Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shopping

Shopping makes me more exhausted than any other kind of exercise.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One Final Left

In 24 hours I will be totally done with the semester! Hooray!

In actuality, it's less than 24 hours. Technically it'll be about 16, since I'm done by 4pm tomorrow. But saying that it's 24 hours gives it a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Anyway, just finished watching NBC's The Sing-Off, featuring "The Socals," aka alumni of the Socal Vocals. It was rather surreal, watching them sing their classic "Somebody to Love," because I've seen it a good number of times now and I know (by face, not personally) a few of the members. It's awesome though, seeing USC a cappella on the television! They better win. I bet they'll do well, they're from such a good group that they HAVE to do well!! And even though I'm not actually in Socal Vocals and I don't know any of them well, I'm kind of proud of them! YAY USC A CAPPELLA!!! I guarantee that's what I'm watching tomorrow night. =)

In other news, I finally finished all my work for my Chinese class. I finished the online speaking, reading and listening exercises yesterday, and today just had to record a video on Youtube/Facebook of me speaking 50 lines in Chinese--no reading. We got to do whatever we wanted though. I had no idea what to talk about for 50 lines, let alone memorize! But then I had the oh-so-brilliant (hah) idea for a puppet show, starring--you guessed it--my lovely stuffed animals Steak and Bacon!



Steak was renamed "Little Purple" and Bacon's his love interest, "Little Red." I wrote up a silly script, forced in some grammar and ta da! Created the video. No reading necessary! And the cool part was that some of my classmates made comments:

yayy katherine! have you been using your chinesee during finals?! haha it sounds really good. :)


This made me happy. My Chinese usually sucks because I have no idea what I'm saying. But by forcing myself to rehearse this little story of Little Purple and Little Red, I actually had a tiny idea what I was talking about! Hooray!

The other comment:

hahaha! i love it!


Silly stuff, but hey, it made me happy. The fact that anyone actually watched it other than my teacher, and didn't think it was RIDICULOUSLY stupid (just mostly stupid, hehe!) makes me smile. And yes, I did make mistakes--I think I said they danced for two years instead of two hours--but so be it!

Time to reread Uncle Vanya again. Last chance to reread it before the final tomorrow! And then... I'M DONE!!! YAY!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Lovely Bones review

So last night I went with my friend Sarah to see a free screening of "The Lovely Bones." I got the tickets off a Facebook "free movie screenings in LA" group. The email from Facebook said that the first 50 people to respond would get 2 free tickets. They sent it at 2:52. I read it at 2:53. So I responded and got the tickets! Hooray Facebook! Hooray freebies!

I admit, I haven't actually read the book (I think I started it once, borrowing it from the library, but I think I thought it was too depressing and never finished it), so I didn't know exactly what I was getting myself into. I knew the basic premise (and if you don't want to know the basic premise, I suggest stopping here)--that a girl dies and the story is told by the ghost--but that's all I knew. So we went in pretty much blind.

Left USC 2 hours early for the movie in Burbank. It actually was right in that shopping mall that I went to with Mom! Got there in an hour, took forever to find the parking (though it was free, which was a perk. Free parking in Los Angeles never happens!) and got in line. There was already a big line wrapped all the way around the movie theater, probably about 100 people or so. Sarah grabbed us some pizza (SOOOOO yummy! Though maybe because we were starving. But "Zpizza" has the yummiest crust ever) and we finally got in the theater. I ended up sitting to a couple of college girls from LMU. We didn't know any of the same people, unfortunately.

We heard a big spiel from various librarians in the Los Angeles area about going to the libraries and family bonding. It was not that exciting. There were also some freebies given out to those screamed the loudest. I didn't scream. One of the freebies was a T-shirt. Had I known it was a Mary Poppins (not Lovely Bones... Mary Poppins) shirt I might have actually screamed. Maybe.

No previews! That was cool.

The movie itself was very well done. It wasn't sad, per se, though it wasn't particularly uplifting either. It had a melancholy mood about it. Because it's narrated by the ghost, I always felt a bit of a separation from the surviving family members, which is a good thing. I discussed this with Sarah, and we both agree it was the best way to create the movie. (Neither of us have read the book though, so I have no idea how it compares to the original.) Had we fallen into the emotions of the family, it would have become a sad melodrama, and the ending wouldn't have had the same impact. It'd be too hard to go from the complete despair of losing a loved one to having any possible happy ending. Not to say that this movie had a happy ending, exactly. It's more about the process and the journey these people went through.

Regardless, because the story is told through the ghost, it became a bit of a commentary on this journey. I want to say there's some connection to something we talked about in Paul Backer's class last year--Brechtian theater? Or something? I don't remember. But I wasn't living the lives of the family, I was definitely an observer. Just like the ghost-girl.

It was also interesting how they dealt with heaven and the "in-between." Interesting, in that they didn't delve into it. Not knowing much about religion myself, I'm not sure what else they could have done. But what they did, I thought was smart and beautiful.

I did tear up once, though. And I usually don't cry at movies. And there were moments when the audience actually started clapping, and then moments when they talked to the screen. It made me happy. There were also some little bits of humor during the really dark scenes, which made the mood a bit lighter. I definitely appreciated that bit of lightness, as a change from the overall dark feel of the film. And when I walked out, I felt like there was a weight on my chest. It's still there, actually.

Overall? I think this movie is worth seeing. The acting was really good, especially the creeeeeeeeeeepy old man--Stanley Tucci. I get shudders just thinking about his character. Yet he's the same guy who played the assistant in The Devil Wears Prada. It's amazing what actors can do; I didn't even recognize him! I only know that because it says so on IMDB. His IMBD page is actually ridiculous, he's apparently been in everything.

Anyway, that was my night last night. Much better than studying for the 2 finals I had today (philosophy and singing for experimentals). Gotta love LA--where else can you just go and see a random free screening? I want to get out and enjoy Los Angeles more, which is why I decided to randomly get tickets for this movie. I'm glad I did though.

Now time for something a little lighter. 5 minutes until Glee begins! So... good night!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last Week of Classes

Ahhh! This week is the last week of the semester. How did time fly by so insanely fast?

Oh yes. 2 shows. That could do it.

Anyway, this coming week should be pretty insane. I've got KP's Holiday Concert coming up Thursday night (which we still need to publicize) as well as one additional performance at CSUN, and lots of additional rehearsals for said concerts. Then, academically, I have a Chinese test on Friday and a 15 page term paper in philosophy that's also due Friday. Plus Adam's birthday is Wednesday, and I still want to work more on my scene for acting at some point. And maybe even catching up with friends who I haven't seen in a while because I've been so crazy busy. So it should be an interesting week.

But today was good. I got up and actually did some philosophy reading. Now I've finished Books 1-3 of the Republic. Do I have any idea what my paper's going to be about? Not a clue. I'm kind of terrified. And lots more homeworking. I took a trip to Target, not realizing that it'd be super busy on a Sunday afternoon, but at least I got a lot of things I needed--toothpaste, soap, fun reading material... You know, essential stuff. Unfortunately, one thing I was looking for was a lithium cell battery for my computer's remote control, and I didn't take down the exact thickness that I needed, so I didn't know which I wanted. Which means I need to go back at some point. But I didn't get everything I needed, because I couldn't find some stuff, so I'll be back at some point. Hopefully when there's less crowds! Then drove back, which took literally an hour for what should be a 20 minute drive. I got through 2 This American Life podcasts. But there must have been a bunch of things going on because two of the main streets I needed to get home (and they're nowhere near each other, by the way) had police blocking the way and I had to find weird detours to go around them. It was a pain. But now I can plug my alarm clock into the socket near my bed. Yay extra-outlet-machines!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just got home from a surprise birthday party for one of the Company cast members. It was fun. It's pretty late now, but I'm not terribly worried--my Chinese class tomorrow morning is canceled, so I won't have class until 3pm! Yay!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Longest Tech Day Ever

Today was the longest day of tech that I've had in a long time.

But the day didn't start off teching. Instead, it started at 10:30 am, with me going off to work on a Chinese oral project. We'd meant to work on it last night, but had to postpone: first from my rehearsal going later than I thought, then he seemed to have plans, then I made plans... It was a bit of a mess. But we rescheduled for 10:30 Sunday morning--a bit early for a Sunday, but what can you do?

I call at 10:30, heading over to campus (I'd left my bike there the night before and forgotten to retrieve it, so I was stuck walking), and I called asking where to meet. Well turns out he's off to breakfast, can we postpone? Grr.... But fine. I get a Jamba Juice at Cafe 84 and get to Parkside, where we're meeting, at 11:10. I call again. "You ready?" I ask. But nope. He's still eating, but he'll be done soon, he says. "Not long though, right?" I ask. "Nah, not long. Maybe.......... 15 minutes, just to be safe?"

