ENCOURAGED

There are times in your life when you will be positive, ambitious, driven and there will be other times when you will be filled with self doubt and fear. Being an artist takes you on a constant rollercoaster of emotions and you are forced to develop a tough skin. Your support system plays a huge role in your life. Focus on uplifting each other. I have been 'saved' many times by my amazing circle of family and friends and I'm forever thankful to each and every one of them that have ever poured insight, love and wisdom into me. So to anyone that feels defeated, lost, confused and doesn't feel like their getting anywhere, here are a few words of encouragement that will hopefully allow you to see and trust that with hard work and determination, you will get out of this rut and attain your purpose. (Written specifically for my friend who is an artist but can be applied to anyone): "Listen we chose one of, if not, THE toughest career choice out there. We are forced to self motivate and face rejection everyday. Despite it all remember this...God created every single one of us and instilled specific gifts/skill sets inside of us. We already have what it takes to fulfill his purpose. When we doubt, question, get confused...that is not of God. Those are the obstacles set on our path to remind us that we are still part of this destructive world. Stand still, have faith and know who you are in him."

- "There is always light at the end of the tunnel but you still have to walk towards the light."                                           Sagine

Gratitude

I was recently asked, by my dear friend, to answer a few questions for a project he's about to launch in September. I did not know the questions in advance, therefore I could not prep for what he was about to ask me. In my mind I have performed in front of complete strangers for years,  read and write all the time, have MANY in depth conversations with people about several different topics, so surely answering his questions would be no big deal.  I would be fine.  He sat to the right of the camera, asked me if I was ready to begin and called action. "Please, define gratitude in your own words."

  Again, not write down a paragraph or two on the subject but verbally define the word in front of a camera, beneath strong lights, against a white backdrop, facing my two friends and a microphone.

I completely froze. Searching for words, concerned about the order in which the words would come out of my mouth, if they would even make any sense...what was I even trying to say. I knew the meaning of the word but I had never been asked to explain it. Eventually I said a few things but felt all over the place. Maybe I should take some public speaking classes, I thought :p

So after the interview I came home and thought that I would use this forum as a fifth chance to define this word clearly (yes, it took about four takes lol).

Gratitude, to me, is more than just being thankful. It's a deep appreciation and acknowledgment for what you currently have and where you are in life. Our situations influence what we are grateful for tremendously. As human beings we are prone to taking things for granted, not always living in the moment and not appreciating what we already have because we are so busy chasing what it is we think we want. We forget that every breath, our ability to walk, talk, smell, touch, see and having complete use of our limbs aren't promised to us. We aren't in control of any of it and we should be grateful for ALL of it on a daily basis. 

Gratitude is a feeling of overwhelming joy and happiness for the people that surround you, realizing the influence/impact they've had in your life. Anyone from family, friends to teachers and complete strangers.

Gratitude is doing a self evaluation and identifying life's gift. Also taking ownership of the role you've played in steering the course of your own life by making certain choices.

Today I'm grateful for knowing God and the role he plays in my life. I'm grateful for my amazing family and my core group of friends. I'm grateful for who I am today and who I'm becoming tomorrow. I'm grateful for the experiences I have had and the dreams I have yet to realize. I'm grateful for knowing what I now know and the ability to learn and apply the teachings. I'm happy and appreciative of the countless blessings that have been strategically placed in my life. For all of it...I'M GRATEFUL!!!

*** Interview coming soon:) ***

56th Annual Grammy Awards...Disappointing???

Last Sunday many waited, in anticipation, to watch the Grammy's. Starting off with the red carpet which, in my opinion, was a little boring compared to previous years. Some chose not to walk the carpet and others chose not to show up at all. Hilarious!!!

With so many unpredictable scenarios taking place lately at these awards shows *cough, cough...Miley, many don't know what to expect anymore.  Beyonce and Jay Z set the tone for the stage with their sultry/steamy but tamed rendition of 'Drunk In Love' (if you can call Beyonce's outfit tamed)

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Just saying lol...

