Friday, October 21, 2011

Control

If you want to change your life, how do you do it?


As many of you know, this last year has been the absolute best and the absolute worst of my life.  Funny how that works out.  (Half empty or half full?)  One of my biggest problems is that I'm a bit of a control freak.  Okay, a lot of a control freak.  Basically, when my situation or my circumstances are out of my control, I get anxious and irritable and upset.  It just so happens that currently, a great deal of my circumstances are completely out of my reach.  So lately I've been in the mindset that if I can't control certain things, I should figure out what I DO have power over and maybe try and leave the other stuff to fate.  If I can't do anything about it, there's no point worrying.  There are three main life-affecting things that I can control right now.

-My health
-The people I'm around
-My perception of the world

I find that sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with goals or life changes, and it really helps me to share them with my friends or write about it on my blog.  That way I have the support of those around me and I can't "cheat".  Three of my friends and I have decided to make some pretty drastic diet changes until HAIR closes next month.  We're cutting dairy, simple carbohydrates, and sugar.


As far as the people I'm around... I can't control people who are in my classes and stuff like that, but I can control who I opt to spend time around.  It's completely exhausting to purposely put yourself in the company of people who don't have anything to offer you.  I know it sounds selfish, but it's not worth the stress it causes.  A lot of the people in my life are really empathetic and spend so much time thinking about other people's feelings and how the rest of the group is feeling that they forget to take care of themselves.  It's great to consider other people, but not when it means disregarding yourself.  This is definitely easier said than done, but to a certain extent if you don't put yourself in situations where you need to pretend to feel differently than you do, it will eliminate a ton of stress.  


And I think the perception of the world part is pretty self-explanatory.  It's sometimes hard to do, but finding the physical and emotional beauty can completely change a situation.  As most people know, I'm a reading tutor, and the other day, one of my 2nd graders was reading a story called 'Today was a Terrible Day.'  She refused to say the word 'terrible' and read the entire story saying "Today was a wonderful day...".  Such a small thing, but a well-timed reminder that life is what you make it.


Speaking of "life is what you make it", a few of my friends have been really into affirmations these days.  I'm still not sure how I feel about it.  I think it's definitely got some merit, but I find that a lot of times when people say affirmations, they say them with the knowledge that what they're saying isn't true, hoping that eventually they will become true.  I'm not exactly an expert on this kind of thing, but I'm sure that saying something you don't believe isn't going to help anything.  If you want to change your life, what's the best way to do it? 


As everyone knows, I'm in HAIR at the University of Utah right now, and we just had a fall break full of 8/10 rehearsal days.  We were able to get the entire show on its feet and had our first run thru on Wednesday.  One thing our director said to us before the run was to let the piece happen to you.  He talked about how we've spent all this time giving the piece structure and how all we need to do now is allow the show to take us for a ride.  He said that it's clear when we truly trust the work because we don't end up exhausted.  Faking inspiration or emotion or forcing unmotivated action on stage is exhausting because you don't really believe it.  It feels similarly to pretending that you like someone.  After he said that, I got to thinking about whether or not this applies to life.  Is it easier to have a basic structure of where our lives are going and just let whatever happens happen?  In the past, I've found that tips on acting and tips on life are almost interchangeable.  How about this specific piece of advice?  The whole "life is what you make it" approach is great, but that's coming from a control freak.  Where is the balance? I would seriously love opinions or input from everyone.





"We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems."
- John W. Gardner 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jam Session



So this is a video of me and a couple of my friends from BoCo singing Big White Room.  Obviously not a real performance, but I just wanted to share it.  One of my favorite songs with two of my favorite people.  This is one of the things I miss the most about Boston is having jam sessions with my friends.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Everyone must breathe until their dying breath...

I know it's been a hundred years since I last posted and I'm so mad about it.  Things have been busy to say the least.  Since my last post so much has happened!  I turned 19 and had one of the best birthdays of my life.  Got to spend time with friends and family, watched a meteor shower, and got to see Gavin Creel perform and meet him at the club.  I also got to take a road trip to the Utah Shakespeare Festival with my girl Bailie and see a lot of great theater.  That's always refreshing.

And then began my first year of 'real college'.  Starting at the University of Utah has obviously been bittersweet for me.  School has been so different this year; I feel like I'm experiencing college for the first time again in a lot of ways.  Starting at a Conservatory definitely skewed my idea of what college life is like a little.  I'm so unbelievably thankful for the amazing people I've been able to get closer to since the spring.  Without them I'd be a complete wreck.