At this point it's almost an hour after we were originally supposed to meet up. And I'm called at 2pm. And I have paperwork to fill out, work to do... But what can I do? So I wait. He gets done and we work on the project. It's due by 10pm, which means we have to be done before I go to tech. It's just not an option. I try to hurry us along, but it's pretty slow going. By the time we're done with my stuff (we arrange it so I can get out of there ASAP) it's 1:30 and I have barely enough time to run home, grab my computer and homework as well as some food, and dash back to the Massman.

I shouldn't have worried. They weren't done yet. I went with a friend to grab more food, since my tiny Hot Pocket wasn't quite enough food for my late lunch. I get a Lunchable from the Lot, hehe! We go back to the DRC and wait.

And wait and wait and wait.

It's 5 o'clock when our director tells us there was an electrical issue of some sort and we can go get dinner for an hour. That was three long hours of waiting... Yikes! We're dying to get away from the DRC, so a few of us go to the Urth Cafe in downtown Los Angeles. It's pretty good, although they wouldn't give me a sandwich plain so I had to scoop off cabbage and sauce. It's tasty, though not my personal cup of tea. We drive back and wait around a while longer. We finally start the cue to cue at 7pm.

Our original plan? Cue to cue from 2-6, an hour for dinner, then a dress run at 7pm. Oops. That's live theater for you!

The cue to cue takes until 11pm. It's long, slow, and pretty boring, especially since there's a lot of things that need to be fixed in the placements of the lights, but which can't be done until tomorrow. But it was still amusing. I had my computer, so there was a source of constant amusement, and people started getting a little loopy and telling all kinds of silly jokes.

For being stuck in a tiny black box of a theatre for nine hours, it wasn't too terrible. Not that I'd want to be there in that situation again. But it could be a lot worse.

And tomorrow, we get to go right back there again! Maybe this time we'll actually get through the show though, hehe!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I have a paper due two hours ago I should be working on.

Company rehearsals are going fine, although it's annoying that I'm not in Act II so I get bored.

I have a lot of homework.

I'm auditioning for Urinetown this week.

I don't have much time to write.

I saw Lexi in a show this weekend. She was good. It was amusing.

KP is going well. We're hunting for a new name.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Exhausted

Well I think it's official: I'm completely exhausted. This weekend has been really intense.

Friday I had my chinese class on Facebook (literally. The members of my class just posted things in chinese on my teacher's wall), then had an Experimentals rehearsal (we've finished Bat Boy and moved on to a new show: Company!!) and then drove 4 hours to Big Bear for KP Retreat. In the dark. By myself. And the last 20 miles of the drive to Big Bear are the most insanely twisty roads ever. It was terrible!!!

Got to the cabin and, after settling down, we rehearsed a bit and hung out for a while. It was fun. Then I ended up watching Balto with a few members, and then I went to sleep. But not for long, because I had to get up at 9 (and trust me, I didn't go to bed until way late) to drive back to USC for an Experimentals rehearsal at 11:45. That went until 5:30. We learned "Drive a Person Crazy," which I'm singing again from the PYT Alumni Show 2 years ago. The exact same part. It makes it an easy learn, although our musical director is a bit more specific on where we cut off notes and how we sing certain sections, so it's still stuff to work on. Then I came home, watched TV a bit, and went to see MTR's See What I Wanna See, which was really well done. I really enjoyed it, even though I was so exhausted from my >5 hours of sleep that I had a hard time keeping my eyes open. But the production was extremely strong, the actors were all very talented and I liked the stylistic elements that were incorporated into the show. Yay!!! Then I came home and got myself to bed.

Today I went to Disneyland!! It was supposed to be an Experimentals class trip, but it ended up being just me, one guy from the class and his friend. It was still fun though. Disneyland was covered in pumpkins =). We went on a lot of rides that I haven't been on in years (or ever--did you know there was a Winnie the Pooh ride??? I didn't!). The highlight was the Haunted Mansion, which was all decked out in Nightmare Before Christmas things. It was really cool. Then we went over to California Adventure and went on the Toy Story ride and the crazy rocking ferris wheel, both of which I really enjoyed. Then we drove home! And I fell asleep in the car =). So now it's time to get some homework done. And laundry. Considering I literally have no clean shirts... it's time for laundry!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

First Night of Tech Done!

Got home a while ago from our first day/night of tech. Started at 12:30, went to 11. I'm in charge of the props team, which is a bit of a pain... But I think we have (almost) everything, so that's good. And it's pretty much organized. We got through the cue-to-cue and ran the first act. We were supposed to run the whole show, but that didn't happen, surprise surprise. At least we did the first act. Then we can finish act 2 tomorrow and do at least 2 full run-thrus before we open!! Eeek we open super soon... How is that possible? Then the day after we close we begin rehearsing our next show, Baby! We don't know whether or not we're actually auditioning for that one yet, so that should be interesting.

Well I must get going. I have a Chinese worksheet to complete, plus a play I ought to read before tomorrow. We'll see if that happens or not... This is definitely a week in which no homework will be done. Oh boy! Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crazy Lazy and Tired

This week has been crazy, lazy and tired. Why, you ask? Well I'll tell you!

Crazy: I'm now having rehearsal every day of the week, either for Experimentals or for KP. Luckily, as of yet, there aren't any days where I have rehearsal for both, but it's definitely insane. Bat Boy's going well, we did a fair bit of music review today and it was nice to just go over it and make sure I know the parts. Now, hopefully, I can sing everything correctly! We're into doing run-throughs, which is good. Haha. KP's going well too. We just started working with our new members, so it's interesting figuring out how the group dynamics are. But I'm looking forward to working with these wonderful folks! It's also crazy because, now that the insanity of KP concert/auditions/callbacks/etc is over, I actually have time to sit down and do homework. Which, of course, takes forever because I'm terrible at Chinese and I have a ton of reading for both acting and philosophy. So my days are pretty much wake up, go to class, eat lunch, go to class/rehearsal, go home and do homework then go to rehearsal, if I haven't had one already. Though last night we had a welcome-to-KP-party for our newbies. Even though most everyone left pretty early, it was fun! A good way to end the week.

Too bad the end of my week is on a Friday, not Thursday. I wish I didn't have Friday classes! Or at least, didn't have Friday classes at 10am. It's a pain.

Lazy: Pretty much sums up my evening tonight. With all the rehearsing/homework I've got going on, I haven't had any time to watch any of the TV shows I'd recorded. So tonight I watched 5 different shows: Project Runway, Glee, Bones, Gossip Girl and Flash Forward. Liked Project Runway, LOVED Glee, enjoyed Bones, enjoyed Gossip Girl, and was relatively unimpressed with Flash Forward. I don't think that's my kind of show--more Dad's type of thing. So needless to say I was a serious couch potato tonight. But it was wonderful!!

Tired: I'm busy. I'm sleepy. I'm tired. Enough said. =)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

So I'm currently procrastinating on writing a response about an Indian play I haven't read, for a class that I skipped this week because I was sick. Not the best situation, that's for sure. But I felt justified, considering this entire week has been all acappella all the time! Literally--Monday was All Hail A Cappella, Tuesday and Wednesday were KP auditions from 6:30-11, except for when I was in Experimentals rehearsals. And then we stayed late to pick out who we'd call back. Today hasn't been nearly as acappella-heavy, though I did have several emails, texts, and phone calls for KP politics. It's crazy and it's easy to get caught up in everything acappella! But it's fun. Otherwise I wouldn't be doing it!

Today we had a 15 minute rehearsal for Bat Boy. Literally got there, ran the scene once, and left. It was strange. It almost felt like a waste of time... But I suppose it's better than a 3 hour rehearsal. And it meant I had time to watch TV!! Hehe, after the craziness that was this week, I was delighted to watch 3 hours of TV: Gilmore Girls, Glee, and So You Think You Can Dance. Yay! I also recorded Project Runway and a rerun of the Season 4 finale of Bones, but I feel like those will have to wait until tomorrow. Unless a miracle happens and I actually finish my homework within an hour. Considering I don't actually have that much to do, it's possible. But sometimes I enjoy procrastinating too much. Bad Katherine, bad!

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Week Done

First week of classes are over. Second has just begun. And I'm already exhausted and slightly behind.

Acting class is all Chekhov, all the time. Our course reader is a good inch thick. Should be intense. Hopefully I'll learn a lot. The teacher is supposed to be AMAZING.

