Facing the Rain cast member ETD Collaborator since February 2009
1. What is your role with Erasing the Distance?
I am an actor and hope to collaborate in the future on projects for the Spanish-speaking communities
2. When you are not working with ETD, what might you be doing?
Rehearsing something, opening a show, performing a show, closing a show, auditioning for something, lamenting not getting a show, lamenting being in a show, lamenting that my show just closed... basically being a working actor. I am proud to say I have just been made an Artistic Associate at 16th Street Theatre!!
I am also a closet casting director... I love to hook great actors up with jobs.
Teaching for Pegasus Players or Lookingglass.
Perpetually trying to lose 15 lbs.
Working on my novel. (I know, it's a cliché... but there's no way to say "I'm working on a novel" that doesn't make you sound like a twerp. You can laugh at me until you see me hawking it on Oprah's Book Club, and then you can take me seriously. God knows I can't take myself seriously.)
3. Can you share with us your favorite ETD moment?
Watching an auditorium full of college freshmen --basically still teenagers, and many strangers to one another-- totally open up, either by listening supportively or sharing, after a performance of Facing the Rain at Dominican. It blew me away that by sharing these stories, we enabled our young audience to cast aside preconceived notions of mental illness and perceived taboos. We created a space for them to HEAR, SPEAK and GROW. It was so exciting.
4. What do you think is a pressing mental health need in your community?
There are sooooooo many pressing needs, the most obvious of which is the de-stigmatization of mental illness within the Latino community. But also, in a larger sense, we also need to look at ways to integrate proactive self-care among those already living with mental illness; in other words, what are holistic ways in which mental illness sufferers can supplement their clinical/medical treatments? Physical activity, meditation, diet, spirituality, creative expression... these are all excellent tools for coping with the challenges of mental illness. We need to learn HOW to love ourselves (in the verbal sense of "love"!!) so that we can really take charge of our own wellness; helping ourselves help others help US.
5. Can you tell us your favorite way to de-stress?
Hanging out with my husband, trying to figure out how we're going to make sure our future kids speak both Spanish AND Norwegian (I'm Guatemalan and married into a Norwegian family), while enjoying beers at the local watering hole.
Yoga. Lots of yoga.
Rolling with the homies.
Walking, lots of walking.
Boxing with my trainer.
Wrangling 4 cats
Knitting and embroidering (these days I am all about fingerless mitts, slouch hats, and embroidered throw pillows featuring Ganesha)
Brewing kombucha (my husband calls it "scum juice"-- whatever. More for me.)
Shopping. For anything. Seriously, I will go shopping with you for anything. But shoes always win.