Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

One of my goals (new year’s resolution doesn’t have the same ring to it) for this year is to work on my daily health.  In the past, I’ve taken this to mean work out like a crazy person, don’t eat what you want to eat, and basically be freaking out about weight loss constantly.  

I decided this year that I will not be doing that anymore.

There really is no reason to be miserable about your weight once you get to a certain size, because here is the thing: for most of us, the way we look is changeable.  If you are upset that you have flabby arms, do some pushups.  Got a little belly pooch (and who doesn’t)? Cool.  Run and do some situps.  I’m going to stopping looking at the few issues I have with my body as a crisis, and start realizing how much amazing stuff it can do.  I am blessed, really, to be able to work out and be as fit as I am.  It’s a wonderful realization to have!

Put into action, this concept means I’m not working out for results anymore; I’m working out so I feel better.  What a concept.  These past two weeks, I’ve done some little form of exercise every day, switching it up.  So far, I have: run outside, done yoga (a few times), the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD with friends (ouch ouch ouch), run on the elliptical, run the stairs in my dorm, done a few Pinterest workouts.  And I feel wonderful.  That, coupled with cutting out fried food and soda from my diet, has made a profound impact on how my body feels.

Sometimes I start feeling heavy and stagnant at school, and exhausted.  Though I’m cutting back on sleep a little bit to work out, I feel more awake than I usually do.  My body feels like it’s working for me, instead of against me.  Also, it has the plus of making the crazy tribal dancing (complete with lunges and backbends and hair flips galore) for Caesar just a bit easier.

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Five Things

This weekend is looking to be half-chill, half filled with things I need to accomplish.  That always seems to happen.  Here are a few things I’m looking forward to the most.

1. Stage combat…tomorrow we are blocking the fight scenes in Julius Caesar, and I can’t wait.  I love fight choreography, mostly because it’s a mix of physical fitness, graceful movement, and usually some historical context thrown in.  Since we are a tribal society in this production, I think most of the fighting is going to be with sticks and staffs, with some hand-to-hand thrown in.  The best part about our choreographer, Josh, is his attitude towards the fights.  With an all-women production, it could go somewhere into the MTV mud wrestling zone, and Josh is determined not to take it there.  He wants to show that women can be even more vicious than men in battle…I can’t wait.  I’ll let you know if I get to kill or be killed.

2. Chekhov.  I’m going to try and catch up on my paperwork and memorize my scene this weekend.  Our class is intense–I think I’ll probably end up having close to fifty pages of analysis, scoring, and textual research when I’m done.  This actually makes me really excited!  I’m performing the Yelena/Astrov parting scene from Act 4 of Uncle Vanya, and I’m in love with it, and my partner, Tanner.  It’s so emotional and understated, which I feel is one of the most heartbreaking things of all.

3.  Window shopping.  This is a little sad, but I’m already thinking of outfits and things I want for my spring break vacation to San Diego to visit The Boyfriend aka Navy Boy.  At the top of my list is this is this adorable bikini from Forever 21, which will find its way into my suitcase somehow.Image

Forever 21

4. Ice Cream Night.  I am doing great on my fitness goals this year! I know it has only been 25 days…but I feel happier, more energetic, slimmer, and, most important, healthy.  But sometimes you gotta splurge a little.  Liz and I are going in search of Vegan ice cream this weekend.  I’m a little nervous, but anything with “mint chocolate chip” in the name is going to be my jam.

5. 30 Day Shred.  Amazingly, I’m actually excited to do this workout with the girls.  So fun, so healthy, so absolutely punishing to all of the major muscle groups.  I am ready to look cute for Spring Break, darn it! So bring on the pain.

Spring Obsessions

Being in an acting program sometimes means giving up the amazing, beautiful clothes that we know and love.  I have learned this first hand during the past two semesters, as I’ve had to wear “company blacks” (all items of clothing are tight fitting and black) to more and more of my classes.  This semester I have at least one acting class each day, which means I basically live my life in these comfortable (and slimming! Thank God) outifts.  It also means that I can no longer indulge my everyday taste for the preppy, bohemian, girlie, or sparkly.  I have come to adore the time that I get to spend in “real people” clothes, and I was thinking today about a few of my new obsessions for the semester that I either am wearing, or hope to get my sneaky little fashionista hands on soon!Spring Obsessions

 

