Beauty and the Beast Post Mortem

Even though Beauty and the Beast, Jr. closed about a month ago, that didn’t stop me from having a nightmare about Belle missing her entrance the other night. I can’t seem to get this show out of my head!

The week of the performances I pretty much went insane from the stress. Below is photo documentation of my downward spiral into insanity during show week.

Co-Directors during show week!

Co-Directors dressed as Wardrobe and Cogsworth!

Usually, directors get to sit back and enjoy their work during show week, but that is not that case when you’re directing a children’s production. Because of the neediness of pint-sized actors, I was needed backstage during all the shows so I could move set pieces and help Belle with her many costume and wig changes.

At times it felt like I was like trying to tame a herd of wild elephants. Those kids LOVE to stand in the wings (in perfect view of the audience, mind you) to watch the show and discuss the on-stage action with their friends. One of the first rules of theatre is to stay quiet backstage, but the kids just couldn’t stop talking.

In addition to playing “angry librarian” by shushing the kids during the performances, I also sang harmonies from backstage to help out during group numbers. By the end of each performance I was exhausted!

Each show had its own set of hiccups, but that doesn’t mean that the kiddies didn’t do a great job! In live theatre, especially in children’s theatre, there is no such thing as perfection. Lines were dropped, entrances were missed and the occasional costume piece fell off. (I’ll never forget the horror of watching Beast’s mask fly off his face mid fight scene!) Luckily, the kids are adorable, so they can pretty much get away with any mishap.

Overall, I’m very proud of the kids and what we were able to accomplish with the show. Beauty and the Beast is, by nature, a VERY technically challenging show, but the kids rose to the challenge. I would love to be a part of this show again someday, as it is still one of my favorites, but I’d definitely prefer to be a part of a production with adults!

Directing Beauty and the Beast was a great experience and the kids filled my summer with magic! Here’s to another great show!

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Theatre Camp – Stage Combat

In case you missed my last post, this summer I’m co-directing a production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. starring some adorable kiddies. The past two weeks have been going fairly smoothly. My co-director and I are just about finished blocking all the scenes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with theatre lingo, blocking is any movement that a director assigns to an actor while on stage. This is different from choreography which are the dance movements given to an actor during a musical number. One challenge that I have come across during this process is getting the kids to be quiet while I am trying to teach the blocking or rehearse lines with the actors. When the kids aren’t working on something specific they tend to get antsy. I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise — they are kids after all!

Working with kids is very different from working with college students. Children tend to upstage each other (stand so far upstage that they force the other actor to turn their back to the audience) and direct others. A big “no-no” in theatre is when one actor tries to direct another actor. The only person who should be directing is the director.

One of the highlights of camp was last week when a fight choreographer visited to teach the kiddies (and counselors!) stage combat. As a female, I haven’t had much experience in stage combat (why are all the good fight scenes between guys?), so I was very excited to learn. Unlike normal fighting, stage combat is all about safety. We learned the “DEPP” method which stands for: Distance, Eye Contact, Preparation and POW! When doing stage combat, it’s very important to have space between you and your partner. For many of the moves you don’t make physical contact with your partner at all, but from the audience it looks like they are getting hit. Eye contact is also important because it ensures that your partner is paying attention so neither of you get hurt. The preparation allows your partner to have time to react and makes the movement visible to the audience. The final step, POW, is the actual motion, whether it be a punch, kick, throw or hair grab, as well as your partner’s reaction to the motion. We learned that in many cases the reaction is even more important that the punch, kick, etc. because it helps “sell” the motion to the audience. For example, if you threw a great big punch, but your partner just stood there like they were completely unfazed by it, you would look incredibly weak and pathetic. On the other hand, if you threw the same punch and your partner fell down and cried out in pain, you would look strong and powerful. Ah, the wonders of acting!

During the stage combat workshop I got to *kick, punch, strangle, throw and pull the hair of children. It was amazing!

Tomorrow the fight choreographer is coming back to help us stage the fight scene between Gaston and Beast at the end of the play. I’m really excited to learn some more stage combat and to see how the scene turns out!

*No children were harmed in this workshop. :)

“Friendship is …

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'”

― C.S. Lewis

I’m Back!

Happy June, lovely readers! I know I’ve been gone for a while, but I’m back and I’m here to stay! There’s so much to tell, but where to begin?

Well, I guess the most important thing is that I graduated from The College of New Jersey!

Graduation

Highest Honors, baby!

It feels so weird to be done with school. I miss my friends and my roommate terribly, but I don’t miss all the homework! Now that I’m back in good ol’ Jersey I can catch up on my ever-growing reading list. Right now I’m reading “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This” by former Cosmo EIC Kate White. I’m hoping the tips in this witty book will help me land my dream magazine job! (Fingers crossed!)

