In the pause: Comey, Hamlet, and our individual tomorrows

“We know what we are, but not what we may become.” ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

As I watched the James Comey hearing yesterday, I kept thinking about this quote from Hamlet. Mr. Comey’s testimony showed that he always does what he thinks is the right thing to do given the information he has. He’s a man who sticks to his principles even when he knows he will pay a personal price for following them. He stands for something and therefore falls for nothing. He cares much more about the truth and the law than he does about politics and power. And in Washington, sadly, that is a difficult thing to do. He’s paid the price personally and professionally, and still stands by his decisions. That’s something to be admired, even though I don’t agree with his choices.

Nearly 7 months to the day, Comey transformed from being the person who single-handedly altered the outcome of the Presidential election to someone who may render the Trump presidency one of the shortest in history. It’s unclear if any of that will come to pass, but it made me think about our sense of identity, purpose, and perception.

What we do and who we are right now doesn’t predict who we’ll become or what we’ll be doing tomorrow. One minute, Mr. Comey was the Director of the FBI and arguably one of the most powerful people in the world. With the stroke of a pen, he was returned to private life and sat before a Senate committee to tell the world he didn’t trust the President’s intent and questioned his sense of judgement. All within 7 months. That’s a remarkable about-face to make in his career and in his life.

What I keep coming back to is his conviction and his refusal to do anything less than protect his country in the best way he could. If that meant being fired, then so be it. If that meant enduring endless scrutiny by the public, politicians, and the press, then bring it on. It takes courage to live today so authentically that it may drastically alter our tomorrow. Mr. Comey showed us it can, and must, be done.


Wonder: A sweet Halloween treat – The Breaking Bread Podcast launch!

I am so excited to let you know that The Breaking Bread Podcast launches today. Check out my interview with the Capital Area Food Bank and learn about all of the incredible work they do to support 444 food-based organizations in the D.C. area who in turn help hundreds of thousands of our neighbors every year who face food insecurity on a daily basis. It’s an inspiring story about food as a social justice issue, the fight to end hunger, and our ability to help our city grow stronger and healthier together.

You can find The Breaking Bread Podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud, and TuneIn.



Wonder: Shine – a lesson from U Street street art

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 8.56.24 AM
U Street serenity

I saw this street art a few weeks ago. I was rushing around trying to get ready for my move. My stress level was running high and my energy level was running low. I saw this mural on U Street, and a calm washed over me. I can’t explain it really. There’s something about her serene expression and the light around her that made me believe I could do the task before me, whatever it is with whatever I have.

So be shiny. Be real. Raise your voice with your heart. Speak up. Be honest. Rise, and take others with you. That’s the only work we have to do.


This just in: FotoWeekDC kicks off tonight

Paris Fashion Week, Spring 2014. Photo by Dina Litovsky, winner of 2015 Photojournalism stream.
Paris Fashion Week, Spring 2014. Photo by Dina Litovsky, winner of 2015 Photojournalism stream.

Tonight I’m attending my first Instameet in D.C. at the Former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence in my plucky neighborhood of Columbia Heights. IGDC and FotoDC are sponsoring the special event that will showcase the residence’s exhibit before it opens to the public as part of FotoWeekDC. Over the course of the next week, I’ll be attending classes, workshops, and exhibitions that highlight all of the incredible photography that happens here in the D.C. area. I hope you’ll join me and take part in this wonderful celebration that captures life one frame at a time. Details on all of the FotoDC events can be found at


This just in: Why New York City will always be home for me

My home - New York City
My home – New York City

I’ve been in D.C. for 8 months now and people often ask me if I miss New York City. My answer: hell yes! I miss it every day. I miss the beat, the relentless creativity, and the constant push to reinvent. I came of age in New York City and my many years of living there got inside my bones. It will be with me always, everywhere I go. And once I realized that, I was free to go. I carry New York City with me, and that confidence allowed me to stretch my wings, take everything I learned there, and head out on a new adventure in a new city. I love going back to the motherland. I’ll always love going back there. The place is insane, and I accept it exactly as it is and exactly as it will be, flaws and glories and all. New York made me tough, and it also made me extraordinarily curious, empathic, and hopeful. Those are gifts that keep on giving.