I'm also thrilled to be a part of the U's production of HAIR, playing Jeanie.  Our director is one of the most amazing people I've ever worked with.  He's a guest director from Chicago and has a very organic approach to theater.  He has the most amazing insights about the work... I just want to write down every single thing he says.  It's a very inspiring work environment to be a part of.  I've always heard that being in Hair changes your life and I'm starting to see why.  We just got finished blocking the show this weekend and I've never felt so connected to a cast before.  I've had one main goal for this show: To be happy enough with the rehearsal process that I wouldn't be heartbroken if we didn't get to perform.  Obviously that would never happen, but I was talking to my friend Trevor awhile back about his rehearsal process for 'Waiting for Godot' at BoCo, and he told me about a time right before they were scheduled to open when there was a chance that they wouldn't get to perform the show because of a flooding problem in the theater.  He told me that he honestly wouldn't have even been upset if he didn't get to perform because he was so happy with the work he had done in rehearsal and how much he had learned from the process.  Further proof that it's not about the destination, it's about the journey.  

Thankfully, we don't anticipate any flooding problems with our theater and I've never been so excited to share my journey with everyone who comes to see the show.  Our Tribe is an amazing group of people and I think it's going to be a really good show.  We open in less than a month! I hope everyone who is in the Salt Lake area is able to come and see this show. Check out the Facebook event page >>HERE<<

A couple weeks ago I got to take a trip to Boston! Technically the trip was for me to get all of my winter clothes and dorm stuff out of storage, but I was so glad to be able to see all of my classmates again until who knows when.  My sister, Telise, came with me and it was such a fun trip.  I got to take her to the places I'd told her about all last year, which was really fun.  It was pretty hard to see how much my classmates have been enjoying sophomore year and not being able to be there with them.  I've just been keeping the idea that everything happens for a reason prominent in my thinking these days.  Maybe I don't know exactly what the reason is yet, but I know that I will eventually.  It's not the most comforting thing in the world, but it's enough for now.  I've been spending a ton of time reading, writing, and being with people who make me happy.  The thing to keep in mind is that I'm doing the best that I can with the situation that I'm in.  Things that are out of my control are not worth stressing about.  Easier said than done, I know.  But acknowledging that is the first step.


Below are some lyrics to Regina Spektor's song 'On the Radio'.  For some reason I've been loving her lyrics these days.  They are so beautifully simple.  I think in a lot of ways I'm a very analytical and left-brained person. I tend to overanalyze things (emotions, relationships, friendships), and in doing so, overcomplicate them.  It's great for me to surround myself with simple "less is more" mindsets once in awhile.  


"This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath
No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cherish spontaneity.

So I've been thinking about my blog lately, and I sort of realized that most of my posts are very deep and philosophical and heavy; I want to change that.  Not everything about my life (or at least everything I write about) needs to be of life or death importance.  Unfortunately, I don't think that change is going to happen today, because I was drying my hair (random) and was struck with a great thought that I need to sort of hash out via this post.  Needless to say, I packed up my computer and headed to the nearest coffee shop, and here we are.  

Enough exposition, here's my thought:  I was thinking about arrogance, and how we always think we know everything.  Think about yourself four years ago.  Four years ago I was just about to start my sophomore year of high school.  I'd never had a boyfriend, I loved polos and bermuda shorts, I didn't have very many friends, had never taken a voice lesson, wanted to be a lawyer, psychologist, or writer when I grew up, and was constantly working to be a 'cool kid.'  But at that time in my life, I was smarter than I'd ever been, as fashion forward as I'd ever been, and as sure of myself as I'd ever been.  I cringe to look back on that person, because I was a fraction of as happy with myself as I am now.  But at that time I didn't know any better.  No matter where we are in our lives, we know more than we've ever known before.  I guess in a way that's really refreshing.  Right now, at this very moment, you have more knowledge than you've ever had before, even more than the person you were before you found your way to this web page. 

While this is great for us, it also means that everyone around us is going through this same thing.  So the people who are older and wiser will always be older and wiser.  In my experience, the main 'older and wiser' influences are always trying to talk me out of doing drastic things or making big changes in my life, claiming that I'm too young or not experienced enough and trying to keep things the same.  I can't tell you how many times my mom told me that it would be TOTALLY FINE if I didn't want to move away for college, even though she knew that I did.  I think that she's been affected and hurt by drastic change and is trying to protect me from what she went through.  The problem with this is she will ALWAYS have more life experience than me.  Following advice from the 'older and wiser' people is only going to make us paralyzed and afraid to make our own mistakes.  The inevitable truth is that no matter what, we will make mistakes, but the sooner we start making our own decisions, the sooner we can learn from our mistakes. 

Cherish spontaneity, it's all we have.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Center by Observing


I think I'll start by giving everyone who cares a quick update on my summer and how I'm doing with my summer goals.  If you remember my post from late June you'll know that my goals were to get out in nature, stay healthy, and expand my horizons beyond musical theater.  So far I feel pretty good about the progress I've made on all of these.  I've definitely been exploring nature a lot lately.  Countless drives up the canyon, walks around the city, and I even went camping for the first time last weekend.  Definitely one of the funnest weekends I can remember in a long time.  Seven of my closest friends from high school and I went up by Mirror Lake in Kamas.   I feel pretty good about the the progress I've made as far as getting acquainted with hobbies other than musical theater.  I've read a lot of books, most of which have been acting theory books or plays, but I recently bought a book about philosophy that I'm really excited to read.  

