Singer! Actor! TEACHER! OH MY!

Hairspray photoshoot

Hairspray 2015, Murry’s Dinner Playhouse, Little Rock, Arkansas

Hi Peeps and Home Slices,

I hope you all are doing okay. Things are super strange and crazy! I have lived in NYC for 4 years in August and it has been a wild ride. This quarantine has been quite a bit to take in for all of us. I feel okay most times, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that it hasn’t gotten to me at times. I only have 5 weeks left at my current job and I’m Zoomed Out. I had bible study for the first time online this week and I had a hard time focusing because I was already on zoom for my job all afternoon and I was over it. I love bible study, but I am on zoom several hours a week now, so I’m beginning to burn out. My students are starting to burn out too. I feel really bad for them because I think they really want to go back to school and be with their friends.

Furthermore, I just found out this week that my new job training for the charter school will be online instead of in-person until mid-August. So basically, I am home bound until at least mid-August, which made me a little sad. This was the first time that it really hit me hard, that life is not going back to normal anytime soon.  I am beginning to prepare myself mentally to be teaching at home until January 2021. I am so grateful to have a job when I know many people don’t have jobs, and I thank God for that daily. My bills have been paid in full and I am not stressing financially the way I had been thanks to the stimulus package. We are almost halfway through the year and in some ways it has gone super fast and in other ways it seems like it has been 5 years instead of 5 months.

On the bright side, I was accepted into Relay Graduate School to get my Master of Arts in Teaching. As a teacher-in-residence at Achievement First Elementary, I am required to get certified and enter grad school, so I have one step down. I got accepted! The state of New York requires all grad students to take the GRE and I still have that on June 6th. I submitted my GRE registration with my grad application, so I was accepted on the grounds that I would take the test before September. Actually, I would have taken the test today, but it got cancelled because of the pandemic, so I had to sign up for an at home test.

I am looking forward to starting this new job in July. Financially, I will be abundantly blessed with this job, but I will be taking on a heavy workload along with grad school. Working online is no joke. Currently, I’m working part-time and working way harder than I did when in-person. Working full-time and going to grad school will be exponentially harder in the fall if it is online only.

However, the Lord was looking out for me because if I had not changed jobs last year, I would still be working in NYC with the public daily in customer service. If I had booked a performing job, I would currently be laid-off. The Lord really does work in mysterious ways. It wasn’t my time to perform yet and that is okay. I do have my moments where I feel a certain type of way about not being where I wanted to be with my performance career. It’s hard not to compare myself to other people who are my age and who started a similar journey with me, and have exceeded way past me in their careers. But like my friend Crystin Gilmore Ndiaye says, “What is for you is for you and what is for someone else is for them.”

The theatre door closed for a reason, especially since it doesn’t look like the performing arts will be opening  up anytime soon. Theatres are already closing permanently and I don’t know how long it will take some major opera companies and theatres to recover from this financial loss. Artists are troopers and will push through, but some of these theatres were hanging on by a thread and this could send them over the edge. I pray that my theatre and opera friends will continue to make a living in the arts as soon as possible.

My plan is to teach full-time, at least for the next three to five years until I feel ready to audition for full-time opera companies in the future. I”m still pretty young for opera and I have time to develop my voice further. I have a voice teacher and a vocal coach, but currently can’t afford it at all. So this new job will give me the opportunity to take vocal lessons and vocal coachings on a regular basis while balancing full-time teaching and graduate school. Whew, I’m really going to have to lean on the Lord to get through all of this.

Thirties friends, if you are feeling overwhelmed about the future, ask the Lord to show you His will for your life. Understand that a closed door doesn’t always mean you should quit, it could just be the wrong time or maybe you just need to develop more as a person for that dream opportunity to come to fruition. Hold your head up high and keep pushing!!

Stay safe and healthy!!

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