I think this is the closest to "normal" I have felt this entire experience. While i'm still experiencing incredible opportunities practically everyday, I'm really feeling close to my MT class and we are finally getting the opportunity to bond over normal experiences, like dinners out and watching movies, rather than dance class and stressful situations.

I was able to see my first Rider production this week. The theatre program put on an incredible production of The Penelopiad. I cannot even tell you how amazing this show was. I have never been more proud to be in this program. The show is a retelling of the Odyssey from Penelope's point of view. While there were extremely dark moments, considering the adult subject matter, their was not one soul in the audience left untouched by the production. With an all girl cast, including actresses in men character roles, I have never seen such strength from an ensemble of young women. Every girl up there gave an astonishingly truthful performance regardless of the character's age, sex, or personality. Everything about the production was beautiful, especially the set and tableaux choices. Kudos to the director, Trent! My acting professor, Meade, was the movement coach for the production. I cannot even tell you what an amazing job she did getting college girls to move like burly grown men. Brava, to the cast and crew!!

On Saturday many of the MT's attended a movie themed get together. I dressed up as Kim Possible and it was pretty fantastic. I love just being able to hang with everyone and get to know the upper classmen on weekends when we have free time. The sense of community here is just so cool. I attached pictures so you can see my costume, and see most of the freshman MT girls.

Last weekend I got to spend a day with Natalie Waits. For those of you that don't know Natalie danced with me since we were teeny tiny girls at mom's studio. We've been through a ton of stuff together! She is a sophomore at Pace University majoring in commercial dance. We met in the city and got Shake Shack. The first Shake Shack I have ever had, and it just tasted even better because of how crappy college food is. I now understand the hype! We had a sweet little adventure in Chelsea's market, if you are in the city GO it's one of my favorite places now. We also walked the entire high line, a pretty park path of repurposed railroads connecting buildings going two miles through the city. I love finding cool nature spots in the midst of urban areas! I also took Natalie to Schmackery's, the best cookies in the world (except for Stacia's cookies). She really liked them! It was just awesome to spend the day with someone from home. It made me miss y'all even more. Reconnecting with Natalie has been one of the best opportunities of living up here. She's always going to be like a sister to me.

The first cabaret of the year was this week at Rider. In support of the fight against Breast Cancer, Rider students sponsored a Ca"BRA"et. The unique thing about this event was that while a few students performed, the main cast members performing were faculty members. It was incredible seeing my teachers work. They are all so unique and so talented. Meade closed the show and I'm telling you everyone in the room cried from the love she brought to her performance. She's really having an impact on me. I'm so proud of my program, for giving back and using artistry in support of societal issues.

I think the big thing for this week was just feeling normal. I've told you how much I love my program, and that certainly hasn't changed. However, for the first time I feel like I'm living more than a dream come true, I'm just living my life. A life full of love and art and inspiration, but still just my life. I'm so thankful to those who helped me get here, those lighting a fire within me now, and for you guys, my constant support system. Thank you for the consistent outpouring of love and support. The daily messages I get from people at home making sure I'm okay are so comforting. I love my school, but I will never stop missing all of you like crazy. So I'd like to share one more thing. Many of you have asked me what my signature "Tu Me Manques" means. This little phrase is French for I miss you. However, the literal translation is you are missing from me. As I am making room for new friends and a new theatre family in my heart, the space that all of you occupy is still yearning for your presence. And so...

Tu Me Manques,