Camping crew, minus Derick
As far as staying healthy... I've been pretty good.  A few weeks ago I got my membership back at 24-Hour Fitness (It's the year of the acting beat, the belt, and the battement - Thanks, Gavin) and I've been taking a lot of their fitness classes, especially yoga.  From my Movement for the Actor class last year, I feel like I have a really strong yoga foundation now and feel more comfortable taking a class with 20 other people.  On Thursdays they always do what they call 'Rejuvenation Yoga' which has more of an emphasis on the spiritual side of yoga as opposed to the physical side.  Our teacher was this cute little granola lady who had us close our eyes during a particularly difficult pose to challenge our balance.  She said that if we feel off balance just to open our eyes.  In yoga and even in life, I think, that is a great philosophy.  "If you feel like your foundation is being shaken," she said, "open your eyes and center by observing."


As most of you already know, I won't be able to return to The Boston Conservatory for my sophomore year because of financial reasons.  I found this out about two weeks ago and was seriously heartbroken.  I still am.  I've met some of the most amazing friends in this last year and it's awful to have to be away from them.  The situation seriously sucks, but one thing I've been doing lately is opening my eyes.  This summer I've been introduced to some great people who I'm lucky enough to be in a class with next year.  I've been offered a spot as a sophomore in the University of Utah's MTP and I can't explain how grateful I am.  The program is doing some awesome shows this year that I'm hoping to be a part of, I'll have some great opportunities here, and I'll be staying close to my friends, which means so much to me.



I don't exactly consider myself to be a religious person, in fact I disagree with a lot of principles of organized religion.  But time and time again I've been shown that everything happens for a reason.  Faith is an extremely important part of a person's life, whether it's in organized religion or not.  A couple weeks ago, right when I found out that I wasn't going back to Boston, I was out shopping with two of my girlfriends.  We were in this cute little boutique store called The Children's Hour.  It's one of those stores that is absolutely FILLED from top to bottom with little trinkets and clothes and decorations.  While my friends were over looking at shoes, for some odd reason I was drawn into this little corner of the store and saw a plaque that said "Sometimes 'right back where you started from' is right where you belong."  I immediately bought it.  If that's not some kind of sign, I don't know what is.  Having faith that, in some way or another, I'm right where I belong is one of the most comforting feelings in the world.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Foxx For Life.

So this blog post is mostly going to be for my BoCo 2014 family.  I thought this would be the best way to tell everybody.  Because of some financial difficulties and broken promises, I won't be able to come back to school in the fall for sophomore year.  Technically I'm putting in a leave of absence just in case some miracles happen and I can figure things out for next year.  Bottom line is, I want a B.F.A.  No matter what, I need a degree and I just don't want to have put two years and a whole lotta cash into a program that I won't be able to finish.  I have the opportunity to start at the University of Utah as a sophomore in their musical theater program, so I'll still be working hard.  

I just want to thank every single one of you guys for the most amazing year.  All of you helped to make my freshman year at the BoCo the best year of my life, no question.  I learned so much this last year about our beautiful art, about friendship, and about myself.  You all are some of the most incredible people I've ever met in my whole life and I'll never forget the impact you have had on me.  You guys taught me how to be a better person than I've ever been and made me fall in love with musical theater every single day and I can't thank you enough for that. 

THIS IS NOT GOODBYE!  I'll be visiting Boston this year no matter what.  Best case scenario, I'll come back and join c/o 2015.  If not, I'll see you all on Broadway, right?  I hope you guys have an amazing sophomore year.  Y'all are some of the most talented people in the whole world and I can't wait to see you again.



Thursday, June 30, 2011

Upward Over The Mountain


One of my favorite songs by a great band called Iron & Wine is Upward Over The Mountain.  On a rainy Wednesday like today, I found myself in the mood to listen to them and just drive around.  This song really describes a lot of what I've been going through with the move back home from college for the summer.  It's really hard in a lot of ways to adjust to having someone to answer to again, especially when you have a very protective mother like I do.  I've learned in the last year that it's so important to deal with frustrations or sadness as it happens instead of pushing everything aside until it overflows.  It's something I'm having a hard time with because I was raised a different way, but I'm working on it.


So at the risk of this post getting too 'bloggy' or whatever, I'm going to talk about something else that reminded me of this song in the last week.  My babe, Jaron, and I went UPWARD OVER THE MOUNTAIN to go boating at Pineview Reservoir in Huntsville with his family yesterday.  It was such a great time... THAT'S what summer is all about.  Nothing feels better than belting out Jessie J with a good friend in the middle of a frickin' lake... (Video to follow?)  That being said, I'm obviously making excellent progress on my summer goal to get out in nature.

