Oatmeal Pie Mug Cake

I’ve been making  mug cakes lately. Have you heard of them?  Every day for brunch I make a new one. Yes, I eat brunch everyday. Who says it’s just a Sunday thing? Anyways, I have been experimenting with different ingredients. I haven’t been getting enough protein lately, so I have been adding a nice dose of vegan protein. I’ve also been adding a nice, healthy dose of chia seeds everyday. I’ve been working on the ingredients so that I don’t add any empty calories. The picture below was one of the best ones I’ve created. It was more of an oatmeal pie mug cake. I used a ground up oatmeal packet, chia seeds, vegan protein, almond coconut milk, and a pear (not shown), instead of sugar. All in all it had about 250 calories, but all good for you calories. image1.JPG

I am still working on creating other kinds of mug cakes. As soon as I have enough money to go grocery shopping again, I’ll update with some better ones (and better pictures).



Money Life

So, I haven’t updated in a very long time, and I guess it is about time for me to update about what is going on with my life and career and whatnot. A lot has been going on in the midst of this plateau I’ve been squatting in for this past year. Acting wise it feels like I haven’t been doing a whole lot. I did a play last Christmas with Onion Man Productions. Since then, I have just been doing improv at Whole World. Needless to say I have been feeling a little down about it. Life wise, I started making a little bit more money, not much, and we moved into a little cheaper of a place. Unfortunately I am still trying to pay all the fees that go along with moving into a new place, so I am still way behind on that. It gets really hard to not become defeated when you are always broke, and every time you think, yay, I’m catching up,  there is still one more thing left to pay. Oh wait, no two more. One time someone said to me, “Brooke, you have to learn to be happy no matter how much money you have”. It was a server I was working with. One that still lived at home, I might add. I  was so broke at the time, I didn’t even have money for food. He made me so mad in that moment. He didn’t really understand what I was going through. And honestly physically it is very hard to be happy with no food. I mean your brain chemistry needs certain things to make you happy.

I am getting off on a tangent, sorry about that. But maybe, he did have a point is what I am trying to say. Actually, I don’t know how I feel about that. I’ll think about it later. My point now that I wanted to make is that, I think I focus too much on money, and that makes me unhappy. Sure its hard to, when you can’t go somewhere because your broke. Or every time someone asks you to go eat, you get a little bit more embarrassed that you do not have the money.

But I am going to start thinking about other things instead of that. Instead of sitting at home staring at my wall, feeling angry that other people know how to make it all work, I’m just gonna get out there and figure out how I can make it work while knowing I have no idea what I’m doing. But something is better than nothing.


The 2015 Christmas Comfort Project

Growing up I did not have much experience with the homeless. Where I’m from we have about one homeless guy, and his homelessness has always been a matter up for debate. Dancing Dave is his name. He’s an older black man who wears what looks like a white sailor suit. Back in the day he would dance for money, giving him his name, Dancing Dave. Once when I was a kid, my dad and I gave him a ride after I begged my dad to please pick him up.
In Europe there are all of these gypsies that beg for money. If you aren’t familiar with their practices you are liable to get your money swindled. When I was in Prague, my best friend would give me a hard time for giving any one any money. But one girl simply laid on the ground, knees under her, arms outstretched. I gave her money because I thought she was humble.
When I moved to Atlanta and would go to Little Five Points, I was terrified of the homeless. I had always been taught to look away, turn away. Don’t look at them.
A few months ago a man came up to me at the gas station. He asked if I could call someone for him. He was tired of being on the streets. He said he couldn’t go on this way. I called all of the numbers I could find for him, but unfortunately at 1 in the morning, none of them answered. I was devastated that I had to turn him away without being able to help him. I was able to give him some food, but I knew that that wasn’t enough. I don’t know if he got the help he needed, but I hope he did.
Living on the streets is what I would consider a nightmare. I can’t imagine waking up and having nowhere to go or no one to help me, but I know that thousands of people are forced into that situation everyday. It’s so easy to ignore them, walk past them, or look away. It’s an inconvenience. If they didn’t want to live one the streets they wouldn’t. They just panhandle because they’re lazy. Or they’re just gonna spend the money on drugs or booze. These are all excuses that people have for avoiding the homeless. We don’t want to be bothered by their pain, their struggle. It would hurt too much if we could look and see them.
My dear friend Kayla Shai is hosting a Christmas project this year. It is The 2015 Christmas Comfort Project.  Here is a link to her website. Please check it out for further details Kayla Shai Project. The purpose of this project is to give 300+  gifts to 300+ friends in a current state of homelessness in Atlanta. The gifts will be three items. They are the first book of the Layla Sue series, Comfort, written by Kayla Shai, a composition notebook, and a pen. To donate, one can buy spots through Paypal for $10 dollars each. Each of these 10 dollar spots will cover the three part gift. One can also buy as many spots as one would like. Donations will be open on September 1, 2015.
It’s so easy to look away, but if you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in someone else’s life, please consider going to the website and giving a donation. Be a hand that helps.
acting, talent agency

