Welcome to Urinetown (The Musical)

It’s always strange when a play comes to an end.

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Getting into costume – Mrs. O Henry.

There’s always the immediate sensation of ‘well..what now?’. Urinetown has been such a big part of my life for the last two months. Every day I found myself at our theatre, singing, dancing and immersing myself into the wonderful cast of people I now consider my family. So when I found myself bidding goodbye to everyone (possibly the last time I’ll ever see some of our graduating seniors, or freshman who will move on to different things than the theatre), it was with both heavy heart.

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Act One Finale – Bobby Strong.

I’m so proud of the work that I’ve done during my time in Urinetown. Not least because it was one of the most physically challenging plays I’ve done. A quick change really earns it’s name when you have to race down to the voms and change into a completely new outfit and then burst back onto stage – all in 80 seconds. It wasn’t just the consistent racing to the bottom of the theatre though – for the first time I was selected to be a lead dancer, something I took on with no small amount of doubt and derision. After all, it was mostly a funny joke – that I was the one chosen to dance, with my bum knees and lack of experience . However I’m proud to say that every performance I gave it my all and held my own, even while sweating beneath a ski mask (which I am NOT sorry to say goodbye to)

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Cop Song with Officers Lockstock & Barrel.

Urinetown was quite possibly the funnest show I’ve ever been involved in, and I couldn’t be happier that it was my first department stage production. It’s constantly a shock and source of inspiration to me how talented the people around me are. One poor cast member actually sprained a foot halfway during our run – and gained standing applause for performing every dance on crutches!

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Act One Finale – Little Sally, Mrs. O. Henry, Doctor Billeaux

There are always times when I doubt why I want to go into the theatre. Rehearsals are long and grueling, directors can be nitpicky, it’s very easy to feel discouraged when you receive a small part. However, all my doubts always wash away when I get up onto stage. There is nothing in the world like being a part of a production – creating your own world and sharing it with complete strangers. It’s a rush unlike anything else. And when I look around- at my wonderful castmates, at my friends sitting in the audience to support me, at the complete strangers there to listen to our story – then I realize there is nothing else I would rather be doing.

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From rehearsals…

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To showtime!

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Privilege to Pee – Penelope Pennywise.

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Follow Your Heart – Hope Cladwell and Bobby Strong.

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This is Urinetown!

Ah well, life moves on, and smacks you in the face with all the responsibilities you’ve been avoiding. It’s time to choose a major, time to figure out housing for next year. While Urinetown may be over, there are always more projects, more creativity to be found and explored. Urinetown, it’s been a privilege.

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Details

I’m super excited to share with you something I’ve been working on for the last couple of months. Last semester, a friend of mine asked me to collaborate with him on the album he was in the process of creating. I was so nervous when he asked me to sing for him – it had been a while since I’d actually done any singing, and was sure I had lost my voice. Well, cut to four months later, and I am so so pleased to show you the amazing thing that he created.

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                   Album Cover for Details

Details is a band created by Evan DeLorenzo, and last Thursday was the official launch party of the album. The atmosphere of the night was incredible – Evan had asked so many amazingly talented people to help him out, and the efforts definitely payed off. 11 Music videos, a full album, live dance performances, and of course everyone who helped create the extravaganza that is Details.

 

Me with two of my amazing co-stars.

Me with two of my amazing co-stars – opening night!

I recorded for four of his songs – Cry, Dream Girl and This Side of LA parts I and II (all of which I helped write and compose) and acted for two. Seeing the process and months of work pay off in such a fantastic way certainly made me breathless. Sometimes I forget why I love acting and creating music so much – and then events like this bring me right back to the beginning.

 

Waiting for the show to begin - the place was packed.

Waiting for the show to begin – the place was packed.

 

There was such an air of exhilaration, and watching all the music videos was such a trip. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be surrounded by such talented artists. Being included among their number is certainly an honor. Below are just a few of my favorites, but each video is incredibly well done. So, without further ado – I present Details.

 

Sometimes Good Things Happen in Fives

I actually can’t believe February is over. Man, this month flew by fast. Every weekend I had something going on – and I’m not complaining!! It was wonderful being able to see friends and family alike, but I am also missing another loved one. My bed. We started off the month with my Mom’s birthday (looking better than ever Mom! XX).

The weather was absolutely beautiful for my parent's - the sunsets even more so.

The weather was absolutely beautiful for my parents – the sunsets even more so.

Then it was time for my own birthday celebrations (fast approaching the end of my teen years – which is a terrifying and cool thought). My lovely friends threw me a surprise party. Which made up for being thrown into a pond in the middle of the night. (Traditions are weird, and very chilly). IMG_1979

Love to all my gorgeous friends!

Love to all my gorgeous friends!

Next up was parent’s weekend!! My parents still reside in HK, so it was absolutely the greatest birthday present to see them during parent’s weekend. We celebrated by touring all the campus (my poor feet) and showing them what life is like for me in college. I was also lucky enough to have two of my best friends visit me. The first popped down from UChicago to perform in a Raas dance competition. If you haven’t heard of Raas, you should absolutely go check it out. I was just in awe watching the incredibly difficult looking moves and the beautiful (and glitzy!) costumes. So. Much. Glitter. Click the video for a small snippet of their performance. They came third but in my opinion should have won. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qUAwy4X6P0&feature=youtu.be Performed in the MOST AMAZING play, Blue Heart Beats. It was such a privilege to be a part of an incredible play and cast. Working with such talented people was definitely intimidating, but inspiring beyond belief. The playwright is currently workshopping it and I am so excited to see it being performed all over the states. It’s an incredibly powerful piece that deserves to be seen.