Experimentals is doing Bat Boy for the first show. I'm Maggie the Mayor. Makes me think of the mayor in Seussical... Sorta. Anyway, that should be keeping me busy. Add that to KP Acappella, and it's going to be INSANE!

I only have half an hour until my next class, so bye-bye-for-now.

Friday, July 31, 2009

It's been a crazy week. I'm seriously getting tired from all the work we're doing!

Ballet and jazz were today. One of the girls was gone in our jazz dance class, so the teacher needed someone else to fill into her spot with another group, as the "swing." For some reason, he picked me! But it was really fun to work with a new group and try to adjust to their dynamics. Plus I got a bit more exercise in. Always good.

Went up in Musical Scene Study with a scene from Little Women. We made half the class cry. =D it was a really good run, although we did miss a few key details for the scene. But now that we know them, we can fix it and it'll be even better.

Saw Ruined tonight. It was an amazing play. Just won the Pulitzer Prize, and I can see why. Great performances, good script, strong actors (apparently one guy went to USC! Yay!), and overall just a powerful experience. And even though I wasn't in the mood before the show for something that was slightly dark, in the end it didn't matter, because it was amazing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I don't think "busy" quite covers it...

Just a quick update, because I don't have the time-or energy-to get too detailed.

CAP21 is keeping me super busy! Our teachers keep emphasizing how crazy this program, and they aren't kidding. We're in class from 10-6 every day, and then I'm often staying a little late for rehearsals, and then grabbing dinner... needless to say, I'm often not back until 8pm or later. And then practicing and memorizing etc... It's crazy! But an awesome fun. The staff is amazing and know everything and everybody! And New York is seriously the center for all things theatre-related. I didn't realize how different it would be from LA, comparing theatre to film and things like that. It'll be weird to go back...

But anyway, today we had tap class (which is the biggest workout ever. I can get through ballet and jazz pretty easily, but after tap my heart's beating so fast!) Though I can also prove that I'm getting stronger: the first day, we, as a class, barely had the energy to get through the beginning warm-up of shuffles and flaps. Now, it's pretty easy! (I'm NOT saying that I'm doing it right though... But it's getting easier!)

Vocal tech is a great class, even though I seem to have a coughing fit every time we have that class. Our teacher does a great job of working with each individual. I feel like I'm learning so much in that class, even though I'm not 100% sure exactly what I'm learning. I just know I'm learning something!

We're starting new songs in vocal performance. My next piece is "It's a Perfect Relationship" from Bells are Ringing. I decided I wanted to work on something comedic and fun, especially since all my pieces lately have been really dark and intense. I want to make this song funny, but I have to do it in a way that makes it organic and not forced!

And for acting, we had our final performances of our first set of scenes. I was doing a scene from Mary Stuart, in which I played Elizabeth I. It's such an intense scene, but our last performance of it went pretty well!! We had been rehearsing outdoors in the park, since that's where the scene takes place, so doing the performance indoors was almost jarringly different. But I'm pleased with our final performance. And I think our teacher was pleased. She said we had lots of vocal dynamics and acted on the line, which is good for scenes like these, which are very wordy and flowery. It's the kind of thing we'd need to do for Shakespeare, which I'm assuming people know better than Mary Stuart! =) Anyway, now that I've finished that scene, I'm excited to see it on Broadway. I've heard amazing things about that production.

After classes we went to the Drama Bookshop and I got a couple of plays--the script for my next scene and a play adaptation of The Joy Luck Club. I can play a Chinese girl... right? =) I figure that'll be a good thing to have. And I liked the book! But I really like that store. It's filled to the brim with plays and sheet music collections and other books about acting and productions. Too bad they close at 7 each night... seems so early!

Anyway, I must now go to sleep. Or pick a song to use for my Audition tech class. We'll see...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Puppies and Normals and Hair, oh my!

Oh my goodness, today was SO AMAZING.

Started off with sleeping in. Which was fantastic, after all these crazy days of classes. Read a lot of my book, then decided to head to Times Square around 12:30 to try my luck at the TKTS booth. I decided that since I wasn't getting up before the crack of dawn to get in line for Twelfth Night, I wanted to definitely see a Broadway show that day!

I found TKTS and saw a bunch of shows that still had tickets, so I decided to pick between Next to Normal, Hair, Mary Stuart, the Marvelous Wonderettes (no idea what that is, but it sounds adorable), and Rock of Ages (just for laughs ;)). And when I got to the front of the line (which was in no time at all, I guess getting to the TKTS booth at 1:20pm isn't as bad an idea as I thought it would be), I picked Next to Normal. I got an orchestra seat, which usually would have been about $120, for about $75. It was a partial view seat, but that only meant that I couldn't see the third level of the set. And since the actors weren't up there a whole lot, it wasn't too big of a deal. My bigger problem was that I was freeeeezing cold. I forgot a jacket... Whoops.

The show itself was really good. It's about a not-so-normal family with a bunch of big problems. I won't say more, because it's very complicated and intense, but it was a great production. The actors were all really good. Most of them were the original cast--I think the son was a replacement. Alice Ripley was really good too; I can see why she won the Tony for best actress. I was a little too far away to really see their faces, but that's OK. I just wanted to see the show, find out what the hype is about. Now I want to buy the music and listen to it a bit more. I'll say, it's not my favorite musical ever, but I'm very glad I went to see it. It was quite the experience, and I definitely had a few WOAH moments as I watched the story unfold. And a funny thing that happened--before the show, I had purchased a pretzel and was eating it in front of the theatre, and I ran into my roommate and her friend! They were checking out the rush policies for other nearby shows. I just think it's crazy--what are the odds that, in this giant city of New York, in all the crowds of Times Square and all the shows playing this afternoon, I'd run into my roommate? Just insane...

After Next to Normal ended, I walked out of the theatre and ran into dogs. Lots and LOTS of dogs. I guess today was the 11th annual Broadway Barks event. There were raffles and silent auctions for different Broadway-related things, like dinners with cast members and giant dog stuffed animals, signed by the casts of different shows. Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore were the hosts, but I didn't get to see them. I only stayed until 5:30, and I think the part where all the different Broadway stars came by was later. I thought they were going to sing, but perhaps they were just showed off their puppy dogs and kitty cats and asked that people adopt the adorable little animals. Anyway, I stayed for a while, then went to the Hair box office to put my name in the lottery with Rachel.

I got there, wrote my name and zip code on a sheet of paper, and waited for Rachel to come by. And, again, I ran into my roommate and her friend! They were trying for the lottery too. While waiting for Rachel to come, I wrote her name down on a sheet of paper and turned it in. Then she showed up, and wrote her name down as Sophie. Just to help increase our chances ;). (Sophie was at another dinner and couldn't be there for the lottery itself.) But hey, we had a plan. If we didn't get Hair, we'd rush Blythe Spirit, which has Angela Lansbury. And if that failed, we'd attempt something else. We were seeing a show that night, and that was that!

Well, the lottery started, and the guy who was picking from the bucket told us that there were 28 seats available. And I swear, there were at least 100 people! I was starting to get nervous... He pulled out the first slip and paper and announced... ME!!! I WON THE LOTTERY!! TO HAIR!!! When he announced MY NAME I raised my hand and bounced like a school girl for a minute then started off the line of lottery winners. Because I was the FIRST PERSON to get tickets!!!!!

Sadly, neither Rachel or Sophie was picked, so it wouldn't be the 3 of us watching the show. But since I won, Rachel and I got tickets! After he finished announcing everyone, the guy went through our line and verified that I was indeed me, then I went up to the box office and we got our tickets. A1 and A2, box seats house right. It was a little after 6 at this point, and we had time before the show, so we went on a dinner hunt. On the way we passed Broadway Barks again, and I actually saw Bernadette Peters this time, as well as Alice Ripley, Stephanie J. Block, and J. Robert Spencer (who had been the dad in Next to Normal). They weren't performing, but it was still really cool.

We got dinner at this little place, where I got a sauceless cheese pizza, a rice crispy treat and Pepsi for under $10. Not bad, for the expensive tourist-land that is Times Square. We avoided purchasing the $18 hot dog! Then we went to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre to see HAIR! It was amazing. Our seats were in the box seats, but it wasn't like MVCPA's box seats. Instead, the balcony of the theatre extended all the way to the sides, so even though we were way above the stage we were in line with the front row of the orchestra. And right in front of our seats, which were the FIRST ROW (yay!!), was this little platform where the actors would frequently use. There were stairs right next to us, which the actors would go up and down to do various entrances and exits in the balcony. This was definitely a show that broke the 4th wall, but in an amazing way. They would talk to people in the audience, touch them (frequently in ways that, outside of this show would be awkward but in this show, was totally normal), climb over chairs and dance with the audience. And then some!

