Friday, December 7, 2012

Change of Seasons

“No land with an unvarying climate can be beautiful. The tropics are not, for all the sentiment that is wasted on them. They seem beautiful at first, but sameness impairs the charm by and by. Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with. The land that has four well-defined seasons, cannot lack beauty, or pall with monotony. Each season brings a world of enjoyment and interest in the watching of its unfolding, its gradual, harmonious development, its culminating graces-- and just as one begins to tire of it, it passes away and a radical change comes, with new witcheries and new glories in its train. And I think that to one in sympathy with nature, each season, in its turn, seems the loveliest.” -Mark Twain

Preach, brother.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Life in Lyrics

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."  -Berthold Auerbach

There are certain lyrics that speak touch my soul. They especially tend to turn up in musicals. Lyrics that I can't forget, because they say something about life that I hadn't put into words. But adding music raises it to a whole new level. I don't know how singing makes everything so perfect, but it does. Here are five examples from five of my favorite musicals. (None from Into the Woods in this post-- it is **impossible** for me to choose just one set of flawless lyrics.) 

Note: Except for Newsies, none of these songs are my favorite from the particular show. I just have to spotlight the lyrics.

(Listed in no particular order)

1. "Getting your dreams, it's strange, but it seems/ A little, well, complicated/ There's a kind of a sort of/ Cost/ There's a couple of things get/ Lost/ There are bridges you cross you didn't know you crossed until you've crossed them."
-"Thank Goodness" from Wicked


2. "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere/ I want it more than I can tell/ And for once it might be grand/ To have someone understand/ I want so much more than they've got planned."
-"Belle (Reprise)" from Beauty and the Beast

3. "He was never mine to lose/ Why regret what could not be?/ These are words he'll never say/ Not to me/ Not to me."
-"A Heart Full of Love" from Les Miserables

4. "When I dream/ On my own/ I'm alone/ But I ain't lonely/ For a dreamer night's the only time of day/ When the city's finally sleeping/ And my thoughts begin to stray/ And I'm on the train that's bound for Santa Fe."
-"Santa Fe" from Newsies

5. "Grab up your one golden chance/ Darlings, life is such romance/ Give this world a sweeping glance/ Let it set your soul a-dancing night and day."
-"Vivez" from The Scarlet Pimpernel

I'm definitely going to do another post like this in future.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A little over a year ago I moved from a tiny town in Wyoming to Salt Lake City, Utah, filled to the brim with aspirations and fears and the feeling that my life was really going to begin. I knew no one besides my grandparents. I had no job, no school, no plans for the future. I remember driving around a corner and seeing the nighttime skyline of Salt Lake City for the first time on my own. Looking back it feels brave and out-of-character for me.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I felt the absence of my family and friends  as a near-constant ache. I had lived out-of-state for college, but it had never felt permanent. I became very familiar with the sinking feeling of being absolutely lost. I filled out an absurd amount of job applications. I wondered if I was making a huge mistake. I cried myself to sleep more than I ever have before.

In fall and winter I (slowly) learned to navigate. I got a job, albeit one that I didn’t enjoy. I met people. In short, I tried to convince myself, and everyone else, that I knew what I was doing. While I fell in love with a new library and the Capitol Theatre and Temple Square, the feeling of being an out-of-place visitor still lingered in the back of my mind.

I don’t make friends quickly or easily; at least, not lasting ones. I tend to be terribly shy around people until one ordinary day I am not, and never am again. If that explanation doesn’t make sense to you, well, it doesn’t really make sense to me either. I was bottled-up and quiet at church, work, and pretty much everywhere else. But I was able to open up around a select group of people-- the cast of The Frog and I. They were my friends when I desperately needed friends and seemed to like me when I desperately needed to be liked. God bless those wonderful people.

It was a poignant and bittersweet moment when I looked around recently and realized that somewhere in the day-to-day and the change of seasons this place had become my home, not just the place that I lived. It wasn’t the new house, the new ward, or the new job that had come with the spring, though all of those were great.  It wasn’t just the new friends in the cast that I joined in the summer. It was a culmination of every familiar landmark, every inside joke, and every late night walk downtown, along with a thousand other factors.

Home, I think, is the most beautiful of words. It’s full of love and hope and acceptance. It’s a warm place when you’re cold and a comforting shoulder to cry on when you’re sad. For me, it means that I can be my own strange self without a trace of embarrassment. It doesn’t mean that times are always good or easy, but there are people that you care about to make it easier. I lived here for months and months wishing for the return of this feeling of belonging, but it built itself back up in pieces so small it took me months to notice it was complete.

