Forgive me but I’m going to state the obvious: the same roads that divide us bring us together. Our communities are so close by that it’s no surprise that the synergy between us feels so entirely natural. That is, in fact, a point that our Executive Editor Beth Besen noted so well with our launch edition, “It’s Hip to Be Square,” (in celebration of a true downtown revitalization) and I would like to offer that message again.
Here’s why: That same synergy is very much at work as we work hard producing our two Inside Press publications: Inside Chappaqua and Inside Armonk. There are stories in Inside Chappaqua that may appear to be “more Chappaqua,” but in fact, can easily appeal to Armonk, or any Westchester community (or “beyond,” for that matter). One such story is the formation of the Northern Westchester Artists Guild, “If you Guild it…” That story was originally slated to run in Inside Chappaqua only, but I am delighted to have “found the space” to include it here too. While it may have been spearheaded by one terrific Chappaqua mom, Leslie Weissman, it is still, at its heart, a story that could appeal to anyone, anywhere with a passion for the arts.
And if I’ve learned nothing else about Armonk, I know North Castle boasts a thriving arts community with volunteers dedicated to offering and promoting the arts as well…proof positive of that being the annual and spectacular Armonk Art Show that we proudly featured in our second edition.
Your incredible arts passion is also reflected in a story in this issue about the amazing community theatres that have their grass roots on North Castle soil. I am so impressed to know that just ten minutes from my own home there are so many options for adults possessing a genuine yen to act, the talent and skills to do so, and/or contribute to theatre efforts behind the scenes. I’m impressed…and intrigued for my own personal reasons.
This past fall, I have been positively overtaken by an acting bug. It’s been a recurring phenomenon in my life, I must admit, and I address it as best I can, considering time constraints, alas. It all started when I had the lead role of “Mama” in an 8th grade production of “I Remember Mama.” A standing ovation in an auditorium filled with family and friends created a moment of pure adolescent glory that’s fun to remember and reignite by engaging in new efforts. While my career of course took a difference turn (as I sit here writing a publisher’s letter in a magazine to you all!), over the years, I attended a New York City acting school (the Lee Strasberg Institute), took acting and improvisation classes in the various neighborhoods I’ve lived in–pre marriage, post marriage and post divorce. I took two workshops at one point in Pleasantville with Howard Meyer’s Acting Studio, and I can vouch for the professionalism of its instructors and stellar performances of the Axial Theatre. I’ve enjoyed several productions of The Armonk Players too, and I have worked directly with the wonderful John Finelli, the founder of Standing Ovation Studios. John directed me in a lead role I had as the Wicked Witch in a production of Music in Chappaqua and the Saw Mill Summer Theatre Group at Tarrytown Music Hall.
Finally, having incorporated a great deal of Sam Morell’s beautiful photography into this edition, I’m aware of his talents, and now entirely curious to attend a production of his Small Town Theatre Company one day too!
But I digress from the synergy discussion I led with. Ah well. Changing topics? Entirely natural for me too!
If you allow me one final topic change/confession too: I sit here writing this with a good dose of the winter blues. It’s been an unusually frigid February, and I’m thrilled that I can at least focus on spring themes in my work. It sends my imagination soaring to hope for new possibilities, not only in my “acting life,” but on an even more personal note, in my love life as well!
I hope to continue sharing “my story” with you all from time to time. I would LOVE to hear from many of you too…with your own stories–your thoughts, essays, and general ideas about Armonk living. Beth and I wish nothing less than to continue to embrace and understand your community as much as possible and reflect that understanding in these pages. Feel free to write me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, here’s to waking up to spring, which brrrr…cannot come soon enough!