted to take this opportunity to share little stories about my journey towards finding out what I love most in my life outside my work and what I went to school for! I hope that these posts will come to inspire you to carve out time for your own passions and make them an important part of your life!

Plus, I think this will be a great way for you all to get to know me a little better on a deeper level, and I hope we can start to further connect with one another!

One of the things I am extremely passionate about is YOGA! So much so that I just recently started my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training to become a certified yoga instructor! The reason why this is only Part One of my yoga journey is because I will be in training for the next 8 weeks, and I hope to continue to share that journey with you as well!

So where did my yoga journey begin?

I was first exposed to yoga at my dance studio! One of my dance teachers taught yoga classes at the studio as well, and every so often I would pop into a class, hoping to work on things like balance and flexibility. Some of the best nights at dance would be when my teacher would decide to dedicate our regular class to yoga, or if she covered another teacher’s class and did some yoga with us! But growing up and going through high school, yoga was only something I did here and there. It wasn’t until I got to college that it became a larger part of my life.

I started going to some yoga classes that were held once a week on my college campus, but the crowded space and lack of connection with the teacher and the group of students left me feeling a little more frazzled than relaxed.

I believe it was my friend Abby who might have introduced me to Yoga With Adriene my freshman year. Let me tell you, this may sound silly, but Adriene was a game changer for me! This is no ad and I am not affiliated with Yoga With Adriene in any way, but I highly recommend taking a look at her videos on YouTube if you are at all interested in starting a yoga journey of your own and don’t know where to start! Adriene’s videos really shifted the way that I had always looked at yoga. She has so many different videos and playlists that are tailored to a variety of feelings, mental states, physical states, and beyond. Feeling stressed? There’s a video for that. Feeling bloated? There’s a video for that. Are you an equestrian or a runner or an actor? There are videos for you. I loved how accessible her channel was, and how just about anyone could find a little piece of yoga goodness for themselves!

Passion Post: My Yoga Journey Part One

The summer after my freshman year was when I got my first professional theatre gig on my college campus, and because I was dancing so much and staying active (or trying to outside of my rehearsal schedule) I tried to incorporate more yoga into my routine. After that gig had ended, I came back home for two months before my sophomore year, and that was when I started to take yoga more seriously.

On her channel at the start of every New Year, Adriene does a 30 Day Yoga Challenge. It is exactly what it sounds like- yoga every day for 30 days. The best part about them is, they are ALWAYS up on her channel! So, when I came home, I completed my first 30 Day Yoga Challenge, and I knew yoga was something I needed to have in my life. First of all, I noticed a substantial change in my body. I was toning and strengthening and lengthening parts of my body that I never had consistently exercised probably ever, and I felt so strong and confident in my body! And I was learning a lot about yoga and how I could use its tools in my everyday life. I did a lot of breath work, and learned the basics of how to regulate the breath on and off the mat (this also proved to be helpful in my life in my next semester of school, working on training my speaking voice!). But I also started to feel a shift in my mental state as well. I felt calm and centered, and my mat really started to become a place of joy and safety for me.

I decided then that I would eventually like to teach yoga. I figured that I liked it a lot, wanted to keep learning, AND I figured it could be a great gig to have on the side as a performing since it would (hopefully) be a little extra bit of income and it would help me keep my mind and body in tip top shape. But of course, this would all continue to be talk for another three years…

Most of the story from then on is pretty simple; I continued to get into studio classes when I had the time, I practiced on my own, completed a few more 30 Day Challenges, took a Hatha yoga class my senior year, and finished the semester thinking I had work for the summer and would have to continue to put off teacher training until I had the time and money to dedicate to it.

But of course, nothing in 2020 has gone as planned!

My summer contract was cancelled, and now I am back at home. Ever since I’ve been here, I talked about looking into teacher training since I had the time, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it for a long time since studios aren’t open. But I will say, one great thing that has come out of the great disaster of 2020 is the massive digital shift. Because of this, I was able (through a great friend) to find a teaching program that was completely online and affordable! I signed up about two weeks later!

Passion Post: My Yoga Journey Part One

So here I am, in the wake of a pandemic, studying to become a yoga teacher! And I must say, I am loving every minute of it!

One of the goals I set for myself this month (before I decided to dive into teacher training) was to do yoga every day and so far, I have done just that! I have continued to use the Yoga With Adriene channel for videos (she curates a monthly calendar or videos too!) as well as some yoga sculpt classes online and classes through my training studio. Along with my daily practice, I am doing all of my required reading/video watching/reflection for my program. Right now, I am learning a lot about the Yoga Sutras, the history and philosophy of yoga, and the ethics of teaching! There is so much more behind the practice of yoga than I had ever anticipated, and I can’t wait to incorporate these new principles in my life!

I am excited to continue to share my experience with you and eventually share my practices with you too! Stay tuned for some more yogi updates and in the mean time, I encourage you to get out there and live in your passions!


