Summer Foley

Singer Dancer Actor Model Advocate

Spring is here, Things are looking up

What I've loved about this year especially, in school and life, is that I've learned so much about myself. I had a bad habit of underestimating myself. I'm not sure why, but I almost automatically assumed I couldn't do something. This past month, I've been proving myself wrong. And it feels so good.

I recently competed in a Miss America local that I truly didn't think I could pull off. I don't know if a lot of people know this but pageants are HARD. You have to be interviewed not only about your resume and personal platform, but I was asked questions about our political climate, tuition, and even the Kardashians. I haven't been in a situation like that in over a year and I must say I loved the challenge. I then had to compete in a swimsuit portion, talent and then evening gown. 

I must say I really enjoy the pageant culture in the Miss America Organization. Every girl I competed with was incredibly friendly and although a lot of them knew each other, I feel like I left that theatre with 10 new friends. Something that meant a lot to me was being there with Miss Massachusetts. I really look up to her and I am happy that we were in the situation that we were. She is a wonderful example of someone who was not only a wonderful representative for Massachusetts, but someone to look up to. 

With all of that going on, I am also opening a show!!! I'm so excited for this piece. The music is absolutely stunning. And our stage direction and choreography embodies everything Bernstein meant with his orchestrations. I'm proud of this piece and cannot wait to share it with my colleagues, friends and family.

I'm looking forward to the rest of this semester and this summer. Only good things can come from all of this. Mostly though, I'm thankful. 

Rough Patches and Bean Bags

I say "thank god for this bean bag chair" a whole lot. An item in my apartment I know I can unload into, drop all of my weight, really let go. Sounds anti-climactic I'm sure, but those hour breaks I get in these now 15 hour days, save my life. 

I've recently started rehearsing for the main-stage musical at school. There is still a lot I don't know about this production, but from what I do know, it's hard to not be drawn into the concept, music and rhythm of Bernstein's MASS. The environment is different for me from any other one I've rehearsed or produced something in. Everything is given to us with a smidgen of freedom to interpret for ourselves and that's something I didn't realize I was really grateful for. I'm not sure if other performer's feel this, but I know if I'm told to do what feels right with choreography or music, I find myself taking away a lot more from the material. Of course every experience is different, but I'm truly enjoying this one.

Although I'm loving what I'm doing (for the most part), I must say it is hard to keep the spirit up. When I'm working my hardest on 4 hours of sleep and I'm surrounded by some of the most talented people in the country, it's very easy to turn to self-loathing, lack of worth and anything else that could make you feel just sub-par. However this weekend reminded me why I'm working like I am. I auditioned for a theater that I had previously performed at so I walked into the audition room knowing everyone behind the table and feeling the most comfortable I have in a while. I've (finally) developed a confidence in my voice again and felt great about how I sang as well. I was asked to read for both leads and was complimented on my artistry and I felt like someone actually looked at me. At previous auditions, I've walked into the room and I already know whoever is behind the table just wants me to walk back out because I'm not what they're looking for, etc. But on Saturday, I felt like someone wanted to listen to me sing and speak and it made the hard work a tangible thing for me. 

Spring Break is around the corner, just have to keep my head up until then! 

The Calm Before The Storm

The time has come. That's right, BREAK IS ALMOST OVER! Mixed emotions definitely, but boy am I ready to get going. 

I am always so thankful for break. It's a time for us students to decompress, wind down and appreciate the work we put in over the past 4 months. As draining, stressful, and tiring as first semester is, it is so rewarding to look back and see the massive amount of progress that takes place. This semester I felt more integrated into the community of my school and communities in Boston. I think it's safe to say Boston is my home base now. 

This Friday, I fly to NYC! That's right! The big fruit! I'm excited and anxious and stressed. However, I'm thankful for this break because as I've been working out, dancing on my own, and running through my audition material, I feel a wave of calm come over me. I'm prepared. Really prepared. The amount of people I have to thank for this "preparedness" is overwhelming but it sure makes me feel lucky. Lucky to be at the school I'm at, lucky to have parents that work their butts off to make sure I can stay there, lucky to have friends/mentors/teachers who support me and lucky to be able to do what I love.

I watched the Golden Globes Sunday night, and how inspiring. The community of actors we have in Hollywood are (for the most part) being responsible actors, and that was proven as Meryl Streep stood up and asserted her power as a woman, intellectual and artist in her truly articulate speech. This helped with this "calm" that's been coming over me. Sure, I'm stressed and anxious for an audition and to be somewhere where I am just one among thousands, but so was Meryl, so was Viola Davis, so was Emma Stone. If I work hard enough, there's a place for me out there. 

I'm excited to get out of my head and enjoy a weekend of "preparedness"! Off to the city I go. 

Here it goes: this self love thing

I've been saying, on almost every platform, that I'm focusing on "this self love thing". I call it that because I'm still not really sure what it is. I love the advice I've received about it, but at the same time, we are all so different. How am I to know that some way of thinking that helped my sister may help me? I don't. I don't know. 

However, I'm excited to figure this out. This kind of mind-boggling concept that some people inherently have, and some people never will. I've come up with my definition for "this self love thing", which is: a way in which I am able to treat my mind and body as equals and value my worth. I have to specify because I never really gave any love to my body. And I never thought that I'd have to really nourish my mind. 

I would say that I have matured more in the last four months, this past semester, than any other time in my life. School work was heavy, normal work was heavy, and my personal life went from my eternal joy to the thing I wanted to rid myself of. What I found in all of this though was how strong a positive mind can be. 

A lot of grieving took place from point A to point B, don't get me wrong there. But I found real solace in the acknowledgment of my pain. Knowing I was in pain about these certain events that had occurred reminded me that they were real. The happiness I received from that person and those memories was real. I am so thankful I had those experiences. I learned so much about what makes me happy, what makes me mad, what motivates me, and what suffocates me (not literally). 

I have never looked forward to a chunk of time in my life like I have for these next 6 months. Sure, some stress, loathing and road blocks will occur, but after this last semester, I figured myself out. I know what's going to lift me over these hurdles. And I know that if I treat my body right, and feed my mind positivity, I can be the unstoppable force I'm striving to be. Of course, mostly happy.