Monday, August 29, 2011

{enter stage right.}

In my former life, I was a stage actress. And by "former," I mean "roughly a decade ago." I was a theatre major-turned-professional. I acted in more plays than I can even count. Here in Pittsburgh. And in London. {Yes! London!}  And then life happened: jobs, bills, responsibilities I couldn't skirt, etc. And so my life as a stage actress came to a screeching halt. Luckily, my life as an actress didn't. I'd been with an agency since I was 19 years old, and I was able to continue doing on-camera work and voice over jobs occasionally. It was good.

And then the depression came. Like a bomb. I could hardly get out of bed some days, let alone fathom the idea of acting on stage again. It's true what they say about depression: that it robs you of all the things you used to love. 

But the light has started to return a little. And, as a result, I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I'm finding my heart's heart again. In fact, I actually have proof that I am.  Do you know how I know this?

I've been cast in a show.

Yes. I have.

I auditioned this past weekend for a production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, and I have been given the honor of playing the role of Isabella, which is a pretty substantial role. 

And I am so excited.

I'm a stage actress once again.

The production is at Duquesne University at the end of September. It's the theatre company's alumni show, which means that any alums from Duquesne can audition for the show. It's a wonderful way of keeping the tradition of the theatre company alive throughout generations, and I am honored beyond words to have been invited back. I'll be working with my all-time favorite director, John Lane, and I feel confident that the forthcoming experience may very well bring a huge part of me back to life.


Sept. 29, 30, and Oct. 1
Oct. 6, 7, and 8
8 p.m.
Peter Mills Theatre, Duquesne University
$5 for students
$10 for adults
FREE with Duquesne or Carlow University IDs

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

deep thoughts at 4:30 a.m.

from here

You're not gonna believe this. I mean, I can hardly even believe I'm about to type it. So, brace yourself. Ready?

I'm thinking of leaving the Catholic Church.

{I'll give you a minute to regain your composure.}

So, it's late in the day today, which means I'm not going to delve into this in a big way right now, but it just might be a topic I start to cover in some of my future posts. But I will provide you with some itty-bitty detail of how I came to the position I now find myself in.

My mom.

If you've read my blog for some time, you know that my mom is mentally ill. And one of the ways her mental illness rears its ugly head is through an unhealthy obsession with Catholicism. Basically, my mom believes every. single. thing. the Catholic Church teaches, and there is, in her eyes, absolutely no gray area whatsoever. Everything is absolute and black-and-white.

And it hurts my heart.

And lately, there have a been a few passing comments I've made, to which she, in turn, has added her own comments, and it all came to a head this morning at 4:30 when I woke up and couldn't stop thinking about it all. I almost threw up.

Recently, I mentioned that I might want to start yoga.
To which my mother replied that it's against Catholic teaching, that it's spiritually dangerous, and something that non-Christians invented.
To which I cringed and wanted to rip out her tongue.  {What? Too much?}

I mentioned that my dear friend from grad school was very worried that she wouldn't be able to carry a child due to chronic medical conditions she has and that I would be her surrogate in a heartbeat if it meant that she could have a baby.
To which my mother replied, "Oh, no! Laura! No, no! That's up to God! If it's His will..." blah blah blah 
To which I almost hung up the phone on her immediately.

The list goes on and on. So I did some research. And it is true, unfortunately, that the Catholic Church is against both of these things I mention (among a bazillion other things). It's not like I didn't know that the Catholic Church had strict teachings on some topics, but I think I just decided to ignore them. But now, I feel like I can't. And it's eating me up inside.

Like gay rights.
Like women's rights.
Like marriage rights.
Like contraceptive rights.
Like surrogacy rights.
Like women as priests.
Like a bazillion other things that the Church is so against. And I just want to throw up.

But there are so many things I love about the Catholic Church. And so I'm torn. Someone on Twitter today mentioned that maybe this isn't a faith issue with me but, instead, a parent issue. That could be it. Maybe I have to remind myself that I am my own woman, my own human, my own Catholic. My faith isn't going to be a cookie-cutter image of my mother's (THANK GOODNESS), nor does it have to be. But part of me thinks I need to take a closer look and see if I really CAN continue to be Catholic.

Ugh. Religion. It's so exhausting.

I'm gonna go eat a donut.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

walk hard.

Remember that time I was rully brave {um, yesterday} and told even more of the world about my struggle with depression? And remember that time all these amazing, beautiful people left comments about their own struggles? And remember how those amazing, beautiful people showed me {and you} that there are so many of us struggling and that we're not alone?

Yeah. That was an amazing time.

