Letters to Erika | Private Diary of an Actress in Training


In January my friends and I (a group of 7 of us) went to see The Wedding Party playing downtown. I saw it last year and thought it was the funniest thing ever! So of course I wouldn’t hesitate to see it again, and this time, I brought mes amigos.

seraphin and me

We had a wonderful time laughing our arses off. All the cast was the same except the main character, who was replaced with a new actress. I preferred the actress from last year because I thought she executed the role better, but it was still a really hilarious show! I cold not believe there was only a cast of 6–because there were 12 characters in the play! Can you imagine the quick changes happening backstage?! Must’ve been a cardio workout.

Okay now onto the juicy stuff.

Periodically for my acting major, we are expected to write a self-reflection paper on our progress. I usually list these in my “Private Diary of an Actress in Training” series (Are you enjoying them? Let me know in the comments below if you’d like to see more! ?). In this series, I share my private, honest, and rawest thoughts that sometimes are beautiful, sometimes painful, and sometimes just make no sense.

Let’s open up my diary for semester two of year three. Letters to Erika: I consider her a good mentor to me, and sometimes I’d share my thoughts with her, which I’ll also share with m’fitties:

It’s exhausting acting. It’s exhausting just being a human being. Who knew?

Today after movement class our teacher said to take care of our bodies, for releasing our emotional “constipation:: can be very detoxing and exhausting and draining. So get lots of sleep. LOTS.

I’m generally a go go go person–basing my success on the amount I get don’t; the results and the energy level I have left at the end of the day. This message was most humbling. And reassuring that I AM good enough, have done enough to matter what I get done and how well it is done and how energized I still feel after the task. I have the connotation that I have to be worn out by the end otherwise I didn’t’ give it my all.

In movement class, our teacher proposed that we take a break from our usual Journey (our chronological repertoire) and just sit and talk and do restorative meditation. She asked if we were “fried”. Looking around the room, a lot of us were fried like a chicken. D was sleeping on the floor, S curled up in a ball, and B stared blankly into space. I found myself rejoicing, relieved of the anxiety from going into the work. I exclaimed, “Yes!” a little more loudly that I intended. Despite myself feeling physically energized enough to the the Journey after sitting out from it yesterday.

The healthy animal inside all us humans moves from the core; everything is an extension of the spine. Erica undulated from the spine, and it traveled from her upper body all throughout, down to her lower body. The fully body is expansive and alive when there’a an authentic, physical sensation (and/or emotion) present. Seeing her demonstrate instead of announcing instructions orally made me finally understand what she meant.

Erika is so real; I respect her. She truly feels like a comrade, not just an instructor.

My hunched shoulders–I think I know where they come from. Perhaps it’s that I long to be embraced and to embrace for so long that unconsciously my body physically manifested this posture. It’s my higher self sending me a message that a need needs to be met. It’s my body-intuition, a sort of knowledge that lives in me but I cannot access intellectually.

Jan 24:

Today I am yellow.

Yellow is silly

Yellow is dopamine

Yellow is sunny

yellow without a capital Y


The sun is yellow

Spongebob is yellow

Yellow is carefree and smiley

Dean is yellow.

Yellow is talking to myself.


  • I don’t breathe very often, and when I do, it’s shallow and in my stomach rather than lower belly. (Jan 9)
  • I have a very tense back; massaging there always makes me feel sore the next morning. The good kind of sore, and different from workout-muscle soreness. (Jan 11)
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton: WHAT. A. TONGUE TWISTER! I think I may prefer Shakespeare. (Jan 12)
  • When I adjust my foot, my corresponding side’s hand moves too. It mimics the movement of my foot. It’s like this art of rubbing your tummy while patting your head that I can’t master yet! (Jan 13)
  • There are 5 types of love: Physical Touch, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Words of Affirmation. I always knew I was a person with a high need for words of affirmation, but I realized that I DO indeed need physical touch love–just in less frequencies but higher intensities. (Jan 14)
  • Going but at least for 2 hours daily brings so much emotional, mental and spiritual growth. There’s peace and refreshment. (Jan 15)
  • In the devil exercise: I actually love being EVIL. It feels wrong (morally) but it feels so satisfying to actually play the villain. Got a little too into character and hurt my partner. Not everyone has my high pain tolerance. (Jan 16)
  • I’m captivated by music; it seduces me. My classmate used this tactic on me when she was playing the devil and me her victim in luring me in. I am helplessly enchanted by music because it speaks to my on a soulful level words could never express. (Jan 16)
  • I am not PERFECT and do not have to be. I am human. And striving to be better every single day. (Jan 17)
  • “Paradise Lost” monologue exercise discovery:  I don’t need to push for an emotion because the words themselves are powerful enough to speak for themselves. I just need to concentrate on breathing into my ass–haha! That’s where the Lucifer character in me comes from. Trust the words and trust the breath. I imagined a fiery breath coming from my join, my root chakra. When I did, my voice got deeper. (Jan 23)


