Friday, December 31, 2010

The great and glorious iPad of glory (and stuff)

Sorry. I haven't updated in a long time because it was Christmas and I had to do lots of shows and also some Christmasy stuff.

And, for Christmas, I got an iPad.

It is awesome.

It is the love child of a kindle and an iphone, only a thousand times better.

The iPhone is super cool and cute and stuff, and is capable of many a task. Also, it is a phone. I mean, you can't really replace a phone.

And the kindle is (aside from being superior, in my opinion, to the other ereaders) a wonderful and glorious invention in itself, as I can carry hundreds of books in it that would otherwise fill my bookshelves and clutter my future apartment (which will still happen anyway)

No, the iPad is someting altogether different. Tablet technology is really amazing. I can do so many things on this awesome little machine.

I can blog. I can use the internet. I can write novels. I can play sweet ultra-graphics games. I can watch movies for hours. I can store my recipe books (and cook using them, and mark grocery lists, and find stores to get the ingredients.) I can keep a journal. I can read everything on my kindle. I can use Skype. I can text.

But most of all, I can make drawings. And now, this is all I do during intermission.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Edmonton is cool

So late Tuesday night, after the show, we drove from Red Deer to Edmonton, Alberta. And let me just say that Edmonton is way cool (literally and figuratively)

Wednesday I awoke early for a bus call taking us to the mall. We had a golden day, which means no show and no traveling! I walked around the mall with Ana and Stacey for six hours and never ran out of things to do.

The West Edmonton mall is INSANE. It has over 800 stores, an indoor water park, an ice rink, a sea lion habitat and show, a full-scale replica of the Santa Maria ship, a Chinese supermarket, bungee jumping, and a theme park with two full-size roller coasters. Yes, roller coasters.
It was crazy.

Happy cast members after the insanely awesome roller coaster ride.

(Thanks to McKayla Marso for the photos. I totally stole them from your facebook.)

At any rate, now I am chilling in my hotel, having much-needed rest and personal time before our show tonight. I downloaded the 2nd book in George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, which so far is incredible.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

On The Road-- Foodwise

Cooking. I never appreciated it until I didn't have it anymore. (Yes, this is related to touring)

I've never really done enough cooking. In high school I was always too busy. When I came back from college the first summer, I tried cooking a few things, like vegetarian gyoza for my family and baked cinnamon apple crisp at Christmas-- but I've never really gotten to bake, or cook--or, for that matter, sautee, grill, fry, whisk, what have you-- as much as I'd really like to.

In fact, when I suggested to my boyfriend that I was interested in cooking more when I had an actual kitchen, he laughed and said "You? You could live off pop-tarts and easy mac. That's like, all you eat."

Well, this was partially true. But not any more!

Something inside of me has snapped, and I know what brought it on.

On tour, you never really get the opportunity to make food for yourself, unless, like my roommate, you buy an electric skillet and get as many vegetables as you can whenever there is a grocery store near the hotel. Our meals are essentially planned for us: on long driving days, we rush off the bus for a quick lunch break, which usually means the nearest fast food option available. Around showtime, a group of us will sometimes go to a restaurant (if we have time) and try for something dirt cheap (acting ain't easy) and hopefully alcohol. (Not me though. Except in Canada. Woot!) The only time I've ever ordered room service was yesterday and today, when I had a bowl of vegetable soup brought up because I am sick and the nearest food alternative is a mile away in freezing rain.

Thus, touring has increased my appetite for: cooking.

It started with the food blogs.

Oh, the glorious, glorious food blogs. Pages of brilliant photography, laid out with instructions, peppered with witty stories about their creation and preparation... I love, love, love food blogs.

I tend to do this to myself. When there is no viable option for a good meal-- such as when I am unable to eat solid food after wisdom teeth, or if, like now, I'm stuck in a hotel room with nothing but cheap complimentary tea bags and a half empty packet of ramen-- I will go on the internet and TORTURE myself with images of beautifully prepared and seemingly delicious food stuffs.

So that's a hard thing about tour. It's hard to eat right. Luckily, I seem to have taken the route of avoiding fast food (except Taco Bell. I friggin' love Taco Bell.) and overall eating much less than I usually do in New York. Which is good, 'cause, along with the hardcore dancing in that blasted jitterbug number, I feel I may have actually lost a couple of pounds... but I digress.