The show itself was amazing. I'm pretty sure this was the original cast, and there were no understudies, which is always awesome. The actors were FULL of energy and excitement, and just seemed like they were having the times of their lives! I had no idea what was going on half the time, but that didn't matter. The dancing and movement and pure emotion was overwhelming, in a great way. I was smiling the entire first act of the show. We were so close that we could see everything, pretty much, save what was far stage left and blocked by the platform. But when the people were on that platform, we couldn't get any closer. And it was cool, because the cast would look at the audience members, so we made lots of eye contact with the various members of the cast! And during the show, when they came up to the balcony and stood next to us, sometimes they'd give a little wave and I'd wave back.

And during the song Hair, some of them came up to the box seats and a few of them messed up my hair! There was one girl who came up and stuck her hair in front of Rachel and my faces, just playing around with it. And later, during the hallucination scene, there was this reenactment of the assassination of Abe Lincoln. The actress playing Abe Lincoln was onstage, and the guy playing John Wilkes Booth came up to our box, and he sat on my lap!!! He pointed his fake gun at Rachel and "threatened" the people around us, before "killing" Lincoln. Before he left, he apologized to the people onstage for killing Lincoln... but before going back down to the stage, he walked over and screamed, pretty much in my ear, "Not really!!" Or something of the sort. It scared me half to death, but it was amazing.

And at the end of the show, after bows, they invited the audience to come onstage and sing and dance with the cast. We weren't sure if we should go at first, but after a few moments passed (and the cast member that was currently on the platform told us that we should go), we ran down the stairs and went on the stage!! (Of course, the minute we got onstage, Gavin Creel went on our little platform... Oh well, he had already performed earlier on that platform. Hehe!) It was crazy crowded with a ton of people, but it was so amazing. I could see the "Chris Cam" (which I could see from our seats anyway, but now I didn't have to twist around to see it), and the techies (of which there were no more than 3, pretty much--there was literally no backstage. From our seats, we could see everything), and all the cast members were there, and I could see all the people in the orchestra (which I hadn't been able to see from our seats), and the HUGE audience! Since they were all on their feet, clapping and dancing along, it just looked huge! And now I can officially say that I've performed on a Broadway stage! (Hehe...) After all, I was onstage dancing and singing (kind of) and all those people were watching. ;) Anyway, it really felt like a big group of love and joy and happiness. It was the most amazing experience I've had in a theatre, pretty much ever.

After the show I bought a t-shirt and we got a few autographs from a few members of the cast. They were really chatty and friendly. I feel like with this show, you can't have real major divas or cattiness in the cast. Now, I'm sure I'm wrong, considering that there's no such thing as an environment with zero cattiness whatsoever, but the things these people do seem to require so much confidence and community that I can't help but imagine that it would spill into their lives offstage too. (And a side note? Their bio's were fantastic. They were written as if they were in character, practically. Only a few of them list all the shows the individuals had done. For the most part, it was about the things they love and qualities about the actors unrelated to theatre.) We got about 4 autographs and then decided to head home.

And now I've been back over an hour and a half, and I'm still pumped up by this show and my day! This was the craziest and awesomest theatre day I've had in a long time, if not ever. And Hair was probably the coolest theatre experience I've ever had. I was talking to Rachel about it, and we both agreed that we had the best seats in the house. We could see clearly, front row, got to have lots of eye contact and interaction, and danced a while onstage! I'd be happy to see the show again, but I don't think it could live up to tonight's experience. I'm still all pumped up about it!

And now I've just downloaded the soundtrack from iTunes, so I'm going to give it a listen and see it again in my minds eye. Those crazy costumes, awesome energy, fantastic cast... Yay!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First 2 Days of Class

First two days of class, and I'm already exhausted. It's going to be a loooong summer... a good long though!

Vocal Tech: basically all about the technique of singing. It's a small class, only 8 of us, which is nice. It wasn't superbly exciting, but I feel like it's going to be extremely useful, especially for stuff that I'm not sure if I'm singing correctly or not. She actually told me that I was one of the few who was using breath correctly for belting, which was exciting, but obviously I can do more. The weirdest part for that class is the stuff she asked us to bring in--gauze, a mini-flashlight, and a small mirror. I found gauze and a mirror at the drugstore yesterday, but I'm still looking for the flashlight...

Tap 3: Somehow I got into Tap 3 (there are 4 levels total for the dance classes), so I'm glad I went to the placement for that class. I have it with Sophie, and OHMYGOODNESS after only one class I was totally exhausted and all shiny with lovely sweat. It's such a workout. We pretty much spent 45 minutes straight tapping a variety of combinations across the floor. And tomorrow we work on timesteps and learn the beginning of 42nd Street. This is, so far, definitely the hardest class. But it's kind of fun too. (Yay!)

Vocal Performance: So far, it's a lot like Parmer's class during the year--acting out the song, using his 10 Basic Questions (or "The One" and "The Two", as we did with Parmer) to create circumstances for ourselves. I've been assigned to work on "Someone to Watch Over Me," which I've already sung (for Parmer's class, actually!), but I like it so I don't mind.

Acting: It was very interesting. We talked a lot about ourselves and our training, then did a yoga-based warm-up to center ourselves. After that, a few people went up and did some basic improvs. I'm not sure how I feel about this class yet, but once we get our scene assignments I think I'll be more excited. It just seems a lot like what I've done in Acting 101 and 252ab, which is great repetition of the techniques, so that's good. And the strange thing is, this and my Vocal Performance class, as well as Musical Scene Study, is the same group of people--all girls. Not one guy. Sophie and Rachel are both in it with me. Everyone seems pretty friendly, so it should be good. I'm looking forward to working together!

That was yesterday. Today, we started with Ballet. The teacher called me out on not wearing a leotard and tights (but of course, the only leotard I have right now is skin tone and back at home! So I'm making a Capezio's run this weekend... When my mom comes to visit. She gets to pay for me, hehehe!!). She said she was treating it like a complete beginner class (and it's level 2). At first I thought, well I've taken ballet, so what's the point? But it's good because we're all on the same page, and she's very specific about how she wants the technique. And she was helping me, giving adjustments, but in a positive manner. So as much as I love ballet (....) I'm actually looking forward to working the form. It seems like it's going to be a legit class, unlike so many of the ballet classes I've taken before.

Jazz 2: We also did a long introduction about ourselves, then did a long warm up (which included both push ups and sit ups--ick!) and a few across-the-floors. That class seems really friendly, and everyone seemed nice. We also reviewed our audition routine.

Musical Scene Study: I was particularly looking forward to this class, because I want to work on acting that is bigger than the acting I'm working on at USC. And it's cool, because it sounds like we'll be doing the scenes into songs, possibly duets with others. Our teacher is super friendly and nice, and I really liked her. We all did selections from classical musicals to "introduce" our voices. I had Cain't Say No and Mister Snow both ready... Then when someone didn't have a contemporary song ready, she had them do part of Cain't Say No! Of course. But they stopped right where my cut began, so I thought it was an appropriate transition. And then, when I mentioned I had a soprano range too, she had me sing the last page of Mister Snow, just to show off the high notes. So we'll see what I'm assigned for that class. I really liked it though, and I'm excited for that class.

Business of Theatre: The required class about things all working actors should know: about agencies, management, Equity, networking, and more. Boring stuff, but extremely important things to know. A lot of things we mentioned today sounded familiar, because of the books I've read and that event that TSA put on end of last semester, where a casting director came in and gave a lot of information. But a lot of the stuff I don't know, so while I'm not excited for it, I'm really glad it's offered.

And that's it for classes! I spent yesterday evening running errands, on foot (owie!!), and tonight I relaxed, watched TV, attempted to buy a mini-flashlight but failed... I went to Washington Square Park, since it's literally just outside the building, and watched some guys play chess. It's amazing how fast they were moving those chess pieces, and watching them think! I felt like I was in that old Pixar short film, except way cooler. And the people watching were pretty friendly, because a few people had questions and some other people answered them, no sweat. I know nothing about chess, so I had nothing to say. Then I sat by the fountain and read on a park bench for about half an hour, until it got too cold, and I went back to the dorm. On the way in I saw some people watching So You Think You Can Dance, so I joined them, which was entertaining. I think there was more conversation about the show than actually watching it, but it was cool. And one girl I met is taking another acting conservatory in NYC, which was cool, and she's roommates with someone in my program! And then I came up here, and wrote this out.

Now it is time for me to do my homework for tomorrow (yes, homework. I'm back at school, I swear! We get a syllabus and assignments and everything) and figure out the recording device I bought last night. Bye all!