Home is truly where the heart is.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What's Going On

It's been a while since I've written. I've been keeping busy, which is actually a great feeling for me. In fact, I'm booked solid until Sunday morning. I work mornings Monday through Friday and perform Hello, Dolly! on Monday, Friday, and Saturday nights, as well as other miscellaneous activities. This Saturday and the one after it I will also be doing a matinee. On Tuesday-Thursday nights I just kind of go crazy and wish I was at the theatre. Because there is honestly nowhere that I would rather be. C:

My roommates and I are getting ready to move, albeit not that far. I hate packing. We'll see if I can find my motivation around here somewhere.

I've been reading a Beethoven biography. I am pretty much more in love with him than I already was. He's one of those famous figures that is actually as cool as he seems. I'm listening to the fourth symphony right this very moment and yeah....I don't understand how composers do what they do.

I'll be spending eighteen of the next thirty hours at the Empress Theatre. There's nowhere that I'd rather be and nothing that I'd rather do.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thoughts on Opening Night

Tonight is opening night for Hello, Dolly! in Magna at the Empress Theatre. I highly urge all my friends to come and see the show--  it's going to be FANTASTIC. :D Here are five (poorly written) reasons that you should do so.

1. Hats, hats, and even more hats
There are so many hats in this show, I don't even know. I am a hat fan, and I love getting to wear a beautiful hat each night, although they do tend to make crowded hallways and dressing rooms even more crowded.

2. The classic music
If you can come away from the show without humming "Hello, Dolly!", "Dancing", "Put On Your Sunday Clothes", "Elegance", "It Only Takes a Moment", or "Motherhood March" I will be astonished. These songs get in your head, but they're great!

3. Makes you laugh
This is such a clever show. Dolly is full of one-liners, I find Horace hilarious, and of course there is the one, the only Barnaby Tucker to keep everyone smiling.

4. Genuinely talented cast
Hello, Dolly! has been double cast, but either night you come you will see a great show with a cast that has worked their fannies off getting to this night. The leads are great, and I've had such a fun time getting to know the other ensemble members.

5. Beautiful scenic drive to Magna
Obviously kidding about this one, but in all seriousness the show is completely worth the drive. I'd love to sit down and see the whole thing from start to finish, but I'm dancing in the ensemble. :)

I really do think that you will enjoy the show. Please come!

Friday, October 5, 2012


I have a file on my computer called "Quotations" that I started in early 2010. It's currently over sixty pages, and I'm sure it'll continue to grow. It's filled with quotes that I want to remember. I've found them in magazines, books, conversations with friends, all over the place, really. Today I'll share five, picked pretty much at random.

1. “If a secret history of books could be written, and the author’s thoughts and meanings noted down alongside his story, how many insipid volumes would become interesting, and dull tales excite the reader!”
-William Makepeace Thackeray

Sometimes I get out a notebook, sit down, and imagine what it is like to come up with stories and characters that will still be fantastic hundreds of years later. I don't understand how it's done. Every author invests time, emotion, and thought into their book, even if no one else ever reads it again.

2. She now smiled at him in a special way; it was a cheerful, reassuring smile which meant more than the society smile which was always there adorning her face. Pierre knew that everyone was just waiting for him to say the word, cross the line, and he knew he would cross it sooner or later, but he was inexplicably horrified whenever he thought of taking this dreadful step.
-War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)

If you haven't read War and Peace, you need to. It's full of quotes like this that make me want to run up to Tolstoy and go, "Where in the world did you learn to understand and write about people so well?"

3. “Over the course of the [fourteenth century], more than ten million people live and die in England. Many die in infancy. Many die young. Some die twitching on the end of a rope. Some die screaming in smoke-filled rooms. Some perish in battle, many in pain and terror. Some die fighting so furiously that, in their moment of glory, they want to die heroically. Many more die alone, shivering, scared, and feverish with plague. Whatever the manner of their deaths, at some point in their lives there is also some joy, be it the childhood treat of a spoonful of jam or the thrill of an illicit kiss, or seeing a grandchild. At the end of the day-- at the end of the century-- this is what history is. History is not just about the analysis of evidence, unrolling vellum documents or answering exam papers. It is not about judging the dead. It is about understanding the meaning of the past- to realize the whole evolving human story over centuries, not just our own lifetimes.”
-Ian Mortimer

 Every time I try to think about how every person who ever lived has had emotions as powerful and complicated as mine and a story just as real, even though it has been long since forgotten, I get overwhelmed.