My roommate is marrying her British boyfriend this spring once tour concludes. And the biggest difference between the English and the American is, she says, the English don't care about food, and find it incredibly humorous how dramatic Americans are about food; they think the world "delicious" is absurd. But we are dramatic about it-- We're passionate about the Food Network, we obsess over food for big events-- and the British don't care as long as there's booze somewhere.

But food is important. And awesome. I digress yet again.

So, when I get back, I'm gonna COOK.

I think I'll start with vodka cream pasta and garlic hasselback potatoes and maybe spiced poached cinnamon pears wrapped in pastry.

Domestic? A little. But I don't have to be feminist when I just want to make something delicious.

**This post may or may not have been influenced by the fact that it is 11 pm, I am starving, and I've just streamed Julie & Julia on megavideo. And my god, does that stuff look good. Mom, can I have a cookbook for Christmas? =)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bozeman, Montana


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Salt Lake City! (And St. Louis MO, and some Erie PA, too)

I've been quite negligent with posting, but I've got some pictures!

First off, this was from Erie, a harbor city right on Lake Erie.

We performed at the Warner Theater, which was cute. The outside was really pretty!
And my awesome friend Ali Upton came to see me :)

Then we went to St. Louis
Which was really nice, and my parents came, and that was splendiferous.

(This entry is rushed because I have bus call in half an hour for our next matinee, and I have to pincurl my hair, which takes quite a while)

Anyway, now we are in SALT LAKE CITY which is a really, really cool place. The environment is a tad religious, which is great if you are-- but as I am not in the church of LDS, I couldn't go inside the Temple (which is ok, because I hear they have a cool visitor's center which my roommate Sarah went to) and I got to wander around all morning looking at super awesome stuff.

For one thing, the graffiti and street art is BALLIN'

It's really awesome to see all the street art, because you won't ever see any other like it anywhere else. It's completely unique.
This doesn't do any justice to the incredible Christmas lights around town, but let me tell you-- they're beautiful. It's such a cool city.
Here you can see my ruby slipper Toms peeking underneath the glass table. Hee hee.

This morning I went wandering alone and found an amazing locally owned used bookstore/coffee shop combo, which is possibly one of the greatest things on earth that you can find on a cold wintry morning walk. I got a mocha and a marzipan almond croissant and read my book and enjoyed the snowy chill and atmosphere. Salt Lake City, I heartily approve of you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We're driving through Kansas, and although we aren't playing any cities here (en route to Pueblo, Colorado) it's interesting to visit towns that have things like the "Oz Museum" and "Toto's Tacos".

We pass a lot of windmills and prairie.
My friend Jesse (who plays the lion) got a bunch of us books for an early Christmas gift on Black Friday. Me and Stacey (our brilliant female swing/ensemble goddess) got A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but let me just say, I am so happy that I ventured outside my comfortable genres (mainly classics, beatniks, and Vonnegut) for this book. It is amazing.
I love nothing more than getting completely wrapped up in a book, so much that I look forward to finishing lunch or hopping back on the bus just so I can get another chapter in. It's a lot of Kings and Queens and direwolves and thieves and princes. Actually, it feels like one of those books that I would get really into if I were living in the time of Little Women (the other book I'm rereading) and stayed up in an attic all day with my own personal dusty library.

I've only read a few other fantasy books (excluding Harry Potter) and they mainly focused on animals. Yeah, I'm a real big nerd for that kind of stuff. One of my favorite childhood books is called The Sight and it's about a wolf pack and has a whole bunch of magical elements and a prophecy and AHSOCOOL. (/neeerrrrrrrd)

But anyway.

I think I just saw the beginnings of snow outside the bus window!

This is really exciting.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Lake Erie

This morning, for me, was spent in my pajamas, eating dried mangoes, and watching the food network in a beautiful, luxurious Sheraton hotel on the waterfront of Lake Erie overlooking the Canadian border. I felt like a star, or a millionaire socialite on a Northeastern vacation.

Now I'm down in the lobby doing homework, but thought I'd update!

I've yet to figure out how to attach my camera and have it be actually read by my computer, but until then, I'll rely on the photos of friends who are actually skilled cameramen :)

Here are the famed slippers themselves, which are actually relatively uncomfortable heels. Haha. The gems are apparently really expensive, and they fall off a lot when I dance. Here you can see they are hidden behind a set piece, which the crew has personalized with band stickers. As crews are wont to do.
This is the backstage of the York Penn State campus theater, and ALL those boxes belong to our tour. We have about five huge 18-wheelers carrying all of our sets, props, and costumes every night, and it's overwhelming the amount of time and effort they put into this show.
Also, our lighting is the BOMB. Here they were doing a test for some of the Munchkinland lighting effects
...but just a few.

