19 December 2013

So I Review Books Now?

Maybe.
I love writing about literature, and I did a bunch in junior high. HA HA. Junior High. Remember that? Take a moment. You okay? Now we're back. I finished this book right before my 2:00 AM toast today, and I just felt like it deserved a post. I've been amiably and aggressively encouraged to delve into each of John Green's novels for about three years now, so I finally began. An acquaintance of mine also said I look like the girl on the cover so I should start with this one. I don't really see it, but I suppose it's difficult to determine such a thing when you've never really seen yourself from an external source. This was actually just the only one my library had in.

Paper Towns by John Green is one of those enchanting, flutter-by novels with a delicious twist of humanity and realism. Margo Roth Spiegelman is that exciting, incredible force of nature every reader either wants to be or bang. She makes you want to pull out and elongate your bucket list or organize a flash mob or wear that stupid blue eyeshadow you think makes you all eclectic and cool. Like Stargirl or Ari Fuller or Luna Lovegood. The narration through Q (main character) is sweet, hilarious, and oh-so-relatable. For some reason it's so weird for me to read books about high school students now that I'm out of high school. It's like books mark my chronology in a way. I read them for so long and imagined how I wanted to be and probably would be in high school. Now I read it and it's like whoa, these people have no clue what's about to whack them. Ha ha. Paper Towns is a splendid and lazy read, but you won't want to miss a word. The whole thing probably took me a total of three hours to read. You'll find yourself in this book, or your Margo or your Q. My Q was a total parallel the entire way through, but then the last two pages occurred and BAM. He was a completely different person I know. Funny. Books are marvelous. Again, this book is rather fantastical, but brings a sad but beautiful reality that'll give you a good little pang in that heart. Also complete with an awesome Harry Potter reference on page 145.

Overall Grade:  A-
Disclaimers: This book does contain some adult language. There are also two brief allusions to sexual activity and inevitable, typical 17-year-old boy conversation. Nothing too major or worry-worthy.

17 December 2013

Once Upon A Time, There Was Winter


Art has this incredible ability to tell a story. Whatever form, size, location, or audience it is in, there is some type of story behind it, be it short and silly or emotional and long. When Antonio Vivaldi composed The Four Seasons, he was able to capture two forms of art, music and poetry,  and bring them in to his own. He saw the artistic beauty of nature, and the dramatic way it affects our lives. Secondly, he saw significance in descriptive poetry and transposed the images into music. The first movement of the “Winter” Concerto perfectly personifies the perils of winter with an energetic melody, strong harmony, and thick texture. 
The movement begins with a rather daunting suspense. Just like the feeling of winter approaching, you know something new and chilly is coming. The notes make you shiver, as frost nipping you on the ears. Overall, the melody is consistent, creating a full and complete feeling for the piece. The movement maintains a similar timbre all the way through. However, it does contain sudden bursts of energy to surprise the listener every once in a while. 
The melody reflects the text of the poem: “To run stamping one’s feet at every step / With one’s teeth chattering through the cold.” The tempo correlates to the rhythm of these steps and the shrill melody sends icy snowflakes throughout the body.
Aside from the vivid storytelling which is occurring, the dramatic harmonies in the “Winter” first movement are my favorite. Like winter weather or activities, there are multiple ideas occurring in this piece. The deeper, bass-like instruments create the 
stirring, theatrical darkness and intensity of winter whilst the violin parts conjure up the frenzied flurries of instrumental sections. Although separate, the two parts work beautifully to create a harmony. 
The melody and harmony fully contribute to the thick texture present in this movement. There are many levels we go through as listeners, including suspense, and explosions of energy. The harmonies create the thickness we feel trudging through a winter storm, looking for home and solace. The texture also mirrors a dark, yet exciting timbre. The timbre of the violin is what gives the listener the winter anxiety or perhaps energetic anticipation. 
In composing The Four Seasons, Vivaldi created something that we all experience, simply by living on the earth. We can relate to and understand the feelings portrayed in each movement because we have seen, felt and been through them ourselves. I love the “Winter” concerto because it perfectly encompasses my favorite season. In it, I feel all the sensations I do during the holidays: anticipation, joy, bursts of stress, intense emotion, and of course the cold. Aristotle was certainly correct in stating, “Art takes nature as its model. Art not only imitates nature, but also completes its deficiencies.”


10 December 2013

Vlog in Place of Blog

It's finals week and that's every college student's excuse for everything ever. But…in place of a weekly blog post I've posted a no-sense-making video-blog. Complete with adorable thumbnail shot. You Tube just knows how to capture my best moments. Sigh. Happy Finals Week!


29 November 2013

Somewhere That's Murderously Ironic and Green

Stereotypes are one of the most essential components of our art, culture, and media today. Whether we realize it or not, most audiences thrive on what they expect, or perhaps being presented with what they do not expect. Many campaigns, advertisements, or productions are created with the sole purpose of trying to change a stereotype. More in our current age than ever before, reverse images of stereotypes or expectations are constantly presented, normalized, and even encouraged. 

The 1980s musical, Little Shop of Horrors strongly presents stereotypical characters to tell the audience what to think. The musical number, “Somewhere That’s Green,” works cleverly to not only depict time period, but quickly brings the audience over to Audrey’s side to completely support her in her dreams, even if she’s made some mistakes in the past. Her wishes are simple, perhaps even relatable, making it easy for the audience to become emotionally involved in this fictional story.

Stereotypes become very useful in the production of early musical theatre. Stereotypes tell the audience what to expect, giving them an easy, clear exposition and relationship with the characters. The author can then use that expectation the audience will have to present an interesting story by breaking the stereotype in the end. For example, the sweet, not as strong, nerdy guy may end up triumphing over the big, strong, constantly successful guy.

In Howard Ashman’s Little Shop of Horrors, stereotypes are used in the opening scene to strongly set the premise. Mr. Mushnik, the husky Yiddish flower shop owner, barks orders hastily with much underlying anxiety. Seymour, the employee, wears a sweater vest, thick glasses and slicked over hair, as he clumsily works with the plants. Audrey, the skinny, platinum blonde, soft-spoken employee arrives very late, clad in a tight dress, with a fresh black eye displayed on her face. Her motorcycle-riding, well- endowed, pain-inflicting dentist boyfriend, Dr. Orin Scrivello, beats her regularly. And of course, Seymour is hopelessly in love with Audrey, and sees her as the most respectable, beautiful, kind woman he knows.