Monday, June 29, 2009

First 2 Days in NY

Well, I can officially call myself a New Yorker.

Not really. But in the last 2 days, I managed to get stuck in major parade-created traffic, get forced out (sorta) of my dorm room, watch an (off?)-Broadway show, take the subway several times (successfully!!) and, oh yeah—go to CAP21.

But let’s begin with yesterday. My day started at 6:30, when I woke up, got dressed, packed up a few final things, and drove with Dad to SFO. We get to the airport no problem, and I get through security and all that pretty quick. Then I grabbed a breakfast sandwich from the food place and wait for the airplane to start boarding people.

Random: the hand dryers in the SFO bathrooms are so cool! They’re like the traditional hand dryer, but instead of a big fan, you stick your hands in a little machine and, as you slowly drag them out, a “blade” of really fast air blasts at your fingers. Sounds strange in writing, but it was cool.

Anyway, I got on the airplane in what must be the family section, especially since I’m seated right next to this little boy. Now, I know what you’re thinking—uh oh, crying baby time! But I was pretty lucky, because he was, for the most part, pretty quiet. Sure, he shuffled around and talked a little too loudly and watched TV on his daddy’s laptop without headphones, but it wasn’t too bad. And the other little kids weren’t horrible. No more than half an hour of wailing, I’d guess.

The plane wasn’t as cool as I thought it’d be. The entertainment system got old really fast, though it was pretty cool using the touch screen to order my food. I didn’t want to pay for movies, and the little games were pretty lame. There was TV, but it didn’t list what was playing at the different times, and I’ve definitely been spoiled by TiVo and not-TiVo. So I watched a lot of Law and Order: SVU, since it was on reruns on USA, and America’s Next Top Model, on Oxygen. Both were on reruns.

Now, yes, I did try to sleep, I promise! But I didn’t get much, maybe an hour at most. I was just too easily distracted. Add that to the four and a half hours of sleep I’d gotten from the post-alumni show dinner, and I was pretty fatigued. Oddly enough, though, I didn’t feel terribly tired. I just was pretty low energy.

I did eat a steak sandwich, after picking out the veggies. It was surprisingly decent. I also had an Airborned water bottle, a mini-water bottle (plain), and a Coke. But that’s it.

5 hours later we land at JFK, and I take my time getting out of the terminal. I get my luggage quickly and found the Ground Transportation desk, where I “called” SuperShuttle to get picked up. 20 minutes+1 phone call home later, the guy gets me and we get on the shuttle.

Now here’s where it got sticky. It’s about 5:30, and he still has to pick up a bunch of other people in the (huge!!) airport. I need to check in before 8pm, or else call ahead and explain that I’ll be late. We get all our people by 6, and I’m hoping to be in by 7. I figure, worst case, once 7:30 runs around I’ll call them and say I might be late.

Well I forgot about traffic, and now it’s 7:30. We only have 3 of the 9 people left, so I’m hoping he’ll drop me off before 8pm. But when he doesn’t, and it’s 7:45, I try to call NYU Summer Housing. Sadly, I don’t have the number for the specific dorm, and the general office is closed. So I call Mom and Dad frantically and finally get the number (thanks Dad!!). The receptionist tells me that if I come in after 8, the security guard will let me in. It might be the unconventional way, but it will work.

The driver guy takes a bunch of side streets, because the Pride Parade is taking over the major streets, but we finally get there at 8:15. Hooray! I go inside and am greeted by a very crabby-looking security guard. When I tell her I’m there to check in, she says that the security guards can’t. Which is when I start to panic. Does this mean I have no place to stay for the night?!? But she calls down an RA, who gets me the forms I need.

Or does she? Because she can’t find the key. And she’s looking around the office but she can’t find my little envelope with room 406 on it. And she can’t find a spare. Apparently the people who lived in that room last never returned the key. Perfect. She actually finds the receptionist (or whoever runs the check in’s etc) and they talk, and they give me an option. Either they find me another room for the night, just so I can get some sleep and put my (extremely heavy!) backpack down, or they’ll use the 4th floor master key to let me in, and then hopefully my roommate will let me back in, should I choose to leave (which I planned to do—I desperately needed food!). At this point, I was really frustrated, so I said I didn’t care. So they brought me up to the room and unlocked the door.

Except… for some reason, the door wouldn’t unlock. So she bangs on the door loudly for a while. After what seems like an eternity, an Asian girl in PJs and bushy hair opens the door. She was probably asleep. I walk in, the RA still behind me. The room is strange. It enters straight into the bedroom, with a hallway in the back and then another room behind this one. As in, anytime someone wants to go to the back room/bathroom, they have to go in the first room. Sounds like a complete lack of privacy!

It gets better. This sleepy girl tells us that there aren’t any empty beds; that the room is full. At this point, I’m so tired and frustrated that I barely can think. We walk into the hallway, and I stay there while the RA gets the binders with all the information. Turns out that one of the girls extended her stay, and only half the stuff was updated. I’m listed for being checked in a week early (which is bizarre, since I’m definitely not), and I’m listed for room 1716. We make our way downstairs, where another girl is now at the reception desk and she gets me a key to the room. And I make my way up the elevators.

I open the door to 1716 and find 2 open beds. 1 is a bunk. My roommate Elise’s already there, apparently has been for at least a week. I am beyond relieved, you have no idea!!! I start to unpack, then call home. Then I realize I desperately need food, so Elise and I walk to a quick hot-dog store and I grab a hot dog, fries and a mango drink. Apparently the restaurant is famous-was in Sex and the City or something-and the food isn’t bad. The hot dog is a little small, and by the time I eat the fries they’re a little cold, but the mango drink is sweet and cool. We go back to the dorm to eat, and then I finish unpacking. It takes me forever to set up my computer, since the Ethernet cable only works with half the phone connections—there is 1 phone line and 1 data line on each phone connector thing—and one of them is broken while the other is in use. But I set it up, get my computer registered (took a while, though), and am now connected to the internet! Hooray!!

After that, I quickly review my audition material for the next day, and go to sleep. I set my alarm for 7:00, so that I can have plenty of time to shower and eat breakfast before I get to CAP21 at 9AM.

Well… I couldn’t get to sleep. And my alarm clock either didn’t go off, or I turned it off or something, because next thing I know it’s 8:30 and I’m in major panic mode. I take the shortest shower ever (less than 5 minutes) because I feel gross from the airplane and I need clean hair for an audition!! Then I walk as fast as I can to CAP21, without stopping for food. Which was really, really stupid.

I get to CAP21 and go up the elevator. I’m a little late, but it’s actually not a huge deal. I change into my (really baggy) dance pants and sit in “The Shop,” which is one of the studio rooms. I find Sophie and Rachel, which was a relief, and fill out some paperwork and listen to some orientation blahdeblah. Then we start the dance audition—sorry, “placement” tests.

The combinations are actually really easy. Fast sways, chaĆ®nes, grapevines, a pirouette. It was just crazy-fast. And I’m running on empty. I have to mark it a bit during the reviews. I’m not hungry, actually, but I think it’s because I’m beyond hunger. I’m just drained.

The ballet and jazz placements were first, and then those who said they had No Tap got to leave. I said I’d had tap (which I did! I swear!), so we did that. It was surprisingly easy—flaps, ball changes, and time steps. Now, I’m not saying I did the steps well, but I got the basics, at least. But then we had to do something called a rolling shuffle, which looked easy but was rather challenging. I think I managed not to make a huge fool out of myself though, thankfully. I got at least 4 mostly-correct, mostly-in time rolling shuffles in, out of 16. That may sound lame, but it was actually pretty good. Some people in that room weren’t very good. (It was the beginner’s room, so I’m not trying to be rude—I’m just trying to be honest.)

We finished, and Sophie, Rachel and I went to this overpriced bakery place down the street. It was actually quite good. I had catfish, broccoli, watermelon and honeydew. It felts good to have something healthy, especially after all that dance. Then I walked back home, since the singing/acting placement wasn’t for 2 more hours.

I get back and change into a slightly better outfit, then run to the music practice room and review my music. I was planning on singing Cain’t Say No and Meadowlark, but I realized that I just didn’t have the belt to finish Meadowlark, so I traded it for Mister Snow. It worked out that way—Cain’t Say No showed off the belt, and Mister Snow showed off the soprano. And I reviewed my monologue, which I put together from my scene in my Acting 252b class with Beth. Considering the time constraint, it would have to do.