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and left us all wondering what the other artists had in store for us.

Unfortunately the only other performances that really stood out to me were Pink's amazing aerial performance of 'Try' filled with acrobatics, similar to her 'Glitter In The Air' Grammy performance back in 2010.

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Kendrick Lamar (7 nominations - 0 wins) and Imagine Dragon's energetic and unexpected mashup performance of 'm.A.A.d City' and 'Radioactive'.

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And of course the forever memorable and emotional Macklemore, Mary Lambert and Ryan Lewis 'Same Love' performance with contributions by Madonna, Queen Latifah and Trombone Shorty. Where 33 gay and straight couples gathered in the aisles, of the Staples Center, to say "I Do!"

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My best dressed goes to:

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Beyonce in Michael Costello

Best coloured gown goes to:

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Giuliana Rancid in Alex Perry

And the "I'm surprised I liked it!" award goes to:

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Paris Hilton in a white Milani dress. I     loved the back sheer paneling.  Beautiful!

All in all, not what I was expecting from the 56th annual Grammy Awards but hoping the upcoming Oscars will make up for it :p

Ciara, Kim and Gabrielle - Pregnant or Engaged....why does your opinion matter?

Before watching Ciara (engaged to rapper Future) on The View yesterday, I had heard rumors of her being pregnant. Wait, I'm lying. The rumors I "heard" were actually random Instagram postings I had read. I use the word random because the comments left of baby bump sightings, pregnancy glows and reasoning behind the "sudden" proposal had absolutely NOTHING to do with the pictures posted by the singer. On her way to The View, dressed in Costume National, she posted this picture on Instagram.

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The comments, of course, continued and fans were asking if she was going to address the pregnancy rumours. At the end of the interview Barbara Walters asked the question everyone wanted to know and Ciara answered by smilling, standing up and exposing her baby bump.

I then immediately went back on Instagram, to the same Ciara picture I had seen an hour ago. As expected her comment section was inundated with "I knew it!" and "Congratulations! " But one comment in particular stood out to me:

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I then decided to visit other pages belonging to celebrities who had recently shared their good news with the world Kim Kardashian (recently engaged and has a child with Kanye West) and Gabrielle Union (recently engaged to Dwayne Wade) and was even more shocked to see what I read.

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Listen, yes I have fallen victim to watching, critiquing and even laughing at some of the absurdities I have witnessed on reality tv shows and social media. I may even have discussed it in the moment or a day or two later to one or two friends but THAT WAS IT! To go as far as leaving derogatory, racist and degrading comments on a stranger's page is shocking to me. As much as you may think you know these celebrities (based on tabloids, rumours, interviews, tv shows and books ) YOU DON'T KNOW THEM!!! They are strangers and you aren't given both sides or all details to the situations at hand. So STOP IT!!!

Again my issue isn't with the opinions, as we are all entitled to them, but with the comments written and left, meant to be read, affect and hurt these individuals who, before anything, are still human beings. I feel confident in saying that these "comment leavers" would never have the courage or audacity to make these exact same comments directly to the faces of these celebrities given the opportunity. Half of them have private accounts or no pictures of themselves on their pages. Simple, immature attention seekers. Is it just me or is this just going too far?

#ThinkAboutIt

Murdoch In Ragtime

In an all new episode of Murdoch Mysteries (Monday nights at 8pm on CBC), the lead singer of a ragtime traveling group is murdered and William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) is asked to solve the crime. Watch "Murdoch In Ragtime" by clicking the link below, you might just recognize a few familiar faces dancing away:) http://www.cbc.ca/murdochmysteries/episodes/season-7/murdoch-in-ragtime

Set in the late 1800's,  the set was amazing and depicted the times perfectly.  The cast and crew freely opened up their space to us and we took full advantage as we explored every single inch of every single room. From the jail cells to the wardrobe, we got to role play in them all. CONCEPT VIDEO!!! LOL  Thank you to the choreographers Mark A. Samuels and Kevin Howe for having me on board and to the other 3 fantastic dancers I got to dance with (Melissa Bizzy and Jungle). I had a great time!!!

