It’s Been One Week

And I’m not referring to the Barenaked Ladies masterpiece.

First, let me apologize for basically falling off the map. After my last post, my life completely fell apart. I sunk into a deep depression and couldn’t find the will to write or talk about it. I’ll get into that with separate posts about what happened and the hard lessons I learned.

As I was saying, it’s been one week since the craziest decision I’ve made yet!

*DRUM ROLL*

I moved to Los Angeles!

What?! Yes! I made the decision about 3 weeks before landing here.

Why Los Angeles?

Why not. I’m 25 and I don’t want to spend my whole life in one spot, it was time to start moving.

What Are You Going To Do in Los Angeles?

Same thing I was doing in New York. I’m going to have a survival job, I’m going to write, and I’m going to look for happiness.

What About Your Friends and Family?

The beautiful thing about friends and family is that they will love you no matter what. And if they don’t, then they aren’t your friends and you can adopt a new family. Thankfully, I am blessed with incredible people in my life who are supportive in my spontaneous adventure.

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Great!

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about my first week!

I landed last Tuesday, October 1st. It was an awful experience traveling. I was flying with my cat and the poor little guy was traumatized by airport security. I wasn’t doing so swell either, I had a panic attack in the airport and ended up in a wheelchair.

After the near 6 hour flight, we made it to LAX. My lovely friend, Joe, picked us up and drove us home.

Well, not home. But my new apartment.

Here’s how the week has been, surreal. That’s the best word I can use to describe it.

I’m going to break it all down in positives and negatives. Full knowing that the negatives will change and the positives will too. But as of right now, this is how I’m doing.

Positives

  • I’ve been exercising! I have successfully run about 5 miles each morning. (I gotta get this little tummy fat under control!)
  • I have had time to decompress from everything I went through in New York. I feel my body is more relaxed. I feel my laughs are genuine and not an act.
  • Joe, he’s being very supportive of me.
  • The weather, everyday truly is perfect.
  • I went for a hike and it was breathtaking.
  • Food is cheaper, and better quality.
  • Most importantly, I moved across the country! I did something people are terrified to do.

Negatives

  • I miss my friends in New York.
  • I miss being in the same time zone as my family.
  • I miss the familiar places, like my favorite coffee shops, wine bar, and restaurants.
  • I don’t like how shallow the conversations are around me.
  • I miss the leaves changing (I know the contradicts the weather as a positive.)
    I miss my life. It took me 7 years to build my life in New York and I thought I would be okay with this adventure but I haven’t felt okay yet. (But it’s only Day 7)

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I know the issues I’m having will change as time passes. I’ll have new friends, I’ll discover new familiar places, and I’ll find the people who have worthwhile conversations.

Get ready for posts two times a week from now on. I’m back.

-Mikayla Olivia Orrson

11 Days of Showing My Makeup Remover Towelettes And What I Learned

There’s my face in all it’s glory! I first started this project as a message about inner-beauty, yada yada. But, I learned way more interesting things about myself!

Here are my revelations:

1. I can clearly tell by looking at each picture which days I had work vs my off days. Can you tell?

At work, I wear vibrant lipstick colors and lots of mascara. On my days off, I do minimal makeup.

Not too interesting, right? Wrong! It put me in a tailspin of overthinking about make up at work.

I want to believe I put makeup on for work because I want to ‘put my best face forward.’ But, even that doesn’t sit right with me. Why? Because my ‘best face’ is my real face. So, why am I putting on this mask to work? I think to find that answer I need to do some more deep inner diving.

Which leads me to the bigger point:

2. Do you see the yellowish color on the towelette? That’s my foundation. Seeing how much I put on was really eye opening to me.

My skin is my biggest insecurity. I constantly obsess over pimples, red marks, and even my freckles (most I’ve had since I was a child).

In college, I was at a seminar with the entire student body. In which, the owner/founder of the school pointed me out in the crowd and said that I would be beautiful if I knew how to take care of my skin. That moment was devastating, I was humiliated. And that insecurity only worsened and developed into a unhealthy relationship with my skin.

I don’t leave my house without foundation. I don’t even like being alone in my house without foundation in case I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror!

What can I take away from this experience? Tons.

I’m going to set a challenge for myself and since I’m blogging about it, I have to actually come through. (Feel free to hold me accountable.)

The Challenge

One week of minimal to no makeup. On work days, I will do bare minimal (light foundation and mascara.) And on my off days, I will wear absolutely no makeup.

I know this isn’t a huge challenge for a lot of women, but it is to me. And it’s not the size of the challenge, its that you’re willing to be challenged.

Moral of The Story: We all have insecurities with our bodies, but it’s the little steps towards self acceptance that make the difference!

-Mikayla Olivia Orrson

“I can tell you’re not professional.” The Words Said to Me This Week

“I can tell you’re not professional.”

A real statement made to me while I was directing my first play (well, staged reading). When they said it, I nervous laughed and changed the subject but it really has been bothering me. The statement came from someone who doesn’t know me and had literally just met me.

So, I began thinking, what would make me a professional and more importantly, what about me isn’t professional.

The rehearsal this was said at was located at a beautiful facility.

The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts

The cast were all trained professionals, and incredibly talented.

Ari Veach, Gaia Visnar, Sabastian Zeqharr, Broghanne Jessamine

The reading was being held at a highly sought after location.

It was being produced by Elemental Women Productions, and full fledged production company (shout out to my homegirl, Broghanne Jessamine).

