What Other People Think Of Me Is NONE Of MY Business

  • “She’s too fat to play with the girls.  She’ll probably break the trampoline.” 
  • “I just don’t see myself dating a girl your size…But I really do like you and wish we could date.” 
  • “Your outfit is supposed to be for skinny girls, not big girls.” 
  • “You want to be an actress?  I hate to say, but they don’t look for girls your size.” 
  • “We only carry sizes 1, 3, and 5.  You could try Sears.” 

All of these things have been said to my face at one point in my life.  Well, except the last one.  That was said to Regina George.

I was only 8 years old, at my friend’s birthday party, when I heard that first phrase from my friend’s mother.  I remember thinking, “She’s right.  I might break the trampoline and ruin the birthday party.  I just don’t deserve to have fun with my friends.”  Many of these phrases have stuck with me throughout my life.  I would think about them when I was shopping for an outfit, browsing through audition posts, or when I would see an attractive guy anywhere.  I always had to search extremely hard for something that fit me. I’d always get recommended to read for “matronly” or “supporting roles” in auditions and I had never really dated or even been asked on a date before.

In several situations, I felt so unworthy based on my size…that number on the tag inside my jeans.

Right before my big move to New York City, I really started obsessing with my appearance.  At my heaviest, I was almost 300 pounds. I wore a size 22 in women’s pants and XXL in most t-shirts.

Alex as Dorothy, College Halloween Party, October 2008

Alex as Dorothy, College Halloween Party, October 2008 – Approximately 285 lbs.

In San Antonio, I lived on the 7th floor of an apartment building and one day started making it a habit to walk the 7 flights up to my apartment.  Then, a diet change, followed by regular cardio workouts at home.  Before I knew it, I was down 30 pounds in 3 months. Compliments on my weight loss were being thrown at me constantly, and I was ready to start my new life in NYC!

As the first few months living in New York went by, I continued the healthy diet. Walking everywhere made weight fall right off and I began running everyday along the Hudson River.  Honestly, it felt incredibly good to be healthy!  My energy was up and I had lost a total of 60 pounds (marking 90 pounds down from my heaviest)!  I saw a number on the scale I had never seen before.

5 Halloweens later...Alex as Bo Peep.

5 Halloweens later…Alex as Bo Peep.

physically felt ready for my first theatre audition in NYC.  The casting notice I applied for stated, “Cynthia (LEAD) – sexy, young, vibrant woman, always happy,” which I definitely felt described me.  I read all the sides that were sent to me and loved the dialogue between Cynthia and the other character in the scene.  As I walked in to audition for the role of Cynthia, I noticed 95% of these actresses in the lobby were maybe between a size 0-5.  I tried not to let that get to me too much as I confidently marched my new size 14 self in the audition room.

“Thank you for your audition, Alexandra!  You did really great!  Can you actually come back tomorrow and read for a different part?  It’s the role of Cynthia’s best friend, Lisa.  You just look more like the best friend type, not the lead.  Cynthia, the lead, needs to be tall and slender…a ‘looker’, you know?”

There it was…that unworthy feeling hitting me again.  I didn’t go to the audition the next day.  Of course, I knew, getting into this industry, there would be moments like this. I’m not THAT naive.  But, I felt I fit the description perfectly and aced that audition.  How could I work so hard to shed all this weight and STILL not be worthy to play a “sexy, young, vibrant, happy” woman?  I certainly felt all those things. How did they not see that?  I didn’t want to compromise myself for a role that didn’t speak to me because they think I’m not a “looker.”

After looking at photos of how I used to look and how far I’ve come, I truly realized that no matter how much weight you drop, someone may simply say that you’re just not what they prefer.  Beauty and talent are subjective.  I could have continued this chase of trying to achieve what I thought casting directors, or even cute guys, are looking for. OR, I could love and embrace my flaws and utilize them as a tool. Plus, I was proud of my new, healthy self.

