EVENT DATE: Jun 20, 2013
UPDATE: We reached our goal but you can still support pizza parties in NYC and around the country! A Slice of Hope is serving it up in 21 states this year.
"No one has ever became poor from giving." Anne Frank
For about 6 months in 2008, I thought I might have breast cancer. Scan, wait, test, wait, biopsy, wait, wait, wait. During that time my thoughts ranged from --I'm not worried, there's no way I have cancer-- to --I should start organizing my life in case my body is riddled with cancer and I'm about to die.
I wondered about regrets.
I've lived a wonderfully full life so I didn't have many. Just one, as a matter of fact. That I never pursued acting. It was a childhood dream that somehow got lost but definitely not forgotten. So when I was finally given the "all clear" I decided to find a place to study. Try googling "acting schools in NYC," why don't you. I was totally overwhelmed not to mention intimidated. I wasn't telling too many people about this because I thought they'd laugh or try to discourage me. But there was one person I knew I could tell and who would not only encourage me but know where I should go--- Jeff Rindler. You have to go to HB, he told me. Never heard of it, I said.
I took my first technique class at HB Studios with Joe Daly in January, 2009. Then onto scene study, also with Joe Daly. And I haven't left. I don't intend to leave as long as he's at that desk. There's something about this man and something about this particular class. He is a wise, encouraging, challenging, funny, no BS guide. He doesn't direct so much as inquire. But he doesn't want you to tell him the answers. He wants you to think. To explore. And to be.
As for the students, well there's an equally special mix. Many of them have also been in the class for years. Some are newer but it's hard to leave once you're in and there's always more to learn. They're a group who supports and encourages. Maybe sometimes teases but always alongside a note of congratulations for taking that risk. I don't know if I would have continued if I hadn't landed in such a supportive environment. I feel so incredibly lucky. And blessed.
The other constant in the room is our key student (or teacher's assistant),Obaid Kadwani. He is a part of creating the environment of mutual support. And seven years ago he created something else--- A Slice of Hope. An organization that brings pizza and live music to people in homeless shelters across the country for one week each June.
This year a group of students from Joe's class will sponsor one of these parties at a NYC shelter. We need to raise $500. Such a modest amount in relation to the impact. We wouldn't be sad if we soared past that amount but that's the minimum we need.
So any other HBers out there want to join us? Whether you're there now or were there in another lifetime. Or anyone else so inclined.
It took a health scare to get me to pursue a dream. And my life is forever changed and enriched. You would be amazed what some pizza and a warm smile can do to encourage others to feel they can even have a dream. To feel like they have a chance.
That's it. If you've actually read this whole thing (sorry, I didn't intend to go on and on), you may as well click below and make a little donation. I mean, you've come this far.
(oh, and PS, five years later my girls are still "all clear")
For more information and pictures of A Slice of Hope, go to www.asliceofhope.org.