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

 

Still Laughing

Hello again, long time, no post. My bad. Let’s see how long it takes for me to play catch up!

The background screen for me at Stand Up Toledo 2013

The background screen for me at Stand Up Toledo 2013

Okay, so Stand Up Toledo 2013 happened and it was a blast! I had a great time backstage with the comedians and we had a fantastic crowd. Toledo.com came out to cover the show and took some really sweet photos (some of which are featured on my comedian page). I took a few photos myself, but mostly I hung out with the camera people and comedians backstage, snuck out to watch some of the show, and ran around with a home-made “CENSORED” sign, censoring comedians and guests alike (for my own amusement, if not for the amusement of others).

My homemade censored sign

My homemade “CENSORED” sign

But of course, the show, as in life, must go on. They will be doing a showing of the DVD in a few months and I now have a copy of the last one to watch (and cringe as I watch myself in it) to entertain me. Additionally, Valentine’s Day is coming up which would normally mean cutesy, flirty interactions and gifts with significant others or defiant, “I don’t need a man or a day for love” it-rocks-being-single attitudes, but not for this chick. Nope, the laughs must go on! Therefore, I am once again emceeing for the wonderful, enigmatic magician/hypnotist/comedian Michael Night! Alongside me will be the feature act, the wonderful Corey W. King, who was in the recent Stand Up Toledo with me as well as the previous one. I absolutely love working with both of these guys, so I consider myself a lucky girl to be working with them on V-Day 🙂

One of the posters for the show, the other is featured on my Comedian page

One of the posters for the show, the other is featured on my Comedian page

So the laughs will undoubtedly continue long into the month of February. Outside of comedy, I am receiving opportunities for work outside of my normal acting scope. I don’t want to go too much into it for privacy reasons, but I have an opportunity to audition for a full-time position as a children’s performer! There have been a few bumps in the road concerning this (mainly with sending information back and forth via snail mail), but I plan to do my best in spite of this and to give as good of a performance as I can, despite the shortened practice time due to the lack of luck with the postal service. There are also opportunities coming with my former school and their “Right to Read” week, as well as some fun with Already Indie (such as this video clip).

And that’s that! At least for now, more updates to come as always (hopefully sooner next time around). As always, thanks for reading and feel free to share this blog with your friends!

The comedians of Stand Up Toledo 2013 (photo courtesy of Toledo.com)

The comedians of Stand Up Toledo 2013 (photo courtesy of Toledo.com)

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”  ― Herman MelvilleMoby-Dick

 

Finally Beginning

Hello again!

So things are finally starting to happen for me! But before I get to that, there’s some news I need to catch up on.

We have released another episode of Already Indie this past Friday. This episode finishes up our 2 part series on the basics of guerilla filmmaking. In true guerilla style, we went to a local skatepark to get our AI shout-out (if you are interested in possibly sending us a shout-out, please contact us on our website Already Indie or follow us on Facebook and Twitter!). Unlike our previous episodes, I take a turn hosting the majority of the episode. I actually learned a couple of really neat facts during this episode and we found a really neat location to film.

Aside from Already Indie, I am looking to update the Author section of this site with some behind the scenes concept drawings, an explanation of the dedication, and the story of how I came to write it. I’m not sure if anyone would be interested or not, but at the same time I don’t want to forget it (not that I would, but one never knows). The creativity of kids was a big inspiration for it and the book is actually based upon how I felt children would react upon hearing the theatrical terms. And speaking of creative kids, here’s a finger puppet made by one of the kids I work with! It’s Domo! I didn’t even realize that kids her age knew who Domo was, so I was incredibly excited by this. Below that photo is a “fake tattoo” that the same kid painted on my arm as we were messing around with face paint. I taught them a quick workshop on stage and effects makeup and we let them play with their own designs.

Domo! No help on this either, this kid did it all by herself! So proud!

