Bob: A Life in Five Acts

I had the opportunity to attend Bob: A Life in Five Acts on Saturday and it was a phenomenal comedic play. Bob is wondering various parts of America trying to be a “Great Man” he encounters many relationships that ultimately brings him to discovering he’s never alone. This play is written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Michael Osinski.

This comedic play is definitely worth going out to see. One it’s incredibly funny mixing a lot of pop art, music, dance, etc. to the stage. Bob who starts his life literally in a White Castle bathroom is born into a traumatic hardship. We see that just like in real life, hardships don’t have to define us and along the way he learns a lot about what it means to thrive, what’s important, and how separation can create hope.

A word to the wise because it is comedic I would come in with an open mind. This is not the play to bring a child as there are scenes that may not be suitable for a young audience. The play is interactive meaning I found myself openly reacting with the characters. I found myself thinking about what life was like if I felt abandoned and how would I respond. Would I be able to be positive in a negative world? Isn’t that our fight daily? We have to take the good with the bad and know that even when we have hit rock bottom, we are still connected.

How the tables turn and the paths cross for Bob during his journey was illustrated colorfully. I enjoyed watching Bob interact during the various stages he made until adulthood. How his life was somber as a child although he had to deal with events most kids today don’t readily have to deal with.

During stage plays it’s always amazing to watch not just for meaning but how interactive the characters seem to be with one another. The best productions come from the closest cast members. This was no different. Even after the play during the reception, you can see that not only had they come together simply to put Bob on, they were definitely a family. Shout out to the play for having one of most diverse cast I’ve seen in quite some time.

Here’s how you can come and not just watch, but be apart of the production:

Bob: A Life in Five Acts will be showing until March 27, 2019. All shows are pay what you decide. This means you pay after the show according to what you feel, can afford or feel led. I would encourage you to attend and definitely donate and give. It makes for a great date night to do something different and get out in Philly. It also makes for a great group trip as well.

It’s performance is at the Proscenium Theatre, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia PA

You can reserve your tickets Here

Please arrive early as you will not be able to be let in during the performance and the production is about 130 minutes with one 10 minute intermission. There are drinks available for purchase before the show and during intermission.

Cast:

Paul Harrold as Bob

Dan D’Albis as Chorus

Frank Jimenez as Chorus

Claris Park as Chorus

Sabriaya Shipley as Chorus

Special thanks to the amazing cast and production members, Azuka Theatre, Kevin Glaccum, producing artistic Director, Harmelin Media, production sponsor, Two Roads Brewing company for sponsoring the reception drinks, and all the donors both foundation, corporate and individuals!

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Words Do Matter; You Matter More

So while at an event in my hometown I had someone say something to me about my weight. Now you all know I had documented my journey and that when I was over 200 pounds very little had comments about my weight and at that time I was way over where I needed to be. It was devastating. Now I am at weight goal and tightening up and I am still getting comments about my weight.  I was taken back if I am honest. I talked to my husband and he was like “keep it in perspective some folks aint seen you since you were a kid. You’re a grown ass woman with an amazing body and 3 kids, stay the course!”  Can we just clone him?  He made me feel like the beautiful woman who I am.

This is the conclusion I have come to. A lot of folks will only see you at what they last remember. I went to college a size 0 and came back a size 4 that was an issue. Had a baby and was a size 6 and now I am holding at a size 8 and sometimes 10 depending on how the pants are cut. Issue.

I am not here to worry about what other people’s eyes see me as. I am perfect at the size that I am. I am not in competition to be at high school weight. I was unhealthy to be honest. I ate what I wanted, rarely went to the doctors and the only saving grace was a high metabolism and sports. Skinny isn’t always healthy.  I know folks smaller than me with high blood pressure and a whole gambit of health complications.

What I know is from head to toe I am finally in the best shape of my life and I can run and do 6 or more races a year. I can keep and outrun my kids and run up and down a flight of steps without losing my breath. I eat as well as I can and work out 2-3 usually more a week. I am fine!  I am enough!

There is a woman who is struggling right now with a lot of whispers and you may not be as confident as I feel or feel like you’re not. You are just enough. You are enough even in the state that you are. Its one of the things I felt I needed to say. I need to release it. I had a family member say oh you sure are hippy meaning curvy. I am supposed to be. Newsflash, I have regular amazing sex and I have 3 kids. They didn’t know when I had the athletic build in high school I used to want to have a curve. Now I have them and they are here to stay. I looked like a boy body shape and folks would either like it or have an issue.  So to the curves and the butt that I now have, please stay. We are going to tone up these next couple of months but we ain’t dropping you!

Do not let anything stop you from being your best version of you.  Trust me you can change your body, but be the best version of yourself inner and outer and trust me you will always shine in darkness.

