For a look at Kenady's press clippings and current activities, google "kenady shope".

Message posted by Paula Shope, 8/08/2008 at 7:11pm

My family and Friends,

I hope that you are ALL having a wonderful and relaxing summer. If not relaxing, at least exciting. I have to say that although NYC is not home, I do enjoy it in the summer.

Gabrielle went to Student Life Camp last week in Winter Park Colorado with our church in Grapevine. The pastor for the week was the pastor of the church that we have been attending here in New York City, J. R. Vasser. How amazing is that! There are no accidents in this life. She will be staying in Grapevine with Sean for the rest of the summer. She starts training with the Cross Country team this week. Yes, they train in the blazing heat! She should be ready to go, she ran EVERY DAY in Central Park!!

Kenady has two weeks of shows left. She is taking advantage of vocal coaching provided to her through American girl and she is dancing ALOT at Broadway Dance Center. She is taking Jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop and a flexibility class. She will continue to audition as things come available. We are keeping our eyes, minds and hearts open.

Sean was able to come up last week. We spent a couple of days in Washington D.C. and the rest of the time just hanging out in the city. It was nice to just relax for a bit. He has a busy couple of weeks ahead of him, then before you know it K and I will be home.

I have thoroughly and completely enjoyed Central Park! I love it! I was running the other day around the reservoir listening to my iPOD, or in my case my IPOD shuffle. I was feeling ashamed of a video audition that we had submitted for Kenady to her agent in Dallas. It was for a Cameron Crowe movie. We made the best with the equipment that we had available to us. However, I knew that some of the girls in Dallas were able to go to a professional to have their audition made. I was convinced that I had ruined Kenady's career forever! A million anxious thoughts began to flood my mind. Just then, a familiar song began to play on my shuffle, it was not peppy enough so I almost changed it, however, I was curious as to the song so I listened. It was, In Christ Alone by Michael English. I had forgotten that I had downloaded it a long time ago. I cannot believe the timing! (I strongly recommend the $.99 download) God reminded me that it does not matter who did the video, how and when it was done, He and only He has control over the outcome. I was still ashamed but for different reasons. The constant comparing of myself to others, getting caught up in the need for "things," trying to keep up with the rest of the world.

Now embarrassed I remembered how I have been wanting a bigger better house for many years. I was frustrated at times feeling as if it were a true NEED for our family. God reminded me that if I had that house, I would most certainly not have been able to have "this"now. By this, he meant the amazing view I was experiencing of the sun rising over Central park. This, the cute little apartment in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This, the opportunity and experience of a lifetime for Kenady. For "this" I need to be thankful and quit worrying about what the rest of the world is doing. This, more than anything that I could have planned, dreamed, or imagined. WOW!

As for now, we are planning to return home on Sunday August, 24 or Monday the 25th. School starts on the 25th are we are gearing up for a BIG FALL of cheerleading, cross country and homework. It is our prayer that whatever the plan, we do it with passion and a purpose. No more STATUS QUO!

I truly look forward to hearing from all of you and SEEING you all very soon!!

Message posted by Paula Shope, 7/15/2008 at 9:18am

Hello Everyone,

I hope that you all had a wonderful Fourth of July.

Kenady, Gabrielle and I are all getting settled into our apartment on the Upper West side of Manhattan. Our good friend Michelle will be with us until the middle of August and Gabby will be able to stay until the last week of July. Michelle is a joy to have with us she is a true blessing.

Every part of this journey has been completely ordained by God, this apartment is no exception. Sean happened to find it on Craigs list. I was in town and came to look at it. We are renting it from a Columbia University student that is away teaching AIDS prevention to a tribe in Africa. She is Jewish and from Beverly Hills, yes, 90210. We are thankful that our renting her apartment is not paying for a trip to Europe but actually being used to do some good in the world!

Kenady and Gabby are taking classes at the infamous "Broadway Dance Center." From what I understand they provide some of the best dance instruction in the city. Last week Kenady went to her first ballet class. She decided to take an advanced - beginner class. She said by the end of the class the instructor was giving all of the instructions in french! I have never seen Kenady more exhausted as she was when she left that class!! It was so funny!!

