wtawtrip

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And we’re live!

Help us on our creative endeavor to Los Angeles. We’ll be collaborating with fellow artists along the way to create content for a hardcover photography book. Check out our route and let us know if we’re stopping in your town! We’d love to work with you.

For press inquiries, please contact wherethearrowwent@gmail.com

Follow us on Twitter @WTAWtrip and on Facebook at facebook.com/wherethearrowwent

kickstarter.com/wherethearrowwent/where-the-arrow-went

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“The Mystery Zone” by Spoon

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“The narrative is, of course, the most fantastic of voyages” -John Wood

I love a good story. Not the one you find in a bookstore but the one you find in the lives being lived by some of the bravest people: those going after their dreams.

Characters such as the seasoned overcomer, the brave pioneer, the fortitudinous gypsy, the bare-knuckled climber, the vagrant pilgrim, and the valiant survivor—all of these are the inspiration behind my art, my leadership, my professional goals, and my brand. My passion for our lives as narratives is what drives me to make, create, write, lead, and contribute. It’s why I tell others to write their narratives. We may be totally unaware of what life is doing in us until we pick up a journal and read what we overcame or survived ten years down the line. The endurance and strength of the human spirit intrigues me.

My appreciation for narrative started to develop five years ago. Up until my father’s announcement that he no longer wanted a family I’d never paid attention to my life as a story built upon by strategic events that would make my character more dynamic. I thought that with hard work, drive, passion, and integrity I would eventually end up where I saw myself. I never took the custom structuring of narrative into consideration—what I would need to go through to be the person I saw when I reviewed my vision. Sure, a bad thing might happen here or there but life-altering, psyche-rattling, faith-shaking, world-crashing events? I never factored those into the equation.

My parents’ divorce, countless tears, 10 months separated from my mother, parting with 80% of my possessions, a bout with homelessness, and many more unexpected chapters later, I now see everything I discounted when compiling my life plans: The cost of my vision; the narrative that would shape me.

Whether because of fear or innocent planning I think so many times we tend to discredit the narratives shaping us such that we forget there is beauty in what I call the “en route” spaces. Loss, hurt, failure, bludgeons, sacrifices and hardships all have their place in our narratives.

As finite beings we have no way of knowing specifically what is necessary to happen in our lives to carve out of us the capacity to handle what we wish for; beings able to arrive at destinations to which we see ourselves en route. We can miss being shaped by our narratives if our focus is on destination and arrival and we forget the departure necessary to make a journey.

The narrative is not wonderful because it’s easy. It’s wonderful because of all we discover in ourselves when we endure that through which we never thought we could. How we handle our narrative determines whether we’ll live as brave, individual voices or mass-produced slaves in the throng of mediocrity.

Thus we learn: Life is not about arrival, it’s about how we view the events we’d call setbacks, interruptions, life altering, or destructive, and functioning constructively in each of those circumstances. God has made us dynamic characters too special to wake up one morning with every good and perfect material gift laying at our feet. Being shaped by our narratives is our allowing Him to add depth to our souls and finesse in the design of our lives so we not only have things but we have substance.

What good is it to have something if you have no story to support your having it? What good is it to arrive to a place if you cannot say where you’ve come from? What good is it to have things if you’re nothing when it’s all gone? We cannot balk our narratives. We must let them shape us.

Once I allowed my narrative to shape me I was freed to work diligently, see clearer, and find some measure of direction for my next steps. I became satisfied not only with who I am but-oddly - with the ugliness of my journey. Because my focus shifted to what the narrative is doing IN me and not to how being en route makes me look. It has allowed me to receive the gift of identity and art.

The inspiration of our narratives is the inspiration behind my new perspective in photography and my indie business, Vagabroad Journals. Everything we go through takes us into a new place where we are confronted by new language, culture, currency, and norms. We are all triple and quadruple citizens of hardships and struggles, rough times and barely good days. But each of us has a blessing in the narratives that shape us: custom stories only our work, art, skills, or words can tell, should we choose to embrace them.

Our narratives are amazing; they’re beautiful! And we are all so well traveled. Everything we’ve persevered through is a place that is an indelible part of our journey, stamp on our lives’ passport, and portion of our narrative. Isn’t it amazing?