I also want to take a second to give a huge shout out to Jaron Barney.  It was his birthday this last Saturday and it was probably one of my favorite days of the summer so far.  We just started getting to know each other last summer and now I couldn't imagine my life without him.  Love you babe!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

62 Power Questions

This is from a website I found while browsing the internet.  It's called 62 Power Questions You Should Ask to Reconnect with Yourself.  So I guess you're just supposed to look through them and think about the questions, but I think there's something to be said for being able to articulate the answers to these difficult questions.  I've spent a lot of time working on this.  There is a lot of revealing stuff in here that most people maybe wouldn't have posted, so be gentle.  I've always tried to be a very open person, so here it is! 

What is that thing that no one, not even your partner, your mother or your best friend, knows about you?  This is like remarkably childish... But I'm actually scared of being alone. Not emotionally alone, but physically by myself.  Being by myself but in a public place is fine, but being at home alone in total silence is really scary to me... It's so embarrassing but whenever I'm alone I get so anxious. Like... I think that there is going to be someone there who I don't expect or something. I can't explain it. Phew. There it is. No one use that against me.
What would make you feel embarrassed in public?  I hate when people make fun of my clothing in public... It's something I'm self-conscious about anyway and having attention drawn to it in public is SO embarrassing.
What do you think is your biggest flaw? What have you done about it?  One of my biggest flaws is definitely how critical I am. School has helped me with this because I've been able to learn very personal things about the people in my core and I've realized that people's actions are always reactions to something else that's happened in their life. So I guess I've learned to try and be empathetic and think about where someone is coming from before judging them.
What is your biggest strength? How did you develop it? My biggest strength is my independence. I think to a certain extent, I didn't develop this strength, it developed me. A combination of being the oldest child, going through my parents' divorce, and being exposed to a lot of life lessons early on helped to develop a certain strength and independence.
What do you have to put up with in your life? How long have you been tolerating it? The first thing that comes to mind is incompetence and ignorance.  It sounds awful, but basically stupid people. And they're always going to be around.
If you could change your name, what would your new name be?  Something delicate and feminine. Tia is pretty, don't get me wrong, but it's quirky and fun. I'd probably change it to something like Rachelle. Something that starts with an 'R' for sure. I think that's the prettiest letter. Your name defines you to a certain extent, and I would love to be a more delicate and feminine person.
If you could change your appearance, how would you decide to look? I'd move some of the weight from my ass to my chest. And I wouldn't have fat knees. 
What color dominates your wardrobe? How do you feel when you wear that color? Why? I wear neutrals almost ALWAYS. Black, gray, brown, tan, and white DOMINATE my wardrobe. I feel like wearing subdued colors makes people focus more on what I actually look like instead of what I'm wearing. 
Which song do you sing only when you’re alone? What memory does it bring back? Phew, this one is tricky. The first one to come to mind is 'Still Hurting' from The Last Five Years. Sure, I would sing this for people but I'd rather sing it alone. It always reminds me of my last relationship. Makes me cry every time. 
Whom do you secretly envy? Why?  I secretly envy dancers.  Actually, it's not much of a secret.  I love that dancers are so comfortable with their bodies. 
What do you really want?  I really REALLY want to be successful.  I think performers can relate to this... We get a lot of doubt from other people.  Honestly, I doubt this career path a lot myself, and I would love nothing more than to be successful and happy as an actor and prove them all wrong.
What is the way you often sabotage yourself?  I discredit myself on things I'm insecure about. I'm uncomfortable with my dancing abilities, so I often don't go as full out when people are around because I'm afraid of looking stupid. I guess the root of that is being afraid to look stupid. 
Who would you like to please the most?  My teachers and my mom and my sister.
What do you think a stranger’s first impression of you would be? Probably that I'm a bitch. Sometimes my face just looks like I'm pissed off. 
What recurring dream do you have? What do you think is the message your subconscious is sending you through that dream?  I have this recurring dream that I'm on the swingset in my backyard and I get swinging really really high, fly off the swing and just as I'm about to fly over the fence on the other side of my yard the dream starts over and I'm back to swinging. This goes on for what feels like hours. I think it's my subconscious showing me my potential and my struggle to achieve it. Interesting fact: I haven't had that dream since coming to school... Maybe I'm on the right track then?
What would you try now if you were sure you wouldn’t fail?  Moving to New York to audition and work.
What was that thing you never tried because you were afraid of failure?  Gymnastics.  I was a pretty paranoid kid... Scared of breaking my neck.
What was your greatest disappointment in life?  Well, obviously I'm pretty young.  But I'd say the greatest disappointment (or rather disappointing realization) would be that sometimes you can't trust the people you care about the most.  
As a kid, what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?  I always wanted to be a singer. 
What are you really good at?  Singing. That's probably the main thing I guess. I think I'm a pretty good teacher too.
What can you do better?  DANCE. All I want is to be a fierce dancer. Also, I could probably own my emotions better and learn to express myself in a healthier way.
What worries you the most when you think about your future?  I get really worried that I won't be happy.  I know that I love what I'm studying, but the field is so scary.  
What really sucks in your life? Who has the power to change itMy relationship with my dad sucks.  He has the power to change my relationship with him.  I'll keep working too, but I've given a hell of a lot at this point.
What is your life really about? What is your purpose in life?  Too soon to say, I hope.  I don't know what my purpose in life is yet.  Right now my life is about education, arts, and my friends and family.  I know that no matter where my life takes me, all three of these things will be in it, in some form or another. 
What fear could wake you in the middle of the night?  One fear that could and DOES wake me in the middle of the night is that I'm going to be late for class.  Every day at like 6 A.M. I jerk awake thinking I'm going to be late.  All because I slept through Peter Mansfield's piano class ONE TIME.
What joy could wake you in the middle of the night?  Good news or a call from a good friend... Or waking up and remembering that tomorrow's my birthday.
What are you grateful for?  I'm really grateful for my mom and my sister and all the stuff we've been through together, especially this last year.  We drive each other nuts sometimes, but at the end of the day I know they've got my back.  I'm also really grateful for the chance I've had this last year to study at the Boston Conservatory and follow my dream to study musical theater. Most of all, I'm grateful for my friends. They keep me sane -- Honestly.  I realize now how lucky I am to have a group of friends in Salt Lake and a group of friends from school scattered around the country.  They all put up with a lot from me, and they'll never know how much I love and care about every single one of them.