4. “I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad-- as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”
-Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

This speech was my favorite part of Jane Eyre. Rules aren't made to be ignored in hard times, they are specifically *for* hard times.

5. “Winter isn’t sad. You’ve had happy times in winter. And sad ones in summer. Life goes by year-round. People get married in sleet storms. People get cancer on soft summer evenings, sitting by the radio, looking up words in a dictionary. The wonderful world falls apart around the clock…And there’s nothing necessarily sad about anything. Or happy.”
-The Flu Season (Will Eno)

Although perfect days do happen, they are few and far between. But so are the absolutely one hundred percent dreadful ones.

I really enjoyed going through my quotes file to write this, and I think I'll do a Part Two some other week.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happiness in Song

Today's topic: Five songs from musicals that never fail to make me happy even if I just had the worst day of my entire life. I think that everyone ought to have songs like these, songs that put a smile on your face with just the expectation of the happiness that's coming your way. And, you know, musicals.

Note: No Disney songs are included, that's a whole separate category which will be covered in a future post.

(Listed in alphabetical order)

1. "Elegance" from Hello, Dolly!

I'm currently in a production of Hello, Dolly!, which is shaping up to be a fantastic good time and a great show. I love most all of the music, but I don't think there's been a single day that I haven't found myself singing at least one line of "Elegance" when I'm not thinking about anything else. It gets in your head....

2. "Henry Ford" from Ragtime
Definitely the shortest song on this list. When I was in the process of discovering Ragtime I was deciding if I wanted the soundtrack or not. Then I heard this song and the decision was made for me. Seriously, seriously, seriously love.

3.  "I Have Confidence" from The Sound of Music
I knew that Sound of Music would be on here, but it was a toss-up between this and "My Favorite Things". This one is a pick-me-up that I go to when days are rough, and Julie Andrews is just phenomenal.

4. "King of New York" from Newsies
This song is so absolutely and completely happy, how can you listen to it and not smile at least once? Denton sings, for a little bit! It also inspired my fantasy of dancing on a table in a restaurant, so there's that.

5. "Oh, Better Far to Live and Die" from The Pirates of Penzance
Actually, ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING from Pirates of Penzance. NO other show on earth is so in-your-face happy and wonderful and perfect.

So those are five songs from musicals that have the tendency to make a bad day tolerable, a good day great, and a great day into a fantastic one for me. I hope you enjoyed and are now happier!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Five Books I Would Take to a Deserted Island

I've decided to start doing weekly posts on whatever random topics come up. Topic Number One: What five books would I want with me on a deserted island? Who hasn't been asked this? Okay, it's usually asked about movies now, but I'm sure in the old school days they asked about books. I know I've thought about it! I tried to abridge my gushing adoration to a few sentences.

(Listed in no particular order)

1. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

I could spent the rest of my life reading Shakespeare, and only Shakespeare, quite happily. Last week I saw a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as a film version of Hamlet. Tonight I'm seeing The Winter's Tale. Basically, I've been in a Shakespearean kind of mindset, and I love it.

2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I cheated with this one. Let's say that I had one massive volume with all seven books. If I could only have one....hmm. It would probably end up being Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix, but I'm tempted to say Deathly Hallows just for "The Prince's Tale." I don't want to choose. I need the whole series.

3. My scriptures (The Holy Bible/The Book of Mormon/Doctrine and Covenants)

This one really ought to go without saying. As much as I love fictional works of literature ( A LOT A LOT A LOT) there is nothing more precious or crucial than having access to the true and living words of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

4. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

To start with, I consider it to be one of the best books ever written, and I'd love to have it with me wherever I was stranded. To continue, I would be on an uninhabited island. Reading Treasure Island ON AN ISLAND sounds like paradise to me, even though I'd probably end up seeing the whole book as a monument to the courage and fortitude of Benjamin Gunn.

5. Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte

My all time favorite book, favorite love story, favorite tragedy, you name it. I can't think of a book that so affected me emotionally when I first discovered it, and continues to have the same dramatic effect on me every time I reread it.

Honorable mentions go to Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard, Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda, and How to Build a Raft.

What five books would YOU take to a deserted island? What should I write about next?  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!

Arrr! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day! :D Aye, it be the best time of the year, that be for certain. I plans to mark the occasion by indulging in some of me favorite pirate movies, and playing nothing but piratical tunes in me mode of transportation (which I refers to mentally as a ship). I must admit that I spent my Amazon gift card given to me on my birthday completely on pirate merchandise. I regret nothing. You are speaking to the owner of Pirates of Penzance, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and the OBC soundtrack of Peter Pan. Avast, ye scurvy dogs, on deck! IT'S TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!