The story of Little Shop of Horrors (based on the 1960s film by Roger Colman), turns out to be a rather unbelievable tale about a man-eating plant, which has unfortunately fallen into the hands and care of Seymour. However, the audience is engaged enough in the characters that they really commit to the truth of this fictional world. A big contributing factor is Audrey’s lament, “Somewhere That’s Green.” This song paints a very clear picture of Audrey’s dream lifestyle, far away from her current circumstances. All she wants is that classic, 1960s, stay-at-home wife and mother lifestyle in a lovely, matchbox house in a suburb, with bright, clean-cut green grass. The lyrics give the audience this specific image of Audrey’s dream, and they are right there with her. At this point, they want nothing else than to have Audrey out of danger.

The lyrics also distinctly determine the time and geographic setting. Audrey has a thick New York accent, letting us know where Skid Row is located. The home and appliances she describes are all stereotypically picturesque of the 1960s. Audrey dreams that she “cooks like Betty Crocker, and looks like Donna Reed.” She also cleverly mentions three popular television shows of the time, while describing her ideal family with Seymour: “I’m his December Bride, he’s Father, he knows best. Our kids watch Howdy Doody, as the sun sets in the west.” The prominent description of the time period comes right from Howard Ashman, the writer. Alan Menken iterates his evident commitment to storytelling in an interview: “Howard really had a great sense of genre, of zeitgeist, and certainly the best example of the that was Little Shop of Horrors.” Zeitgeist is the encompassing mood of a period in history as a setting (Pearsall).

Teamed with the lyrics, the musical quality of the song is also very compelling. The composition has a light, dreamy texture. The instruments and harmonies are some that might be heard in a fairytale. The song rhymes seamlessly and refers to small amenities, such as a toaster and ironing machine. What sweet, simple little things. This is all Audrey wants, her “picture out of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Somewhere That’s Green.” Can’t we give it to her? 

The song as a whole uses a strong amount of pathos, as the audience feels so bad for abused Audrey they want to give her the perfect home immediately. The piece also uses ethos; the audience knows that Audrey isn’t safe with Orin, and knows she would be safe and happy with Seymour. 

The majority of this play does not use a lot of logos. Seymour finds and raises Audrey II, the blood-thirsty venus fly trap, bringing him major success in the but obviously murdering people in the process. However, “Somewhere That’s Green” is the part of the musical that uses a strong level of simple logic. A home like this is real and mentally tangible for the audience. It puts the audience on track to cheer for our protagonists and their dreams, even in this unlikely and bizarre setting.

Like any good musical, Audrey does receive what she wants in the end. Sort of. Audrey II, the vicious plant that has already devoured Orin and Mushnik, soon after eats the rest of the town with help of its newborn offspring. Audrey is attacked by the plant, saved by Seymour, but very close to death. In her last, sweet monologue to Seymour, she asks him to feed her to the plant, because, “If I’m in the plant, then I’m part of the plant. So in a way...we’ll always be...together. I’m feeling strangely happy now, contented, and serene. Oh, don’t you see? Finally I’ll be somewhere that’s...green.” (Little Shop, page 90.) In a very sick, ironic way, Audrey ends up in the “green” place she dreams of, a plant.

Little Shop of Horrors takes a stereotypical-looking exposition and turns it into one of the most surprising, disturbing productions of the 1980s. At last, a comedy musical that ends with the antagonist completely taking over the world. This surprise wouldn’t be nearly as impactful if the audience did not have pre-conceived notions about the characters and setting. At first, it seems that Seymour, the socially-awkward botanist has defeated Orin, the abusive tough guy, by winning Audrey’s heart and gaining plenty of financial success. This would appear to be the ideal, presumable conclusion. However, when all parties receive the same detrimental fate, everyone is a victim. The plant is an astronomical antagonist. Unlike any musical audiences had seen before, Audrey and Seymour didn’t ride off into the sunset to happily ever after. All the characters lost, and Audrey II was only getting started, to destroy “Cleaveland and Des Moines and Peoria and New York, and this theatre!” Suddenly, the biggest cliche- breaker of all, the characters break the fourth wall to warn the audience of the deadly danger they are now in. 


28 November 2013

NanoThankYou - Oops.

So. In true Brooklyn fashion, I committed to a project, started it a day late, made it look like I was going strong complete with pictures, and then waited until the morning it was due to finish it. Yay. Therefore, if any of you invisible audience members were looking forward to reading all my Thank You chapters, you should seek a new hobby. NO. I joke, I mean I'm sorry. Sorry. It's crazy to think I'm so blessed that I won't even be able to list MOST of the things I'm grateful for. I present, Chapter 3-28: Abridged.

3. Dear J.K. Rowling, thank you for the magical world my heart calls second home, and for creating a story about real magic. Love, Brooklyn.

4. Dear 1970s Clariol Kindness Hot Rollers, thanks for being there daily to calm the storm. Love, Brooklyn.

5. Dear Musical Theatre, Thank you for making my mornings theatrical,  letting me dance through high school, and making me cry at the gym. Love, Brooklyn.

6. Dear Clocks, thank you for giving me someone to look at when I feel like I should be panicking. Love, Brooklyn.

7. Dear Daddy, thank you for teaching me real magic and just about everything I know. Also, for being my very best friend.  Love, Brooklyn.

8. Dear Missionaries, thank you for embarking on the most wonderful and challenging adventure ever. I can't wait to join you. Love, Brooklyn.

9.  Dear Mr. Saxton, thank you for high school, and for letting me know the infinite importance of King Story. Love, Brooklyn.

10. Dear Ballet, thank you for giving me roots and passion. Love, Brooklyn.

11. Dear Pippin, thank you for happening. Love, Brooklyn.

12. Dear Fish, thank you for being so beautiful, soothing, colorful and exciting. Love, Brooklyn.

13. Dear Writing, thank you for being a thing and giving me people like Ms. LaFortune and Dr. Seifert to inspire, encourage and critique me. Love, Brooklyn.