I can close my eyes and go back to New York in an instant. I can sit down at my computer, drop a character into the middle of it all, and watch with rapture to see what unfolds in my writing. From my new home in D.C., I can be there in about 3 hours on a comfy Amtrak train. It’s not so far away, and it’s not going anywhere. Sure, it’s different every time I go back and each trip is filled with discovery and learning. That’s the point of New York. It’s meant to break you out of your routine. It means to throw you off-balance and help you understand that you’re strong and that you can recover from anything, literally anything. It’ll break you, and then show you that being broken has its benefits and rewards. Being broken, and broke, isn’t the worst thing in the world. Just keep looking up. There’s a will and a way and if you keep looking for it, you’ll find it. After all, you can find anything at any time in New York – and that includes healing, dreams, and a sense of purpose.

New York is a rabbit hole to the extreme, and I’m happy to tumble down it every chance I get. I don’t have to live in Wonderland to love it. I know I can pop in for my fix, let it go, and know that it will welcome me back any time that I want to be there. It’s a perpetual open door that doesn’t require an invitation. That’s what a home is and what a home does, and New York will always be home for me in the truest sense of the word.


This just in: A theatrical and literary Halloween at DC’s Mockingbird Hill

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Halloween in DC with equal amounts of fright and art, check out Mockingbird Hill. Their 3rd annual A Toast to Poe will happen in partnership with We Happy Few Productions’s staged reading of Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado. What could be better than a Halloween filled with tributes to the king of macabre? I hope you’ll join me. The more the merrier, or is it the more the scarier?!

It's a Poe Halloween in D.C.
It’s a Poe Halloween in D.C.

This just in: Keep walking toward the risk—a lesson from theater

The Welders—A Playwrights' Collective
The Welders—A Playwrights’ Collective

“What The Welders taught me is to keep walking toward the risk.” ~Caleen Sinnette Jennings, Playwright

I listened to a podcast of The Kojo Nnamdi Show entitled, “All For One: D.C.’s Collective Theater Scene” featuring Caleen Sinnette Jennings and Jojo Ruf, two prominent members of D.C.’s theater community who are enormously involved with The Welders, an organization whose mission is to establish an evolving, alternative platform for play development and production. Caleen’s quote above sums up the great honor and challenge of a creative life, especially one in theater. We have to move toward risk, fully embrace it with both arms, and realize that the risk is worth it even if there is little or no reward. The risk is the journey and the destination, the path and the goal. 

The conversation with Kojo was spirited and uplifting, especially for me as a playwright and theater professional who is new to D.C. and getting to know the theater landscape here. There are so many passionate and creative people here in D.C. The vibrant and varied theater community is one of the main reasons I relocated to D.C. and The Welders is one of the most innovative movements here.

Hearing this podcast, I know I made the right choice to make D.C. my home. There’s so much to discover here, and I’m most excited to learn about the person and artist I have yet to become. The risk has already been so worth all of the effort!


This just in: Let the world take your breath away

Tuesday sunset in D.C.
Tuesday sunset in D.C.

Yesterday I had my regular call of inspiration and camaraderie with my friend, Sara, one of the wisest people I know. When we hung up the phone, I caught a glimpse of this sunset through a grimy alley in my neighborhood. The light was so rich and intense that it stopped me in my tracks. I ran down the alley and snapped a few photos of the light. I couldn’t get enough of it.

It’s moments like these that remind me that the world we live in is so vast, so incredible. It’s full of magic around every corner if only we will allow ourselves the time and space to see it. It’s not always easy to walk around with your heart on your sleeve, which is where mine has taken up permanent residence. I get knocked around a fair bit. The upside to that is I experience so much more than people who keep their hearts neatly tucked away. The don’t get hurt as much though they don’t love as much either.

Call me crazy, but I’m just fine with the tough times if being open and vulnerable allows me to appreciate sunsets like this, to have friends like Sara, and to experience life in all of its wild and wondrous forms.


This just in: Little Salon DC celebrates artists and supports art lovers

Last week, I had the extreme pleasure of volunteering with Little Salon DC, a fantastic program that runs monthly artist salons. The title artist is defined broadly at Little Salon DC meaning anyone with creative moxie and the courage to put their creations out into the world in some form.

This month we enjoyed opera, physical comedy, puppetry, poetry, fiction, and homemade jam. It was all topped off with plenty of drinks, revelry, and smiles. 60 of us loaded into a beautiful apartment in the U Street area and by the end of the night, no one wanted to leave. It was truly a collection of 60 of the coolest, kindest, and friendliest people in D.C., all in one fantastic venue. I’m excited to get involved with this incredible effort and to grow its passionate mission.

Here are a few pictures snapped by my friend, Logan, at last week’s event. We’re already looking forward to October’s edition. To learn more, visit Little Salon DC’s website and follow along on Twitter at @LittleSalonDC. Viva el artista!