Trust me, I know how hard it can be to love and embrace your body.  The media will always be there to dish out what is defined as the “perfect” body and how to achieve it but, really, the “perfect” body for you is the one you are HAPPY and HEALTHY in.  Those numbers on the scale or sewn on the inside of your jeans does not define who you are.  There are many individuals considered “plus” that are toned and healthy!  Healthy and happy come in different shapes and sizes.

“What other people think of me is none of my business.”  Once I got that saying a part of my daily thought process, the more things I’ve been able to achieve.  I was finally able to fully pursue my secret dreams of becoming a Plus Size Model and signed with Queen Size Model Management.  I regained the courage to continue my theatre studies (and got in!) at the prestigiously wonderful school, Stella Adler Studio of Acting.  And finally, I decided to produce Fat Pig by Neil LaBute, a play that not only deals with body image, but has a part in it that I’m “worthy” of playing. 😉

And more importantly, I couldn’t be happier!

P.S. Even though I’m still single and have yet to go on a real date (gentlemen, don’t all rush at once…form an orderly queue, please) I’m happy to report I’ve kept all the weight off and the guy who “didn’t see himself dating a girl my size” attempted contacting me two years ago and I was like…

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#ReasonsILoveJune

It’s finally here!  It only took six months, but the time I look forward to each year has arrived – the month of June!  Being the polar bear that I am, I actually REALLY HATE hot weather, but everything June offers me makes me forget about the ridiculous heat that we seem quickly to forget about in the other seasons.  Yes, during the month of June I will usually be dying of dehydration, upset that my hair will fall flat, and saddened that my expensive make up melts, but June gets a free pass.  Here are a few #ReasonsILoveJune

  • TONY AWARDS!  The one thing that motivates me through working long, 10-hour, late-night shifts tending bar; what lifts me back up from getting turned down at an audition; and, what inspires me to be the best human I can ultimately be…my theatre career.  Aside from my morning coffee, there is a want I see every morning and that is to win a Tony Award.  Yes, I am a realist and know the odds of actually winning an award like that.  But hey, people win them every year, right?  And by all means, I won’t measure my success by accolades.  BUT, IT SURE AS HELL IS MOTIVATING! Hard work and dedication to your craft can take you far, even to a Tony Award.  The Tony Awards are always held the first week of June and it keeps me so inspired and motivated throughout the rest of the year.  The Tony’s almost feel like my New Year’s Eve. I can’t wait till the day I get to hold MY Tony Award and just cry uncontrollably at the podium as I try to say my speech (which I kinda have memorized now because I practice it daily in the shower).

  • NBA Finals – Soooooooo, I USUALLY enjoy this time of year much more when the Spurs are playing, but all in all, I still do love and enjoy a good basketball game.  It reminds me of this game we call Life.  You win some and you lose some.  There are shots you take and make, then there are some you miss.  Plus, Steve Kerr may have been a Chicago Bull most his career but finished his career with the San Antonio Spurs (GO SPURS GO!!!)…therefore, I have someone to cheer for in this year’s finals.  Also, RILEY CURRY FOR MVP!

  • LGBT Pride – If there is one thing I am super passionate about it’s the LGBT Community.  I mean, I’m like 99.7% sure I’m actually a gay man, who would most likely do drag, trapped inside a straight woman’s body. So, that MIGHT be why I’m so passionate about it. But, in all seriousness, growing up I never associated anything negative with an individual who is gay.  Even at a young age, I remember thinking, “A human being loving another human being and they happen to be the same sex? No big deal! How can we say their love is wrong?”  Little did I know, not everyone had that same way of thinking.  I am a proud straight ally to the gay community with many gay friends and a couple family members and nothing makes me happier than having the opportunity to celebrate them with the world.

  • Birthday Time! – Many of my favorite celebrities have birthdays in the month of June.  Neil Patrick Harris, his husband David Burtka, the Iconic Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp, John F. Kennedy, Les Paul, Prince, Bill Hader and my favorite June Baby – Paul McCartney.  They ALL have the privilege of sharing the month with the one, the only – ME!  Honestly, I actually get so excited for the other reasons I love June and usually forget my birthday!  Even though I’m not really a gift person or ‘party on my birthday’ type person, it’s exciting to know I got through another year of life.  This year has absolutely been one of the best, by far, and it almost feels like just the beginning.  I’m so thankful for all the work experiences, artistic endeavors, new friendships, travels, failures and mishaps thus far.  They’ve prepared me for everything that, I feel, is about to happen in my life.  Year 26 will be my best. Year. YET!