14. Dearest Beautiful Wonderful Mother, thank you for teaching me to dance through life, being sure to clean up along the way. Love, Brooklyn.

15. Dear Elder Holland, thank you for always telling me to calm the swishandflick down and do something better. Love, Brooklyn.

16. Dear Exes, thank you for each teaching me something or many things that are very important. Love, Brooklyn.

17. Dear Audiences, thank you so much for putting up with and being there for me. Love, Brooklyn.

18. Dear 1940-1965, thank you for your female fashion, and for the costume inspiration it brings. Love, Brooklyn.

19. Dear Joseph Smith, thank you for making my favorite book happen. Love, Brooklyn.

20. Dear Magic, thank you for being real. Love, Brooklyn.

21. Dear cold, thank you for letting me have my fun when everyone else hates you. Love, Brooklyn.

22. Dear Katelyn, thank you for being my complete opposite and teaching me a lot of scary things about my self. And for your miraculous cookies and cupcakes. Love, Brooklyn.

23. Dear Temples, thank you for a place to serve and a place for peace and a place for families. Love, Brooklyn.

24. Dear sour candy and daisies, thank you for being two of my very favorite things. Love, Brooklyn.

25. Dear Boston, thanks for teaching me how to drive a manual car. Love, Brooklyn.

26. Dear mornings, thank you for always arriving, and doing so beautifully and theatrically. Love, Brooklyn.

27. Dear Food, thank you for you. You are a yes. Love, Brooklyn.

28. Dear Jesus Christ, thank you for your life, and your commitment to my and everybody's happiness. Thank you for being so everybody would always have at least someone who loved them infinitely. Love, Brooklyn.

03 November 2013

NaNoThankYou - Day 2

The days will synchronize with the date eventually. Just work with me here imaginary audience.

Dear Pie, Thank You! Love, Brooklyn
I am very much serious. I have do have an exceptional appreciation for pies. Pie is the most special and perfect dessert-- the beautiful texture combination crust, creme, and fruit brings is impeccable. I think pie requires commitment and love to make, as it can be slightly more complicated than other desserts. But it is so worth it, and I am so grateful for pie chefs.
Every time I indulge in a scrumptious piece of pie, not only am I taken on a refreshing, satisfying journey, but I am heavily reminded how much I NEVER want to waste my time settling for cake ever again. Cake is so universal. Everyone appears to like cake, and everybody thinks everyone like cake. It's the go-to party dessert because everyone like sugar bread with sugar slathered on top. I'm glad some people do and I love cake chefs who love cake, it's just not my jive. So if I'm the only person ever that doesn't really like cake, I apologize. Anyway, cake heightens my appreciation for pies. Cake is like being sad, if we weren't ever sad, we would never realize how good being happy is. If I didn't have to eat lame cake sometimes, I probably wouldn't realize how absolutely angelic pies are. So thank you pies, creators of pies and distributors of pies and Christy and Daddy who have given me pies in my life. Thank you for my favorite dessert, my sunny Sunday afternoon of life.

NaNoThankYou

There's this awesome thing that occurs called NaNoWriMo, short for "National Novel Writing Month." A completely haywire and wonderful attempt to get to 50,000 words of novel in 30 days. I've always started and never finished, so here I am, with a goal similar to the past: finish! Pretentious as you may see this, I'm going to write a novel about 30 things I'm grateful enough for to write about. Not that anyone has to read it, but it's something I always kind of wanted to take a swing at, so here's to it.
Also, it's not too late to sign up and start your own novel! Go for it, and let me know if you do!

Dear Art, Thank You! Love, Brooklyn.

I am so grateful for feelings, passion, agency, and the dire need we have as humans to express it. Some might say art is lovely but we don't really need it, like we need science or water or something. I think we need art, at least I certainly do. A wonderful artist created us, and this earth and all its cool elements. I love all the art forms that have been in, influenced, inspired, and orchestrated my life, and I love the ones that will in the future, and the ones that evoke passion, love, and enjoyment in other people.
Literature, paintings, sculptures, photography, poetry, drama (maybe just a little), dance, costume design, music, make up, cooking, drawings, all the visual arts ever, web design, and even pretentious Instagram edits.
I love it all. ALL THE ART. Art is not there to be competed against. As much as I don't love it, art is sort of like Chuck-A-Rama. All of it is presented the way the artist feels and decides, then the people who like that kind of thing will see it, enjoy it, and on some levels be impacted or inspired by it. Isn't that way too radical? There's a piece of art for every one. Thank you art, for being there to allow us to love out loud.

23 October 2013

All the Questions Before THE Question

I think marriage is just about the most permanent decision I will make in my life. So, important, yeah? Don't worry non-existent audience, I'm not engaged, or close to engaged, or even super appealing at the moment. But seeing as marriage is an eternal deal, I've recently been compiling a list of questions I want to ask my significant other prior to the popping of the question. Because questions are good and typically enlightening, or at least thought provoking. Some of these questions will be rhetorical and observatory. True, this list should probably stay in the journal, but there is a reason for the publicity thereof. If anyone IS actually reading this, and more miraculously reading this while MARRIED, please comment any questions you find necessary to ask before commitment as well. Life's a beautiful moment. Much love, Brooklyn Bridget.

1.  How many children do you see your family with?
2.  How quick is your temper?
3. Do you yell when you're upset?
4.  How well do you compromise?
5. Are you the type of person I want my son to become?
6. Am I the type of person you want your daughter to become?
7. Do you think I'm funny?
8. Do you laugh at 85% of my jokes anyway?
9. How often do you like to attend the temple?
10. What is your definition of verbal and physical abuse?
11. Are you cool with our kids being involved in violent video games?
12. Will you sit through and attempt to enjoy numerous plays, symphonies, museums, etc. with me?
13. How would your react if our son or daughter came out as gay?
14. How do you feel about show business?
15. Do you like hiking and camping?
16. Does your mood change according to the seasons?
17. Would you marry me if we disagreed religiously?
18. Where do you want to live?
19. Are you willing to live in a foreign country?
20. Would you want to go on a mission when we're old?
21. Are you a good listener?
22. Am I even slightly appealing in sweats?
23. Do you think bringing me flowers is pointless?
24. Are you consistently a gentleman?
25. Can you understand sarcasm?
26. What is magic?
27. What are your educational expectations for our children?
28. Should we pay for our kids' missions?
29. Should we pay for our kids' college education?
30. Are you super competitive?
31. Are you a good sport?
32. How clean do you like to keep the house?
33. Harry Potter.
34. Would you be willing to participate in Family Home Evening every week?
35. What's your ideal wake up hour?
36. Is music in the home important?
37. How strict do you want to be on media censorship?

