“Diva behavior only works until your first failure.”

Link below gives great advice to take to heart for any artist that is blessed with success.

Stay humble, and DON’T let your mom be your manager when you’re an adult. I fired my stage mom when I was 16. Sorry mom, I still love you. I’m very grateful for all you did for me in the younger years. Let’s leave the managing up to the professionals. <3

http://www.nobullscript.net/screenwritingtips/dont-heigl-yourself/

“15 Steps and 5 Years Later”

*Words from second winter living alone in NYC* Thanks for reading. xo

In a daze I stand alone lit in a florescent glow, a living breathing mannequin, quietly waiting.  Subway cars pass by in a loud rumbling rush, the cold stale air below the city flowing over me.

Winter in Manhattan.  I was warned it was going to be cold, but DAMN… I’m freezing my ass off!  In spite of the cold, I am glad to be here.  My soul journey has brought me here for reasons that I know will eventually be made clear.  In spite of grasping at missing pieces of a fragmented soul, sorrows are being erased with the melting snow above.  Thankfully, grateful clarity dwells beneath. Tears defrost my frozen smile, along with the warm promise of approaching Spring.

Our minds are prisons of our own designs.  Numb and tingling, my lonely body aches with desire and anxiety. Strangers surround and pass by, pouring through the opening and closing doors of subway cars that briefly pause before continuing on the track underneath the city.

I hum to myself, waiting in a daze. The sound of the next train awakens me; the yellow beam lighting the tunnel as the stagnant air comes to life, my long hair flowing up and caressing my face, the train screeching to a halt.  I sorta giggle, thinking: “Finally!  Here’s the R train.”

The doors open, passengers evacuating and entering in a rush to continue on their own journeys.  Stepping inside the subway car that vaguely smells of food and homeless souls, I gracefully place myself in an open spot between strangers, feeling the hard cold plastic seat below me; staring at the shoes that barely keep my feet warm walking in the icy world above… Wishing I hadn’t lost my only Winter hat.

Closing my eyes, I listen to the musical thoughts in my mind accentuated by the sound of the beat of the subway going forward, the movement cradling me, comforting me like Granny Mae when she held me as a baby in her rocking chair. Meditating, I recall her beautiful words of hope, in silence.

My icy-blue eyes open in a flash.  Almost missing my stop, hopping out just in time before the doors close behind me like a chomping mouth. Walking past the graffiti, random ads, litter, and posters on the dirty walls I confidently strut forward.  The light from above beckons me towards the exiting steps from the catacomb.

The train continues on its journey, gaining momentum passing by.  Out of the corner of my right eye, I suddenly see myself.  Stopping, I turn to face the train.  I gaze at the reflection in each window passing by.  Like a character in a movie, a young woman stares back in her winter coat, blonde hair flying up around her face.  A smile lights up my face, humbly admiring my own ghostly image flashing by repeatedly.  As people in the passing windows stare in brief wonder and curiosity, I’m instantly broken from the icy cage of my own emotional tomb.

Running up the stairs returning to the world above, I find myself grinning.  In spite of Winter’s chilly grasp, I am enjoying the adventures in the city of my dreams.  As the realization warms my soul, the hope of Spring’s inevitable arrival opens my eyes anew, as I put my sunglasses on.  The sunlight balances the chilly air upon my face, wind blowing through my hair.

 

Five Winters later, I am still here.  Will I ever ignore happiness again, feeling guilty when I realize I’m figuratively slapping myself in the face?  Oh, the beautiful irony of life.  A constant challenge of fear versus tranquility.  My inner child embraces the woman I’ve become.  In turn, I embrace my innocence, encouraged to be honest with myself and others.  Accomplishments are noted, and failures are merely dress rehearsals for success.

 

Inspiration and Design

From a young age I’ve been creating and designing. There wasn’t much to do in Punta Gorda Florida other than fishing, swimming, and boating. Chasing iguanas gets boring after a while, believe me. Instead of becoming a professional animal catcher or olympic swimmer, I focused my energy into my education, art, music, dance, writing, and other creative activities. I’m quite grateful for the training and knowledge that prepared me for my life and career in the concrete jungle of Manhattan.

From a very young age I have adored computers and technology. A budding artistic creative geekess, I was very excited when my Dad and I built my first home computer back in the dial-up internet days of my youth. It was a Mac (before Apple computers were so proprietary, it was easily upgraded with memory cards and such…)  Alas, I’ve been in love with Apple products ever since.

Basic HTML coding was self taught when Myspace was still the “cool” social media platform. Avoiding medocrity, my best friend Krista and I made our pages fascinating and hilarious with amazing photos and animated amusing content. GIF images have been around for a while! I can’t help but giggle when GIF images are posted now as though it’s the latest craze of internet content.

