Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

Self-Love Edition

Hello, beauties!

A little change of pace today for our February Passion Piece Feature!!! Rather than featuring one individual this month, we’ve got a little group feature! Since self-love has been on my mind and in my heart this month, I took to social media and asked my friends and followers to share with me a little bit about self-love through their own eyes. I don’t think there is one way to define “self-love;” it isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of idea. We are all so unique and outstanding in our own beautiful ways, which means that how we each practice and recognize self-love is entirely individual.

You’re probably thinking “tell me something I don’t know, Angela, of course we are all different!” YES. RIGHT. SO. Why am I highlighting this? Because I think it’s important to note, for individuals of all ages, that the practice of self-care and what that idea means for you does not have to be static. Every day, every month, every year- your self-care practices and the way you view what self-love is is bound to change. And it should! That only means you are growing and learning more about yourself and the crazy, weird, complex thing that love (in all its forms) is.

I asked my little hive to share with me a time when they practiced a radical act of self-love, something they love about themselves, or what self-love means to them. These nine individuals are some of my closest friends, and I am so grateful to be able to feature them this week- even just a little bit! The variety in their responses has been so incredible and has illuminated new ways in which I can look for and cultivate self-love in my own life. I hope they do the same for you. I’ll share my little blurb at the end, but for now, check out what these beautiful humans (we shall call them “The Self-Love Brothers and Sisters”) had to say on self-love!

The Self-Love Brothers and Sisters

Alexia, 23, Philadelphia, PA

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“Self-Love: Having a solo dance party and filming clips of it to see my pure happiness. Learning to do my makeup for ME and no one else. Dying my hair HOT pink because I wanted to. Cutting toxic people out of my life was the biggest act of self-love I have ever performed. I love my ambition and drive to be the best person I can be.”

Molly, 19, Lansdale, PA

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“I honestly struggle to be compassionate & loving with myself and it’s constantly a work in progress for me personally, but I was really proud of myself for the way I committed myself to getting into better physical & mental shape over quarantine! I came out of freshman year feeling really crappy about myself given my own mental state & the people and energy I was investing so much of myself into, and I knew that I was capable of and wanted so much better for myself, so I went for it! & I still have some really shit days and mental health is up and down but that was a choice out of love for myself that I was really genuinely proud of.”

Lexi, 21, Hazleton, PA

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“I love that I love helping other people. I love that, as a consumer, I make eco conscious choices whenever I can. I love my creativity and DIY spirit. I love how my hair dries in waves when I shower before bed.”

Arrianna, 22, Pottsville, PA

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“My boyfriend at the time broke up with me about two months before I left to study abroad. I spent those three months overseas to discover who I am, what I love, where I needed to grow, and honestly just take in the world around me to appreciate the big picture rather than getting stuck on the small stuff that doesn’t matter.”

Cathy, 23, Macungie, PA

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“To me, self-love is about putting your health and well-being before the trivial aspects of life!”

Bella, 21, Souderton, PA

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“I’ve been on the self-love, single gal train for almost 5 years now…(wow) And I’ve definitely learned so much about myself! These past 5 years I’ve committed to listening to MY wants, needs, and passions. I’ve learned how I show love and how I like to receive love. I’ve learned what I deserve and not to settle even if lonely nights seem to find me more often than not. I know this all sounds so stereotypical but the day I decided to put myself first and start the journey to self-love, I’ve never looked back! That isn’t to say that I don’t still have to actively remind myself to be nice to my body and mind but it’s a battle I am willing to fight every day.”

Kailey, 22, Royersford, PA

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“Studying abroad, even when I was in a serious relationship. I decided to be selfish and it was the best decision I made. Now that I’m not with that person, I’m glad I did it and chose to put myself first. Best decision I ever made.”

Ryan, 21, Laredo, TX

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“Self-love means doing things that make you happy.”

Chloe, 26, Minneapolis, MN

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

“Before the pandemic I would take myself on dates! Get my nails done, have a museum day, dress up and go to dinner. It was learning that being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely and instead focusing on how to fall in love with being by yourself because at the end of the day you are with you until the very end💛”


Angela, 23, Sugarloaf, PA

Passion Piece Feature: Self-Love Edition

To me, self-love is learning what you need and refusing to settle for anything less than that. It means cultivating a schedule and a routine that serves your needs on a daily basis and doing what you can to make the unpredictable moments a little less stressful. I’m still working on that. It means refusing to settle and always pushing yourself to try new things and being as open to change as you can be (REALLY still working on that). In my own life, spending serious time on my own and learning how to love myself in the last year and a half has been the ultimate act of self-love. Working on myself, for myself, and for the future individual(s) I will come to love is one of the greatest gifts I could ever give myself in the long run. Little random acts of self-love that I try to do often are manifesting, putting the phone down when I feel burnt out, eating foods I like because I can, and spending time in the quiet.

I hope that now, more than ever, you are finding new ways to practice self-love, and maybe dusting off ways in which you’ve practiced before if it’s been a while since you’ve taken time for YOU. You can start by writing down 3 things you love about yourself every day, or simply by listening to your body and honoring your own needs NO MATTER WHAT. You are so loved, and you deserve to feel that. What better way than to start from within?

I love you, friends!

~Ang

The Single Girl’s Guide to Self-Love

The Single Girl’s Guide to Self-Love

The Single Girl's Guide to Self-Love

Hi, my loves!

Welcome to February! We’ve got Groundhog Day, Black History Month, President’s Day…and Valentine’s Day.

*insert either a sigh of disdain or laughter and joy*

Personally, I love THE IDEA of Valentine’s Day. I love all the pinks and reds, the hearts, the candy. I love it. But as a single lady for the last two years, I can’t help but feel that tiny twinge of sadness on the day as I scroll through social media. Are my single ladies with me?

Last year on the day, three of my girlfriends and I all found ourselves single for the first time in four years of college, and this by itself was reason to celebrate. We all got together at my apartment, made tacos and chocolate covered strawberries, sipped wine and watched bad TV and had the best single Valentine’s Day.

If, like me, you find yourself separated from your best gals this year due to distance, the pandemic, or just life, you may be feeling unsure of how to make this Valentine’s Day feel special just for YOU. Here are some ideas to help you make the day special and to help you practice self-love, because you DO deserve it!

Buy Yourself the Flowers and Chocolates

Flowers and Chocolates: Valentine’s Day staples. Maybe you love it. Maybe it makes you want to barf. I respect that. HOWEVER, there’s no reason to wait until you have a prescribed Valentine to treat yourself to sweet little gifts! If you do enjoy flowers, head out to the store and buy yourself the prettiest bouquet you can find! They’ll bring some life back into your space and make you smile. Flowers not your thing? Get the chocolates (Hell, even if the flowers are your thing, get the chocolates)! Don’t like flowers OR chocolates? Buy a pizza, some chips, ice cream, a bottle of wine- literally, treat yourself to whatever is going to make you happy!

Prepare Little Valentine’s Day Goodies for Your Friends or Co-Workers

Just because you might not be able to celebrate with your galentine’s in person doesn’t mean you can’t send a little bit of love their way on V-Day! One way to do that could be to put together a little bag of goodies to either mail to your friends or drop on their doorsteps! I’m not really all about Valentine’s Day, but I will say, Valentine’s Day themed gifts are really pretty. You could get cute little gift bags and fill them with candies, mini wine bottles, lips gloss/smackers, other makeup, candles, little earrings packs….the list goes on and on! All things you can find between your local dollar store, Target, Marshall’s, Walmart- nothing that breaks the bank! You could also give little goodie bags to your co-workers (you know, if you work in that sort of environment)!

Keep in mind, you don’t even have to send or drop off little gifts, you could also mail your friends a card/letter or drop one in your mailbox. Simply writing a little note letting your friends know you love them is truly gift enough!

This leads me to…

Throw a Galentine’s Day Party on Zoom

I know, we are SO sick of Zoom parties and gatherings. We are ready to go out and actually BE with our friends, drinking fun little drinks and eating tacos in public in our cute little outfits. Trust me. I get it. BUT we must make the most of the situation we are in! The next best thing: A Zoom Galentine’s Day party! Everyone can bust out the cocktail and meal of their choice OR perhaps you can all coordinate and make the same menu individually, then come together and catch up on Zoom. Everyone can wear their best comfy pink/red/white outfit, and maybe you even choose a cute movie to watch all together while one person screen shares! If you haven’t seen your gals in a while, getting together on Zoom will just be a great excuse to catch up if nothing else!


All the ideas mentioned above are perfect things to do this Valentine’s Day to find SOME way to celebrate, but now let’s take a step back and get a little more personal. So, what are some ways that you can show up for yourself and practice self-love in a much more personal way- this Valentine’s Day and beyond? Here are some sweet little suggestions for you to fill your Valentine’s Day with self-love!

Move Your Body

One of the greatest and easiest (generally speaking) acts of self-love that you can perform is moving your body! If you are mentally and physically able, I encourage you to find time to move your body in ways that make you feel strong, confident, and beautiful! You’ll feel lighter and happier when you’re done, for sure. Do whatever YOU feel best doing, no matter what that is! Even if that just means finding some time to stretch, taking care of yourself in this way is the ultimate act of self-care and self-love!