We had an incredible turn out. And not only that, they we’re a super supportive crowd.

Sabastian Zeqharr, Broghanne Jessamine

The crowd even asked questions at the talk back after the show!

Broghanne Jessamine, Charlotte Giles, Me

I had done my work as a directing in and out of rehearsal.

So, how could I be not professional? This person also asked what I did besides this and I said “bartender.” And that was it, the label that stuck to me. As if bartending is bad job, or the people who do it aren’t serious. Some of the hardest working people I know are bartenders, the hours are long, guests are rude, and overall all customer service jobs are emotionally exhausting.

It’s been a little over a week since I was told I’m not professional and I think I finally know how I feel about it.

F*** that.

Being a professional isn’t about how much money you make or time you can give, its about passion. If you are an artist, and make art, guess what? You’re a professional.

Professionalism is an attitude. And I’ve got plenty of attitude! So, it doesn’t matter if you have a ‘survival job’ or you can work in your desired field all the time, you are still a professional.

Moral of The Story: don’t let other people’s negativity make you feel down or put you in a box. No one can label you without your permission. So, make your own labels! Here are mine right now!

Mikayla Labels As Defined by the Only Person’s Opinion that Matters (Her Own):

    Strong
    Witty
    Creative
    Rebellious
    Opinionated
    Smart
    Accepting
    PROFESSIONAL

Support Your Artist Friends

You’ve probably seen this public service announcement before. Most likely on someone’s Facebook repost. I wanted to take time to say how important it is to support your friend’s dreams.

Most people don’t hesitate to buy reprints of art from Target, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls. But why do that when you can buy unique art that supports your friends?

An average Broadway ticket costs about $120 or more. Guess what? Community theatre costs $20. Think of all the people you actually know that you could support with that money.

Also, the friends you support will remember that. They will feel grateful and when the times come, they will support you too.

Supporting each other is how we build a nurturing community.

Here are some of my amazing friends I support.

Artwork by Alexandra Hartford

I commissioned her to do all the artwork for my website and social media. Check out her whimsical pieces!

Taryn Tanaka wrote this book when we we’re Junior High students! Yes, she wrote a book when we were so young and now she’s got a beautiful collection of stories. Taryn is currently working as a news producer in Baltimore, Maryland. She is incredibly talented.

‘Blonde Amy‘ is an amazing short film by my friend, Genaro Dominguez. It’s streaming on Amazon Prime! Go check it out!

Broghanne Jessamine isn’t just my best friend, she is also my business partner. She is a fantastically talented actor and I highly suggest you see her work.

Linda Garcia is a cocktail queen! She works at a bar called Tooker Alley in Brooklyn but she also does pop-up event throughout the city. She’s got a killer palate and gives the best (and most honest) advice.

The Narcotix, ‘an Afro psychedelic percussive affair.’ I just went to their first show this week to support my friend, Adam. The band blew my mind and gave me chills.

There’s so many others I want to mention but that’s a good start! I plan on doing more posts about supporting small businesses and artistic pursuits. Stay tuned! And please feel free to suggest anyone you’d like me to feature!

Moral of the Story: Support your friend’s dream.

-Mikayla Olivia Orrson

The Story of How a Ball Pit Was The Most Stressful Thing of My Life

Just to start off, here’s a picture from said ball pit.

My friend, Joe, and I were at an event called Rose Mansion. It’s basically an Instagramable event, we go as a goofy way to have fun. So my goal in this ball pit was to look like this…

But I looked more like this.

Relooking at these pictures on the train got me thinking. It had me thinking about the sensation of sinking and feeling trapped. The second you were in the ball pit, it literally sucks you into it’s hot, sweaty grips and I felt terrible. It reminded me of how life sometimes sucks me into it’s hot, sweaty grip too. But you know what saved me in both the sense of life and the ball pit? Friends. Joe didn’t hesitate to reach out a hand and help me out (he only laughed a little.) I also know that in life he would be right there to scoop me up when life turns into a ball pit.

It’s easy to feel trapped and want to just give up and accept your fate as being stuck in the bottom of the ball pit. It’s the hardest to stand up alone. But, it’s doable to get out of the ball pit when you ask for help. So, reach out your hand, ask for help, and get out of the dang ball pit!

Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to ask for help. And if you’re having trouble finding someone, find me, I’ll be right there. (Also, there’s a reason there aren’t many adult ball pits, they are awful.)

-Mikayla Olivia Orrson

The Power of Asking for What You Want

People who know me, know that I am notorious for emailing to get what I want. What do I mean by this? Here’s an example:

There’s this exclusive members only, women’s workspace called The Wing.

Memberships range from $200 to $250 a month. I unfortunately don’t have the money to afford that steep a membership for a workspace. So, I emailed! I sent a lengthy email about who I am, why I’m awesome, what I’m working on, and why they should sponsor me so I don’t have to pay.

How well did this work?

I’m currently at The Wing DUMBO, sipping on wine as I write this.

Here’s the secret, confidence. Confidence isn’t just ‘key,’ it’s the damn door too. If you confidently ask for what you want, people respond in a positive way. Confidence is a powerful asset that a lot of people are afraid to harness because they feel bossy or elitist. Let me tell you, it’s not. Confidence is strength. If you want something, go for it! What’s the worst that can happen? Realistically, if you do nothing, you don’t get what you want. At least this gives you a chance and puts it out there that you have a want!

Moral of the story: Email, text, and vocalize what you want! You can’t get it if you don’t put yourself out there.

-Mikayla Olivia Orrson