Walked back to CAP21 and got there 15 minutes early. Once they called my name, I went in and showed the pianist exactly where I wanted to start. He told me they’d probably cut me off, so I eliminated the patter-ness of the songs and went straight into the refrains. I started with the monologue, which went well, and they seemed interested in watching. I almost wish this were an actual audition—they were so friendly and nice! Then Cain’t Say No. I got through the whole cut. I got through the first half of Mister Snow—not the best part, but it was fine. Then they asked me a few questions about where I was from and where I was staying, and then I left!

I knew I was going to have to take the subway when I went to The Wiz with Sophie and Rachel, so I took a practice ride down to my dorm. (It’s apparently the same amount of time to walk between CAP21 and my dorm as it is to take the subway. BUT it’s a lot less walking… ;D) I got in OK, took a little while as I got confused between the F train to Coney Island Exp vs… well, one without the Exp. But I got on it fine, and got off on the very next stop (naturally). Found my way back by recognizing the stores we passed when we got dinner the night before, then went back to the room to find directions on getting to The Wiz and unpacking the small amount of groceries that I’d purchased before getting on the subway (Special K bars, a Campbells microwavable soup, salted almonds… and Oreos. =D)

Before leaving for The Wiz, I stopped at the hot dog store again. This time I got 2 hot dogs, and the guy at the register was calling me “pretty lady” and said I had a “beautiful smile.” It was very nice and almost embarrassing!! But then I got on the subway, headed Uptown, and managed to grab a seat for myself. Then I got off at the correct stop and proceeded to get myself to the theatre.

It was 6:10. I’d left really early, just in case I got lost, so I arrived 20 minutes before I thought I’d meet Sophie and Rachel. Luckily, I brought a book. Unfortunately, I was on the last 10 pages. I finished within 10 minutes, so I just sat around and waited. I thought I saw someone who miiiight have been Sutton Foster walk in past me—she walked so quickly that I didn’t see her for more than a second, so it very well could have been someone else—but you never know! ;) I finally decided to head in at 6:45. Of course, at 6:47, Sophie calls me and asks if I’m there yet. So I wait at the stairs and we head in together.

Our seats are in the balcony, pretty far left. It wasn’t terrible, but we were surrounded by people who didn’t have proper theatre-going habits: they crinkled wrappers, talked during the show, took pictures (including FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!!!) and apparently sang along to the songs! It was straaaaange. But we moved up during intermission, and it was a lot better then.

The production itself was really good. There was a huuuge orchestra, the set was awesome, the ensemble dancers were great and the singers were really good. Ashanti as Dorothy was a great singer, but not my favorite actor. (Not like that part is particularly challenging though.) LaChanze as Aunt Em/Glinda was great, I love her voice!! And James Monroe Iglehart, who’s based in the Bay Area and has been in shows that I’ve seen there, was really good too. He was the Lion—I’d expected him to have an ensemble part, but nope, he was a lead! 2nd to last bow, Sophie noticed. He was really good.

After the show, we waited at the stage door and then said hi to James. He was really nice! Hooray! At that point I was totally exhausted, so I found the subway station (or rather, I told Rachel the intersection and she told me it was down the street), waited what seemed like forever for the subway to come (they come far less often at 10:30 than at 6pm, I’ve learned!), and came back to the dorm. And spent the last hour typing up my day.

Tomorrow, the real fun begins. First day of classes. Then I’ll get my official ID card and get some real groceries, instead of just these snacky foods. (On the plus side, because of the massive mess of getting a room, the security lady knows me. I show her my temporary ID, and she just winks at me. So she knows my face. And the receptionist girl+RA both have run into me and asked how I was doing.)

So if you want to send me lotsa presents (and I KNOW you do!!), here’s my address:

33 Washington Square West #1716
New York, NY 10011

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oops

Guys and Dolls is closing next week.

And of course, Guys and Dolls is one of the shows my family planned on seeing when they visited me.

I should have figured--with their $7.77 with one full-priced ticket offer, it couldn't have been doing well, so I'm actually not surprised. Bummed, yes, because I would have liked to see Lauren Graham, but so be it. Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise--my parents keep commenting on how we should have gotten tickets for Billy Elliot, especially since it won so many awards.

So looks like we'll be looking into other options for a show on the 4th of July!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tony Awards

So last night was the Tony Awards, AKA the best award show of the year. Hooray! I had a few friends over and we snacked and discussed opinions throughout the evening. And now I shall share a few of my thoughts here:

I think I've already filed Billy Elliot into the slot in the back of my mind where all the slightly older, clearly successful shows that have audiences and aren't closing anytime soon (Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia...) live. As in, it exists, it's a show that "normal people" are going to see and love, it's not running any danger of closing, and I don't feel a major need to see it. So I kept forgetting that it was nominated (and nominated and nominated and nominated...). And, not gonna lie, I'm a little bummed that it won so many awards. Of course, having never seen it, I don't know if it was well deserved, so my POV is merely that of rooting for the underdog. And I must say, the dance they chose to represent the show? Eh. I still have no iea what it's about, I wasn't exteremely impressed, and there was no singing! Me likey singing!! The lighting was interesting, I suppose, but that dance did nothing for me. (Not to mention the actor's little yelps sounded rediculous and strange. Me no likey.) And I was hoping for an Avenue Q moment, with some other unexpected option wins over the frontrunner. Alas... no can do. Though the Billy's acceptance speech was the cutest thing I've ever seen. Stuttering over themselves, all having the same thank you's to their families... So adorable and sweet! I can't imagine what it's like, winning a Tony at that age. Wow!!!

I've never been a huge Hair fan, but I really enjoyed their number, as well as their section in the gigantic opening number. I told my friend, "they're having way too much fun up there," and it was awesome! I wanted to dance around with them. After the Tony Awards last night I went and listened to the Actors' Fund of America Benefit Recording of Hair that I got as a present my last birthday and heard it all the way through. Even after listening to the CD, I still don't know anything about what Hair's about, but they looked like they were having so much fun that they've sold me, and I'll be seeing that show in NY.

Next to Normal's song was fantastic. I know nothing about the show, yet in that song I feel like I learned so much. And I really want to know more. The music was good, the acting was intense, and now I really want to see the show. (Luckily, I'm off to NY in 3 weeks!)

Shrek looked like a Spamalot lite. Rock of Ages looked like a Hair gone wrong. The former made me laugh, so I'm excited to see that. Rock of Ages also made me laugh, but not in a good way. I might be seeing that, but more to laugh at it than with it. Hopefully my negative feelings towards Rock of Ages will be changed if I see it... So we'll see. I'm trying to keep an open mind!

West Side Story was classic West Side Story for me. I'm excited to see that one, but I didn't see much new in their performances at the Tonys. Of course, their section in the opening number was cool. I wanted more of the Spanish shown in their preview number. I thought Maria would be speaking to Tony in Spanish...? Well, I'll be seeing for myself, in NY, it sounds like!

Guys and Dolls... Well, that was interesting. I liked the performances, though the updated ending seemed unnatural. And the screen as a backdrop was strange. Hopefully a good strange, because my family has tickets for that show!

(By the way... what was up with the tech last night?? You'd think that for the TONY AWARDS they'd not have so many screw ups! The techie running onstage and giving Tituss Burgess a microphone in the middle of the number, all the problems in the opening number, and I'm sure more that I can't remember now... It was depressing and definitely took away from the experience.)

I have nothing to say about Pal Joey, except I'm not a big fan of the song Joey. Mostly because someone sang it in a class of mine, and I didn't like it then. But that's unimportant, so that's all I'll say.

It was really cool having some of the touring casts perform. I'm just curious as to if those shows all were dark tonight, or if they had to bring in understudies or what. And why was Legally Blonde's so much shorter than the others?? The others did full songs, but Legally Blonde's was super-short. I think Jersey Boys did a good job, even though my TV had technical difficulties in the middle of the number. Mamma Mia wasn't good. But whatever. And Legally Blonde could have been a lot better, with a different number and/or a longer time segment.

And Neil Patrick Harris was a great host! Definitely better than Whoopi Goldberg. I loved his ending song, and he had a bunch of good jokes in there too. And he's rather adorable. So good job, Neil Patrick Harris.

Ok, I've typed enough, and I'm pretty sure that's all my thoughts on the shows. I don't know any of the plays, so I can't comment on those... and you probably wouldn't want to read them anyway. Haha. So that's all folks! Until next year, that is. ;)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Movies, Musicals, and Scripts

I just got back from watching the movie Up with my boyfriend. All I have to say is, GO SEE IT!! I loved it. I'm still smiling from it. It's heartwarming and funny and sad and sweet and wonderful, all at the same time. And the short film at the beginning is probably my favorite Pixar short yet. I'm not quite sure if Up was as good as Wall-E, which I adored beyond words, but it's definitely up there. And hopefully I'll be seeing it again!