  • Father’s Day – Last but certainly not least, Father’s Day.  What most people don’t know about me is that growing up, Little Alex was a huge Daddy’s Girl.  Little Alex never left Daddy’s side, went on all road trips with Daddy, slid underneath cars he was working on just to be near him, and jumped for joy every day she saw his Black Chevy Z-71 pick her up from elementary school.  What most people DO know or can relate to is that divorces are hard on everyone; parents, children, friends of the family.  Teenage Alex to Adult Alex missed out on a large number of Father’s Days due to personal reasons, but not this year.  Or, any future year Father’s Day to come.  So, the fact that Father’s Day is in June, with all my other reasons, is what I love most about June.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad!  I’m sure you’ll appreciate the comic below! 😉

Happy June, everyone!

El Tango de Weather

Me forgiving the snow for ruining lives.

Me forgiving the snow for ruining lives.

Being that southern gal I am, I have NEVER had the “privilege” of experiencing snow before moving to New York City.  I know, I know…please don’t hate me fellow North-easterners.  I went 23 full years without having to ever put on a pair of snow boots (or even have the thought of purchasing them), I thought “black ice” was maybe some cool ice you use at parties, and I even spent a few Decembers with my AC running.  SORRY ABOUT IT! ::imagine the sassy girl emoji here:: But WOW, did this experience really make up for all those years.  At the time I wrote this, I had just got my first temp job in the city and it was beginning to snow!  The first few days, I was THRILLED! Running to the windows every time my coworkers mentioned snow, watching it from the window at the apartment I was staying at in Queens. Then THIS particular day happened…But I’m glad it did.  I got a quick reality check and remembered how badly I want to achieve my dreams and goals in New York City so I’d have to just be tough and get over it.  Now that it’s almost three years later from when I originally published this, I’m now at a point in my life where I’m going to take on a massive project (details to come soon), so re-publishing this blog gave me the extra reminder about how to stay tough when the times get rough.  And my reminder that I’m such the drama queen.  ::imagine ten sassy girl emoji’s here::  Originally published December 26th, 2012.  Edited by JT Silva.

Admit it! There have been those times you have been ultra dramatic and said something that made you feel almost like dying.  “It was so hot outside, I thought I was going to die!” or, “I was starving to death!”   Well, today, I was being a brat and caught myself thinking that phrase about 100 times.

I felt that “death like” feeling as soon as I woke up.  My left shoulder was extremely achy, so that made getting ready for work a horrible experience.  Then, as I was walking 10 blocks to the subway, the cold winds felt like they were blowing at about 80 mph making my face feel like a block of ice.  Around lunchtime, I heard my supervisor mention that it started snowing so she recommended taking an umbrella.  Well, what I failed to remember was the wind.  So, there I am trying to find lunch, with snow hitting my eyes and socks soaking wet. My umbrella flipped inside out and my first thought was, “I’d seriously rather be dead right now.”

But wait, there’s more!  As I was leaving work for the day, not only did the winds pick up, but it was now raining harder.  I gave up on the umbrella and decided to just run my ass to the subway station.  Still learning the area, I realized, after ten minutes, that nothing looks familiar.  I was going in the completely WRONG direction, in the rain, soaking wet.  Again, I was just thinking, “Can a cab just hit me and get this over with?”

Finally, I came across the subway station, hopped on the Q train, and got off at my usual stop.  As I began the 10-block walk home, I realized the ground was covered in melting snow. The more I walked, the more the inside of my boots got wet – AGAIN! And to make it even more dramatic, the song “El Tango de Roxanne” from Moulin Rouge was sound-tracking this ridiculous walk home.  Still wondering, “where’s that bus to hit me and just end the torture?”

