Roceial Leonard was in the Free Street ensemble from 2004-2007. She claimed she wasn't a performer and didn't want to be on stage however everything she as an actor had a compelling authenticity. Roceial is a NeuroKitchen founder and board secretary. She currently works as a baker and cake decorator.
1) I joined Free Street in my sophomore year of high school in 2004/2005. My history teacher Ms. Chapman actually told me about one day when I was staying in class after school. She knew I enjoyed writing so she basically forced me to try it out. I remembering going up to park and reading one my short stories for the interview. I told them that I had no desire to be stage or act, I just wanted to write. The first play I was in I had to be on stage the whole time.
2) Laying on that black floor and melting into the floor, just focusing on my breathing. How the air move through my body when I exhale and inhale. Moving my body with purpose, moving with a want and wanting it now, being in the moment. Letting the words follow onto the page. Blocking out a scene, distilling the movement in my body. Being in that room in front of people, being the moment but still being aware of my environment..
3) The first play I in was about the women in lives of Tupac, Biggie, Edgar A. Poe, and Longfellow. We would sit in the lobby and talk about the research we found about them. We were so excited and amazed by how much these four men had in common. In Harold is Burning, I was on top of a house for most of the play. I was in a scene with Cecilia Leon and I was so into the moment I had tears in my eyes. I was sad thinking my home and my city under water and help may not be coming.
4) Even now I still follow the air in my body while I decorate cakes. Mapping out the movement and breathing through the movements with my piping bag. Being in the moment while I make baking is so relaxing. I truly believe I make better sweet when I
am in the now when I’m baking or decorating.
(written December 2018)