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Blogger | Grace
Hello all! Well, to say I have been busy is the understatement of the blessed year. After closing a very exhausting and extremely fulfilling run of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, I have been filling my days with the exploration of my artistic universe. That sounds extremely elitist, I apologize for that, it was meant to sound exciting like I was going on an adventure. I am currently working on about 3,457 things at once, so I actually feel like my body is slowly decomposing from stress. Just kidding, I am not stressed at all. And I mean that. I really am not. I am just having a ball.
Updates: England will NOT, I repeat NOT be happening my junior year. It will be happening my senior year now. Am I heartbroken? Well, I was. Do I feel slightly relieved that I will have more time to collect myself? Undoubtedly, yes.
Right now my life is centered around my work, in all aspects. I am in a duo with my friend and we are releasing our first EP which is both exciting and time-consuming, I am currently adapting a piece of classic literature (won’t tell you which one, spoilers!) into a web-series with my best friend, am currently undergoing pre-production of a show I will be directing this summer, as well as preparing for my Les Miserables audition, as well as other productions, and midterms and classes and papers and la la la I am insane.
I am so happy but I am so busy.
Moving on the MyMajors business!
I have something of a special circumstance in that I only applied to two schools, and was accepted to both. However, I decided against the latter because they didn’t have a strong theatre program. They had a strong musical department, but they rarely did plays or any classical work, which is where my heart is.
Gimme some Shakespeare and I will show you a good time.
So for me, the answer was obvious. I knew the faculty, I knew the campus, it was close to home. I was all set.
For you, however, it may be different. Trust your instincts, but do RESEARCH. Know each school backwards and forwards so you can make a truly educated decision. Be objective about this. Being overly emotional may not help you here. If you are head over heels in love with a school, but it isn’t the wisest choice for your possible career path, you should rethink it. Look at your options.
Now for the FUN question, yay! What chore did I hate as a kid…
DRUM ROLL PLEASE
Unless those chores provided me with a chance to be alone and pretend to be someone else for a while. Those chores I loved.
Well, now. This has been a busy month, to say the least: rehearsals every night, moving preparations, a full load of coursework, and dealing with the pre-traumatic and post-traumatic stress disorder of the Oscars. I am pooped.
I am currently enrolled in a university, and I will be attending a university in England next year, so I will not be applying for any other schools, BUT I can certainly tell you what I would apply to, should the opportunity be presented… and the time/space continuum disrupted:
Drumroll please… Da da da da da da daaa!
GRACE’S POSSIBLE TOP FIVE SCHOOLS IF SHE WAS APPLYING MAYBE:
(But in all seriousness, I absolutely would apply were I an incoming freshman)
5. Cambridge of Oxford (literally impossible but a girl can dream)
Overall, a stunningly predictable list of schools. USC is almost too obvious for me, as I am a theatre major/film enthusiast living in the L.A. area. UCLA is also obvious, because, again, I am in the L.A. area and it is an incredible school. Yale even more so as a theatre major, as their theatrical program is unparalleled and… IT’S YALE. I am a firm believer in living without regrets for lost opportunities, but there are moments where I wish I committed to the possibility of Yale in high school. But hey! Life will be what it will be, and we must excel with what we have. It’s like what Dumbledore always said, “It does not do well to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.” I know. I threw you a curve-ball. Usually, it’s Lord of the Rings and today it is Harry Potter. What is happening, the world is chaos. NYU is somewhat of a long shot. I love New York City, and I certainly would not mind attending a university there, but their focus is directly linked to the city itself, producing actors that can function in New York, L.A., and the general America. My goal is a school in London, so it would feel a little bit like a digression. But it looks pretty darn good on one’s resume, does it not?