Image from KateWhite.com

Now that I’m home indefinitely (or at least until I can land a job and move to the Big Apple), I’ve been spending my days applying for jobs. So far no luck, but I’m not giving up hope! (By the way, if you happen to know anyone in the magazine/web/publishing industry I’d be forever grateful if you could pass along my resume!) I’ve only been out of school for two weeks, but it feels like an eternity.

But on the plus side, I’ve started running again! It feels great to be out there, even if it is ungodly hot outside. And I finally bought a new pair of sneaks! With the help of a lucky find on Pinterest, I even learned how to relace them so my toes don’t fall asleep while running. They’re nice and colorful and make me happy whenever I lace up.

What do you think?

What do you think?

I also got some new shorts, shirts and sports bras. Nothing really matches but I like all the bright colors anyway. Since I stopped running towards the end of the semester I decided to start the C25K app from the beginning again. This time I’m going to finish it!

Hmm… what else can I tell you… oh yeah! Remember all those costumes I was busy with this semester? Well, all that hard work paid off! I won Best Costumes for the 2012-2013 ACT season. They even gave me a pretty certificate! Speaking of theatre, while I’m searching for that dream job, I’ll be working at a local theater camp. This season the kiddos are putting on Willy Wonka, Jr. and Beauty and the Beast, Jr. I’m ecstatic about Beauty and the Beast because it is my favorite Disney movie! I’ll be sure to post lots of pictures!

Well that’s it for now! I’ll post again real soon. Tomorrow I’m going to see Cinderella on Broadway and I’ll be sure to tell you all about it!

Another Openin’ Another Show!

Yesterday was opening night for ACT’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile and I couldn’t be more proud of the cast and the entire production staff. Hopefully this explains my  hiatus from blogging — preparing for a show is a huge time commitment. I’m so glad to have been a part of this production and I’m really happy with how the costumes came out.

Even though I wasn’t able to watch the show last night (I need to stay backstage to help with a couple of quick changes) I could certainly hear it — and the audience was roaring with laughter. This show is hilarious and the cast is immensely talented.

The last time I blogged about the show I told you about my awesome finds at a vintage shop, so let me fill you in on what I’ve been up to since then. I got a few costume pieces at the Goodwill by my school, repurposed a couple of items from my own wardrobe, ordered some items online, and picked up a couple of tricky items from a costume shop in Philadelphia. Nearly every costume needed to be altered, hemmed and embellished. All the characters have hats, wigs, coats, aprons, scarves, jewelry and purses. Since the play takes place in October, it’s more realistic for the characters to need to take off their coats when they enter. I had several discussions with the director and the set designers about adding a coat rack and hat hooks to the set. I had another long discussion with the director afterwards where we discussed which hooks the actors would use to hang their coats. Only in theatre would people spend 15 minutes talking about hanging up a coat!

I am so proud of the hard work that went into the costumes and I am especially thankful for my three lovely costume assistants who helped me so much.

So without further ado — here are the costumes for Picasso at the Lapin Agile! Let me know what you think!

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Run the World, Sponsor a Girl

I’d like to introduce you to someone very special.

Anita

Anita

Meet Anita.

Anita is a 2nd grader in Nepal. She loves math and reading and has big plans for her future. Anita dreams of becoming a doctor when she grows up, but first she needs to graduate from school.

On April 14th, I’ll be running in my first 5K. I’m not running just to get into shape, I’m running to send girls to school — girls like Anita.

Training for the Run the World with She’s the First 5K started three weeks ago and it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. Week 1 my running partner gave up. Week 2 it rained. But whenever I face a bump in the road, I think of Anita and all the other girls who desperately want the chance to go to school. I keep running.

Just two months after I co-founded a chapter of She’s the First at my school (a non-profit that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world), our little club baked and sold over 1,000 cupcakes — enough to send three girls to school in Nepal. Anita is one of those girls.

My goal for this semester is to sponsor three more scholars through our Run the World 5K. These girls deserve an education so they can make their dreams come true.

If you’d like to help me sponsor girls in Nepal, girls like Anita, please consider supporting me here. 100% of the donations go directly to girls’ sponsorship.

Run the World, Sponsor a Girl!

Boy Attends School Via Robot

Boy Attends School Via Robot

One of my articles from Parenting.com got picked up by MSN! Check it out here.

Intern Musings and Dreams of the Stage

Good morning, lovely readers!

My very own desk!

My very own desk!