Fantasy Cover Letter

Sorry, it’s been awhile. Not like anyone reads this though, so I don’t think it matters. I’ve been thinking lately about my quest of getting an agent. I can’t say I’ve tried THHHAAAAT hard. But I have submitted multiple times to agencies that I want. However, I haven’t been very successful. I went through a phase where I thought I’d fight the system and not have an agent. But honestly, I don’t think I’m enough of a “go getter” to do that. I do not work well on my own, and I am not self-motivated.

One of the problems I incur while trying to get an agent (besides never having enough money for those workshops) is the cover letter. I always feel so phony. And if I try to add in my personality I think it sounds ridiculous and like I’m trying too hard. I am not a very professional person. Never have been, don’t intend to start. And I don’t know how to write a cover letter to an agent that reflects me and my attributes. I like to go against the grain. But I think there are plenty of roles that also go against the grain. So, here is what I would love to say in a cover letter but probably never will because its completely and utterly unprofessional and “wrong”.

Dear Wannabe Agency,

Hi, my name is Brooke Spivey, and I am a local actor here in Atlanta. I’ve been trying to break into the Atlanta acting scene since I moved here, after college in 2011. I went to Auburn University for theatre where I received a BFA in performing arts.Since moving here, I have been involved with the ISP cast at Whole World Theatre. You can catch a show I’m in on the first Thursday of every month.

Since moving to Atlanta I’ve been involved with Whole World. I’ve also taken a few classes and workshops. But the main thing I’ve learned is the art of living. How to get by when you can’t get by. I’ve spent the majority of my time trying to get a “day job” that will be sustainable. I’ve learned a lot from this experience. Mainly that I hate day jobs. But also that I’m devoted to this whole acting career. You probably haven’t seen me at any workshops, and you’ve probably not heard my name from anyone (unless you secretly hang out at Whole World), but I’m a damn good asset to have on your register. I’m unique. And quirky. And weird. And you never know what you are gonna get. I guess you could say I’m a wild card.  I’m not in it for my career. I’m in it for my livelihood. And for that, I’d say I’m a pretty good candidate. I like people. I like connecting with people, and I like making people feel. And for the most part, I’d say I’m real and genuine.  I hope you’ll give me a chance.


Brooke Spivey


Full disclosure: Sometimes I  do things just because they’re funny.


Oscar Madness One Year Late

I wrote this last year. I never posted it. I am now.


Lately I’ve been feeling this pressure in my life, like I’m not doing enough, like its time for me to saddle up and get a day job with health benefits. After all i am an adult now.

But ive also been feeling this creative pull to start doing every kind of creative whim i have. and i have this theory that following your heart will get you wear you need to go. I’ve never been one for doing things the right way, whatever that means. if anything i like to do the opposite of everyone and I’ve never understood the vast majority doing the same thing. why would i want to get off work at 5 pm when that’s traffic hour.

lately i have been dealing with some serious loneliness issues, so I’ve decided to not only follow all of my creative whims, but I’m also going to force myself to go do things and be around people, even if i have to do it alone.

so last sunday when it was the oscars i decided to go to a theatre to watch a screening of it. it was free and on the big screen. i got there, found a seat in the balcony and was just beginning to enjoy myself when a loud drunk group sat behind me with pizza. i dont know where they got pizza, but their loud, drunk rowdiness and overwhelming smell of pizza really put a damper on my oscar viewing experience. so much so that i had to go buy popcorn to quiet my rumbling tummy. i was really beginning to regret my decision in going as it was making me feel more lonely and sad being there alone. when i stumbled into what would appear to be the 1920s. I went to find a bathroom, and instead must have stumbled into a loop in time, because the room in front of me was a 1920s lounge complete with 1920s bartender and  mint juleps.