Sean was able to be with us for the Fourth of July weekend and will be joining us again the last week of July. This is the week that Gabrielle will be going to Student Life Camp in Colorado. After camp, Gabby will be in Grapevine training for Cross Country Season. The season starts in August.

Kenady has been added to the schedule for a few more shows. Apparantly one of the other Samanthas cannot continue to perform so Kenady is taking a couple of her shows.

  • August 8th @ 12:30, 2 and 4
  • August 16th @ 12:30, 2 and 4
  • August 23 @ 12:30, 2 and 4

Kenady will be auditioning whenever she gets a chance and is taking advantage of all of the training that this city has to offer. She went to a workshop on Saturday with Jack Plotnick, an actor form LA. Right now he is in that Federal Express commercial in which he cannot locate China for his boss so he falls into the map to avoid admitting that he has no idea where China is. It is very funny. Anyway he seemed very impressed with Kenady and suggested that she go to LA to audition.

As always, your kind words and prayers are greatly appreciated. We know what an incredible gift this opportunity is and it is our prayer that not one day would be wasted or ill spent. We are seeking to be servants, spreading the love and joy of Christ with our actions and our demeanor. Believe me, WE NEED PRAYER!


Message posted by Paula Shope, 6/10/2008 at 8:24pm

Hello Everybody!!!

Summer is finally here, I can hardly believe it.

It has been a while since I have updated you on our journey. Kenady and I have continued to commute between Dallas and NYC. We have absolutely treasured our time at home and consider it a blessing that the Lord has allowed us this intermittent time with family and friends. We will continue commuting through June but plan on staying in the city for July and August.

God is so good and His timing is perfect. We have some very good friends whose 18 year old daughter needs to be in NYC for all of July and part of August. She has been accepted into the Circle in the Square Theater Program, but would have most likely turned it down if it had not been for the fact that Kenady and I would be in the city and she can stay with us!! Her mother and I have been talking and praying about taking our girls to New York for theater opportunities for several years. Now with what God is doing separtely in our daughter's lives, He is fulfilling a dream that we shared together.

To write everything that I have learned over the last several months would fill the pages of a book. But, I must share one truth that God has impressed on me and my family. God has called us to a purposeful life, not just in words, but in action. To live of life of, "trying to get by" is not God's best for us. I believe that His desire is that we live with intent all day, every day. To live otherwise is to not only sell ourselves short but to miss out on the life that God has intended us to have. I pray that ALL of us will truly walk in the presence and purpose of Christ.P>

As always, I would love to have all of you for a visit. I will let you know of our new address as soon as we find a place in the city. Your prayers for direction in this area and all others are coveted and much appreciated.

Thank you all for your prayers and generosity!

I hope to hear from ALL of you very soon,


Message posted by Paula Shope, 4/9/2008 at 1:29pm

Dear Friends and Family,

It seems like so much has happened since I last wrote.

First, Kenady and I will be commuting back and forth from NYC to Grapevine. We will commute through May, but have not made any concrete plans for the summer. We are praying for God's wisdom and direction. The traveling is a little crazy but it sure is good to be home!

Second, Since we are going to be home some during the week, Kenady went back to school on Monday. She will have several absences due to the traveling, but she will get to finish her 7th grade year at CMS. She is excited to be spending time with all of her friends.

Third, In the past couple of weeks, Kenady has had some very special people watching her perform. At the end of March, Rick and DeeAnn Blair saw the show. For those of you who do not know them, they are the founders of Artisan Center Theater, where Kenady loves to perform. Also, this past weekend, Papa Jerry and Grandma Sandee came for a visit. They loved the show. It is such a blessing to have friends and family come from so far away to cheer Kenady on! This weekend, Heather and Amy Atkeisson are spending the weekend with me and Kenady. We are so excited!

Fourth, the May and June calender is out! It is posted on the SCHEDULE page.

Fifth, As a result of the Showcase Kenady was in a couple of weeks ago, we are meeting with a prospective manager on Friday afternoon. Several performers in NYC have agents and managers. I am anxious to find out exactly what a manager does and if this manager is a good fit for Kenady. I am praying for discernment. I do not want to get ahead of God's plan, but want to walk throught the doors that He opens.