Okay so maybe I'm crazy. As if we haven't established that already. This list is to be continued, so feel free to add on in the comments below.

15 October 2013

Happy Scrape Day!

Scrape Day finally came! If for some bizarre reason anyone isn't sure what Scrape Day is, it's the first day after summer has ended in which you must scrape frost off your car. And if that bizarre reason is that I've made up the holiday, that's acceptable. Anyway, despite the sudden requirement for early-morning exercise, it's one of my favorite days of the entire year. It means my favorite period of the season has alas arrived. That cold, dark, chillingly breezy, dreary, cloud-invaded day that might be suddenly sprinkled or snowed upon. I know you wish I were writing saracastically, but truly. I think it's beautiful. Right at the beginning of a wonderful period of the year, so much promise, joy, and work to come.
I really am glad warm weather is so popular, and it makes me happy that if it makes you happy, and I am sorry if the cold bothers you. But thanks for letting me have my favorite moment. :)

07 October 2013

Magic in the Rockies

This weekend's magical endeavor was Colorado's best convention! It was my first time at Magic in the Rockies and I had a blast! I met some majorly radical magicians like Walter "Zaney" Blaney, Autumn Morning Star, Danny Orleans, Duane Laflin, Losander, Becky Blaney and Arthur Stead! They are fabulous performers with very successful and entertaining careers. I had so much to learn from them and had the opportunity to chat with all of them. Amazing! I also performed in the showcase which was so fun, especially because I received so much useful feedback. My whole family got to come, which was awesome. Family bonding time for the win. I'm so excited for every upcoming day. Thanks to the incredible MITR committee for making this extraordinary weekend happen!
Check out my eccentric vlog of the weekend:

Or, for a quieter approach, the photos below(click to view full size):




15 September 2013

Pageant and College and Singles Ward, OH MY!

If you weren't aware, the moment  you turn 18, your whole life is yanked up, sloshed around in the wash machine on an extremely high speed, and spat out in a completely different shape. It's kind of like accidentally touching a portkey for the very first time on your birthday and arriving somewhere completely different.
I'm guessing to an outside source it really wouldn't seem that different. But that's a bit of how it feels. Most of it is good, I'm sure. First, the week before school started, I went to this totally amazing, radical magic convention in Las Vegas called MagicLive! It was my very first time and I absolutely loved it. They have a giant showroom with several dealers selling super cool new and old magic, workshops with incredible, accomplished performers, and then the best magic shows ever to top off each night! I wish I could properly express the awesomeaucity that occurred. The whole thing was the epitome of radicality, but I did have some favorites.
Tina Lenert has always been one of my "magic-world" heroes. Her signature piece is this adorable pantomime-magic-act she does as a janitor. I have always loved and been inspired by her loyalty to story. She spoke about her life and the creation of that number, and how important taking the feelings from our stories and infusing them to the ones we tell on stage is.
Another is Joanie Spina, choreographer for David Copperfield, along with many other successful claims. Her brain and heart work so well together. She creates and does amazing things. In her lecture, she discussed her experience in helping out a performer named Patrick. She was amazing. Definitely read the previous post below for more on MagicLive! and photos.
College is extremely collegey. I have very much enjoyed getting to know my professors. Dr. Seifert is my favorite so far, my English 110 professor. Westminster does this really cool thing for Freshman called "Learning Communities." You choose an LC, which is two separate classes that work together
to teach you how they relate. It'd odd to explain but very cool. It's very clever because the students are able to meet people with their same interests and, especially for us artists, collaborate constantly. My LC is Composition & Reseach (English 110) and Music Appreciation. I've been around music my whole life and still only know able three things about it. I'm loving learning about the whole new world.
College is an exceeding amount of homework. It's mostly reading and quizzes, and I love to read, but when you also have a couple papers to write, it can get a little crazy. But prioritizing is good! I'm also working at an elementary school in the mornings, which is a wonderful experience already. It has made me realize that I definitely don't want to be a teacher, but I admire and love schoolteachers thoroughly and I'm excited for my future family more than anything. I have so much to learn before then.
College is a much larger change than I thought about it being, mostly because I'm not in a musical, on a Shakespeare team, or studying Hamlet. I miss that world, very much. Most days I'm counting the minutes until I can fill out mission papers and be in the MTC (315 days if anyone was wondering). But change is good, and Westminster is a beautiful school. I'm also starting to do a lot of my own performing, which excites me. My first big gig is a seven-minute set a the Magic in the Rockies Convention in October. I'm so ultra pumped! Yeah, I went to the singles ward. It was really, really weird. The church is true wherever you go, but I'll keep investigating for a student ward at WC and stay with my family in the meantime.
Oh, and don't laugh. Okay, you can laugh. I competed in the Miss Murray Pageant this year. It was a really good experience where I learned good things, such as being a Miss is 98.5% about serving your community. Every contestant and committee member was so kind and helpful, which very pleasantly surprised me. Any of those girls would be a fabulous Miss Murray, and congratulations to the 2014, McCall Gray! I had a lot of fun becoming friends with them and performing on my home stage one more time.


Piece of MagicLive!



