There’s No Such Thing as a Self-Made Success

What if you won the lottery? The really big one.
Would you take a different approach to your career? You might take more risks knowing you had a safety net. What if, as a child, you went to a private school for gifted students? You might have more confidence. So the next time you compare yourself with someone who’s more “successful”, remember they got there because they had help – as far back as a well-supported childhood.
 
 

For most of my life I’ve worked in a “dysfunctionally independent” manner. I foolishly believed that if I asked for help, it meant that I was

Fifth Grade Me

incapable or lazy. I actually believed that successful people were those who only did everything on their own. If it’s meant to be, then it’s up to me! …..right? When I was a working in Chicago, I had it in my head that if I took a class from a casting director, then I was “cheating”. For me, the only way to be a respectable actor was to get an agent, audition, and prove myself worthy with a long resume. Yeah…

In preparation for my move to L.A., I took an on-camera class from a casting director’s assistant, but never expected him to help me. Turns out, that’s how life works. While I did well at my first TV audition, it was his good word to the CD that tipped the scales in my favor, and I got the job. (Some gal named Tina Fey was also up for that role. I wonder whatever happened to her?)
 

Once I landed in L.A., a friend turned me on to CD workshops, and by gum, they worked! Later, an acquaintance cast me in a staged reading of his screenplay which got me an audition/booking for a national commercial! So random. An old friend from Chicago got wind of my little successes and walked me into her agency where I landed an agent! Then the dry spells came, then success, then – you know the drill. I started to wonder if there was something missing, something that I still didn’t know? At my age, what else could there possibly be? Turns out, a lot.
 
So I invested in career coaching. I used a system that worked well for awhile, but doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for different/better results eventually lost its flavor. Without knowing were to go next, I released the need to figure it out. And as life would have it, a perfectly timed email arrived in my inbox that gave me my answer.
 
I immersed myself in a higher level of coaching. It taught me the difference between being a “list doer” and being an explorer. When we explore, we learn through real-life experience. We move from knowing about something to actually knowing something. My decisions came more quickly, my creative flow became easier, and my definition of success completely changed. But it’s not just the exploration that brought me rewards. It was the letting go of the idea that everything was solely up to me.
 
I no longer resist the undeniable give-and-take between me and my wisdom, all of mankind, and the Universe.

Getting PAID to Play!

“The mark of an educated man is one who gets paid to play.” ~ Alan Watts
 
In 1986, Dire Straits released, Money for Nothing, a song that compared the easy life of musicians to the working class. “I should have learned to play the guitar”, whines the manual laborer in the song. It’s a perfect lyric articulating the myth that artists don’t work. Really? An artist’s life is actually so challenging that most humans would rather dream about it than live it. Yet, our work can be easy if we play the game full on.

Trailer shot / on location for #hbo #hbomax “White House Plumbers”

 
I was shooting a scene with two movie stars last month. The production was HUGE, and they’d already been filming for five months. While I was excited to work with these famous actors, I had an entirely different feeling once rehearsal began. I felt no awe when we and the director were playing, I simply felt at home. Even the scripted scene was playful. It was very “meta” to see four artists play in order to create a scene about….playing.
 
Why we get paid to play.
I got this particular job without an audition, which pleased me, but then I kept questioning why I got hired. Anyone could have done this simple role. Why me? Then it hit – I got this job because I know what I’m doing. My years of experience assured them I’d be comfortable working with stars. (Trust me, not every actor can do that). I know camera set-ups / on-set lingo, and my comedy skills guaranteed that I’d know exactly what the scene needed from me. It takes a lot before an actor can play in front of an entire crew while cameras are rolling. Yes, our job is to play, but it’s built on education. So yeah, pay me.

On Set / Trailer shot for #allblktv “For the Love of Jason”.

Alan Watt’s quote, “The mark of an educated man is the one who gets paid to play” has been modernized into “work smart, not hard”. But his phrase isn’t about working, it’s about play. I think we get paid to play as soon as we live life like a game. What I mean by that is, if we just “roll the dice” (try stuff), wait our turn (be present), “pull a card” (explore), place a bet (take a risk), etc. while knowing there are no real consequences – because we always get more turns – then our lives will overflow with delight. We educate ourselves on how the game of life works only when we play, and inevitably, we get better. So get in it, win a few, lose a few, and keep playing!
 