I have a habit of overindulging in a task until I exhaust it, and exhaust myself. I need to take a break. I need to be mentally resilient enough to step away peacefully, unattached and leave the work feeling refreshed.

Breathe deeper. I have to make a conscious effort to do a otherwise it only goes as deep as my stomach and not at the level of my navel. I think this will help me access emotions more.



I think I need to learn to step away from the task while I still feel refreshed. My movement teacher last year said to me, “leave the work feeling refreshed”, and I think this principle applies to everything in life; especially parties! You want to leave on a good note, not when the fun is all burnt and drained out. There’s no point in beating a dead horse.


Follow Up:

  • Tennis ball exercise, 5 minutes a day at least 3 times a week. I’ll use this on my upper and lower back; for those are my tightest areas, my buttocks, and my feet.
  • More sleep and massage and music: I’ll  allow myself to sleep in more on the 4 days I don’t have class: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
  • Meditation: 5 minutes a day, daily.
  • Set a timer to do tasks for 50 minutes at a time and take a mandatory 10 minute break after.
  • Don’t do the same homework more than 2 times that day.

January 29 

As I write this, I must tell you, I had the most horrendous sleep.

I tried ASMR but it didn’t work. I felt hot all night, I almost feel like this is what it MUST feel like to experience hot flashes in menopause. I wonder what I ate that made me feel that way, goodness. I woke up what must’ve been every 2 hours, and then around 2am I couldn’t fall back asleep until 4:45am. I woke up feeling super unrefreshed and late, around 10:15am when I usually get up around 9am. I booked in an Insanity workout this morning so I dragged myself to do it. and while it went MEH, I don’t regret it because I just grew a mental muscle and flexed my willpower. Booyah.

I have a lot of anxiety right now though because my entire day just feels so incredibly CRAZY and stressful and fraught, but I’ll be alright. I’ll do some laundry, watch America’s Next Top Model Season 19 and rest today. There’s a lot of other homework to do as well but I’d rather not think about that right now.

I booked a coaching session with a life coach today and here are some of my goals:

  • Meditation 2-4 times a week
  • Gratitude Journal 3-4 a week
  • If a negative thought comes up! “ASK FOR A POSITIVE THOUGHT
  • Observe When you are anticipating or have expectations about an event ask yourself “WHERE IS THIS THOUGHT AND BELIEF COMING FROM AND JUST OBSERVE”
  • As soon as your alarm goes off count 54321 Go jump out of bed.
    • (Week one continue as you are; week 2-3 jump out of be when the alarm goes off.)
    • Document your day, quick journal:
      • Mood 1-10
      • Energy 1-10
      • Motivation 1-10
      • if you worked out and meditated or filled in your gratitude journal.


Hi Erika,

These past few days have no been the best for me, I want to me honest with you. I am really bogged down and lost spiritually, mentally and emotionally for some reason and I can’t really put it into words. I thought I would let you know because I have a feeling you care. And that means the world to me to know that somebody out there cares–not just the, “Oh that sucks, I feel you!” classmate/stranger/acquaintance type of care, but someone that kinda knows, on a deeper level.
I’m worried about being lazy. I’m worried about not growing as an artist. I’m worried that I am not in the mood to do work–any work whether that be school work or even just the laundry.. I am worried that my Character Body project won’t progress. I am worried that my peers are all better than me. I am worried about feeling socially disconnected. I am worried that I’ll be stuck in this phase forever.
I know that this is a phase that must be important for me to grow in my life, and it just seems like it’s taking forever but I also have faith that that’s not true–I won’t be stuck here forever. 
It just hurts and I feel so lost and stuck and I don’t know what to do.
Thanks for reading. I don’t expect anything.


Do you keep a diary? What time of day and week do you usually journal?