Mostly, I just believe that I’m never going to stop learning what it is I believe.
—Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
Michael and Carissa Alvarado met on the set of a music video. So it seems only fitting that their relationship would have a lot to do with song.
Michael, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, was only in Los Angeles for a quick trip when he wound up as an extra on a music video set and met Carissa. The pair hung out during the three-hour shoot, and on the way home from there, Michael told a friend that he’d met the woman he was going to marry. Sure enough, after a long-distance courtship, Michael moved to L.A. and married Carissa.
But their musical partnership was also successful. Both solo musicians originally, they combined their talents and began performing as Us the Duo. They’d both agreed that they didn’t want to perform at their wedding, but as they struggled to write the perfect vows, a song came out instead.
"We had just done the sand ceremony," Michael explains, "and then her dad came up and brought me a guitar, and Carissa a big drum." That’s when the surprised guests found out that they were getting a one-of-a-kind musical performance.
Lyrics like, “I’ll take care of you/ Love you just because/ You and I are better than forever” stood in for traditional vows.
"It was definitely an emotional experience," Carissa said of performing a new song for the first time in front of their nearest and dearest. "But it was super fitting, and there was no one we wanted to share that with besides our family and friends." Though the Alvarados admit to being nervous about both the wedding and their new song, the sweet reactions — including tears! — from their loved ones made it worth it.
And it wasn’t only the Alvarados’ friends and family who were moved by their song, “No Matter Where You Are.” The video, posted May 6, has had more than 50,000 views on YouTube and may help take the couple’s music career to the next level. Not long after they performed their vows, Us the Duo signed with Republic Records. They will set off on a 28-city North American tour this summer, and perhaps because of this video, they’ll have some new fans. They’re also releasing an album, which chronicles the stages in their relationship from dating through marriage.
Though they’ve only been married for only a year, the Alvarados do have some marriage advice. “You shouldn’t settle for anybody less than your dream partner,” Michael says.
A devastating thing has happened in Nigeria: More than 270 girls were abducted from their school in Northern Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram. It was only after everyday people led a huge campaign to draw attention to the missing girls that the media and world leaders sat up and started listening.
Listen to Nigerian movie star Stella Damasus explain the issue — and hear her challenge the Nigerian government and world leaders to #BringBackOurGirls.
So many other things to use as ammunition against Christie.