Balancing Money and Art

Well-meaning coaches everywhere are telling actors to treat their careers like a business. We’re told to be the “CEO of our own Company”. We’re expected to spend a minimum number of hours working hard at our business. But working towards a bottom line “at all costs” is a prescription for anxiety and depression.

Here’s what this prescription neglects to include: Acting careers don’t exist without both the business and the art, plain and simple. They are two inseparable sides of the same coin. While most actors intuitively know this, they still believe that the only way to get work is by sacrificing and grinding away at marketing, networking, and self-submitting 24/7. Look back – haven’t we all gotten some good gigs just from doing our art? Work begets work, as the saying goes.
 
When I was just out of Conservatory, I worked hard “doing the rounds”, checking in personally with every office on a regular basis. It paid off with auditions and jobs by the end of that first year. But I also experienced the fun work of doing theater (often for free) that got me auditions and jobs as well. (I still do it.)
The key to living in our art and thriving in our business is not balance, but harmony. When we try to force balance by scheduling times and assigning days for either art or business, we muck it all up. Balance is natural. The idea that we can control desired career outcomes based on time spent, is an illusion. The business (and life) impersonally shifts, but we insist on taking it personally. When finances are low, we experience anxiety, guilt, shame, and when our creative skills go unused, we become depressed. The pain lasts as long as we distrust the natural ebb and flow of life. The pain deepens when we think we’ll never get out of anxiety (no money or job) or depression (no artistic fulfillment).
 
Ebb and Flow.
An actor’s life is filled with so-called good years and bad years. This is a constant. While we know the thrill of getting that big check from an acting gig, we also know the pure bliss of doing creative, ensemble work with no pay at all. Yes, the possibility of that dream job — both financially and creatively fulfilling — always exists, but once we see the natural ebb and flow of things, we begin to trust and allow it.
 
Instead of trying so hard to live up to soul-killing standards of being a business first and an artist second, just notice the obvious thing to do. You know when your business needs marketing. You know when your art needs a Viewpoints class. We are just so bombarded with outside voices telling us how to be a “successful actor” that we’ve stopped listening to our own voice.
 
You are genius. You are wise. Listen to your own voice.
 

The Secret Value of Joy

Survivor’s Guilt.

It’s what happens when a person finds themself to be the only person who’s survived a tragic event. This past year, in spite of the pandemic, my auditions have surprisingly increased. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t feel guilty about this, so I try keep it to myself. Are you keeping the good things in your life a secret?

As soon as I came back from my family vacation, I was hit hard with non-stop auditions. In July, I had fifteen of ’em in nineteen days, including two callbacks (see video above). Some say it’s not cool to mention this when so many actors are suffering dry spells, but attempting to control other people’s feelings is a losing game.


 
Two years ago – when I had 22 in-person auditions in 21 days – I had some wisdom to share. Now confined to at-home auditions, I have something new to share: Discouragement seeps into our psyche when we no longer see what it true. What I know to be true is that there are infinite possibilities. I’ve lived too long not to see that anything is possible. (Don’t confuse this with the folly of “This could be the one!”) I see possibilities, but am attached to no specific results. Even if I suspect that some of these potential jobs might have already been cast, or that my tape may never be shown to producers, the only thing I see is opportunity. Opportunity to have fun.
 
There is value in joy.
Yes, auditioning two to seven times a week can be exhausting, – especially when some of them are deeply emotional and/or several pages long – but acting is what I love, and so I also relish in the “art of the audition”. From first downloading the script, to recording it on my audition app, to planning my wardrobe, to setting up the camera, I love the process of creating character and story. In fact, we’re all here to create, no matter what our profession. And now that I’m working in an age range that spans over twenty years (40s to 60s!), I get to add yet another layer to the creation process. How fun is that?
 
When we allow ourselves to experience joy, we feel connected to every living thing. This connection has us feeling/seeing the world differently. During a worldwide pandemic, we can either grab on to what is wrong with the world, or what is right with the world. So instead of assuming the future is bleak, why not grab on to what is true: The future is full of possibilities.

Ever ask, “Am I the only one who sees this”?

