my thoughts on dear Evan Hansen: the movie

Hello, friends!

Last night, I got the opportunity to watch the Dear Evan Hansen movie. It was absolutely phenomenal, and I feel very compelled to write a post about it. I have heard so many conflicted reviews on it. Some people love it, some people hate it, and so I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

(this post will contain spoilers, read at your own risk.)

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my top ten favorite songs from musicals

(note: not officially back from hiatus, but I have been writing up some posts. I’m hoping to be fully back in the next couple of weeks, depending on the path my mental health and stress levels take in that time. 🙂 thanks for being patient with me! <3)

As most of you probably know, I absolutely adore musicals. I have since I was little, and I’m pretty sure I always will. While I love a wide variety of songs from musicals, there are some that I will always come back to and listen on repeat over and over again, more so than others. So for today’s post, I thought I’d share some of my favorite songs from musicals with you! For simplicity’s sake, I’m not going to be counting favorites from Disney movies (unless they’re Disney Broadway musicals) (and even though I really want to!), but if you enjoy this post (or if I enjoy writing it), I’ll do a post with Disney songs and maybe my top ten favorite songs of all time! Let me know in the comments what you think about that. 😉

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ways to build your acting skills at home

Hello, friends! I’m back with an acting related post for you all. Now, I know most of my readers aren’t actors, so some of you may just skip this post, but I thought I’d write it anyway, just in case it’s useful to someone!

So, to start off with, as of now, I’m not going to be doing any theatre this semester (which will probably add up to around six months of no theatre). Which is absolutely crazy, because I’m usually in a show or two or three every semester, adding up to 4-5 shows a year. It’s going to be really weird to not be in a show. I’m excited to try some new things, like getting a job, doing college research, and joining an American Heritage Girls troop, but I’ll miss theatre.

Just because I won’t be in any shows or classes doesn’t mean I’m not going to be working on my acting skills. So, in light of that, I decided to compile a list of all the ways you can work on your acting skills at home. 🙂

Here we go!

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musical chats ~ Hamilton (is Hamilton overrated??)

Hamilton. You’ve probably heard all about this musical. Maybe you’ve listened to it yourself. It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular and well-known musicals in the world of musicals. But is it actually worth all the hype?

Hey, friends! Today, as you can see, we’re talking all about Hamilton: An American Musical. I thought it would be fun to start a series to discuss musicals, and since Hamilton is so well known, why not start with that one?

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How to rock your audition ~ audition prep

Preparing for an audition is, of course, extremely important. You can’t just show up to an audition without having done some work. (Well, I guess you can, but I wouldn’t expect to get cast.) Today I’m going to share with you how I prep for my auditions! I’m currently working on all of these, as my theatre just announced auditions for Guys and Dolls Jr, giving us precisely one week and two days to prepare. *screams*

(Future update: I failed miserably.)

                                                 

1. Read the audition notice. Twice.

This probably seems like a no-brainer. The audition notice should tell you everything you need to know about your audition. Is there going to be a dance call? (If it’s a musical, the answer is probably yes, but some characters might be exempt. The audition notice should tell you that.) What audition materials will they want you to perform for them? Do they want you to wear a certain article or color of clothing? Will there be an accompanist? 

If the audition notice doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, make sure you’re not missing something. Did an email with more details end up in your spam inbox?

If you’ve searched and searched for more information and still can’t find the piece you’re missing, get in contact with the theatre and ask.

2. Do your research 

This is the handiest part of my audition prep, and hands down the most helpful.

Most of the time when a theatre announces auditions, they will include the name of the writer (or adaptor) of the play or musical. By doing a simple Google search of the name of the show and author, you will probably be able to find a synopsis of the show and even a sample of the script. It’s incredibly helpful. Here’s some of the things I try to find out about the show before an audition:

  • How many characters are in the show
  • Who the lead roles are
  • What time period the show is set in
  • If any accents are required for any of the characters
  • How long the script is
  • If the show is more dramatic or comedic

3. Select and learn your audition pieces

For a musical audition, you will most likely be asked to pick a sixteen bar cut of a song of your choice, or you will be provided with a cut from the show. When picking an audition song, there are many, many, many factors to consider, and I won’t go into that here because that’s enough for a whole post (and that will be coming soonish).