        YAWN. My lips stretch over my entire face as the invisible Exhaustion Monster creeps up my throat and out of my mouth. I accidentally glance at my daddy and the Monster bites him too. We each finish our yawns as we stumble into the theatre, another early morning session after a very late evening. Here we are at MagicLive!, a week-long, complete submersion of learning, buying, talking about, and showing off magic. Lectures in the morning, workshops in the afternoon, shows in the evening, and endless brainstorming, chatting, and rehearsing all night. Not to mention a big change of heart, speedily on its way to me and my career. 
This convention is, without a doubt, the best four days of my whole summer. As we find our seats in the theatre, we’re weary but very anxious to know who takes the stage to bring their very professional, experience-oriented, and possibly invaluable wisdom. I open my official, laminated, designer MagicLive! binder and flip to Monday’s schedule and slide my finger down to my session. My eyes widened so quickly and largely my heart must have leaped right up out of them. There it was: her wonderful name, in 11 point font, Times New Roman. This was real life. THE Tina Lenert  was about to give me marvelous advice, right in front of my eyes and wide-open ears. Oh, and I guess 900 other magicians were there too. 
Mrs. Tina Lenert is a delightful performer who has a wonderfully entertaining career. Her signature piece is called “Mr. Mop Man,” where she plays a lonely janitor, accidentally stepping into an enchanting romance. However, Tina’s magic doesn’t come only from her clever use of props and extraordinary mop. The performance is a beautiful story the gives the audience the gift of so many real and relatable emotions. 
Tina’s lecture was all about small “moments” in her life she used as the process to create the piece. For example, she told us about her first experience seeing the movie “The Rocky.” There was a simple, romantic instant between Rocky and Adrian that affected her very emotionally and directly, therefore she wanted to share that same impression with her audiences. It then became so clear as to why everything I felt when she performed was so real, because she had her honest heart infused all over it.
As if that wasn’t fulfilling enough, Wednesday’s speaker was none other than Joanie Spina, David Copperfield’s choreographer and simply one of my favorite artists in the entire industry. Her presentation was focused on a consultation she recently did for a magician named Patrick Thernes. I watched the (sadly, but honestly) pathetic videos of different stages of his act. The lecture concluded with a performance from Patrick himself, now full of life, story, and great feelings. I definitely cried as he took his magnanimous applause in tears, his heart so full of thanks to Joanie. 
Joanie echoed to us the advice and concepts she gave to Patrick, all very unique and brilliant ideas. She wasn’t up there telling me how to perform. She was showing me. Simply the way she carried herself was flawless; she was powerful, personal, magical. My entire performing tactics completely changed just sitting there on the edge of that auditorium chair, scrambling to capture every word dancing from her mouth to glue it to my paper. Joanie taught me that my magic isn’t for me at all, it’s a gift to my audience that I’m honored to have them receive.
“Magic” can require a lot of skill and hours of polishing rehearsals. That’s good, you should always work hard for where you want to be. However, in these few short days, Tina and Joanie taught me real magic. Real magic is taking the pure moments from your life and appreciating what you learn and feel from them. Real magic telling a story to the audience, something can hold on to in their hearts, not just taking their applause. Real magic is honing your talents to the best of your ability and then vigorously using them to help others as much as you can.
Real magic is what I want in my shows. As soon as I arrived home and began revising my act with what I learned, I knew I was finally on the right track. I feel so different, so much better when I perform now. I certainly have a long way to go, but putting the value of story into action and thinking of the audience instead of myself has made me a little bit more of the performer I want to become. I am so grateful for the education I receive just by living around and listening to other human beings. What incredible creatures. There’s no more time to yawn, for there’s magic to do.
Awaiting the Tina Lenert Lecture
Hotel Room Picnic because Awesome.


Delicious mexican food!

Adam London, Live at The D! Great show.

Tomsoni & Co. - Final Show at MagicLive! Emotional and wonderful.
The Elegant Finally Party!



Vegas never sleeps! Staying up all night in the hotel hallways and cafe to jam with Harry, Daddy and Paul.

28 July 2013

Feels for the Day

A tug on my hand,
A kiss on my forehead.
A tear on my cheek,
And plenty on my my mind.

One day we'll understand
Why we chose this instead.
We'll find what we seek
And won't have to rewind.

That day isn't today,
At least not for me.
Au jour d'hui,
Tu me manques.

It'll be okay,
It'll be lovely.
Tu es mon ami,
Le futur est quelconques.

26 July 2013

A Comedy of Errors

"Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiie, how impatience loureth in your faaaaaace."

The cleverness and variety in "A Comedy of Errors" makes it one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. Twins, separated at birth, have now arrived in the same city and a series of mistakes leaves servants confused and overworked, a wife in distress and a really insane doctor trying to clear the whole thing up.

I played Luciana, sister to Ariana, wife of Antipholus of Syracuse. Our director was super cool, because he always wanted to do Shakespeare in a different time period or setting. For this production, we were hippies. It was the most radical production you've ever seen. This play was probably one of the most fun I've ever been in.




25 July 2013

Steel Magnolias


"This is it, I have found it. I am in hell."

This journey is an absolute gem. It has all my favorite feels in it. Steel Magnolias is the story of six friends who give their story to the audience through visits to Truvy's salon. Shelby is about to be married, her mother M'Lynn is like any mother-of-the bride, widow of the mayor Clairee enjoys watching all of it unfold, Annelle is a brand new stylist and scared to death, and Ms. Ouiser Boudreaux is just about every cranky loud grandma you've ever met, combined and magnified by 18. As their lives and love change, we see the beautiful strength in these women.
This is one of the plays I am most grateful for. I hold an overwhelming appreciation to my director for trusting me with the gift of Ouiser. She's a nut, like me, but I can't believe he actually believed in me that much, and for that and many other lessons he taught me, I'll be indebted to him in my entire life. I had so much fun in this wonderful story. I learned so much from all the other actors who each became my role model. I love them very much. This show was so special because the note sessions we were able to have were so focused and particular, as we played with each other's hair our director would give us the most valuable feedback. Since this play was a cast of all women, amazingly enough, he directed another marvelous show called "12 Angry Men." They were all so good and we loved having that super cool experience of transforming the set back and forth.



24 July 2013

The Music Man

"I hope I get my raisins from Fresno!"