I drove home from an acting gig this past year, like Carrie walked home from Prom – desperately needing to wash it all off of me. It took me awhile to figure out why. No, I didn’t set anything on fire, and I sincerely enjoyed the work. but the plainest I could tell was that even in the so called “grown-up world”, high school cliques still exist.

Artist’s rendering of Carrie walking home from prom.

 
In every YA book, there’s the kid who doesn’t fit in, but ultimately becomes the hero of the story. I’ve decided that I’m that kid. But then again, I make up stuff for a living.
 
Most of the industry was shut down last year, because many producers couldn’t afford to implement the new COVID safety protocols. The few that could afford it, implemented regular COVID testing, special food handling, hourly sanitizing, extra personnel, zoning, etc. It was tough, but when they got it right, it was impressive. They knew that any missteps could have serious consequences. So when this particular production refused to check any cast or crew member’s COVID test results, I was speechless. They insisted that “HIPAA law states they cannot see anyone’s test results”. In my head, I was like….yeah…no, that’s not how it works. I then asked playfully, “Well…would you like to know if I tested negative?” They looked me straight in the eye and all super-serious-like said: “We assume that responsible people would not show up on set if they tested positive!” Wowza, they just told me that their safety standards were based on…assumption!
 
Only three of us consistently wore face masks. It was about 50/50 for everyone else. The day they added fourteen (untested) extras on set, I had to walk out. No drama, I just laughed at the absurdity of it all, and waited outside until they were ready to roll. The COVID Compliance Officer (CCO) apologized profusely, but I could feel I was becoming a “problem” for them.
 
According to safety protocols, I was due for a re-test along with two other actors. In the clinic, I pointed out that we were about to be administered the wrong COVID test. (Why am I the only one who actually reads stuff before signing it?) One actor agreed with me, while the other remained silent. Our CCO spoke to the nurse to see if she could give us the proper test, and she said yes. The three of us went in for our “swab up the nose” only to find out minutes later, that production did the old bait & switch – they gave us the rapid, cheaper test after all. Oh, and they still didn’t want to know our results. I just laughed and laughed.
 
But I felt alone. Stupid and alone. No one else asked questions. No one else seemed to care. Some of you may be asking, Why didn’t you call the union? Why didn’t you just walk away? The best I can come up with is this: I got a strong sense that this was a defensive bunch who would double down on how right they were, I felt a bit trapped being on location, out of state, and quite frankly, I was stunned. I also know the importance of “playing well with others”, so I never pointed fingers, I never got super serious, and I never pushed the issue. I honestly didn’t know if they were arrogant a-holes or just plain stupid? I did know, however, that I was turning into that hall monitor no one likes.
 
So when I was finally wrapped – cut a day early – I felt like a social leper. I hadn’t discovered their nightly bar visits until four days in, because dummy me was going straight to her room every night to be safe. The one night I did join them for a quick beer, it was only the sound guy and me who wore masks. They memorialized a karaoke night a few nights later in an email. Hmmm…. everyone sharing mics and singing/shouting between swigs of alcohol – Thank you for not inviting me. Seriously, thank you.
 
My drive home was…freeing. I could breathe again. I wasn’t being judged for asking questions or wearing a mask. I was giddy to the fact that I wasn’t in their high school drama anymore, and the mean girls – I felt the most disparagement from the women – were just girls.
 
It is usually that kid who is comfortable in their own skin, that kid who marches to the beat of their own drum, who ends up being the hero. So when you happen to be the “only one” who sees something out of place, relax in knowing that the truth always come out.

Hermione Granger reads a book.

P.S.: The union was called and they took swift action.

Is There a Monster Under Your Bed, or In Your Head?

I’m one of the lucky ones. Lately I’ve been bombarded with self-tape audition requests for TV, film and commercials. One night in March, I was just about to tape a ten page guest star audition when my manager texted me. She needed me to re-tape my audition from the day before with a new direction from casting – and it needed to be in ASAP! My Zoom reader patiently waited for me to finish that before we continued with the five scenes at hand. Between takes, a “ping!” for a commercial audition came in, and it needed to be submitted by 9am the next morning. It was now 5:30pm. I calculated the rest of my evening, decided I could do it in time, and I confirmed it with my agent. By the time I finished with my TV self-tape, I was thirty minutes late for my on-line theatre rehearsal, but I was also having a hard time understanding what the commercial casting director wanted. I’ve rarely been called into their office, so their writing style confused me. I solved the problem the best way I knew how in that moment: I posted part of those directions into a private actors’ FB group asking for help. While I did not name the CD (casting director), somehow everyone knew who it was based on their writing style. No one else named the CD, but people had STRONG opinions about that office. I was unaware of their questionable reputation. By 11:30pm, all of my auditions were edited and uploaded, and I finally had my dinner, with feet up on the couch.
 