God has been reminding me the past couple of days that the "status quo" is not the life that he has planned for me. This journey is far from over!

Thank you for all of your prayers and support,


Message posted by Paula Shope, 3/26/2008 at 5:28pm

Hello Everyone,

I trust that you all had a wonderful Spring Break and a blessed Easter Sunday!

Kenady and I were able to go to the Brooklyn Tabernacle. They had a special mutimedia presentation of the life, death and resurrection of Christ. It was truly amazing.

Kenady and I had a great Spring Break. It started with a visit from Sharon and Cecil, the Cory's, the Monrads, and Sean and Gabrielle. Sean and Gabrielle were able to stay the entire week. We had a great time, it was very sad to see everyone go but am looking forward to several upcoming visits from friends and family.

Kenady is performing, mainly on the weekends, and I continue to tutor her through the week. She will be performing in a showcase, tonight actually, in front of agents, managers and casting directors. It will be exciting to see what becomes of it. It was a blessing to have been asked to be a part of it.

Right now, we are praying about where we are supposed to live April - August. We have decided that with Kenady's schedule, at least for now, that it does not make since to commute. It will be exciting to see where the Lord takes us. One more twist and turn on this journey that we are on. Like a rollercoaster, it is always thrilling and exciting, but sometimes a little scary when you can't see where you are going.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I am humbled by the outpouring of letters and e-mails. It means so much to me to know that you are thinking about us.

Please let me know a little about what is going on in your life and any prayer request that you may have.

I miss you all,

Message posted by Paula Shope, 3/17/2008 at 3:10pm

Hello Everyone,

Kenady's opening went great! The theater was packed. There were even people there that were NOT friends and family! Sean and Sarah even stayed and watched Kenady's second show.

Sunday, Kenady was called in to do THREE shows. Apparantly the scheduled Samantha was ill and Kenady was on call. Oh the life of a working actress!!

We (Me, Sean, Kenady, and Gabby) feel so blessed to have so many friends and family that are praying for us. I want to thank you all for that. It means more to us than I can say in words.

It is also amazing to me that we are the furthest from home and had more friends and family at the opening than anyone else. Wow!!!!

I look forward to all of you coming.

Sean and Gabby are here this week and we are ALL going to to take NYC by storm.


Message posted by Paula Shope, 3/5/2008 at 9:19am

Hello Friends,

I hope and pray that you are all doing well. I miss everyone of you so much! Are you ready for Spring Break? What are your plans? Several of you are coming to NYC and I can hardly wait. I hear that it is snowing in Texas. Well, I am delighted to report that it has been in the 50's for two days in New York City. I actually went for a walk without 2 coats on!!!

11 days until showtime!!! Kenady is experiencing just about every emotion. She is excited, anxious and nervous all at the same time. She is in full dress rehearsal tonight , Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Then howtime, Saturday, the 15th, at 12:30. I am excited too! Believe it or not, I have not seen the show or been in the theater! I am looking forward to being surprised.

Sean was able to visit last weekend! We had a great time. We found a great restaurant, at least I thought so, that specializes in Burgers AND Cupcakes! It has a clever name too, Burgers and Cupcakes!!! I highly recommed it! We also got lost in the Macy's one day sale, Sean was thrilled! (HA!) Sunday We took the train to PA to see The Miracle Worker. One of Kenady's castmates was playing Helen Keller. It was no Artisan Center Theater, but it was good. Sean was able to catch a few zzzzz's to boot! We also walked to Central Park to see it completely covered in snow. On the way we saw the Trump Tower, one of them, and Tiffany's. We had already eaten, so no breakfast.

On Sunday, Kenady and I visited St. Patrick's Cathedral for mass. It was amazing. What a beautiful church with so much heritage. It was built in 1878 and survived the Civil War! It was recently featured in Spider-Man and Ugly Betty. Most importantly, the message was great!

Due to Kenady's show schedule, I believe that we are going to stay in the city through the month of April. It is definitely more cost effective. Please pray that her future schedules will allow us to commute, at least some.

One important piece of news, as of September 1, the American Girl Theater will be closing it's curtain for good. The great news is that Kenady gets to be apart of it for six months, which is a longer run than most off-Broadway shows. Also, there is a definite closure date, which allows for future planning. Ultimately, God is in control and we are excited to see what He plans for Kenady in the Fall.