Cultivate Your Self-Love Affirmations

Affirmations can truly set the tone for your day, week, month, year- they are SO powerful! Grab your sticky notes and get ready to plaster your bathroom/bedroom mirror with your self-love affirmations! Take a moment and think about need out of a daily affirmation. Do you need love? Encouragement? Positivity? Strength? What is something that you are always looking to others to affirm for you? Surprise, my friends, you are more than capable of providing yourself with the affirmation that you need in any aspect of your life! We are through depending on others to affirm our worth, or anything else in our lives for that matter! Once you think of what you’d like to affirm for yourself most at this point in time, write it on a sticky note, stick it to a mirror that you’re going to look at every day, and never stop forgetting your worth.

Write Down What You Love About Yourself

Self Love Journal

If you have never taken the time to write down things you love about yourself, now is the perfect time to start! Truthfully, this isn’t something I’ve regularly done for myself- so I am right there with you if you want to try to make more of a conscious effort to incorporate this practice into your daily life! When I did the 14 Day Get Up and Dance Challenge with Dance From Home, there were days where we didn’t do any physical movement, we only had to write down three things we loved about ourselves that weren’t physical traits. I loved doing this, and it inspired me to continue the practice of writing down things I love about myself. If you can find three things, little things, that you love about yourself to write down each day- that’s amazing. If you can only find one thing to write down- that’s an amazing place to start. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but I promise, it will be so worth it in the end.

Feel like you still need a little help on this one? I have just the thing for you! When you subscribe to Beyond the Footlights for the month of February, I’ll send you my February Self-Love Journal directly to your inbox! I’ve done the construction for you; you just have to fill in what you love about yourself (which is arguably the hardest part)!


No matter how you’re spending Valentine’s Day this year, I think it’s about time that you start showing yourself more love than anyone could ever show you. That’s the first step, right? They (whoever ‘they’ is) say you can’t love someone else until you unconditionally love yourself, and I find this to be absolutely true. Love yourself, cherish yourself, and set the precedent for how you deserve to be loved and treated by others!

Now, have some pizza, have some win, have some chocolate, and don’t text your ex.

I LOVE YA!

~ Ang

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

January Monthly Minute

January Round-Up

Hello, friends!

We’ve survived the first month of 2021! We have a new President, a new LADY Vice President. There is hope! While a new year and a new month cannot erase the scars left by the year-that-shall-not-be-named, I hope, nonetheless, that your year is off to a great start!

These monthly round posts are always some of my favorite to write because they help me take time to reflect on the smaller moments that make up the grand scheme of things. Going forward in this year, I encourage you to try to do this as well. I love to plan and look ahead, that’s part of who I am, but learning how to break my year down into months and my months down into weeks have infinitely helped me stay in the moment more while still allowing me to look ahead. Just not on such a grand, large scale!

January always feels like it lasts for an eternity, and this year the month was no different. At first, I felt like there was momentum but about right in the middle of the month I felt things slow down. That’s probably because I had started to better settle into the new routines I set out to establish in this new year. Let me tell you a bit about my January!

If I had to land on a word that would describe my January it would probably be ‘accountability,’ as I started a few new things that would require me to demand accountability from myself, for myself. First, I joined The Ensemble Membership with Dance From Home (check out my Passion Piece Feature with the owner of Dance From Home, Megan Bowen, HERE)! This meant that I would be taking 2 dance classes and 2 dance cardio/ strengthening classes a week. I was really excited and anxious to bring dance and activity back into my life in a more intentional way and being part of the membership has been completely worth it. This did, however, require discipline- because it’s been a minute since I had a regularly show up for myself like this.

I have always been one to start something like this and never finish it. I said it. But, for many reasons, I wanted to push myself in this first month of a new year and a new venture to stop making excuses. Every time I felt like not showing up to a class, I showed up. It was hard after a long day at work to bring myself to class sometimes, but I did it because I knew I would feel much better when it was finished. Some days, I struggled and had to really modify. Some days, my mind and body surprised me in how well they showed up for me. It was a move I didn’t know I needed to make, but I’m so glad I did.

I also took part in Yoga with Adriene’s 30-Day Yoga Journey that she curates every January. This year, the theme was Breath. It was my first year taking part in the journey as a new yoga teacher myself; the depth and growth I was able to cultivate in the daily practice was incredible. I love yoga so very much, but this, too, was still a challenge in dedication and discipline for me! Because I was also taking the classes with Dance From Home every night, I had to do the yoga videos in the morning before work- most days at around 6am (you can see why getting my a** to those dance classes was a little tough sometimes lol). As you’re reading this, I’m in the final week of the challenge!

Because I wanted to approach this 30-day journey in a new way, I decided to put together an accountability group for any friends of mine who were looking to take part in the challenge and wanted to feel the support of a closer community. I had about 9 girls join the group, and we communicated almost every day- keeping each other accountable and on track. I loved having a group to go to myself, because even though I was “leading” the group, I needed them for accountability just as much as they needed me. It was beautiful to see women from many different corners of my life all come together to practice yoga and support one another- whether they had met before or not!

I am SO proud of myself- I accomplished almost all the personal and blog goals I set for myself this month! None of them were huge goals, all little things for myself, but the fact that I stayed committed to them makes me very happy. I’m hoping to carry this momentum with me into February and the rest of 2021!

Now, onto some things I LOVED this month!

Books/TV

  • Didn’t See That Coming by Rachel Hollis
  • Bridgerton (Netflix)….DUH
  • Night Stalker (Netflix)…creepy AF but good
  • Yoga With Adriene 30-Day Yoga Journey: Breath
    • P.S. this content is free on YouTube and you can complete the videos any time you want! Give it a try and let me know if you do!!!

Products

  • Verb Energy Bars
    • Click HERE to try 4 of their top flavors for only $0.95!
  • OPI Gel Nail Polish
    • This is quickly becoming my favorite gel nail polish brand! So far, I’ve found the handful of colors I have at T.J. Maxx or Marshall’s! If you want to read up on how I do my own gel manicure at home for WAY less than the salon, click HERE!
  • Bliss- Bright Idea Vitamin C + Tri-Peptide Collagen Protecting & Brightening Serum
    • I had been searching for a vitamin C serum for a while, and I found this one at CVS! It’s affordable, smells SO yummy, and makes my skin look bright and beautiful!

Habits

  • Keeping my stainless-steel water bottle on my night stand- first thing I would do when I woke up was drink water to get things moving and grooving in my body! Still cold from the night before!
  • Setting time limits on my phone!!! Never before 8 and never after 11!…now I just have to…stick to it…

There you have it! JANUARY! Like I said before, the start of a new year and a new month can’t erase what our world is going through or what I’ve gone through personally since last March, but I do feel like having this little bit of a fresh start set me on a new and promising path! I feel a little bit lighter and I feel like I’m starting to cultivate better behaviors that will serve me physically, mentally, and spiritually in 2021. Here’s to carrying this energy through for the next 11 months! We can do hard things!

Next week is FEBRUARY! If you want to grab the blog’s February Freebie, The February Self-Love Journal, head to the homepage and subscribe with an email!

Lots of love!

~ Ang

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature
Megan Bowen: Dance From the Heart

Megan Bowen: Dance From the Heart

Feature #7

Hi, all! Happy Monday!

I am SO excited to share my first Passion Piece Feature of 2021 with you! To kick off the year we have dancer, entrepreneur, and all around badass woman, Megan Bowen!

Passion Piece Feature
Megan Bowen: Dance From the Heart
Photo: @cesar.shoots

Here’s a little about Megan:

Megan Bowen is a performer, creator & entrepreneur in NYC. Alongside her professional performing career, Megan founded Dance From Home LLC, an online company that helps Broadway lovers reconnect with the joy of live performance through musical theatre-themed fitness, dance & industry workshops. Megan believes the dance space is for everyBODY and is excited to reenter the industry post-pandemic. Stay connected via Instagram @MeganBowen__ & @DanceFromHome_ 

Like many of the people I have featured in the Passion Piece series, I have only ever connected with Megan online, and she is just a powerhouse. I’m not even sure how I came across Megan’s profile or the Dance From Home account, but I am SO glad that I did. Back in November, I took part in Dance From Home’s 14 day Get Up and Dance Challenge and the rest is history. It was during this time, taking Megan’s classes, that I started to truly feel connected to theatre and dance again, and this can really only be attributed to Megan, her instruction, and her class structure. Through the computer screen, states away, I could feel her infectious energy, her support, and her desire for me to succeed. Yes, I got that all from a fitness class. But that’s how I knew that Megan was someone I wanted in my corner, leading and guiding me toward my fullest potential! I signed up to be part of Dance From Home’s Ensemble Membership in the New Year, and it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my personal and professional life.

Megan is such an incredible inspiration. On her personal social media, she openly speaks about the joys and struggles of being a business owner, body image in the theatre, her own journey back into the dance studio, and much, much more. She is real, she is raw, and it’s so refreshing to follow and invest your time and energy in people who are just real people with real lives. That’s something I admire and would like to aim to bring into my own online space in 2021.

It’s such an amazing feeling when you know you’ve got people on your side, holding space for you, and aiming to help you reach your fullest potential. Megan is one of those people in my life, and I cannot wait to connect with her in person! Check out our chat and get to know more about Megan below!

Who are you, where are you from, and where are you spending your time these days?

My name is Megan Bowen and I am from Temecula, CA. I moved to NYC a little over 4 years ago and I currently reside in Brooklyn!

What are you currently doing for work, if anything? 

I am the Founder and CEO of Dance From Home LLC. We help Broadway lovers reconnect to the joy of live performance through musical theatre themed fitness, dance, and industry master workshops!