When picking a monologue, there are also many factors to consider, which will be coming in that post. But if you’re asked to pick a one minute monologue, time yourself performing it as you would for the audition, several times. Don’t go over three or four seconds more than the time you were asked to perform.

4. Pick an audition outfit

I pick my audition outfits at least a week in advance. And I put a whole lot of thought into it! But again, there’s going to be a whole post on that soonish.

5. Get into shape 

Before a musical audition, I try to stretch every day for at least two weeks. Every part of an audition is important, and while I usually focus more on my singing and acting skills because my dance skills will never be adequate until I get professional training, stretching does help improve my dance audition (at least minimally).

6. Update your headshot and resume

Make sure your headshot looks like you! If you’ve cut or dyed your hair since your last audition, you’ll need a new headshot. And make sure to add the last show you did to your resume.

7. Take a break from dairy

For a singing audition (or a performance), it’s really helpful to stop eating or drinking any kind of dairy product. Dairy produces mucus (tmi?) and that can mess up your voice. I try to stop eating and drinking any dairy product two days before an audition. (However, I love milk and yogurt and ice cream, so it’s hard and sometimes I don’t have enough self restraint… whoops.)

8. Take care of yourself 

Confession: this girl is not great at taking care of herself most of the time. So before an audition, I make an extra effort to get enough sleep, drink more water, eat three square meals a day, give my skin some extra love, calm my anxiety, and exercise. It’s sometimes really hard, so I try to take teeny tiny baby steps. And it does help!

                                                
So there you are! Hopefully this will be helpful to someone someday. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

Love, 

The musical theatre book tag 

Hello, friends! I’m back, after having taken a break from posting last week. I promise I’m not dropping off the face of the earth, I just needed some spare time. 

Today I’ve got a post that combines two of my favorite things: books and musicals! I’ve made it my goal to read more books this year because I really didn’t read a lot last year. A ton of the books I want to read are related to musical theatre, and you’ll hear more about those later, as I’m planning musical theatre book reviews…

Anyway, I wanted to do something fun for this week’s post, so I started searching up musical theatre tags, and several versions of this tag came up. I’ve taken questions from various sources and tried to add a couple of my own. So, let’s go!

                                              
Wicked- Favorite Fictional Friendship

Ahhhhhhhh this one is so, so hard. I don’t think I can pick just one… After much pondering, I have to pick not one, but two. First, Jo and Laurie from Little Women. Second, Finnick and Katniss from The Hunger Games. And I’m certain that I’m forgetting many.

Sweeney Todd- Favorite Villain

Ugh, villains. This is an interesting one because it could mean two different things: either a villain you actually like, or a villain that was well written. I’m going to go with well written. And again, I just have to choose two… Ace Anarchy from Renegades, and President Snow from The Hunger Games. I despise both these villains, but that’s a sign that they’re written well enough that I hate them.

Phantom of the Opera- Favorite Love Triangle

Again… two… Maxon, Aspen, and America from The Selection, and Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from The Hunger Games. Generally, I dislike love triangles (though I love romances…), but these were good, if not somewhat infuriating.

The Lion King- Favorite Sidekick

You know, I don’t think I can really think of a sidekick sort of character… How about Mr. Nielsen from Pippi Longstocking? I think he totally counts.

Grease- Least Favorite Ending

While reading through the tag posts, I found that at least one person shared my opinion of this: the ending of the Divergent series. *screams* It wasn’t a bad ending, but I personally hated it. I don’t like sad endings.

Matilda: The musical- Favorite Movie Adaptation of a book

The Lord of the Rings adaptations are amazing. And The Hunger Games wasn’t bad, either.

Les Miserables- Favorite death in a book

You want me to sit here and have a favorite death??? Fine. I shall do that, but I will say that I would give anything for that character to still be alive… Actually, two characters. 

SPOILERS FOR THE HUNGER GAMES AND LITTLE WOMEN AHEAD…… I hope I don’t spoil anything for anyone…. 

Beth and Prim.

 END SPOILERS
Now, the next questions are somewhat different. They list a song from a musical, not just a musical title.

“Satisfied” from Hamilton- A book with an unsatisfying ending or a book that needs a sequel

I’m going to say Supernova by Marissa Meyer. I absolutely adore the Renegades series, but the epilogue to Supernova left me in agony. Send help.

“Ex-Wives” from Six- A book that is a twist or retelling of a well known series

I, once again, have to go with two. The whole Lunar Chronicles series, and A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund. 

