Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tumblr Tuesday

Tumblr is a fantastic outlet for finding inspiration and sharing thoughts and ideas. Today I thought I'd share with you just a few of my favorite Tumblr posts from the past week!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Miscast on a Monday

Nothing too exciting to post today, but I am again sharing some memories that I came across recently.

Tonight will be the first rehearsal for a show I'm in that will be going up in a few weeks. It's called Miscast, and is essentially a cast of people singing and performing songs that they normally wouldn't be performing. Of course, it's all musical theatre songs and the styles, genders, tempos, etc. are all switched up. Today I thought I'd share some videos from last year's show in honor of our first rehearsal!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Memories of Mayer

I heard someone once say that life is all about forgetting and then remembering. I'm not sure if that's what life is all about, but I know that it's important to do. It's important to forget and it's even more important to remember. Those moments where the memories seems to surface can be some of the best moments in our lives. Things seems to click and make sense, even if just for a second. So, I got to thinking about things or people I've forgotten, and I realized there was more than I thought. Today I thought I'd share one of those things with you, his name is John Mayer. Of course, John is "mainstream" and is in the media every now and then, but I really had forgotten how much I liked some of his music. "No Such Thing" was a song I sang at camp for a few years straight, and brought me closer to a good friend of mine. "Daughters" was a song I used to help me learn to play the guitar. "Why Georgia" was a song I used to audition for my high school acapella group. These songs all played a big part in my pre-college career and I don't know why or how they escaped my mind, but I'm glad they've returned. In all honesty, the reason why I remembered was because I watched John Mayer's episode of Storytellers on Palladia a few days ago. His songwriting skills are incredible and his guitar licks are as smooth as skin covered in cocoa butter. His voice is unique, it has a free and loose quality about it. The music has qualities similar to Dave Matthews and Jason Mraz, and it reminiscent of Hall & Oates and some older Blues artists. Now I'm happy to be able to share these memories with you!


My new favorite John Mayer song

Incredible cover


Saturday, January 28, 2012

All The Animals

Tonight I'll be attending a Noah's Ark theme party. While I am currently putting together a few, more fulfilling posts for this week, I wanted to share this cover with you. Originally by Bob Dylan, Jason Mraz released his version on one of the EPs that came along with "We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things"

This is, Man Gave Names To All The Animals

So, enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Minimalist Movie Magic

In honor of yesterday's Oscar nominee's, which were surprising and relieving in some instances, I've decided to compile a showcase of one of my favorite styles of graphic design; simplistic and minimalist movie posters. I'll hopefully be making some of my own one day, but for now enjoy some of my favorites.
  Pixar's Ratatouille

Alice in Wonderland - Minimalist Movie Poster Sixteen Candles'Waterworld' pictogram movie poster'Psycho' pictogram movie posterEdward-ScissorhandsMean Girls (2004)Singin' in the Rain

Let's get something straight, these aren't my favorite movies...just some of my favorite designs!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's January?

Today, here in Boston, it's actually 50 degrees. This is more like April weather than January weather, but I'm not complaining in the least! So in honor of the nice weather, I thought I'd share some pictures of truly beautiful weather in some of my favorite places that always seem to make me smile and close my eyes and imagine I'm there...even though I'm still in the snow!

Source: google.com via Ashley on Pinterest
Source: google.com via Brittany on Pinterest

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mashup Mondays

When I'm sitting around with my friends playing guitar, I'm known to mix in another song or two. For my last voice recital I sang a combination of Old Devil Moon, some MJ songs, Single Ladies, and Born This Way. I've fallen in love with the sound of different songs together and how you can manipulate the melody to fit a certain chord progression. So, in honor of all this I've decided that today I'm going to share with you some of my favorite mashups and remixes. The people who create these are pretty talented. It's not easy taking well known songs and mushing them up into a gorgeous explosion of sound. A lot of these provide what we formally call "eargasms"...so enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Life Is Like A Song

