Five Things…

This has nothing to do with Easter weekend.  But I just love my joy at holding a chameleon.  I think playing Rapunzel is in my future somewhere.

This is a bit of a crazy weekend, and I have a feeling it’s going to be the kind where I have a huge to do list and don’t check off quite as much as I should.  Being on the internet currently probably does not help my to do list much, but sometimes you just need to take a break and treat yourself to a little R and R.  My spring break was many things (wonderful, ecstatic, romantic, joyful, insane) but it was not restful. 

1. Watching Anna Karenina with the girls.

Oh, this movie.  I hadn’t seen it since winter break, and it is literally the theatre lover’s dream.  Liz was freaking out the entire time, she was so inspired.  It’s a beautifully shot movie, above all else, but the costumes are delicious, the concept is new and doesn’t grow old too fast, and the writing is sometimes hilarious, if a bit austere (it’s Tom Stoppard, after all).  I adore it.  Might be on my “to buy soon” list.

2. Sweets for the sweets

Today (Saturday) seems to be a day for catching up.  I’m getting cupcakes (or maybe a cookie.  Or frozen hot chocolate.  It all sounds so good!) with my sorority big and twin.  We haven’t been able to chill in forever–having rehearsal from 6:30-10:30 every week night really cuts down on your hangout time, it turns out.  Later this evening, a lovely group of my sophomore BFA ladies and I are going to get dinner and fro yo.

Ha. I wish I put that much fruit on there. Usually it’s gummy bears with a couple of raspberries to save face.

Have I mentioned my love for Orange Leaf fro yo? I’d be remiss to let it go without a mention, because we share a deep and affectionate understanding that is yet to be matched in life.  Sorry, Boyfriend.

For the record, my fave flavours?

-If feeling fruity: orange fro yo with gummy bears and a little fruit. Unless they have cotton candy.  Then I am eating that for days. I would sell my complete Shakespeare for some cotton candy fro yo right now

-If feeling sweet: wedding cake with either peanut butter or coffee fro yo, with chocolate chips and occasionally Heath bar.

3. Step right up and pick.

I have to figure out what monologues I’m doing for Sophomore Juries, which is the capstone of our first two years at school.  We perform monologues for four minutes, and then the faculty meets with us and tells us what we should be working on, how we’ve progressed, etc.  Scary stuff.

I need to pick all three of my pieces this weekend, so I have enough time to get them memorized and worked out. Also scary.

I don’t mind performing monologues, but choosing them SUCKS.

4. Memorize, memorize, memorize.

Here is what has to be memorized (or at least begun to be memorized) this weekend:

-three monologues for juries and an upcoming audition

-All of my lines for Emotional Creature (and there are a lot, in random group pieces, so that one is going to be fun.)

-Two very short scenes for Directing class

-A monologue for Chekhov class.

I feel like I’m going to have multiple personality disorder after all that.

5. Easter Sunday!

I love Easter.  It’s a day of celebration and of joy, so the holiday basically has my name written all over it.  It’s tied with Christmas Eve as my favorite church service of the year, and I’m so excited that I get to go with my dad and stepmom.  It’s odd being away from home for  the somewhat smaller holidays.  A lot of my friends have nothing planned for tomorrow, but I couldn’t imagine not going to church and getting brunch to celebrate. 

Afterwards, I’ll be making deviled eggs and sharing our recipe on here.  I am OBSESSED with deviled eggs.  The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) was here last year, and looked on in awe as I ate almost a whole tray of those bad boys.  Forget ham and scalloped potatoes and all the other Easter staples.  Give me a tray of the eggs and some mimosas and I am set for life.

Hope you all have a blessed and busy Easter weekend as well!

 

 

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Why I Love Weddings

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I have no plans to get married any time soon. Like, we are talking at least a four years out to engagement life plan, here.  And though I know this, and do that awkward crazy laugh when anyone mentions my marriage (my voice teacher mentioned she thought I might come back from spring break with a ring, and I think my hilarity might have freaked her out a bit), I am obsessed with weddings.

