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New York, NY
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The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 

Blog

"I've Decided To Do Both."

Mo Brady

by Hernando Umana

Hernando Umana

Hernando Umana

In a profession where you, the actor, are the product, manager, marketing team, and wear every other hat possible, even the strongest will have to learn to overcome crippling anxiety. I struggled with anxiety day in and day out. I did everything I could think of to help - therapy, anxiety medication, you name it. Finally, I turned to my mentor and friend, Angela Ardolino, and she helped me discover the incredible benefits of CBD Dog Health.

I was so fortunate to learn about CBD when I did, because it completely changed my life. I was able to treat my anxiety without addictive medications. I found a whole new confidence in myself. I walked into my auditions with my shoulders relaxed, breath was strong and steady, and I was able to focus on the work I did to prepare for the audition instead of the nerves. How did I not know about this before? Why hadn’t any of my doctors talked to me about this? It’s infuriating. 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid component found in the hemp plant and is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks. CBD made from hemp can have a range of benefits, including treating anxiety, auto-immune diseases, cancer, tumors, seizures, and more. CBD made from hemp has less than 0.3 percent THC, the psychoactive component associated with feeling “high.” Mammals have whats called the Endacanabanoid system. A system that is specifically made to accept CBD! I think its just as important as vitamins. This past December, the Fam Bill was passed, making CBD from the Hemp plant Federally Legal! A huge victory.

The next challange? My dog’s crazy separation anxiety while I was on tour. I’d leave for the show and get calls from the hotel with major complaints about her barking. One hotel even kicked me out. I tried everything. Sprays, thunder jackets, collars. Nothing worked. Guess what I found out? Dogs have TWICE the receptors for CBD than humans. I started her on CBD and the complaints suddenly stopped. I’d walk into my hotel room and she would be quietly sleeping in her bed. I couldn’t believe it. 

Angie, who had turned me on to CBD, had just finished getting her degree in medical cannabis from the University of Vermont and was in the process of starting her own line for pets. She happens to own grooming shops and a dog rescue farm, so there was no one better to lead the industry. I found my second passion: sharing the healing benefits of CBD. I began researching and working with Angie to formulate CBD products for dogs, which can calm anxiety, ease joint pain and allergies, and heal cancer, seizures, and tumors. I threw every penny I had saved in the last few years on Broadway and National Tours and a few months later we launched CBD Dog Health. We’ve been running for about six months right now, and we are so happy with how well we’re doing. I’m temporarily living in Tampa on the dog rescue farm, and I’ve seen dogs who couldn’t stand up, run. Seizures, anxiety, tumors completely disappear. It’s life-changing. Its time to take our dogs off of chemical medications and start healing them naturally.

So where does this leave me in the theatre world? I’ve decided to do both. You see, I LOVE theatre, but I don’t love depending on it as my only source of income. It takes the joy away from me and its become more about money than passion. I want to do shows because they inspire and challenge me! Setting myself up with parallel careers has reignited my love for theatre. I’m not looking at how much the contract pays but how bad I wanna play that role. My life now revolves around theatre, dogs, and cannabis. I couldn’t be happier.