Tell me a little about your journey as a performer and how it has brought you to where you are today?

My parents put me in dance class when I was 3 years old. I was a very shy kid (I still identify as an ‘extroverted’ introvert) and stood in the back of my first dance class for 3 months until I decided to give the class a try and, well, here I am 23 years later still doing it!

I was a competitive dancer throughout my middle school and high school years. I also LOVED to sing so I started voice lessons when I was about 10 years old. My dance studio often let a local community theatre use the studios for rehearsals which was how I started to get involved with musical theatre. I did a few productions with them in middle school and absolutely loved it, but when it came time to high school, I had to make the choice between dedicating my time to theatre or the dance team, and I chose dance.

During my senior year of high school, I began auditioning for college dance programs (I thought I was going to end up being a classic modern or jazz dancer in a company) but I had a horrific experience during the college audition process. I was rejected from every single school I auditioned for, I was even told by the director of the NYU Dance Department that I did not have “the ideal body type that they were looking for” and felt very defeated. Luckily, I was very smart and had great grades/qualifications to get me into The University of California, Irvine as an Undeclared Major. During my first week at school, I reauditioned for their Dance Department and got accepted! It was the best feeling of my life. 

During my Junior year of university training, I started falling out of love with modern/contemporary dance. I also couldn’t find any companies or space for women with my body type in that portion of the industry and was confused on what I wanted to do. This is when musical theatre started coming back into my life…

I was in a sorority, (shoutout Delta Delta Delta) and each year the sororities would be paired with one fraternity to compete in a schoolwide musical competition called “Songfest”. The musical assigned to our cast was Pippin and during that creative and performance process (yes, we won the entire competition), I fell back in love with theatre. 

This is when I started getting involved in the drama department at UCI and got accepted into their New York Satellite Program, a “study abroad” program that had about a group of 25 of us come to NYC for one month and train nonstop. We took master classes, had mock auditions, went to a few real auditions, and got to fully experience what being a performer in NYC would be like. I was IN LOVE. I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had finally found my calling. 

So, I graduated college and moved to NYC 3 months later. I’ve been here doing the audition and performing grind until Covid hit and it all stopped. 

If you can, list for me your top 5 passions- no matter what they are!

1 – Performing

2 – Baking

3 – Creating Content/Being a Business Owner

4 – Lifting Weights

5 – Quality time with those I love

Does the work you are currently doing fall into the same category as any of those passions?

Passion Piece Feature
Megan Bowen: Dance From the Heart

I would say the majority of my current work with Dance From Home aligns with my passion of dancing, performing, and teaching, but I believe passion and business have to fall into two very separate categories.

Dance From Home is my business in which I must be able to detach my ego or emotional connection from in order to make it thrive and better serve my community. My passion for dancing and teaching show through my classes, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that business is my passion. It is one of my proudest achievements and has brought me closer to an incredible community that I am so lucky to serve every single day.

But passions are allowed and often do change, so with that in mind I work on looking at my business strictly as a business. I guess what I’m saying is that owning a business is not the driving force of my life. Performing is. 🙂

What has inspired most you in a time where we are seeing so much change in the world/our industry?

Oh gosh, honestly my friends and the upcoming community of leaders in the musical theatre industry inspire me. We are going to be the ones to evoke change.

What are some things you like to do in your down time to nurture your passions, so they can stay just as alive, consistent, and active as your work?

Honestly, as a first-year business owner much of my time has been consumed with my business and my passions have fallen to the side. That alongside living through a Pandemic. I have just now started to get realigned with my passion for taking dance class and going back to the gym to strength train. Those two things bring me endless joy and I haven’t really been doing them for the past 10 months, so I am excited to start again. 

This kinda ties into my answer above! My passions didn’t necessarily disappear in 2020 but they were put on the backburner and that is OKAY. I wasn’t ready for them or in a mental space to bring them back, but I am now 🙂

What are your top 3 goals in your life/work?

Oh that’s rough…I guess some that come to mind are.

#1 – Be in and choreograph a Broadway show

#2 – Have a 7 figure business

#3 – Start a conversation/Change the body standards of the dance industry

What does your self-care routine look like?

Haha. Another thing that I lost during the pandemic. Right now, my self-care looks like paying off my debt and credit cards and fixing my relationship with money. THAT is real self-care. Doing the things you don’t want to do but will ultimately help you be a better and happier person. 

I also ALWAYS eat breakfast.

What advice do you have for anyone struggling to make the time for their passions in their life? 

My advice would be to allow yourself to take a step back. You do not and should not feel like you have to force your passion. Knowing that passions can change and finding new things to light you up is exciting.

What are you hopeful for in our industry as we enter 2021? What prospects excite you, scare you, and make your heart flutter with anticipation?

I’m hopeful that the industry will start to come back by winter. I personally don’t think Broadway will come back until November 2021, but I lean towards the beginning of 2022.

Something I am looking forward to is taking dance class in person again and having the space to create with fellow dancers. 

I’d like to think about performing but I just don’t know what that will look like. I know my dreams and goals will come true; I’m just trying to not put a timeline on them 🙂

Amen to that my friends. Self-care is “doing the things you don’t want to do but will ultimately help you be a better and happier person.” Self-care takes on SO many different forms, and THIS is one form I couldn’t resonate with more!

A HUGE thank you to Megan for sharing her time and energy with me! All her social media information can be found in the bio at the top of the post- check her and her business out, give them a follow, and spread love today!

Lots of love

~ Ang

Winter Self-Care Ideas

Winter Self-Care Ideas

Winter Self-Care Ideas

Hello my friends, I hope you’re all doing well and finding joy in this New Year!

But we all know what month it is. January. *sigh*

January usually feels like the longest month in all of eternity. That one extra day in there really makes all the difference, right? Plenty of other months have 31 days, why don’t they seem to drag on as long as January always does? AND…it’s cold. I’m in Pennsylvania, and January/February (sometimes well into March or April) are the peak chilly months. By chilly I mean unbearably cold. Maybe I’m just a big baby, maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m already cold 24/7, maybe it’s because I love summer- who’s to say?

I don’t know about you, but for myself and many others, January brings the winter blues. Snow is beautiful, the changing seasons are always incredible to witness, but the frigid temps, the shorter days, and how early it gets dark can all bring on this wintery sadness. So how can we combat these feelings? With winter self-care, of course!

Honestly, winter self-care doesn’t have to be that different from your typically self-care routine that you have all year round! With some special attention, any self-care routine can be transformed into one that suits your wintery needs. Not sure where to start? I’ve put together some winter self-care ideas for you that cover a variety of different sectors of self-care, so hopefully there will be something you can take away from each and implement into your routine! Check it out!

Winter Self-Care: Personal Comfort

Personal comfort, to me, means feelings as comfortable as possible at all time. Full disclosure: I hate real pants. I think the idea of cute pants is great, but I like a comfy pant, a warm sweater, all the layers, etc. And, like I said, I am ALWAYS cold. I like to ensure my comfort when I’m trying to take care of myself and that also means keeping myself warm, warm, warm. Here are a few of my favorite must-haves you can get to make personal comfort part of your winter self-care routine:

Winter Self-Care Ideas
  • Fuzzy Jackets or Sherpas
    • I recently got the one in this picture for Christmas, it’s Koolaburra by Ugg, but you can literally find these babies ANYWHERE- T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Walmart, Amazon, and Target are going to be the best places to get them for an affordable price!
  • Fuzzy Slippers
    • The same ones I’m wearing in this picture are from The Loft and I am IN LOVE with them. I want them in every color. You can find these and many more cute pairs from places like The Loft, Aerie, or Target.
  • A Cozy Bath Robe
    • We’ll get to baths in a moment but having a bath robe to slip on in the winter has been a lifesaver! I love being able to lock in the heat from a nice hot bath and feel all wrapped up and held for the rest of my evening. Sometimes, I’ll even just throw my robe on as a warm kind of sweater to wear with my PJ’s or comfy clothes all day long! I got mine from a T.J. Maxx, I would highly recommend looking there or a Marshall’s for a variety of robes- again for the best deal!
  • Fuzzy Sock
    • Duh.

Winter Self-Care: Skin/Body Care

It’s winter. We’re cold. Our skin is dry. HELP.

  • A GOOD Face Moisturizer
    • Having a good moisturizer in the winter months is essential! I know, especially in college, my little cheeks would get so dry being outside and walking from place to place. Even now, the air is just so dry and chilly that it’s so necessary to give our skin that drink its craving! I use Tula 24/7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream in the mornings and at night. I would also recommend LXMI Creme Du Nil, if you’re looking for something a little more “high end.” The two best drug store moisturizers I would recommend for the winter months (or any time) would be Cetaphil and CeraVe!
  • A Hydrating Face Mask
    • I love using an overnight hydrating mask when my skin feels especially dry and thirsty! There are TONS of these on the market, so find what works for you (the same goes for literally any suggestion I make, always do what works for you first) BUT I use Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask! (you can get this online, but I found a 2-Pack at my T.J. Maxx for a great price…so keep an eye out, always!)
  • Body Scrub
    • So, our skin is dry and dead, and we must do something about it, right? Yes. Find an awesome body scrub and get scrubbing! Pick your preference, salt or sugar, and make sure it isn’t too harsh to use on your entire body. Right now, I’m using the Aromatherapy Sleep Lavender + Vanilla sugar scrub from Bath & Body Works! I like to shower/bathe at night, so I like that the lavender smell sticks with me until I go to bed AND usually my sheets and I still smell like lavender in the morning!
  • Body Lotion
    • Well, you’ve scrubbed all the dead stuff off, so now you must LOCK IN the moisture with your best body lotion. I’ll be honest, because I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I shave my legs WAY less in the winter. So, since my brain associates lotion with shaving and smooth legs, I often neglect to lotion my less-than-smooth legs in the winter months. I’m trying to be better about it, though! I either use the Water Hyaluronic Acid lotion from Bath & Body Works or Josie Maran body butters! LOVE a good body butter for the winter!
  • Take That Bath!
    • Fill up that tub with the hottest water you’ve got and RELAX! Use your favorite bubble bath, bath oils or bath salts, really set up the ambiance in your bathroom and just make yourself feel special for once! Don’t like baths? You can do the same things standing up in the shower! Very few things compare to a hot shower or bath in my mind. Relax and renew!