Happy Pioneer Day! I love that we have this holiday to recognize and appreciate the spirit of the pioneers in the valiance of their lives. Speaking of pioneers, that's pretty much what we looked like in our elaborate costume in The Music Man.
"Professor" Harold Hill arrives amongst the stubborn citizens of River City Iowa to sell them on the idea of creating a children's band, because the new pool table that's just come in is MUCH to dangerous. He's really a con man who gets caught up in love with Ms. Marian the Librarian, who is quite set in her ways and doesn't want to hear a word from him. But of course, he's eventually found out, changes his ways lives happily ever after (as far as we know) with Marian.
As a part of the ensemble, my favorite role was one of the ladies among Eulalie Shinn's band of Grecian Urn Ladies. This musical includes some great, classic Broadway songs like "Rock Island," "Trouble," and "Shipoopi." The thing to really remember about this one is we had so many kids involved. It was such a great experience and they were wonderful, but our afternoons of  the acting/babysitting hybrid was certainly very memorable.



A Tale of Two Brothers


"Phineas, when did you change your shirt?"

This was definitely one of the silliest, cheesiest, and most fun plays I've been in. I was such a little sophomore and felt so proud of my first "female romantic lead" when really I was they only one who actually wanted to do it. Ha ha! This was the cutest play written in part by one of my favorites, Carrie Finlinson, making light satire about our city of Murray and small quirks of our church.
It's a really sweet story that spins off of Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors." Phineas and Phineas were separated as infants when a tractor hit their tour bus, sending Dad and Phineas into Preston, Idaho and Mom and Phineas into good old Murray, Utah. The boys grow up, Mom and Phineas in the church, but he's having doubts because he's gotta maintain that Legend-In-His-Own-Mind Image. Phineas of Preston seeks out to find the rest of his family, meets the missionaries, finds his mother without realizing, accidentally kisses his twin brother's girlfriend, and even speaks at "cemetery" graduation. In the end we "don't stop believing" in eternal families and all the joy thereof.

I played Adrian, the super-smiles, student body president, seminary president, laurel president, goody-two shoes that tries to keep her Phineas in line. She was fun to play because I definitely wasn't a great actress at this point, but it's alright, because the whole show was pretty corny, like me. But still so great. The Teal Buchi was a great co-star. He'd never acted before, but every girl's going to have a first-sight crush on him and adore his awesome personality. He taught me how to hold hands for our big scene, because I had never done such a scandalous thing! Kudos to Teal for puttin up with me. I gained some wonderful friends during this show. I can honestly say it's one of my favorites of all time, because despite whatever silly showtune rewrite we were singing (such as: "I'm Gonna Wash Girl's Camp Outta My Hair" and "Sew-A-Little, Love-A-Little"), we always felt the spirit because we all believed in the theme and message we were giving to our audience- the love of the  Gospel. You can even watch a scene or two of this show here!






23 July 2013

Thoroughly Modern Millie


"Forget about the boy, Dillmount! Get yourself a canary."

Thoroughly Modern Millie is one of those super-fun musicals with a great, stick-right-in-your-head score. Millie is a spunky little farm girl that decides to change her entire image by moving to New York and marrying her new rich boss. But of course, through her roller coaster of love, jail, an insane hotel manager and stenoging, she realizes that her green-glass love is so much more than the emerald image she was running for.
I played the completely flattering Ms. Flannery. This was one of my favorite roles because of her cranky volume and all the tap dancing we got to do. Our costume designers were amazing, they made almost everything on stage! Who doesn't love dressing up like a flapper? So many fringes, so many bad wigs. I mean look at that beehive. I'm pretty sure it weighed three pounds. What a blast!


22 July 2013

Mulan


The arts have been a blessing and quite integral part of my entire being. I'm grateful for every show I've been in and the directors willing to trust me with parts. I truly don't want to forget any of the wonderful shows I've been in, so I want to do a little article about each of them. So, the blog will be a bit theatrically clogged for a while, but isn't it always, anyway?

"Get your red-hot cheongsams here!"

The classic Disney story of Mulan came to life on our stage with interesting new music, a rather philosophical script, and lots of black hair dye. I played the "cheongsam salesperson" and lots of chorus roles. It was my first musical and I couldn't have been more neurotically excited to be a part of it. The legendary Camrey Bagley was our Mulan, and our ancestors were really cool. I'd say it was a really different show than any classical musical theatre.

10 July 2013

Pas Aujourd'hui


But love, first learned in a lady’s eyes,
Lives not along immured in the brain;
but, with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power,
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices,
It adds a precious seeing to the eye;
A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp’d:
Love’s feeling is more soft and sensible
Than are the tender horns of cockl’d snails;
Love’s tongue proves dainty Bacchs gross in taste:
For valour, is no Love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
Asbright Apollo’s lute, strung with his hair:

And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.

Never durst poet touch pen to write
Until his ink were temper’d with Love’s sighs;
O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
-William Shakespeare, Love Labor's Lost

08 July 2013

Nothing to Read

I don't know what to say. Write, actually.  I always want to talk, write. But I am usually unsure of what to say. Maybe that's why I love theatre so much. They always tell you what to say and where to go.
So what would you like, Quiet Audience?
Let me know if you need me. I'll be here.

25 June 2013

Magical Pains

There's this really incredible, heart-exploding feeling you can have if you are injured during a show. Usually, you're dancing your heart out to the same 42 sets of eight exactly like you have been the past 87 times you've gone through this. But for some reason, this time, in front of the audience you've worked so hard for, you break your toe landing your jete, or sprain your back doing your ariel, or dislocate your knee jumping off that table, or (my favorite) just get totally nailed square in the nose by your partner taking an epic jazz hand.
It doesn't matter. That searing, worst physical pain you've ever been in in your short life isn't even there. It's SO there. Screaming at your and rushing through your entire body like thousand-degree needles.  You have to stop, you can't dance like that. It's impossible to keep character with that shearing through you veins. Nevertheless. You do. This precisely, is the beauty thereof. Theatre forces you into the defiance of "impossible," all because of the love you constantly feed it, and because story is king. You love your story too much to let it slip for one instant. You love your audience too much to let them go just to bleed. It may be your worst nightmare, but it's one of the most miraculous sensations you can experience, because you learn, fully and permanently, that love has the infinite power to conquer anything. Being there, doing what you do, torturing yourself. The pain multiplies every count. And you feel invincible.

Such is life, of course. "All the world's a stage." You are here, there, because someone loves you. Infinitely. Love will endure, love will heal, love will clarify, love will transform, love will triumph. Love is magic.
MAGIC.

