Halloween Transformation

Happy Halloween!

What are you dressing up as this year?

This may be one of my favorite times of the year, because it’s when everyone gets dressed up in fun costumes!  My mother says I wouldn’t come out of the womb until the lighting was right, so the dramatic flair has been present since day one.  And then, I went into a 20 year career dressing up for a living!

Except, Halloween was actually the time when my creativity went dry.

Do you ever feel this?

You would think I would be coming up with amazing new costumes every year, right?  Wouldn’t the stage performer just thrive in this holiday?

Yet as an adult, I was finding myself stuck year after year dressed as the same thing, and having NO idea why I wasn’t inspired to change.

It wasn’t until I lost everything that Halloween changed for me, and in turn transformed me.

And caused me to actually ask,
What do I want to be for Halloween?

I remember the day so vividly.  I was at college and Halloween was coming up.  I wanted to dress as something different and went to the costume shop just off campus.  I looked into the glass counter and saw them, fake vampire teeth.

My heart skipped. I loved vampires and was obsessed with author Anne Rice and her whole Interview with the Vampire series.  It felt powerful and exciting and I decided that year to dress up as a vampire.

I got a sexy outfit, a blue wig, and fake blood capsules so I could have my latest “meal” running down my cheek. It was so much fun and I got tons of compliments that night on my costume and how realistic the teeth were. I put them in a soft black bag in my jewelry box to return to for the next year.

It was a success, why not just repeat?

Year after year, I would go to that little black bag, grab the blue wig, and wear something black.  Years went by, and I just thought,
Well, I know what I’m going to be this Halloween, so there’s no need to change. I’m a vampire.

Party after party, wearing the fake teeth, and playing out the same role…..for over 15 years.

And as time went on, I was also feeling frustrated I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my career. I had hit a ceiling and couldn’t figure out how to break past it.  What was in the way?

Can you relate?

And then everything fell apart.  In one year’s time, I lost my marriage, my home, was robbed, and lost a dear friend to a heart attack.

Nothing was the same, and for the first time in my life, I asked for help, and I found Zen Buddhism.  I started meditating, and one of the largest lessons I learned was,
Change is constant.

When Halloween came around, I looked at the little black bag and did something radical.
I threw it away.

And I asked the question,
What do I want to be for THIS Halloween?

I found myself looking at the blue wig I had worn as a vampire, and asked,
Is there another way to use this?

And my inspiration hit.

I decided to dress as an Auror.  According to the Harry Potter universe,
An Auror is a member of an elite unit of highly-trained, specialist officers. They are trained to investigate crimes related to the Dark Arts, and apprehend or detain Dark wizards and witches.

I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and I was re-connecting with what inspired me, plus, realized as I was re-building my life, that I was actually magical.

I walked around all day with my wand, casting spells, and felt something shifting around the holiday.
Fun was returning.

The following year, I asked the same question again,
Who do I want to be for THIS Halloween?

At this point, my life had radically changed.  I was in an apartment I loved, meditating daily, working with a coach, and had a complete resurgence in my performance career.

I had made the decision to become certified as a coach and was actually dating again.  Many of my friends were calling me something that really resonated, as I was building my life from the ashes,
A Phoenix.

So, I dressed as a Phoenix for Halloween.

The next year I was a dragon.
Then HIndu goddess Shakti.
Then Game of Thrones Mother of Dragons, Daenarys Targaryn

Every year it changed, and Halloween became a reflection of who I was at that moment.

Because I had learned, I was capable of change.
I was becoming and changing with every year.

And Halloween became a celebration of that.

So, who do you want to be this Halloween?

What if Halloween isn’t about being someone else, but actually celebrating your strengths and your inspiration?

Take out a piece of paper and a pen, and write down all the characters you have dressed as.  Now, write down the values and qualities you love about them.

When we see these qualities in others, it’s actually a reflection of our own inner power.  Those qualities you have written down are also what you own in yourself.

That first year I was a vampire, I was empowered and really wanting to celebrate that.

But, then, I lost connection and stopped checking in.  I became more concerned with putting on an act and looking like I was powerful, then actually accessing my true confidence. I got stuck, and dressing up as a vampire was really a reflection of how disconnected and scared I was.  If I wasn’t a vampire, who was I?

I lost track of the simple fact,
Change is constant
I am capable of growth
I can change

This may be the largest gift you give yourself.

What if the challenge you are in right now is there FOR you?
What if where you are stuck is calling you to make a new step?

Thank goodness I lost everything. It woke me up and cleared the deck so I could really see what was going on.

I wouldn’t be here with you, and I would have never connected with the fact that I am, and have within in me,
A Dragon
A Goddess

So, ask yourself this question,
Who ARE you?

You don’t need to pretend anymore. 

Let Halloween be the invitation to celebrate ALL of your glorious magical strengths.


Neck Grab Fire

Feet enter the studio space, bags thrown down, and shoes removed. Coats unzip, and as hands leave each sleeve, the arms emerge unencumbered by December chill, stretching in the open space, with fingers flexed.

We stand, all three, before the mirrored walls and window overlooking a darkened Eighth Avenue.

Our soles touch the wooden floor, from heel to arch, mapping out a pattern, leaving the smallest trace in the light dust from the traffic of the day.

At first only two feet move, the feet of the teacher, as we stand taking in the solo story, observing before translating to our own legs and breath. Then we move in unison, students of each other’s phrase, assimilating the simple questions:

If you had 32 counts to tell a story, what would you say?

How would you move?

What part would you tell?


The idea was born of a song, and a simple lyric,
“Don’t you know I breathe in Fire, breathe out Fire?”

I could feel constriction around my throat.  Something was stuck.

My feet hit neighborhood concrete last year, stepping in time to the infectious beat and simple ukelele strum of Merrill Garbus.  Though the subway entrance, with steps yawning open to the street stood in my field of vision, I saw only dancers telling a story before my eyes.

Each story was site specific, told from the room it occurred in, and all within a home.

What happened between us makes sense if I’m nothing.  You’re all if I am nothing at all.”

I saw the story for months, and then November winds began to blow. I wanted to create the piece before the ball dropped, so I reached out in specificity.

I asked the dancers two questions, and sat with my own answers.  I knew my story intimately, and chose the living room. The other two spoke from the bedroom and kitchen, and we came together, to learn what each gesture meant.

We formed a community, a trio of strength.  Tears fell and laughter rang. We grabbed shoulders, opened our wrists, and laid our heads, leaning gently before lifting in rhythmic time.


In the new year, once the holidays had passed, we clothed ourselves in red, and struck a match, so we could dance through the camera’s lens.

No longer apart, but moving as one, now it could be shared.  My hands grabbed for my throat, but felt only space.

“I am in bloom at the end of the world.”

Now, Share your Story.  You are not alone.

Trio Lean Fire

Smiling Incense Fire