the people inside were dressed to the nines but friendly. i knew i had found the right place. i spent the rest of the time socializing and feeling human again. and then i found out that every thursday night they had an open mic night, and there was a piano that could be played

as i left that night i vouched i would be back on thursday.

so on thursday night i found myself sitting nervously awaiting my turn to play. everyone was so much more professional than i expected. i started to doubt why i had even come. my little songs were mere experiments compared to this symphony  of sounds.

so instead of walking out as i strongly desired, i drank two beers and played my songs. by the time i played, the audience was mostly loud and drinking. i think only one person actually listened, but sitting up there, playing the piano and singing to myself, i felt like the piano man, half ignored but knowing that this is my contribution. offering up myself, my vulnerability an unnoticed gift in the room.. and you know what? it felt great. it felt like i was alive, like i was really living the struggle that we call life. solitary moments felt in the noise of a pleasantly ungrateful crowd. but i am grateful. to be. to contribute. to bare witness. as artists this is what we must do. this is who we are.

I used to do more creative things, before I was told no. I used to have less boundaries because I knew no better. Rules that I’ve placed upon myself have been created from failures. I think it’s time for me to get out of the box and do things the wrong way again. I want to get a little messy and uncomfortable.

dreams, fantasies

My five or ten year plan. Fantasy included.

I’ve always hated that dreaded question, where do you see yourself in five years? I mean doesn’t everyone hate that question? Even in high school I did everything to avoid it. Once for an economics class we had to make a poster of where we saw  ourselves in 10 (or 20 I can’t remember) years. Every single person in class brought a poster with varying photos of  houses, cars, money, children, etc..Except me. I painted a green cardboard poster with the Japanese symbol for peace (or happiness, again, I can’t remember) and I filled in the symbol with different successes I would like to have by then, like self-awareness, enlightenment (I was at least an over achiever), contentment, love, friendships, etc. But nowhere on my poster did I put any photos or ideas for an actual plan. I remember at the time that I simply refused to, and I said that the ideas on the poster represented  my plan of where I wanted to be in the future. Of course I got a 100 because it was brilliant, and no one else thought of it.

But no one questioned me about it. I’m sure they all thought that it was because I was the artsy weird girl in class. After all, the school I went to was very southern and traditional. And a lot of them have acquired what was on their posters.Which is great for them.  But I wanted my goals to be different than that. And I wanted someone to question me so I could rant about how  my poster represented the important things in life, and not materialistic ones.

But really, someone should have just called me on my bullshit.

I didn’t make my poster like everybody else because I didn’t know what to put on it, and I didn’t want to think about it! And I can’t believe it, but I’m still like that. Some say you will never get what you want unless you tell the universe exactly what you want. I think this is so wrong. It’s awesome in theory, but it’s kind of egotistical.

1.) By saying you have the power to make the universe align with your wishes simply because you know what they are is  ridiculous because that’s like saying hey universe, I know you’ve been here for billions of years, but this is what I need for you to make happen for me. 2.) I think the best part of finding out what you truly want is by discovering it along the way.

And I still do want all of those things that I put on my poster. I would rather have love and friendships than anything else. That must be why I can never finish a vision board. Something in me will not let me do it. My insides are like, wait, just be surprised.

On the other hand, I can tell you things I would love to do with my career! But it’s because I don’t have to have an exact plan for them. I just know some steps that I should be working on to get there, but I don’t have to stress about it. I can try for them, but if I don’t create my own hilarious TV show or work with Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill,  and James Franco anytime soon, then it’s not the end of the world.   Who cares? I can  still be happy! (if i force myself)

Then there are things that the little girl inside of me is too shy to admit to want. Like my lifelong desire to actually write and direct movies like Quentin Tarrentino.

But the things I’ve been thinking about lately, the fantasy that I’ve conjured up in my head of the perfect way to spend my time if I could live any way I wished, would be to live  for the fuzzy memoried nights filled with art and conversation; the nights that I would be  surrounded by kindred spirits. Our lives co-mingling in a plane of existence that made us feel like we were truly living in the moment, and that moment mattered the most.

The nights that, although filled with hazy memories,  photographic evidence would later prove that we lived as true artists and wore hats only true artists can wear and whose layered bohemian attire was fashioned not from style, but from necessity, showcasing our ingenuity, originality, and creative spirits. Wine bottles would never be far from our lips; books of literature never far from our hands, and  the ideals of the Lost Generation never far from our minds.

We’d live like the 60’s, dress like the 20’s, and play music from all times.

