Image by: @thesweetfeminist
The other day I dreamt I was embracing a good friend.
We were laughing and I could feel their warm cheek on my face. I was blushing.
I woke up feeling so happy and grateful to experience such uplifting relations both in the dream world and in my waking life.
I’ve always valued friendships, but this wasn’t always reciprocated.
I don’t know about you, but friend heartbreak is harder for me than romantic heartbreak.
I've learned that romance feels great, but it isn't strong enough to be the foundation for a genuine relationship
We live in a society that is constantly selling us the idea that heteronormative monogamous relationships should be our main source of love.
This is so twisted, unrealistic and untrue.
Every year around Valentine's Day I like to read bell hooks, “All About Love” and in this book she defines love as "a combinations of trust, commitment, care, respect, knowledge and responsibility".
Every week I like to check in with myself and I offer the questions: what did I give? & what did I receive? Sometimes I get more than what I give and sometimes I give more than I receive, but most weeks it's balanced. Love is learning and unlearning parts of yourself as well as others.
I invite you to check in with your energetic investments. Who are you forgetting about? Who do you take for granted? Who do you owe a phone call or a hug? And if you find yourself in the Los Angeles area, please come out and support the 10 Minute Play Festival at Teatro Frida Kahlo running Feb 1st-17th. I get so share two beautiful pieces about friendship in the festival with some fabulous femmes. My wish for you is summed up in the words of Nayiraa Waheed: "May love find you even when you are specifically, strategically, hiding from it".
Image from Xicanas In Xicanalandia by Shanelle Garcia running Feb 1-17th at Teatro Frida Kahlo
Image from Fluffy Homegirls by Elvia Susana Rubalcava running Feb 1-17th at Teatro Frida Kahlo
It is always difficult to say goodbye to a show you loved so much.
Being a part of Los Faustinos was truly an experience like no other because of the fantastic cast, story and timing it happened to take place in. I found myself emotional and discovering something new at every performance. I was never ashamed or mocked for being vulnerable-- if anything, we encouraged one another as cast members to honor the story with all we had. There was a moment in one of the rehearsals where Roberto, our fantastic director, called up a couple of actors (including myself) and started talking about how ensemble work is all about catching one another if we fall. When he asked us to stand in two rows facing each other and extend our arms we all knew something was up. He teased us saying he wouldn't do such a thing but our instincts kicked in and we braced ourselves for a trust fall. The funniest part was that when Roberto leapt into our arms he didn't feel heavy at all. "Acting is about doing" he would often say. In all the performances I realized I was acting fast, following my instincts and bracing myself just like he had demonstrated.
Although I have many favorite moments, performing "In The Messy Right Now" which encapsulates the message of the story and the importance of embracing the now, always touched my heart. We will never be able to relive the performances, the laughter, the tears we experienced in Los Faustinos, and that is what makes it so special. Santa Ana (where this play took place) is one of the most rapidly changing cities due to gentrification and Orange County is experiencing so many waves of social-political disenfranchisement it feels overwhelming for many families struggling to survive. We cannot avoid change sometimes, but this should not give away our power to embrace the present moment. If we get too caught up in what should/shouldn't be, it takes away from precious time we have now. Yes, the now can be messy and there is so much uncertainty in the world but nothing is guaranteed for us..which is why we must be here right now for one another and for ourselves.
Overall, I know all the hours we spent rehearsing showed in the limited performances we had and the the rave reviews we got from audience members coming out from near and far!
I don't think anyone who signed up for this play could foresee how much of a gift this show would be, but I know all of us will take a little piece of Los Faustinos with us. I mourn the end of this show knowing the magic co-created in that space will continue to permeate in other places and spaces.
I am really excited to be a part of Bernardo Solano's play Los Faustinos adapted to take place in Santa Ana. This December at Santa Ana College.