And now, I want to make it even more amazing.

I'm currently on the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness {NAMI} Southwestern PA. My mom has been living with schizoaffective disorder since I was 10-years-old {going on 23 years now}. You can read about her struggles here. Be prepared: you'll need Kleenex. Lots of it.

A few years ago, I created a team to walk in NAMI's annual walk. We called ourselves Team Laura's Mom. Our t-shirts were pretty badass, huh?

This year? I'm doin' it again, y'all. Only this year's team is Team Secret Agent L. And I want YOU to join me.

That's right. I just asked you to do something.

Now, I know many of you won't be able to actually join the team and walk with me {and, subsequently, wear an equally awesome t-shirt, which I am in the process of designing, and which YOU WILL LOVE}. BUT. Do you think you might be able to give up that Starbucks latte some morning and donate the moolah to this important cause instead?

Yup. Less than $5. It'd make a difference. I promise.

Now. If you want to join my team, you can do so here. {DO IT. DO IT. DO IT.}

If you just want to give some of your dolla' dolla' bills, y'all, then you can do so here. {ALSO DO IT. DO IT. DO IT.}

And if you feel like spreading the word, go ahead and link this post out to anyone and everyone in all manner of ways.

I will love you forever.  True story.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

take a little hop on over.

I decided to be really brave today and go public with my battle with depression. Hop on over to the Secret Agent L Project and have a read.

I'm seeing the tiniest bit of light, everyone.  Thank you for being beside me while I walk towards it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

disappearing act. {but just for a few days.}

You know what I love? Four-day weekends. I've decided to take a vacation day tomorrow because the university where I work is closed next Monday. I know, right?! FOUR-DAY WEEKEND. BOOM. Sleeping in, jammies all day, breakfast for dinner {a.k.a. "brinner"}, etc. So, I'm gonna take a little break from this here blog, hide out a bit, and return next week.

And I just might take advantage of the above disguise kit while I'm at it. {You can, too, if you like.}

Enjoy your weekends, my darlings. I'm off to enjoy the fact that my depression has lifted ever-so-slightly.


p.s. This? Oh, yes. You simply MUST. I promise.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

words. motion. yay.

There are a few things in this world that I really do love. Like, deeply love. As in oxygen-comes-in-a-close-second to these things.  Boston Terriers. Hot tea. Donuts. Boston Terriers. {Did I say that one already?}

And books.

Oh, Lordy, do I love me some books.

And they are one of the things that just so happen to be helping me battle the severe depression I've been experiencing for the past few months. Honestly, I'm sometimes convinced that a good book can be just as effective as a prescription for Prozac or Zoloft or Lexapro. 
I've been devouring books lately. Like, inhaling them at Mach 3. Embracing them, engrossed in them, totally making out with them. {Okay, not really on that last one. But you get my drift.}

Here's a sampling of the lovely stories I've been throwing myself into for the last couple of months. And I highly recommend that you do the same.

I'm currently reading Agatha Christie's The Clocks. I read it a bazillion years ago when I was in high school. I remember taking it to the beach when my family and I took a summer vacation. And I got a HORRIBLE sunburn {my dermatologist said that if I got a burn like that again, it'd most likely lead to cancer}. I remember being laid up in the hotel room, spraying Solarcaine on my blistering skin, The Clocks my only hope to distract me from my misery. And I remember it being a Very. Good. Book. Indeed.

I've also been watching all manner of things on Netflix. People. If you do not have Netflix, you simply Must. Get. Netflix. Like, now. Go. Do it.

I've been watching the following ditties, and I adore them fully. You should watch and adore them as well. {Sidenote: I am obsessed with period films. Also known as "costume dramas."}

Downton Abbey {Best. Show. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever.}
North and South {the BBC's version}
Bleak House
Horatio Hornblower
Revenge of the Bridesmaids {HILARIOUS.}

Tell me, friends. What do you read and watch when you're feeling blue? Or, actually, when you're feeling not blue too. I'm always looking for recommendations.

{Photo above? Oh, goodness. I want to go to there.}

Friday, August 05, 2011

defcon 1.

Alright. I'm gonna keep this short.

Last weekend sucked. Saturday? That day that I knew would tear my heart in two again? Yeah. It did.

My depression? It's at Defcon 1. {Which, contrary to popular belief, is actually more serious than Defcon 5.}

I can't really leave the house because of it--I even stayed home from work on Tuesday--and so while I'm at home, and on the days when I can actually get out of bed, I'm going to take the above Post-It note's advice.

Or at least think about it.

{Image above? From my Pinterest board.}