I confess it.

And not just my future dream wedding (though my Pinterest wedding board is glorious).  But every wedding, every where.  I watch TLC’s Bride Days like it’s my job, whenever I have time.  During my daily 30 minute jog, I watch Say Yes to the Dress.  I collect wedding magazines (I’m currently into Brides of Oklahoma and Brides of North Texas…those editors do incredible work!), and I follow wedding blogs.  It’s becoming a bit of a thing.

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I started thinking about why I love them so much when my brother came to visit last week, and saw a couple of the magazines sitting in our living room.  He was super quiet during dinner, and when I mentioned how excited I was to go visit the Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) over break, he turned about fifteen shades of purple and said, “You are NOT getting married right now.” To which I replied, utterly perplexed, “Well…duh?”

I am not at the right point in my life for the idea of my own marriage to be at the forefront of my mind.  But I do know what it is like to love someone with every single fiber of your heart, to look at them like they hung the moon, and to be treated like a princess. It’s one of the reasons we were put on this earth, I think. And while I love feeling it for myself, seeing that love on other couples’ faces, the simple little ways they sacrifice and lift each other up, makes me remember how incredibly blessed we all are.

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That’s why I love weddings.  Not the huge, over the top, let’s-pay-$100,000-so-we-can-party-with-people-we-don’t-know types.  I love the simple and sweet, the ones that are about celebrating a relationship with the friends and family who have supported it all along.  After I disappointed my teacher by telling her I was not, in fact, engaged, and had no plans of becoming so any time soon, she surprised me with some wonderful and sage advice, something I hadn’t really thought about a lot before.

“Marriage doesn’t change anything,” she said. “The foundation of the relationship is there.  You’ve already been ‘married’ to each other for months or years before the actual wedding.  Once you commit your life to someone, you’re there.  The wedding is just the celebration for everyone, the cherry on top.”

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I’m carrying that in my heart now.  What a beautiful way to think of it!  You’re basically already there, so why be stressed? No matter what else I do with my life, I hope to spend some of my time working with weddings.  I want to write for a bridal magazine and help capture the beauty of real couple’s special day with the reflection of their entire relationship.  Or maybe even plan! Weddings will always be my happy place.

Smiling

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Look at that handsome couple.

The only bad part of breaks is, of course, when they end.  I have been wishing there was a rewind button on life for the past few days, because my spring break was absolutely perfect.  I had adventures, relaxed a tiny bit, played, laughed, ate amazing food and didn’t care about the calories in it, and just generally lived the life I want to live all the time. And the best part of all? I did it all with my best friend in the entire world, who also happens to be the love of my life.  Sorry for the sappiness, but I think The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) deserves a moment here.

I haven’t written for a little while, and that was making me upset.  But honestly, sometimes you have to pause in the chronicling of life to just get out there and live it.  I had that realization while we were watching World of Color, this fantastic water light show at Disneyland (yes, we went to Disneyland. I was in heaven, obviously). 

I was loving every minute.  The show was breathtaking. But this woman in front of me was holding up her camera and recording the entire show.  She never put it down.  So while she could have been watching this insanely huge, awe-inspiring performance, she was more intense on focusing through a little screen, adjusting the brightness and levels.  I mean, I guess on the one hand she’ll be able to look at it on the small screen for years to come.  But on the other, isn’t there something to be said for just experiencing something and keeping it locked in your memory?

I’ve been writing everything from the week down in my journal, and I find it like snapshots in my head: where we did, the jokes The Boyfriend made, the way he made me laugh and go on rides that terrified me (Ferris Wheels.  They’re not for the faint of heart).  I keep the feeling of it stored up in my heart.  I don’t need a picture or a video to tell me how much fun I had. 

There’s my little rambling post of the day.  Tune in this week for more about my trip, as I get back to my regular insanely busy BFA self.