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Melanie Durrant - New Single "GONE" (Video)

Check out Melanie Durrant's video for her new single "GONE". Beautifully captured and directed by both Melanie Durrant and Slakah the Beatchild, we are instantly lured into the sultry world of sequined gowns, smoky dressing rooms and Vegas Showgirls.  This song is cool, sexy, sassy and catchy. At first listen, you'll agree that it more than qualifies as the next 007 theme song. With lyrics like:

"May bring you flowers time to time / but not before I get mine"

and

"Let's face it / You're basic / I'm the main chick, master of this ship"

and

"And if you think he loves you're so wrong / He only wants you when I'm Gone"

you are quickly introduced to a modern day voice who isn't afraid to put you in your place and tell it like it is. Melanie Durrant is a brilliant songstress who continues to put out the type of music you actually want to hear.  Alongside two amazing dancers Latoya Robinson and Jasmyn Fyffe and choreographed by the one and only Tazz, I had a great time working on this project, surrounded by immense talent, beauty and enough jokes:)  View the video below as well as a few behind the scene pics.  Love you, your family and the crew Melanie, can't wait to do this again:)

I'M GONE!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_xl5UVVopc

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Keeping Your Peace!

I must say since Thanksgiving my world has completely shifted. Granted these changes were in affect long before that special weekend but it all seemed to  finally make sense. I was finally at a point of acceptance, ready to receive.  I had been suffering through "labour pains" for nine months and I was finally about to give birth.  Now let me be clear... I'm NOT pregnant. However this analogy had been thrown to me many times before whether it be in church through sermons or discussions that I had been having and I found it fitting to me.  For the longest time I had been thinking: " Something has to give here!". I had been working hard and trying to do so many different things, big and small and NOTHING was working out in my best interest. I was on the sidelines watching everyone else succeed but me. My doors were ALWAYS closing or were simply sealed shut. I was listening to everyone's happy stories and trying to stay positive by speaking the usual affirmations into my life: 1) "What's mine is mine."

2) " Everything happens for a reason!"

3) "I may not see or understand why this happened or is happening but there is good in it."

4) "I will continue to fight and push through."

5) "Change is good; learn to operate in your new surroundings."

It had gotten to a point of complete frustration. I had absolutely no control over the situations and couldn't think of any way to get out of them.  I was constantly in tears and would feel happy for a quick minute and then go right back to a very dark, lonely place. I had gotten to a place where I embraced my solitude and didn't go out unless I absolutely wanted to or needed to.  Even in those moments, I had to really make the effort.  I had so many questions, so much pain, so much built up anger and resentment, it was stunting my growth and progress. Now I do realize not all pregnancies are excruciating or  a horrible experience but for the sake of this text, I'll ask you to picture the worst case scenario possible.  Also, please keep in mind that this whole episode stemmed from a place of loss and deep sadness.  So for me to have come around, without hitting rock bottom, like I could have, was truly a miracle within itself. And I'm extremely thankful that it didn't come to that.  After God, I was extremely fortunate to have the right people in my life during my father's illness and after his passing. There's was no way my life could of been the same after such a traumatic, life altering event. So the shift had to be huge. It had to turn my entire life upside down and back again. And I'm sure this is just the beginning. I don't even know if I have fully dealt with everything and am done with the grieving process but I trust something powerful has happened in my life and continues to do so. I am anew. New surroundings, new self confidence, new found love for the individuals who are now in my life. A new spiritual awakening. Full restoration, open doors and this feeling of inner peace I never want to lose.  The same way Happiness is a choice, so is being at Peace! Don't let anyone shake it or disturb it. Once you have managed to get through it all....make sure to hang on tight and KEEP YOUR PEACE!