Musing #2

I found myself doing something today that I rarely ever do (and for good reason); I watched the news. Amid all the stories of the horrible things that have happened within the last few days and the political drama that is our government  there was a story about a girl in a wheelchair overcoming her disability and raising money for a summer camp. It was intended to be a heart warming story and in most ways it was, but there was one thing that really bothered me. Throughout the story, it was repeated over and over how all this girl wanted was to be normal and that she wanted the kids around her to feel normal and how everyone should strive to be normal. Frankly, the word normal was repeated more than any other word in this five minute segment and held more emphasis than the fact that this girl was able to walk despite being told she never would.

And that bugs me.

Not that the girl was able to walk, because that’s awesome, but the emphasis on “being normal.” What is normal? By the way it is portrayed by the media, normal is basically being a perfect, cookie-cutter replica of the people around you. It is having no features that put you apart from the rest, having no strong personalities or opinions. You’re just another face in the crowd. I won’t lie, there was a time when I believed that was what I wanted and it is only now that I’m older that I realize how horrifying this concept is.

People shouldn’t strive to simply be normal, people should strive to be extraordinary! Why must we limit ourselves to only being normal? History is littered with names of people who were far from normal. Albert Einstein never wore the same colored socks and never learned his own phone number, yet was one of the greatest intellectuals of his time. Vincent van Gogh cut off part of his own ear over a fight he had with a friend, but still created beautiful artwork that is still studied today. Joan of Arc was born a simple peasant girl who would go on to lead an army and ultimately saved all of France at the age of 16. None of these people were what we would consider normal and yet these are names that we know. “Normal” people don’t make history because it is not considered normal to stand out or to make a difference, so why are we insisting that people try to act and be normal? Why do we act as though being abnormal is wrong or bad?

If I should ever be blessed to have children of my own, I won’t insist on them being normal, nor will I encourage something so limiting. We should be encouraging our youth to make a difference, to have thoughts that are their own and not what is simply being told to them, to resist that urge to just stand back and let someone else take the lead. If we all become normal we will lose everything that makes this world interesting. There is no advancement to be found in being normal, no room for growth or evolution.

Therefore, don’t try to be normal, work hard to be amazing, original men and women of the world, to be one in a million and not one of a million. Take control of your own personal story and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be considered one of the stranger people in history.

Our girl, Chula, has a far from normal story, but one that ended happily

Our girl, Chula, has a far from normal story, but one that ended happily

For me, insanity is super sanity. The normal is psychotic. Normal means lack of imagination, lack of creativity. – Jean DuBuffet

 

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Makeup and More

Hello again!

The last few weeks have been a blur of busyness for me, but in the best way. I’ll attempt to recap the best I can, so bear with me.

I’ve continued my work with Already Indie and I am absolutely LOVING it! Working with the cast and crew has been so enjoyable for me and I am proud to say that I will be becoming an official member of this group. After the two previous clips I have posted here, we have gone on to do another Monday Challenge for Film Riot and we have come out with another episode featuring me and my charming compadre, Herschel Powers. For this episode, we paid tribute to a classic television show, The Twilight Zone. We filmed until very early in the morning, but got a lot accomplished, including some filming for an episode a few weeks from now.

During our shenanigans behind scenes, we decided to experiment with some theatrical makeup (done by yours truly) for the episode coming out a couple of weeks from now. Of course, I couldn’t resist working in some latex to make a truly gruesome and realistic chest wound.

Me looking angry and guerilla-esque?

A close up of the chest wound

This was all in preparation for our next episode (or the one after) where we will cover guerilla filmmaking and its history and it’s use today. I’m looking forward to continuing my work with Already Indie and I hope that you will check us out on Youtube and subscribe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of doing theatrical makeup, it seems as though I have had the opportunity to do a lot of it lately, something that I assure you was not at all awful for me. One of these instances was for a friend of mine, Comedian Kool Keith. As a part of project that he is doing with The SOSEG, Keith hired me on as a makeup artist to turn him from a black man to a white man. An Italian singer named Tony Bonaducci, to be precise. It was a challenge that I was more than willing to undertake and would like to think I succeeded in.

The before picture

The after picture

And finally, Tony Bonaducci! I hope I got the spelling right, Keith!

I would like to consider the whole endeavor a complete success and I hope they were able to shoot the footage they needed! Next up on my list of theatrical makeup jobs was for Horizon Youth Theatre, a local children’s theatre in the area. They were performing William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a Mardi Gras theme. Everyone did splendidly, but sadly I am unable to post the photos of the makeup due to privacy issues (and my utmost respect for the kids and their parental units). However, I did get the opportunity to entertain them with some backstage makeup gore!

This fun wound was brought to you by Ben Nye stage makeup, tissue, and latex!

For more photos of my escapades in makeup, check out the Makeup Artist section of my site, where I will be posting some more pictures of Keith’s transformation and other gory photos such as this one!

