Hey, you luscious garden tomato 🍅

You might remember our 800 square foot stucco house sitting on the hillside of Stratford Road in Highland Park.

I planted a garden in our front yard, and we got some beautiful beets and rainbow chard out of those raised beds. Lookiiiit!

Me back in the day with carrots and my fave veggie….parsnips!

We also had a guava tree that stranger danger neighbors helped themselves to–and a persimmon in the back that mysteriously lost its fruit every October. 

The Highland Park Fruit Thieves Association had their finger on the pulse of our front yard harvest season.

I loved the view from the living room window out across the Mount Washington neighborhood– stunning sunrise light usually splashed eastward across the hills. 

I’d be awake, and Melissa would be trying to fall back asleep, offended and baffled by my obscenely early waking time.   

When we decided to move, our realtor, Winnie, told us our house could sell for a higher number than I’d even considered. 

This was great news because Melissa had bought the house in her early twenties (pretty badass, right?) right before the 2007/8 market crash (which made it a pain in the ass for a badass). 

The house kept her in LA for years longer than she planned to stay because she was upside down like many mortgage holders.

Worked out great for me because I got to meet her! 

So, to know that we were gonna sell and be a lil in the black was a huge relief. 

That money helped us buy the used Accord I drove into the ground here in NC–we called her Margaret, the iron lady. 🚗 Thanks, Margaret.

A hipster couple, Max and Miriam, bought our house, and they were featured on a fixer-upper house show. I didn’t realize we lived in a fixer upper–just that we needed a new roof.  

When Winnie told us the number, I felt like Really? We can ask that much for this house? 

But we asked for it, and we left LA just before I did further damage to my vocal folds screaming in gridlock on the 5 Freeway. 

Cut to 2021, and Melissa’s bestie, Leo, sent her a Redfin link for our lil house on the hill.

Our wee little abode with the uneven front steps where I used to grow carrots and arugula in my planters sold for almost one. million. dollah. 🤯

Someone paid 200K above asking. 

Mind you, the makeover show did some crazy overhauls, but still! 

So, Dan, what does this home buyer with 200K to spare on a small stucco house in eastern LA have to do with me and my vocal dreams?

Everything, my friend. Everything.

The takeaway for you is this. 

Somewhere, there is someone who is gonna want to pay 200K above asking for what you got. You’re gonna be like, Wha? Really? 

You may even feel super uncomfortable and want to run and hide in Imposter Syndrome Alley.

But it’ll happen. Someone is gonna look at you–

and even if you don’t have that gussied-up deck featuring golden sunset views and a new outdoor closet storing your stackable washer/dryer instead of the corrugated shed under our kitchen window that we had to duck into–

someone’s gonna look at you and say, you know, you’ve got what they call great bones, and I want to invest in you. 

Go where people see you and value you. If you’ve been in a place where that hasn’t happened in a while, you might have forgotten that it feels really good. And right. 

Or you may be unfamiliar with the sensation altogether, and that means you just need some time to make the unfamiliar familiar.

You deserve to be around folks who see you, celebrate you, and see the gold in you. 

Maybe together with your people you’ll build a castle with a nice view of the sunrise, and you’ll be the gatekeeper–

and you’ll open it wide for artists who want to bring the kind of beauty to the world that heals, crushes crusty opinions, and helps people see each other–see the soul and not all the bullshit artifice we throw up to try to compete. 

We’re moving into a new zone, and I want you to know you’re gold. 

You matter. You got beauty. You have gifts to bring.

I want you to notice where you and your gifts are seen, celebrated and needed. Put your body in that place, and turn on your Care Bear stare.

Because remember–there is only one you, and folks need to hear the story only you can sing.

Love much,

ps I’m not just gonna tell you about the house and not throw you a link. Here it is. She looks nice. I don’t know about north of 900K nice, but somebody thought so.

pps I’m increasingly passionate about you having a build-your-own-castle brain and heart.

I believe it’s the way that theatre artists (YOU) are going to change our industry.

It’s how the stories and people that have been alienated will find their stage.

I’ll share with you more as I create tools that can help you with this.

For now, my inbox door is open, so please email me and tell me about the castle you’d love to build–what do you dream that theatre can look like when we are in a room together again? Tell me! 🏰

Or just say hey. I love hearing from you.