Dear Friend…

Dear Friend…

A Love Letter to My College Years

A Love Letter to My College Years

Where did the time go? It feels like yesterday that I was setting foot on campus for the first time as a student- excited, nervous, hopeful for the four years that would follow. It feels like yesterday I was meeting these new people for the first time, unaware of how important they would come to be in my life. Like yesterday, I gained my first real taste of independence that would ignite the spark that would guide me through the journey of the most important years of my life to date.

A Love Letter to My College Years
My freshman roomie and forever friend, Bella, and I prepping for Girl’s Night!

The lessons I learned in my four years of schooling are endless. From a career standpoint, I am so blessed to have been placed where I was for the last four years. Truthfully, (sorry, DeSales!), but DeSales was not the place I wanted to go! I had my eyes on so many larger schools with (what I thought at the time) were bigger and better theatre programs, but I have no regrets in the choice I made. If I hadn’t gone to DeSales, I never would have had a regional theatre right at my fingertips. I am forever indebted to DeSales and the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival for taking a chance on me and presenting me with all the incredible opportunities I was able to be part of.

I learned the importance of professionalism and preparedness- two of the most invaluable qualities to possess in any career. I also learned the value of kindness above all else. I fell in love with DeSales because of how welcoming the community was; I was always shown compassion. The theatre department was also the place where I began to learn to trust myself and my gut instincts as an actor, which ultimately helped me to trust myself in everyday life. I gained such a sense of freedom of expression, and I was allowed to cultivate the tools deemed necessary moving forward into the working world.

A Love Letter to My College Years
The aftermath of the “Angela Locks Her Keys in the Car for the Third Time” fiasco of sophomore year

But career business aside, the lessons I learned and the perspective I gained off the stage shaped me into the woman I am today. The friends that I made in college undoubtedly will be my forever friends. They will be my life long self-tape readers, my go-to group text, my future bridesmaids, the ‘aunties’ to my future children. My greatest support system. They have taught me so much about what I deserve and have shown me the greatest love I could have imagined. While the four years brought us all many ups and downs, I know the friends I have made will remain my constants.

A Love Letter to My College Years
Playing Elizabeth Darcy in Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley my junior year

I have learned the importance of fostering the passions I have, whether they are related to my chosen career path or not. Because who knows? Dreams change, people change, and the plans I thought I had for my professional career could change in an instant. The lessons and strategies I learned in my four years of college ultimately prepared me (as much as they could) for what I am experiencing right now during this pandemic. Never in a million years could I have predicted that I wouldn’t get to finish out the remainder of my college career sharing every last milestone, big or small, with my best friends by my side. But it is because of the strong relationships I fostered, the practice techniques I honed, and the drive I developed that I have been able to persevere.

A Love Letter to My College Years
My best friend, Kailey, and I making the most of our senior year

There is one lesson that I cherish most of all. Carrie Bradshaw (my girl!) said it best. “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.” This couldn’t be more true. Even though this lesson was definitely the hardest for me to grasp, and I am still working on it, I have made such incredible strides in loving the person that I am coming to be in every role that I play in my life- daughter, friend, artist, and beyond.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020. May our light never dim, and our dreams stay big!


Getting to Know You!

Getting to Know You!

Getting to Know Me and the Blog

Hi Everyone! Welcome to Beyond the Footlights! I am so looking forward to sharing this outlet with you- so here is a bit about me and the blog!

My name is Angela LaRose, and I am currently a PA based actor/singer/dancer. Performing has always been a passion of mine, and while I explored other career options like teaching and journalism during my college search, I followed my heart and knew theatre was my home. My heart ultimately led me to DeSales University where I have spent the last four years studying Musical Theatre! Lucky for me, along with giving me an incredibly enriching theatre education, DeSales also provided me with a fantastic liberal arts education. While getting B.F.A-like training in my B.A. program, I was still able to explore and express a variety of other passions as well!

Beyond the Footlights is born out of those other passions I find to be just as important in my life. So often as performers we are asked, “What is your backup plan?” or “Is that a realistic career path?,” and sometimes, it can be hard not to lean into those remarkably untrue questions- even when they truly come from a place of love or curiosity. Sometimes, when those questions become entirely too daunting, we launch ourselves into a frenzy and allow the uncertainties this business inevitably holds over us to take control of our minds, hearts, and physical/spiritual well-being. So how can we lessen the anxieties this may bring us?

That is where Beyond the Footlights comes in!

Beyond the Footlights is here to remind you that you are more than a performer. You Are A Person. You are a beautifully, and wonderfully made human being. Do you have passions outside of theatre, or even passions within the realm of theatre/performing arts besides performing? Of course you do! You are human! In a business that can take toll on our minds and bodies so easily, it is important to have some other outlets that make you feel safe, sane, and like you can be YOU. There is no shame in that. I am here to share some of the things that I do to make myself feel whole during moments of stress or uncertainty, as well as share ideas from fellow actors and friends!

This is a blog for everyone, not just performers, so share it with anyone you know who may need some love! We are going to take a step off the stage, beyond the footlights, and explore the passions that make us individual, unique, and worthy!

I am so excited to share this space with all of you! Get ready to spread the love!

~ Ang