1. Drapey, Comfy Sweaters
I lust after all things knitted and cosy…it’s become a bit of a sweater situation in my dorm room.  I have been adoring these long, drapey sweaters all season, but haven’t managed to grab one yet! They are the perfect thing to throw on to dress up any outfit: jeans, a tshirt, a messy bun, plus this baby and some boots?  You’re going-out ready.
2. Chunky Necklace
I love Forever 21’s new offerings.  They are gorgeous, and could add a statement to any simply outfit.  This might just be my Marie Antoinette obsession coming out again, but I adore anything with some pretty jewels and lots of decoration! I plan on picking up at least one this semester.
3. Native American Print
I grew up in New Mexico, and have the fondest memories of shopping amongst beautiful Navajo wool blankets.  Imagine how happy I was to see the pattern popping up in all kinds of clothing items! I would love something colorfully printed–shorts, a shirt, a sweater…bring it on!
4. Mint Nail Polish
I’m obsessed with this color.  It adds such a touch of class to any outfit, and is a refreshing breath of air in these cold months! We can’t wear nail polish with our blacks, or I’d be rocking it all the time.
5. Boot Socks
I would live in boot socks if I could.  I love how chunky and warm and fuzzy they are…must be the Northerner in me?  Whatever the cause of my lumberjack syndrome, I got these exact SmartWool ones for christmas, and I have to stop myself from wearing them everyday! They add an extra bit of pizzazz to that easy boots-and-jeggings look.
6. Coloured Pants
I know, I know, I’m a little late jumping on to this bandwagon.  I actually got my coloured jeans and skinny khakis last year, and I don’t know how I lived without them! I’m just now really learning how to style them, though.  I especially love these when worn with a white button down under a sweater, paired with a high bun, all top with a hair bow.  Preppy but fun, girlie but sassy.  That might be my style in a nutshell right there.

Just Do It

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As in workouts, so in life.  I am really starting to appreciate the value of the Nike motto as a theatre artist.  Oftentimes, we are asked to do things that “civilians” would never dream of doing without a few shots of liquid courage in their system.  For example, at a recent audition:

Director: “Lauren, would you be comfortable with onstage sexual actions and/or possible nudity?”

Typical Person: “….let me out of here right now or I’ll sue.”

Lauren: “Sure!”

That is just how we roll here.  If you would have asked me last year, or in high school, my response probably would have had a lot more trepidation.  But I’ve realized this year that the only thing to be afraid of with this stuff is yourself.  You’re playing a character.  If you’re doing your job correctly, the audience won’t be thinking, “Oh my God, look at Lauren making out with that guy onstage! You go girl!” They will be thinking, “I can’t believe that character would cheat on her husband with this guy! Stop kissing him! Stop!”

Or something along those lines.

The reason I’m thinking about this is a callback I participated in on Friday for Medea, which is a crazy Greek tragedy in which a mother kills her children to get back at their cheating father.

Disney material, I know.

I was called back for the Greek chorus, and the director had split us up into four groups of nine.  I was in the first group, and had a hunch we’d be doing something crazy, so I wore active wear and mentally prepared to Just Do It.  And sure enough, as soon as we were in the room, the director said, “I’d like you all to dance to these two songs I’m going to play.  I just want to see how you move.”  He then proceeded to play two very long, and very techo-odd-dubstep-genre songs.

I love to dance. So I did.  Like nobody was watching.  My mindset was, “I’m at a party with some of my very best acting friends, and we are just going for it.”

And I actually had a blast.  Probably the highlight of my week.

After we got done, about half of the girls talked about how odd they thought that was, how they were supremely uncomfortable, and how they can’t dance.  I’m sure there is a situation where I would feel the same (if someone asked me to play sports in front of them for ten minutes, I’d probably be at a loss too).  But I thought: it’s just for fun.  You’re getting outside of yourself.  I am not a ballerina by any means, but I love to just move and have fun to the music.

So sometimes, it really will work out for the best if you stop thinking about it and Just. Do. It.

The Fault in Our Stars

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Image from modelface.me

Not referring to the book, of course, but to the line in my current play, Julius Caesar. This production is going to be an all-female one, set in a tribal/urban society.  Our director, Mandee, is this hip young Shakespeare chick who absolutely loves what she does, and that enthusiasm is infectious.  I would usually think that that much estrogen in a room (the cast has about 35 girls) would be too much to handle–so much drama, craziness! But it’s wonderful.  The intelligence and power of the thoughts we have about this insane world are amazing.  

I am a tablework geek. It’s one of my absolute favorite things.  During tablework, the cast basically sits around and learns about the world we live in, why we are the way we are, what we value and what is shameful, etc.  Usually that work is constrained by some actual time period of the play, which is still fun.  But for this show, we get to create the world ourselves.  It’s a powerful feeling.

So far we’ve only had two rehearsals, but I can’t wait to keep going.  I love the thought of doing new and inventive things with Shakespeare’s works that will really touch an audience in a different way. 

First Impressions: Spring 2013

My fifirst few days back at school have been INSANE.  I mean, institutionalize-me level.  I’ve detailed them below.  View at your own risk.