As a part of one of my classes this year, we had to sing a "standard" in the 20's and 40's style. I had a hard time finding a song, until this one came along. "At Last" sort of popped out of no where and for some reason spoke to me. I wasn't extremely successful in finding the meaning of it in the 20's style, and it wasn't until the day of the final for the 40's final that it spoke to me. It was a moment I won't forget, as it was the first time I let myself free fall into a piece. It poured out of me like nothing ever had before and right after I had finished, things finally clicked. I realized then that the song essentially says that up to this moment, I haven't had anyone or anything in my life like you...you've turned my world upside down. "I found a dream that I could speak to, a dream that I could call my own. I found a thrill to press my cheek to, a thrill I've never known." Woah. For something as intangible as love, that's a pretty tangible explanation. But what is that tangible thing and how can someone find it? Although the lyrics speak of waiting and finding this dream you've searched everywhere for, I think that's the mind making sense of something that really doesn't. I think these things come to us, whether we know, admit it, and realize it or not.

So, this is my post tributing the one and only Etta James who passed away on Friday. Here are 3 versions of the song that inspire me. Etta James, Beyonce, and Jason Mraz (of course).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life Is Too Short, Live With Passion


After returning home from a long day of school, I received the news that a true inspiration of mine had passed away. Mr. Kriz was my 8th grade math teacher and his passion and love for not only math, but for teaching were immeasurable. There is something to be said about someone with a passion, and Mr. Kriz had it. You could sense in him this ever longing need to spread his knowledge, spread joy, and make math something that everyone enjoyed. Between the Matherobics and the original songs that he wrote to help us memorize facts, it was very clear that he was no ordinary math teacher. I had the chance over the break to really sit and think about what Mr. Kriz meant to me. I realized that since my 8th grade year, I became entranced with the idea of teaching. I've always talked about (if I didn't make it big time) becoming a teacher, but I never quite understood what began my engagement with the idea of becoming an educator. I've been extremely lucky to have filled my pre-college education, since I was in Kindergarden, with fantastic teachers. But, there are a few that stand out in my mind. These are teachers that only love what they're teaching, but they just love teaching. These are the teachers that can change a student's life. Mr. Kriz was no doubt one of those people. I remember seeing how much joy teaching brought him, and how much joy his teaching brought to others and I couldn't resist the idea of one day being a teacher like him.

I share this with you in the hopes that you can understand why he had such an impact on so many people. When we do what we love, and we love what we do...there is a special aura surrounding a person that you cannot describe. You notice it immediately when they walk in a room, and it can be hard to find. But, what got me thinking about this was another acting class discussion, this one about presence. One of my friends threw out the idea that people are truly present when they are passionate about what they're doing. When work isn't work and love is the driving force behind their every move. The first person I thought of was Mr. Kriz.

He is and will be truly missed.

Rest in peace Mr. Kriz, and thank you for everything you've done for everyone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Last night I again had the privilege of seeing a prescreening of a movie that is coming out this weekend; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. My friend Emily and I were literally next in line when they closed the doors to the theatre. The woman in charge let me know there were only seats in the front row, and we took them without hesitation. We sat incredibly close. I am so thankful we did. This could be the greatest movie I've ever seen. It's up there with Mr. Holland's Opus, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and The Dead Poets Society. This story is simply remarkable and the acting is superb. The young boy who the story centers around, has never acted in his life, and although he is a little odd and a true genius, he is so perfect for this character it is scary. Of course, you're aware of what the movie is essentially about when you walk in, but you have no idea of the ride you're in for. Between the twist and turns in the script, you'll be laughing, crying, gasping, and sitting in utter silence from a screenplay that is based on the award winning book, which I now have to read. I have never, in my life, been speechless from a movie, and this did it. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll refrain from referring to moments and scenes, but I will say that if you do not see this movie...you're nuts. Go see it this weekend...I would even see it again. I cannot tell you how much it moved me, but I can say that there were some inspiring thoughts to ponder.

The one that really stands out is this idea of searching for the truth, things really do not make sense, and all in all being able to move forward when we feel tangled in something that's happened. There are too many things in our life that happen that we cannot and will not understand. How we cope with them is different and how we approach them is never the same, but it has been said that everything happens for a reason. I can't say I believe this exactly, but I do believe that we can learn from every experience we have. Of course, there is pain and suffering in our lives and it's not easy. We are allowed to be sad, and allowed to grieve, but in order to continue to live we must not look back and move forward, living from moment to moment. Essentially, not everything has a clear cut lesson or meaning immediately when it happens or right after it happens, and sometimes we never come to realize these things. Often times, they happen subconsciously and on their own, but in order to grow at all, we have to accept whatever did happen. Denying or regretting will only hold you back from moving forward. Sounds a lot like what I posted last night...huh? I'm sure I'll have some more posts about ideas that sparked from this movie.

