February Caregiver of the Month – Anise
It has been an amazing journey thus far and we would love to share our story of how we met and what we plan to conquer in this world together.
Rylee, her mother Debs and I met just under three years ago at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission during the Covid 19 lockdown. We all had been in a rough patch in our lives, but I believe the universe had a plan and aligned us perfectly to meet.
Rylee blows my mind everyday with how much we have in common and what are interests are.
We love the arts! We love self-expression and we love to be “us”.
We don’t care if people judge us and we actually enjoy when people stare at us out in public because we know we are different.. and we love being different! Who wants to look and act like everyone else? Not us. Lol.
When I first was introduced to Rylee I had walked into the LVRM church one afternoon and she was on stage singing and dancing. It wasn’t until she cleared all the instruments out of her way and threw herself down, breakdancing and into the “worm”, that I knew I had to meet her.
Before my trauma, that left me homeless and in the position of ending up at the Mission, I had worked very heavily in entertainment and fashion most of my life. I lived in NYC in my twenties and had worked for networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, Sony and many more.
I creative directed shows and live events connecting nonprofits and artists with our projects and talent, as well as owning my own styling and design business with a friend. We lived to create and we loved life back then.
After feeling the need to switch things up, I moved to the Bay Area and got into documentary film work based on my interests in the homeless and nonprofits.
After a couple years of working and interviewing and seeing things no one should ever have to see, especially in our country, my psyche was left in a dark place of not knowing what or how to feel or to handle things anymore. My coping skills lacked to say the least.
The stress of the work and the reality of the underworld left me traumatized and confused. I hadn’t expected this, and looking back, I had no idea what was consuming me.
After years of up and down battles with myself, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back to entertainment, even though it had always been my passion and driving force in life and I loved it.
This is where Rylee entered the picture at the right time and the spiritual aspect of our aligned friendship kicked into gear. I can’t tell you what it felt like to have that darkness melt off me after years of spinning, but I attribute her love and friendship to being a big part of it.
It was like the dream I had lost, but subconsciously held onto for so many years was back. I was in awe of life again.
I don’t know why, but it took me about two months to completely win Rylee’s trust and attention from when I first met her. I thought she was great and this amazing, warm person and character, but I can’t say she felt the same about me. I’m not saying she felt negative towards me, but I can’t say she saw the same in me at the time.
I had been trying to figure a way to get to know Rylee without coming off as wanting anything more than friendship. Even though I literally can tell you I saw my future comedic co-host and the new face of entertainment right in front of me and she was the reason I felt alive again. No joke. I still do.
It’s true. The answer I forgot I was looking for was right in front of me. A true soulmate. Someone I could be “me” in front of again and without judgement.
A big, scary part of coming out of homelessness is the stigma everyone is now judging you or thinks you’re a drug addict or some kind of low life. People have a hard time believing past that. It’s just what unregulated media and this society teaches. To judge one another for self worth or uprising. It is a money making formula; negativity. It’s very sad and I hope to be a big part of changing the media one day because of our story.
Our story started when I began MCING Karaoke every Wednesday night at the LVRM church and I asked Rylee to be my co-host. From there, we would practice our stage presence, comedic timing and learn how we moved and reacted to one another as we were cheered on and encouraged by our peers. We became the “thing” to come and watch every Wednesday nite.
The crazy part is she reminds me of my grandmother and the relationship we had with one another.
It is almost identical. We would sing and dance and “make fun of cute boys” together and so much more. She was the one person in my life growing up that always encouraged my sister and me to be ourselves. “Never change who you are for anyone! Always be YOU.”
And that’s what Rylee reminds me is the only way to be.
Even after homelessness and what that stigma of shame brought into my life, we know we can’t change our past. We can only control our future.
With this being said, since leaving the Las Vegas Resue Mission over two years ago, Rylee and I have not only remained close friends, but have become business partners, pursuing our dreams of entertainment and helping others.
Rylee and her mother Debs have moved in with me and we have become a small, but growing family. Debs is waiting on a hip surgery and has a hard time moving around and requires assistance from Rylee and visa versa.
They definitely have an amazing mother/daughter bond with one another. It’s great having them around. We get to work and create at home and I know they’re safe being here.
Last year we incorporated a small multimedia production company called Creation 4 Cause (www.Creation4Cause.com) with the hopes of being a connecting platform or TV Network one day, as well as a multimedia, market brand ambassador for nonprofits, artists, entrepreneurs and anyone else trying to make a positive difference in this world.
It’s time we create a mainstream media platform that produces projects that promote equality, kindness, open mindedness, and inclusion so we can partner up and give back to the communities, not profit off of them and destroy them. End of story.
We’ve had a great response so far.
Since launching we have been invited to host and film red carpet events, we have been producing videos for amazing nonprofits such as Opportunity Village and Best Buddies, as well as toured and connected and even filmed with countless nonprofits around town.
We’ve been nominated for Champion of the Year by Best Buddies Nevada to represent our state in their yearly funding raising gala to promote inclusion, and from there I just recently got asked to sit on the board of Directors for Best Buddies. It’s all incredible honor!
As of now, we are working with both Best Buddies, as well as OV on upcoming projects and events. Coinciding this with pre production for an incredible underground hip hop music festival with The Industrial Sound called “Breaking The Code:Las Vegas”, in which we plan to showcase and promote 7 major nonprofits that serve the Las Vegas area. We have an incredible line up of underground, yet influential celebrity talent and I can’t sit down or still long enough to tell you the rest. But there’s been a lot! Holy moly!
The relationship Rylee and I have formed is an incredible bond and I hope others can read this story and understand humanity should have no limits, because love doesn’t.
If you can’t look someone and see the best in them and their potential, then perhaps it’s not that person with the problem in the mirror. Success and the joys in life come in the most unexpected places and people. Open your mind to the possibilities and experience this magic.