Let your narrative craft in you the person you need to be to arrive to where you envision yourself.

Journey Soulfully,
I love you,


Chimene A. Jackson

Emily Kleimo

Actress/Singer/Dancer/Voice Over Artist/Professional schedule juggler

A new thought/approach: “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”- Confucius

I’m a hustler.  I’m a “Jane of all trades.” I’m the part-time job queen.

I’m an artist.

When people ask me what I do, I take a deep breath. It is not a simple question for me to answer.  I am pursuing a career as an actress and a voice over artist. In order to pay the bills, I have 8 jobs.  I get paid as an actress, teach acting classes for kids and teens, work as an actor and reader for an educational playwriting outreach program, I am a freelance graphic designer (what I have my degree in), a retail sales associate, a tour guide, a standardized patient and a voice over artist.

I think I have been busy the majority of my life. I thrived on it. “Being Busy” had become part of how I defined myself. I’d run from one job to an audition then a rehearsal to go to bed then get up for a different job, come home, do freelance work leave for yet another job, come home pack, sleep, get up go to New York City for voice over coaching, 3 dance classes and a meeting with a potential agent etc. etc.

It was never dull and it was working. I’d been working consistently as an actress for a year and a half, one show after another.  I was managing to pay my rent and buy groceries. I had settled into the erratic pattern of my life. I was content…

At the end of May, on a rare trip to my parents’ home in Lancaster, Pa, I sat talking to my mother on the back porch. I suddenly started crying.  Not being a big crier, I was caught off-guard, unsure what instigated the water works.  As I talked through the tears, I came to the conclusion that I was much too content with my life. I was not feeling particularly driven, inspired or passionate. I had been too busy to even recognize that this was how I really felt. Coming back home away from the city, away from the schedules and appointments and to-do list, sitting on a porch under the trees, slowing down, sitting down and breathing provided me with this insight.

I was suddenly face to face with the truth that I wasn’t unhappy but I wasn’t happy either.

Something had to change. I immediately did what gives me comfort in any overwhelming situation- I made a list. After scribbling, categorizing, editing and re-ordering I came to a conclusion. I still had the same ultimate goals. I just had to go after them in a different way.

I came back to the city to an inspiring lesson with my new voice teacher/mentor.  Our conversation affirmed my thoughts and emphasized the need for a new approach. This would require reprioritizing, reducing my commitments, less hustling, more learning.  I needed time and space to breathe and accomplish these new tasks and to explore.  I needed to slow down. I exhaled, relieved to have identified the problem and drafted the outline for the new plan of attack.

Then I looked at my planner… the next two months were completely filled with obligations.  I was ready and excited for my next step but could not possibly begin it until mid-August.  It was discouraging, but I also knew the months ahead had great opportunities in store- a wedding, a show, 3 teaching opportunities, my debut assistant directing for a camp at a regional theater and a workshop of an original musical.  2 months of insanity and then I could regroup.

It was a Sunday night in June.  The show I was working on at the time involved a big roller skating number. Yup, you read that correctly. I’ve been skating since I was 7 and was pretty comfortable. I was doing silly, potentially dangerous tricks- weaving in, out and around moving targets. I’d fallen but gotten right back up again.

We had the framework for the number and were about to run it one last time.

I was sitting on a stool and got up to get into place.  I stood up the wrong way and lost my footing. My skates flew out from under me and I fell.  Hard. My left arm desperately tried to protect me, attempting to stop the floor palm first with the rest of my body weight crashing down behind it at a perfect right angle. Too perfect.

I didn’t break my wrist.

I destroyed it.

At 2 am I gaped at the X-ray as the nurse in the ER explained that I would definitely need to have surgery, possibly that night. For the first time all evening, I started to shut down. Surgery? This was worse than I thought.

Injuries and ailments are not good for anyone but they are particularly frightening for actors and dancers, of which I am both. Our bodies are our business. Yes, much like hookers, I know but in all seriousness, our bodies are the vessels of our craft. They can make or break you in casting, especially in musical theatre. I was lucky. The injury, recovery and physical rehabilitation would put me out for a few months but I would be able to regain my mobility and strength 100%.