For now, enjoy the trailer and again...GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where Life Begins

Inspirational Quotes 2

Today was my first day back at school, and in acting class my teacher shared this quote with us. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." This got me thinking, of course. What's really important to note is that for so much of our lives, we live in our "safe zones." We go through a daily routine we understand and are confident in. Most of the time, people don't take risks because it's...well a risk. But in order to grow and learn and truly live, we must make mistakes and jump off that ledge we've been standing on. Once we do, what happens next....who knows, but that's the fun of it. Once these things start happening and experiences come and go, you cannot regret anything. In my opinion, when you regret you learn nothing. By taking each experience and appreciating the good and the not so good, you are able to make changes, grow, and learn from the things that happen in your life. My 20 before 20 is hopefully a good example of taking risks and doing things that aren't so comfortable for me. Personally, it means texting or calling someone for plans instead of waiting for things to happen. It's letting things sit where they are even though the impulse is to change them and try to "make things better." It's letting the quiet be quiet and the loud be loud and really sinking into it in order to make progress...things will happen on their own.

Here's a song you've probably heard before, but not like this. I think it applies to what I'm talking about...listen and let it affect you the way it will. It's about living on edge...I think.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taken By "Timeflies Tuesday"

Discovering creative genius is hard to do, but it's gotten much easier since YouTube has developed more and more over the years. Videos spread and word gets around quicker with social media. This particular member of the YouTube was suggested to me about a month ago from a camper of mine. I really didn't expect much, but was blown away by what I saw. This is "Timeflies Tuesday" and they're a group of guys who put out a new video every tuesday. They're taking songs we know and remixing them with some sick vocals and melody shifts and then always breaking it down with a new verse or two that's rapped. They're popularity is growing quickly; they were even featured on FOX promotional for The Cotton Bowl. Now I am not a rap fan, but I could listen to this kid roll out lyrics for hours. No matter what kind of music you like, you can appreciate how talented these guys are. So, check them out, subscribe to them...they're really really good...plain and simple.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Awards for "The Artist"

Today I had the privilege of seeing the Golden Globe winning film, The Artist with a few friends. I was apprehensive but excited to see the film. I will admit that I have never seen a silent film before, which would explain the nerves, but after seeing how many awards it won on last night's award show, I was quite excited. I was not disappointed. The score was simply stunning, the storytelling is so clear and well done, and the acting is superb to say the least. The first few moments of the movie were quite awkward in complete silence, but once the score and story began; I was hooked. You tend to fall in love with the two lead characters and by the end...well it left my friend in tears. After seeing it, I think it really deserved every award it won last night and I cannot wait to see how it does at the SAG awards and the Oscars. If you get the chance, see this movie!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Again, my addiction to Jason Mraz continues and grows. He recently journaled on his website about love and what it means. Really good stuff: jasonmraz.com. It got me thinking about what my definition of love is...I'm still pondering. Needless to say, his new song "I Won't Give Up" is stunning to say the least. The song uses love as an underlying theme and takes something a lot of us feel and puts it into music, something Jason does better than most people. Music does that. This song, I think, is about love for something or someone and sticking through the tough stuff whether it be yours or theirs. I can't say that I have tons of experience with this, but I know the feeling of pushing through things that aren't easy and even telling someone "I won't give up." The song is powerful, beautiful, and full of love and is just a taste of what his album is going to be.

