Answering Your Questions…

So, in my last post, I asked all of you lovely readers for questions about me that you would like answered. Here’s what I got:

Pazzy asks:

If your life actually WAS a movie, what would be the song in the opening credits?

“Better When I’m Dancin'” -Meghan Trainor. Reasons being:

1: I love her, love the song, love to dance, all adds up to wonderfulness.

2: It’s peppy, and would make great opening credits, especially since my life as a movie would be full of the weird, wild, and zany.

3: Just listen to it:

 

Toni H asks:

What is your favorite memory from the past year?

Can I have two? I’m going to have two, and…Can I answer with a picture? I’m going to answer with a picture:

1:

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This girl…(yes I am sitting on her, and yes, we are laughing so hard that we’re crying…deal with it, we’re cool) reconnecting with her has brought back so many wonderful memories, and brought on so many new adventures. The very best memory so far though has to be our recent vandalism and brush with the law…. and when I say brush with the law, i really mean no one saw us….and when I say vandalism what I really mean is that we didn’t even vandalize anything…just threw a sign in a ditch and felt like a bad a**…

2:

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Anything that has to do with this total nut. We have adventures, we have deep conversations, we dance together… We compliment each other in personality and interests, and differ from each other enough that we’re constantly learning about the world through the other person. I’m thankful for the memories we’re making together.

Daryl E asks:

How did you become such a big musical fan?

Ah yes…how did the obsession begin? Haha, well, I started young… My Aunt Betsy, theater person extraordinaire, and my mother brought a copy of the OBC (Original Broadway Cast) recording of Into the Woods into the house.

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Thus began my obsession with al things broadway, and Stephen Sondheim… (genius, I like him better than Lloyd Webber, don’t judge…) In all seriousness though, the movie does not quite measure up to the original, and you have not seen Into the Woods until you have seen the incomparable Bernadette Peters play the witch.

 

NO offense meant to Meryl Streep…but Bernadette just plays off the sarcastic, narcissistic, and slightly (okay often more than slightly) inappropriate witch perfectly!!

Then Betsy brought Wicked into the house and it was ALL over….

 

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Notice how it stars Idina Menzel…10 years before her “Adele Dazeem” stardom.

There’s so much creativity out there, and musicals embrace it. They take me away, and wrap me up in a story full of vibrant characters, conflict, and beautiful music. Honestly, I think musicals were going to find me, whether Betsy brought them in the house or not.

Grace S asks:

Childhood Pets?

I had a lot of goldfish…all of which died under mysterious circumstances…

Then there was Angus…devil cat…spawn of all evil…290181_278016252241450_976412914_o

Just look at those soulless eyes…waiting to kill you at the slightest sign of weakness…*shudder*

And you all know Cooper (or dingus extraordinary, whatever works)

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‘nough said…

CuriouslyCuriousInMichigan asks:

 What’s your favorite flower, and your idea of a perfect date?

Well… until I learned that they could kill my cat, I really loved Sweet Peas, or the idea of Sweet Peas…I’m honestly not sure. They’re weird a** flowers. Anyway I recently discovered and adore the Hybrid Tea Rose…

I love how they have the classic tight rose in the center, but are also large and…blossoming…I guess…hahaha, I don’t need to justify a why, I just love them.

And as for my idea of a perfect date…that’s a little bit harder to answer, I really haven’t considered what my “single perfect date” looks like. To be perfectly honest, I just love a good adventure. Things like museums, antique stores, giant airplane hangars…a really great movie…as long as someone else has made the plan, and I get to spend time with a certain someone 😉 I’m happy…

And finally…

Mark C asks:

What is your favorite place in the world? ( He also asked me about Woodchucks chucking wood, but I refused to answer that one)

Favorite place I’ve been?

‘Cause, my favorite place that I’ve been is New York City, which you’re all aware of. However, specifically, my favorite place is this little book shop in on W 40th.

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It’s called The Drama Book Shop, and it’s a teeny little shop full of scripts and books about the production of Broadway Musicals…It’s my happy place 🙂


 

That’s all I’ve got for you this time around! Hope I answered all the questions to your satisfaction. If not, or if you have more questions for me, you can comment below, or email me at QuestionsForMae@gmail.com, and I’ll do another questions post soon!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

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Quiet and Chaos

So, as many of you may, or may not, at this point know, by mid to late July my parents are packing up our house, my little sister, and Minnalouche the meow, and moving to California. That’s right. California. Land of beaches, Disney Land, Hollywood, YouTubers galore, and most importantly, Silicon Valley.

