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Unfinished Business

I used to say, “I’m good at starting things, but I never finish anything.”

So. Let’s talk. What qualifies as unfinished?

When I was growing up, my dad would say, “Things only get done because they have a deadline.” Without a deadline, who’s to say when something is “finished.” As an artist, my work is never done. If I had another day, week, month, year, I could do more.

I’m drivin’ along, doin’ my thang. Then I notice there are these traffic lights and stop signs, other cars on the road, crosswalks painted onto the road for pedestrians, and rest stops for me to choose if I want to stop and rest. Rules, regulations, and guidelines put there by who knows who, but I know not me. I don’t know about you, but I find them to be both helpful and annoying. Without these rules, we may crash and never make it to our destination in one piece. We may even take out other cars along the way. But I digress, I don’t know where I was going with that analogy. I don’t even drive.

Ah! That is my point! I don’t know where I’m going and that’s the beauty of it all.

I have finished plenty of things, according to other people’s deadlines: I finished elementary school twice, middle school, high school, college; I’ve performed in many shows from start to finish; I’ve closed runs of show as an actor, a house manager; I clocked out of my shift every day at the restaurant; I clock out every morning after I open at Equinox; I will finish this piece of writing when it is time for me to hand it in; and so on and so forth. Wait a second, I DO finish things!

So let me reflect for a moment. What exactly am I referring to in my mind, when I say “I never finish anything?” First thing that comes up is piano. I played consistently, meaning it was part of my everyday life, till I was 10. I had just started composing. What happened when I was 10? We moved to the other side of the world. Literally. Connecticut to Japan. Our piano came with us. My beloved piano teacher did not, Allison…..(shiza I cannot recall her last name at this moment, I must ask my Mother). My parents got me a new teacher but it wasn’t the same. I stopped playing. I feel like I never finished. I stopped playing the saxophone after that move, too. Is that also unfinished? How about the bass that I picked up to play in a band? Maybe these seem unfinished because I’m not finished with them.

Do I sound scattered? All over the place?? That’s because I am! So much is unfinished because I am still alive! <3 I am not finished till my last breath. EVERYthing is “in the works.” As long as I am alive I get to decide what continues and what doesn’t. Stay tuned for glimpses of my “unfinished work” going forward. There’s rumors of a one woman show on the horizon, by me, for me, and played by me. If you choose to experience it with me, it will be a moment at a stoplight, not the end of the road.

Thanks for playing,

Shino Frances the Adventurer

Shino Frances is a proud biracial, bilingual and bicultural musical theater actress, producer, director, coach and consultant. Shino finds joy in bringing characters and stories to life. Her favorite place to be is in the spotlight (literally) and she additionally enjoys any position that gives her a front row seat to creating and witnessing shifts in any room, team or community. Director of Operations, “I Am” Series.

Currently can be spotted Off B’way at The Players Theatre, as the White Rabbit/Mock Turtle in Literally Alive’s family friendly musical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. IG: @lovemyjapjaplife

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