Monday, August 10, 2015

From Duckling to Dreamstalk: A Super Condensed Version of the Epic Tale that is Karen Elizabeth Bray

This is an old photo. We look nothing like this now.  Except for Merideth, who doesn't seem to age. 

I have a lot of great memories about my siblings from my childhood.  I have two sisters (Merideth and Karen) and a brother (Clifton). 

One of my favorite childhood memories was when I wasn't even really a child anymore.  I was home for Christmas from my first semester of college.  My parents (along with my little sister and brother) were currently residing in Ramstein, Germany and I felt very sophisticated telling people that I was going "home" to "Europe" for Christmas.

Sometimes I remember things I used to say and still cringe, 15 years later.

The snow was crazy that Christmas.  We were all outside having a friendly snowball fight and I saw my baby sister (not REALLY a baby, though, since she was...I don't know, at LEAST 17 and TOTALLY able to take care of herself) sitting quietly, just resting.

RESTING?  DURING A SNOWBALL FIGHT?

Mistake.

Creeping up from behind I stealthily shoved her face first into a mountain of snow.  Then I grabbed her, turned her over and started smashing snow in her crazy wide eyes.  Someone, probably my father but it may have been Clifton or Merideth, stood off to the side with a camera for documentation of my amazing takedown.  For the RECORD, they were laughing while snapping pictures, NOT telling me to stop hurting my little sister who was obviously in distress.

I asked Karen if she knew where this photo was.  She said no.  I suspect she burned it so the world would never know how lousy a snowball fighter she was.

I don't regret my decision to pummel Karen in the face with snow.  She could be kind of a jerk to me back them and probably deserved it.  Also, it really is one of my fondest memories of us.  I do regret that she felt the need to go and cry about it to my mom later that day, thus darkening the memory just a tinge.

Karen had a hard time growing up.  She was picked on, bullied and became kind of a follower in order to fit in.  She worshiped me.  It was always obvious, mainly in the way she would steal all of my clothes and imitate my hair choices.

#cantgetmuchworseforeitherofus
These are important facts to know about Karen because if you were to look at her today you would assume that she had always been super popular and funny.

She wasn't.  All the angst that middle and high school brought to her MADE her super funny later in life.  She is a perfect example of someone who epitomizes the "It Gets Better" #.

Now she lives in NYC, the land of hopes, dreams, fashion and homeless men with guns who consistently try to mug me every time I ride the subway.  I tell her I don't visit anymore because my children have sucked up all of my extra money, but the truth is I'm just terrified of all the thieves that city harbors. 

She is an actress.  Like the majority of actresses in NYC she is also a singer, dancer, writer, flute player, nanny, marketing coordinator, model and social media extraordinaire. She is immensely talented and I couldn't be more proud of the life she has made for herself in NYC.

Karen (along with her singing/writing/acting parter, Zach) created The Dreamstalks, a comedic singing duo who travel around singing songs for children...and their parents. Mostly their parents.  It is an excellent alternative for parents who are tired of listening to Veggie Tales and Barney.  They have made a hilarious music video for their song "When I Grow Up".  It is a truthful, heartfelt song about the social realities children can expect out of life and is very, very funny.

I am pleased and proud to present "When I Grow Up" by The Dreamstalks. Feel free to Like/Share/Pin/Tweet all about it.  Share their YouTube video and like their Facebook page and you just might get a Facebook shoutout from them!  People KILL for Facebook shoutouts these days!


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