This is my story. It's written by me. So read it knowing that. I mean if I let my mom write it, I 'd probably have wings and if my bestie got their hands on this, it might be a little too hot to handle (heehee). So, you get me.
First up the labels: I'm a founder, mentor, coach, theatre director, Equity Actress, drama teacher, producer, designer, writer, arts educator, speaker, iPhone film maker, artist, activist, dreamer, seeker, big sister, lil sis, auntie, daughter, Buda's Sausage granddaughter, kindness machine, heel-wearing hiker, coffee drinker, film aficionado, entrepreneur, summer lovin, creative woman.
Ooo-la-la! I'm also one who hopes for a label-less world.
Here's the real deal. I believe life is beautiful. People are mostly good. And everyone is equal.
My mission is to heal the world from the inside out. (Here's one of my secrets- one day I want to build a school like this).
I was born with a very large bump over my left eye. I grew up hearing things like, "you'd be so pretty if..." At the same time, I had a mom that made me feel like a movie star. I chose to listen to her. I'm so glad I did. Because I went from wanting to be Erica Kane (the character) to wanting to be Susan Lucci (the actress playing the character). At the time, I was only 8, so I decided to not wait for Hollywood or New York to call and instead go forth with my acting career by hanging my Sesame Street blankets up in the hallway and forcing Sally (my baby sister) + Stephen (my cousin who is like a brother) to listen to me perform for hours. Thanks to my big sis, in 7th + 8th grade I won awards from my school for my original works "Coping With Death" (mind you I did not know much about this subject then!) and a riveting tale of Albert Einstein (I played the titular role, of course). This was all filmed before most people even had a camcorder. From original work to scenes from the film "Mommy Dearest," this was my first experience of wanting something and creating it no matter what the circumstance.
As a teen, I spent my life in the theatre wing of my high school. It wasn't easy because I wasn't one to be teacher's pet. I was loved by my mentors, but I always felt timid. That is until you handed me a script or some taps or a song to sing. Somehow all of that timidness disappeared once you opened that curtain.
In my 20's, newly bumpless (thank you Dr. Sleeper!), I was an actress in New York City. I learned about Lox + graffiti + what it felt like to fall in love with a city. I also discovered that when you have to miss Thanksgiving, it's not so bad when you have your new family by your side.
My 30's was shows + shows + shows. And more shows. "Another Opening Another Show" became my weekly motto. I was in constant tech week which meant no doing dishes or cooking for me. And, wow, was I happy. I had moved back to my hometown and built a children + teen theatre company with the love and hands from my family and community. Drama Room ran for over a decade. It is one of the biggest achievements of my life + made me who I am today. My performers are the loves of my life. Many of them helped build this new adventure with me and I know we'll all meet on the stage once again. My 30's were also a time of soul searching. I went through a flood that ended with me losing all of my clothes + everything else I used to identify myself with but that wasn't the biggest loss. I lost a lot of people very, very special to me. Including my dad to Alzheimer's. I made a promise to myself to play big after that. And help others do the same.
Now I'm 40!
My favorite gift is a pin given to me by my nieces that reads, "I may be 40 but I look 29!" I don't think it's about my looks but it is my spirt that keeps me looking alive + curious. That is what people see. My other favorite gift is all of the beautiful photos you see on this website and my social media feed. Most taken by my Drama Room performer Ryan Geer who is now a wonderful professional photographer. There was so much magic on that shooting day. Everyone there knows what I mean. I hope you can feel the love from that day. I was nervous to post so many photos of my face, but it isn't about who is in the picture. The photos and this site, define what the program and this movement is all about- wanting something, making something, showing up, and doing it all with kindness, love + courage.
This car has a special place in my heart. The owner has been ill + has unfortunately not been able to see his precious vehicle of his youth for years. Ryan and our team that day, changed all that. Simply magic.
I can't close without mentioning two very important men in my life- Kevin + Kyle. Both carry me in ways that leave me able to bring all of this to you.
My word for 41 is EXPERIMENT. I'm glad to have you all along for the ride. Let's see where this leads to!
Kisses + Many, Many Hugs (I'm a hugger),
AKA Victoria, Vic, Miss Vic, Fia, Buda, Budaful, Budafied, Bu, Auntie Victoria, Sister
P.S. If you're in town and need a place for coffee, you'll find me writing at my fave place at Soleil Cafe (big thank you to all the women that work there for their support with this project).