♪ To wear a red coat full of buckles...
To earn a few dueling scars.... ♫

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Few Books

Reading has lately been an intense pleasure.

I finished Packaging Girlhood by Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown recently, which was about raising girls with marketing and media being they way they are, which really got me thinking. It was very frightening, but I think it's most important to be prepared. It was written in 2002, and I think things have gotten even worse since then, if that's possible. And I also know that I'll have tons of Disney stuff in my home, no matter what books like these say.

I absolutely devoured the biography James Madison by Richard Brookhiser. Little Mr. Madison, as everyone called him, loved to read and pretty much wrote the Constitution and was generally awesome and we should get married and it’s too bad he lived a hundred and fifty years ago and yeah.

Before that it was American Eve by Paula Uruburu (this is the best last name to say out loud that you will ever find) about Evelyn Nesbit. That biography made me feel physically ill at how badly I had misjudged Evelyn due to the way she was represented in Ragtime. I wrote a whole post about her, but it was really long and her story is definitely a little disturbing and filled with sexual violence, so it will not be published here.

I’ve been working my way through The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker, which is very heavy reading. It’s about how mankind has actually gotten less, not more, violent through the ages. Reading about torture, death camps, and the body counts of war is not exactly filled with laughs, but it’s really made me think about this. I read slowly, much slower than I normally have to, and reread sentences that I don’t understand until I feel like I get them. It’s frustrating to go so slow, but I think it’s good to challenge your worldview once in a while.

To take a break from that I picked up Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Like most books that I’ve read after hearing lot of hype it was both very the same and wildly different from my expectations. It was Disturbing and brilliant and WOW.

Currently I'm on The Sound of Wings: The Life of Amelia Earhart by Mary S. Lovell. Turns out that Amelia is a pretty cool lady. My favorite quote from her so far: “How does ‘being in business’…affect marriage?…It seems to me that the effect of  having other interests beyond those exclusively domestic works well. The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.”

Bottom line? I honestly cannot imagine my life without books. I cannot imagine what it is like to *not* love reading.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Well, hurrah for him!

Happy birthday to the ever inspiring William Wilberforce! I would totally party with this guy-- there would be lots of foot races and conversation and absolutely no botany anywhere. Also, I would force him to sing his own birthday song just so I could hear his incredible voice. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Les Miserables, Theatre, Magic

I saw Les Misérables performed live today at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City. You don’t know how I felt. You can’t know. I haven’t talked about Les Miz as much as Wicked, but I love it. I adore it. That music makes me want to run around and jump off a cliff because it’s so good. And I finally saw it performed.

It was fantastic.

Right before it started I had a moment of fear that it was going to suck. I was so afraid.

It was fantastic.
I cried. I never cry at performances. I cried. I cried when Gavroche died and then when they showed him on the barricade, and then during “Bring Him Home.” I knew the story, but I was not emotionally prepared.

Jean Valjean was definitely good, but better in the second act.

I LOVED Javert. LOVED. LOVED. LOVED. He was so utterly and completely wonderful. I liked whenever he took off his hat, though he should not wear red bandanas. I loved how physically he always seemed to command the stage. And of course his voice….ah! I just wish I could tell him that and then follow him around for the rest of my life. Is that so much to ask? “Stars.”  And every other line he sang.

Marius was good, I just hate his character and that’s not his fault.

Same goes for Cosette, although her hair looked ridiculously fake.

Eponine was great, and I am her. Her death started off the first of the tears, I should note.

Fantine was good. I liked her. I’ve never really thought her character was that memorable, though that’s not a popular opinion.

The little kid who played Gavroche was absolutely adorable, although his accent (Cockney, for some odd reason) was so thick I didn’t know what he was saying most of the time. As I said, his death killed me with him, and then when he was dead on the barricade I just lost it.

The student leader, Enjolras, was totally hot, in case you were wondering, and that guy can sing. He got shot waving the red flag of freedom, and then he was draped down the front of the barricade horribly.

I thought the Bishop and the Foreman were both great, although obviously in very different ways, because they’re very different characters, haha. I just don’t have much to say about either.

There were two sign language interpreters and they were fun to watch. They were definitely performing with their faces as they signed.

The ensemble was really talented, and I loved how they danced and sang and whatnot and they rocked it.