And everyone's favorite actor in the show is always Toto. Here is Loki, the Toto understudy who, dying to get a tiny bit of fame, posed elegantly for the camera while the jaded starlet Dusty (the usual Toto) hid in the background.
That's all for now folks. Will get back.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 2: Munchkins, dressing rooms, and Target

Hello all!

Today I awoke rather late and rushed to put on some jeans and a heavy coat, and headed out to meet the rehearsal van. The van takes everyone in the hotel to the rehearsal hall a few miles away. There we worked on cover stuff (understudies) for most of the day, and after lunch break, added the local kids who play the munchkins.

To answer some questions: yes, the creative team (director and choreographer, Nigel and Leigh, respectively, who are British and lovely) do come with us to tech week. They rode with us on the bus, which Nigel jokingly said was an "absolute nightmare and I shan't ever do it again." The creative team (and, I think, crew and musicians also) stay in a separate hotel than the cast, as we are in the old fashioned downtown hotel.

I'm not sure if we're actually showing here, but we're rehearsing on the Penn State, York campus stage. Their dressing rooms are pretty cool, but the coolest part is this: I get my own dressing room. I had no idea I would get that! I asked Andrew (scarecrow) where our dressing rooms were, and he said mine was behind the dumpsters and if I needed a mirror I could use a metal spoon. Nevertheless, I have a real actual little room with my costumes in it, and a mirror with lights and it's all so exciting and I feel so darn happy about it. I'll post pictures tomorrow!

The munchkins are really, really cute. Actually, they're like puppies: well trained puppies, but not quite dogs so they're still learning.

Tonight the big thing is a Target run-- our stage manager is driving a van of whoever wants to go to Target. I think I'm gonna get some kind of fleece jacket and maybe some new socks and something healthy to snack on in the hotel. Oh, and something to boost my immune system. Seeing as my roommate is the first one sick, I have to keep on my toes and stay healthy...


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 1: York, PA

Hola... as you can see I've temporarily transformed Sunflower Existence into a sort of tour documentation. It's mostly just so I can remember everything that happens, in a strange sort of way.

I've taken pictures but as they're on my big camera I haven't yet hooked it up to the computer. So here's what happened today.

I got Winston to take me (and my big ol' blue luggage, plus a purse, a makeup kit, and a backpack full of books) to midtown via gypsy cab and we arrived at the rehearsal studio where we'd been rehearsing for the past two weeks. The bus was loaded, sad farewells were bid, and we shipped off from New York on a big ol' bus. I read Sophie's World instead of doing homework. But that's typical.

Anyhow, there isn't much to write, but a little after we arrived at our hotel, which is a beautiful old fashioned sort of place, we took a cast trip to Wal Mart for anything we needed. Since we're doing a week long tech here in York, most people bought groceries; mine, of course, consisted of ramen and french bread (among other things.)

I really don't have much to write currently, other than tomorrow we've got a full day of tech, including a rehearsal with the local kids. My roommate for this adventure is Sarah, who plays Glinda/Aunt Em-- she's currently a little under the weather, which she's sleeping off so I have to be quiet as I shower and do homework... wow, this is a boring blog. In other news, I have lots of papers to write.

Love and peace,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The very excellent happy good day

Hello everyone. Today, I didn't really learn anything new about life or myself. It was just a really awesome day and I wanted to talk about it.

Firstly, I had to sing at a luncheon for donors of my university. It was an extremely formal, country-club-esque setting and we got to eat super rich fancy food with hard-to-pronounce cheeses and garnishes, and we were served coffee in porcelain tea cups and stuff. One of those white tablecloth places with five sets of silverware kind of places. I felt like that guy in Titanic when he goes up from the third teir to the first to eat with all the well-to-do socialites.

But it was pretty cool.

And the weather-- god, I hate to be influenced so by external circumstances, but when a day is as beautiful as today was-- a quintessential New York autumn day. Brilliantly sunny, cold, breezy. I finally got to wear a scarf without sweating.