See, for the past few years, my dad has been slowly training himself in the art of web development, and as it turns out, he’s pretty amazing at it. He’s done a ton of stuff to improve the website for his current employer, but he’s also built websites as a freelance developer for local companies. He’s ready, after 8 years (maybe more) with this company, to move on, and he discovered that he really can’t find the kind of work he’s looking for here. So…the question that has come up several times in the 10 years of my parents’ marriage reared its ugly head once more:  “Do we stay here, in a job that isn’t going anywhere anymore? Or, do we uproot and move across the country?”

Honestly, I think for dad, this was always going to be the final decision. He’s originally from Santa Cruz, and California has SO many opportunities for people in his field.

Of course…that leaves me.

What was I going to do? I’m settled at a good school, I’ve got close friends, a steady boyfriend, a steady job, and have finally settled into a place where I don’t feel like the “odd one out.” I fit where I am, for the first time in a really long time. So I chose to stay here, which of course brought with it its own set of questions. “Will I live on campus?” “Where will I live during the summer?” “Will I live in Cali during that time, and only be here for the school year?” “Can I even afford to stay on campus?”

Thankfully, my in state grandparents answered a fair amount of those questions, and the prayers we’d been sending out. They have an empty(ish) bedroom, and are both in state, and close enough to school that I’m not adding too much time to my commute. This means, I don’t have to live on campus, and I don’t have to move to California.

However, this also means that I will be living, not only apart from my family for the first time, but an entire country (almost) away.

I’ve been asked a lot how I’m feeling about this. By friends, family, my boyfriend asks constantly if I’m okay. And, I tell them, over and over, “I’m fine, it doesn’t bother me that much.” and “I’ll be okay, this is the right thing.”

Here’s the thing that they all know, I’m sure, but aren’t going to say to me, because they know how stubborn I am. I’m not okay. I just can’t say it aloud. I can barely write it. The days are stressful, and I’m basically panicking half the time. I spend a lot of time shrugging it off, and hanging out with friends, distancing myself from the situation.

I heard somewhere that a blog is supposed to be like a diary, only it’s public, and you have to be willing to be vulnerable. I’m not. Never have been. Probably my epic trust issues coming to the surface, but I don’t cry in front of people, and I don’t release my feelings very well.

So…In an effort to release some of them:

  1. I wrote this post. No it’s not all that I’m feeling, no, you probably won’t hear the rest of it here, but hopefully this has broken some of the ice still lingering.
  2. I recorded another video.

This song is from the musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. It’s called quiet, and it pretty much sums up how it feels to be surrounded by stress, and how I feel a lot of the time right now. There are so many thoughts running through my head at once, that it’s a sort of chaos, and I’m not sure how to express it to those around me.

 

Love to all, As always,

Mae

P.S. Please click the title of the video and go watch on YouTube if you can.

 

20 Years of Jonathan Larson

20 years ago today, a masterpiece premiered on Broadway.

Jonathan Larson’s musical RENT was a revelation, it shook up the world in the same ways that Hamilton is taking the world by storm now. It spoke to the trials of the age in a way that the generation of the 90s’ could relate to. Set in the end of the AIDS epidemic of the 80s’ as the decade concludes, RENT follows a group of starving artists and performers as they attempt to make their way, love each other, and somehow, find a way to love themselves.  Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 2.53.57 PM

The main characters are hugely important, as are all main characters, but they are offset by a huge ensemble of talented individuals as well.

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The story of RENT is just as much about the ensemble, who play a variety of roles including the homeless, and the parents of various main characters, as it is about the city itself.  The set is sparse, depicting anything from Mark and Roger’s apartment, to the streets of NYC, to the performance space where Maureen hosts her protest. Any set changes are made by the cast carrying something onstage, and the band is onstage as well, hidden in the corner, rocking out through most of the show.

