26 Candles

Whew. Another summer done. I don’t know about you (I’m not asking), but it’s my least favorite season. Between the mosquito bites and humidity, I’m not sure which is more uncomfortable. And that’s not even factoring in the slew of Facebook wedding photos that serve as a constant reminder of the life I’m not living.

Fall has always been my favorite. September is magical. It also happens to be the month I was born. (You’re welcome world) So while I won’t be posting engagement photos or baby portraits, I’m turning 26 on the 26th — so 26 selfies are probably in order. (Again, you’re welcome world) It’s a time to celebrate not just my birth, but all the choices I’ve made in the last 25 years. To reflect on what I have and what I still want — and what I hope for in the next year of my life.

As an early birthday present, I went to Madison Square Garden for a Billy Joel concert. (Still doing the paperwork that offers my first born in return) My love for this man and his talent runs deep. His career reach baffles and inspires me. The concert was over way too fast, and I left the Garden with a smile on my face and a beer buzz in my blood. Billy was great, I expected that. What I did not expect was Gavin Degraw as an opening act and to feel so affected by him.

Gavin Degraw is a huge part of my high school experience. My sister and I would listen to his “Chariot-Stripped” album every morning on the way to school, (WaWa coffee in hand.) Those easy melodies and poignant lyrics were all a 16 year old girl needed besides a crush and a callback for the Spring Musical. So when Gavin took the stage Wednesday night, all those amazing memories flooded back.

And he was Working It. The energy and passion he was giving the audience was huge. Even though most of the stadium was 30 years my senior, he was singing to every single one of us. Maybe an artist is always humbled while playing in the Garden, but his excitement was obvious and infectious. It immediately made me crave the stage.

There is no better feeling than sharing what you love with an audience. It’s why I’m a performer. While I don’t get to perform for a live audience at the moment, I know that my contribution to Red Eye reaches thousands. And if for just one moment I can help a viewer forget about their stressful day, encourage them to think differently, or simply make them laugh, then I have done my job.

While some people are happy enough going to concerts, others need to headline them.

While some people want a house in the burbs, others need the buzzing city.

While some people marry their partners at 26, others commit to their dream careers.

So while my Fall, and my 26th year may not be spent like most of my peers, I’m ok with that. Because I have time, an audience, and 26 candles to wish on.

candle

36 thoughts on “26 Candles

  1. Happy Birthday! I hope you started celebrating 26 days before your birthday and for 26 days after!!! 📦🎂 That’s how I celebrate my bday.

  2. Jo,

    You and the rest of the Red Eye crew are sometimes the best part of a stressful day, so for that, I thank you.
    You are one of those talented young people that I am sure will soon be a household name. Hang in there, kick life’s ass, and no matter what, follow that dream.

  3. Happy Early Birthday! Know that there are countless people out there who enjoy watching you on Red Eye & are wishing you continued success in all your endeavors & dreams, so keep the faith! Great picture, too!

  4. Re: ” my 26th year ”
    One correction about that! If you just celebrated your 26th birthday, you are now in the beginning of your 27th year!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your blog and for a look into your life. I have one of my phone alarms set for Red Eye and really enjoy how you manage to keep it real and hang in there with the cast of characters that visit the show.
    Have a fantastic Birthday and many years of success pursuing your career and life goals.

  6. When I was your age I was a weed-head and an alcoholic (Vodka and Juice).
    I’m amazed where you are now and where you’re clearly headed. Clearly
    headed… get it? You and Gutfeld are a riot. Keep on keeping on.
    ZM

  7. I would like to talk with you and get to know you.  I would love to date you

    Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S®4 Active™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  8. Jo,
    You are an integral part of Red Eye (the only show I never miss) and I am very thankful for your contribution. You are in the early days of your successful career, and so young, yours will be a long and wonderful journey. As I am much older than you I am sure that I shall see your lovely image in the twilight of my days and think fondly of the first time you graced my little screen. Thank you for enriching our lives and have a wonderful birthday 🙂

  9. This is your ‘Magical Birthday’…when your age is the same as the day you were born. For me that was when I was 14…w/ my bday being next month. this year tho, I’m starting a new rule…’magic’ also for the YEAR matching the age you are. I need all the magic I can get, so, next month, I’ll be 57…and I was born in 1957…that’s gotta be magical, right? 😉 Happy Birthday! On a very serious and joyous note, my first grandchild Tessa just turned 1 on the 10th. I pray you are loved and blessed as much as this little girl is!

  10. Happy birthday. I’m with you on summer. I love fall. My wife calls the leaves changing color ” Gods fireworks” . Love you on the show.

  11. It’s my favorite season too. My birthday is in October but I have many years on you. I’ll be 57 this October 12. What I would give to be 26 again.

    Anyway, my wife and I love seeing you on Red Eye. You have a great sense of humor. Don’t ever lose it.

  12. It’s my favorite season too. My birthday is in October but I have many years on you. I’ll be 57 this October 12. What I would give to be 26 again.

    Anyway, my wife and I love seeing you on Red Eye. You have a great sense of humor. Don’t ever lose it.

  13. Hi, Joanne. My name is robert, and I am a huge fan. You always make me laugh, and are very insightful on red eye, and your other appearances on fox shows. I know it’s a day early, and you will most likely never read this email. But I wanted to wish you a very very happy birthday. I hope you get all your wishes to come true.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  14. Happy Birthday, Jo! You are a big reason why Red Eye is not to be missed. Smart. Beautiful and funny. (TV’s Jo is just soooo shallow ;-> ) You have a great career ahead of you. Best wishes!

  15. Wow, you have really set the bar high for October! Well it does have Oktoberfest, and Halloween, I guess you can dress up as a pregnant newlywed, drinking away her regrets!! Happy Birthmonth!!

  16. You Jono-Happy Birthday (from a Leo-Aug 10) -my advice–Career first-plenty of time for family-nice job on Red Eye-I like the show and Greg bothers me less as time goes on. Keep up the good work. Michael (Whispering Lion)

  17. Yo Jono-Happy Birthday (from a Leo-Aug 10) -my advice–Career first-plenty of time for family-nice job on Red Eye-I like the show and Greg bothers me less as time goes on. Keep up the good work. Michael (Whispering Lion)

    ps- the blog is great-

  18. Well, I have 20 years on you and I’m still doing my own thing. I finally found the right person and got married a couple years ago. When the time is right for you, you will find the right person. Just because you get married doesn’t mean you can’t still live the life you want to live. I have plenty of friends from high school that are already grandparents. That was the right move for them at the time. Everyone needs to follow their own path. Good Luck!!

    PS Great job on Red Eye.

  19. JoAnne, I started watching RE steady last Fall. You are a huge and welcome addition and I watch the DVR’d show each morning before I go to work. Keep it up and good luck to you.

    Pete.

  20. I start my day watching Red Eye from my dvr. You and the Red Eye crew are a great start to my day.You do your job well and I know your career will continue to grow. I hope you will get to perform on stage and/or screen in the future. Please write blog posts more often as I enjoy reading your opinions. Belated Happy Birthday!

  21. Jo,

    Thank you so much for the work you do on Red Eye. I have been going thru a difficult divorce and feeling very empty most of the time. But when I see you on that show, my loneliness goes away. Its as if I’m visiting with a friend each time I hear you on there. You are an example that there are still quality women in the world. I hope that you always know that just being you is brightening the lives of other people.

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