Walking back from the luncheon, I passed my mom's favorite NY scultpure... every time I pass it I take a picture of me there and send it to her.

(I'm not showing you the version with my face in it, because it is hideous. Haha.)

After I got back to school, I sat outside in lovely city hall park for a while and read a book. Then I checked my email, and got super absurdly excited about upcoming events that I had to run to my school's computer lab and furiously type out some response emails. This was when I officially signed the tour contract. So, that's cool.

Afterward, I met up with the boyfriend, and we spent a while lazing about the park in the sunshine...

...and then I went to dance, which was just okay, since it's dance and I kind of hate dancing. But I did make a killer bun. That's big for me. (I suck at doing hair.)

But the day was still mucho happiness.

And yes, this was a completely pointless post. It's self indulgent, dull, and entirely useless to anyone passing along my blog and reading it. But I don't care. 'Cause I had a really good day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Tour Contract

Landing a national tour has been, as far as I see it, my first real theatrical success.

I have had a long history of baggage associated with rejection; there's always someone prettier, someone taller, someone who can dance better-- and since high school, being rejected in theater has hurt me more than is really necessary or mentally healthy. It all started with what I consider my most embarrassing failure, junior year of high school.

We were having auditions for the worst musical in all of history, Lil Abner. I didn't even care that it was the worst musical in all of history, because our school only put on one show a year and dammit, this was my time to grab the lead and establish myself firmly as Queen of The High School Theater Scene. Because that would make me Popular and Feared among all the other people, muahaha. (So I staunchly believed)

I was certain to get the lead female role of Daisy Mae. Right?

Then the cast list came out.

I was a nameless chorus girl.

My best friend Kelly saw the cast list first, and in her wonderfully sardonic fashion, disregarded the whole thing as pure idiocy.
I didn't take it so well.

My life was over. I was not established as the Queen of the High School Theater department. No one would look upon me with envy. No one would ever think anything of my skills. They would all go to the girl who was pretter and more popular who landed the role.
I had a wonderful family, wonderful friends, a bright artistic future, and I thought I had nothing to live for because I wasn't the lead hillbilly in a terrible hillbilly musical. That's how out of proportion I was.

The girl who did land the role, as you can guess, was a gorgeous, absurdly thin blonde, and all the little high schoolers went "OOH SHE'S SO TALENTED OMG BROADWAY."

Of course I compared myself to her. I was nowhere near as pretty, or thin, and she really DID look good onstage.I cursed the director, I cursed the girl who snagged my role, I cursed my luck. Why would these kids praise this girl?! I was the one who had been working in theater since I was six! I was the one who'd been in over forty shows! I was the one who had a professional voice acting job for five years! I'd worked in regional theaters everywhere! Why the hell had casting come down to this, where I was reduced to working with a chorus of ambivalent teens who would never make it in a real acting career like I already had?! I was smug and hurt at the same time.

My failure was tormenting. Daily I wallowed in self hatred and pity and spite for the world.

Still, my failures began to add up. I nurtured my bitterness, let it stew. And even when I went off to college, for every show I didn't get cast in, it would weigh me down, like I was carrying all my rejection in a giant backpack.
But that backpack kept getting bigger every time I didn't get cast.
Freshman year passed and I wasn't cast in All Shook Up, Carousel, or Bare...
...or Spelling Bee, or Quanah, or my 2nd favorite show of all time, City of Angels. In fact, I have only ever been cast in one faculty show, winter of Freshman year when I played the understudy for a workshop musical. (which is a whole nudda story.)

My backpack of self-loathing was quite heavy at this point.

I wish I could say I went through a period of enlightenment, and suddenly became a generous, forgiving person who understood where I needed to improve, but it really got me down. I was so discouraged by all the rejection, by all the ways I needed to improve as a performer, that all I could do was suck it up and audition outside of the city like my director told me to.

And then, after one little non-equity open call for the Wizard of Oz one morning, I got a callback for a dance call.

Then I went to that dance call. Got another callback.

Went to that callback. Sang some more. Well, this is nice, I thought, but with my history of rejection, it's not gonna go anywhere.

Then I got another callback. This time for the producer.

And then...
I got a call from the casting company saying I had been picked to play Dorothy in next year's tour.

I think it was the fact that I finally had to accept my defeat-- since my "defeats" weren't really defeats, they were just, well, other people being more right for a role than me.

So all I needed to do was suck it up.