Okay, Javert is obviously the best. I adore him. But I saved these two for last, because I didn’t expect to love them. And did. The Thenardiers. Especially Mssr. Thenardier. I. Adored. Him. He was so despicable, and I loved him for it. I can’t explain it, he was HILARIOUS. So funny. SO FUNNY. And once Amber pointed it out to me I realized that she is totally right: he did look/move/act like Timothy Spall (aka Peter Pettigrew and that sidekick guy in Enchanted). Very ratlike. His wife was hilarious as well. When they exited for the last time in their crazy rich people makeup he bowed and we were all screaming and clapping because we love them, and he was like, "Stop," with his hands, and then, "Oh, go on," and bowed, and I love him.

Basically I want to stalk this show after Wicked. I LOVE IT. I’m seriously considering going down in a month or so to see it again. And I vowed to Amber that I will always make the Utah Shakespeare Festival a part of my summer.

It was fantastic.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wicked, Theatre, Magic

[ Written July 21 after seeing Wicked for the first time in two years ]

Wicked last night was amazing. Wicked, even. I love the show. But I realize that I expected it to be exactly as overwhelming and intoxicating as the first time I saw it. I wanted to be a Wicked virgin again. Before the show I literally shook with excitement. That feeling was replicated at the end of "Defying Gravity." But I have changed since the summer after my senior year.

The sheer pageantry of Wicked is unbelievable. I had the incredible opportunity to go backstage after the show. I *touched* Galinda's bed, Elphaba's broomstick, and the Wizard's machine. I saw, sitting on a green mannequin head, the black witch's hat that Nicole Parker wears every night. And what I wanted, most of all, was to be a part of it. I wanted to stand backstage and take in the chaos-- the quick changes, the scenery drops, the life pulse and heartbeat of the show. As a seventeen-year-old girl, I was thrilled just to sit in the audience and lose myself. I am still thrilled to be near this production, but now I analyze every member of the ensemble and want to learn and apply and do. I want to actually appreciate the complexity of the dance numbers the way only a member of the company can.

I watched Nicole Parker running through a scene with Nessarose before the show started and realized that she has done it thousands of times. But she will run it again and again and again if need be. Julie Andrews had a teacher that taught her, "The amateur practices until he can get it right. The professional practices until it can't go wrong."

Theatrical training, the small amount that I've had, hasn't killed the magic of theatre for me. It has changed in a difficult to explain kind of way. I may not have many moments where I am completely convinced that a show is real anymore, but I constantly marvel at the skill of the performers and the strength of the script and the beauty of the songs. I watch the conductor and applaud the stage crew and wonder at the choreographer. I stand in awe of the story that Wicked tells, and that is brought to life in front of me in a performance never to be duplicated. I notice how the actors adjust to laughter and change their vowel sounds and have bonds with each other rivaling those of a family.

 I disagree passionately with the usher who asserted that no stage show is as good as a movie. What is wrong with this woman? What fails to entrance her? To memorize an entire show and perform night after night after night is a talent found in only a certain kind of person. You have to be dedicated. The show must go on. You must know the technical aspects of the show so well that the magic snaps back into it. Pick it into tiny, separate, working gears and analyze it until you have learned all you can. Reassemble and oil it until it flows smoothly. Play it a hundred times. You will learn more. The actor who worries about lines is an actor who hasn't yet found his character. Both the magic of imagination and the hardness of reality are essential. The actor who skips practice will not be the performer the character deserves.

It's a peculiar paradox-- a character is nothing but ink on a page until a flesh and blood person takes up the script and speaks their words aloud, and yet they are something more. I can feel a kinship with a character without saying anything, without seeing the play, without knowing how someone else has represented them. I can't make them me, I have to find the part of myself that is already them. Johnny Depp nailed it when he said, "With any part you play there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has to be, otherwise it's not acting. It's lying."

There is a marvelous physicality to the theatre-- being able to reach out and touch a real, live person, and yet tehre is that unbreakable fourth wall. Many different people can play a part, and they all capture a different aspect of the character. Perhaps only in putting them together can the true person shine through. Perhaps not even then.

Why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves onstage and tell someone else's story? It's not only the lure of the spotlight and the audience. A singer with a self-titled album is more like that...we thespians are something else. When I put on a costume and feel it against my skin and cover my face with makeup I am putting myself away for an hour or two. Life on the stage is living out fantasies, doing things we'll never do in real life. Theatre is emotionally honest, must be emotionally honest, or it will invariably fail. No one wants to see a show about someone they cannot believe in. I can say things on a stage-- true things-- that I could never say in real life, and it is not shocking or taboo. We celebrate the secret revolutions in everyone's soul.

