Stepping Up: The 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Dawn McCoy  (ummm…me) at the 12th Annual  Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Dawn McCoy (ummm…me) at the 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Have I mentioned how much I love Step Up? I know, I know. I have – and have again.

The stars of Step Up with star, Lea Michele. Their lights all shine equally bright!

The stars of Step Up with star, Lea Michele. Their lights all shine equally bright!

The Step Up logo is more than just a logo…it's a mantra.

The Step Up logo is more than just a logo…it’s a mantra.

But it’s just because that’s how deeply it lives in my heart, and impacts my everyday life. I was introduced to Step Up by my best friend, actress Sarah Jane Morris 3 years ago, and I quickly became a member, changing my life  – and my heart – for the better.

My best friend, Sarah Jane Morris, & I at the 12th annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, June 5th, 2015.

My best friend, Sarah Jane Morris, & I at the 12th annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, June 5th, 2015.

This past Friday, June 5th, 2015 was my second year to attend the Step Up Inspiration Awards – and their 12th year of hosting this awards luncheon, so full of heart.

But this year, I didn’t just attend as a guest, I was also honored to be the announcer of the show – or as they call it – their “Voice of God.”

Are you there, God? It's me, Dawn.

Are you there, God? It’s me, Dawn.

And yes, you can call me that from now on. I’m kidding. Kinda.

Behind the scenes action at the Inspiration Awards. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Behind the scenes action at the Inspiration Awards. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

No, it really was a dream come true, and not just because it was the first time I had been the announcer at an awards show.

That's me. Always straddling the line between talent and press. Literally.

Being interviewed on the red carpet. That’s me. Always straddling the line between talent and press. Literally. I mean, we took down the rope so we could do interviews for #Dear15Me.

As I sat there with 850 others in the room, feeling my own dream come to life, I got to hear the stories of dreams coming true for so many others, including Julie Bowen…

The ridiculously impressive - and kind - Julie Bowen. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

The ridiculously impressive – and kind – Julie Bowen. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Cristela Alonzo…

Our charming emcee - and my fellow Texan (holla!) , Cristela Alonzo.

Our charming emcee – and my fellow Texan (holla!) , Cristela Alonzo.

Lea Michele…

The lovely Lea Michele at the Step Up Inspiration Awards. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

The lovely Lea Michele at the Step Up Inspiration Awards. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

honoree Peter Kim of Hudson Jeans…

Honoree, Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans, as photographed by Amy Tierney

Honoree, Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans, as photographed by Amy Tierney

and honoree, actress & director, Elizabeth Banks.

Honoree, Elizabeth Banks, as photographed by Felix Salzman

Honoree, Elizabeth Banks, as photographed by Felix Salzman

But, I also got to see the girls of Step Up, whose dreams are coming true – like honoree Maria – simply by being able to graduate high school and attend college, thanks to Step Up, so that they can pursue their dreams.

Step Up Honoree, senior Maria Soto. This girl is everything we wish we were at that age!

Step Up Honoree, senior Maria Soto. This girl is everything we wish we were at that age!

 

Step Up believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, and the Inspiration Awards raises 55% of the funds Step Up needs to serve its Los Angeles community for one year. Know how much we raised this year? Over $400,000!! We went well past our goal of $75,000!

Speaking of raising money, I have never seen anyone in entertainment work so hard (while being SO adorable and full of heart) as Modern Family’s Julie Bowen did, while trying to raise that money. I wish I could say every celebrity put this much heart into their work with charities!

I've always really, really liked Julie Bowen, but after seeing her work her heart out? I can honestly say that I LOVE this woman!!

I’ve always really, really liked Julie Bowen, but after seeing her work her heart out? I can honestly say that I LOVE this woman!!

It was a day that I will always will remember, not just because I was surrounded by the most talented people with the most generous of hearts, but because for the first time, I actually could count myself as one of them. Thank you for letting me be a very small part of the magic, Step Up.