What time of the day do you feel the most energetic? And what do you usually do in those moments?  I feel most energetic when I have exciting plans or if I'm going to see someone I love.  I guess that's usually in the early evening.  In those moments I just blast my iPod in my room while I'm getting ready or in the car and just sing and dance my heart out.  It's SO childish, but it's the absolute best.
If you knew you had only one week to live, how and with whom would you spend it?  I would spend it on a beach somewhere with all of my friends.  I wouldn't spend it doing crazy things or whatever.  I'd rather just chill with the people I love. 
Why do you think your most favorite film touches you so deeply?  My favorite film in the entire world is Ever After... I guess the reason why it touches me so deeply is because of the fairytale romance theme.  One day I wish to feel that way about someone - A wish that seems to really be slipping away lately.
What are you really bad at?  I'm really bad at admitting when I'm wrong.
Who would you like to forgive and forget?  I wouldn't ever want to forget anyone.  People are brought into our lives for a reason.  I would love to be able to forgive my dad though.
Do you often hear your inner voice? What does it usually tell you?   I don’t know if you can call it a voice, but I guess it tells me how I unrealistically should actually behave. Sometimes I act in a certain way, knowing consciously that it would be better for me to act a different way. The battle of head vs. heart rages on.
When was the last time you cried without anyone seeing you? And why?  The last time I cried without anyone seeing me was in my car on the way to pick up a friend. I was just overwhelmed and stressed.  When I get on edge the smallest things can upset me and sometimes I just need to take a drive in my car and calm down.
What do you want people you meet for the first time to think about you?  I really want people to think that i’m pretty, confident, and well-liked. I’m very concerned with what people think of me.
What’s your most striking physical attribute? Do you like it?  I think my most striking attribute would be my eyes.  I like them most of the time.  I look like a drag queen in too much stage makeup... But I wouldn’t trade 'em.
If you had the opportunity to go back in time and make a change, would you still want to have the same parents?  No, I wouldn’t.  But I honestly think every single person would say the same thing.  I am a believer in old and young souls, and I really think I’m an old soul... Making me a skeptic (or realist...) about a lot of things in the world, especially love.  I think having parents whose marriage didn’t last and lost all trust wasn’t a great thing for my sense of belief in love and family and marriage and stuff like that... But if I had parents who had a fairytale romance and I wasn’t exposed to the dangers of real world romance, I would resent them for not preparing me for what is out there.
If you could go back in time and change things, how would you alter the last ten years?  I don't really know that I would alter specific events or anything, just to be able to repeat a few things with the knowledge I have now.  I'm sure middle school would have been a lot cooler if I had known how not to be a total weirdo.  Oh and I would have transferred to SLSPA sophomore year instead of junior year so I could have had an extra year of training.
If you could get rid of one of your responsibilities today, what would that be?  I would not want to be so responsible for dealing with my financial situation at school.  I have a lot of friends whose parents just take care of finances behind their backs and they don’t really know what happens.  That stresses me out more than you know and I would love nothing more than to live in ignorance about it.
What is the biggest lie you tell yourself?  That I don't care.
What do you think is missing in your life?  A free-spirited energy.  I think I'm a fun person in general, but a lot of times I feel like I'm missing a youthfulness.  I think that because of a lot of life circumstances or whatever, I've been forced into a position of maturity and it made me grow up too fast.
What do you think is the biggest injustice that was ever done to you?  My mom and sister and I found out about two years ago that my dad spent over $130,000 behind our backs, starting in 1994.  I think that was a huge injustice done to me and my family, especially since Telise and I are now college age and have to deal with the financial situation we didn't know we were even in.
What type of person angers you the most?  Unfortunately, I'm angered by a lot of different types of people.  I guess all of the things that annoy me about people boils down to ignorance.
Who never fails to make you feel good about yourself?  One of my best friends in the world, Bailie Breault
If you could start all over again, what would you want to study?  I would choose to study musical theater again and again.  I love what I'm studying so much.  If I had to choose something else it would be either straight acting or journalism.
Which type of intelligence do you wish you had: kinetic, visual, interpersonal, linguistic or mathematical?  Kinetic... For that dancing...
What is your biggest pet peeve?  Phony people.  And that covers a wide range.  I hate it when people are either untrue to themselves or pretend to be something that they're not.  This includes arrogance.
What do you like about yourself the most?  This is a pretty recent thing (within the last year or so), but I love that I'm confident in who I am.  Being moved out of my house for the school year gave me an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts and discover who I really am.  "You can't make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved."
What do you regret the most?  I really regret not taking better advantage of my high school training and resources.  I had fabulous teachers there for me and in a lot of ways I just did what I needed to do to get by and didn't go the extra mile in a lot of ways.
What would you like most to be acknowledged for in your life?  I just really want a Tony Award... But I guess I would love to be taken seriously as an actor, I would love to be recognized for making a contribution not only to the art of acting but to society.  To be able to change the world through art would be the ultimate goal. 
What is the first thought that usually crosses your mind the second you open your eyes in the morning?  What my schedule is for the day and how long I have until I need to be ready.  Also, what my plans are for the evening.  I hate going all day not knowing what I'm going to be doing later.
What is that thing about yourself you’re sick and tired of?  I'm getting really sick and tired of the "frigid bitch" thing.  I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sassy person or whatever, and I don't mind when friends joke around about it, but when it's nonstop it's a little too much.  I definitely feed the fire, but I think that's something I'll work on this year.
Who really depends on you? Why?  My mom and my sister.  We all depend on each other, especially this last year.  We drive each other crazy but with my parents' divorce, we all need to be there for each other more than ever.
What was the most frustrating period in your creative life?  So far, I'm IN the most frustrating period in my creative life, mainly because I haven't had a very long creative life and also because I'm in a state of recognized incompetence. More on that later, courtesy of Jaron Barney.
Do you love yourself?  I honestly do.  There are things about me that I don't love and there are certain decisions I make that I don't love, but at the end of the day, yes I do.
If you were your own coach, how would you guide yourself?  I would tell myself to trust yourself and work to BE as confident as you ACT.  I would tell myself to face your insecurities and fears and not be afraid to make a fool out of yourself.  You only have one life... Don't waste it being afraid of what others think of you.