I honestly do not know how good a performer I am. I only know that there is something in me that clings to it as tightly as anything I've felt. One of the very, very few things I ache for as badly as mutual love is to perform. Does anyone-- *can* anyone understand what a radical statement that is? I have agonized over which I want more, because I honestly don't know. I always had an inclination towards the theatrical, looking back. It's funny, because I never thought of doing it beyond school shows. But I wrote and performed plays with my siblings, and I always loved the theatre. But even in high school I thought I would be a librarian. I guess I still could end up that way. But although I say it was my senior year and Into the Woods that made me change my major, the seed had been there for years. Something made me audition for things every year, wanting it every time.

My mother once told me that she doesn't know where I got all these dramatic tendencies. I am flattered. Not because I don't want to be like my mother, the most amazing woman I know, but because this is something I know is wholly my own. There are so many musical theatre lovers, but I don't really believe that anyone can share my adoration. (I'm sure every one of the others would say and believe the same thing.)

Musicals are more than poetry and melodies, so much more. They are alive. There is fire and passion and magic there.

"There's a broken toe for every light on Broadway." -Kristin Chenoweth

Monday, June 4, 2012


My family and I just returned from an AMAZING vacation to the lovely country of California. Yes, it is a different country.

I've always loved Disneyland, but there was something even more special about it this time. Every single moment seemed to be filled with wishes and stars and magic. The spirit of Disneyland is so youthful and happy. I love the rides, and the memories, and the statues, and the cast members. I love looking around and not being able to see out into the "real world". I love being with children, and laughing, and screaming, and letting myself be emotionally honest. I love putting on my Mickey Mouse ears and feeling that I, like Peter Pan, will never grow up. I fell more deeply in love with Disneyland than I thought was possible even for me.

I came away feeling that working for Disney would be a dream come true. I'm not sure how to get there (and I've always said that I wouldn't want to live in California), but if Walt Disney has taught me anything, it's that dreams can come true.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Daisy Girls

Today I read a blog post about sandpaper.

This is my response.

When I was a little girl, I had a poster on my wall with a vase holding roses and a single daisy. It was captioned “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful.” As I grew up, I developed a love/hate relationship with that poster. I knew very early that I was a daisy. There is nothing wrong with daises. Daisies are pretty good flowers. But when all the guys want roses, it kind of (okay, more than kind of) makes you want to be a rose too.

Daisy girls are great friends. We can recite along with The Princess Bride and Disney movies. We would rather discuss Star Wars than go shoe shopping. We read, and have strong opinions about many topics. We wish on dandelions, stars, and 11:11. We love baking cookies and talking to kids. We laugh out loud and sing in the car.

But for whatever reason, we don’t get asked out, although we like to think of ourselves as not altogether repulsive. We wonder if the problem is with our looks or our personality, because we’ve berated ourselves about both. We certainly try to meet the first three requirements when it comes to being “cute, modest, intelligent, and ninety meters away.”

I was both comforted and depressed to learn about sandpaper guys. My first emotion was relief. “Oh, thank goodness. I have a chance of a good guy liking me, even if he has never tried to hold my hand.” It’s certainly nicer to think, “He hasn’t called me because he is scared to,” than “He hasn’t called me because he has forgotten that I exist.”

But after the second reading I had to ask, “Why? Why won’t you call her?” Gentlemen, we’re waiting. Some nights we stare at our phones mentally willing them to ring. And frankly, we’re not likely to turn up our nose at an invitation that comes via facebook message or a text.

Let me tell you something. When a girl is consistently the only one initiating contact, it does nothing for her self-esteem (which is already not the greatest). She gets to thinking very quickly that if you wanted to talk to her, you would talk to her, and she is making an annoyance of herself. Daisy girls are not exactly glamorous, you know. Awkward was probably the word you were looking for. We have strange quirks that make our roommates laugh and say, “Oh, that is so you.”

We are the girls without boyfriends. Most of our experience in the dating world has been facebook stalking while being stuck solidly in the friend zone. And we are lonely, although we don’t advertise the fact. As wonderful as chocolate and Wuthering Heights are, they do leave something to be desired. We have started coming up with names for the twelve cats that our Cat Lady future holds, and use humor as a coping mechanism.

Sandpaper guys, I salute you. Heaven knows that there are not enough genuinely good guys in this world. In your own words, you are “Too good to settle for the easy ones, too stupid to go for the right ones, and too cowardly to go for our dreams.” But if you won’t go for your dreams, who will?

