This Thanksgiving was very special to me. My 6 month anniversary of living in New York! Fuck yes, I have survived 6 months! But the next... cold... snow filled few months... we'll see. I am prepped with a jacket now thank goodness (Thank you Poo Crew) and lots of layers. But... we'll see.
November has been a busy as fuck month. This month I went back home and it was AMAZING. Being back in Vegas was absolutely lovely. I didn't get to see as many people as I thought, of course, but I did get to hug so many of my friends and family. Most exciting of all, and arguably the most important, I got to meet my nephew Everett, and I love him more than anything. I also got to be a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding and yes, I did cry. It was 5 days of no sleep, naps on couches, diapers, dresses, drinking, and lots of love. I ended it by carrying my overweight coats in a trash bag to the plane. I am also thankful I got to hang out with my parents. They've been going through a lot, and I am happy I could see them and hang out with my dad. However, I did feel a little homesick for New York when I was in Vegas. An odd feeling, but just reassurance that I am where I need to be.
November has been a month of over-booking myself. I've disappointed myself a few times with the things I've overlapped and scheduling I've been bad at. There's nothing I can do but just make sure it doesn't happen again. I do a lot, but I do it for a reason, so I have to make it work. My friends are so patient with me. I send them screenshots of my schedule sometimes so we can plan events. New York never sleeps, and I guess.... so do the people who work in it?
Also, November has been a month of art. As much as I have been focusing on being financially stable, I can't say no to a project, especially one with amazing people. I was cast on a show with people from the PIT called Phoenix Reign and I'm so excited to do a soap-opera themed show, because we all know how level 10 I can be. We wrapped Big Scouts for now due to holidays and travel, and I will miss shooting with those amazing, talented people every Sunday morning. My first film project in NY and I will never forget it. My director actually came to support my stand up the other night, so that warmed my heart. I am also officially back in the stand up world! My improv classes are coming to an end, so I'm going to be signing up for the next levels. I'm going to figure out how to balance that out. Lol that sentence was just as confusing as it is in my head.
One thing that makes me really excited is when people ask what my goals are and I am able to respond with a genuine answer. I want to be an actor so I can be give voice to those who don't have one and serve as a role model (for multi-racial children, Filipino women, etc). I have adjusted a lot of my plans around this. My "mission statement" is a tad different, but they're pretty much the same.
I also discussed doing a benefit for Alzheimer's and Dementia... so I am OVER THE FUCKING MOON. I'll be updating with that!!! I have wanted to do this for years!!!
My goal for December is to get up and running with being a working actor in the city. I am going to start taking classes and seminars with casting agents and talent agencies. I have been working on assembling my book for a while now and I'm eager to put it all to work. I am saving up to take new headshots, but the ones I have are okay for now! I want to get "New York" headshots but "New York" headshots are also "$800" headshots. I have been filming with NYU student films so I have a few things to add to my reel. Excited to edit it again! I'm getting a Mac (Lol whenever I can afford it in the next few months) so I will be able to start editing and doing all my own video stuff, which is a weight off my shoulders.
I am incredibly thankful for my first few months in NY being a learning experience. Once January hits, I'll be a fully fledged adult. Is that a phrase? If it's not, I hope it doesn't cancel it out. I'll be paying health insurance (THANK GOODNESS I FINALLY HAVE IT), phone bill for my momma and I, student loans, and all that other cool NY jazz. I feel confident in my ability to balance my money for all that, I've learned to be really well in that department. I'm going to start a retirement fund, so that's exciting?
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are 23 things I am thankful for.
I think pretty much everything I do now is for love. Love for my family, friends, the world, my relationships, love for myself. Sometimes I think my chest might explode from it, but I think that's a great burden to have.
2) Everett Henry Lourenco
This little guy is my best friend in the world. I never knew how much I could love a little bean, but he makes my heart soar. I will be the Auntie who teaches him about Iron Maiden, top shelf whiskey, and the importance of laughter. I love him.
3) The Bros (Chuchee, Nate, Danny) and Brianne Lourenco
Nothing will ever explain the love I have for these people. I would wait in line at the DMV for them, and that's saying something.