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Update and Summer Goals

    I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post... Wow.  I have been working really hard on a post called '62 Power Questions', but I didn't think it would take this long.  I guess it's time to take a break from that and update y'all on my SUMMER.  As everyone knows, I'm back home in Salt Lake for the summer.  I'm taking a little break from shows, just spending this summer working to earn some money for next year.  I've been spending most of the time either seeing students or hanging out with friends at coffee shops.  Having a break like this has been amazing.  I've also been trying to spend some time alone.  I used to hate it, but lately I've been really enjoying spending time by myself at a coffee shop or a park just reading.  I think before college I felt the need to always be talking to people or at least to be surrounded by people... That's one major change that happened when I moved out of my NOISY house and into a teeny single room on the fourth floor of 26 Fenway.  You can learn a lot from listening, whether you're listening to people or just to your own thoughts.  

    This past month I've been thinking about what I want to accomplish this summer and have basically narrowed it down to three things.  I think putting my goals somewhere public like this will give me even more motivation to get them done.  God knows I need motivation, especially when it's so much easier to get an iced latte and chill instead of going to the gym...  Here are my goals:

    Emigration Canyon with Jaron
    GET NATURAL.  I wish this meant to stop shaving, but it doesn't.  Ever since I've been home, I've been blown away by how gorgeous this city is.  Living here my whole life has spoiled me for sure --  I never realized how beautiful the mountains were until they were swapped for a big buildings.  A couple weeks ago, I was driving around and ended up taking a spontaneous trip up Emigration Canyon.  It had been years since I'd been up there and I was STUNNED.  This canyon is honestly 15 minutes from downtown Salt Lake.  I'm so extremely lucky to live in a place like this.  Sometimes gorgeous summer nights are best spent alone with some great music and the canyon.  Anyway, one of my summer goals is to get out and see more of this beautiful place that I live in.  People reading this who are from Utah probably think I'm nuts... But HONESTLY you don't know what you've got until it's gone.  Having those mountains gone for a year made me feel so naked!  I'm constantly obsessing over them now.   