“One day our time will come. One day…”

Believe me when I say that I understand how this feels. But if you won’t do anything about your singleness, I guess we’ll all have to be lonely forever.

You admit that girls probably like you, but that you are “too nice to try.” Try! You are over intimidating yourselves! Daisy girls don’t want to end up with the “smooth” guys, anyway. We don’t need the most creative date in the universe, but we do need you to set up that date. As much as I’d like to break the touch barrier by jumping into your arms and exclaiming, “I’m already in love with you, just don’t screw it up!,” that’s not how it works.

Look, guys, I know I'm not the most gorgeous girl you will ever meet, or the smartest, or the most talented. But you can rest assured that I will see you in a way that rose girls won’t. A rose girl may take your efforts for granted, but I promise I never will.

I am a daisy girl. And when you love a daisy girl, she gives you her whole heart.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I can't stop pushing Replay (seriously, I've probably listened to this thing fifty times in the last two days). I adore Beethoven, and I fell in love with "Secrets" almost two years ago (that can't be right. I'm not that old.) Combine the two.....perfect. Beautiful.

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its Secrets, for that and knowledge can raise men to the divine.” -Ludwig van Beethoven

Speaking of beautiful, I just finished a book about Hedy Lamarr, popularly known as the most beautiful woman in the world, during the forties, at least. And I must admit that I would have written her off as a gorgeous know-nothing had I not learned more. She helped develop the technology that today makes usage of your cell phone and GPS possible, as well as military grade communications (though they never publicly acknowledged or thanked her) and the scanner at the grocery store, among other things. You go, girl.

"Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid." -Hedy Lamarr

I'm sorry I judged you, Hedy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Spring is here, and change is in the air.

I'm starting a new job as a banquet server at the Lion House; I was officially hired today. I am psyched for the whole not working on Sunday thing. I haven't been to my ward in a long time, and it's an awesome ward. I am also looking to pick up a second part-time job, and I have positive feelings about one of them. We'll see.

I am *so* close to being done with War and Peace. Only about two hundred pages left. Yes, a regular novel may *be* two hundred pages, but when you've got eleven hundred under your belt, two hundred doesn't seem like much. I kind of want to linger in it, though, because there's nothing like reading a really good book for the very first time and honestly not knowing what's going to happen. You have your desires and fears, but you don't know. And then there's a plot twist, and you're like, "Whaaa?" I wish I could remember the feelings I had reading the early Harry Potter books for the first time. That's been so long, I can't remember not knowing what happens in them.

General Conference was so good. Lots of emphasis on families and service.

I shared the awesomeness known as Cinder Edna with my roommates Amber and Jill tonight. They loved it. I honestly think every young woman should have a copy of this book. Fantastic. If I can find The Rumpelstiltskin Problem I'm going to lend that to Amber. Might have left it at home, though. That reminds me, I need to get a copy of Howell's Moving Castle. It's been a while since I've read it, and I LOVE that book.

So, yeah. I'm not the depressed emo that I sounded like in the last post. Not all the time, anyway, haha. Sometimes you have to let out the sadness, otherwise half my music library wouldn't have a purpose for existing.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hope ya know, we had a hard time.

♪ I have died every day waiting for you....darling, don't be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years....I've loved you for a thousand years.... ♫

Some days you just want to cry, and then eat all the chocolate in the world while Taylor Swift sings sad songs.

This is one of those days.

I don't know how anything is going to turn out, and I'm scared.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

There's a possibility....

Last night I said to myself, for the first time in a Very Long Time, "Rebecca, you may be on the verge of getting a social life." Let's not jump to conclusions, but there have been some very nice possibilities coming up lately. Of course those aren't guaranteed, and things still seem to move much too slowly. I want to punch waiting in the face. But it's nice to at least finally have a possibility.

Current reread: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Here's the back cover description (which should be prefaced with a giant ***SPOILER ALERT***).
"The heroic adventures of Sir Wilfred make Ivanhoe perhaps Scott's most unforgettable work: the fiery rescue of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe and his fellow captives from Knight Templar's castle by Robin Hood; the wounded Ivanhoe's trail by combat with the powerful Knight to save the lovely Jewess Rebecca from the stake; and King Richard the Lion-hearted's aid in Ivanhoe's triumph at evil King John's tournament."

Rebeccas are awesome.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Crazy Urges

I had my first real audition for a professional company this weekend, and it has left me wanting more. Honestly, I don't think I did that great, but the thrill of being in a room with a multitude of high energy people, doing my best, for the possibility of changing my life and actually getting paid to do something that I love-- well, it's addicting.