The official lyric video

A live performance

An incredible cover

Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting SMASHed

I guess this is officially the first thing I can cross off of my 20 before 20 list! On Monday night I had the chance to attend a free prescreening of the NBC show SMASH. I was lucky enough to be joined by a good friend of mine from school who had no idea what the show was about. The premiere was actually really fun. In addition to two of the producers from the show, (who were responsible for the movie versions of Chicago, Hairspray and Gypsy, and the revival of H2$ on Broadway) Brian D'Arcy James was also in attendance. We ended up sitting like 5th row for the screening, and even though the angle may have not be the most preferable for viewing, the show was nothing short of a smash. Ignoring the obnoxious pun, it was actually very good. For those of you who are not quite sure what the show is about, essentially it is the story of how a broadway show is put together, in this case; a new musical based around the life of Marilyn Monroe. More than that, it's about following your dreams and pursuing what you love. According to the producers, the name "Smash" refers to not only the commonly used term about a "Smash hit", but also to the relationships within the story where people seem to collide. In every collaborative process, much like the one within Smash, there are conflicts and difficulties that come with working with a team. However, it seems to me that putting this show together was quite easy for these producers. The cast is almost flawless. Everyone is absolutely perfect for their role, but there were a few moments of "stage acting" that seemed to bleed through the prime-time television pilot. When it premieres after the monday after the Super Bowl, I'm sure they'll be plenty of theatre majors and Broadway junkies everywhere snapping at the screen and yelling, "THAT WAS FIERCE." And although I do agree that there are moments that are simply belt-tastic and even a song sequence where they show, quite literally, what imaging is (for those who know what that is) what I find so appealing about the show is that no one randomly breaks into song, like Glee. If audiences can understand that Smash is so far from what Glee is, I think it can have success. Debra messing is, what I think of as, their tool for television. She's a well known name and has a face that people will recognize and thus will draw in more than just the theatre loving audience. Oh, and she's also fantastic. But for those of us who know theatre names and faces, it's exciting to see Christian Borle, who most people know as Emmet from Legally Blonde the Musical, playing a more flamboyant homosexual songwriting parter to Messing. Megan Hilty belting her face off, D'Arcy James acting his face off, and a slew of supporting characters that each have personalities we can relate to and recognize in our own lives all add up to the up-and-coming star of the show that pulled through big time in the pilot. Past Boston Conservatory student and American Idol contestant Katherine McPhee plays the typical girl who is following her dreams in New York City. Her personality is nothing near overwhelming and her sweet and naive nature is what makes her so likable to the viewer. Needless to say, there have already been "teams"created, much like those for the Twilight movies (Team Jacob and Team Edward). Team Ivy (Megan Hilty's character) will be rooting for the girl who is already the front runner for the part of Marilyn in the new musical they're creating called; Marilyn, and Team Karen will be behind the so called underdog of the story who we hope gets her big break. Beyond all this, Katherine shows her acting chops right off the bat and gives us some emotional moments in the very first episode. The brand new songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman who are responsible for Hairspray and Catch Me if you Can, are in fact quite good. The glimpses of choreography are great and the dream sequences are seductive in that they leave us wanting to see more. As the pilot ended, I got goosebumps in the finals notes realizing not only how talented these girls were, but how big this show could be. I am excited to see where things lead and what happens next. We've already been told that there will be appearances by Broadway greats (like Bernadette Peters) and seeing some familiar faces like Annaleigh Ashford, who plays a bit part in the pilot. If you haven't already got your calendar marked for February 6th...get on it. This is something you're not going to want to miss. Below I've posted a few videos that you can take a look at if you're interested. The first one is simply the preview for the show, the other two have tidbits of other songs and interviews from the cast and creative team.

Besides all that, I am happy to say that I now have officially accomplished one of the 20 before 20! Please check out some other posts and comment on anything you find interesting. (My 20 before 20 list can be found on the left hand side of the blog.) 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Official 20 before 20

  1. See a show on Broadway
  2. Knit something
  3. Take a "touristy" tour
  4. Complete one week of P90x
  5. Learn the sign language alphabet
  6. Cook a FoodNetwork meal
  7. See a prescreening
  8. Watch Shawshank Redemption
  9. Paint, frame, and hang a picture
  10. Read/Watch "The Secret"
  11. Send something to PostSecret
  12. See a production at another school
  13. Read a book about astrology
  14. Go to professional sporting event
  15. Watch a classic Disney movie
  16. Bake a cake from scratch
  17. Go to a museum
  18. Get a massage
  19. Hit 20 followers on BlogLovin or Blogger
  20. Put an original song on YouTube