Now, Cambridge and Oxford? That I could do. If I was randomly sitting in my kitchen, eating a sandwich or something of that culinary nature, and all the sudden the Education Genie randomly appeared, his arms fool of books and the typical apparel of a stereotypical nineteenth-century professor, and said to me, “Grace! Hello! I am the Education Genie and I can grant you any three educational needs of your choosing, what would they be?” my response would be self-assured. After I calmed myself from the shock of a somewhat precariously dressed magical being in my kitchen, I would response politely, “Cambridge, please, followed by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. If you could throw in a mentor or two, that would be great. Michael Gambon or Emma Thompson will do, please and thank you.”
Stop it, Grace. Remember what Dumbledore said about dwelling on dreams, remember what Dumbledore said about dwelling on dreams (although, it really does not help that Michael Gambon played Dumbledore in the later films).
Excuse me, I was just being an absolute dork. I tend to do that. Speaking of dorks, would you like to know what kind of car I drive? Yes, you would. I drive a white Honda Accord. It is my mother’s. I call it “Moby Dick” because it is big and white and cumbersome and it provokes obsessive behavior in me, monomania, as well as the assumption of anthropomorphism. Call me Ishmael. Ah, literary allusions, how you give me a falsely earned sense of superiority to my collegiate peers. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the singularly wise and personally cherished Vincent van Gogh,
Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.
I wish this for all of you, and I hope this coming year provides opportunities to love and be loved, to create life and to defeat death in your artistic endeavors, and to live with hope and excellence in a world that is worth fighting for, and a humanity that is worth preserving.
Yes, I would think that relatively summarized the nature of the last few weeks of my life. I never know what day it is so I naturally assume it’s Sunmontueswedthurfrisaturday. Obviously. Each day blends into the next in this kind of glorious wave-like ocean, only occasionally smashing against rocks and being ravaged by people are all ages and sizes, but I think that is a relatively normal college experience. In terms of my life, I have classes four days a week from 9:30AM -4:50PM with no breaks, than rehearsals from 6PM-10PM. Some days, like Tuesdays, I only have class until 12:15PM. Glory, glory hallelujah! Time to EAT. I swear I am going to lose about 67lbs before this semester is over, I just feel like I never have a chance to eat something. Okay, that is not true but I am running around a lot so hopefully that will contribute to weight loss, because that is always good most of the time. That did not make sense. OR DID IT?
No, it didn’t.
I hope you are all doing well and working hard for a purpose-driven future! Life right now is school, school, school, rehearsals, sleep, school, school, rehearsals, etc. But I am loving every moment of it, because I enjoy the work and frankly, when I am not busy, I spend the entirety of my time obsessing over random German movies I discover on Netflix. God bless Netflix and all the wondrous bounty they have to offer the weary collegiate. Oh, dear me. Well, not it’s time for a wonderful edition of GRACE’S CURRENT CINEMA OBSESSION:
I recommend everyone watch The Fall (2006). I may or may not have definitely watched this film about seven times in the past three days. It is utterly beautiful and poignant and darn it is the cinematography to die for. If you are into that kind of thing. Which I am.
And you should be.
Moving on to the SAT, the ACT, and a million other tests with three letters like QTM. I made that one up. That means “Quest to Mordor” … oh dear, my dork is showing. Let me cover that up, one moment please. Alright, good. Awesome.
In terms of the ACT and the SAT, I urge you to follow your own individual needs. If you are the kind of person who needs to devote more than just studying to something to feel truly comfortable, I urge you to take the classes. I personally did not, but that was because I felt comfortable on my own, and I was always a good test taker. Now, if I was the kind of person who had test anxiety, who felt more comfortable after hours of preparation regardless of how much of it I knew already, I would prepare. You know the kind of person you are and how you react to tests.
However, if your school provides free classes, TAKE THEM. America, the land of the free and the home of the prepared and financially satisfied SAT/ACT taker. In that case, all the above advice does not apply. Check out the classes, do the best you can to soak up as much information you can. Fortune favors the prepared, and those who take heed to my words. Beware mortals.
Now, shall we entertain you with a wee list in regards to my own personal experience? Absolutely, of course we will you silly little people.
MY TOP 5 PRE-SAT/ACT RITUALS:
(Don’t judge me for these I am not that weird. Okay, I am…)
EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY!