When I finally reached the apartment, I literally got inside the apartment, leaned against the door and just slid down slowly.  I kept thinking, “What the hell am I doing here in this city? I can’t do this.”  Then I snapped out of my drama queen moment and thought to myself, “Okay, I need to get over this REAL quick!”  I remembered I’m not a weak person.  If I’ve made it through three painful rounds of surgeries to get rid of reoccurring tumors in my abdomen (and not to mention that recovery process…I couldn’t even walk, cough, or work for months), growing up in some extremely tough financial and family circumstances, AND the passing of my dear grandmother and great-aunt, I can DEFINITELY get through some cold water and high winds hitting my face from time to time.

Keep in mind that the tough times don’t last.  Tough people do.

When Reality Chords Strike

Gift from Momma Angie Castro

Gift from Momma Angie Castro

Recently friends and I lost an amazing, wonderful soul, Tom Bendewald.  We will never get another opportunity to hear the freestyle rap songs that Tommy could make up on the fly, get an impromptu interview video with the famous accents or see a flawless selfie post from his Facebook or Instagram.  This blog actually isn’t about Tommy (a future Tommy blog/vlog coming soon!!!), but as I got ready to repost this blog, it reminded me to take my own advice from this post.  When the Sandy Hook Tragedy happened, it just struck those reality chords with me.  Tommy and a few close friends sent me off to New York just 2 weeks before I originally wrote this and now almost three years later, I have to say my goodbyes to him this Saturday.  Just like that, my reality chords struck…again.  I still can’t believe Tommy is gone, but I’m so honored to have had him in my life. So, don’t take life for granted and as our gorgeous Tommy Boy would say, “Shine bright like a night light!” Thank you Tommy for all the love and light you gave me, my best friend Jeff and this world.  We are forever grateful. Originally published December 19th, 2012.  Edited by JT Silva.

I’m sure everyone has had that gut feeling where they just feel like something is not right.  A spark in your brain triggers and you instinctively do something, not really knowing why.  That was exactly what woke me up on Friday morning.  I didn’t know why I was up so early or why my brain didn’t want to shut back off and go back to sleep.

I tossed and turned, for about 15 minutes, before moving to the couch to turn on the morning news, which I NEVER do. And, there it was; that horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.  My brain went into shock and my heart started hurting for what I was seeing before my very eyes.  I could not properly process the information I was learning about the shooting as it was unfolding.  The news didn’t make any sense to me. Did they mean to say “High School” or “Community College”?  Is the news REALLY reporting from an Elementary School?  I thought maybe I DID fall back asleep and began having a nightmare.  My first reaction was that I needed to call my mom and just hear her voice; something familiar to make me feel safe, even though my mother is thousands of miles away.  We never think these tragedies can happen to us or to the people that we love and care for, but the ugly fact of the matter is that it can happen to anyone.

This can easily turn into a political blog on how I feel about gun control and mental health in this country. I’m not going to let it take that direction. I just want to express what this situation made me reevaluate.  It made me remember the times I would say, “I’ll just leave that to next week” or, “I’ll call this person another day.”  But, there truly could not be a next week or another day.  As cliché as it sounds, live each day as your last.  If there happens to be something you’ve always wanted to do, start doing it!  If you can’t remember the last time you talked to a friend that you may have lost touch with, pick up the phone and call or text them a simple “Hello.”

The beautiful children and the heroic staff of Sandy Hook Elementary that lost their lives will never get that chance to do those things again.  Keep those lost lives and their grieving family and friends in your thoughts or prayers.

Opportunities that come up and could give you a new route in life, take them!  Whether they be professionally, romantically or spiritually. When you leave from hanging out with family or friends, hug them!  If you love someone, tell them.  Be in your moments and make them count.  Don’t take this life we are given for granted and keep dreaming big!  

::takes deep breath:: And now for one last cliche bumper sticker/coffee mug phrase…If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.  Go out and live your life!

  

Tommy Boy & Alexxx

Alex’s Bucket List Day

WAIT!!! BEFORE YOU READ- if you’re reading on a computer, scroll to the bottom of the post to the video, push play, then come back up here. If you’re viewing from a phone, tablet, crazy watch or other device I’ve never heard of…THE TRICK DOESN’T WORK! So learn the melody to The Beatles song “In My Life” and begin humming while you read.  Yes, you have to do this…I will know if you didn’t.