I was out of the show. I had to take care of myself. The universe had literally slowed me down, as if to say, “Yeah, you were right, you were doing too much. Stop and take inventory you crazy speed demon!” After surgery, a week of initial recovery and starting physical therapy, I went out to face the world with a metal plate in my wrist, a soft cast and a sling.

The tornado that was July set in with so many new experiences, opportunities and big auditions, navigating it all with a wrist that was out of commission.  I was challenged, exhausted frustrated but I wasn’t booking anything.  I couldn’t help feeling a bit defeated.  I began to question if I was good enough at any of it or if I was ultimately running myself into the ground? Was I chasing this idea of voice over in vain? Were the other people in the acting community passing me by as I ran on a treadmill? Would I ever be able to break into the group of actors who worked consistently with the big companies in town?  Was I a terrible teacher?  Was the break in August what I needed or did I need to completely rethink my career paths?

One day it all felt like so much. I found myself sobbing in the back of a cab, late to work, overwhelmed with the thoughts of my future. I took a deep breath, gathered myself and went in to face the day. At 3:30, I grabbed my bag and my phone to head to my next obligation. I had a voicemail. I had booked a 20-spot contract with a well-known national company. I started to cry but with tears of joy.  This whole voice over thing just might work. I knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing but wasn’t all in vain.

July came to a close. The summer gigs wrapped up and suddenly I was faced with the time I had been so desperately looking forward to. Open days with very little that I HAD to do. It was unfamiliar territory. Instead of relief, I was feeling foggy and flustered. I thought we’d figured this out in May?! Apparently not.

Feeling lost, I headed to another lesson with my voice teacher, which raised some tough questions. What did I really want? Were the auditions I was going to REALLY taking me in the right direction? What were my ultimate goals and what was the most direct path to achieving them? This led to further discussion, a lot of self-reflection and yes, more crying. I thought I could define my goals but the truth was, I wasn’t really sure. I had to let things settle, allow the dust to clear.

As I began to truly unwind and slow down, answers began to reveal themselves.

I hadn’t realized that the benchmark goals that I had  previously laid out for myself were based on suggestions from other people; unspoken rights of passage set by the theatre community.  I had been going about my business, doing what I thought I SHOULD be doing. I was defining my success on someone else’s definition, not my own.

At first I was angry with myself and with those who had pointed me in certain directions. Why had I wasted that time?! Then I realized that everything I had done in the last few years was incredibly valuable. When I had graduated from college, I had no idea where to start. There were so many opportunities and so many that I didn’t even know to look for. I went to seek guidance from any and every theatre contact that I could to help sort it out, where to even begin. Their suggestions led me to more people, opportunities and advice. With their help I had built my own arsenal of knowledge. There was no reason to be upset with myself or anyone else.

This was just a turning point. Now I had enough experience, knowledge and connections to go my own way, take the training wheels off.  I wasn’t going to follow the textbook steps to  “A Theatrical Career in Philadelphia.” My life and career was going to be made by my own yet-to-be-defined formula.

Over the last few weeks I have settled into a slower pace. I have found myself being able to stay focused on the moment, not jumping six steps ahead in my mind.  I have taken time for myself. Time to write down thoughts, listen to music, sit outside.  I have taken the big questions and observations and put them in the back of my mind on “tumble-dry.” I don’t stuff them into a corner to be answered another day. Nor do I sit them down and demand that they resolve immediately. Instead, I have come to give them time and space to explore. I have found that this way, the answers, solutions and best ideas reveal themselves when they are ready.

A change has come over me.  I have been learning how to relax. How to truly stay present. How to listen to myself and to others more deeply. I soak in silence and stillness instead of trying to fill it. I am exploring many of the creative projects I have been putting off, many of which are beneficial to my career path but appeared to be less significant. My creative ideas are much more free and frequent. I do not feel stifled or stiff. I carry less tension. As a result my singing has improved, my problem solving is more acute, my conversations are deeper, more articulate, more rewarding. My art has improved. My life has improved.