21 June 2013

Happy This Day

I think you have to write when you're sick, otherwise you just think about how miserable your body feels, subsequently telling your brain to find something deeper to be sad about. But your body is just having a silly moment, reminding you to be grateful when you are healthy and even happy you're not much more sick than you are. I wish I could go outside and peak at the moon, a good friend of mine. I'll add a picture tomorrow when a bunch of cool photographers have posted them.
"Oh moon, whose nook and cranny doth shine so bright."
I have no idea what that's from. Or if it's really from something. My daddy always says it, and I love him. I kind of always thought it was in A Midsummer Night's Dream, but I don't think so. Maybe. I
don't know. Anyway, Happy Summer Solstice! (Nearly twelve hours ago). Sorry about the improper paren punctuation. Also, fragments. Solstice is sort of a small special thing to me, it warms and races a big part of my heart. What a magical show-off moment for the sky. I'm going to do the whole hooplah crazy solstice affair one of these years, track the sun's path and admire the moon for hours and all. Sometime when I decide not to be so pompously busy. I'm not even that busy, but it feels like it because I make myself so tired and there are so many things that are undone.
I love art, I love show people, I love you, definitely. I'm going to do it, I'm going to find a way to perform for the rest of my life. After a whole three days of trying to convince myself that it's just a hobby, kissing it goodbye just won't do. There's a passion there with a heart of its own. But I think it's mine. So I'll be dancing, smiling. For whatever audience needs me.
Or will have enough patience to take me.
(Pretentious wink)

13 June 2013

Thoughts.

If things were different,  everything would be different.  No one really knows what another is thinking. You might know all your thoughts, but you probably don't know how to express them thoroughly. At least I don't. Words are usually good, if you can find the proper ones. I bet there's a perfect word for everything we feel, we just don't know them all yet. I certainly don't know quite how to write yet. Words are good.
But if we don't use words we do use other things.  No words is a thing. Logically, no words might mean no thoughts. But it probably means a lot of thoughts. It usually means a lot of thoughts. Thoughts you can't write, thoughts you don't know how to write, thoughts you don't believe, thoughts you really don't want to be thinking. Thoughts completely and constantly quarreling with each other. Thoughts that come and never go.
There's also bodies. Hitting, something we shouldn't do. Hugs, something we should do more. Sex. Hand holding, hand shakes.  The way you shake someone's hand. Eye contact,  the lack thereof. Complete conversations solely with the eyes. All conveyors of thought. But we'll never really get the whole picture.
In this life at least. Not many ever really intend to offend. I don't. But no one likes being offended. It isn't kind to attack, or offend, to assume. Mistakes are interesting, typically the result of thought. Or the lack thereof. I've made many mistakes. I will continue to. Luckily that's how we grow, if we choose to learn. I do not consider any type of relationship I've ever had a mistake. Mistake sounds so subtle.  Like it isn't much, blithe, almost. Litotes, in my mind. Just thoughts.
There will always be love.

06 June 2013

Graduation

A day I never thought much about coming came. Today was wonderful! I am so happy. High school was truly an amazing adventure.  I love it and am proud to be a Spartan. Thank you for the opportunity to speak. Thank you to every remarkable soul in my life, especially my family, and my friends just like family. I love you!
In the high school, we are supposed to learn a thing or two, so hopefully, you would agree with me that we did! Mrs. Hanson and Mr. Drake taught me to write cautiously and bravely. Ms. Spackman and Mr. Georgelas taught me to decide to have always have energy. From Mr. Wood, I learned that if at first you don't succeed, just succeed in being a bad example. From Ms. Chappell, I learned that with hard work and smile you can basically accomplish anything.
However, I think the most valuable lesson, among many, I have learned comes from Mr. Saxton (if you all weren’t sure, I’m kind of into the theatre-drama stuff). He taught us that STORY IS KING. Any production can be funny, or scary, or have great choreography, amazing effects or cool costumes, but without the story, the play missing his heart. Your story is the king of your life.
Our story at Murray High School was a marvelous, terrifying, and gracious exposition to our own personal stories. As the next scene in our life opens, I hope we can all appreciate this last one. I love each of you for something you bring. I am blessed to be around you super cool people I have learned so much from. In our cast as a the class of 2013 I see hard, dedicated workers, big ideas, strong opinions, incredible talent, and wisdom from the stories you have lived. That has to be my favorite thing about people. The diversity they bring from their past to create such an interesting future. It honestly blows my mind.
Speaking of the future, here we are. We know that no story is complete without juicy conflict, and I certainly believe it’s out there waiting for us. But look what we have! All those strong qualities, and this beginning of knowledge we’ve been given, and such cool people? The adventure up to our climax will be victorious. Again, the conflict is out there. However, so is our awesome, joyful “denouement”, our happily ever after, our impossible dream we’ve dared to dream. Let us have the courage to chase after it. Let us have the courage to not only endure our entire story, but to enjoy it.

01 June 2013

Time

It's interesting to me how we measure things in dates, such as events. It's not necessarily weird. Not that we could all agree on a precise definition of "weird." Or "normal" for that matter. Anyway, it isn't too out of the ordinary to measure in dates, it's quite universal, actually. But we do allow it to affect us.
"It's been (x) amount of years since I arrived on the planet, we should throw a party!"
"We've been waiting here for hours."
"You have three days to pay that off."
"It's been one month since it happened."
Once we defined time, it began to define us. Now I like very much when people are on time, and I do try to make it a point to be punctual myself. It's amazing how we are so connected to time through our whole lives that it can actually trigger particular emotions. Only a limited amount of items can really do that. Almost all of them have to do with the five senses. Time affects the anxiety in all of us, whether it be low, happy, or excited; or stressed, depressed, upset.
Interesting.
Time can heal and time can destroy, but I think when we hope and work for the best we'll end up with the best. Eventually.

29 May 2013

Limerick

Sometimes we do assignments in English and it's fun. He's a tastefully tacky one I wrote, to express a majorly passionate love.

There is a man, whose words are nice to hear.
They might make you laugh, or even shed a tear.
The play's the thing, all the world's a stage,
His wise words move without exclusion or age.
So all I have to say, is thank you, William Shakespeare.