“Santa Fe” from Newsies- A fictional place you’d love to visit

The Shire. Or Rivendell. Or Narnia. 

“When He Sees Me” from Waitress- A book who’s cover made you love it at first sight 

One Hundred Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons. And thankfully, the wonderful cover wasn’t the only good thing about the book. The story itself was splendid, and you should totally go check it out!

“Disappear” from Dear Evan Hansen- An underrated book

Most definitely The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson. It’s another book that doesn’t disappoint. I read it on a plane two or three years ago, and I loved it. It also made me cry a little. Not a good situation when you’re on a packed plane… but worth it!

“For Good” from Wicked- A book that impacted you or changed you 

Hope’s Wish by Shelby and Stuart Stout really changed my view of life. And The Book Thief made a very unexpected impact on me.

“Astonishing” from Little Women- A book that “astonished” you by being better than you expected

Hmmm….I think that would have to be A Tale of Two Cities. I knew it was a good book, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did!

                                              

What did you think of this post? Should I do more bookish theatre posts? 

Have you read any of the books I mentioned?


How to rock your audition ~ finding places to audition

Hello, my friends!

So, I’m currently without a show to  perform in, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start talking about a very fundamental part of acting: auditioning. There are so many topics to cover when it comes to auditioning, so each aspect will get a post of its own. Today’s post, as you can already tell, is about finding places to audition. If you don’t have an audition to attend, you’re probably rather stuck. Thus, I’ll be sharing with you how I find auditions, and also a couple of things you can do if you can’t find a show to audition for. 

Here we go!

                                               
1. Do a Google search

Perhaps an obvious one, but the most helpful. Try searching “auditions in (insert your town here)” or “theatres in (you town)”. If that turns up nothing, consider how far you’re willing to drive. I look for auditions in four different towns, which are anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour’s drive away. This is something you’ll need to consider very carefully. Should you get cast in a show further away from you, you could have rehearsals several time a week, and they could start early or end late. You might not get a lot of sleep, and you might have to spend a fair bit on gas.

2. Talk to people

If you take voice, dance, or piano lessons, try asking your teacher if they know of any upcoming auditions. Most people in the arts are involved in the theatre community in one way or another. If you know someone who takes any of the above mentioned lessons, ask them if they’re willing to ask their teacher for you. And if you know any theatre kids, ask them to tell you if they find any auditions.

3. Sign up for local theatre’s newsletters

Unfortunately, a lot of theatres are currently putting their seasons on hold due to COVID-19. I have been lucky that my theatres have kept operating, but I know that other people are not that lucky. So, if the theatres around you are in hold or are in the middle of another show, see if they have a mailing list and sign up for it. Most places announce their auditions in their newsletter. If they don’t, just try checking their website every so often.

4. Try dance studios and recreation centers

One of the theatres I currently work with actually focuses more on dance (though their shows are AMAZING). And my first acting class was at a recreation center! While shows at a place that doesn’t focus solely on theatre may not be as professional or well done, it’s definitely a place to start. Something is always better than nothing!

5. Ask at local schools

I know several people (mostly homeschoolers) who have performed at local high schools and I’ve performed and auditioned at local colleges. Now, because of COVID-19, schools in your area are probably not doing shows. And even if they are, they might not be open to people who don’t attend that school. But it’s always worth a shot. 

So what if you’ve tried everything to find a local audition but there’s nothing around? There’s still a couple of things you can do to be involved in the theatre world.

1. (Or should this be 6???) Put on a show of your own

Gather up some friends and siblings and do your own show! I’m currently in a show with all the neighborhood kids because several of us are theatre kids and we’re all waiting for an audition in March. So, one of the girls wrote her own script and invited us all to audition. Fairy tales are fairly simple to adapt into a play, and there are some free scripts online. You could also do a variety style show, with skits and songs. Or try starting an improv group.

2. Take classes instead

Even if you can’t find any auditions, you may be able to find acting classes. This will likely cost more money, so it may not be a plausible option, but it’s worth considering. If there are no acting classes and you really want to improve your musical theatre/acting skills, I would suggest looking for online acting classes (there’s several these days), or even a dance class or voice teacher. Again, these will probably cost more money, but are worth considering if at all possible. And there are of course ways to improve in your acting on a low budget, a topic I’ll be posting about at some point.