Needless to say, life is going really well for me lately and I am truly grateful for all those taking the journey with me. It hasn’t always been easy, but I have truly come a long way from where I used to be. I am far from perfect and though I may show a confident face, I’m terribly insecure about the kind of person I am. However, if you could meet the person I was in high school and compare it to the person I am now, I’d say it’s a night and day difference. Here’s hoping that I can continue changing and perhaps one day change someone’s world.

“It’s not just children who need heroes.” ― Tamora Pierce

Random Acts!

Hello again!

The past few weeks have been incredibly busy for me and a lot of things have happened!

I have made the decision to stay where I am for the summer. I will be subletting for a friend and working to raise money so that I may eventually move to somewhere where there is more work. This decision was greatly affected by the opportunity I was given to join Random Acts, a traveling theatre troupe based in Ohio (for the time being). Not only is this a paid acting job (which is awesome), but it also gives me the opportunity to travel to potential living spaces while continuing to build up my résumé. This past Saturday was our first performance, which was in honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, entitled “A Titanic Mystery.”

I got to wear a replica of the Heart of the Ocean necklace from the film, “Titanic”

In this production (which I managed to learn in a week, memorization powers activate!), I played Madeline Astor, the character that Rose from “Titanic” was supposedly based on. The mystery part of this show focused on the whereabouts of the necklace throughout the production. The show was written by the director of Random Acts and a LOT of research was put into the show. The majority of the characters were all based upon people who were on the Titanic and we performed the show for a group of Titanic aficionados, who really knew their stuff! The show went splendidly despite a few technical difficulties and I am looking forward to our next production in a few weeks.

Onto Lionface news, we have unfortunately lost the space that we were to perform “Murder in the Cathedral” in. We were set to finish up paperwork and whatnot regarding the space when someone pointed out that there was already an event scheduled to be held there. So, for the time being, we are looking into different venues. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened to us, but we always seem to manage in one way or another and I have no doubt that we will find another space that will work just as well.

Aside from my work waitressing, I have been getting more hours doing another thing I love to do: working with kids!

A gift from one of the many kids I work with

Kids provide endless fascination for me in that they are so much smarter than people seem to think. A lot of times, adults will try to shelter children and claim that they are simply to young to understand anything. I strongly disagree with this sentiment, I have watched children K-6 come up with their own unique characters, write their own play, build their own set, design their own costumes, AND perform their show for their parents all over the course of a summer. When faced with a challenge, some kids rise to the occasion even more than the majority of adults do. Recently, I had the opportunity to teach another theatrical makeup workshop with a few kids from one of the schools I’ve worked at. I was amazed at how quickly they were able to pick it up and soon they were creating designs and applying them better than a lot of high school and/or college students. I think the difference lies in enthusiasm, oftentimes the older we get the less enthusiastic we are about trying our new things. I believe that as we get older, sometimes we are less likely to want to try new things in fear that we will fail at them. Kids don’t tend to have that sort of hesitation, sure they might get upset if they fail the first time, but they seem to be more likely to try them again until they get them right. This is all my opinion, of course, but I think the world would be a lot different if we would take some of these childlike mentalities and apply them to our own lives.

I’m sure I will have more to write later, but as there are still things that I need to finish, I’ll leave it at this. Thanks for reading!

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll

Happy Ginger Awareness Day!

Good morning,

Which is odd seeing as I have not yet gone to bed. For the record, this is not due to St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans (or as I like to call it, Ginger Awareness Day) but rather due to a late night of work resulting in some insomnia. A strange night as well; we actually had a frog sneak into the kitchen! It was a shame though that I was unable to go out and celebrate, especially considering my wonderful aunt/godmother (works as a beautician) put my hair up so I looked unusually cute (seeing as hair and I don’t get along). I was unable to show it off much due to work, but I have pictures!

Ignore the somewhat dead look on my face, twas a long night at work

A better view of the hair. It’s amazing what my aunt can do with my insane amount of hair.

So you may be wondering what the occasion was (aside from the holiday and desperate need for a haircut, obviously). I am officially getting headshots done on Monday! I’m incredibly excited about them as well! I am having them done by Glass City Stills which is an incredible photography company out of Chicago. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them!

Alas, sleep is finally starting to kick in, just as a storm started outside my window (I love storms! Not being out in them, but just the sound and sight of them) so I shall wrap up for the night. However, as my Ginger Awareness gift to you all, I shall post an interesting link that I found regarding Redhead Superstitions. It is definitely worth the read!

One other note before I leave you: I just found out today that my namesake, Octavia, was born on St. Patrick’s Day. Perhaps it was only fate that I would later become a fair skinned, green-eyed, redhead.

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been
the foresight to know where you’re going
and the insight to know when you’re going too far.” – Irish Blessing