From the airport to the beach

From the airport to the beach

 

This is a little bit misleading, as I will not be in fact walking off a plane and going to the beach.  I won’t get into California till tomorrow night at 10:16, so I feel like that would be a little risky.  It does, however, give an idea of my usual comfort airplane clothes, and a feel for how excited I am to get my butt down to that gorgeous water!
The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy) and I have a special beach we go to, one that has been my favorite since childhood.  We used to go to California all the time when I lived closer, but after we migrated to the Midwest in sixth grade, I hadn’t been back till my trip last summer.  I feel so blessed about being able to go again–one of the very few perks of being in a long distance relationship!

All the News That’s Fit to Print

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Twin brother and I last year…ah, those salad days, where have they gone?

Haven’t posted in a week…sorry I fell off the face of the earth! This is that insane time known as midterms week here in BFA land, and though I thought I didn’t have too much to do, I was woefully mistaken.  I’ve been running around every day like a crazy person, trying to cram about 27 hours of things to do into 24.

We began rehearsals for Emotional Creature on Monday night, and I can already tell that’s going to be one heck of a journey.  I’ll post about that a little later. These rehearsals are wonderful, but they are also each four hours of constant work, because the play is so ensemble intensive.  So I do class, work, and catch up on homework all day, rehearse from 630 till 1030, go home and do more homework or chores, and collapse into bed, a weary mess, at 1ish.  And then get up and do it all over again. Yikes. 

But it is all worth it. Because after tomorrow, I will be flying, nay, dare I say it, soaring out to California to spend a blissful week with The Boyfriend (aka Navy Boy). I promise I will not get to sappy lovey dovey romantic on y’all, but being apart from him is like missing a little piece of me. Not enough to be hurt, just enough to be annoying. He’s my best friend, and I cannot wait to be our ridiculous dorky hilarious sweet selves together again.

Okay. Lovey dovey stuff done.

I also got to spend a bit of time the last few days with my twin brother, who’s currently attending a military academy.  Bubby came out to visit my dad, and I was able to fit in a little time with him, despite my insane schedule.  We have so much fun together, even while everyone else is thinking that we are insane (we might be. Just a little).  Last night he came to my dorm after rehearsal and we ate a bunch of pizza, watched Pitch Perfect, and annoyed each other to no end.

That’s how twins work, you know.

I miss him very much–it’s odd being seperated from someone who you’ve spent 20 years doing literally everything with–but I’m so proud of his service to our country.  (Can we just talk about the fact that I somehow ended up with the two most important guys in my life in the military? Who would have thought that would happen? Not me, that’s for darn sure.  Support our troops, guys, even if you don’t support the wars/government/establishment.  Remember they’re someone’s brother/boyfriend/father/girlfriend/sister/mother, etc.)

Finally, I wanted to let you know the exciting news that I got today: I was called back for the part of Cosette, in response to that video audition I sent in! That part has been a dream role ever since I discovered how much I love singing high, and I could not be more excited to be singing for it.  The thought of being in the show that got me into musical theatre is just so beautiful and affirming…here’s hoping it goes well! No matter what happens, I’m so excited to have the opportunity to sing for it, and do what I love.  That’s what you have to live for in this business.

 

The Elements of Filming an Audition

This is the face of a happy and relieved blogger. Also: the shirt and the earrings are new. Sorry, I had to.

Well.  This has been an experience.  It turns out that filming an audition is much, much harder than just going in and doing one. I was of the mindset that this would be great: take as many shots as you need, redo a few times, do a little editing, and blam! Instant glory.

Not so, my friends. Not so.

First of all, the camera: I borrowed a fancy high tech option from our music library. Picture me in heels and a dress, a sweet coat on my shivering frame, as I trudge across campus, carrying a thirty pound, unweildy silved case on my arm. It was not pretty.  A curse word or two might have been uttered. I had planned to attach the camera directly to my teacher’s laptop and record onto there. But this was, apparently, the one laptop Apple makes that didn’t have a connector.  Scratch that plan.  We then decided to record onto a cassette, and transfer that onto a laptop movie program. No worries.