::Your music (or humming) begins::

There will be some days in your life that you can say were PERFECT! The day your child was born, the day you proposed to someone (or were proposed to), graduation, getting that dream job or maybe just an unforgettable afternoon with your loved ones.  Well, this day was a PERFECT day for me. I had dreamed of doing these two things since I could remember and even made a bucket list as a child.  Seriously, you can ask my mother!  To this day, I still enjoy going to both these landmarks (despite all the annoying tourists).  Originally published December 10th, 2012.  Edited by JT Silva. 

There have always been two things that I HAD to do before I die.  These two things have been on my “bucket list” for as long as I can remember.  There was even a time in middle school I begged my mother to send me on a plane so I could knock these wishes out. You know, because airfare is SO cheap and it’s perfectly okay for a teenager to go to a big city alone.  Well, I can finally say I did it!  I attended the memorial for John Lennon on the 32nd anniversary of his death and I looked at Manhattan’s skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

As I child, I never really understood what it was I loved so much about John Lennon.  From age 5, he’s been my favorite Beatle.  Then, as an adult, I finally understood what it was. It was his philosophy and artistic vision toward life.  All the beauty and poetry about life and love in the songs John wrote made me fall in love with him.  And, whether you’re a Beatles fan or not, it can be said that John Lennon was a beautiful human being with a simple message: peace, love and happiness.

Walking into the memorial at Strawberry Fields, I heard, “and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” from The End being sung by the crowd. Coincidentally, this my favorite Beatles lyric (a tattoo coming soon!). To me, that alone made me feel like I belonged there in that moment in time.  A few songs later, the musicians began playing “Hey Jude.”  Looking around watching people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds join together to sing along with this iconic song, made my heart smile (maybe I shed a tear, or maybe the pollen was high that day…we’ll never know).

As “Ticket to Ride” was finishing, my friend and I agreed to hear one more song and then grab dinner.  The musicians didn’t play anything for a good minute or two, so I assumed they were done and felt a little saddened by the fact I didn’t hear one of my all time favorites – In My Life.  We started making our way toward the exit and, all of a sudden, the band started again with… “In My Life.”

After Strawberry Fields, my friend and I visited the Dakota, then had dinner at Grimaldi’s and finally wandered over to a park under the Brooklyn Bridge with a stunning, beautiful view of Manhattan.  Looking over at the Manhattan skyline from the bridge is where it came to me that this is my life.  I’m looking at the city of dreams while chasing mine. I’m no longer dreaming to live here, looking at photos of what was in front of me.  That moment was overwhelming, yet felt so good inside.  The experience of that day was just too perfect on every level.

If you have a bucket list, don’t be afraid to knock one or two out because if not now, then when?  There is nothing like making your heart a little happy from time to time. In the wise words of Helen Keller, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, but must be felt with the heart.”

Happy Birthday, Selena!

Dear Selena,

Today is your 44th birthday!  What can I say to you that you haven’t already heard?  You were fearless, hardworking, smart, inspiring, talented, and stunningly beautiful. And, in honor of this glorious day, I’d like to share one of my favorite childhood memories with you.

When I was about 8 or 9 years old, I was visiting family in Chicago and my Tia Carol decided to declare a dance competition in the backyard amongst all the cousins (Tia Carol still gets the party started like that.).  Growing up, I was extremely quiet and had little to no confidence because I was overweight and terribly shy.  But, I had always secretly danced to your music in my room.  Bidi Bidi Bom Bom and Baila Esta Cumbia were my favorites. So, I knew if I wanted to, I could win this competition.  My teenage sister, Jennifer, showed me a thing or two about how to dance to your music, but that was just between us sisters.  I’d never danced in public!