Unfortunately the weather was gross - but we made the best of it :)

Unfortunately the weather was gross – but we made the best of it 🙂

Finally, my best friend made the trip down to come see me! We spent the weekend together, which resulted in a lot of laughter and memories. We were also lucky enough to go see Hannibal Burress. He’s on one of my favorite shows, Broad City, so I was super pumped to see him live. The act right before him definitely was hard to stomach, but Hannibal was incredibly funny. I’m looking forward to his next album of porcupine songs. I am so glad that she came down to visit, and am looking forward to heading up to her own college. I literally can’t think of a better way to wrap up a perfect month. IMG_1917Whew. Looking back definitely illuminates why I’m feeling so tired (there may be a weekend in soon). However I wouldn’t change it for the world! Seeing so many loved ones and being able to make such incredible memories was worth every yawn I tried to stifle in class today. March is also shaping up to be a crazy month, with Mid-Terms and spring break right around the corner! Much love to everyone who I was able to see and those I wasn’t. IMG_1959

XX

Hello My Old Heart

Hello World!

I had the absolute greatest time last night! My friends and I were lucky enough to go see The Oh Hellos at the Troubadour. And they did not disappoint.

Waiting outside the Troubadour to go see The Oh Hellos

Outside the venue

We started the night with a trip to In-n-Out burger (my first time! The burger was delicious, the fries less so. Definitely know to avoid them for next time) and headed into the city to go to the Troubadour. It was such a cool space to see a band – a relatively large room but small enough that there wasn’t a bad view in the house. Luckily my friends and I were right up against the stage, which was incredible!

Waiting to see The Oh Hellos perform.

Waiting to see The Oh Hellos perform.

The opening band was The Collection, which I had never heard of before. Usually I’m not really into opening bands (I mostly spend the time thinking about how my feet hurt when they perform) but the Collection was amazing from start to finish. Every single person in the band performed four instruments and at one point a didgeridoo appeared! They are definitely on my radar now and everyone should go check out their new album Ars Moriendi. I’ve been listening to it non-stop since last night.

This was on their drum set!

One of the band members moustache actually looked exactly like this.

By far the highlight of the night was The Oh Hellos. They are a brother-sister band from Texas, and their sound is this incredible indie-folk-rock mash up. I was so pumped when I heard that they were performing in the Troubadour because I’ve been obsessed with their music since Through the Deep, Dark Valley came out. AND THEY WERE AMAZING. Everyone in the band had this amazing energy and since the venue was so small the crowd was just crazy and fed off of each other. Everyone was singing along and stomping and cheering. I’ve literally never had a better concert experience in my life! They also debuted a new song and announced that they are putting out a new album!! Which is INCREDIBLE and I am so excited to hear how their sound evolves in the next installment.

The Oh Hellos performing

The Oh Hellos performing

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After the show we walked around and went for milkshakes, which was the perfect end to a fantastic evening. I’m absolutely going to go back to the Troubadour and I’m looking forward to it!

Here’s hoping everyone has an amazing weekend!

XX

Links to the Oh Hellos – http://theohhellos.com

Links to The Collection – http://www.thecollectionband.com

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Shout Out To That One Girl Dressed As A Cat

Whew! Halloween is officially over. It’s been a long weekend of partying (and for those with far less school work, whole week of partying) I spent most of Halloween admiring all the costumes and just taking my first all-american Halloween in. It isn’t really a thing back home, so I really enjoyed the opportunity to get all costumed up and hang out with cool people. But man, was my weekend packed!

First thing first on the Halloween checklist was a costume competition, and my group of friends went as a modern wizard of Oz. It was so much fun pulling the costume together and getting ready (although the time crunch did make things a little nerve wracking). We didn’t win, but my friend won for best hair and makeup, so that was super exciting!

The next night however, things really stepped up. All sorts of events were happening across campus – competitions and parties and performances. In the true spirit of the holiday, however, my friends and I began the night trick-or-treating. I’m not sure if I’m actually ever going to recover from the amount of candy that I ate. Someone please take the fruit rollups away from me.

I was also lucky enough to catch two performances on Halloween. The first was a concert where college kids got to play and the second was a student written performance about the life backstage. I also heard that there was a murder mystery party happening, but we couldn’t fit it into our night. Definitely something to add to the list! I’ve always wanted to attend one of those (perhaps as the murderer…)

Finally, this Halloween I got to see my first-ish screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show! I had actually watched the movie years ago with my father, but believe me when I say that I did not remember most of it and didn’t understand the movie when I first watched it. Which is probably good, because I don’t really want to meet the child who ‘gets’ Rocky Horror Picture Show. While it wasn’t in the true spirit of Rocky (there wasn’t a live performance, for one) I’m definitely very interested in going to one! How much fun would it be to throw toast and sing along with a whole audience?

I would say that my first Halloween was definitely a success, but I’m glad I have a whole year to rest and begin planning my next costume. Needless to say, some people definitely put me to shame. You know you’re not in Kansas anymore when you pass a man dressed as tower. Or a whole army of masked Mexican wrestlers.

How were your Halloweens? And who else is excited for Thanksgiving? AND THEN CHRISTMAS.

XX