I guess the lesson here is: there will always be someone better for a role, until there isn't, and then that's your turn. But you have to wait your turn.

The other lesson is that high school theater sucks, but don't worry, life just gets exponentially better after high school is over.

So don't let rejection get you depressed, because something better will eventually turn up and you'll be rewarded.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Being Alone

There is a certain kind of bliss about being all alone. Those who know me may understand that, at times, I'm a very solitary creature. In elementary school, I had a really hard time making friends, so I would spend my hours on the playground by myself, happily swinging or making up songs or reading those Time Warp Trio books (which were the coolest back then.) Freshman year of college, I had this same problem; I was so afraid of befriending my fellow theater majors that I kept to myself, spending my freezing Saturday mornings taking long walks down to Wall Street and back.

Nowadays, I have many friends-- not to mention a wonderful boyfriend, whom I spend most of my time with; he is like my other half, and when we aren't in class, you can always expect us to be somewhere together, out exploring Chinatown or playing Halo at home.

But sometimes, when waiting for him to get out of class or work, I find myself alone again, like I used to be. And those times are happy too.

Being alone, satisfactorily, is a really useful skill to cultivate. Many people struggle with being alone but it's something I've really come to love and appreciate. However, there are differences between my alone self and my public self.

The first thing I've noticed is that when I'm alone, I eat better. For some reason being around friends makes me want to eat a ton of junk food.

But when I'm alone, I think things through carefully and don't indulge myself. Also, I really do like mashed potatoes better than cheese fries.

So what is it about friends that make me want cheese fries? It's like they're bringing out my crazy side.

Also, being alone, I come to a sense of peace, reading and thinking...
While in a large group or at school, I return to my normal state of awkward explosion mess.

So, for a lot of people, being alone is weird or awkward. For me, LIFE is weird and awkward.

Gotta go to class-- but afterward, I'm gonna hang out with Winston. It's my favorite thing-- it's even better than being alone. It isn't quite so lonesome. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

A temporary test

I am at the apple store in Southlake, testing out blogging on the iPad. Verdict thus far? My only issue seems to be making capital letters. I wish they had an autocorrect for that. In other news, I'm really excited about Portal 2. Ok, I'll write more later on a real computer. Do you think I could take this on tour instead of a laptop? Then I wouldn't need a new Internet card :P

Friday, August 27, 2010

Harry Potter Books, in summary

This summer, I vowed to do something I never had before: read all of the Harry Potter series.

I'm currently on the sixth, even though I basically know what happens throughout the end.

So, here is a brief summary of the books as opposed to the movies:


1. SORCERERS STONE- Harry escapes a bad life and enters a cool one. Little kids swoon with envy. Insert storyline of "chosen boy" like in Star Wars and every other fantasy story existant.

2. CHAMBER OF SECRETS- They make friends and fight monsters! BEST FRIENDS FOREVER.

3. PRISONER OF AZKABAN- We meet the two most attractive characters in all of literary history, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, who have a questionably close relationship with one another. (Delightfully so, of course.)

4. GOBLET OF FIRE- Cedric Diggory dies, but reincarnates as a sparkly vampire in another movie series, so it's okay. Then Japanese women make body pillows shaped like him.

5. ORDER OF THE PHOENIX- Harry whines because no one understands him. (Well, he IS fifteen...)

6. HALF BLOOD PRINCE- Ron whines about Harry being popular and Hermoine whines that no one likes her, which is true.

7. DEATHLY HALLOWS- Harry wins. JK Rowling rakes in millions.

The end.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beach Day

Last week, me and the Chinese family took a trip to Long Island, to the beach at Robert Moses park. The day was a little cloudy, windy, and the water was freezing, but overall it's a lovely beach and I'd like to go back (when the water isn't sub-zero)

In the car, a very grumpy QiQi (pronounced Chee-Chee) is woken up from her nap.

She demands to play with the iPhone! Now!

From left: Adeline (who's going to Yale this fall), Qi Qi Hidalgo, and Jennifer, Winston's sister and Qi Qi's mommy.

It wasn't too crowded and the waves were really big!

Like, "oh shit" big.
I got knocked down a bunch of times.

Wins + beach = happy.

Happy feets.

Qi Qi approves of this beach. Almost.

Jennifer, Lena, and Qi

Emily the epically awesome

You almost got it there, Qi. Keep on truckin'.