I should feel a little threatened, this girl is good. No doubt she’ll be better than me in a year or two 😉

Now onto my big news! I finally received an audition for a film in Pittsburgh! Unfortunately, we got the news an hour before it was supposed to take place, so I wasn’t able to make it. However, this means that my face has been seen and that I am being considered for roles, which is amazing! I can honestly say that I am grateful to even be considered, though I do wish I would have been able to make it. However, as luck would have it I did get invited to attend a movie première in a few weeks which will help me meet more people in the industry. I am truly honored to be invited and I hope that I will be able to make a good impression while I am there. Additionally, my business cards came in and they look great if I do say so myself! So I hope to pass a few of those out while I am there.

Alright, that does it for this episode (or entry, if you will) as I have to go catchilla sit for my friend. At least, that is what I have been referring to me babysitting for two cats and two chinchillas for a friend. Below is a photo of the chinchillas for your enjoyment!

Chinchillas!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou (1928-)

Short Update

Hello again,

Alas, Murder in the Cathedral has ended. Though the crowds for each show were somewhat small, the quality of them could not be beat! Honestly, despite the size, I preferred this crowd to many others that I performed in front of, so I definitely considered the show a success. Plus it is always fun to be in shows with friends. I do believe that I will miss the show, but I am ready to move on with other parts of my life and perhaps break away from the Bowling Green scene of things.

Rocking the Rosie the Riveter look while backstage for our final performance

I have already made some plans to do some more comedy now that I have more evenings free. For starters, I will be MCing BG’s Professional Comedy Night this coming Tuesday. Though I have done this a couple of times before, I am a little nervous as I feel somewhat out of practice. Work has made it difficult for me to get stage time, but I am confident that the nervousness will subside rather quickly. As they say, “this isn’t my first rodeo.” Additionally, the DVD for Stand Up Toledo is almost ready to be released! They have already released a few stills from the DVD as teasers (see photo below). The people in charge are hoping to do a public screening of the DVD some time soon, although I won’t lie: I don’t always like seeing myself on camera. Not so much performing, like something with a script, but watching myself perform my own material or just “be myself” always feels awkward. However, this is something I will have to get used to quickly as I begin to do more and more performances for the camera.

Stand Up Toledo DVD still

Another update is that I may have yet another outlet for selling my books! Horizon Youth Theatre has offered me an opportunity to work with them on promoting my book at some of their shows… now I just have to get a hold of some books to sell/promote. So watch for a Kickstarter update! I really want to get this off the ground as I feel that this book is important for any kid who is interested in technical/backstage theatre (and believe me, I have met a few that are!).

That’s all for now, just a short update on the direction in which things are headed for me. As I tell some of the kids I work with before they head out to school: Have a good day! Make good choices, do good things!

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Waiting…

At the point in my life, I find myself in a nearly constant state of waiting. I’m not a particularly impatient person, but I do find myself wishing that I could take a more active role in my life. Unfortunately, many things that I could be doing require me to have money that I simply do not have.

For example, it was recently pointed out to me that in order to promote my book more I need to have more copies to sell, hand out, use for book signings, etc. Unfortunately, the way my publisher works is that I have to pay for copies of my book to have them to sell/use for my own devices. Additionally, if I am going to get any sort of author discount I have to order a minimum amount of 25 books (which would be roughly $250, with my discount). All in all, this is a great deal, but when you factor in rent and living expenses, it’s a difficult number for a young actress who also has to worry about health and paying back school loans.

A peek inside my book, “Silly Billy’s Guide to the Theatre”

However, this fellow author whom I was speaking with brought up some very good points. I would be able to make the money back simply by selling the books, therefore not really losing anything. The difficult part is simply getting the money to start with. He suggested possibly taking out a loan or setting up something through Kickstarter. Since I had never heard of this program, I needed an explanation: Basically, Kickstarter is an online fundraising program designed to help artists, such as myself, begin projects. People can donate money on the site towards these projects, and are given rewards based upon how much they spend on your project. The best part? If you don’t reach your monetary goal by the date that you set, no one is charged anything. So someone could donate money towards the cause, but not have to pay if the project is scrapped for some reason. Cool, right? It’s definitely worth looking into, although I worry whether or not there would be anyone willing to donate money towards my cause, but you never know if you don’t try. Plus, I’ve already been asked to do a few book signings, so it wouldn’t necessarily be an exercise in futility.

