Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cessation Sensations

So I've been a little loathe to discuss this, 'cause some things I just don't like posting in public places...particularly things that bring me shame. But it's something that support will help me get through, so perhaps opening up about it here will be a good thing.

I have been a cigarette smoker since 1999. After several half-hearted attempts at quitting, I managed to stop for two years, from 2007-2009. But then elements of my personal life started to collapse, and my resolve to stay cigarette-free collapsed with them. I started up again and have been happily puffing my health and youth and life away ever since.

cigarette warning
I found this on the ground about three months ago and took a pic...took me this long to actually listen to what it said.

Until Sunday. At 5:40 a.m. on September 25th, 2011, I smoked what has so far (one day at a time) been my last cigarette.

I've found that quitting this time has been surprisingly easier than it was the last time, though that's not to say that it's been EASY. Withdrawal from any addictive substance is never a party, and it's been interesting cataloging the ways in which I've been affected. The first three days were all about the physical symptoms: my heart was beating harder, my whole body was tense, I felt like the veins in my neck were going to bulge and pop out, and I was itchy and twitchy to the point that I just wanted to tear my skin off.

Tasty, right? And this is something I LOVED doing...sheesh. And while the physical symptoms have subsided some in the past 24 hours, the emotional symptoms are just beginning. It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I'm determined. And here's why.

Nicotine is as addictive as heroin. Nicotine will get you to spend $12 on a pack (thanks, NYC) and justify it in your mind when you chose that pack over a couple of days worth of meals. Nicotine will tell you that it's OK to run late for work so you can stop and buy a pack. Nicotine will tell you that feeling good for the five minutes you're smoking is worth the smell, the cost, the social rejection (strangely smokers aren't as cool as we used to be), the risks of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, emphysema, wrinkles/premature aging, and all the other horrors brought on by those little white toxin-filled sticks. Nicotine will convince a singer that she's not hurting her voice by smoking.

Nicotine is that little brat who said he was your friend in high school but was actually talkin' smack about you behind your back the whole time. No more, dang it!

I've had a couple of band rehearsals since I quit, and I gotta say, even just in this first week, there is a MARKED improvement in my voice. Subway stairs are not as daunting. My skin looks and feels better. And I just feel better about myself, knowing I'm finally taking control over something that has controlled me for 12 years.

So yeah...if you run into me and I'm a little edgy, please don't take it personally. I'll level off and be back to normal soon enough. :) 'Til then, thanks for supporting me and my music and giving me yet another reason to leave my bad habits behind!

All my love,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Angie Interview at Easily Dunn

Angie Atkinson
Photo by Jeff Clark

Hey folks! I dipped into the world of sponsoring other blogs this month. One of them is Easily Dunn, a lifestyle blog by the ultra cool Jamie. She devotes space to interviewing each sponsor each month, so they're more than just a sidebar ad. Check it out!

Friday, September 9, 2011


Hello, awesome people, and welcome to the Angie Atkinson Music blog!

I'm still buzzing from my latest gig at my favorite spot here in the city, Gizzi's Cafein the heart of The Village. I have the day off, which is a rare treat. I'm watching Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns on NetFlix while anxiously awaiting the even rarer treat of lunch via delivery (a greasy cheeseburger and fries…I can't wait). And I am filled with gratitude.

Angie Atkinson Gizzi's
Outside Gizzi's. Photo by Mark D. Whyte

Just last August, after an epiphanic summer stint at Texas Shakespeare Festival, I returned to New York City with a few songs and a brand new dream. Well, sort of an old one, really. I've always wanted to be a singer, but I sort of fell into acting because I enjoyed the safety barrier of playing a different character. As an actor, you're truthful and honest on stage, but truthful and honest inside someone else's skin. As a singer, it's just you up there. Just you and your feelings, and that's a scary proposition.

But I bit the bullet and dove in head first. And in the space of a year, I wrote and made demo recordings of an entire album's worth of material, released a single, shot a music video, put together an amazing group of musicians to play gigs with, played a whole bunch of gigs with said musicians, and started the ball rolling on what has become one of the most fantastic rides of my life, which is sharing my music with all of you.

Right now I'm amping up for a busy fall. I'm getting ready to launch an IndieGoGo project to raise money for studio time, so I can finally record and produce the album I've been working on this year. I've got a lot of shows coming up this month and next, including the premiere of my music video for my single, "Right Into You," at Gizzi's at 7pm on October 21st! I'm also going to be a part of CMJ's music festival this year with a 7pm set at R-Bar. I can't wait! I hope to see all of your beautiful faces at these and all my other upcoming shows.

Which reminds me...

I overcame a lot of obstacles and fears to get here. It feels amazing to be in this place of exciting new beginnings, and I couldn't have done it without all the love and support of my amazing fans, friends and family. You guys have absolutely blown my mind and made my heart explode by encouraging me and believing in my dream. I'm so grateful to have such an awesome support system, which is why I started this blog. Since you guys have made this journey possible, I want you to go on it with me. And I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do!

Now, if you'll excuse me, that greasy cheeseburger is here. And Jean Luc looks like he's about to say something important.

While I enjoy my burger, here's a video of my cover of Lady Gaga's "You and I."