Winter Self-Care: In Your Space

The feeling of my personal space is an extremely important part of my own self-care routine. I’ve written before about how the space I’m living in becomes my little sacred place, so it’s really important to me that my space feels warm and welcoming. Here are a few things I make sure I incorporate into my space that make me feel good!

  • Candles
  • Essential oils & essential oil diffuser
  • Big blankets
  • Decorative and comfy pillows
  • Low lighting (I have twinkly lights hanging and usually only use those and my bedside lamp to light the space)
  • Warmth (you could always get a small space heater if you don’t have a thermostat in your space!)

Whatever conditions in which you feel the most comfortable and secure, find ways to create those in your space!

Winter Self-Care: Mind, Body, Spirit Care

Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit is such an important part of self-care (well 3 important parts, really). Whatever brings you peace in those 3 areas of your life: DO THOSE THINGS! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep moving your body
    • I know many people are ready to smash new year’s resolutions right now, but the winter and the cold often makes people less inclined to get physical. I encourage you to do something each day, or as often as you’d like, to get your blood flowing and body moving! You could do yoga, walk/run on the treadmill, go outside and walk/run, dance, stretch- literally anything that truly brings you joy and gets you moving. You’ll feel amazing after, I promise!
  • Drink lots of water
    • Pretty self-explanatory! Stay hydrated! I’m trying to get up and have a glass of water with lemon each morning!
  • Watch your favorite shows or movies
  • Listen to your favorite podcasts
  • Read books you love OR read new books
  • Journal/manifest
  • Hibernate aka rest when you need to!

That last one may be the most important thing to take from this whole post. Self-care also means listening to what your body is telling you, what it is asking you, listening, and taking necessary steps! At the start, self-care may simply be you starting to listen to your body and what it’s asking for before you even dive into doing all these things! If you are tired, REST. Taking care of yourself IS productive, because how else are you supposed to get anything else done if your mind/body/spirit is in tip-top condition? Whether you believe it or not, you deserve the best for yourself and you are capable of making that happen.

So, believe it!

Lots of love to you!

~ Ang

2020 Round Up

2020 Round Up

2020 Wrap Up

Well, friends, here we are. The final blog post of 2020! I feel like this is the day we have all been waiting for, to finally put 2020 to rest. Since this is usually the post where I recap every month, I thought what better way than to close out 2020 by recapping the year!

I started Beyond the Footlights in May, and while I’ve written pretty extensively about my life and experiences from about March on, there were some quote-on-quote normal times before Covid-19 erupted to share, as well as some more minute details from throughout the year that I’d love to reflect on and share with you, too. Honestly, I’ve kind of been putting off writing this post because it IS a lot to unpack. In our own ways, we have all been through some form of trauma this year. By no means do I use the word trauma lightly. I don’t think that you could meet a single individual at this very moment who hasn’t experienced any kind of loss due to this pandemic. I will admit, I’ve pushed down many thoughts and feelings that I’ve carried with me this year just to get through, so unpacking it all definitely scares me. But we can do hard things, and I want to take this time to reflect on all the growth I’ve experienced because of it all.

2020 scared me. Without even having any knowledge of how the year would play out, it scared me. It was the year I’d graduate college and take the “real world” by storm. I had no idea where I’d find myself after August, I was entering an industry that excited me and terrified me, and I had no idea if I would sink or swim. I knew I’d take on new financial burdens, and money scared me (money still kind of scares me, but that’s beside the point). I thought I would leave home and move somewhere I had never lived. I was entering the New Year as a single lady for the first time in a long time, and I was equally excited and scared to find myself in 2020. Last December, I wrote a little something for myself to look back on. Here is one little part of what I wrote:

“This needs to be the year of self-care, self-love, and self-security. It is time to stop depending on men to remind us of our worth. It is time to start remembering for ourselves what we bring to this Earth, because it is the reason we were put here. It is time to start having more confidence in ourselves and our abilities, because without that self-assurance and a better mindset, we will crumble. It is time to stop hiding how we feel from people and to start seeking help when and where we need it. It is time to stop worrying about what other people think of us, and time to stop comparing ourselves to others. It is really time to stop comparing ourselves to others. It is time to keep doing what we love, find new passions, and pursue our dreams. By me. For me. Full steam ahead.”

If only you knew, sister.

January

2020 Wrap Up
Kailey & I at a dance call last January

Oh, how young and naïve we were! It’s honestly crazy to me to think of how different my life is now than it was a year ago. I was still in school, at home for Christmas break, prepping, prepping, prepping for auditions. January was the busiest time of the year for auditions at school, and we always auditioned for the Shakespeare Festival the day before classes started back up for the second semester. I spent most of my time rehearsing my materials for that as well as The Sound of Music, which we would be auditioning for at the end of the month (I spent A LOT of time trying to learn how to play Do Re Mi on the guitar…). I was also cramming to learn lines for Tartuffe, which I would start rehearsals for as an understudy once we got back to school. Showcase prep was also in full swing, as we would start putting it all together once we got back. I spent lots of time putting together my reel and actor website, getting everything just right. Back at school, my class started putting together our own children’s show!

February

2020 Wrap Up
4 single galentines!

February 1st was actually the last time I went ~out~ out to a bar with friends (LOL). My friends and I were just having an absolute blast in our last semester. My class schedule was pretty light, I had a lot of theatre related work, but for the most part, the hard part of college was over. My class continued to work our butt’s off building our children’s show. It was also the first Valentine’s Day that all of my close girl friends and I were single all at the same time! We made tacos and chocolate covered strawberries, drank wine, and enjoyed each other’s company.

March

March was arguably the worst month of 2020, for obvious reasons. It didn’t start that way, though. At this point, I had found out that I would be playing Maria in The Sound of Music, which was obviously a dream way to end my college career. March was also when our senior showcase would be going to New York, so we were in the throes of finalizing every aspect of that. I went on spring break but had to come back from the break early to tech our children’s show which would open the following week.

Then the world stopped.

2020 Wrap Up
My senior class on our set for The Jungle Book

All of my senior class on campus had to quarantine, either in the campus housing or in off campus housing where many of us lived. That week brought so much disappointment and sadness. We were able to finish tech for our show and record a final run to be distributed, but all the hard work and dedication would never be experienced by a live audience. We all just sat together, prayed, talked, cried, and tried to enjoy the time we had. I sat in the lobby of the theatre building crying as we learned we would not be able to take our showcase to New York the following week. And a few days later, I sat in my bed and sobbed when I got the news that The Sound of Music had been cancelled too. It was a week of tremendous loss. On top of it all, we were faced with the uncertainty of the rest of our college careers. Classes moved online, and my mom came to start moving things out of my apartment little by little to head back home. It was just jarring. I was planning on living in my apartment until at least May, and now I was being ushered out, back home with my parents, two months early. The freedom and the college life that I had lived was suddenly stifled, and there was nothing I could do but roll with the punches. We continued classes online; fortunately, I only had two real classes that met weekly.

I attempted to learn how to ride a bike. That was short lived.

April

2020 Wrap Up
Momma & I with wine and snacks on what should have been opening night of The Sound of Music

I threw myself into other outlets as best I could, to keep my mind and body busy. I found out that I love dance cardio! I did a lot of bullet journaling, reading, and squirrel watching in our backyard. Of course, as time went on, the days that events and things were supposed to happen on came and went, which made dealing with the circumstances of the world a little harder. On what would’ve been opening night of The Sound of Music, I spent most of the day in tears, snacking and drinking wine with my mom. I was able to watch a workshop that my college held hosted by Laura Benanti, which was really special for everyone involved.

April was the month where I really started working on creating Beyond the Footlights. I had briefly thought about starting a blog before, but I could never realistically figure out how I would make it happen because my life was so busy with school and theatre. Well, having time was no longer an issue, since I would have as much time as I needed for the foreseeable future. I also had major doubts about my abilities and whether or not anyone would even care to follow along on that journey with me. But I went out on a limb, and started gathering ideas, figuring out logistics, and setting it all up. Aside from simply surviving this bitch of a year, I would consider starting the blog one of my biggest achievements of 2020.

May

At the beginning of the month, my family and I completely moved me out of my apartment. I had been back at home since March, but all of my furniture and some of my belongings were still at the apartment. It was a really bittersweet day; I loved that apartment, as much of a shit hole as it was. I was in a virtual reading of 12 Angry (Wo)Men (directed by Gabe Moses), which was so awesome.