As always I look forward to hearing from all of you. I miss you so much, I know I already said that, but it is true!!


P.S. For show information, snapshots and updates please visit Kenady's webpage.
My dad is doing a fantastic job keeping it updated. It looks great!
Thank you Dad.

Message posted by Paula Shope, 2/18/2008 at 7:46pm

Hello Everyone,
I hope everyone is doing well and had a great Valentine's Day. Kenady and I were in the city for the big day and were able to venture out long enough to see the the top of the Emipre State Building illuminated in, you guessed it, PINK and PINK!!

Kenady has been practicing really hard for her big opening day. Yes, I have a schedule for the rest of March and all of April. The box office number is: 1-877-247-5223. The tickets are $34 a piece. The show is called: A Circle of Friends. More information can be found at "".
Check out the dates for Kenady's performances on the SCHEDULE page.

We had a wonderful visit with my mother-in-law! It was great to explore New York with family.

Kenady and I were both in Dallas the weekend of February 7th. It was great to be home, but unfortunately we were both too sick to visit anyone. Bronchitis. But, the reason for our visit was able to come to pass. Kenady and Sean were able to go to the Daddy-Daughter Dance at the Grapevine Recreation Center. I believe it is 11 years in a row for them!!!

Sean is coming up this weekend. We are actually going to venture to PA to see a play. That will be fun.

This week we were able to visit Times Square Church. It was a neat experience. All walks of life gathering together for one common purpose. What is amazing to me is that it is jam packed, not an empty seat to be had, even in the over flow, seats are hard to come by. I loved one of the songs that we sang:

"Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Completely Yes Lord
From the bottom of my heart
to the depths of my soul
Its yes Lord, Completely Yes
My Heart says YES"

It was the COMPLETELY YES that really struck me. I say it, but do I live it? Would I buy all the supplies AND build the boat? Would I learn to use the slingshot AND show up to fight the giant? COMPLETELY YES, to me, means leaving all fear, anxiety, preconceived notions, and plans at the foot of the cross. I believe that is the life God wants for us, do you?

I look forward to hearing from all of you. I am also getting very excited about having you all come for a visit. Thank you again for your prayers, letters and packages.


Message posted by Paula Shope, 1/17/2008 at 3:31pm

Friends and Family,
this is the address to kenady's website. My Dad updates it frequently. As soon as I get a schedule of Kenady's shows, beyond opening day, it will be posted on this website.

Yesterday Kenady and I were able to move back into our home base. It is nice to be back in this home away from home, where we can get settled again.

Our adventure outside of this apartment yielded several great friendships for which I am incredibly thankful. The young couple we stayed with for 5 nights, Katy and Kristian, are so nice and gracious and attend a church that we are very anxious to attend. Monday and Tuesday night we stayed with a fellow Mother-Daughter combo from American Girl who ended up staying with us in our apartment on Wednesday night. We were glad to be able to "pay it forward," so to speak, for all of the amazing ways in which the Lord has provided for us.

This Mother and Daughter are Jewish. Not uncommon in NYC. Well, Kenady and I went on "life as usual" in the time that we spent with them. They were exposed to and experienced, with or around us; night time prayers, some prayers before meals, and Sean and Kenady reading together from the Bible over the phone. Kenady in her sweet, sweet way asked for their prayer requests and lifted them up to Christ on a daily basis. I know that in many ways they were touched but one comment the mother made really stuck out in my mind. She said, "Wow, I really think we are missing something here." I thought not something, but someone, perhaps!

Kenady's rehearsals are going well. She is starting to make friends with her fellow cast mates and as usual, she leaves rehearsal with a smile on her face. I am willing to bet that the other girls do not rehearse as much as she does. They mentioned that she should go over lines and music everyday, so she goes over lines and music EVERY DAY. If she, for some strange reason, misses a day, she practices twice the next day!

Our walk to and from American Girl always includes a quick passing of the M & M store (no, I do not stop every time), through Times Square, a very slow walk past FOX News as I am convinced we may run into Sean Hannity, and another slow walk through Rockefeller Center, which I can never get tired of, I don't know why. One question, why can I not find a clock in Times Square? Ironic.