In other news, my family got tickets to see some shows in NY the 4th of July weekend. (They're going to visit me while I'm at CAP21--it's pretty much an excuse for them to see some shows! Hehe.) We got great seats for Shrek-row D. I'll actually be able to see their faces! Sutton Foster better be there that night, that's all I gotta say. We're also seeing Guys and Dolls and In the Heights. Those seats aren't as good, but I'm still thrilled. (Though I saw a video of Lauren Graham singing Marry the Man Today on YouTube and I have to say, I wasn't extremely impressed. Hopefully she has a strong character in the show, because I could see her voice working if it's in accord with her interpretation of Adelaid... But right now, I'm a little nervous.) Besides, I have all the rest of my time in NY to get great seats. I'm planning on getting some student rush/lottery tickets! Hooray!

I went to the library today and got a ton of plays to read: My Sister Eileen, I Remember Mama, Noises Off, M. Butterfly, Stop Kiss, and Wendy Wasserstein's collection of plays: Isn't It Romantic, The Heidi Chronicles and Uncommon Women and Others. I'm really excited. The first 2 plays I started reading at the library and they seemed like they might be good. Noises Off is something I've been meaning to read for a long time, and same for Stop Kiss. I always mean to read M. Butterfly in my theatre history class, but never got around to reading it.... Oops. But I'm super intreagued. And I've done a scene from Isn't It Romantic, and some other people in my acting class did part of The Heidi Chronicles... So needless to say, I've got a good reading list. Not to mention all the other books I've purchased/borrowed from the library these last few weeks. My reading list is rediculous! On the plus side, my TV-watching has gone down a lot, though I still have lots of delightful Bones on DVD to watch.

Alright. Off to sleep. Hopefully, since I biked to the library today instead of driving, tonight I'll be able fall asleep sooner. I've gotten on a horrible sleep schedule, and it needs to change! Soon! Good night all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer Goals

  1. Learn, grow, and become an even better singer/dancer/actor at CAP21. And, by the end of the 6 weeks, be not only a stronger performer, but have an idea if I'd like to live in New York. And learn the subway system without getting lost 24/7. (Believe it or not, it's the second two parts that I'm worried about! haha.)
  2. Play more guitar. I want it to be something I enjoy again, instead of merely something that takes up space. I don't want to be fantastic, I just want to be decent!
  3. Don't lose all my Chinese. This means reviewing all my flashcards, rewriting my notes (I had the worst notebook this semester, and I'm planning on moving it all to a new one), maybe listening to some Mandarin podcasts...
  4. Finally finish that Picaboo album with my pictures and journal entries from my Europe trip. The trip was 3 years ago. I seriously need to finish it!
  5. Ride my bike more. (Technically speaking, my mom's bike. Mine's still at USC.) I need the exercise, and it'll be good to get fresh air.
  6. Get on an earlier sleep schedule. Right now, that's not looking to promising, considering it's almost 2am and I'm nowhere close to being ready for bed.
  7. Get started on being an awesome KP Business Manager. That means getting things organized, schedules collected, and maybe a gig or two ready.
  8. Blog more. Obviously I'm working on that now. ;) But I'll probably keep this up for CAP21 too!
  9. Get lots of audition material ready. This means monologues (I desperately need new ones) and contemporary, pop-style music (Eden Espinosa style, anyone?) that show off my belt voice.
  10. Read lots of books and scripts, listen to lots of Broadway soundtracks, and keep my mind moving. I can't afford another summer where all I do is sit and watch TV. This summer is possibly the busiest summer I've ever had (CAP21, teaching theatre classes and camps and making money, living in NY...), and it's going to be fantastic. I'm so excited, and I'm going to avoid being bored as much as possible!
  11. [Bonus Goal] Keep better connected with my friends! I'm not so good at keeping in contact, but I don't like that. I'm going to try to keep in contact with my USC friends better, and not lose touch with high school/PYT friends, as much as possible.

Dance Shoes

CAP21 requires certain kinds of dance shoes: ballet, jazz and tap. Well, my ballet shoes were from Payless, my jazz shoes have giant holes in the bottom due to performing in outdoor theatre, and I don't even want to talk about the state of my taps. So Mom and I went off on a mission today: purchase dance shoes for the summer (and for all the dancing I do in future musicals too, of course! =D).

Well, I hate shoe shopping to begin with--I'm decidedly un-girly in that way. I hate shoe shopping, I hate trying to find my right size, I hate breaking shoes in. I'm very picky about the things I wear. I have wide feet, which means I tend to have a hard time finding shoes that fit. I also have small feet, which is irrelevant to this post but is true about my feet. (Small feet are convenient though--I usually can grab the display shoe and it'll pretty much fit.) But dance shoes are different than normal shoes. I don't need them to look cute, since I just need them to be practical. I need them to really fit my feet, since I'll be on my feet, dancing, for long periods of time. And they need to move well. Obviously.

I got my tap shoes pretty quickly. I'm not much of a tapper (I can do a basic time step and some simple moves, but I'm nowhere near calling myself an experienced tap dancer), so I got a pair that was not uncomfortable, stayed on my feet and was cheap. Ballet shoes weren't too bad either. Got a pair of Bloch ballet shoes that fit pretty well and aren't uncomfortable, though they're a teeny bit long.

But the jazz shoes took forever. For some reason I couldn't find a pair that I liked. I was pickier with these because I tend to wear jazz shoes more than ballet shoes in the random dancing I do--I'm wearing them for the MT Singing/Dancing class I'm teaching now, and I wore them for my show. So I wanted them to be really comfortable. But every pair I wore were either too long, too tight, digging into my heels or didn't move. After more pairs than I can count (I feel bad for the girl helping us--she kept going back and forth between the storage room and my chair), I finally picked another pair of Bloch shoes. Apparently they'll stretch out, which might not be the best thing, since they too are a bit long. But they didn't hurt. And even though they weren't as flexible as some of the other shoes, they'll do the trick. Honestly, I bet you anything that when I wear them in class, my feet won't be hurting from shoes. They'll be aching from the massive amounts of dancing I get to do. (YAY! Haha!)

[Random: did you know Bloch also sells normal shoes? As in, non-dance. I had no idea until we went into the dance store. And some of them were cute! But not cute enough to try on. Like I said, I'm picky.]

After that exciting adventure (NOT!) we went into a Macys, because Mom had some coupons. And I bought this adorable Fossil bag:

The picture sucks, but trust me, it's adorable. It's a messengar bag style with lots of colorful flowers. It has tons of pockets, including 2 on the outside (one zippered, one not) that'll be great for storing a cell phone or something else you need quickly. And the inside is the perfect size for a couple of notebooks or thin textbooks. Unfortunately, it'll probably be too small for all the homework I tend to bring to classes, and it's definitely too small for my huge binders of music, but it's great for other events where I need to have paperwork. And it's colorful and cute! I'm so excited. I love Fossil brand. I also really love the brand Haiku. Both companies feature lots of pockets in their purses, use space effeciently, and look really cute. Win win WIN!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kat Goes Geeky

It's time for a non-theatre related post! Crazy stuff, huh? Here's a list of a few geeky-girl things I'm obsessed with right now:

1) My iPod Shuffle. It's not the brand new one with the controls in the headphones (horrible idea, personally. I like having buttons to press!); in fact, I'm pretty sure it's 2 generations old. It's the small rectangular one, in a beautiful sea green color. I bought it with Christmas money a few years ago, always intending to use it at the gym (which didn't seem to happen, considering how often I go to the gym these days!), but since I never seemed to make it, it just sat at the bottom of my bag. Until recently, when I saw someone carrying it to walk around. In that moment, I realized I could use it as my new primary iPod. It's super lightweight and portable, fits in my pocket without a problem, clips onto whatever I'm wearing and holds enough music to last me a good long while--definitely enough for a day's outings. And when I come back, I can load it up with new music and new podcasts, and have fresh new listening material for the next day.

I really, really like the fact that I can put podcasts on it, because I can listen to stuff on the way to class or while doing my theatre costume shop hours, without it taking up too much room in my limited purse space. When I load up my Baby iPod, I just make sure to put podcasts first, then my hour long track of "ocean music" (fantastic to study to-it makes great white noise), then music. Right now it's a combination of Sutton Foster's new album Wish, Kelly Clarkson's new album All I Ever Wanted, and the new Best of College Acappella--BOCA 2009. Reviews coming up soon, I believe. It's perfect! I love it I love it I love it. Yay music. Yay podcasts. Yay study "tunes."