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RENT focuses mostly on these guys:

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Mark and Roger. Roger is a former band frontman and Guitarist. He’s been in withdrawal for a year preceding the events of the musical, “His girlfriend April left a note, saying ‘We’ve got AIDS’ before slitting her wrists in the bathroom..” He’s a recovered drug addict, and afraid of finding love again, in his mind, he’s just going to die anyway, so why connect?  Mark is a filmmaker, having decided to just film his friends and see what comes of it, most of the story is narrated by him, an outsider, who is inside the group.  The first lines of the musical are spoken by Mark (The quirky redhead on the left 🙂 )

“We begin on Christmas Eve with me, Mark, and my roommate, Roger. We
live in an industrial loft on the corner of 11th street and Avenue B, the top
floor of what was once a music publishing factory. Old rock ‘n’ roll posters
hang on the walls. They have Roger’s picture advertising gigs at CBGB’s and
the Pyramid Club. We have an illegal wood burning stove; its exhaust pipe
crawls up to a skylight. All of our electrical appliances are plugged into one
thick extension cord which snakes its way out a window. Outside, a small tent
city has sprung up in the lot next to our building. Inside, we are freezing
because we have no heat.”

This exposition is probably the largest block of spoken word in the musical. The rest of the story is told through song and a few scattered pieces of dialect. RENT is what is called a Rock Opera, and is a modern (in 1996) take on the classical opera “La Boheme”, which is a depiction of the bohemians living in Paris.

Mark and Roger are fighting with this guy:

Benny

Benny, (played in the original cast by the devilishly handsome and charming Taye Diggs) who used to be their roommate. However, he abandoned the Bohemian life to, as Maureen so eloquently puts it during her protest later in the musical, “Live as a lapdog to a wealthy daughter of the revolution.” In reality, he married Allison Grey of the “Westport Greys,” but the picture of him as a lapdog is much funnier, and certainly accurate, as he ends up agreeing to his father-in-law’s every whim. He’s trying to realize the dream of a film/music production company in the lot next door to Mark and Roger’s building, but he has to suck up to Mr. Grey to make it happen. He threatens to evict the entire building if they don’t pay their rent, after promising Mark and Roger they could stay free of charge.

Also in the building is Mimi:

Mimi

Attractive, charismatic, sexy, a dancer at the Cat Scratch Club, and an addict. She lives just below Mark and Roger, she dated Benny for a while there after he and Allison got married…her moral compass isn’t always pointing in the right direction, but part of that is due to her constant searching for belonging, she’s a roamer, she longs for love, but has AIDS and is afraid like Roger to get too close to someone, at the same time, she gets far too close too quickly, resulting in disastrous remission when he has to break away. She’s a classic dual character, afraid and confidant all at the same time. She falls for Roger and spends most the musical trying hard to make him open up to her, when he finally does, she blows it, and everything spirals downhill.

Maureen and Joanne are characters with big personalities:

Maureen and Joanne

Maureen is Mark’s Ex-girlfriend, who broke up with him to be with Joanne, who is a lawyer and polar opposite to Maureen’s flamboyant performer personality. The two are constantly fighting, mostly about Maureen’s crazy living style and outrageous behavior. Joanne begins feeling like an outsider in the group, but eventually comes into her own and joins in their wild activities and little family.

Then there’s Collins and Angel:

Collins and Angel

Collins is a former professor at NYU,  I think that Mark’s introduction does him justice better than I ever could: “Enter Tom Collins, computer genius, teacher, vagabond anarchist, who ran naked through the Parthenon…” He shows up towards the beginning of the musical, he gets mugged on his way to Mark and Roger’s flat, and is picked up by Angel.

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Angel gets two pictures because of how important she is. Angel is a drag queen, one of the many flamboyant and out of this world characters floating around Alphabet City. She’s more than that though; Angel is the glue that holds the RENT family together. She is kind, and witty, and protective; she does everything in her power to keep them going, even though she has AIDS and is slowly dying. Angel is this depiction of God’s goodness on earth. Sure, she’s living a life full of sin by Biblical standards and teachings, but Jesus didn’t hang out with the “Holier Than Thou” crowd, Jesus was out there hanging with the Tax Collectors, Fishermen, and the sinners of the world. Angel does the same, this good person, kind, loving, and very real doesn’t choose to shun this small family, instead she comes in with the motto “Today for you, tomorrow for me.” Angel spends the musical putting everyone before herself…so much so, that without her, the family falls apart completely…

So, I’ve told you about the characters, and explained at least a little bit of the plot (probably too much actually) but I haven’t told you about the genius behind it. This guy:

Jonathan and rent

This is Jonathan Larson, he doesn’t look like much, but the guy was a genius. He saw these people on the streets, and he looked at “La Boheme” and he saw love, and grace, and kindness, and anger, and pain, and he infused it into a story that people of all generations can relate to. I love the phrase on the poster in the picture “A  work-in-progress of a rock opera by Jonathan Larson.” Larson never got to see RENT become a hit. The night before the show’s Broadway premiere, Larson died of an Aortic Aneurysm, so if you think about it, RENT which was still in it’s previews, was never a fully completed process. What you see when you watch the taped performance of the show, or see a live production, or if you were very lucky and saw it while it was still on Broadway, you are seeing Larson’s original vision; the unfinished and raw material that took a generation by storm.