Sean and Gabrielle are coming this weekend to visit and Kenady and I are going home with them through Saturday the 26th. We are very excited about this, we can hardly wait. Kenady and I never made it to Greenwich Village but are hoping that we can go with Sean and Gabby this weekend. I am still craving a cupcake!

Sharon, my wonderful mother-in-law is visiting the end of January through the beginning of February, we are also very excited about that.

All are welcome to visit anytime, we would love to have you.

Again, thank you for your prayers, mail, e-mail and packages. It is so exciting to go to the mailbox and get something from home. The Lord confirms to us on a daily basis that we are exactly where he wants us to be and remember, "Be strong and courageous."

Paula and Kenady


To read an article in the Grapevine, Texas newspaper about Kenady's adventure, click HERE


Message posted by Paula Shope, 1/14/2008 at 10:04pm

We are now in a hotel and enjoying the company of another Mother-Daughter combo. finally got in touch with K's agent and she is trying to connect us with an agent here.

Sean is coming this weekend and then we are all going home from the 22 - the 26. That will be nice. Weather is very cold.

More later.


Message posted by Paula Shope, 1/10/2008 at 12:40pm

Good Morning my Friends,

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your e-mails, phone calls, texts and prayers. They have really meant alot to me and Kenady.

Kenady and I are staying at a friend of a friend's house near Central Park (yes I ran next to the park this morning but no I did not do the Phoebe run) Monday Night we move to a hotel in which we are sharing with a mother and daughter from the American Girl musical.

Kenady is hard at work preparing for her part in the production even as we speak, even as we speak, even as we speak, even as we speak. Just a little hint as to the inside of my head right now.

On Monday we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. That was an amazing experience I believe tomorrow we are going to explore Greenwich Village. I am personally anxious to get to Magnolia Bakery to experience their famous cupcakes. I will be the judge as to how good they are. I consider myself an expert.

My father is making a website with up to date information and that link will be forth coming.

Please update me as to what is going on in your life and to your prayer requests. We are praying daily that we are planted firmly in God's will and purpose and that we would not miss an opportunity to give Him the glory and to be a witness as to who JESUS is in our lives.

I look forward to hearing from you soon,



Message posted by Paula Shope, 1/4/2008 at 1:38pm

Hello Everyone!!!

We are here in N-Y-C!!
We arrived on January 1st, luggage in tow and ready to start this new year off on the adventure of a lifetime. Sean stayed long enough to get us settled and to help us get the lay of the land, at least some of it.
Our family motto for the year is from Joshua 1, "Be strong and Courageous." paraphrasing: Joshua if you did not hear me the first time, "Be strong and VERY courageous."
The apartment we have rented is great. It is about 7 blocks from the theatre. What a blessing!
Kenady started rehearsals on Wednesday and she says they were great. Everyone with the company in so nice and very excited to be doing what they do. God gives us so much comfort in so many ways to constantly remind us that we are in His will. For example, the opening quote in the American Girl Theater handbook is a quote from Charles Swindoll on attitide. We are SURE that her opening show is March 15th at 12:30 and 2. Beyond that her performance schedule has not been set. The schedules are only made two months at a time about three months in advance.
If you know of anyone who would like to be updated on the details of our adventure please forward them to me. Likewise, after this long update you decide to be taken OFF the list, let me know.
Our current prayer needs are:

  • We need a place to stay from January 9 through the 15th, as this apartment had been previously committed to someone else.
  • The "Ways and Means" of commuting after March 31.
  • Gabrielle, God knows the needs there.
Funny Story: I am beginnig to realize that a great deal of the people in the musical are Jewish. One nice lady and I were having a conversation and were sharing our stories of how we ended up at The American Girl Doll Theater. Well, I intentionally kept giving GOD all the glory not thinking I need to specify, oh by the way by GOD I mean, GOD the father, Jesus the Messiah and the Holy Spirit all wrapped into one. Well, anyway she continued to tell me that her brother in law was a born again Jew and that, get this, they don't hold it against him. I just smiled and thought, she must not see this pink cross around my neck!
I look forward to hearing from you all and thank you for your prayers. Please let us know how we can pray for you!
Paula and Kenady

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