Building and designing websites has required a lot of learning, trial and error, along with hours of tinkering and loss of sleep combined with beautiful frustration that never reaches perfection, sorta like my songs that are never finished. The most recent frustration is adjusting sites to be mobile friendly. People are more commonly surfing the ‘net utilizing their smart phones and tablets instead of computers. I imagine there will be an entire generation of people with horrible posture from slouching their necks to stare at their mobile devices. (That reminds me… gotta make appointment with my chiropractor ASAP.)

I strive to improve upon my tangible creative skills. Nurturing my knowledge has been a rather fun process, designing my modeling composite cards using Photoshop and assisting clients with their websites and promotional materials. I highly recommend Moo.com for comp card and business card printing services. My creative consulting services are available, schedule allowing. Send me a message to discuss concepts and ideas.

You never know where or when design inspiration may hit you. My next idea of brand promotion is to venture out into the real world and have a traditional rubber stamp made of my logo. I’ve always been fascinated by rubber stamps… and beautiful wax emblems to seal documents and letters. I’m going to a place in the East Village that has been making custom stamps for years. I like to support businesses in my ‘hood, especially before they close due to rent increases.

My logo randomly appeared from my mind’s eye when I was doodling in my kitchen with a Palomino Blackwing pencil. (Best pencil EVER.) It looked pretty awesome, so I scanned it. The design is based on my initials written on a dollar bill I stuck to the ceiling of a infamous dive bar in Austin, Texas a few years ago. I’m sure it’s still there along with other bucks covering years of yellow cigarette infused bills. You never know where and when inspiration will appear.

 

Hi. My name is SuzyMae, and I am an addict.

Ha, caught your attention with this blog title, didn’t I? I’m not talking about drugs here folks. I’m talking about social media addiction. Or what I’d like to refer to as “timesuck”. My timesuck of choice is my personal Facebook page. What’s yours?

After realizing I wasn’t accomplishing as much as desired when working from home, I wondered… How many hours of our lives are spent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and numerous social media platforms? How many hours of productivity are lost? How much precious real world human interaction disappears into the black hole of timesuck? These are questions that nearly brought me to the point of deleting my personal Facebook page. Thankfully, I allowed logic to overcome emotion. Upon Googling my inquiry, I found that this is not a new topic of internet discussion. (No big surprise.)

The Huffington Post reports that the average American spends 8 hours a month on Facebook alone. Only EIGHT? That’s nothing! And that doesn’t include the other timesucks. This week I honestly had to take a break from my addiction, overwhelmed by world events and the realization that I wasn’t putting enough of my time to good use.

I let everyone know that I needed a break by posting on my Facebook page, of course. I even deleted the Facebook apps from my mobile devices, figuring if anyone really needed to get in touch with me they have my email and cell number. Did I mention my texting/iMessage addiction? Even my mother texts these days. It’s a blessing and a curse. She likes to spend hours chatting my ear off on the phone. I love you Momma, but I’m a busy girl. Alas, that’s another blog post for another day.

I’m now back on “the Facebook”. I’m focusing more on my FB artist page, attempting to only periodically check and post on my personal page. I found somewhat of a solution by using one browser specifically for work and creative purposes, along with a separate browser for timesuck breaks. Celebrity gossip, ugh. I’ll admit, I’ve found myself wasting hours upon hours. Makes me feel dirty and ashamed. Seriously. I truly value privacy and respect. Did you see poor pregnant Kim Kardashian getting harassed by the obnoxious paparazzi leaving the airport? Fame frightens and intrigues me.

Although I was quite productive today, I did get sucked back in when friends started sending Facebook messages. I hate ignoring my friends. See? I’m already rationalizing my addiction.

3305_88257431413_4248913_n

 

It’s just a little molehill.

Yesterday a photographer I collaborated with in the past found it necessary to communicate his critique of my work over the phone. I really wish I hadn’t returned his call after hearing the voice-message, but I do strive to follow up with everyone. I did my best to keep my cool as I listened to what he had to say. I quickly ended the conversation by bluntly telling him MY perspective. I’m sure he could tell I did not appreciate his point of view. It did not benefit anyone and it nearly spoiled the rest of my afternoon.

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Opinions are like assholes: everybody has one. However, if you can’t say something nice or positive keep it to yourself, unless I ASK you for your critique. I am a huge fan of constructive criticism, when it’s the appropriate time and place. For example, in my acting and singing studies over the years. An artist can’t grow and evolve without constructive criticism from those who provide proper advice.