Now, the recording: I am a perferctionist, I should tell you that right away.  A perfectionist who does not like seeing or hearing herself on video. I mean…it’s death. I could sing like Renee Fleming, and I’d still want to fix or redo something. So this was a little bit miserable for me.  My allergies were acting up at the beginning, and I felt like there was something wrong with every single take I did.  By the end of singing, I was tired, I was frustrated, and I just needed to go home and not think about it. And that’s how I wound up watching three episodes of New Girl and eating half a carton of Hagen Daaz coffee ice cream on Wednesday night.  Je ne regrette rien.

On to the transferring: This really freaks me out. I am not technology-smart, at all, which I’ve mentioned. It usually just takes me two hours of mucking about till I stumble on the correct thing. So the whole process of transferring the video from camera to computer, editing on the computer, and then getting that onto a flashdrive scared the crap out of me. Visions of deleting my entire edition flashed before my eyes every time I clicked a button.  I worked on it for an hour, clicking, undoing, clicking, undoing, until it finally loaded on my drive.  And when I clicked open, it said…”CANNOT BE LOADED WITH QUICKTIME.”

Kill. Me. Now. And then I ran to class, scribbled a note to the computer dude begging for his help, and decided it was out of my hands.

Finally, the uploading: I went in this morning, and the computed dude had miraculously solved my problem, and told me it would work (thank God for the technology savvy in this world.  Computer dude, you’re my savior.) I began to edit on my laptop. This was also a gruelling process, and I had to do a lot of try and fail before I finally got two cuts I liked.

And now, the worst part: which one do I pick? I agonized over this. It might seem funny to some, that performers can micromanage this stuff down to the nearest head tilt or hand gesture…but I wanted it to be perfect.

Newsflash to Lauren: No one is perfect. When I finished my editing and uploading to youtube, I had a nice little cut that I think shows off my voice to its full advantage.  Now I can just send it on its way and hope for wonderful things.

In the meantime, I’m going to chill, congratulate myself on getting through all of this, and drink coffee. (Note: I don’t want to post the video on here until after auditions, just to make sure there are no issues with the theatre company.  Thanks for being patient with me!)

Shake and Shop It Out

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This has been a stressful week.  I heard someone say the other day, “Stop looking for a ‘normal’ day.  There’s no such thing. Get used to the craziness of the world and appreciate, but don’t expect, your moments of stillness.” Or something along those lines.  Whatever the direct quote, I think this is advice I need to start taking. I get so stressed out (the butterflies in my stomach just don’t know when to quit) that it affects my daily happiness, and that is silly.  Silly, silly. So I’m going to stop expecting for things to be easy, and learn to just roll with it.

That being said, Liz and I both need an evening to not worry about life in general. So we are going shopping.

I do shopping a little differently than most college girls, I think.  I have gotten myself on a very strict budget, so spending any money–any at all–is like physically painful.  Effective money management strategy, but not exactly a good thing.

So I do this little dance when I go shopping. It’s called the “Pick It Up and Put It Down,” and goes a little something like this: 

1. Find something I love. Try it on. It’s gorgeous. Gotta have it.

2. Put it in the cart/lock it into my greedy little hands.

3. Walk about the store. Continue to shop.

4. Begin to rethink my item. Do I really need this? Will it make me happy?  Could I spend the money on something else? Is yellow really my color, on an emotional level?

5. Hesitate in the netherworld for a couple of unbearable minutes, trying to decide.

6. Put the item back.

7. Find new item.

8. Rinse and repeat.

And so on.  This drives the people I shop with crazy.  Sorry, guys.  I just like to save up for something special! Like…groceries…sigh. Poor college student problems.

But today, I actually have to buy things.  I am getting travel size doodads for my trip to California (nine days till Spring Break. Nine. Days. Let me live till then.) so I can prepack my suitcase and make sure I can, indeed, fit everything I need into that little guy. Good stuff.  I am also going to get a new bikini (gasp!) because a) I am rewarding myself for working out and eating healthy consistently for the past three months and b) I lost my bikini bottoms.  They disappeared into a laundry room of no return some point between the summer and fall.