2020 Wrap Up

On May 18th, I launched Beyond the Footlights and the rest is history! It was one of my happiest, proudest moments of the year. I didn’t just say I was going to do it, I did it, and it was really exciting.

2020 Wrap Up
How I graduated college…

I saw my best friend, Kailey, for the first time in person since we had left school in March to take our graduation photos at our college. It was also the first time I had set foot back on campus since we had left, which was very surreal. I handled it much better than I had anticipated, probably because I had her with my and our moms. May 16th, we graduated virtually, and I spent the day at home with my parents, my brother, and my grandparents. I won’t lie, I spent the day feeling really angry. I just kept saying it all wasn’t fair and it shouldn’t be like this. I FaceTimed Kailey throughout the entire ceremony; not being able to share this victory with my classmates and friends was incredibly hard.

June

2020 Wrap Up
Namaste, bitches

News of George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement caused me to do some serious self-reflection, a journey and process that continues to this very moment in time. It was time I started listening, looking within, learning, and taking necessary steps to become a better ally. The work is NOWHERE near finished, and I strive to take each and every one of those steps into my daily life.

In June, I took another plunge and started my 200-hour yoga teacher training! I had been going back and forth for about a month after I found my studio online, and I’m really glad that I decided to begin my training. At the time, I wasn’t back to working yet and school was done, so I didn’t really have a lot of structure to my days. You’d think having free time to do whatever I wanted would be great, but I very much like having a schedule and deadlines. I loved that I was able to work on my training whenever I wanted, but I did my best to set a schedule for myself which helped me a). get the training done and b). feel like I had a purpose, something to work for again.

2020 Wrap Up
The cast of The Two Gentlemen of Verona (i love them)

July

I went back to working my retail job in July, which was definitely an adjustment, but it was also kind of nice to get out of the house again and have things to do. I got to take part in a virtual performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona with the group of fellow actors and friends I would have worked with at the Shakespeare Festival. It was an absolute BLAST, and it was so nice to flex those actor muscles again.

August

2020 Wrap Up
The AMAZING 2020 Cohort for 24-Hour Plays: Nationals

August was a great month. August marked a year since I made the promise to myself to not get into a serious relationship, and that was a huge marker for me. I was fortunate enough to be part of the 2020 cohort for the 24-Hour Plays: Nationals! I spent a week participating in virtual workshops with my fellow cohort members, and at the end of the week we were all cast in one short play and had about 8 hours to rehearse and put it on its feet for a virtual audience! It was equal parts exhausting, nerve-wracking, and exhilarating. The shutdown set me into this spiral (that I honestly still struggle with sometimes) of thinking and feeling like I should have chosen another career path, but the whole 24-Hour experience kind of reaffirmed for me that I was meant to pursue theatre. I also landed a job working as a marketing assistant for a blogging business! I applied completely on a whim since I had no real experience aside from my own blogging efforts, but I figured what did I have to lose? Having another little stream of income and gaining experience has been really great!

2020 Wrap Up
My aunt’s dog, Zeke! We would take selfies every week I tutored 🙂

September

September was when work kind of started to really pick up. I was working my retail job, doing project work for the marketing position, and I started tutoring my cousin doing online school as well. I would stay with my aunt near where I went to school two days a week, which was really great because it was the perfect meeting place for my friends and I. Being able to see them for a dinner or a coffee here and there was especially awesome after many months of solitude (lol). After many months of study, I officially completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training!

October

2020 Wrap Up
Looking like a real person for the first time in forever

My birthday month! A big month. First and foremost, I went on a date for the first time (a ~real~ date, anyway) in over a year. Nothing ended up coming out of the experience, but it was definitely a step out of my comfort zone. I can now confirm that I still may not be ready for a serious relationship for a little while longer, but I’m grateful for the experience nonetheless! One of my best friends, Bella, also has a birthday in October, so a few of my friends and I got together to have a night in and celebrate our birthdays. Kailey, my mom and I also went to an outdoor winery (all wineries are outdoors, but obviously we spent the day outside because, you know, Covid) and we had a sleepover which was really fun and special!

November

2020 Wrap Up
Post-DFH workout- learning to love my body!

Nothing too exciting happened in November! I took up embroidery, a little late for a quarantine hobby, but I really enjoyed it! I worked a lot and continued to tutor. I also took part in a 14-day Get Up and Dance challenge that was hosted by Dance From Home, a fitness business that I found on Instagram! I’ve tried a lot of challenge type things like this before, but more often than not, I don’t follow through with them. I think the fact that this one was rather short AND dance/strength based was what really helped me through. I had the best time, and honestly really looked forward to taking the dance cardio classes and getting my body moving. I’ve kind of kept up with dancing during the pandemic, taking classes and teaching classes at my dance studio at home, but this really reignited my love for dance and moving my body.

2020 Wrap Up
My pie 🙂

I spent Thanksgiving at home with my immediate family, which was nothing out of the ordinary since that’s how we celebrate every year. I made a beautiful pie and felt very domestic. I also hosted my first giveaway on my Instagram featuring four female owned small businesses! I had a really great turnout with a lot more people than I had anticipated, so it was really exciting!

December

And here we are, December! I’m still working quite a lot, I’m done tutoring now, but I recently got hired to be a substitute teacher! I will admit, I’m having a hard time feeling the Christmas spirit right now. I love Christmas, but it all looks so different this year that it kind of makes me sad. In the last week or so, I’ve been feeling very anxious. Sometimes my feelings of anxiety come in waves. As the year is coming to a close, I’ve found myself measuring my worth by the work I am doing, or not doing, really. I’ve been so busy working the several jobs I have, none of which are what I went to school for or am exceptionally passionate about, but unfortunately my chosen industry isn’t where it once was. I’m still coping with the fact that I’m not finishing the year where I thought I would. I often get very anxious with the fear of getting “stuck” where I’m at right now, mentally and circumstantially, and get stuck comparing myself to others. No matter how “together” I or my life may seem, it is all VERY much a work in progress day to day. I guess I can’t really compare where I’ve ended up in 2020 to where I thought I would end up or the goals I HAD set for myself a year ago, because life really came in and just completely rocked my boat.

You might have rad this post and thought “well, Ang really didn’t do anything exciting enough to write a whole post about,” and you’d be right (lol). Nothing I shared here was extraordinary and a lot of it was pretty simple and perhaps unexciting. But the point is, I made it through the year. I made it through this dumpster fire of a year, and I’m proud to just share that with you.

This morning I was watching a talk show and a woman whose name I didn’t catch said something along the lines of that we have to stop claiming this year to be the worst one yet. Everyone’s story is different, and someone may have already had worse years than this one. Is this one of the worst years in history for our country? Absolutely. But I guess it was a wakeup call to me to be reminded that for some, this year was much worse than for others. It sounds harsh to say, but has this been the worst year of my life so far? Definitely. But in the grand scheme of things, will it be the worst year of my life as a whole? Absolutely not. It made me take a second to revel in appreciation for the life that I do have, and for how fortunate I am to be coming out of 2020 as unscathed as I am.

I have many, many things that I am manifesting and putting out into the universe for 2021, and I am going to hold those things close to my heart and tackle them with quiet grace. Quite the oxymoron there, tackling with grace, but I’m discovering that that’s the best way to ensure my own happiness and sanity. Looking back at what I wrote myself at the end of last year, I think I’ve accomplished some big things that do matter. I’ve learned how to better practice self-love and self-care. I’ve learned not to look to others to establish my worth and have become so much more secure in my sense of self; the independence I’ve gained is incredible. I didn’t hold back how I was feeling, and I asked for help when I needed it. And I most definitely embraced my passions, practiced what I loved, and I am still out here continuing to chase my dreams.

May you look back on 2020 and look for the good, no matter how big or how small. And may you keep chasing your dreams all the way into 2021. Thank you for being here. I love you. Let’s do this.

XOXOXO

~ Ang

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us

Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us

Hi friends!

Back again with the FINAL Passion Piece Feature of the year! Before we dive in, I have to thank you all for embracing and reading these features every month! Some of these Passion Piece Features have been some of the most viewed posts from the blog since I got started in May and it makes my heart burst with joy knowing you enjoy reading about these amazing individuals as much as I love getting to share them with you!

I’m SO happy to finish out the year featuring a wonderful friend of mine and incredible artist, Mackenzie Moyer! Here’s a bit about Mackenzie in her own words:

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us
Mackenize as Elmire in Tartuffe

“My name is Mackenzie Moyer, and I am a recent grad of DeSales University (class of 2020 woohoo!), where I earned my B.A. in Theatre. When I am not acting, you can find me running my business (Some Wandearrings, LLC), playing Dungeons & Dragons, or writing. When I am acting, I am usually kicking butt in period dramas, dabbling in witchcraft, or annoying my stage husband in high comedy. My special skills include breathing in a corset, a reliable nose whistle, and being able to perform the famed dance move: The Worm.”

Yes, all of that is just as incredible as it sounds. This girl *full stop.* DOES. IT. ALL. She does it all, and she does it all WELL! She’s an incredibly talented actress, writer, model, and a freaking small business owner!!! I’ve known Mackenzie for 4+ years now, and I have always admired her for the hard work, dedication, and passion she pours into literally everything that she does. I have worked alongside her, watched her work from afar (is that creepy? let’s go with no), and the drive she possesses truly is just unreal. This girl gets shit done. On top of all that, the zest and excitement Mackenzie has for life, especially the little things in life, is so admirable and inspiring. She fights for what she believes in, she fights for others who may not be able to fight for themselves, and always leads with her good-natured heart. She has been there with me and for me in some of the best and worst moments of our college careers and for that, I am so grateful.