4) Sarah Cheatham
My first friend in New York. My best friend in New York. We have so many more adventures to go on.
5) My parents.
Like any parents, we have our rough patches. At the end of the day, they are my parents and they have helped make me who I am. I am thankful for the way they have raised me, the love of Disneyland they have helped create, and the support they have given me. They have a batshit crazy daughter, so props to them.
Health is a tricky subject for me. Not a lot of positive history in the family with it. But at the end of the day, it's not about the number of days you have, but the quality in your days. And dammit, those days are gonna be filled with so much laughter.
7) Westville and The Pod 51
Thanks for letting me work in you.
8) The People's Improv Theater
This place means so much to me. It's become a home. I intern there and go there on too many of my nights. Every single person there is a beautiful soul. I owe a lot of my happiness to the PIT. Because of this, I have met some of my favorite people on the planet, have gotten to do amazing projects with them, and have had so many incredible experiences already. Class at the PIT has been so amazing and life changing, I will forever be a different performer. Everything about this place is magic.
9) Upright Citizens Brigade
I am thankful for the diversity scholarship I have received through UCB's training program. MUCH different than the PIT, I am thankful for such a difference in training. It has made me a better performer and artist, and has put me through so many trials. Not all art is soft easy, sometimes it has rough edges.
10) My jackets
This one probably doesn't make sense to Vegas people, but my goodness, I have been freezing.
11) NY's Acting Community
The acting community in New York is full of the sweetest people. I have mainly been working in comedy in film. Everybody has been so gracious in giving tips and helping each other. From newbies to seasoned vets, it's a gal's dream. I love it here.
On countless occasions, I have fucking FAILED. Auditions, tests, relationships, friendships, classes. I am so thankful for all the failures I have had to go through, because without completely fucking up, I would have never known how to do better. You can't google how to live life, who would have known.
Especially now, living on my own in NYC and paying a lot of bills people my age aren't paying, I am thankful for the struggle I have seen. It has prepped me to be ready for any storm and how to handle when times are tough. Surviving struggle is a big part of who I am and I don't think I have realized it until lately.
Being an actor in the actual world, I realize how much UNLV's Stage and Screen Acting program has taught me. I carried a lot of those lessons with me to NY and they've proved their worth time and time again.
15) The network of creatives around me
My professors, my mentors, the actors I have worked with, the directors I have worked with, the list goes on. They teach me so much on set, they help me when I'm struggling, my professors are endlessly supportive, there is a bubble of incredible people around me and I can't believe it.
16) Health Part 2
I am thankful for having a healthy diet and understanding how my body works now. I am thankful to be able bodied and to be able to just go to the gym whenever.
I didn't realize how "Filipino" I was until I was in NY. I carry a LOT of Filipino tradition with me and I hope to continue to do so. I have a lot to learn, but it's in my blood and bones. I am embracing where my family has come from and my ethnicity and boy it's so exciting!
18) All the animals in the world
Because I love them all so much.
19) Theater and Film
Theater and film have taught me almost everything I know about life. From watching to playing different characters, I have learned lessons through all of it. I have had the pleasure of living in so many people's shoes. I have watched films in disaster, on love, on talking fish. Theater and film are so essential to who I am, without them, I'd literally have no fucking clue what I am doing in New York.
Of course, I am endlessly thankful for the grandma. Not much to explain. Every single day I'm sure I grow to be more and more like her. I love you, mama. #forlola always.
21) New York City
This city has completely changed me. I am thankful for the vegan deli across the street, for the L train that comes right when I get to the platform, for the express bus I took this morning from Yonkers, I am thankful for the rooftop bars, for the people watching, for the markets, for the fashion, for the food, for the new ability I have to hail cabs, for diners that are open at 3 am, for the Thai place next door that knowns my order, I could list for days. I absolutely love this city. I am in awe of it every day.
22) My roommates
Alexis, Anna. You're the shit.
If you've made it this far, congrats! You've either had so much time on your hands that you read all of this or you skimmed through it probably like I would have. Either way, Happy Thanksgiving, happy holidays, and all my love.