I am half excited/half nervous about spending the money, but sometimes, you just gotta treat yo self. And it’s happening tonight.

If I can make it past putting down everything I see.

Another Manic Wednesday

This little two weeks off thing I have going on is like the Twilight Zone.  One of the oddest things about running around like a crazy person all day long is that you get used to that feeling.  Without being harried and stressed, I don’t always know quite what to do anymore.  I’ve taken some time to really focus on me in this little break, pampering my body and brain and remembering what it’s like to do nothing and be okay with that.  But mixed in with the chillness are these very pressing, and sometimes stressful, little bursts of activity.  Like my housing crisis of last week.

Today is insane and a bit anxiety producing because I am filming a video audition to send in for a show that I would kill to be in this summer.  I’m not worried as much about the singing part (that was last week, when I agonized for days over which song would be the “perfect one.” Bad things happen when you give me time to think), because I love my song and can sing it well.  But my allergies are acting up pretty badly today. I’m not going to worry about it.

No, I’m more worried about the actual hooking up the camera and videotaping aspect of this one. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I am not tech savvy.  At all.  I mean, basically anything I figure out how to do on my computer/iPhone/camera is the result of sheer dumb luck or pouring over the manuals or online help centers.  After looking at the manual for camcorder/computer hook up, I’m a bit nervous.  But hey. We shall hope for the sheer dumb luck aspect, and go from there, shall we?

But the best part about auditions (besides the fact that I usually like auditioning itself) is that once they are done, they’re done.  There is nothing more you can do.  You just send the best little pieces of yourself out into the universe, and hope that everything clicks.  But if it doesn’t, oh well.  On to the next one.  Ah, the life of a performer. 

 

Acting Audition Looks

Acting Audition Looks

 

Here is the as-promised update to my “audition looks” ideas…I only wish I had these clothes! But this is the general outline of what I would wear to an acting audition: nice dark wash jeans or skinny slacks, a sweet top, and, depending on the formality of the institution I was auditioning for, I might add a blazer to show less skin.  Top that off with some sparkling jewelry, and you’re good to go! A final note about shoes: ALWAYS, ALWAYS wear flats to an acting audition! Please.  I have been asked to take off my heels twice in my life, and it creates this horrible awkward pause where you shimmy around to get the damn shoes off, and the casting team looks at you wondering if this is going to be worth it.
You want to avoid that moment. Trust me. The exception to this rule is if you have heeled boots or booties that sit at 2″ or below, or a sandal or shoe with a little bit of a heel–I would say no more than an 1 1/2″.  The main thing is comfort.  I feel sturdy and like I can take on the world in my heeled boots.  Kitten heels? Not so much.

Spring Has Sprung! and housing update

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This was the view from last night. Gorgeous, no?  The weather these past two days has been stunningly balmy, and I am a huge fan.  The only downside? The sunshine, high(ish) temperatures, and budding plants makes me want to skip all my classes and play outside all day, only coming in to drift off for a nap.  In a BFA program, it’s basically not okay to skip class unless you have a hacked off limb/are dying, so no chill day for me.

But I am not upset about it.  For after class gets out today, I am going run for a brief stint in the practice rooms to get my audition pieces up to snuff.  And then I am going to:

1. Go for a walk/jog/run outside, because how could I not?

2. Prep for my massage with a little reading and relaxing.

3. Get said massage.

4. Go home and shower and luxuriate in the relaxation.

5. Go to Target/Walmart and get supplies to make it through midterms and some travel size fun stuff for spring break!

I think it’s good that the little things in life make me all-consumingly joyful.  This massage, for example.  I’ve been waiting a solid nine months for it.  A massage was the number one item on my birthday, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day lists, and through no fault of their own, the various loved ones in my life did not make it happen.  So I decided during Caesar tech week that I was going to do something nice for myself and splurge a little.  

I am so happy. So, so, so happy.

Another update: if you saw my post re: college housing, you might have wondered what the