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us

When the pandemic hit, Mackenzie took her creativity into another amazing venture: owning her own business, Some Wandearrings. She makes STUNNING hand-made and hand-painted earrings inspired by classical art and natural beauty (two things this woman literally embodies) and is committed to raising and donating money to various organizations helping the fight for racial justice. I’ve watched her and this business grow exponentially over the last few months, and the impact she has made and continues to make is astounding. This time has been extremely difficult for artists, but it has been so beautiful to watch my colleagues and friends, especially ones like Mackenzie, coming into their own and finding additional spaces in which their passions lie.

Here is our chat!

Who are you, where are you from, and where are you spending your time these days?

I’m Mackenzie! I’m from the Philly suburbs, and I’m currently living with my parents in PA to ride out this pandemic!

What are you currently doing for work, if anything?

HA. Well, I have been doing a lot of little things off and on, as the restrictions ebb and flow. I have a part-time retail job, I run a jewelry business (the biggie), and I have another part-time job at a local paint-and-sip place! My jewelry business (Some Wandearrings, LLC) was started in June as a way to raise money for the BLM movement, and has since become a small business, and an on-going way to monetarily donate to BIPOC organizations, while also keeping me busy and employed. I have always loved making things with my hands (I’m an avid crafter), and getting to share my jewelry with people and feel their support has been a great blessing. Plus, owning a small business has opened my eyes to a whole new section of the economy, cultivated a new skill set, and given me a whole new community! It has been equal parts exhausting and rewarding, and I am very thankful.

Tell me a little about your journey as a performer and how it has brought you to where you are today?

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us
Mackenzie as Maid Marian in The Adventures of Robin Hood & Maid Marian

I grew up in an athletic household (read: my parents ran marathons for fun. Marathons. As in plural.), but from a very young age I was drawn to singing, writing, and performance. I both sang in church choir AND was on a travel soccer team for a lot of my childhood (#versatile), but late middle school into high school I transitioned into solely the arts. I was lucky enough to have always known what I wanted to do! I got my degree in theatre from DeSales University, and “graduated” this past May (we all know the reason for the quotes). While my degree is in Musical Theatre, I feel much more called to TV/Film work and straight plays, especially classical and period plays (or fresh adaptations of classical tropes)! As is the story with many performers, my career is kinda on hold right now, save for some online theatre (which has been quite rewarding, even though challenging and strange).

If you can, list for me your top 5 passions- no matter what they are!

My first and foremost passion is performance and acting. It’s just something I can’t imagine not doing.
Writing – when I was a little girl, I also wanted to be a writer, and would write lots of poems and stories in my free time. I don’t do it as often now, but it’s still a hobby I very much enjoy.
Painting & crafting – I took up painting in high school as a hobby and picked it back up in the pandemic when I started my business! I’m also a sucker for a good collage.
Dungeons & Dragons – I started playing in college, and now I just want to play 24/7. It’s collaborative fantasy storytelling – it’s so fun and is so tied into what I do as a performer anyways. It’s just the best.
Period dramas. I said what I said. Catch me talking about Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Little Women, and the like any day of the week.

Does the work you are currently doing fall into the same category as any of those passions?

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us

My jewelry business is alllll about the hand painted earrings! It’s been really fun to delve back into painting (especially such small and detailed work!) and get to share it with so many people in such a personal way. In terms of acting and performing, I have been lucky to get the chance to participate in several readings and online productions – I am currently playing Jo March in a four-person adaptation of Little Women (by the brilliant Heather Chrisler). So, I am still flexing those actor muscles as much as I can while lying in wait!

What has been inspiring you in a time where we are seeing so much change in the world/our industry?

I have loved seeing my friends and fellow creatives create their own Youtube channels, podcasts, start their own businesses, mount their own virtual shows. It’s been a blessing to see people put themselves out there in a time where I think so many of us feel limited and stifled. It’s an act of bravery, and it brings so much joy.

What are some things you like to do in your down time to foster your passions, so they stay just as alive as your work?

Honestly? I’ve been watching a lot of TV (it keeps me company while I paint and craft) which is something I never used to have time for or want to do. It has kept me excited about the industry and helped me figure out the type of work I want to pursue post-pandemic (of note: Hulu’s The Great, Netflix’s Anne with an E, and, of course, Fleabag). In terms of non-performance related shtuff, I play D&D with pals, peruse Pinterest (for inspiration for future projects), and journal or write.

What are your top 3 goals in your life/work?

1. Be a truly decent person – which seems like an obvious goal, but I believe it takes genuine effort and intellectual/emotional investment to be good. It’s easy to be kind, it’s harder to be good. I wasn’t originally going to put this as one of my goals for this question, but I think it’s important to speak on the belief in human beings to grow and evolve and learn and acknowledge that it takes work.
2. Work steadily as a performer on material I care about, with people I care about. I have specific goals and ideals about what kind of work (i.e.: period film/tv pieces, Shakespeare, new adaptations of classical styles, etc.), and I have big, outlandish goals (star in a Broadway play, be in an Oscar-winning film), but if I can pay the bills and have a laugh off stage or on set with friends, then I think I trust that.
3. Write something really good and put it out into the world. I’m not sure yet what it will be – a book of poetry, a one-woman show, a novel. But one of my childhood dreams was to be an author, and I think I have it in me yet. 

What does your self-care routine look like?

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #6
Mackenzie Moyer: A Goddess Among Us
Mackenzie as Sir Eglamour in The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Well, it used to look very different, and I am sure it will look very different again when the pandemic is over. Recently (it’s about to get real here), I’ve been struggling with lack of motivation, seasonal depression, and all that fun stuff that winter and darkness and isolation can bring us. So, anyone out there feeling this way – you aren’t alone! BUT despite those feelings, almost every day I go for a long walk around my neighborhood and listen to a D&D podcast. It’s my time to get out of the house, get some exercise, and get my mind off of whatever is troubling me. I also bake a lot, and I have been watching TV like crazy like I mentioned above. I also journal pretty frequently, which is not only helpful, but will be such a gift to be able look back on such a monumental time in my life and the world.

What advice do you have for anyone struggling to make the time for their passions in their life?

Right now, it’s a pandemic. So my advice now is different from what my pre-pandemic (or post-pandemic) advice would be. Right now? Do what you gotta do to get through it. For real.

That being said, even if you can’t actively pursue your passions right now, for whatever reason, what seeds can you sow that you can reap the benefits from post-pandemic? What skills can you learn, plans can you make, habits can you form, vision boards can you meditate on? (Listen, I love me a Pinterest board.)
I am usually ALL ABOUT the grind. I love being busy, I’m ambitious, I’m motivated. But in this season, at this moment, I’m moving slowly. I’m listening to my body, to my gut. I’m learning to swim in these feelings of uncertainty and fear and frustration instead of letting them drown me. I’m pushing myself when appropriate. But unprecedented times call for new tactics, new ways of living. Find your new tactics, invest in them, and then allow yourself to get excited for what’s to come when we emerge on the other side.

As I am writing this post and re-reading Mackenzie’s responses, I can assure you that I am in awe right along with you. What a beautiful way to end this post, and an even more beautiful and inspiring way to end this chapter of Passion Piece Features. I feel so lucky to get to read these responses, connect with new friends, and reconnect with old ones. Mackenzie is absolutely right, we are all learning, growing, and adapting to this brand-new way of life and we continue to do so within every new season the universe hands us. May you all do what you can to get through and know you’ve got people here to hold you up if/when you need it.

A huge thank you to Mackenzie for her time and energy! Check her and her business out on Instagram @mackenzie_moyer, @somewandearrings, and check out her actor website at http://www.mackenzie-moyer.com!

Stay tuned for the LAST BLOG POSTS OF 2020 coming your way soon!

Love you all!

~Ang

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #4
Courtney Wersick: Real-Life Disney Printcess

Courtney Wersick: Real-Life Disney Printcess

Hi Everyone!

It’s that time again! Time for our October Passion Piece Feature! This month, the spotlight is on my social media gal pal, artistic mentor, Courtney Wersick! And yes, you read that right, PRINTcess! Here’s a bit about her:

“Courtney Wersick is an Actor and Artistic Mentor, based out of New York City. With a Bachelors of Music degree in Vocal Performance, Courtney has always believed life is too short to pay bills and die. After completing a contract with Disney Cruise Lines after graduating from Towson University, she made the big move to NYC to pursue her Broadway dreams! Her mottos in life are “Progress over Perfection”, and “Be Kind, Always.” She is also an artistic mentor for emerging artists seeking to pursue a career in musical theatre – using her own experience to help the younger generation feel confident they are chasing their dreams with their best foot forward. Courtney loves working with children, is a loud and proud cat lady, and a (maybe not so loud but still proud) true-crime enthusiast! In her free time, Courtney is a calligraphy artist; co-owning a small art/print shop called Printcesses, which she co-found with her best friend in 2018.”