In this time and space of self-reflection I identified how much I am really enjoying voice over work and that I want to delve deeper into it. I want to study more and commit more time to it instead of fitting it in when my schedule allows. In terms of acting, I have discovered how much I love being a part of the development of new work, not just remounting old favorites. I want to seek out more opportunities to be involved in workshops, developing and originating characters, not just portraying what I hope a casting director wants to see.  And I plan to only pursue projects, old and new that I am passionate about and that will move me forward.

I have redefined my goals but I have also given myself permission to change these goals.

Being “busy” implies success but does not quantify it. If I worry so much that I am running out of time, I risk wasting all the time I have. I must focus on my well-being, focus on my craft, open my mind and heart to learning and leave room for the possibilities. I don’t want to be “too busy” on the day that destiny knocks on my door.

I don’t have all the answers and I never will but now, more than ever, I understand a few things:

Slow down.

Let yourself cry. It is your body’s way of detoxing and sorting things out.

Seek Advice. Get inspired. Take in as much as you can but don’t forget to check-in and listen to yourself. At the end of the day, you’re steering this ship.

I am open and ready. 

Slow down for a second…. are you?

The past few years have been really pivotal about what it is I do. I’ve been a photographer ever since the day I fell in love with working in a darkroom in 10th grade. Photography projects just kind of fell into my lap, to be honest. I always thought I would keep it as a hobby but I guess fate decided otherwise.


Last year, I received a degree in Advertising at Temple. To be honest, I had trouble finding a job with an agency so I took matters into my own hands. I decided to mix the business of ‘advertising’ with my hobby of photography and created a blog. (unique, right?!) I realized that my so-called “portfolio” from college was filled with stuff that just wasn’t… me. I wasn’t confident in it, and needed something to set me apart from the average portfolio. I wanted to showcase that I could strategize, create, manage and maintain something from the start. So, Latelyblog.com is what came out of that. It’s a mishmash of my strengths.


The story of Lately:


Upon moving back to Lancaster after college, I found an amazing community that constantly inspires me and realized this stuff needs to be publicized. Lately is a place where local people, places, & things deserve to be shared in Central PA. Thats our mission: to share peoples stories of where they’ve been and how they got there. On lately, sharing someones story can inspire others but also boost confidence in the people we feature. I always found that reading the process of successful career paths left me dreaming big but starting small. It’s okay to take baby steps, because it will ALL be worth it in the end.  


Where the Arrow Went is a project I fully believe will bring great things into these artists lives.  Their marketing and PR has been amazing, and they even allow other artists to share their story. In a way, Lately and WTAW is pretty darn similar. We’re here to inspire, and create.  They certainly deserve to go for what they desire to do.


I’m still in the beginning stages of Lately, but it has already led to partnerships with other businesses, and even landed me a dream job at an agency. So, make the small things count. They will always lead to bigger things.

- Katie Schmitt of Lately

Join us! We have a little less than two weeks to fundraise via Kickstarter and we need your help to make it happen. Truly, every little bit helps as we are curating a photoshoot on every stop of our journey west.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wherethearrowwent/where-the-arrow-went

Thanks so much to those of you who have already backed us! You’re amazing.

- Sarah Hawkins

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Hana Elise here.

Working musician/singer/songwriter in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

I swore to myself I would never move here, until I realized that there is this crazy young art community with a passion for film, photography, music, food, and much more. The sheer mass of connections is incredible in such a small town. All of my housemates, neighbors, and co workers are musicians, painters, writers, graphic designers, chefs, and they are all building/from the ground up, the type of Harrisburg they want to see via there own businesses/projects.

There is nothing that helps you grow more than other working artists who are young, sometimes poor, yet passionate and intelligent people who keep busy and keep inspired. I realized I could do a lot more with this group of people backing me and lending to my success and in exchange I could help them using my musicality. I never thought that I would end up here, but I am incredibly glad I did, and I feel that this is a stop on the way to something great that I cannot quite put my finger on just yet.

There is room for success and room for error and I am three months into living here, but I have more gigs than I ever had, and more new connections and artistic projects than ever. I continue to write and perform, I work at Little Amps Coffee Roasters a blooming business run by Aaron Carlson and the ideal job.