I know I haven’t written about my internship, so let me catch you up. I started my web internship at Parenting.com about two weeks ago and I absolutely love it there! On my first day, I met my fellow interns and they are such wonderful people. As my roommate always says, “Intern bonding is the best.” She is so right. I met one of my very best friends at my last internship and I look forward to getting to know  the Parenting interns in the upcoming weeks. Besides getting to work with awesome people, I actually enjoy the work. It’s so gratifying to write a blog post and then see it live on the web by the end of the day. I then get to share the link with my mom the entire cyber universe.

There’s a saying that goes something like this: If you love what you do, you’ll  never work a day in your life.” I think I finally found what I want to do. I could definitely see myself living in an apartment in NYC and writing for the website of a magazine. Doesn’t is sound glamorous? Then, after working in New York for a couple of years, I can transfer to the U.K. office and live in London… sigh.

"Wouldn't it be loverly?"

“Wouldn’t it be loverly?”

That being said, there is something that is missing from my life. In case the video and photo weren’t enough of a hint, I’ll tell you what it is: Theatre. I miss it terribly. I miss the adrenaline rush that I get before I walk out onto the stage. I miss the thrill that comes from making a crowd full of people laugh, or cry, or gasp. As a writer I enjoy telling stories, but there’s nothing quite like acting one out before a crowd of people. So, it looks like it’s time to audition for some shows! I’ll keep you updated. “So long, fair thee well. Pip, pip, cheerio. I’ll be back soon!”

Spring into Shape

Who runs the world?

This morning I ran.

I laced up my sneakers, put on my ear muffs, and ran outside in the bitter cold. I didn’t go fast, I had sweat dripping down my face, and by the end I was seeing little stars floating in front of my eyes — but I did it!

Last night my roommate and I drafted a contract (you can tell it’s official because we signed our names in brightly colored markers) and we promised that we would get into shape by the time we graduate. The contract states that we will run together at least three times a week, do yoga on our off days and follow specific healthy eating habits.

Why the sudden change in lifestyle?

I’m training for the “Run the World with She’s the First” 5k to sponsor girls’ education in developing countries. I just signed up Team She’s the First*{TCNJ} and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve never run a race before in my life, but I know that if I keep thinking about the little girls in Guatemala, Ethiopia, or South Sudan who I can help send to school, I’ll be able to finish the race.

So here’s to girl power and female empowerment –

Girls Run the World!

Applications, Interviews, and Internships (Oh, my!)

At times, applying for spring internships felt like a full time job in and of itself, but I finally submitted my last internship application — ever! Yay! (Soon I’ll be applying for REAL jobs…but let’s not think about that just yet.) After sending out a dozen or so applications and going on a bunch of nerve-racking interviews, I finally accepted a web editorial internship at Parenting.com for this spring! I’m so excited to get started! parentingP.S. If you have a free moment, check out Parenting’s “Show and Tell” blog! It’s a lot of fun to read and I may even get to write for it during my internship!

Her Campus Love Article

My latest Her Campus article was just published!

Read it here: http://www.hercampus.com/love/no-pressure-ways-make-first-move-cute-guys-campus

This article was particularly fun to write because I got to interview relationship experts Dan Lier and Tristan Coopersmith.

Read up and let me know what you think!

Website – Baby Steps

Today I (finally!) started working on my website. Right now it’s pretty basic, with only a white background and black text that says “This website is currently under construction! Please check back soon!”, but at least it’s a start! I’d like to think of it as taking baby steps. Things got a bit hectic this summer so the site kept being pushed to the back-burner, but I’m glad to have started it today. I hope to have a “first draft” of the site up and running this weekend!

My plan as of now is to include:

  • A homepage with my name, title, and photo.
  • An About page with my bio.
  • A page for clips.
  • A page for my reel. (Once I finish my reel, that is!)
  • A link to this blog.
  • A link to my acting and professional resumes as well as my contact info.
  • My Twitter feed.
  • And (possibly) a page for my songs. I’m not certain of having a song page yet. Lately I’ve been recording my songs in GarageBand and saving them as mp4 files, but soon I hope to record videos of my singing and upload them to YouTube. If I do this, then instead of a songs page I will just have a link to my YouTube channel.

I want my website to remain constant, with as little changes as possible, and I will use this blog and my Twitter for updates.

First Her Campus Article!

I’m so excited because my first Her Campus article was published today! Read up on HC’s Favorite Flats for Fall!

Wild Day at PHL 17!

On Monday morning PHL 17 hosted a few “exotic” guests…

Representatives from the Wild Safari at Six Flags Great Adventure visited the station and brought along quite an entourage. They brought along bunnies, birds, and even a skunk!

But my favorites were a baby sloth named Chewy…

Me, Zach, and Chewy (short for Chewbacca).

and Mick Jagger the boa constrictor!

Me holding Mick Jagger!

It was quite a wild day at PHL 17!