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #4
Courtney Wersick: Real-Life Disney Printcess

I’m particularly excited to feature Courtney this month because I feel like her and I have been talking about this since I even started the blog! The last few months have been tough on artists trying to find a community, but thanks to the amazing artistic community on Instagram, Courtney and I started following one another and what a lucky break it was! While she and I have yet to meet in person (I’m going to have lots of new fun friends to catch up with when the world regains some new normalcy!), Courtney’s love and light still shine on me from states away. The title of artistic mentor is so perfect for her, and I feel like she is mine in a way! Watching her speak on social media about her audition experiences, cruise ship life, and her journey towards finding an apartment in NYC have been so enlightening and beyond helpful since these are all things I would like to be able to do! Having a guide like Courtney who is so open and honest about her experiences can only be beneficial if you, too, are looking to pounce on your Broadway dreams.

On multiple occasions, Courtney has been in my messages, lifting me up and holding me there in times of struggle during the pandemic. I so admire her for her kindness, her work ethic, and her never ending passion for the people and things she loves. Let’s hear about what Courtney’s up to and how she practices self-care and self-compassion!

Who are you, where are you from, and where are you spending your time these days?

I’m Courtney! I am from Bowie, MD – and I am currently riding out this pandemic in Baltimore, MD with my boyfriend/partner, Jason!

What are you currently doing for work, if anything?

Since performing/the theatre have been almost completely halted due to the pandemic, I have been finding new ways to not only prepare for when theatre returns, but to reframe my model for success. I’m working with an artistic mentor myself, doing a lot of self-reflection on my “why”, and kind of treating quarantine like my own little “rehab” for my Imposter Syndrome. I truly believe mental health and self-care are the two most important elements of being a performer and I’ve been trying to look on the bright side and really take advantage of the down time I’ve been given during this shut-down. Additionally, I’ve been working on my calligraphy/art business – we recently launched our new sticker collection and that has really opened the floodgates for my creative output! Most excitingly, I have also been building an artistic mentorship program 🙂 My mini-course on moving to New York City is now available on my website.

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #4
Courtney Wersick: Real-Life Disney Printcess

Tell me a little about your journey as a performer and how it has brought you to where you are today?

Well, it really begins from when I was too little to even remember! I was always a performer — putting on shows and concerts for my friends and family in my living room. Growing up I did every musical, choir, and show I had the opportunity of doing and really have been chasing this dream from the get-go! It all really changed when I was 12 years old. I saw the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera, and decided to give up my dreams of being the next Britney Spears and switch to being an opera singer. I started taking my first professional classical voice lessons when I was 13 and the rest is kind of history! I couldn’t afford to go to college in NYC, and when Towson offered me a scholarship — I couldn’t say no. They didn’t have a MT program so I studied  classical voice because even though I knew I wanted to eventually pursue musical theatre, I really loved opera and felt that continuing my classical training might give me a leg up, vocally. 

I’m very lucky to have known what my passion was at such a young age, and while that has definitely led to some perfectionism and high expectations in my adulthood — I am so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had along the way. I’m now at a place where I can appreciate all the work I’ve done, while exploring new ways to pursue my passions!

If you can, list for me your top 5 passions- no matter what they are!

       – Performing (duh)

       – Food (specifically pasta and sweets)

       – TV and movies (I’m a spooky movie girl) 

       – Calligraphy

       – Inspiring others (if you ever need a hype man, I’m your girl hahaha) 

Does the work you are currently doing fall into the same category as any of those passions?

Absolutely! I’m really trying to do more of all of those things during these crazy times. I had a breakthrough recently regarding doing more of what makes me happy and brings me internal fulfillment and all of those things are involved!

What has been inspiring you in a time where we are seeing so much change in the world/our industry?

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #4
Courtney Wersick: Real-Life Disney Printcess

 Honestly, I am so inspired to come out on the other side of this with a renewed passion for this industry, and a new perspective of who I am and what I want to do as well. I am hopeful that there will be some changes made to the “system” that involve us all being more compassionate, more patient, and more supportive of each other as actors and artists in general. I have seen so many of my performer friends taking the time to break down the walls that so many of us put up to protect ourselves from criticism and judgement – walls that I truly believe hold us back  as artists AND human beings. If the only thing I did this year was find my inner peace and figure out how to help others do the same – then maybe 2020 won’t go down as the worst year in my history book. There is still a light at the end of the tunnel. 

What are some things you like to do in your down time to foster those passions, so they stay just as alive as your work?

I’ve been working on giving myself the quiet time and the space to fully live in the moment and FEEL the emotions that present themselves. It is so easy to just push them down and distract yourself with staying “busy & productive’ but as I learned pretty early on in quarantine — that doesn’t serve me in any way. I get burnt out A LOT. So when I feel like I’m overworking myself, or I’m feeling anxious – I have been taking a step back and sitting down with a book, watching a tv show I love, or even just playing my Animal Crossing for a while to just really try and RELAX – to avoid burnout. Taking care of yourself is JUST as “productive” as the traditional ideas of “working” that we all force upon ourselves. 

What are your top 3 goals in your life/work?

Firstly, to spread sunshine wherever I go. There is nothing that brings me more joy than bringing a smile to someone’s face.

Secondly, to inspire others to chase their dreams and chase them bravely. I want to be that person for people to turn to when they feel like their dreams are too big. We all need that person. 

Lastly, to enjoy my life. I don’t want to be on my deathbed thinking about all the things I didn’t do, or all the things I did out of trying to please others. Life is too short to live for other people. I want to share my life with others and embrace every second of it because my happiness comes from within. 

What does your self-care routine look like?

Recently, it’s truly a balancing act. At the beginning of quarantine, I was setting impossibly high goals- so now I am focusing on balancing “work” with “me time”. As for “me time” – I’m currently reading through Midnight Sun (ngl, I’m struggling), playing Animal Crossing, watching a bunch of South Korean zombie films, and spending time with my boyfriend and our new kitten – Fizzgig! I try to alternate between a “work” activity and a “me time” activity on a 1:1 basis 🙂 

What advice do you have for anyone struggling to make the time for their passions in their life? 

I cannot emphasize this enough – therapy and/or mentoring – have changed my life. There have been so many times where I have struggled to find motivation to pursue my passions, and it always came back to something within myself that was holding me back. I strongly urge anyone struggling with this to really take the time to figure out their “why” and take the time to explore the obstacles both mental and physical (ie. their schedule, or day job, or family dynamic, etc) that may be holding them back. I think that’s a very good use of this time, so we can fully thrive in our power when life returns to “normal” – whatever that is! LOL. 

HUGE thank you to Courtney for sharing her time and energy with me! If you want to learn more about Courtney, give her a follow on Instagram and check out her website!

Talk soon! xo

~ Ang

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute

Monthly Minute
September Round Up

September Round Up

Wake Up! September is almost over!

Thank you for indulging in my cheesy Green Day Reference.

ANYWAY!

Summer has come and gone, and we have officially made it through the first little bit of fall! I don’t know about you, but as I get older, I’m more aware of how quickly the year goes by. Things that happened last September feel like they JUST happened, and I always have to check myself and remind myself…it’s been a year, sister.

September was a great month; it was exciting in lots of new ways, but still the same-old-same-old in many ways, too. First and foremost, in addition to my lovely retail job I started a new job as a remote marketing assistant for a blogging business!!! It’s all very new and I am learning a lot, but I have loved every minute so far. I have to say, I am not anywhere NEAR where I had thought I would be at this point in the game a year ago but I do think I ended up where I am for a reason. Although actively pursuing a career in the theatre right now is not really possible, I do feel like I am continuing to grow and better myself for when that big reopening does happen (because it WILL happen). Also, this month I taught my first yoga class as my final assignment for my training! I am just about finished up, just ironing out a few logistical things, but stay tuned next month for the official announcement of my completion!

The things I choose to write about in these monthly round up posts are constantly changing, just because I don’t think I can really have a template for how life is going to play out that month and what I am going to need more/less of in my life! Some months I have had tons of time to watch TV and read books, other months I feel like I’m constantly being tugged at by work, and so on and so forth. This month, I’m going to share with you some books I read (I was actually able to read a lot), some products that have been life savers in my busy schedule, and some things I have added into my routine to make my soul a little happier!

Books

Moonology by Yasmin Boland

One of the goals I set for myself for September was to start manifesting, and coincidentally, this book is all about manifesting with the cycles of the moon. I got the book to read as part of the Simple Ayurveda online book club thinking that it was only about the moon, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got it and found out it had a lot to do with manifestation (one might say…I manifested for this…?). Boland is truly an expert in her field, and this book is a wonderful starting point for newcomers to manifesting like myself. I’m fascinated by how the moon and astrology control our lives and I have loved bringing manifestation into my life!

Monthly Minute
September Round Up

The Whisper Man by Alex North

This book was spooky. Creepy. But an absolute page turner! Full disclosure: I am a little afraid of the dark and reading this book alone in my room at night definitely left me sitting up for longer than usual. I picked this book up at Sam’s Club not thinking I’d love it, but it was such a great read. Usually, I find thrillers to be a little predictable, or I can just unravel them quickly, but this one truly kept me guessing the whole way through. The author did a beautiful job of connecting all the dots as the twists and turns unfolded. Check it out!

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

This is the book that I am in the process of reading, but so far, I love it! My mom actually read it first and wouldn’t stop raving about it, saying every young woman should read it. She kindly got me my own copy (because she knows I like to highlight and underline and all that) and I am loving how raw and honest it is so far.

