The Legend of My Cat: Churro

Churro has been adjusting to Los Angeles. He has become more adventurous in the apartment and is making friends with my new roommates.

For those of you who don’t know about Churro, it’s a beautiful story of how a kitten adopted me.

In July 2018, I found a small kitten outside my apartment in Brooklyn. This wasn’t surprising since there was a large population of strays in the area. The kitten followed me, purred, and asked for pets. He was so sweet, but also so little. I jokingly named him Churro, mostly because I was on my way home from work and I had a large to go box of churros in my purse.

But, I left him outside because I feared I’d be taking him away from his mother. Also, I didn’t know what I’d do with a cat in the apartment since I already had a dog.

The next day, there was a terrible thunderstorm. The storm mellowed out for a minute, in which we took Tate (the dog) outside for a walk. Tate started going berserk at something under a car.

I crouched down to find little Churro crying in a puddle. That was it, I knew I was meant to help him. I got him inside and the fight to save him began. He has cuts, intense fleas, and was starving.

But, he also was grateful. I could feel his love for every act of kindness. I didn’t plan on keeping him at first, seeing as I already had a dog, but he was different. Churro had his own plan, which was to take over the apartment and my heart.

Jump to a little over a year (today), my little Brooklyn boy is now living in Los Angeles!

He’s gone from coast to coast, he is spoiled rotten, and he still shows me unlimited gratitude.

He’s started this behavior again, one he had as a kitten, where he needs to always have a paw touching me. When he did it as a kitten it was cute, now doing it as an adult cat it’s a sign of our bond.

Churro and I have been through a lot this year but here we are, happy and healthy in California.

Who would have guessed these two little street cats would be where we are now!?

I do believe in the powerful bonds that humans and animals make. I believe Churro needs me as much as I need him. His pure (or should I say purrr) excitement for me waking up is indescribable. He’s changed my life for the better.

Thank you, buddy.

-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

A Love Letter to All My Co-Workers (Past and Present)

There’s something magic and tragic about coworkers. You spend 40 hours a week with them. You form these intense bonds. And then life steps in and before you know it, you’re practically strangers again.

It’s the most pure relationship out there because (for the most part) the reason your friendship ends isn’t because of anything malicious, it’s just life. It’s like the most mutual breakup.

Co-workers see you through your day to day life. They listen to you complain about your dating life, or when you tell funny stories about what your cat did that morning.

They take you out for drinks to commiserate and celebrate.

They make your annoying work life, bearable (and fun sometimes.) We all have that work friend (or friends) that we get excited to see on the schedule.

Moral of the story: Here’s to work friends! Here’s to the laughs, tears, drama, drinks, and love! I love you all from past to present. If you’re an old coworker of mine, feel free to hit me up, let’s grab a beer and reconnect. If you’re not a former coworker of mine, I suggest you reach out to your old work friends. Make the connection, it’s worth it.

-Mikayla Olivia Orrson

No Filter on Me: A Raw Look at Anxiety and Stress

After Stress (Left) Before Stress (Right)

Fact: there’s no filter on either photo. Yes, one has better lighting and camera quality but no edits. And yes, one has make up and one doesn’t. But, let me just say, no amount of make up could help. And besides, when under extreme stress it’s hard to bring yourself to do make up.

Let’s talk about stress and how it effects, not only the way we live but the way we are. These photos were taken a month and 13 days apart. And boy, do I look different! These we’re taken at a time not too long ago that I felt like my whole life was crumbling; between losing my job, an injured pet, and countless other problems. I felt like I was losing my sanity. I couldn’t eat, I was oversleeping, I couldn’t emotionally connect with my friends. I felt so incredibly lost.

I wish I could say, “And here’s how I fixed it all! In three easy steps!” But, that’s not the case. I don’t have the answers to solving anxiety, stress, or depression. I really wish I did.

The reason I’m telling you all of this is because I don’t want you to feel alone. I can’t solve your problems but I can hold your hand through it. You’re not alone. I think it’s important to show raw anxiety. So much of our personas are made online, we only show what we want to show. All of a sudden, everyone seems happy and perfect but that means we’re missing out on the real conversations.

I hope this helps you feel more confident on your down days, because they happen and that’s okay. You’ve got support.

Life can be cruel, heartless, and cold. But, it can also be exhilarating, fantastical, and fulfilling. Don’t give up, because you’ve got someone in your corner (me, I’m in your corner).

Moral of the story: You’re not alone. I’m here. Let’s get a coffee or cry into pasta, as long as we do it together.

-Mikayla Olivia Orrson

Godmother To Be

Tomorrow morning I get the honor of becoming a Godmother (a role I’m taking very seriously.) My sister, Marina, is the proud momma bear to Jonas Fritz Martino. I don’t care if I sound bias, Jonas is the coolest.

Being an auntie has been a huge joy in my life. My sister sends me daily updates of Jonas and it brightens my day. I feel like she always sends them at the best time. I’ll be having a terrible time at work, getting yelled at my guests and the kitchen. But, I open my phone and see this sweet boy!

(Clearly, he’s an avid reader.)

I want to take a moment to say my promise to Jonas as his Godmother.

Jonas Fritz,

I loved ya from day one. I promise to be your support, your friend, and a role model. I promise to be there for your milestones. I promise to send cheesy birthday cards. I promise to love you unconditionally, even when you’re a bratty teen. I promise to have endless inside jokes. I promise to distill all the Jones family knowledge I can. I love you.

-Godmother Rogi

Here’s to you, Jonas! I can’t wait for all our adventures to come.

-Mikayla Olivia Orrson