27 May 2013

Anger

Don't be angry. At least try really, really, really hard not to be. Don't be angry or anything representative of angry. And if you've tried to be everything but angry and you're still angry...then I think you can be angry, but n0t at who made you angry, and especially not at those who didn't make you angry that have to constantly be around you. Because I don't think anger really fixes anything. Honesty does, though. But I think if you try hard enough you can be honest without being angry.
You should always be fully honest, but honesty should be consistently accompanied by solicitation. Relationships need honestly, they must and absolutely have it. That applies to any relationship you care about in any minute way. Obviously, you should be honest daily and regularly to your significant other if you have one. And if you don't, a lot of people around you or people you meet could become you significant other someday, so starting off any relationship with honesty will give advantage down the road. I also believe we should be honest with our families, since they are most likely the people we are around most often and for the longest time in our lives. Even eternity, if you like that. For a relationship that lasts an eternity, I think I'd like it to be honest. And friends. Friends are nice, and friends are good. They are a blessing and we should cherish them with honesty. Even enemies, if you have one, we should be honest with them. Again, we shouldn't say anything angry, but we should say things that are productive, encouraging, increasing of understanding, and of good report. And of course, sometimes the best way to be honestly kind is stay quiet and do something else good.
So back to anger. People will make you angry. At some point, I think we have to admit that. People are angering, and sometimes it may even appear that they are angering more of the time than not. The reasoning behind this is, unfortunately, that they are people. People are imperfect and whoever created them made them that way by allowing them to make choices. However, this also allows them the opportunity to grow, which is rather beautiful. So just try to remember that you're a person too. You probably wouldn't prefer anger spewed upon you, nor does anyone else. Most people aren't making you angry on purpose. And if they are, that's silly, but being angry back won't fix it. So again, try being something different, and if that does it work, find your way that healthily lets it out. For some it's working out, but that's not me, because I like donuts. If you believe in God, let Him know how you're feeling. He already knows, but when you tell Him yourself it strengthens your father-child relationship  with Him, and He does want to help you. He's probably just waiting for you to ask for it, because when you desire, ask, and work it for it, the blessing feels personal and much more helpful. If deity isn't your thing, writing can be good. But don't force yourself to write if you really don't want to. That might make you more angry. Anger doesn't feel good and you don't want it affecting those you love. Try not to be angry. Be loving and do things you love. Love is miraculous.
However, I can't tell you what to do. Whoever "you" are. It's just a thought, and I think that's what blogs are for, thoughts not facts.
Maybe this one should have stayed in the journal.

13 May 2013

Cheez-Its

I don't like them, at all really. I love cheese and to me they don't taste like cheese. They taste like machine. And the fact that you can see those giant salt molecules, not to mention the perfect divots surrounding the border. I mean, they're okay I guess, I like snack foods and it's in the family, so they're tolerable, but not delicious or particularly recommended by myself. Ironically enough, my lovely mother (who I do love, lovingly. Please refer to previous post) purchased about the largest box I've ever seen of them this weekend. And I've been eating them compulsively. It's all very representative. Which is...silly. Everything's fine, will be fine. My life is lovely, and as someone I love and admire very must taught me today, Nothing Is Wasted. Pain is for joy to grow. I believe, and I trust. And I love, very much.
Hello Today, can't wait to see you, Tomorrow.

12 May 2013

A Word About Mothers


Today is a day full of love. It is the Sabbath day, a day about our Savior, who has infinite love for all of us. Some of us go to church with people we love and who love us. And it's also Mother’s Day. Mothers are without a doubt among the most loving people I know. These are just a few of the mothers I admire:
    • Molly Weasley: I admire her because she will do anything to protect her children from the harm or influence of evil.
    • Liz Jorgensen: Liz is one of my favorite friends. She also loves Harry Potter, like I do, so she's automatically super neato. Liz never loses faith. She's currently going through a very serious time with her newborn son, Eli (you can read her blog here). However, she is the happiest, most positive person I know. She continually glorifies Heavenly Father for every small blessing in her life. She loves her family and is completely dedicated to them. 
    • Mary Williams: Mary dedicates her life to loving everyone as if they were her family. Mary will always cheer you up, and has something wonderful to say about every one. No body will ever be more happy to see you than Mary. 
    • Gaby Saxton: This here is a remarkable woman. She is one of the most beautiful, talented, loving, and strong people I know. She spends her entire life sharing what she loves with not only the kids she teaches, but everyone she comes in contact with. She never gives up. She has a strong faith in life, and people, and always has wise, thoughtful advice to give. She has a fabulous personality and is a friend to everyone.
    • Mary: The mother of the Savior always mesmerizes me. She lived her life virtuously and humbly so she could be ready to bring Him here. She stayed true to her husband and withheld a strong faith in the Lord. She always put His will first, because she knew it would lead to the happiness and joy of all mankind, including herself. 
    • MY MOM: Everything my marvelous mother does is out of love. Love for her family, friends, Savior, life, anything. She is so smart and strong and teaches impeccably by example. She knows what is important and is faithful to her family and Heavenly Father. She has a beautiful eternal perspective and keeps her sights set high on what she wants and needs to do. I am way too blessed to have her as my mother.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World states: "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners."


 The family is the most sacred, incredible blessing we have on this earth. Family gives us responsibility to be good to one another and learn kindness, and how to work together.
Families can be together forever. They are eternal, they show us promise we have of heaven and eternal joy. Family assures us that we have a divine nature. The fact that Heavenly Father has a strong enough faith in His daughters and their husbands to raise His children escalates the understanding of our worth.
 As I observe mothers, I have come to honestly believe that a Mother’s love is closest to the love that Christ feels for us. In fact, President Joseph F. Smith said, “The love of a true mother comes nearer to being like the love of God than any other kind of love.”
I'm so grateful for our prophets who testify of family, they thank the mothers and encourage them.
 1 John 2:10 says, "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light." Isn't that amazing? All we have to do to hold the light of Christ is love each other. Every one has light in them and I'm so grateful for the abundance of it in my world. I hope to someday be a mother and become partially as good as the ones I know and love. Thank you.