Another route I’ve looked into is selling some of my artwork. Well, technically I have already been doing that (thank you, Redbubble!), but I’m speaking specifically about selling some of my oil paintings through Etsy.

One of my oil paintings, currently making my kitchen wall a bit more classy

Instagram made the coloring a bit brighter than it actually is, but you get the picture (lol, lame unintentional pun). For those of you that don’t know, Etsy is essentially a site designed to help artists sell their art online without having to worry about not getting the product or not getting paid for your art. Shipping would still be my responsibility, of course, but this not only gets my art out there, I don’t have to worry about giving it away to someone who will neither pay for nor appreciate it.

Another route I’d like to look into is doing comedy on a bigger scale. This is something I may not have to wait for, I just need to be more aggressive on finding work. However, I am making the choice to do this after…

The finished product! It took a lot of work, but I finally have the poster where I want it. It’s definitely one of the better posters I’ve created.

Murder in the Cathedral! We are drawing closer to tech week and the inevitable opening of the show. I am truly fortunate to be in yet another show with so many of my friends. I am also fortunate that the director has been very patient with me, I have unfortunately been fighting a cold for several weeks now. I’m hoping that this will have passed by opening night, though the doctors are, frankly, a little stumped at this cold’s insistence on staying in my system. Never the less, as the old saying goes, “the show must go on” (and it’s often forgotten counterpart, “or else we’ll have to give them their money back”). Speaking of the show, I have to get some things ready before rehearsal tonight, so I will end this entry here.

“All things come to him who waits – provided he knows what he is waiting for.”  – Woodrow T. Wilson

Lionface, AH! Lemonface, Ooh!

Happy Hunger games!

That’s right, I’m going to come right out and admit my intense nerdy love for The Hunger Games, but more on that later.

First, I’d like to talk a bit more on this fantastic organization that I am apart of: Lionface Productions! We are a non-profit theatre organization in Bowling Green, OH and are currently coming to the end of our second official season!

Plus we have sweet, sweet t-shirts!

That being said, our final show, Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot is now in rehearsals and thus far it has been incredibly fun! As opposed to setting the show back in the early, early days of the Catholic church, our director has decided to place it some time in the era of WWI, which was actually the time in wish Eliot wrote the show. I’m interested to see how this will affect the acting, especially when we get into rehearsals. Plus, this gives the women of Canterbury (of which I am one) a lot more strength and say in what is going on as opposed to the early days where women were seen and not heard. If you are interested in learning more about Lionface Productions, please check out their website: Lionface Productions

We are currently trying to raise money to put this show on, so if anyone has a few dollars that they would like to donate to this fantastic organization, please click her: Lionface Productions Fundraising

A little bit more of my painting is complete! Naturally, there’s still a lot to go, but I’m having fun with it.

Back to my nerdy excitement about The Hunger Games. I have to admit, I am a little disappointed that they are coming out with a movie only in that it means that I won’t get to play Katniss Everdeen, which is a phenomenal role. I am going to the midnight première with a few friends and I truly hope that the film lives up to the phenomenal book series. I am sure I will write more on this after I see it, but I wanted to share my excitement.

As for the headshots, I am still excitedly awaiting them as they are being touched up! However, I feel that I can reveal the group responsible for them: Glass City Stills!

Glass City Stills is run by the multi-talented actor/photographer, Cole Simon, who I had the absolute pleasure of working with. Though the company is out of Chicago, we were able to meet in the Columbus area, which was a great deal more convenient for me. A mutual friend ended up setting up this first contact and the rest is, well, that’s what’s going to be seen soon. I had a lot of fun working with him and I cannot wait to see how the photos turned out!

Keeping this post fairly short, I’m still not exactly a “blogger” by any means, so I’m trying to keep things simple. Feedback is always a plus as well! So until next time, may the odds be ever in your favor!

“You never forget the face of the person who was your last hope.” – Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games