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On the outside RENT looks like a gritty, bitter, drug and sex filled Broadway musical about people whining about money and how they’re dying. On the inside though, it’s so much more. It’s a depiction of love, and honor, and care for each other. It shows us how to live with freedom, to “Forget Regret” and live every day as if it is the last day that we’ll ever live. There really is “no day but today” for many people out there, but as exhausting as living in this mentality is, it’s also freeing.

Forget Regret has special meaning to me.

I regret a lot, be it little things, or bigger things, I’m the kind of person who will say something and regret it late at night as it plays out in my head. I lived for a long time, in shame, anger, and guilt, whether I had reason to or not. RENT helped draw me out of that. It pulled me up by the bootstraps and immersed me in a world where I was watching people deal with the exact same problem, in different aspects of their life. Then, they were handed a Christ figure ( in the literary sense of the term, I’m in no means implying that Jesus was a cross-dresser) and through relationship with Angel (by the way, name is an obvious plot point, her name is Angel, she’s basically the groups guardian angel…but I digress) they learn to love themselves and each other.

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I got this the day after I turned 18. The minute I could, I went to the tattoo parlor and got Jonathan Larson’s words permanently etched into my skin. This seems a bit drastic to some people, when I tell them it’s in reference to a musical I get some funny glances, but at the end of the day, it means something to me, and that’s all the matters. The numbers at the bottom spell “Angel” by the way, in case you were wondering. This for me is a constant reminder that your past, is your past, what you said or did yesterday, it doesn’t matter. It may effect, or shape who you are, but every encounter does. If you regret what you do, you’re regretting this wonderful, beautiful life that God gave you. So, when i look at my tattoo, on a daily basis, it reminds me, not only of a musical that I love, but of God’s unfailing forgiveness, his peace, and the joy that I have in knowing that he doesn’t regret me, so I shouldn’t regret myself.

So thank you Jonathan Larson, for 20 years of joy, tears, and music. Thank you for teaching me what it means to live fully. Thank you for writing something that inspires me to be better. Thank you, so much, you will not be forgotten, and your masterpiece will be a part of my heart forever.

Love to all, as always,

Mae

Stuff and things

I’m rubbish at math. And by rubbish I mean that most of the time it looks like this:

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I’m sure I’m not the ONLY person in the world who has trouble with math, but it does make some aspects of my life harder. For instance, I have to take the ACT this June. I’m good in all of the subjects except…you guessed it. Math. So I’m working with a tutor every Wednesday. My tutor is a Bio/Chem major who likes sports… While the Bio/Chem part comes in handy for math tutelage, we have very little in common. So, at the end of the session when we run to the cafe for a free coffee, we have nothing to talk about and sit there in awkward silence until one of us thinks of something to say… I’m a pretty social person, so this is hard for me. 

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On another note, today is dress rehearsal #2 for Les Mis. We made it all the way through the show last night! YAY! And most of us got to go home before midnight! This was completely unexpected. Anyway, seeing everyone in costume was great! Some of the scenes made a lot more sense when the costumes (and all of the props) were added. Tonight should go more smoothly and we should be done even sooner than last night. (Knock on wood)

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I’ve also begun to notice the extreme amount of superstition in the Theater community a lot more than I used to. For instance, people are constantly saying things, then knocking on the wood of the stage. (Hence the “Knock on wood” above) The other thing is that everyone believes that Civic is haunted. While I don’t believe in ghosts, I do believe in the power of suggestion. So when you’re constantly hearing that the Peanut Gallery, or the backstage  area, or the flies are haunted, being there late at night can cause you to start seeing things that aren’t there. I learned a long time ago not to let that kind of suggestion get to me. I have two extremes, either I won’t care about the stories and they won’t bother me. Or I’ll let them get into my head and send me into what I call THE SPIRAL OF DOOM!

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This usually ends with me crying in a corner and hiding from everyone…Why is a spiral of doom? Because I spiral out of control and end up in a hole I can’t climb out of by myself. I associate that with spirals, not sure why. I just do.

So. Yeah. Another fun adventure into my brain!