WHAT HAPPENED?!!
 
A woman in that private FB group, for some unknown reason, felt that the CD needed to see my post, took a screenshot, and sent it directly to them. The CD then called my agent, who in turn, called me. Not a good thing. This led to a private phone conversation between me and the CD, and let’s just say, it did not go well. Two things were at play here: Fear inside the actor, and fear inside the CD.
 
  1. The Actor – Those in the private group kept asking, “Why would someone do this? Why would an actor throw one of their own under the bus for such a benign post”? Lots of theories blew around, but what remained was this: FEAR. While the actress never revealed themselves, she did write a LONG (anonymous) email to 5 group members outlining her fear of losing work/insurance during a pandemic, and since she saw my query as a “complaint”, she felt it threatened her job opportunities. She went into detail about how hard it is for casting directors, that we should be grateful for ANY opportunity, and anything short of doing that would mess it up for everyone. I found that string of logic to be…impressively full of fear.
 
  1. The Casting Director – Many in the FB group kept saying, “There’s nothing wrong with your post whatsoever!” After re-reading it 3 times, I agreed, but the CD insisted that it meant only one thing: I was personally attacking them, and that my query was a direct criticism of their work. I barely said anything during our phone “conversation”, as they insisted I was “deliberately trying to rile them up”, how hard their workload is, the pressure they are under from directors, how lucky I am to even get an audition, and how could I be so “unfair”?. (Note: Over five hours after my submission was due, and almost fifteen hours after I’d uploaded it, they still didn’t know if it was in their possession. Yet they had time to spend on the phone with both my agent, and then me?) When I recovered from fourteen minutes of being accused of something I did not do, I was settled enough to see the truth. They were scared. The thought of their bosses not seeing them as “good enough”, or worse, incompetent, petrified them. So they saw a question in a private FB group – that didn’t even mention their name – to be a threat.

I share this to shed light on how fear – when it controls our behavior – is a monster. Remember, my friends, monsters aren’t real.
 
(PS: I’ve requested never to be submitted to that office again, and my agent understands. Opportunities don’t come from people, they come from the Universe.)

How I Did It (My Life Strategy)

Ian and I were enjoying the oceanside pool at a five star hotel in Hawaii, when he sheepishly said to me, “I’m just waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘Excuse me sir, you don’t belong here’.” (c.1997)

While in Hawaii, I pose like King Kamehameha.

That I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the country (and beyond) because of my various acting gigs, has not gone unnoticed. But how did I do it? When I was finished with conservatory, I took classes – just for fun – at The Second City, but a few years later, they hired me to tour. Just to keep sharp, I took classes at ImprovOlympic (RIP), which led me to performing with Boom Chicago in Amsterdam – because the producers knew me from the iO stage. While playing with new scripts at Chicago Dramatists’ Theatre, I met a producer/actor who was establishing a live industrial business. I ended up working with him for the next ten years, and made good money as an actor while traveling to many states including Hawaii, and later to Europe.
 
In March of 2020, I once again landed an out of town gig, but my flight was suddenly cancelled. I felt the rug burn my feet as it was pulled out from under me. The silence that replaced auditions over the next several months was deafening. There was nothing for me to do except… surrender. Every business – including show business – got busy figuring out how to work safely amidst a deadly virus. Slowly, auditions – in the form of self-tapes – began to ramp up. Productions were actually happening – virtually, or with masks, or with social distancing, etc. My three day gig that was canceled five months earlier was offered again in August. That three day trip transformed into a seven week job, escaping Los Angeles’ historic heat wave. Even in the middle of a world pandemic, I was traveling because of an acting gig. And that same departure week, I shot a national commercial.
 
