I am so excited to share our version of the “Adult Cake Smash” with you today! Leah, Star, Garnet, and I headed out to Jay Blanchard Park up near the UCF to celebrate Leah’s 31st birthday. I’ve been reading about this concept a lot recently, and knew Leah was the perfect candidate for it.
I met Leah in my senior year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Theatre Design program at UCF. We had a mixed BFA and MFA student class. There was a light that glowed within her that instantly drew us all in. Leah is so full of self love, positive vibes, and is someone I am honored to know. Leah has struggled in life, as we all do, but she has overcome it in amazing ways. Read below for her journey through school, life, and finding confidence in herself.
After being out of school for 6 years, Leah thought she might be crazy for choosing to go back to school for a 3 year Master of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre. Grad school is hard! As a theatre maker who is a woman and a Christian, she is a cultivator of confidence, creativity, and community. Leah is a survivor of abuse. She is in a committed relationship with her Stila red lipstick. She believes that the opportunity for joy and renewed hope is eternal.
While approaching her final two months of school, she’s applying for jobs every week, in between writing her thesis and teaching at the University of Central Florida. She has big hopes and dream is to find a job after she graduates that will support her life. She is hoping that maybe, just maybe, that job will give her enough money to buy a new truck. Her 1998 Toyota pick-up truck, Harvey, has been with her through thick and thicker. They are both are starting to feel the wear of his 300,000+ miles!
Over time, Leah has learned that she is her best advocate. When she takes the time to honor herself, she gets the practice in honoring others. Leah told me, “Had you approached me to do a photo shoot during my second year of school, I would have said no and probably cried in the corner while I told you no”. However, here she is in her final semester and final year of school feeling thankful for her experiences and more proud of herself than ever! These pictures represent a choice to remember every year leading up to the big 31 and trust that every day of every month of every year after will be even more important. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so why not smash a cake in a pretty dress and red lipstick today?
Currently, she works with professional theaters, after school programs, summer camps, dance companies, churches, and anywhere else that is open to thinking outside of the box. If you want to know more specifics, please visit www.leahmthomas.net.
Leah | Adult Cake Smash | Jay Blanchard Park