I often find myself making mountains out of molehills. I suppose this is especially true for creative types who are constantly critiquing themselves and being evaluated by others, usually by complete strangers. I love auditioning and performing regardless of the outcome. Every audition and performance is an accomplishment and opportunity in my book. I know I can’t please everyone, nobody can. I focus on those who do appreciate my work along with the progress I’ve made in my life, and vice versa. I may think a person is a jerk or I’m not a fan of their work, but I release the thought and move on to something more positive. Negativity is a time suck and negativity sucks.

When feeling dragged down emotionally, I force myself to stop my racing thoughts. I breathe deeply and realize I’m making a big deal out of nothing. When it comes down to it, who cares?

Really. Will this little thing that’s bothering me matter a year from now, let alone five years from now? Probably not. Will the grammatical errors in this blog post keep me from continuing to write? Nope. Will I stop acting if I don’t get the role? Unlikely. Will negative criticism of my music keep me from singing and performing? No way. Even if just one person gathers something positive and uplifting from my work that’s all that matters.

So today I’m making the conscious decision to focus my time and energy into what’s really important in life. Listening to the people who have something nice and positive to say, letting go of the bad vibes. Love and light.

Love and light in the darkness.

Thoughts to pour… thanks for reading.

I’m in my home office/recording studio in a daze on this beautiful spring day, listening to the noise pollution of the East Village, soothed by the sounds of birds chirping with Mother Nature’s breeze caressing me through the open window. This week has been a roller-coaster of human emotions, similar to Manhattan’s auditory spectrum.

I finally cried this morning, sobbing in disbelief. I’ve been putting all of my energy into work and projects, in shock after the tragedy in Boston. I have so many friends who live or have lived in Boston. I don’t even know where to begin…. The first person I checked on immediately was one my best friends. She’s okay, but NOT okay… if that makes any sense. To me it does make sense as reality dawns on me. I am still avoiding the media coverage, in an attempt to keep my emotions in check.

Boston has held a special place in my heart from an early age. I grew up in Florida, the major league spring training capital of America, singing the National Anthem at the big league stadiums in South West Florida. My favorite gig was singing at the opening of the Boston Red Sox games, the most impressive stadium of all. It was quite an honor for a young girl, an invigorating experience performing in front of so many people. My lil knobby knees shook the first time I walked out of the visiting team’s dugout, walking up to the microphone, encouraged by the ocean of people standing up with their hands over their hearts.

Being a creative spirit, I always wanted to live in Manhattan. When I moved to NYC, I still loved both the Yankees and the Red Sox, ignoring the frustration of people who are Yankee or Boston fans… who asked me to choose ONE team. The Yankees were super cool when they were the visiting team in Florida, applauding my singing. And yeah, I totally had girl crushes on the handsome baseball players. I now go to Derek Jeter’s gym, 24 Hour Fitness in Soho. (Subconscious decision on my part?) I’m a lover, not a hater. Why take sides?

I pray (I use this word sparingly as it’s a powerful word) that the lives lost in Boston are not forgotten and the world will focus on the goodness in people, instead of focusing on hate (another powerful word I use sparingly).

I hope you all join me, go outside and take a deep breath. Do something to make the world a better place today, even if it’s something as basic as letting those you love KNOW you love them… before it’s too late. Time is precious, indeed. It’s a blessing to be alive. Oh, and I’m totally going to look into rocking the National Anthem in Boston for the Red Sox and Yankees this summer. It’s long overdue. Love and light.

Never give up.

Writing a quick post today, because I’ve been neglecting my lil blog. Super busy shooting and moving.

Yesterday I was on set of the critically acclaimed TV show Blue Bloods for about 12 hours. Per usual, behind the scenes of a TV or Film shoot it can be a hurry up and wait game for the actors. As long as I’m doing what I love for a living and being fed delish food I don’t mind. And it’s a great show to credit on my resume. I have to say, Tom Selleck is an amazing actor. I am so inspired by the last scene of the episode.  Tears welled up in my eyes during his heart wrenching monologue that gave me chills. He still looks awesome for his age and is still rocking an awesome mustache.

I don’t mind the “hurry up and wait game”. I enjoy meeting and chatting with fellow thespians aka actors while waiting in between scenes. The topic of the struggles that come along with being a performer came up. Some people are very jaded. I have no clue as to WHY they even bother doing something they complain about constantly. I ignore them, accordingly. “I ain’t got time for that negativity.”