2) Another technology-related thing, though it's not something I love: the new Facebook. Or should I say the New New Facebook, since the prior version was the "New Facebook." Well, whatever. I'd seen the warning post on Facebook earlier this week, so I was more prepared than most, but it definitely was jarring--at 12pm today I was using the old New Facebook, and at 3:30 it was something completely different. It's interesting, but it's definitely something to get used to. I don't think it's horrible though. I just think it's hilarious that people are so passionate about it--so many status' are complaining about how ugly and annoying it is.

But honestly? You guys got used to the old New Facebook. You complained, bickered, tried to get the old Old Facebook back, and joined groups to petition a change back to how it was. And eventually, you got over it. You learned the new system, and you liked it. Well, you must have liked it, considering how many of you are now complaining about getting the old New Facebook back. But just give it time. It's only the first day! You'll learn how it works and eventually you'll grow to love it. And if you don't... It's just a website. Not the end of the world.

3) Speaking of first days... Spring Break has officially begun! (This is not gadget-related at all, btw. But that's ok, haha!) I flew back home from school on Thursday night, then had to send in a paper about Artaud and Brecht by 5pm on Friday, so until about 4pm I was still in semi-school mode. But now I'm totally free, and I'm going to enjoy it to the fullest! Dorothy said it best: There's No Place Like Home.

4) Twitter. I got a Twitter a while ago and never used it, but the other day I decided to give it another go. (I'd been talking with a friend about it, and she convinced to give it another try.) I like it! It's the style of Facebook statuses without feeling embarrassed about changing it too often. If you have one, find me as onehappykat, or go to twitter.com/onehappykat. Hopefully I'll find some friends of mine to twitter about with!

Being an Actor is No Excuse

I don't do sports. Partially because I've never enjoyed them, partially that my lack of athletic skills makes me suck at them, and partially because I'm an actor. I dance onstage, I don't run. I enjoy bouts of yoga far more than sprints or goals.

But last weekend I realized that being an actor is no excuse for not being in shape. I was filming a student film with my friend. In it, my character was chasing after this guy who stole a purse. We were running all over campus, shooting short chase scenes in at least 5 or 6 locations. And each time we changed locations, we'd shoot it at least 3 or 4 times, just so that our director had a good shot.

Well, after all those locations and sprinting as fast as I possibly could (the guy I was chasing was ridiculously fit and incredibly fast! It was just insane!), I was sore for the entire week. We shot both Saturday and Sunday. Sunday, I was pretty sore, but Monday and Tuesday? Horrible. It hurt to stand up, it hurt to sit down, it hurt to walk and it hurt to move. Made the dances in our acappella competition exhausting, and Furies rehearsal also rather painful.

Moral of the story? Being an actor is no excuse for being lazy. I gotta get going to the gym more often, dance even more, try a bit of yoga once in a while. And maybe, just maybe, try running on the dreaded track. Because honestly, I don't want to have to go through all that again! It just hurt too much. =(

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My crazy week... and it's only Tuesday!

Wow. These last 2 days have been insanely busy, and it's not going to get any lighter. But it's been a good busy! A very good busy. In fact, this is pretty much going to be a brag post. Usually I wouldn't brag so much, but it's a blog! My blog, in fact. =) So indulge in my happiness. And if you'd rather not... well, you don't need to read it. Regardless, I'm full of smiley faces. =) =) =)

Monday, I woke up at 9:00am. My first class on Monday is at 11:30, which means that I willingly got up 2.5 hours earlier than I needed to. And for a college student, that's not so normal! Hah. But I got a lot of homework out of the way, which I needed to do.

Luckily one of my classes was canceled, which meant I had a little extra time for a rehearsal for a directing scene that I'm in for a friend. Unfortunately, now this scene has a bunch more rehearsals than I'd anticipated, at least one every day this week. It wouldn't be that bad, but with The Furies rehearsal, Kosher Pig rehearsal, and a full day of classes as well as other miscellanious commitments, it was more than I anticipated. Not to mention that the part she had me play was in the scene for, almost literally, 45 seconds. But today I got promoted to the Cardinal, who's in the whole scene. Odd, considering it's a male role, but that's theatre for you!

In my musical theatre audition class I sang Meadowlark, from The Baker's Wife, and my professor was impressed. He said it was one of the first times he'd seen this song and understood the whole emotional story. (This is coming from a Tony-award winning Broadway actor, who missed class once because he was filming for a major TV show. This is pretty awesome!! =D) It was really gratifying to hear, because I love this song and put a good amount of work into it.

Our first real rehearsal for The Furies went well. The chorus members each picked out the lines we liked to speak. Unfortunately, many of the lines I liked were snatched up by others before I got them, but overall I'm pleased with the lines I do have. And I'm really excited to get started. The translator of the play (it's a brand-new translation of the world's oldest play, heehee) is adorable! And the cast is pretty chill.

Today I had a midterm for the Theatre Scene Shop Studies class. It sucked. I probably should have studied more than just 2 hours after my midnight rehearsal. Haha... oh well. I just need to pass. A good grade is optional.

After that I had another short rehearsal for this scene, in which we read through the whole play, and I was reminded of how horrible I am at reading out loud. I always stumble over words or lose my spot. Once it's memorized I'm golden, but in the meantime... Not so good. Alas. (A lass. Alas. Alack.)

After that rehearsal, and 2.5 hours of sewing for my THTR shop class, I got back and got the most exciting email of, probably, my life. I GOT INTO THE CAP21 SUMMER PROGRAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm SO excited! 6 weeks in NY, studying nothing but musical theatre in the musical theatre capital of the WORLD! (Or at least the USA.) I get to check out NY for a while, go to tons of shows, and just work my butt off. And I'm so incredibly thrilled.

Tangent Time: Right now, I'm at a spot where things are starting to click. I'm really happy to work on my material and get stronger. For example, last semester I was having problems picking material to work on. I'd sing songs because I had to, not because I was particularily excited to sing them. And my MT professor would tell me to work on my tone and quality, but I wouldn't, because I saw it as homework instead of making myself that much stronger. But this semester, I've been picking songs I love and, instead of singing soprano material, I've been using songs that use my belt range.

Basically, I've been doing stuff that works for me, which I love, and it's paying off. I can feel myself improving. It's a great feeling.

Anyway, I sang Meadowlark in my MT class, and got only positive reviews. The professor that I've been working to please for a while had nothing but great things to say.

A few quotes from class:
"That was excellent."
"I'm consistently stunned by that huge voice from that tiny body."
"Just sing Meadowlark from now on. You don't need to sing anything else."
"Excellent work today. Instead of grumbling that you had to take this class again [the intro MT class, instead of moving up to advanced], you worked on what you needed to improve on. That's great. You deserve... [something. Heehee, I forget.]"

And then rehearsal. It was pretty much a lecture on all things Ancient Greek. It sounds like it could be boring, but our translator is so passionate and knowledgeable about the subject that it was really interesting! I actually enjoy learning about ancient Greece--so far my favorite philosophers are Plato and Socrates, both ancient and Greek. And I enjoy hearing about the mythology. It's really interesting.

So I'm extremely excited for this play. And this summer. And EVERYTHING!! I'm incredibly tired, considering I'm running on 5 hours of sleep, but I'm so full of happiness that I don't mind.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hello blogosphere!

Hello all!

Considering this is my first post on a brand new blog, I should probably say something insightful. Something witty. Something that will draw you in, make you say "wow, I gotta read this blog every day!"

Unfortunately, all those insightful, witty ideas will come to me the second I press "Publish Post," and not a moment before. So in the meantime, I'll just introduce myself.

I'm Katherine, but for the sake of pressing less buttons I'm going by Kat. (Besides, Katherine is prone to more typos than Kat. katheirne. kathiern. Katherine (well... that time I happened to type it perfectly. So ignore that. ;D) But Kat? Kat. Kat. Kat. I typed it perfectly three times in a row, without pressing the backspace button once.)

I'm a sophomore at USC, studying theatre with an emphasis in musical theatre, with a potential minor in philosophy. We'll see if I have time for it all. I love to sing, and am in an a cappella group at USC. Videos are on YouTube if you're interested in listening. ;) I was just cast in a brand-new translation of The Furies, of which we just had our first rehearsal tonight. If you want more factiods, you can just look to the right, at the little list that says "10 Facts About Me."

So what shall this blog be about, you might ask? Well, I shall tell you! It'll be about my life, both theatrically and personally, as well as thoughts on the world of musical theatre. I've just recently discovered the world of actor-blogs, so I have a feeling that will be influencing these entries. But other than that... You shall just have to wait and see!