Summer Foley

Singer Dancer Actor Model Advocate

Economics applied to Life

I was looking through an old notebook yesterday as I was packing up my apartment, and I found my notes from my senior year of high school. Talk about resourceful. I almost didn't believe it, I mean I have kept(and used) that thing for three years! Of course I had scribbled mindless notes and drawings on the paper that reminded me of what my senior year was like... I'm laughing just thinking about it.

Regardless, I remember being in Mr. Weinrich's AP Economics class and him explaining stagflation in this thunderous, doom-filled demeanor. That kept me interested, but I did not fully grasp the concept until most recently. 

I was talking to my mom and I kept saying how I was scared that if I stayed in one place, I would become stagnant. I repeated this word in my head I'm not sure how many times before I made myself write it down in my journal and what it meant to me. For some reason, stagflation kept coming to mind. It really stuck with me for some reason, so I looked it up. Stagflation, by definition, is the persistent high inflation combined with high unemployment and stagnant demand in a country's economy. I had to shuffle those words around a little to understand that more clearly, but what I got out of it was that stagflation occurs when various facets of a whole do not compliment one another.

I know, that's kind of a 'huh?' statement, but this has meaning. I realized that I would become stagnant if I allowed one of these 'facets' to fall behind, or even worse, become a weakness. There is an opportunity cost with everything that I do. If you remember my post from a little over a week ago, I traveled over 10 hours for less than 10 minutes in that audition, but I may have gotten the job. There is an actual formula for this, where you calculate the difference ad divide and then subsequently this equation tells you whether or not to do or buy something. I know for myself, I would LOVE to have a simple math equation that tells me what to do with my life, but sadly, there will never be.

I know for me, moving to Boston and attending the Boston Conservatory was a major opportunity cost. I may have spent a lot more money than I had originally planned, but I gained things that are truly priceless. Just writing this made me think back to the insane adventures that I found myself taking part in over the last two years and the people and relationships that I get to cherish for the rest of my life. There is no formula or thing that can tell me what's to come and how to prepare, but my personal "economy" is not headed anywhere bad or scary like stagflation, and I've got several opportunity costs on my side. 

Not a teen, but not fully legal= "The inbetween"

When I was younger, I would anticipate my birthday for months. Once July rolled around, I was full birthday mode for the entire month. Nothing could have brought me down from this birthday high! It was a holiday I thought everyone knew about and something that I thought could not be looked over or forgotten. I used to throw large get togethers in my old house's massive back yard where my friends and I would swing from vines over the creek, hooting and hollering and my older sisters would attend with their cool, older friends there to supervise. 

I'm not sure when this began, but each year my birthday became less and less enchanting. I did not truly notice until this year. I had a sick feeling in my stomach the day before my birthday. I was on a run and I reminded myself that I may be in a feature film this fall, which was my goal at the beginning of this year (yay). I thought about who I would be excited to tell once I get the confirmation email and everything was set in stone. I started to make a list in my head: the couple of friends I have from school, my coaches and teachers, pageant friends, and I thought my family, of course!But then... I began to cry. Not a normal cry, but a really hard cry, one I think I hadn't really had the chance to access since Jaimie passed. I found myself on my hands and knees on this sidewalk, with a mixture of sweat and tears coating my face. I'm sure it was quite the sight but I wasn't too mindful of my surroundings in that moment. Jaimie, my sister was my biggest fan. For the past two years, Jaimie and I did not play phone tag, text or run up to each other in celebration when I was home from school, but she was still the sister that said how proud she was of me, even when I would be livid with her for something that means nothing to me now. What I wanted for my birthday this year was to hug Jaimie, tell her I did it! I wanted to tell her how sorry I am... the list continues to go on. 

To those of you who read this, I'm sorry if I'm a downer or if my life seems depressing. My life is actually really exciting, and I'm about to do some big things. I have a boyfriend that went above and beyond to ensure I had a wonderful birthday, and a family that showered me with love and celebrated me from afar. This next year will be a test for me, to see how I handle the beginning of my professional career, my emotional burdens and other responsibilities. I look forward to sharing my sister's story, and with a possible feature in an upcoming film, I'll have more gusto behind my name in regards to creating a dialogue around not only Jaimie's story, but so many other's.  I want to do something in my hometown. I'm not very fond of the place I come from, and I attribute the people's behavior there to my sister's downfall, but I can't hold what happened to Jaimie against anyone. I could, actually, but I won't. Instead, in this next year of my life, I'm going to educate those, who may have bullied her, or created life-shattering nicknames for her, on the detriments of their actions. I'm going to hope these people don't teach their ways to their children, and that I can reach them through the EW Foundation and other organizations that I am proud to stand behind in regards to character building. 