Prima Melissa started to play your music and we were OFF!  I began doing the washing machine, cumbia steps, and spins like it was my job!  Where was this sudden confidence coming from?  I guess I thought that I’d seen you do it, so why can’t I?  My beautiful Grandma and Tia Lola were shouting, “Go mija, goooooooo!” Slowly, my Tia Carol and Tia Cynthia began eliminating my cousins one by one. By the time I knew it, I was the last one dancing! I’d won!  That little shy, quiet, chubby girl who was always afraid to dance in front of others, but secretly loved it so much, did it!  I’ll never forget how happy that made me.  That impromptu backyard dance competition was a highlight of my childhood because it reminds me of the power of your music and how much joy it brought my family.  I’d felt invincible in that moment and it was the beginning of a whole new, confident Alex.  An Alex who is now living in New York City going after her dreams.  And, it was all thanks to you.

Even though you are no longer here on this earth, you will never be forgotten.  Your music, beauty, fashion, work ethic, and legacy resonate bright, even 20 years after your tragic death.  You gave inspiration to not only the Latino community, but to ALL the dreamers out there.  You pushed cultural and musical boundaries just by staying true to yourself.  You valued education and family because you knew how important those qualities would be throughout your life.  You took risks in love and business because you knew our tomorrows are never promised.

So, happy birthday, Selena and thank you…for everything.

We’ll always be dreaming of you!

With love,

Alexandra Castro

P.S. Say “Hi” to my Grandma Olga and Tia Lola!  They loved you!

Selena Quintanilla-Perez

It’s Faster to Connecticut

Living that Subway Jail life...   Photo by Rubin Salinas

Living that Subway Jail life…
Photo by Rubin Salinas

Now that I’ve lived in New York City for a while and I feel I’m pretty good at the subway system, it’s so funny to remember back to this experience.  That evening was terribly cold, all we wanted was to get to the Barclay’s area in Brooklyn but it was just NOT happening for us.  Ah, good times.  Edited by JT Silva.

Day Five – December 2, 2012

Question: How do you turn a supposed 10-minute subway trip into 2 hours?  Answer: Take the subways on a Sunday with limited service and not read when the subway signs say, “Express” and “Local”.

It first started with me taking the subway in the wrong direction for about 5 stops.  Getting to my friend an hour longer than expected. Then, lead to my friend and I trying to get three stops over but not realizing we were on a WEEKEND schedule and ended up about 8 stops away, IN MANHATTAN, when we were trying to go to Brooklyn. We had to have hopped on and off at LEAST 4 times, taking 3 wrong subways. BUT, all in all, we made it to our destination that was 15 minutes away, two hours later.

You’re probably thinking we were super tired and frustrated by the end of hour one, but truthfully, it was rather fun.  Getting lost has to be one of the most invigorating experiences.  It’s exciting not knowing what the next stop will bring you, who you will encounter throughout the journey, and what unseen sights will be seen. You’d be surprised at the discoveries you find within yourself. What I actually discovered about myself is that I do not like to look lost.  I fear someone can use that to his or her advantage.  That “confused” look can just scream that you’re vulnerable.  Instead, I tend to continue on as if I actually meant to take the subway 10 stops in the wrong direction.

Of course, that being said, I do not recommend driving into the woods at night alone and wandering off only to get eaten by wildlife!  Give yourself a chance to explore the surroundings you’re in.  Even if that surrounding is your own city.

If there is anything I could leave you with from my adventures today, it is to travel often and get LOST.  As safely and smart as you can, of course.  In the past few years, I feel like I found a part of myself while wandering alone in Paris and New York.  Getting lost will help you find yourself.

::Now read in your Meredith Grey or Carrie Bradshaw voice::  And sometimes, you have to find yourself before you start looking for someone else.

::CUE CHEESY INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC::

Just Keep Swimming!

Before I move forward with writing new material, I was so excited to republish my original blogs.  The theme in this blog has definitely kept me going the last couple years living in New York City and I wanted to share this again. I was recently reminded of “seeing your want” in my Movement class at Stella Adler with my wonderful instructor, Nick Piacente. When you see your want, all can be possible.  Originally published November 29th, 2012.  Edited by JT Silva.

