Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 14)

Support The Vintage Theater

I don’t consider myself to be an artist. I’m not a painter, my drawing skill tapped out in junior high, and I can’t read music. But, I appreciate art and in my life, the arts – particularly the performing arts –  have always held a very special place in my life. In so many ways, performing arts have made me, well, me.

They were there for me to engage with when I felt bored by my other studies. They challenged me to be confident, to have presence, and to form a voice. They allowed for me to be a different person and become a character when there were times in my life when I would have rather been anyone but myself (and in the end, they taught me something about myself that made me return stronger than ever). They introduced me to a world that I fell in love with and people I fell in love with. Some of my greatest friendships are touched by the performing arts.

While I may not be a full time actor, I always make time for theater. I attend performances whenever I can and I can’t tell you how many times I’d look at audition calls and feel this tugging in my gut urging me to go. But I never did until this past February when I stepped onto a stage and into the shoes of Charlotte Lucas in Jane Austen’s masterpiece Pride & Prejudice.  Before P&P, my last performance was when I was in college – more than 6 years ago. There was always a conflict, too much on my plate, or a frightened sensibility thinking that local community theater was a club and I wasn’t a member. Joining such a wonderful cast put  my concerns to rest and opened my eyes to a shimmering, vibrant arts community that I’m honored to now consider myself to be a part of. Scranton’s Vintage Theater made it possible and is the foundation of this community. But The Vintage can’t do it alone – it needs your help to succeed.

In the past few years, I’ve been honored to become a more active part of The Vintage by attending and hosting events, becoming part of it’s theater troupe, and now, serving on its board. The space and its mission mean so, so much. They aren’t just nice to have in the cultural fabric of Northeastern Pennsylvania – they’re necessary in every way. I’ve never met such a passionate group that is so open, understanding, and welcoming. The Vintage wants to cultivate a strong community in support of the arts. It caters to all ages. It welcomes all artists and types of expression. Having something like this in our community is a gift and I hope more people realize that. But, without your support, The Vintage cannot exist.

I’m asking you to do something for me and please, make a donation to The Vintage. If you’ve just read my blog for the first time or if you’ve known me for years, even giving just $1 a month can mean the world to them and to me.

The Vintage has served as a venue for the visual, performing and literary arts in Scranton for nearly five years. In that time, it has:

  • Hosted over 2,000 musicians, actors, playwrights, artists, etc.
  • Held over 1,000 different events / performances / exhibits
  • Given over $200,000.00 in stipends to local artists/ performers
  • Hosted artists/performers from every state in the continental U.S., as well as seven countries

It needs YOU to continue its mission. A stable income for this space will allow for it to continue to do wonderful and (I can’t say this enough) necessary work in our community for the arts.

Here’s where you can go to donate:  https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=8397. The Vintage is a member of Fractured Atlas, which means that your donation is 100% tax deductible. A few dollars every month is tremendous gift, not just for me, but for the entire arts community in NEPA.

When I’m not optimizing websites, writing here or in other places, or firmly planting my nerdy roots as a co-founder of NEPA BlogCon, The Vintage is where I’m spending my time. It’s where a large part of my heart is and I hope you can open your heart to it too.

 

Sleep and My Codependent Relationship with the Snooze Button

This morning, I didn’t want to get up.

It was like most mornings. I’m not a morning person. I never was a morning person. I may never be a morning person.

It’s something about myself that I’ve accepted. Brent can hop out of bed the minute his alarm starts dinging, but I can’t. Instead, I fumble for my phone (it’s my alarm clock) and hit the snooze. That sweet, sultry, sinfully delicious snooze button. I don’t care if it’s only five more minutes. That’s five more minutes I’ll be spending warm and beneath my blankets, free from responsibility.

Boromir snoozes like a pro.

You could say that the snooze button and I are in a long term, codependent relationship. At times, it’s been unhealthy.

In high school, I set three alarm clocks – all of which I would end up either turning off or hitting snooze on. My growing limbs just weren’t listening to the radio, the buzzing, and the ringing all at once. I had to go back to bed. I NEEDED more sleep.

Those who lived with me were none too pleased.

In college, the snooze button and I went on a bit of a break. I had a roommate in my dorm, so I needed to train myself to get up at a decent hour so as not to disturb her. It worked – until I got my own apartment.

The snooze button and I got hot and heavy then. Showing up to my 8:30 a.m. class three minutes late, unshowered and probably looking like hell? Yep. That was me. It was like a drug. I started taking naps then, too.