So incredibly honored to be in this company. Wow.

So incredibly honored to be in this company. Wow.

Memories like those never die.

 

xoxo,
Dawn

 

High-Low 1/27/14: Sweeter Than A Cupcake & Sitting With Sadness (thanks, Louis C.K.!)

Here’s my High-Low this week. It was a week filled with sweetness, gratitude, love and light and a little bit of sadness. I just consider myself lucky that I get to feel the entire range of emotions. I’m realizing that there are many people who either physically can’t feel these emotions or have blocked themselves to where they’re devoid of feeling emotions on such a scale. So while that means that I’ll have my share of ups and downs over the years, it also means that I’ll be able to continue to share my High-Lows with you all. Lucky ducks…

HIGH: SWEETER THAN A CUPCAKE

HIGH: SWEETER THAN A CUPCAKE - "I Dream To…" Mentor Day with Step Up Women's Network at the Dermalogica headquarters

This past Saturday morning, I showed up at the Dermalogica headquarters in Carson, California to participate in Step Up Women’s Network “I Dream To…” Mentor Day. I am a visionary member of Step Up Women’s Network and am a big fan because their sole mission is to help inspire girls from under-resourced communities to live up to their full potential. They have done this so effectively that 100% of Step Up graduates over the past 4 years have been accepted to and currently attend college.

I had no idea what to expect and to be honest, I was a little nervous. But after meeting my mentee, “S.”, all of my nervousness went away. We were very different and yet we had qualities at our cores in common which bonded us.

My goal going into the day was to encourage, inspire and motivate her. So imagine my surprise, after spending the day together when I was the one tearing up as I read her letter of gratitude to me and realizing how much she had taught me.

I learned more from this 15-year-old in one day than I have learned from most people in the past month. And by sharing with her some of my successes, struggles and strategies, I actually learned lessons that I didn’t even know I needed to learn.

I am so thankful to have met S. and to have been able to share this day together. My hope is that she took as much away from the day with me as I took from my time spent with her.

 

LOW: SITTING WITH SADNESS

BeautyFrosting quotes, BeautyFrosting

LOW: SITTING WITH SADNESS (Thanks, Louis C.K.!!)

This past week – like so many other weeks we have in life – I had a bump in the road. I felt sad, disappointed, confused and totally out of my comfort zone. As the extrovert that I am, my initial instinct was to pick up the phone and call a close friend. Usually, that’s what I do. I call my Mom or call or hang out with one of my best friends and share my woes with anyone that I trust. I tell them what’s going on so they can help me work through it and by the end of the call or visit, I get over it and feel better…somewhat.

But this time was different. As I was picking up the phone, I remembered that chat that Louis C.K. had on Conan about cell phones, sadness and basically how it all ties back into our fear of sadness and our fear of being alone. He told a story about getting really sad in his car while listening to Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland” (best song ever!!) and how his first instinct was to text like 50 people. But instead of doing that, he took contrary action and just let the sadness hit him like a truck and pulled over and bawled his eyes out. He said that afterwards, he actually felt better because it was like there were antibodies of happiness that came along to counter the extreme sadness.

So, I tried it. I sat in the sadness and let it take me over. I cried like a baby on my bed. I let myself feel out of control. And, well, it worked. I’m not saying that it made me feel all better but it certainly helped me get a little bit more comfortable in my own skin that day. And I truly feel blessed that I get to have those sad moments because they make the happy ones that much sweeter.

xoxo,

BF

BF Asks: What was your High-Low this week?

*So what exactly is a High-Low, you ask? High-Low is the BEST & WORST part of your day, week, month, etc. I started this tradition with friends & family after I discovered it through a movie decades ago. Not only is it useful for reflection sake but it is also an excellent way to communicate with your spouse, kids or friends over the dinner table. By introducing this tradition to folks, parents have told me that their kids have opened up more and friends have told me that their spouses have become more communicative. Try it for yourself and let me know what your experience is!