                                             
Well, this was a shorter post than I had hoped, but truth be told, if you boil everything about finding an audition down to one sentence, it would this: look hard and look everywhere. Theatre is at a standstill in many places right now, so don’t get discouraged if you’ve looked everywhere and can’t find a thing. Theatre can’t be shut down forever. There’s too many theatre kids out there. I will open my own Broadway if I have to, musicals are my life….

Hopefully some of this was helpful! I love you guys, thanks for reading. 🙂


Question of the day!

What’s a show you’d love to audition for?

A day in the life of an actress ~ Hood: the musical (1-9-2021)

Hello, friends! Today I’m going to be sharing a day in my life with you, both because I hope it will be decently interesting to at least some of you, and also because I would like to remember it myself but am atrocious at journaling.

On this particular day, we had two shows, and I was at the theatre for ten hours. It was amazing, but also extremely, extremely exhausting. I intended to take more photos, but I ended up not having the time to do that. Also, most of the times I mention are approximate since I also didn’t have to time to note exactly when what happened.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

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Why I’m pursuing acting as a career

Hey, friends! 

Today I’m going to be talking about something I get a lot of questions about: why am I pursuing acting as a career, especially as a Christian? Every time I mention that I want to become an actress, I’m met with mostly disbelief. So I thought it would be a great topic to write about. 

But before I start, I’ve got a question for you all. In my last post, I talked about my 2021 goals. But I’ve thought of another one. I’d like to master two accents. I’ve got a decent British accent and a pretty good Australian accent, but honestly nothing else. So, what two accents do you think I should try to learn? I can’t decide on my own. XD

                                              
The two points people bring up when I say I want to act as a career are “how are you going to earn money” and “but the acting world is so immoral”, which are both extremely valid points. In the acting world, you don’t usually earn money until you’re famous, which might never happen. And if you do become famous, you’ll be even further surrounded by immorality.

Why would I want to pursue a career that’s immensely hard to succeed in without good looks and toms of training? Why would I want to pursue a career that could very well leave me broke for years?

Because I love it. And I would rather be poor in a career I love and live for than rich in a career I hate. If  I don’t earn money from acting itself, I’ll get a side job. I have no problem with working hard for a living. Sure, it would be great not to break my back to survive. But something inside me tells me that I’m willing to do that if I can act.

I don’t know for sure why I have such tremendous love for acting. It’s a love that I can’t even put into words. But I do have a suspicion as to why I have this love. I believe that my acting is my God-given gift. 

I’ve always heard that people each have a gift from God inside them, an idea that I truly adore. But for the longest time, I thought that I must be the only person who didn’t have one. There is almost nothing I’m good at, not by most standards. I can’t draw. My dancing is awful (something that I’m working hard on to improve). I’m clumsy. I can’t do sports. That was really awful for me when I was younger.

But as I have grown, I have realized that it doesn’t matter that I’m not great at the things other people are. Because there is something I’m good at, something that I love. That thing is, of course, acting. 

Last year, I started to ponder more over the idea of God given gifts. I decided to try to find a logical explanation for my love of acting. So I thought, and I thought. And there just wasn’t any explanation. Not all of my theatre experiences have been gold. Theatre people can be cliquish, and I get very lonely very quickly. But none of that has deterred me from my love of acting. I didn’t know why, because in most cases, being lonely or shunned in something makes me never want to do that something again.

And so finally, I came to the conclusion that acting must be my God given gift. I don’t know if that’s true, but no matter what, I’m so grateful for the love planted in my heart.

But what about the immorality of the acting world?

I’m lucky to work with two theatres that want to honor and worship the Lord. Their acronyms show this. One of my theatres is called ARTS, which stands for Arts Revealing the Son, and the other is called STAGE, which stands for Speaking Truth and Glorifying Emmanuel. These theatres are helping me learn how to act and also how to honor God in the process. And I plan to attend a Christian acting conservatory to help me grow in that area even further.

What if I make it to Broadway or Hollywood or something else like that? 

Then I intend to make it my mission to spread light in the darkness. That might be hard, but I like a challenge. I hope that no matter where I end up, I’ll be able to help make the world a little bit brighter.

                                                
There you have it! This might have been a slightly boring post to read, but I felt that I needed to say it.

I hope you’re all doing well, friends! I’ll see you again soon. 🙂

Love,