We’d write parts for ourselves we always wanted to play. We’d recreate the roles we missed out on by being born too late, and we’d  find perfect lovers who would hurt us in all the right ways and leave us, inflicted with the type of emotional pain that one never truly recovers from. Like Hemingway and his nurse, we’ll be forced to learn that some heartbreaks simply become a part of who we are. Scars etched right beneath the surface, staining a once unblemished surface.

Some days the bleak, gray sky would beam in through the windows and sitting at the table we would look like Chekhovian characters. While other days we would look like an imitation of  an absurd dada performance,  complete with nonsensical dialogue.

The worlds we would live in would blur the lines of reality, fiction, sanity, and surrealism.

A fantasy complete with illusions and trickery of the mind, that, like a dream, is not possible to remain both conscious in and lucid for very long.


Jealousy: The Element of Exclusion

Some days I feel as if I’m “living the dream”. I feel as if I am right on the cusp of somewhere I want to be. Today sort of feels like one of those days. Not for any particular great reason, I just feel as if I am a lot further into my career than when I started. Today I have a network of people who I love and feel truly honored to work with. It makes me happy, excited, (and sometimes a little jealous too) to see that my facebook feed, twitter, instagram, etc. is filled with actors and other industry people. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy because they’re my friends, and it makes me happy to see they’re successes. And it also inspires me and reminds me that I too can have success. I think some people forget that. Which is what I want to write about today. How jealousy and bitterness does no good. It doesn’t help, and it just leads to loneliness. I mean I guess it could lead to other things, like becoming an evil villain. Actually I think those are probably some of the key traits to becoming an evil villain.

I was jealous and bitter not too long ago. For quite a while actually. I would look around at everyone I knew and be jealous of their successes, their lives, their friendships. I think it made me a little bitter, because I didn’t have those things, at least I didn’t think I did.  And honestly seeing other people being happy and accomplishing things just made me feel like I couldn’t. Instead of it motivating me to work harder, it put this heavy weight on me. And then I would just compare myself and think, I can’t do that because they are doing it. And they know what they are doing/they’re better at it than me/everyone will laugh at me/i can’t make a fool of myself because I’m brookespivey/nobody will care anyways.

Those are all negative thoughts that are not going to help anybody. And unfortunately nobody in the world can make someone stop thinking them except the person thinking them.

Lately though I have been combatting these feelings. I think I’m getting better at not comparing myself and also being happy for other people. I think this just came with time for me. And also I naturally just love most everyone anyways, so feeling bitter and resentful is just not something I like feeling. For me, I grew out of being resentful when I started opening up to other people. When I stopped being angry that I didn’t know something and started asking questions.

I think that having good friends in this industry is a little like being in an open relationship. You’re constantly surrounded by people who you respect and cherish, but you’re also competing for the same thing sometimes. Not that people in open relationships are competing for the same thing, but they do share a level of jealousy with each other.  I’ve never been in an open relationship, but from what I’ve learned from other people, is that yes,there is jealousy at times but they have open communication and talk about it. And they deal with it together.  The thing about being in open relationship, in my opinion, that is similar to being in relationships with other actors/artists/creatives is that there will be jealousy at times, but the overwhelming support and love hopefully overshadows those feelings.

I think another thing that makes jealousy such a hurtful thing, is because of the element of exclusion. Being jealous of what someone else has, implies a certain lonesomeness, a left out feeling. I mean that’s what jealousy, envy are, right? It’s seeing people have things that you are left out of because you don’t possess them. So one thing that I’ve been doing to try to combat this feeling, is really being a part of others successes. I don’t mean like riding their coattails. But I mean by helping others reach their goals, by being a good partner. Being there when they need a reader. Or just listening to someone else’s problems. I think that by being a part of other people’s lives in this way, it doesn’t feel so lonesome when other people have success because it’s your success too. You were a part of it.  Also it’s motivating to help others work. And inspiring. Because it makes you want to do something too. And helping others with their projects means it will be a  lot more likely that they will want to help you with your crazy one person show about your spoon collection.

I don’t think feelings of jealousy or bitterness are bad. I think they are normal human feelings that everyone deals with. But I do think that they can hold people back, so I say, let them go! Or use them. Or connect with others about them. I’ve always said that if I can tell people I’m jealous of whatever it is I am jealous of them, then it’s not wrong. I don’t know why I’ve thought that. But by letting it out in the air, it helps to at least not feel so alone with it.

What are ways that you deal with feelings of jealousy, bitterness, and resentment?