Day One – November 29, 2012

Today is the day. The day that I’ve been anticipating for as long as I can remember.  With that thought in mind, naturally, it made my nerves and anxiety skyrocket while I was on the airplane from San Antonio to New York City.  Thankfully, my fear of embarrassing myself in front of strangers on a plane, whom I will most likely never see again in my life,  saved me from having a panic attack.

Several times, the thoughts of uncertainty occurred in my mind.  Can I survive this city, chasing the dream, readjusting my entire life and routine, and not seeing my family and friends as often?  What happens if I fail?  How do I explain my failure to everyone I left behind? Then, I thought of a little situation I got myself into when I was about eight years old.

My cousin and I were swimming at the public pool and were SO bored of our kiddie pool.  The most exciting thing happening around us was seeing the mothers slip past the “No Running” sign as they chased their screaming babies.  Looking over at the “big kids” pool, I was amazed! They had diving boards, the pool was as long as a football field, it seemed to catch more shine and glare from the sun, and there was way more room to swim!  I dragged my little cousin along to go over with me and told her with excitement, “Miranda, we are swimming straight across this!”

Miranda and I didn’t even hesitate. We jumped in and started swimming.  About one-third of the way, I started to feel my body give out. My arms were sore. My entire legs were throbbing.  The sun was burning my eyes.  Chlorine water was getting in my mouth.  Instant panic shot to my brain.  I realized in a split second that either I could give up and literally DIE or, I could push through no matter what the pain was and make it to the other side, ALIVE!

I closed my eyes, stopped swimming, and hoped a lifeguard would see me drowning…KIDDING. I wanted to scream and cry, but knowing what was at stake (Umm, like my LIFE!) I painfully pushed through and made it to the other side.  That is what I wanted so badly at that moment in time; to make it to the other side of that pool, alive.

In my eyes, San Antonio is the kiddie pool and New York City is the big kids pool. At this moment in time, what I want more than anything is to be in NYC to pursue theatre.  This is what I’d dreamt up when I walked on a stage that first time as “Aunt Ola” in The Cover of Life; or the first time I saw RENT and watched in tears as the cast sang “Seasons of Love”. So, no matter how many times I get lost on a subway, hear a “No” at an audition, or just feel like the city is ultimately kicking my ass, I will just remember to push through no matter what the pain is to make it out alive.  Because, I can.

So, my little swimmers, when the times get tough, focus on what you really want. It’s usually worth it.  Just keep swimming!

First night living in NYC!

First night living in NYC!

She’s back!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Well, well, well…if it isn’t you! You really want to get to know me, eh? I’d suggest you pull up a seat, grab a drink and get ready! ::dims lights and scoots closer to you::

So, why am I here? What are we doing? What are we drinking? I’m here to share my life experiences with you, explore different topics and I hope we’re drinking some whiskey (preferably Crown Royal).  When I first moved away from taco-land (ahem, San Antonio) and into the concrete jungle, many friends and family members suggested chronicling the experience of chasing the dream.  For a few months, I was consistently blogging my ups and downs of living in the greatest city in the world, New York City. But then I quickly realized, the greatest city in the world is also the most expensive city in the world so naturally, work took over.

Don’t get me wrong…work taking over my life wasn’t the worst thing!  I am extremely grateful for the work experiences I’ve had the last three years.  I had the privilege of working at the iconic Plaza Hotel (yes, THE Plaza Hotel…from Home Alone) and was incredibly honored to manage a Front Office staff at a gorgeous boutique hotel on the Upper West Side.  Both hotels provided me with more knowledge, experience and most importantly, life long friends who taught me more about myself than I knew.

Now I am BACK and ready to share my stories and adventures with you lovely people of the inter webs.  I will bring you acting advice, make-up tutorials, modeling tips, drink and meal recipes, weight loss plans, reviews of film, books, Broadway and Off-Broadway via blog and videos.  If there is anything you’d like me talk about, well…sorry about it! It’s my site and I’ll talk about what I want…kidding!  Feel free to connect (stalk) me on my social media outlets with your wonderful ideas.

So sit tight, enjoy the ride and refill that drink!

::spins and death drops::

-Alex