'HAMILTON' STAR CALLS CSO 'ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING ORCHESTRAS IN THE WORLD': An Article in the Cincinnati Enquirer

This week’s piece is an article that I wrote for the Cincinnati Enquirer in anticipation of ‘Hamilton’ star Renée Elise Goldsberry coming to town. And, for context, I’d like to share with you all just how much my conversation with Renée meant to me, and why I feel so blessed to be a professional storyteller.

The day that Renée called, I was not in a good place - mentally, emotionally. I deal with a lot of sad, vulgar, heartbreaking stories every day as a breaking news reporter. I am reminded on a daily basis just how cruel we can be towards one another. It’s not always enough to break me down, but that particular day had been rough.

Renée called me at around 8 p.m. as I was in the middle of writing up an article on a man who is accused of child rape. I picked up my phone, stepped away from my desk and went into a quiet room. I greeted Renée and was immediately met by her warm, kind voice. I could physically feel myself begin to heal from a long day as she talked to me about her love of music and performance, two of my own passions that have sat on the back burner as of late.

Towards the end of the interview, I asked Renée what she thinks will be next in her already accomplished career.

This was her response:

“As long as somebody will invite me, I will come to do this. Because it really is a platform to remind us about how good we are. We really are a wonderful species. We’ve created so many things, and one of the most amazing things is music. And it can really save the world and so I’m doing my very, very, very small part.”

I’m not sure if she could hear me over the phone - if she did, she didn’t mention it - but I let out a soft sob at this statement. The dichotomy of her words with the day I’d had overwhelmed my emotions completely. We soon ended the interview and I sat alone for a few more moments, trying to digest what had happened and why I was crying.

I’m still processing it all, actually. I think I will be for a while.

The one thing I do know is that I am beyond lucky to do this work. Telling these stories - all of them - keeps me humble, curious, empathetic and always wanting more. Even on the hardest days, I’m reminded of the good. So thank you, Renée.

Link to the story: 'Hamilton' star calls CSO 'one of the most amazing orchestras in the world'

NOT QUITE A CASTLE: An Original Song

I’ve been living on my own in Cincy for almost a month now, and I find myself smiling more than ever. I came up with this song this week and thought I’d share. It’s a raw recording, and not perfect by any means - but it’s fun to play, fun to sing, and put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Hope it makes you smile, too. Happy Friday!

Lyrics:

I don’t have much, but the much I have is mine

It feels so good to sit in an empty room drinking an 8 dollar bottle of wine

I’m sitting on the floor

Not asking for anything more than this

Cuz all I have is this, and this is all mine

I go to work and I love what I do, which more than most could say

I got dreams and I got the means and the spirit to be on my way

I’ve got nothing to lose, I got no complaints, Really, I’m doing just fine

I’m walking around like I’m wearing a crown, because all of this is mine

I got love

I got smiles for days

I got a toaster oven

And my mom bought me duvet

It might not look like much

But it’s home to me

No, it’s not quite a castle

But around here, baby, I’m the queen

I don’t have much, but the much I have is mine

Open my fridge, I got margarita mix, don’t ask me for a lime

Turn this empty room into a dance floor

No, I don’t need anything more than this

Cuz all I have is this, and this is all mine

I got laughs

I got friends just down the street

I got ice cube trays

And ordered a vacuum cleaner last week

It might not look like much

But it’s home to me

No, it’s not quite a castle

But around here, baby, I’m the queen

SAVE OUR SOULS: An Original Song

I had to take some time to process my thoughts after last week’s shootings, starting a new job and the overall madness that is the 21st century so far. Since I was about 7 years old, writing music has been one of my favorite ways to get my feelings out. I never claim to be a star vocalist, and this video is extremely raw, but I feel good about the lyrics and thought I’d post for a (late, sorry) Write-A-Week. This is not the kind of content that I usually share, so please let me know your honest thoughts. Next week’s will be posted on Friday as usual.

Sending love to every soul in our crazy world.

SONG LYRICS:

Someday they’ll look back and they’ll know where we went wrong

That day they’ll hold each other and know that they belong

But today it’s unplanned anger, horror strikes again

And no one wins

But what happened to caring and kindness and open hearts

Now all of my daydreams turn nightmare and I’m breaking apart

I’m breaking down

Hoping someone comes around to save our souls

Look around at this rare sight of looking eye to eye

Then it’s gone in an instant, no time for goodbye

And in the pain it’s easy to blame but loving is easy, too

If we only try

But what happened to caring and kindness and open hearts

Now all of my daydreams turn nightmare and I’m breaking apart

I’m breaking down

Hoping someone comes around to save our souls

I remember, 8 years old, being told everything would be okay

Well, I guess things change

No one’s safe

Save our souls

No one’s safe

Save our souls

No one’s safe

Someday they’ll look back and they’ll know where we went wrong