MONDAY: D-Day in the flesh.  I knew this day would be crazy, but knowing and experiencing are completely different things.  I started out the day with a chill morning sipping coffee, eating yogurt, packing my bag, and getting mentally ready for the onslaught of BFAness.  First class was…college algebra.  Phwa phwa.  I really hate math (I’m not terrible at it, I just don’t like it), so this one’s gonna be a toughy.  I spent the rest of the morning figuring out financial aid issues, printing scripts and headshots, the whole shebang.  Then on to Directing and Dramaturgy, which I think will be interesting.  Not really sure exactly what we’ll be doing…but I like it.  Then I finish the class day with Movement, which is going to ROCK.

Basically, Kevin (the professor) told us that this class is meant to point out to us all of the little idiosyncrasies and  bad habits we’ve picked up, and how to get rid of them or use them to our purposes.  Slightly terrifying.  I love body work, though (maybe cause I like working out?) so I’m excited about this one!

Then a quick break for dinner, getting dressed, and it was onto my audition! Which went so well.  Sometimes you just really feel the room, the people, and your monologues, and it was the perfect storm for me.  Yea, I wasn’t perfect, but I could feel how much they liked me, and that was enough. SOOO happy!

Then rehearsal for Caesar, which was a read through.  More about that later. Then bed.

Tuesday: Woo! Up early for Vocal Production II, all about how to bring your voice to its full potential.  I hated this class last semester, but I think I’m going to like it more now!  We got a wonderful quote from it that I’ll be posting on here later.  I then went to Walgreens for cold medicine…and came out to a car that wouldn’t start.  The police came, couldn’t start it, and many tears later, my dad fixed it in about three seconds. Yay for dads, guys. 

Then to Makeup Lab, which is super exciting.  I’m supposed to find four things I want to correct about my face for next class though.  Not as exciting.  Chekhov is going to be a jam.  I have an amazing class, and this is the first time we’re really going to explore the history and culture in reference to theatre style, which is the stuff I really geek out about.  Plus, I get to wear a corset, so that’s awesome already. Callbacks are posted and I’m called back for two shows, so that’s awesome.

Dinner. Caesar rehearsal. Bed.

The week has barely started, and the craziness is already killing me.  I spent the last half hour trying to get my lost ID card out from underneath a washing machine.  That’s a thing about being a BFA, though.  You kind of just have to take the business and run with it.  Trying to fight it will do nothing.  I put a lot of my faith and trust in God and the universe to work some of the stuff out for me, cause it is just to much to have on your own shoulders.  Wine nights help, too.

 

 

Welcome Back, Kids!

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Just got back into my dorm room today! I made the fifteen hour drive back on Thursday and Friday, spent some time with my family, and drove onto campus this morning.  I spent the day stocking up at Walmart for some supplies (basically, breakfast food.  I think I have a problem.  It was all peanut butter, yogurt, cereal, and coffee), working on monologues, unpacking (yikes.  Three suitcases full of stuff), and relaxing a little bit.

I actually really love being back.  Winter break was wonderful, but I love the feeling of making a routine for myself, of setting goals and getting done what I need to get done.  At home, I was constantly on other peoples schedules, which is fine for a month, but not the best when I have to prep for a crazy semester.

And a crazy semester it will be.  I’m taking nineteen credit hours in such wonderful classes as: Chekov (a whole class devoted to the study of his plays! We get to wear corsets.  I’m pumped), Movement, Vocal Prod II (save me, someone), Makeup Lab (be prepared for zombie and fairy pictures), and voice lessons.  Also a stint in college algebra, which I’m already dreading.

Tomorrow, I have my first day of classes, an audition at 6:00, and then my first Julius Caesar rehearsal at 6:30.  I’m a little nervous for this, obviously, since I’m going from doing not much of anything to running about like a crazy person in one day, but I am just taking a deep breath and taking one thing at a time.  That’s the plan, anyway. 

This semester, I am going to enjoy myself more, and worry less.  It’s going to be beautiful.

Goals for 2013

As I posted earlier, I love setting up my goals.  Here is a brief overview of my major goals this year, which I created as stepping stones on the way to my audacious ten year goals!

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  1. By May 15th, 2013  I will figure out what I want to do regarding school and graduate school. 
  2. By December 31st, 2013 I will have finished one novel (it doesn’t have to be perfect)
  3.  I will improve my daily happiness by following the commandments I set forth.  I will document this daily and track my progress to make sure it is happening.
  4. I will spend my summer working hard and saving money for future travels while also doing theatre.  I will save $4,000 by December 1st, 2013.

Pretty intense goals, huh?  I’m actually very excited about these.  The success of them will come from the dates I’ve set–I always do better when I have a real deadline! Pressure works wonders.  Specificity is also helpful.  Here’s hoping these goals make this year one of the best ones yet.