TV

Ratchet (Netflix)

If you are a Ryan Murphy/ American Horror Story lover, this show is DEFINITELY for you. I am not up to date on AHS whatsoever, but I love Sarah Paulson and Finn Wittrock so I decided to give this show a shot. There are only 8 episodes up right now, but I literally started it on a Friday night and was finished by Saturday night. I couldn’t stop!!! Of course, if you’re familiar with Ryan Murphy’s work, it usually has that effect of viewers. It’s kind of so sickening and crazy that you just can’t stop watching. If you’re looking for a little thrill in your TV watching endeavors, I would 100% recommend this show!

This and That

Fringe Studio Notebooks

If you know me, you know I am a bit of a notebook snob. I have SO many notebooks laying around, but Fringe Company notebooks are 100% my favorite. All the ones I have ever used I found at my T.J. Maxx/Marshall’s/Home Goods, but you can also find a few on Amazon or on their website! The paper is amazing to write on, and I love that they have the little space for the date in the top corner of the pages. I recently got a 2-pack on mini notebooks; one is lined pages and the other is dotted! They are so perfect for on-the-go work!

Liquid I.V.

Y’all, if you follow me on Instagram you already KNOW how much I love my Liquid I.V. Hydration and Energy Multipliers!!! Seriously, the flavors are so yummy. They also just came out with 3 new flavors- watermelon, apple pie, and guava! I haven’t tried the new ones yet but I am SO ready. The sticks use CTT technology to get the goods to your bloodstream faster, hydrating you beyond belief. The Energy Multiplier works the same way AND pumps you up with natural caffeine. If you want to try out Liquid I.V. for yourself you can shop here for 25% off your purchase AND free shipping!

JustFab Shoes

I have always wanted to give JustFab a try…I took the leap and I love my shoes! I was skeptical because first of all, I have a big foot and second of all, my feet are sometimes a weird in between size, so not being able to try them on worried me. I went with my gut on the sizing, I nailed it, and the shoes are adorable. I got a cute pair of sneaker wedges and a cute pair of simple white sneakers for the transition into fall! Also sweet, when you sign up as a VIP your first pair of shoes is only $10!

I hope you had a great September and that you’re all adjusting beautifully to this chilly fall weather! I can’t wait for October, it’s my favorite month! Myself and a lot of my close friends have birthdays in October, and it always just brings me so much joy. Be on the lookout for some more posts about my passions/getting to know me as my birthday month unfolds! I hope October brings you joy, love, and abundance! Stay well, loves!

~ Ang

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #3
Mara Ranson: Rockette Dreaming and Beyond

Mara Ranson: Rockette Dreaming and Beyond

Hi Everyone!

Another month, another Passions Piece Feature! This month Beyond the Footlights has the pleasure of featuring my friend and Radio City Rockette herself, Miss Mara Ranson! Here is a little about Mara:

“Mara grew up in Ewing, NJ training in versatile styles of dance before completing a BFA in Jazz Dance Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Directly upon graduating, a semester early, she began rehearsals for her first cruise ship contract as a production dancer. She would eventually travel and perform on two more ship contracts that took her all over the globe and let her have the chance to perform featured roles in Vegas! the Show among others, and that allowed her to learn and perform aerial skills like hammock and lyria (aka hoop). Back on land Mara has performed featured roles in theme parks, on international stages in Tokyo, Japan, and in regional musical theater productions including Crazy for You and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Mara’s proudest accomplishment was making her dream come true, and becoming a Radio City Rockette in the Christmas Spectacular. She performed in over 100 shows this past holiday season and was featured on Dance Spirit Magazine’s web issue.  

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #3
Mara Ranson: Rockette Dreaming and Beyond

Off the stage, Mara is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and barre certified through Exhale Spa where she teaches barre, cardio, and hiit style classes in NYC.  Mara’s newest venture is pursuing her Physical Therapy Assistant degree.  She is starting classes this September, and is looking forward to this new career path that keeps her moving her body and helping others to move pain free!”

She can just do it all, can’t she?! I met Mara two summers ago (that’s crazy) performing together in Crazy For You at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and we’ve kept in touch online ever since! I remember being in rehearsals with her and not only admiring her for her obvious talents and her killing leggings, but also for her generosity and kindness. She was one of our dance captains, and as a student placed in a company of professionals at the time, it was so reassuring to have someone to go to and look up to in moments where I just needed a little extra help with any choreo!

I also remember the day that Mara shared on social media that she was going to be a Rockette. I had heard her talk briefly on her experience with auditioning various times and the dreams that she had, and it was just so cool to think to myself “I know her! I just shared a stage with her! And now she is going to get to live out her dreams as a Rockette!” It truly was her perfect season, and hearing all about how she had persevered with such grace until her dreams came true gave me hope in my ability to achieve my dreams too.

Since quarantine started, I have taken Mara’s dance cardio classes on Instagram and Zoom and let me tell you- they are NO JOKE. She kicked my booty, in the best way possible! Without probably even knowing it, she has helped give me many a push towards staying happy, active, and gentle with myself since quarantine began! Here is our chat about Mara’s passions, self-care, and exciting adventures- old and new!

Who are you, where are you from, and where are you spending your time these days?

M: Hi, I’m Mara! I grew up in Ewing, NJ, attended The University of the Arts in Philly, and post college have been living in NYC (whenever I’m not away on contracts!). Now-a-days I am back in my NYC apartment after a few months of staying with my parents in New Jersey. I am back in school for a new degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant (!!), and just started a new job in a Physical Therapy clinic. I also have been teaching dance and fitness classes through zoom off and on throughout the pandemic.

What are you currently doing for work, if anything? 

M: As I just mentioned above, I just recently started a new job at a Physical Therapy clinic where I will be helping to teach exercises to patients and assisting with their treatments! My career has been making a pivot lately which is scary but exciting! 

Tell me a little about your journey as a performer and how it has brought you to where you are today?

M: I have been dancing since I was three, and grew up as a competitive dancer. I knew I wanted to dance professionally but knew I also needed a little more time and guidance to hone my craft, so I got my BFA from UArts where I majored in Jazz Dance. My years at UArts truly shaped me into the performer and dancer I am today. While I was there I got to work with some wonderful choreographers and figured out the path I wanted to pursue; musical theater, showgirl work, and above all else, the Rockettes. Right out of college I started my first cruise ship contract which was an amazing opportunity to keep growing as a person and a performer while traveling the world! I eventually did two other ship contracts over the next four years. In between those I performed in Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, VA as well as in Tokyo, Japan in the Spirit Productions show Broadway Christmas Wonderland. I also have performed in a few regional theater musical productions, my favorite of which, was Crazy for You, where I met Beyond the Footlight’s very own Angela LaRose! Between all of these endeavors I never stopped auditioning for my dream job with the Rockettes, and in 2019 after eight auditions, I finally booked my dream job! It still feels surreal to me that I spent the Christmas season last year performing in my dream show, in my dream theater. Dreams do come true friends! Never stop working, and never give up! All of my experiences in my career lead me to accomplishing my dream.

If you can, list for me your top 5 passions- no matter what they are!

M: My top five passions, hmm: movement, coffee, helping others feel empowered, planning and organizing my life, and dogs.

Does the work you are currently doing fall into the same category as any of those passions?

Passion Piece Feature
Feature #3
Mara Ranson: Rockette Dreaming and Beyond

M: I am overjoyed to say that my new career I am pivoting into does fall into those passions! I chose to go back to school for PT because it is a field that will allow me to keep sharing my love of movement by helping others to move stronger and with less pain and more function. I also am still teaching fitness, and hope I can continue to for a long while.

What has been inspiring you in a time where we are seeing so much change in the world/our industry?

M: It has been crazy inspiring to see how artists have been creating, sharing their art, and coming together remotely! One of my favorite things to come out of COVID is that I can take a dance class with friends/artists all over the country and the world. It’s wild how even through technology we can feel like we are exchanging energy and connected. 

What are some things you like to do in your down time to foster those passions, so they stay just as alive as your work?

M: I love going for walks and runs through the city, or through any area I am at and taking in the scenery and people of an area. One thing I love about NYC, and what makes people watching so much fun, is that we have such a diverse population. I love seeing people from all walks of life living together in our city. I also love my passion planner! It combines organization and planning with a different creative outlet that dance. I used to be a bullet journaler, but this year I have switched over to the passion planner and I am loving it. Like I said, I am a lover of movement, so it is important for me to workout and sweat as well. I take rest days when I need (something I am still working on being ok with), but I always feel so much better when I take the time to sweat and move my body. I love the feeling of getting stronger!

What are your top 3 goals in your life/work?

M: My be-all, end-all goal for my whole life was to be a Rockette; now that I have accomplished that I feel like I can move on to other goals that are equally exciting and important to me: to find a career outside of performing that feeds my soul and gives me stability, to have a family, and to be a good person (one I already work to accomplish on the daily of course!).

What does your self-care routine look like?

M: Some things that really feed my soul are spending time with my boyfriend, just taking it easy and enjoying tv series and movies, enjoying a fantastic cup of coffee, baking, going for long walks or doing a yoga flow, face masks, and the ultimate treat, a full body deep tissue massage! 

What advice do you have for anyone struggling to make the time for their passions in their life? 

M: Buy a passion planner! Start scheduling yourself time for your passions! You can’t pour or create from an empty cup, so at some point you are going to have to start prioritizing yourself! 

What wonderful advice, thank you so much to Mara for her time and her thoughts. That’s something I think we can all take away from this one: You can’t pour from an empty cup.

Nurture yourself, nurture your passions, and the rest will be history!

Lots of love!

~ Ang