Love to all, As always,

Mae

The world of videos…

So today I thought I’d share a few videos and Youtubers I really love with you! A lot of these will probably be Broadway things, but others are just fun!

So first is this one from Danisnotonfire:

So this video is not only REALLY funny, but also TOTALLY relatible! I have cringe attacks ALL THE TIME…MOstly late at night when my brain has gone:

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(In case you haven’t already noticed I really like this DERP face…)

But still I have them all the time, and they’re usually to do with stupid things that I said, or did and then attempted to cover up, with something even stupider….Needless to say, Dan is awesome! His videos constantly relate to my life, or just make me laugh like a sick giraffe…Either way, awesome!

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Then there’s this one:

I love Sherlock! Hope showed this to me the other day and I’ve watched it five times probably…

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I have time for one more, so I’m gonna bring in the Broadway now…

This is The Love Song from Once Upon A Mattress. This is the movie version with Tracy Ullman as the Princess Fred(Winnifred) Carol Burnett plays the queen and Denis O’Hare is the prince. The musical is full of laughs and great moments. Two of my favorite comedy actors (Ullman and Burnett) are in it! It’s just an all around fun movie! Also Zooey Deshanel and  Matthew Morrison are in it. He was Lord Harry and Link Larkin to me before he was Mr Shue on Glee!

Love to all, as always,

Mae

Oh my goodness…

I. Am. Exhausted. I say that a lot, but I’ve never meant it as much as I do today. Part of this is because I’ve been working hard on Les Mis, and I just have to say: “Kudos to all the crew members out there who have made this job look effortless.” Because it’s not. I wasn’t expecting it to be, don’t get me wrong, I knew it was going to be hard work and I was looking forward to it! I still am, and am enjoying it immensely! I just haven’t been this tired maybe ever…It doesn’t help that last night I slept on and off…I don’t think I slept for more than half an hour maybe an hour in maybe a few segments…All well dreaming in between about scene changes.

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So my go to activity when I don’t have crew until later? Listen to K-pop.

I mean honestly, who can feel tired when listening to stuff like this:

And beside that…the guys are all GORGEOUS! Especially Taemin. He’s the guy with the red hair extensions. he starts singing around 0:53. 

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I mean honestly, he’s REALLY cute! And he’s only twenty! I mean seriously, twenty! He’s an amazing dancer and singer…only difficulty is that he lives in Korea, and also there’s the fact that according to his contract, he’s not allowed to date…but a girl can dream! Right?

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So I guess the point of this post is to say: Watching hot Korean guys dance is the best way to combat tiredness? Well maybe not, but a Monster Energy Drink later will help too. If I can convince my mother to let me get one…Which is WAY easier said than done…

Love to all, as always,

Mae

The World As My Playground

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I have wanted to live in New York almost as long as I’ve loved Broadway. The big city, it’s millions of people, skyscrapers, rude taxi drivers and history draws me in. For over a hundred years people have considered New York to be the city of opportunity. They (Does anyone know who they are?) say, “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.” So, originally my “Big Plan” was to go to Julliard…then I looked into it more and realized that they don’t have a Musical Theater program…Goodbye Julliard! Then I was interested in NYU, they have a great Creative Writing program, that includes spending a semester somewhere in Europe or Greenwich Village. This got me VERY excited…then I looked at the tuition, and as much as I’d LOVE to go there…it’s a lot of money that I don’t have.

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So I still want to live in New York when I grow up, but my views have widened a little bit…ok…a lot.

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Recently I decided that I don’t really want to go to college. Now, don’t shoot me! It’s just that I feel like I could get a lot more world experience by actually traveling the world…I mean college degrees are great, but it’s four years of my life that I’d never get back! Instead, why not spend those four years (or more) traveling and learning from local people around the world in different cultures?

Look at France for instance,

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The Eiffel tower is an amazing feat of modern engineering!

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The Arc De Triomphe!

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 And the Louvre, which holds some of histories greatest works of art!

Not to mention, Versailles, the Guillotine Museum and the beautiful countryside! There are so many others that I haven’t even mentioned!

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Then there’s London, Italy, Russia, Korea, China, Scotland and Ireland! The World will be my classroom! Who needs four years of college? I can spend that time learning to live in the world to my fullest potential…Who knows? Maybe I’ll find a passion greater even that my love of Theater! (I doubt it, but who knows?) Anything can happen when the World is your playground!

Love to all, as always,

Mae