What if you aren’t at the place you need to be and someone does make a negative but true comment?  Remember when the lady asked me how far along I was and if I was having a boy? Devastating. I cried. I was hurt. I made up in my mind that I wouldn’t allow myself to get to that point.  To prevent that I only keep my size clothes in my drawers. I don’t wear baggy clothes. They actually let you look bigger FYI.  Wearing form figuring clothes helps hold you accountable. I didn’t say tight, I said form-fitting or figure flattering clothes. The other day I found a size 14 pant in my closet, tried it on and it was drowning on me. I gave them away.  I keep myself accountable by weighing myself weekly just like I did when I was going to Weight Watchers meeting. It’s important for me to stay the course. So when that comment was made through the help of my husband and getting on the scale to see what was going on, I was fine. I knew it was a comparison of what they remember me from my past. I am still at goal weight. I am in training season for these runs. I can’t let words distract me. If I do I might not be able to get through my vigorous races ahead.  I got to keep running forward.

One of my favorite songs by Kirk Franklin, Imagine Me:

Imagine Me

Monday Motivation: Showing up for Yourself

How will you show up for yourself?  Isn’t it super upsetting when you are waiting on someone to do what they said they were going to do?  It’s the worse thing ever. How about you when you say you’re going to do something for you but you fail to show up for yourself. This is why resolutions or goals fall. You fail yourself. You don’t show up for yourself and then you get mad and the cycle starts all over again.

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There is a lot of life to be lived but showing up for yourself needs to be at the top of your list.  How can you show up for yourself this morning? I choose to pack my snacks and breakfast ahead of time. I decided to show up for myself in how I eat and nurture myself. On Sunday after attending a function with TCP, I decided that regardless of how tired and unprepared I was to run I still got up grabbed what I could and ran my 3 miles. I couldn’t find my running socks, my running sweats that I like to wear in the Winter, my running hat, and I didn’t even have my house key.  I still showed up and showed out.

I am determined that the same energy I give towards work, my kids, my marriage is the same energy I should get first. I will be making more tracks in showing up for myself in other ways. In the amount of water I am drinking, the workouts for the week, blog events, me time, etc. I am showing up for me. You need to show up for you. Show up and make that doctor’s appointment. Make that appointment to get that new haircut you have been putting off. Show up for you. It’s something in not failing your mission even if you have to tweak it. Show up and show out today and this week, this month, and this year!

TCP presents Spread Love

TCP or The Cultured Professional is a network that has everything from blogs to podcasts and even a cooking show. It’s a one stop shop for all things information that continues to expand and grow. With information comes responsibility. The responsibility to be aware of not just ourselves but those around us. That’s where the concept of Spread Love comes in.

Three years ago the concept was born in providing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and care packages to the less fortunate. With that in mind, members of TCP came together along with community leaders and volunteers to “Spread Love.” Just in making these sandwiches the thought process of what it means to make someone a sandwich is bigger than simply making sure each corner is filled with peanut butter. The concept of making sure to feed someone as you would yourself and to keep in mind the basic needs we take for granted was on the minds of all who came out to support. Volunteers of all ages came together to make today’s 402 care packages and sandwiches a huge success.

One of the biggest initiatives was to find out as a community the needs that exist and how to resolve them. Being present with intent is what drove the discussion towards ideas that could be put into an action plan. Ideas such as a community garden, cleaning up the neighborhood, teaching financial literacy, programs to increase mentorship and life skills support just to name a few are all great ways to think towards sustaining the very lives of those around us. Speaking of intent, 3 of those ideas will be backed as those winners’ ideas will be backed by a check for $500 a piece.

One of the biggest issues with speaking on how to bring the community together is usually the lack of having community leaders who will support the very initiatives. However today wasn’t that day. Today Spread Love had the elite privilege of having the backing as well as help from Lancaster Mayor, Danene Sorace as well as the Lancaster Community Foundation. Today with the help of Mayor Sorace and her family, TCP was able to be intentional on future plans. Sorace not only listened to the ideas, she also gave a lot of great input on resources already in place. She made sure she too assisted in making care packages.

Lancaster City Mayor Danene Sorace And husband, Christian And family

Often times we tend to complain about ways to make things better but we rarely do the things necessary to assist. When community initiatives are being set often those who ideas don’t step up to let their voices heard! Here’s how you can help in future initiatives:

  • Show up and be present even when you don’t agree with an idea
    Come with a plan and don’t be afraid to speak up
    If you feel you weren’t heard the first time, keep talking

The next time there is a community event, attend. You would be surprised of the wealth of knowledge you may learn just from being at the right place at the right time. Today we were able to see free flow of love and support. It crossed all barriers! We have the power to unite on issues that are bigger than us if we take the time to speak with intentions.

Marquis and Whitney Lupton

There was fun, food, activities for the kids and raffles and prizes all while jamming out to the awesome sounds of DJ Biz!

On behalf of TCP we would like to thank the following:

Lancaster Mayor, Danene Sorace

Lancaster Community Foundation

Brightside Community Center

Chef Oliver Saye, For providing the best food to nurture our volunteers

Derrick “DJ Biz” Wright

All news outlets for the coverage

Every volunteer who without your help we wouldn’t have been able to be a blessing without your diligence of accepting the call and making it happen!