So you want to know how I did it? Well…um…I guess by now, you can see that I had no real strategy. There are strategies galore out there; books of “how tos” flood the market, but when we follow someone else’s path, we do NOT get the same results. Authors cite statistics showing how their method is the best, but most methods’ effectiveness decrease the more times we use them. If I had a method to teach (and I don’t), here’s what I’d say: Show up. Explore, try stuff, experiment. In physics, it is said, For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. But in life,
For every action, there is…a reaction.
 
Look at the good stuff in your life. Ninety percent of it was unplanned, but it happened because – on some level – you just showed up.

Going It Alone Could Get You Lost

 
I found myself light-headed and physically strained in less than fifteen minutes. This really annoyed me, so I blew it off. Then I felt dizzy. Then my chest began to tighten. OK, I thought, you’re not thirty anymore, time to stop.
 
Last week, I attempted to go up the Chief Peaks Trail in Stawamus Chief Park, BC Canada. I was encouraged to do this by the hair & make-up gals from the set of Riverdale just a few weeks prior. When I researched the hike on YouTube, I thought, Nah, better stick with something more appropriate for a middle-age woman traveling alone. Something like the Museum Of Anthropology or Butchart Gardens, which I did. Then Jeff said he was going to The Chief, and asked if I’d join him.
 
Getting a TV gig during a pandemic is like winning the lottery, but it comes with an aftertaste of survivor’s guilt. At the end of August, I was flown up to Vancouver, BC, to shoot a TV show and would stay for several weeks. How could I be so lucky to get work and get to stay in a much more “COVID safe” country like Canada? The two week, government mandated quarantine, satisfied my lapsed Catholic guilt. I mean, I shouldn’t really be enjoying this, right? To resist enjoyment was futile – my first day on-set was heavenly. But it wasn’t too late to be miserable. Lonliness crept in steadily during my down time before I shot again, and my hopes of citywide explorations were dashed – Sorry, closed due to COVID. With social distancing and mask wearing, I couldn’t even strike up a conversation with a stranger at a cafe. A part of my day was always spent people watching from my seventh floor balcony. So when I discovered that two friends and their son were also in town, I grabbed up any time their family schedule could spare me.
 
Maybe it was the elevation, maybe it was the intense physical exertion that triggered my hot flashes – who knows? I just knew I had to take it slow, so I rested whenever I felt like it. I ate an apple, and stared at the magnificent pines across the way for a good twenty minutes before I felt better. It also gave Jeff time to befriend a chipmunk. The hike resumed with continued challenges – ladders and rope chains in several places – but we forged ahead, laughing a good portion of the way. And then we made it.
 
While we ate our lunches atop the first peak, gazing over the waters of Howe Sound, we thanked each other for being there. Neither one of us would have attempted this solo. While other hikers seemed to take it all in stride, we felt like we’d achieved something monumental. Looking at that huge wall of granite hours earlier, I never thought I’d end up on top of it. Seriously. I actually thought the trail would take us somewhere else.
 
If we feel pain from isolation, then relief comes by reaching out. There’s magic when we say yes. There’s magic when we join with others. Life is meant to be experienced. Every. Single. Bit. The breathtaking vista is inseparable from the uphill struggle. Laughter, and the luscious smells of fresh earth and wood come with sore toes and shaky quadriceps. Even during a pandemic, even when people are crying out for justice, even when our country seems so divided, there’s magic. All we have to do is show up, and start walking. We’ll see it.

Labor Day

“It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.”. ~ U.S. Dept. of Labor
 
 
What a difference a month makes! In August – out of work for four months – I wrote about my frustrations with commercial self-tape auditions. The process had become so demanding and complex, that I questioned whether or not it was worth it. If booked, would I even arrive on a safe set? Factory workers, front line workers, and (soon) many teachers (will) know the critical importance of a COVID-safe working environment. We all want to work, but at what cost? Since then, I’ve had four live commercial auditions – three remote and one in-person. I’m happy to report that two weeks ago, I shot a national commercial. #adsgounion
 
As I’ve witnessed production slowly opening up (and sometimes closing), I’ve pointed out the simple economic fact that only those who can afford it, can produce. The amount of money and time (and time is money) it takes to ensure on-set safety for all cast & crew is notable. My in-person audition had only one actor at a time in the lobby (two at most), there was no sign-in sheet (less contact), hand sanitizer was everywhere, and just one session runner in attendance who was masked & shielded the entire time. Two days before my fitting, I was given a “quick turnaround” PCR COVID-19 test (the most reliable). Currently, there are three test types.
 