    STAY HEALTHY.  I don't think Tim Rinaldi reads my blog, but if he did, this would crack him up.  I have a huge reputation for having a sweet tooth and a mild (okay, severe...) carb addiction.  The snack drawer in my dorm room is LEGENDARY.  But on the real, second semester I started working on not eating so poorly, and it made me a lot happier.  I understand -- And sometimes don't want to admit -- That a HUGE part of being marketable as an actor is being in shape.  You are selling yourself in every audition, so you want to be the best version of yourself all the time.  It's a little harder for me to stay active at home just because I'm not in dance class every day like I am at school and I don't have to walk everywhere, but I'm finding time to get out and go for hikes or even just hit the gym.  Bikram yoga, anyone? 

    EXPAND MY HORIZONS. I was at a job interview awhile back and one of the questions they asked me was 'What do you like to do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?' The only answer I could give them was musical theater.  Before school, singing and acting and dancing were just hobbies, but now that I'm studying theater full time... Where have my hobbies gone?  I'm a teacher, which I love, but that's about the only non-theater thing about me.  I've dedicated so much of my life to just theater that now I don't really have anything else to occupy my time.  And the job interview wasn't the first time that came up.  It's been a recurring problem and I think summer away from the theater world (mostly...) is a great time to work on that.  This goal might be a little harder to completely accomplish, but I want to at least get started on exploring non-theater hobbies.  I have some friends who are really into yoga or pageants or writing or playing an instrument or whatever.  I'm not saying I'm going to turn into a pageant girl, but I need to start exploring.  A well-rounded person is a well-rounded actor.  I think having something else that I love will give me a great outlet once I'm back at school.  During the school year things get really intense and everything feels like life or death.  It would be nice to have some other sides of myself to escape to when the musical theater side is tweaking out with overuse.


    For a photo update, click here for my 'Summer 2011' Facebook album.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    The End of the Beginning

    So freshman year is over.  I'm officially a sophomore in college.  Wow, what a weird thought.  It seems like a week ago that I was deciding to major in Musical Theater and taking my first trip to New York to audition... Time flies... I'm so unbelievably thankful for everything I've been exposed to over the last year at school.  I've learned so much, not just about my craft but about myself and about people in general.  Freshman year was kind of a whirlwind.  We were all given so much information and just tried to soak up as much of it as we could.  Awhile back I wrote a post called Imperfection.  Read it if you haven't... It's one of my favorites and sums up a huge part of my struggle as an artist.


    I felt like THAT for a lot of my time this year, but I guess the flip side of that is knowing how much room there is for improvement and knowing that if you work hard enough you can get there... Or get close enough to there that it doesn't matter.  You will never be perfect and the sooner you realize that, the better.  It's a lot harder to come to terms with than you'd think.

    While the first year was overwhelming in that way, it's really opened my eyes to what's in the future for my training.  This year has also helped me to learn to trust the process.  That's been one of my main phrases to live by this year.  There were times when I thought "There's no way we'll be able to learn this music in time!" or "This choreography will never look good on stage!" or "This has nothing to do with musical theater!" And I'll tell you what... I was wrong every single time.  My professors know more than they'll ever be able to share, and sometimes I need to remind myself of that.  This school wouldn't have a top tier program if they weren't doing something right.  I definitely have control issues, so it's been difficult to grasp on to the idea of giving the reins over to someone else.


    Every so often it really helps to stop and take a step back from you day to day life and realize how lucky you are. I may have had an impossible amount of homework to do, but would I really have wanted it any other way?  I found that every so often stepping back really helps to put perspective on a situation.




    Another motto I really started living by toward the end of the year was this:  See what you dislike about others in yourself.  This motto stemmed from my good friend Alexis Scheer (Check out her blog >here<). Anyway, we were talking one night about someone who was pissing us off and she told me that many of the traits this person has that annoy her are traits that she has too.  I thought this was a really mature thing to recognize.  Most adults I know wouldn't be able to step that far outside of themselves to recognize something like that.  So it's something that I've been working on a lot lately.  It really helps to alleviate the frustration from someone that you can't control onto yourself, who you can control.



    I definitely think that being away from home has helped me appreciate what I have here in Salt Lake.  Sure, my family is already pissing me off, but I know that A) I'm going to be living with them all summer so I need to get used to it and B) The second I get on that plane to go back to school I'm going to miss them, so I might as well make the best of the time I have with them.

    It's been great to catch up with old friends too.  I've realized that sometimes the people who have the best influence in your life aren't the people you spend the most time with.  True friendship is when you can be away from someone for months at a time, meet up for coffee, and it feels like no time has passed at all.  I have a feeling this is going to be a great summer... 



    I want to make a special shout out to my best friend in the world, Gavin Parmley.  You are one of the strongest people I know and if anyone can get through this, you can.  Know that my thoughts are with you, even when I can't be.







    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Easter Post!

