When I look back over a year ago, to college, I tend to sometimes wonder if and how different my life would be had my plans worked out, without being interrupted by a frightening pandemic world take over. If you were to ask me when I was a senior in undergrad, where I would be today- you would get a different answer. Before Covid-19 destroyed what was left of those graduating college in 2020, leaving us in limbo between still being last semester college students and real adults, I had different plans for myself. Way different. Let me preface my previous statements by clarifying that I am not disappointed that the predictions of my adult life that I envisioned for myself in college are not what they are today. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason- the good, the bad, and the ugly. And just because I thought I had a different path in my direction of post-grad life, it doesn’t mean it was the right one.
There was an assignment I was given one year in College (I wonder if it will ever feel normal to talk about college in the past tense, even though I graduated a year ago?) It was called “Unplugged” and it challenged me to turn off my phone and any form of social media for 24 hours. I enjoyed the assignment so much, that I try to attempt the “Unplugged” challenge once a year or so. I know, that’s not much, but it yields great internal results even if I only do it 1/365 days of the year.
To most performers, receiving a coveted Actors’ Equity Association union card means one has truly arrived as a professional. It’s a rite of passage, a privilege and an honor, proving to the world you’ve earned your stripes and your rightful place in the pantheon of performers. However, actually making a living as a member of AEA, especially outside of New York City, all too often comes with some startling realities that turn the sweet accomplishment of owning that union card into onerous burdens it can strap onto an actor’s career.
Ask Elijah Word what drew him into the singing, dancing and acting sphere, and the tall, lanky, nearly 28-year-old performer with deep familial roots in Broward County and performance chops earned throughout South Florida may regale you with this story.
Danielle LaVia’s whole life in the theatre has prepared her for the unique and exciting opportunity she now embraces as founder and executive artistic director of the newly formed Charleston Playhouse in South Carolina.
An established stage, TV and film actress; writer, producer, director, voice-over artist and frequent frontwoman for television commercials, Miami Beach native Jill Melody is admittedly “driven” in her chosen pursuits.