It is great to have a steady job. I really, really, really like getting a paycheck every Friday, and being able to buy food. Really. I enjoy having low stress levels. But every day I walk through the door of that call center, I am waiting for that opportunity to come that means I won't have to anymore. I am terrified of looking around and realizing that I am twenty-two and still spending all day on the phone with strangers who don't want to hear that the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton is completely sold out. I know I am young, but that is precisely the point. The time to do things is while you are young. I hate missing opportunities.

Maybe I don't have what it takes, but maybe I do. I know what I do have: a strong work ethic and an intense passion.

If I am completely honest with myself, I want to quit my job, pool my savings, and make a run for whatever professional auditions I can get to. Of course, I'm not going to do that. But I want to. I am at a stage in my life where I have realized that my dreams are not going to come true unless I have a business plan for making them come true, and I am having trouble fitting a 9 to 5 job into that business plan. For the money, certainly. For the time restraints...not so much.

People figure this out, though. They do.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

You can't always get what you want....

Or all the things you want, anyway. You just can't do it.

I currently have: a house (not moved in yet), a job (not out of training yet), and several auditions coming up in the next two weeks. I currently do not have: near enough the funds needed to make me feel like I am on a comfortable footing in case of emergency. I do have a paycheck coming in every Friday, but this week's and part of next week's is going to pay my rent. There is the always present gas money. I'm not sure if I'll even have saved enough to attend the University of Utah in the fall (I got accepted!) or if that's what I even want to do. I know where I want to be, I just don't know how to get there. Inspiring Tony winners assure me that they have felt this far away from ever succeeding, but it's difficult to believe. If I can just NAIL this audition....if I get a callback, I will be happy and if I get cast I will be thrilled. C:

Friday, January 27, 2012

So In Love Am I

I can't stop listening to Rigoletto. Verdi is a genius, and I love this opera. I was fortunate enough to see it performed twice in the last week at the gorgeous Capitol Theatre and it was FANTASTIC. Going to order a recording as soon as I can and drive around blasting the awesome courtier choruses in my car. And the Duke's Act III song, even though I hate him. And Gilda's aria, sweet, naive thing that she is. And Rigoletto, of course. Let's face it, I'll just be blasting the whole album. That's how I roll.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Attention, Ladies....

The day I never thought would come has at long last arrived: Johnny Depp is single. Finally separated from the woman known as Vanessa Paradis, whom I have detested all these many years. Let me tell you, finding a sexy, gorgeous, single, talented actor who sings and has been People's Sexiest Man Alive (with good reason) is not exactly an every day occurrence. I first discovered Johnny Depp with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and I haven't fallen out of love since then. Alice in Wonderland, Finding Neverland, Benny and Joon, The Tourist, Cry-Baby, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Corpse Bride (not even near all of the films I could name).....the man's got an insane amount of talent and an unlawful amount of gorgeousness. Here's to your singleness, Johnny, and may I soon remove it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome, 2012!

I was able to be home for Christmas, thank goodness. And what an excellent Christmas it was. I love being around my family and doing all the things we've done for years. While I was here I got to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas, Joshua's birthday on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day (Welcome, 2012!), and even my little sister Lydia's first steps! I was hoping she'd take them before I had to leave. Watched lots of movies with my family, including the new Winnie the Pooh movie, which I have absolutely no excuses for not having seen before this point. Adore.

Once I get back to Utah I've got some stuff to get done. I've found a new job at Marriott, so the time has come to quit my Brick Oven one. I'm ushering a Tchaikovsky symphony on the 6th, and throughout the month will be seeing two performances of Rigoletto, two of Brian Reagen's shows, a dance remix, a children's show, a Dancing and Romancing revue, and one South Pacific.

It has come to my attention that the newest Disney show to be adapted for the stage is Aladdin. Let me say that I have wanted this for years. I hope to see it when it comes to Salt Lake, but I also am hoping to audition for it. You never know, right? Might as well be a part of something when it's new and people don't have quite as many built up memories of past performances.

Speaking of past performances, the Frog and I has been over for a couple weeks, as I'm sure you were just dying to know. I made a lot of good friends, which I will miss more than the actual show, which involved me wearing a wig, putting potato flakes in my hair, and the cast spitting marshmallows at the audience.

Goodbye, 2011. You were a good year, mostly. I sang my first ever lead role, moved to my first big city, got in my first Utah show. I discovered Doctor Who, Les Miserables, and Alexandre Dumas, all of which are awesome. I feel like 2012 is going to be a good year, amazing, even, and I'm determined to do all I can do to make it so.