    It feels like it's been so long since I've posted.  This post is probably going to be pretty short, but I just have some stuff to say.  First of all, today is Easter!  I miss my family, especially on holidays that I'm not at home, but I know I'm going to be home very soon and all I'll want is to be back at school.  There's really nowhere else I'd rather be than at school.  The Freshman Revue is this upcoming Wednesday and Thursday, so our class has been rehearsing our tails off.  As of about an hour ago, the show is OFFICIALLY completely staged.  From what I've seen, I think it's going to be a great show.  We have full run thrus and tech tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoon, shows on Wednesday and Thursday night, no class on Friday, then finals week, then HOME on Saturday May 7th!  This year has gone by so fast, and I've learned so much.  More on that later.  There's no way I'm writing a reflection post yet.  Not ready.

    I've been working on another post too...  It's a sort of survey that I found randomly online called 62 Power Questions You Should Ask to Reconnect With Yourself.  I guess I could just read through them and think about my answer like a normal person, but I think having to articulate answers to these difficult and revealing questions is a good exercise, so I'm forcing myself to finish it.  Who knows when it'll actually be up, but it'll be long as hell.  

    A few notes about family.  In the last couple weeks, like I said, we've been in rehearsal for the Freshman Revue and spending a lot of time together as a class, which we don't often get to do.  In classes it's usually just two cores at a time.  Having this time together has made me realize that we are all a family.  There can be drama or whatever, but at the end of the day, WE ARE A FAMILY.  Having less than two weeks left of freshman year has made me want to embrace every minute I have here.  We are a family and we are all so blessed to be here. 

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    I Spy Something Pretty...

     Boston Common
    Let me just start by saying that this has been one of my favorite weekends of ALL TIME here in Boston.  The weather is so nice - I think we’re FINALLY done with the snow for this year - And I’m definitely taking advantage of it.  I know earlier in the year, I made a few goals for myself.  I wanted to only surround myself with people I love and that don’t stress me out, and I wanted to get out and experience this beautiful city that I live in.  I have certainly done both of these things this weekend.  Friday night wasn’t too exciting.  Core 1 is always EXHAUSTED on Friday nights because we have class nonstop from 9 to 6:20.  Plus, it’s a Friday.  I went and saw a grad thesis project that a couple of my classmates were in and ended up crashing in my room pretty early.  Yesterday and today were the best days.  Yesterday morning I went out to breakfast at the caf with Matt and Gavin, then Gavin had to run off to rehearsal so Matt and I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful day.  We took a walk from the caf, back past the dorms, and all the way down Boylston Street to the Boston Common (About a mile and a half), and obviously stopped for Starbucks on the way.  There were so many people out with their cute puppies and SO many kids running around.  I miss that about the suburbs.  One of my favorite moments ever was on our walk over.  There was this cute little family of three walking down the street. This was their dialogue:
    Boy:  I spy.... Something pretty!
    Mom:  Is it Daddy?
    Boy: No...
    Mom:  Is it you?
    Boy: No...
    Dad:  Is it Mommy?
    Boy: YES!
    We were DYING! They were so cute!  There was also this awesome one man band there. Anyway, after a walk around the entire park, we headed over to Storrow Drive which goes right along the Charles River Basin with an awesome view of the city.  We walked along the river until we got to the docks where we were able to just lay out and take a nap in the sun right on the water.  Afterward we met up with Gavin and did some shopping.  Then we went our separate ways. I went to Whole Foods and back to my room to get ready for Harvard with the girls!  Dinner with Matt and Gavin, then we headed to the OWL Club at Harvard for a cocktail party.  By the time we got there it was pretty damn crowded, but we still had a good time.  It’s always nice to get out of the BoCo bubble and mingle with straight guys.

    This morning (Sunday), I had signed up to go to the New England Aquarium with SGA.  So excited.  The New England Aquarium is RIGHT on the Boston Harbor - It’s so beautiful.  Turned out that only about half of the people that signed up were able to go, so it ended up being a really intimate group.  I ended up hanging out with Elyse, Matt, and Ally mostly.  So much fun.  After the aquarium and some lunch, we decided to just walk home.  It’s a pretty long walk home from the Harbor, but the weather was beautiful.  We walked through the North End, saw the oldest restaurant in the country, went along the Freedom Trail and saw two different cemeteries where all of these amazing historical people were buried.  We saw grave sites for Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Ben Franklin’s parents.  It was such a spontaneous thing to do!  I loved it.  


    Then we walked all the way around back to the Common, where there was a huge Greek Festival and parade going on.  It was THRILLED. We didn’t stay long or anything but it felt like a little piece of home was in Boston with me. I really miss the Greek Festival back home - I’m so sad I won’t be able to be there for it this year. Also, we saw people playing Quidditch in the park.  Yeah, that’s right. Quidditch.  It was the funniest thing I’ve EVER seen. Anyway, we walked the rest of the way down Boylston until we got back to the BoCo, which brings me to where I am right now - Sitting outside of Pavement Coffee House drinking an iced tea and soaking up the last few hours of sunshine. It's days like today when I'm so grateful to be living the life that I do. I live in a beautiful city full of beautiful people.