When Brent and I moved in, that was an adjustment period for sure. Sharing your bed and sleeping habits with someone is incredibly intimate – and challenging – as you try to figure out exactly how this puzzle is going to fit together. There were moments when the snooze button has tried to cut in on my real life relationship. Thankfully, if that’s the worst thing I have to worry about, we’re doing pretty good.

Brent is an early riser, but now with my work schedule, I’m up before him most days. On weekends, Brent is up well before me, out taking photos or hiking to take pictures of the sunrise. But, I still go back to the snooze button.

Oh, Snooze. Why can’t we just unhinge ourselves from each other? You know I love you, but you’re keeping me from having extra time in the morning, time that I could use to go to the gym or make breakfast or spend time actually doing something with my hair.

Snooze button sounds good right about now.

You make me groggy, even though there’s this little voice in the back of my mind that’s telling me that I should indulge in hitting you one more time because I’ll feel more rested.

LIES. 

When I’m with you, you make me want to stay asleep all day. When I try to take a nap, you turn what was a 30 minute siesta into an hour long saga where I feel even more tired than before. You make my life harder – but yet, I keep coming back.

Maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll be able to take a vacation from you. I’ll get up on time and actually get to the gym. I’ll make breakfast and have time to do something productive. Maybe I’ll read the newspaper – or at least a blog post or two.

But…as always, I need just five more minutes.

 

Creativity Tool: Story Starter

Story Starter

I don’t really do much with fiction writing, but on the occasion that I decide to dabble (or if I just want to get my creative juices flowing), I turn to my regular swipe file of things to write about.

But sometimes, I run out of ideas. Or maybe I want to try something different. That’s where Story Starter comes in.

Simple, effective, and outrageously fun to use, Story Starter is a tool that gives you a prompt that you can frame a scene or story around. Just a line to get you going, but that line is chock full of details that can spider outward into a work of art.

Also, if you’re looking for a good laugh, the prompts can be quite funny.

Go ahead, give it a whirl: http://thestorystarter.com/

Tea Leaves

By: Seba Della y Sole Bossio

I did something really stupid about a week and a half ago.

Instead of giving myself what I wanted (a cup of mint tea), I decided (goodness knows why) to make an herbal blend. I smelled it and I cringed.

I took a sip and I cringed.

This is NOT what I wanted – so why the hell did I sit there, unsatisfied with a cup of tea that I made. No one else made this. I MADE THIS.

You know what you want and you know what you make. The two can and should go together.

Make the goddamn cup of tea you want and it’s easier from there.

10 Ways to Piss Off Your Twitter Followers

Ah, the joys of Twitter. Some days, Twitter can be a great place for information and conversation. On other days, it’s damn annoying. It’s amazing to me how so many people haven’t picked up on what works and what doesn’t work on this social network. As for what doesn’t work, well, here are 10 easy ways to piss off your Twitter followers:

  1. Auto DMs. That’s all I’m going to say.
  2. Only retweeting other people’s tweets. C’mon. Say something! Anything!
  3. Never following anyone back because you a.) don’t know how to use Twitter or b.) are a snob.
  4. Include the words “guru” or “expert” in your bio.
  5. Leave your default user picture as an egg.
  6. Tweet the same message on 6 different accounts.
  7. Make three tweets a year.
  8. Tweet only links. All day, every day.
  9. Retweet something without actually opening the link, watching the video, reading the post, etc.
  10. Only tweet about yourself, your work,  your achievements, you, you, and more you.
Now, we’re all not perfect. In fact, I bet all of us have done at least one of these things at one time or another  – especially retweeting without reading or only making time to retweet without adding to the conversation.
Forget about the Klout score and what the “experts” are telling you to do.The easiest way to succeed (and enjoy yourself) on Twitter is to not over think everything. Just be yourself, have some fun, and actually join in on the conversation. Share things of value. Respond to other people. Ask questions. Take a step into the stream.
Treat Twitter like a party. Don’t be the drunk girl that falls down stairs. Don’t be the guy that tries to sell you something as soon as the handshake is over. Don’t be the person who stands in the corner staring at the punch bowl all night long. I can’t promise that it’ll be a great experience every time, but I can promise that you’ll feel better about Twitter if you make yourself more of a party guest (or a party host) instead of someone who becomes the uninvited later on.

 

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