To all who donated toiletries, bread, peanut butter and jelly and all necessary supplies

Shout out to the whole TCP crew! “We working over here!”

 

Meet the Johnsons: Jamar and Kizzy

Chef Oliver and Zuma

The Queens of Raw Royalty: Hollywood Bonnie, Honey, Jassy, And Siren

William Way, Brandon Way, Lancaster City Mayor, Danene Sorace, Marquis Lupton

Saturday Vibes

I often hear people say they are bored. One thing about being bored is that you have too much time on your hand to complain and to over think. Not that you have to fill your every waking moment with things to do.  Just relaxing is a blessing when you don’t have plans. Those sometimes are the best. However you need to focus on renewing. Saturday vibes are super important.

 

For my house it’s filled with soccer and events. I am aware of that so I like to spend my Saturday nights doing nothing unless it’s a date night and having adult juice.  This is my relax. Often times during the day I have worked out, played parent Uber, attended events, and whatever else comes up. I know that once Sunday comes that’s my day to meal prep, do laundry, clean, and all other events that are scheduled.

Take some time to get your Saturday vibes right. I always try to find some space for myself. This is when I have a lot of money and when I don’t. I try not to let that get in the way. There are always free events in Philadelphia for me to find and go do something. Do not think for a few seconds that Saturdays don’t matter because they do. I try not to add too many events. I used to be on this go-go go run but I find that sometimes that is taxing.  Find the balance in learning to chill out a bit.  You have no idea how rewarding it is after working all week and running around it is to not have too much pressure.  These next couple of weeks are really demanding of my schedule so if you think I’m not searching for that relaxation, you are sadly mistaken.  You better renew!

Ideals for Saturday Vibes

  • Brunch
  • Reading my Magazines
  • Nap
  • In home spa day
  • Going to nail salon
  • Datenight with bae or friends
  • Playing board games with the kids
  • Movies
  • Reading a good book
  • Doing my hair or my kid’s hair
  • Spa

The list is really endless on what makes a great Saturday.  Whatever you do-get into the vibe, catch it and don’t let it go!

Slow Down

I am meticulous about deadlines and schedules. It drives my husband nuts because he’s the type that goes with the flow! However today in my commute home I ran into an older woman who many passed by. She looked lost and asked me how to get to the train station. She said she was worried she has missed it.

Even though I left my office 10 minutes later than normal and normally I would have been hustling quick to get to the train station I let her know I would not only escort her to the train but I would make sure she got on the right one. As we began walking slowly she started to share her story with me. These last couple of days I’ve been thinking about my great grandparents and this women’s spirit reminded me of my great grandmother. I took her to make sure she got on her train and she had me call her family to let them know what time she would arrive. I enjoyed that slow down.

I wasn’t late after all. We both were able to get on the train to our destination. She said so many people walked past her that she was getting anxious about finding the train station in time. I was anxious about being on time but our time was perfectly matched. I’m a firm believer even with anxiety that we will be at the right place at the right time. Today was that reminder. She said I provided her with comfort and today she provided me with joy! I pray nothing but blessings into her life! Such a sweet woman!

It pays to slow down and realize that delays are sometimes super necessary. There’s someone who needed me but in essence I needed her love and warmth!!

Ask Toi: How do I Break it to a Friend that they can’t attend events with me due to their bad attitude?

This is tricky but necessary. I mean you could if you didn’t want to confront your friend, attend the events and not have to give a reason. However if your friend asks I would be honest with them. Sometimes you must have a difficult discussion. There is no way around your friend’s bad attitude.

Keep in mind that your friend is mostly aware of their bad attitude. Your friend may even disguise it with this is how I am take it or leave it type talk. People always find ways around accepting their behavior and doing something about it. You may not win your friend over by telling them about something they may not want to accept. However I wouldn’t invite them to events until they actually did. Your friend is going to say you changed or you’re stuck up but remember end of day you don’t want to spend the night having to defend your friend’s attitude and behavior. No one wants that. You want to go and enjoy yourself. If your friend is being awful to others because “that’s how it is” they can be that way at home.

You also don’t have to necessarily cut your friend off but keep in mind but having the conversation might tip it that way. Listen people with bad attitudes aren’t oblivious to how they are often times they don’t care. You can make up valid reasons of pain and past traumas and they all could be valid. However what’s not valid is knowing those triggers exist and expecting to be in a world where we should just deal with embarrassing behavior just because. Tell your friend the truth. Expect them to be mad. In time when they are ready to accept responsibility which also means change, you and your friend can hang out in public events without everyone around you having to be put off by your friend’s bad attitude.

As always good luck. Don’t back down because your friend will say that if you are my friend you should understand them. It’s not okay and accountability is important! Speak up and good luck!