Par-tay with Pentatonix

As a kid in high school, I fell in love with acapella music. There's something about putting together a song with just people and voices that reminds me of collaborative acting work. It's system where everyone has their own important part to play and without one part, the entire structure could collapse. When I heard a few years ago they were creating a TV show that was an acapella competition, the little girl inside of me screamed. There have been a few good groups to come out, but none like this. I saw this first video at the beginning of last year and fell in love. These three 18/19 year olds arranged a song on their own and made it completely their own, better than groups of 20+ can do. So, when I turned on the sing off this season and saw them, I became a pretty big fan pretty quickly and luckily they won the season! They take songs of pretty much any genre (as you can see below) and can completely put their own spin on it. Anyway, it's some killer music that I think you should hear. It's inventive and new and smart and just plain good. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

...So Do It

Last night I had to decide whether or not I was going to be driving my dear friend Cassie and I to a little coffee shop about 30 or so minutes away from home. I sat and thought, and then thought some more, and eventually said; why not. I could not be more happy that I did. It ended up being exactly the talk I needed. We had the chance to catch-up on each other's lives and more importantly, talk about the nitty gritty stuff. There were a lot of topics brought up, but this image really spoke to one of them. We only live once. Now is the time to start doing things that we want to do. Determination is too often associated with failure, and failure is too often associated with negative energy. Failure is simply a chance to learn from whatever you decided to do. But not taking that chance is pointless, and even spending time thinking about taking that chance is a waste of energy that could be used doing something fun or exciting or new or meaningful. These 3 rules are simply an extension of what I'm trying to say. The time is now.

In the words of the wise Jason Mraz, "We all know what we wanna do...so do it."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Twenty Before 20

While I was stumbling around online last night, I came across a blog that really inspiring to me. After finding Yes and Yes, I saw a list on the side of her blog listing 33 things she wanted to do before was 33. I thought this was a genius idea and has now sparked an interest to me to make a list of my own. 20 things I want to do before I turn 20! My birthday is March 27th, only 79 days away and I have to get my list started! As I cross off things on my list, I'll be sure to take pictures and make a post about each one. But before I can cross anything off, I need ideas! Please comment with your ideas, once I have 20 (which hopefully is by the end of next week) I'll post the official list! Besides that, this is my first time "publishing" or promoting this blog. The reason I created it was because one of my New Years resolutions was to really get into the "blogging world/community" so please follow me on blogger or by email, and comment below or shoot me an email with ideas for posts or just how I can make my blog better in general! Thanks for all the support and help!

My 20th birthday

She Found Love

So I'm lucky enough to be at school with a lot of talented people. One of which is my good friend Kasie, this video is her younger sister, and her older brother is an up and coming singer/songwriter. The video is Chole's own cover of "We Found Love" and I honestly like it better than the original song. It's heartfelt, and honest, and pure, and just plain good. This girl is beyond talented so please find her on YouTube, watch her videos and like them or comment or favorite them because she is going places.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Just Jamie

Another thing I think you deserve to hear. Jamie Cullum has slowly but surely become one of my favorite artists, and I mean artists. Jamie's vocals and musicality are so pure and real that he really performs works of art. Originally a Radiohead song, Jamie cover "High & Dry" but I chose this video/version because of the manipulations he makes and the way it's filmed...it's just Jamie singing and playing. Let your ears be blessed with this and enjoy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's Got Me

I was browsing the web on stumbleupon about a month ago, and I came across this "VisualDNA Personality Quiz" and I was extremely confused. But, as I went along selecting pictures, without trying to read too much into them, I was curious to see what my results would be. Sure enough, this quiz knew me pretty well. I was really impressed and a little scared. I showed it to one of my good friends at school, Emily, and after she took the quiz, it got her too! So I'm sharing this with you now. Check it out, and let me know how it went in a comment below!

Click here for the quiz!

Have fun (and don't try to interoperate the pictures, do the one that suits you!)

To Begin at the Beginning

The first post. Woah.

This song's pretty fitting for my blog and big part of my new years resolution. "Living in the Moment" is something that we always talk about in acting classes at school because once you're truly alive in the moment, you are open and free. Beyond that, you'll realize quickly, my biggest inspiration is Jason Mraz. His music, his lyrics, his career are all things that keep me going. One day I'm gonna meet that guy and shake his hand and tell him how important he's been to me. For now, I'll just let you enjoy this song.