The on-set experience required patience. Every crew member wore provided masks and shields at all times unless they were eating. This commercial was shot on location, so breakfast was served in a parking lot, and lunch was served on a lawn area. In L.A. we have the option of outdoor dining 99% of the time – a Hollywood luxury for sure. Personnel Zones were assigned on the call sheet, so only the bare minimum of crew was allowed indoors. Actors had to wear masks & shields until camera rolled. The masks made it difficult to hear voices, so the director used a mic. Every hour or so, the on-set COVID Safety Person stopped work to spray all hi-traffic trailers with an aerosol disinfectant that looked like a mobile fumigation kit. He also made the rounds – like a high school hall monitor – making sure we wore our masks. Trailers kept their doors open (except when I changed my clothes in wardrobe). There were only three actors in the spot, so no more than two were on set. In the afternoon, a union rep happened to pay a visit. I felt very safe.
 
This was a perfect example of how, with detailed research and adherence to protocol, work can begin. If there is the smallest of human error, however, (i.e. one person attends a crowded function the night before) it can quickly go south. National headlines report famous people who’ve contracted the virus, but news about lesser known folks is hidden in the pages of local papers. This is why we must commit to solidarity with our fellow workers by demanding on-set safety, and be willing to walk when we feel unsafe. The possibility of being out of work for a year is a small price to pay when it comes to long term neurological effects or even death.
 
As you celebrate this Labor Day, commit to solidarity with your co-workers. Share information, speak up, and take personal responsibility for strengthening your immune system. Yes, the opportunity for work is what we all want, but in order to keep working we must remember we’re all in this together.

Overworked and Unpaid

Recently, I read the article, Dear Hollywood: We Don’t Want to “Go Back to Normal.” Normal Wasn’t Working. While it was written from the perspective of a professional crew person dealing with insane hours, on-set bullying, and impossible expectations, it made me look to see how actors were affected – specifically with commercial auditions. While the author’s complaints were legitimate (thousands have agreed with him), one could say “Well, at least he was getting paid”. Actors don’t get paid for auditions, but it absolutely is work.
 
I’m not here to suggest paid auditions. I knew the deal before embarking on this career, but back in the day, we had higher earning potential. I missed the “golden era” where an actor could buy a house from one commercial. Four years ago, I did two national network commercials – a car company and an insurance company, arguably big money clients – but my combined pay was lower than the national poverty level.
 
Since Quarantine, there are fewer auditions, but commercial casting directors are accepting more and more self-tapes. The ad agencies’ audition demands have moved from the casting offices, to the actor’s home. Not only are we freely giving these ad agencies our talent in the form of auditions (also giving them new script ideas in the process), but now we’ve become unpaid session runners, location scouts, editors, and DPs. And here’s the kicker: ad agencies have yet to sign on to safety protocols recommended by our union. So even after jumping through hoops with self-tapes and editing, we’re not even guaranteed a safe set.
 
Who needs actors? More and more we’re seeing auditions requiring real families, friends or couples who are quarantined together with “no experience necessary”. I used to feel a camaraderie with actors who booked, because I knew they pounded the pavement on the regular, but now we’re seeing non-actors booking spots – not by luck, but merely because they live with a professional actor.
 
“Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to our eyes. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak; and at last some crisis shows what we have become.” Brooke Foss Westcott
 
Sure, the current conditions give ad agencies a good excuse. But just like the article mentioned above, the industry is growing comfortable asking us to do more (like re-shoot auditions, record different angles, submit within 24 hours, etc.) Capitalizing on our fears, the industry expects us to ask, “How high?” whenever they tell us to jump. Home schooling will begin soon, but the demanding audition requests will continue, because they assume we have more time and that we we’re desperate and grateful for any crumb of an opportunity to work.
 
Whenever I look back to why I became an actor, I’m reminded of my truth: I’m an artist who mirrors human behavior within the human condition. It has nothing to do with television commercials. I look forward to navigating what is next with grace, and with my dignity in tact.
 
“In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path – the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love.” Amit Ray