Dec 31, 2014

2014 Highlights!

The theme of 2014 was BIG.  What a big year.  The year of the engagement, the wedding, and the best theatre experience of my life to name a few.  As always, my year end wrap up will be the highlight reel.  I find it to be a great way to reflect over the year, and to remind myself that there is always more good happening around us than we realize.  So, here is what made my year so awesome, and at the end, what I'm taking into 2015.

Sundance! The year started off with a couple fun events during the Sundance Film Festival, and I even got to reunite with a dear friend from school in NYC there.

Engaged! On Valentines day, my love asked me to marry him! What a journey we've had.  Like my mom said in her speech at our wedding, "I believe Matt and Deena have been on a journey TO each other."  I'll say.  We've been in each other's lives for three and a half years now.  It took a long time for the stars to align, but they were bound to.  It is true that some things are simply meant to be.

Married! We had the mountain wedding of our dreams on August 16th at Solitude.  It couldn't have been more perfect.  I still can't believe it.  We've never been happier! The most amazing thing is to hear those closest to me tell me the difference they seen in me in my new life.  My family and friends even see a physical change, all due to the happiness and truth I'm living in.  I see it, too.  I look different.  I glow.  The quote is true, "happy girls are the prettiest."  Following your heart will not lead you astray.  I am happy, healthy, home, and healed.  To everyone in my life now, you get me at my best! This is my beginning.

Hedda Gabler! The role of a lifetime.  I'll never be able to thank Javen Tanner of Sting and Honey enough.  For both casting me as Hedda, brilliantly directing me, and officiating our wedding! I've never had a more fulfilling, complex, moving, life altering, beautiful experience onstage.  This one is sacred.  I might as well retire!

Rings! I got back to The Grand Theatre after more than a decade away when they were able to offer me an equity contract and a great role as Ruby Kellpack in RINGS.

Streetcar named Desire! Just when I wondered where I could possibly go after Hedda, I was cast as Blanche Dubois.  Look out, Spring 2015.

Exposed at the Rose! I came back from a perfect Honeymoon just in time to perform with Pygmalion Theatre Company in this day long fundraiser creating an original piece.

Local TV! I put it out into the universe that I'd like to get involved in local tv again.  Good Things Utah had me host for a week and I had the best time! When things went in another direction, I was still amazed I got the opportunity I asked for, and I'm hopeful for the possibilities this might bring 2015.  So yes, universe.  I'm still looking for that perfect tv fit!

Gephardt Daily! When good things said no, they came calling.  This was an interesting couple of months.  A start up is an experiment.  Without clarity, there's no security.  It turned out this wasn't going to be the place for me after all.  But what I learned here was invaluable to what I really want in the future, and I absolutely loved hearing so many incredible stories from people in our community.  I want to spend a day in the life of just about everyone, so that part was a dream come true.  This also crossed my path with people who will be lifelong friends, and who will have a hand in helping me create magic in the future.

Salt Lake Magazine! I got the cover!

Got Beauty! I appeared not only on their Pops Box, but on two sides of the store itself all summer!

Todd Collins Photography! I surprised my husband with a Pinup shoot for Valentines day, thanks to my favorite photographer Todd Collins who also shot our wedding! With Todd, I always get the pictures of my dreams.  Only better.  Our wedding photos were featured everywhere! The Perfect Dress blog, Utah Bride and Groom, and Allure Bridals!

Jamberry Nails Shoot! I booked a big shoot for the upcoming spring catalog of Jamberry Nails! I can't wait to see it! I went back to being a red head for the day for this one.

Emcee! I love to emcee and I got to do it for two big events this year.  The Pygmalion Theatre fundraiser, When PYGS fly, and the SLC TEDx after party.  TEDx has had me host for two years in a row, and I've already agreed to a third!

Biggest lessons learned this year: No need to force a fit.  The universe will catch you.  You must jump.

PASSION. For 2015 I take with me the confidence that I know myself better than ever.  I know immediately when a person, situation, or job doesn't align with my soul.  Now, instead of chasing people, or seeing any kind of project through that isn't a fit, I'll go.  This is the year of passion.  If it's not speaking to me, if it's not resonating deeply in me, it's not worth my time.  I've come to trust that more than anything.  I live it again and again.  Life is so much nicer when you don't swim against the current.

CREATE. I'm looking forward to creating more.  Creating my own work that doesn't yet exist in a market here.  Creating things for other people.  Creating new opportunities in every way.  Creating in every sense of the word.

I enter 2015 whole.  Pure.  All is new.  Here we go.

Thanks for reading,

Happy New Year!

Deena Marie

Dec 14, 2014

Eternity in a decade.

I am leaving New York.  I'm laying on the couch of a Brooklyn apartment in pink pajama bottoms and a pink tank top and I am sure I'm going to die.  I will die of a broken heart right here.  Tomorrow when I leave, I will look my best.  I will pick myself up and do my hair and my makeup and I will singlehandedly lug these bursting-at-the-seams suitcases home.  I'll have a giant bruise to show for it on my thigh from where one of my bags will keep hitting me.  At the time, I won't notice the pain.  When the young man at the airport asks to help me and I say yes, I won't think that there is a tip involved.  And when he won't leave until I find my money I'll snap at him.  Can't he see the world as I know it just ended?

My life is over.

But little do I know, I'm only at the beginning.

Funny, isn't it? How looking back everything has fallen so perfectly into place? Yes, even the times you were certain all was lost, and you'd never survive.  As if the universe designed earth specifically for you.  Here is your planet, and your path is laid out.  It is designed to protect you.  In the times your heart shatters, it's because it needs to heal differently, bigger than before, with new knowledge that you needed.  But it's up to you to learn, and grow and listen.  To tune in and hear your truth.

I'm amazed how eternity can be crammed into one decade.  I've been so many people.  Who else will I be? At least now I can trust the process.  No fear.

You can only tune in when the time is right.  I couldn't have told the girl laying on the couch in the pink pajamas just how okay it would be.  That her big dreams will play out, what it will feel like to hold her puppy, that the best day of her life will be when she marries the man of her dreams in the mountains.  There will be a hard battle of fighting to be in the same place at the same time, emotionally, and physically.  But there will be love.  Every heartache will be worth it when she finally lands on this love.

I truly can't imagine what I might tell myself in another decade.  What will she say to to the girl who's sitting at her kitchen table typing on her laptop this December 2014, with a pup on her lap and a husband by her side, approaching their first Christmas married?

What eternities are in store?

I hope to remember heart shattering is survivable, and inevitable.  And okay.  And needed.  And the ebbs and flows are constant.  And to keep going, and growing, and tuning deeper into truth.  That life will be a constant experiment in feeling too much, and feeling nothing at all.  That you should sink fully into whatever the day calls for.

I feel both suspension, and forward motion.  A strange mix of being in the present, and looking ahead.

This is where the universe has me placed today, in time, for a needed reason on this blue planet.

And everything is okay.

Deena Marie

Dec 12, 2014


Last night I was watching you as you talked,
and I could see around you a tapestry of everything that has made you, you.
I sensed the home you grew up in, saw your parents, your childhood.
I loved them deeply for without them you would not be you.
I started thinking about all the people that will get to know you
over the course of your life,
and those who won't.
Then I got sad.
Thinking of all the people who will miss out on knowing you.
Friendships you'll never make.
Yet I got picked.  I am rich.  I am chosen.
I am in awe I get to know you, love you, be married to you.