No longer a teen, but not fully legal. I'm already making the most out of this in between. 

WHY travel 10 hours for 10 minutes?

Today I'm taking 3 buses, a train and an Uber. Today I'm traveling across five states for maybe 10 minutes in front of a camera? Do I sound crazy? That's not even the best part. Today I'm traveling over 10 hours for an audition that may turn into nothing, that may turn into a wasted 60 dollars... or today could be the beginning of my career in film.

This all sounds dramatic I'm sure, but this is the reality of trying to break into a business that's selective and exclusive, but for good measure. I don't know what drew me to this line of work except for the fact that it kind of fell into my lap. If I was equally as talented at math or economics, you would find me in school for that, however, my talent is performing and singing and acting. If I was pursuing another field, you would find me doing the same thing though. If it was economics, I would work tirelessly to ensure I worked at the most prestigious financial firm, or if it was physics, you would find me working at NASA. I was dealt and different hands of cards though and now my goal is to share what I was given through the greatest vehicle we have for that, film.

From what I've noticed, people who are not familiar with the performing arts or the lifestyle of it, think that we actors are incapable of making a commitment. Well gee, I wish that was true. I could have hit snooze this morning, I could have smiled at my Boston Conservatory acceptance and chosen a safer route, where I could lead a normal, college life; however, the past two years of my life have been 12 hours of class every day, hours of practice, constant fatigue, yet a constant hunger to prove myself. 

So to say, this "hunger" has me traveling countless miles to prove myself to whoever will watch my outtakes this afternoon. There's no fear that comes along with these auditions, but more so an excitement. Some day, I'll get lucky. I'll get in front of the right person at the right time and my career will take off in another direction. Until then, I'll be traveling, training and committed to myself and my career. What a whirlwind this will be. 

Life Isn't a Narrative

Life has taken a new meaning for me recently. Days used to pass by and I'd be fine with that; however, I lost someone I loved, and I lost that person too soon. Now I'm reminded every morning by this ache in my chest, this pounding in my head as a result of an accumulation of "passing by". 

Time used to be so daunting to me. Even two months ago, I'd tell myself, I have so much time. I can do that tomorrow. Yesterday I woke up and my first thought was 'why do that tomorrow when I can do it today?' I'm sure that seems simple, but there really are enough hours in the day. I used to think that multiple tasks meant a stressful week or an unproductive environment for myself, but I have gotten off my phone, (tried to) steer clear of too much time on social media and I've found a different presence in my life. The more present I am, the more I get. 

I'm thankful I competed in Miss Massachusetts America last month. When I lost my sister, I thought to myself: 'you can't do this'. I kept saying that in my head over and over again. I kept thinking of how I would have to share my story continuously without time to properly grieve. I kept doubting my ability to find the joy in the pain of this situation. What I do know, is that I have an addictive personality. It must run in my family. I'm addicted to service. Service as in working with the platform and the #statewithoutstigMA campaign. I'm addicted to normalizing drug abuse and alcohol abuse in conversation. I'm addicted to spreading the joy of recovery and preventing children and young adults from ever walking down that path. I thank whatever higher power there is that I could share my story. Coming 1st Runner Up was an honor. I doubted myself a lot during Miss Massachusetts week and thought I would maybe make the top 5. What I will say is that I have never worked harder for something. I had a lot of emotional drive, so that was my advantage. This is an experience that was so positive in such a dark time of my life and I won't forget it.

The next stage of my life is a little blurry. I've decided I am not returning to The Boston Conservatory for personal reasons. I think my life is taking me down a different road. I will still be singing and performing, but I feel it is my obligation now to volunteer and speak publicly about addiction and children's character education. I am still pursuing my education and will be returning to a university in the spring. I always wanted to take a gap year to explore and audition and these next 6 months will be the chance I get to do that. 

Life can't be explained. I could not tell you where I see myself in even a couple of months, but what I can say is I will be even closer to pursuing my career. I will be even closer to shifting my reality to resemble my dreams.