Others are acting on the side with a part time job, kinda like a hobby or the means of making extra money to keep food in the fridge. Then you have the ones who are like myself, who are pursuing their creative endeavors full time, dedicated 100 percent. I became friends with another lovely young actress who has been on a similar trail as myself. Persevering on a creative soul journey that has not been easy. Leaving our home states, friends, and families; living in different places with a purpose in mind. Both on paths that brought us to our destination of New York City, with the deep seeded belief that our efforts have not been in vain. I feel it’s better than graduate school, learning life’s lessons and becoming tough as steel. A necessity in the entertainment business.

I summed it up, and would like to share with other creative spirits. NEVER GIVE UP.  You never know what is right around the corner. If you give up, you are throwing away every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears that have fueled your journey to success.

 

“Reach for the stars.”

SuzyMae Howard

Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy Bunny Day!

Yes. I love rockin’ bunny ears and blowing bubbles in the air wearing a bikini. It’s not immaturity, it’s called having fun. And if being mature means being boring, well… Call it what you want. If you can’t enjoy life, what’s the point? I know I’M in no hurry to fade away and die.

Oh, and if you want to see some creepy Easter Bunnies that have surely caused numerous cases of ingrained fear of rabbits, go here: http://www.happyplace.com/15235/the-creepiest-easter-bunny-photos-ever-taken?fb_action_ids=10151653895241414&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Love and light, baby. Love and light. Happy Easter and Happy Spring!  xo SuzyMae

303320_10151097542341414_1213217146_n

Past epiphanies, soul journeys, and beautiful present-day chaos.

If not for meditation, my head would explode. Not literally, but I am surrounded by boxes, clothes, shoes, and all of the miscellaneous stuff New Yorkers accumulate in our small apartments.

I’m trying not to slack on my blog posts this week, but preparing for a move is never an easy feat in New York City. Oh, I’m not leaving. I’m very excited to be moving closer to the heart of the East Village. I can’t leave, I REALLY fit in here! I can be as eccentric as I want, and not get run over by angry nannies with baby strollers. (One of the hazards of living uptown.) Since I have a LOT to do today, I’ll post one the first pieces of poetic words I wrote when I first moved to NYC.  It was mid July, and I was still in awe that I had made it here… via a soul journey and very long unplanned solo road trip from Austin, TX to Manhattan.

 

bytheriver

Epiphany

I was losing myself, patience wearing thin

Angels transformed into devils… brewing within

A caged beast, claws ready to break free

This girl cannot be tamed by your “reality”

Ah, it feels so grand to be free of my cage.  Life is what you make of it, I’m truly convinced.  Only the brave can survive in this world without living in regret, anger, and loss.  A great deal of strength is required in order to let go and take a leap of faith.  Jumping into my car two weeks ago, I wasn’t sure what awaited me on the other side… In spite of everything, I knew that I needed an adventure this summer.  A spiritual cleansing, a bit of soul-searching.  Freedom.These are the best years of my life, in spite of the emotional roller-coaster inside my head.  At the same time, I’d like to think that the best years have yet to come.  I’m truly honored and blessed to have amazing friends and family.  Without love we will simply fade away, jaded inside.  Fear will destroy the possibilities in life, so I embrace the unknown… Amazing things come to good people who have patience. Yesterday in the midst of my epiphanies, I strolled through the streets of Manhattan on my way to my first shoot of the summer.  My inner-child glowed, and I felt the energy of the city flow into me.  Recharged by legitimate happiness, I realized I can finally breathe again.  Satiated in so many ways, and looking forward to the future… I’m no longer afraid of the unknown.  In fact, I embrace it with open arms.  It feels amazing to be alive.

-SuzyMae Howard July 13, 2007

 

Central_Park_1

 

Even Einstein would get lost walking home.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Ah, good ol’ Albert Einstein.  He was known to consistently get lost when walking home, and he was truly a brilliant person.  I totally understand.  I still go in the wrong direction on the subway and get lost in the streets of Manhattan, even after nearly 6 years of living here… and I have GPS and Hopstop on my iPhone.  Brilliant, indeed.  This usually happens when I’m stressing out, in a hurry, or am distracted by thoughts that are clouding my better judgement.

I heard Al’s wonderful quote just before meditation today, with a focus on synchronizing the mind and body.  Intuition is something we often forget to acknowledge, instead listening to the “rational” mind that is often clouded with fear, anger, humiliation, and other negative emotions.  Positive emotions can also put a muffler on our instinctual abilities.  Passion, euphoria, and what we may think is love can facilitate absolutely silly decisions, especially when it comes to relationships; both romantic and otherwise.

So, today, and hopefully tomorrow and the days after, I am going to do my best to listen that little voice in the back of my head and that feeling in my stomach that leads me in the right direction.  Even when my emotions try to overcome the gift of intuition that exists within all of us.

Photo Source: guardian.co.uk
Photo Source: guardian.co.uk