I think the moment I realized how much I love the creativity and support this community offers was when I was sitting in Little Amps after hours for a music venue. It was a full house and I had the chance to listen and revel in my neighbors music. Cayote’s set was followed by this incredible group of musicians from Mississippi called the Illilogical Spoon. I was sitting in my place of work/listening to these people doing exactly what they wanted to do their way and I was so impressed and rejuvenated.

That’s what I want to bring to the table, and wherever you may be on your way to whatever it is that inspires you and makes you feel alive it’s so important to realize that you are not alone in your pursuits and to network because you will be inspired and impressed by so many people who have their own set of talents and are in pursuit of their own dreams.

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Rainy day off means Owen, emails, and a copious amount of coffee. Our WTAW text thread is hilarious (and by that I mean totally amazing and intense) as we are all cranking away at different aspects of WTAW, keeping eachother abreast on updates, and seeking advice & constructive critism as we pour our heart and soul into this project. It’s not just some silly roadtrip, it’s our careers and lifeblood we’re investing in. I’m giddy at the thought.

with love,

Sarah Hawkins

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It’s all about the people you work creatively with. That’s something that you think would be completely obvious, but I have only recently started understanding just what it means to be surrounded by such amazing artists. Be it friends or teachers or role models, these people help shape us into not only better artists, but also better people.

I’ve been interested in photography ever since my senior year of high school. In the six years that followed I have taken various leaps regarding my photography, the most recent being studying for a semester in Tokyo, Japan. Needless to say, the experience was amazing, and one that I will never forget. It was living in Japan that I feel I had a breakthrough with my photography, and really made me understand just how amazing it is to work and collaborate with other artists.

While in Tokyo, I became very close with my photo teacher Patrick Tsai. His approach to photography inspired me in ways I had never felt before. Where before I was mostly interested in fashion photography, Pat introduced me to documentary and shutter-chance photography, the latter being the art of capturing a moment precisely when it happens. Pat also got me interested in exhibitions, zines, and photo books, ways of getting my photography out there that I had always been aware of, but never fully appreciated. Since returning stateside, I have made a small photo book of one of my projects while in Japan, and am currently working on a zine featuring some of the many photos I took while living there.

 I think the hardest part for me regarding photography, and art in general, would be the struggle to stay inspired. Coming back home from three and a half months in a new, exciting city was very hard for me creatively. Everything around me seemed so mundane and ordinary. What really kept me going were the prospects of working with other creative people and making new art. That is something I will always remember when inspiration doesn’t come so easily next time.

It is my new found love for collaboration that I am so excited and interested in Where the Arrow Went. I have known Sarah for a long, long time, and something that I have always admired about her is her ambition. If she wants something she takes it, and works so hard to get where she wants to be. Well, where she wants to be now is in LA. There’s no doubt in my mind that that’s where she’ll end up, and collaborating with two great photographers is an incredible way to get there.

- Chris Setty

Guest Blog: Nikiya Palombi

I’ve never had much interest in people or things that were safe. I get bored easily and there’s nothing that loses my interest faster than anything “safe”, especially when it comes to art.

I consider my day a loss if I haven’t failed at something, been scared by something and learned something new. Admittedly I’ve had more than a few days that were a loss but I set my goals high, what can I say? I think life should be more about pursuing your dreams and less about achieving them. In my opinion, if you are pursuing them, you’ve already won.

Sarah, Jon & Jordan are winning and I’m so excited that they are sharing their adventure with us. Real art, the kind of story that’s raw, exposed and true to the essence of the artist affects its audience. Where The Arrow Went is that kind of art, that kind of story. I am inspired and excited and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes them.

LA is not my city, although at some point it is an inevitability for me as an actor, but I do know what it’s like to fall in love with a place. Sometimes the energy of a city can surround you and permeate your soul to the point where you find yourself yearning for it once you’ve left. I moved frequently growing up and to this day I don’t know how to answer when someone asks me where I’m “from” but there are two cities that I have truly fallen in love with and that feed my soul and my creativity as an artist.

For me, these places are Rome and Brooklyn. I am a New Yorker at heart, although I have no right to call myself one. I remember taking trips into the city with my girlfriend when I was younger, before I worked here, and being vehemently annoyed by the tourists walking too slowly even though at the time I was myself a tourist. When I do allow myself to slow down, walking down Water Street or sitting in Brooklyn Bridge Park looking out over the East River to Manhattan, I get this feeling that every molecule of every stone, every piece of the buildings, the streets, the subway stations was put there by a human with a dream who just believed. I feel at once comforted and inspired.

There are moments that change the course of our lives and often they come and go unnoticed until we find ourselves looking back and thinking either “wow, what a ride” or “I wonder if…” Where The Arrow Went is going to be one hell of a ride. So, in whatever city you may be, down whatever road you are traveling, I raise my glass to all the humans with dreams who have chosen to believe. Cheers!

-Nikiya Palombi

Photograph by Photography by Victor.

Nikiya Palombi is an actress in New York City. See more of Nikiya’s work at www.nikiya.com

Guest Blog: Holli Baker

Contrary to popular belief, and all that you have been taught during the brevity of your existence, the United States is a very small place. So small, in fact, that it actually consists of one state.

Go west of this state, and you’ll find a bit of water and eventually end up in a crowded Asian city eating amazing sushi, wearing a not-so-amazing Hello Kitty onesie. Go east, and you’ll tumble into a black hole that will eventually regurgitate you into the heart of Western Europe where you can go on living a life more chic than your American mind can physically comprehend.

But, should you decide to stay in this country–ripe with avocados and sun and convenience stores with a full range of alcoholic beverages–you may as well do yourself a favor and settle down in le capital. Or don’t. That’s fine. There’s already entirely too much traffic in LA.

In California you have everything. There is really nothing that you need elsewhere. Nothing that anyone can sell you (short of Europe) that would make you want to throw your Rag & Bone jeans and your ATM t-shirts into a bag and leave. Occasionally I visit a little island off of the coast of Malibu called “New York City”–briefly, for shopping and museum purposes only–but I always find my way back home.

The vibe of Los Angeles is intoxicating. It’s the only place where I can do exactly what I love, wear exactly what I want and truly not care about anything other than the beach and have that be totally socially acceptable. If you were ever made to believe that the streets of LA are not paved with gold and lined with palm trees and sugar-coated bliss, then you have been told a Grade A lie and sold the purest, most organic line of crap you will ever buy. So… sorry about that.

As a writer, Cancer, emotional being, and self-diagnosed victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder, I need a lot of things to be able to function coherently. I need sun. I need coffee. I need environments that promote creativity and open-mindedness. I need weather that refuses to dip below 65 degrees. I need a beach no more than 45 minutes away from me at all times. I need access to the new Topshop at The Grove.

There’s just a lot that goes into my avoiding a serious Prozac dependency, and LA has been my therapist. I talk to her. I tell her my problems, as we lay unbothered and unconcerned on lawn chairs by my pool. I whine all about my writing deadlines and my inability to edit my book to my extremely unrealistic satisfaction; and in response she prescribes 4 hours at Venice and a large cup of Magnolia banana pudding. She just really gets me and I’ll never leave her. We’re in this together.

So, you can only imagine my excitement for my adorable little kitten of a friend Sarah and her super hot partners in photographic crime, Jon and Jordan, as they prep for their upcoming trip through the black hole that non-Angelinos have naïvely come to consider “America” toward all that is sunny and bright and good. I couldn’t endorse a creative decision more shamelessly if I tried. I’ll be in LA to welcome them with open arms, standing precariously on the edge of a fountain flowing with endless tequila.

If you’re not in LA, or even if you are, I totally invite you to follow their project “Where the Arrow Went” if you find yourself drowning and in need of an artistic lifeboat. And, of course, feel free to visit me on HolliBaker.com if you’re in need of mental/emotional guidance. Or meet me at Drai’s in Hollywood. I’ll be the girl at the bar.

Holli Baker (Myah Hollis) is a writer and novelist in downtown Los Angeles and author of upcoming book entitled Deux. Keep up with Myah via Hollibaker.com.

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Ramones- California Sun. 

Because it’s monday & well, I’m excited to be in the California sun.