Eating is good for the soul. It just makes the world look a little brighter, and the nutrients you need are an essential part of the test-taking process. Slow-burning carbs so you can remain full and proteins for your brain’s efficiency, like oatmeal and turkey bacon are a good start. Make sure you drink water, and have it available to you, and maintain a good attitude. Do it. Now.
SLEEP, SWEET CHILD OF MINE.
That is very creepy in capital letters, but the intention remains: sleep. Make sure you get efficient sleep and that you go to bed doing something you enjoy, like watching a good film that you enjoy or reading a book you enjoy. DO NOT PRESSURE YOURSELF. Crashing-coursing the test by studying more the night before will not help. You will increase anxiety and you will not retain the information anyway.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR.
No, Coco Chanel did not say that, but yes, it sounds like something she would say. Actually, she may have said that. Whatever, Coco. Wear something comfortable but still makes you feel confident. Whether it is a favorite pair of jeans, a new shirt, an iron war shield ripe from the flame, whatever. Just wear something that makes you feel like a person, not a studying zombie. Which is ironic, because they eat brains. So take a shower, guys. Really, please. Take… a shower.
GALLILEO, FIGARO- MAGNIFICO!
I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me! HE’S JUST A POOR BOY FROM A POOR FAMILY! Sorry… Wow. Queen moment, there. But it was not exactly a digression. I recommend, my little future collegiate, music. My life before my tests was entirely accompanied by Beethoven and Bach. The Symphony No. 7 allegretto was my pre-test music, and after the test was over, I celebrated with some of Bach’s partitas. It was a glorious day. I also listened to The Killers because they pumped me up to the point where I swore I could fight off a dragon with my face. Listen to music that pumps you up, inspires you, stimulates you, brings you joy, all that jazz.
Here are some composers that get me going:
• Dario Marianelli
• Ludovico Einaudi
• James Newton Howard
• Howard Shore
• John Powell
LIFE IS A PARTY… KIND OF.
Have fun, and try to relax okay? Your score does not determine who you are or what you can do. It is important, yes. But it is not the most important. That honor belongs to you. You, that person sitting in the chair, or wherever you are, are what matters most. So, take care of yourself and be aware that you are beautiful, talented, valuable and creative regardless of what happens. I wish you the best of luck!
Wow, what a month. I am sure you are all reeling backwards from the past couple of months. I have been so busy that I really have no idea what day it is most of the time. No, really. I don’t even bother anymore. I just figured it’s December, and eventually it will be January. And eventually, after finals, I can breathe, right? WRONG. IT WILL BE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS AND THEN SCHOOL. And I will never breathe again. Ever.
This year has been a challenge, from my personal life to my health battles to my family life to my schoolwork. Phew, I look back on it and it looks like the blur of a train, bulleting past my face and leaving nothing behind but a whooshing sound and a bad hair day. I need a fancy Italian hairdresser named Fabio who follows me around and tells me I am every waking second how fabulous I am. I should have asked for that for Christmas. Darn it!
Finals and auditions were a blur, and the second I caught my breath, they were over and I was cast in Tom Stoppard’s ‘Arcadia’ for next semester, registering for next semester, preparing for my Study Abroad interview, shopping for Christmas, and writing scholarship essays. But then came the beautiful moment… I had been looking forward to… for months.
*CUE DRAMATIC OPENING MUSIC*
After months of waking up at 5:15 in the morning… and driving for an hour to my classes… I could finally…
(wait for it…)
*CUE HALLELUJAH CHORUS*
‘Tis true. I have gone on “sleeping-in overload” and have been waking up around 11:37 every morning, and I have no regrets. Y.O.L.O. as the kids say these days. It is really starting to annoy my mother. And I think my father just gave up. One thing I will say, my dreams are amazing. They could win Oscars, and most of the time, they are casted incredibly well. My dreams are legit, you need a darn impressive resume to be in one. Have my people call your people.
Now that we have digressed for a good sixty-seven million paragraphs, we can get on to important things. In regards to how my hobbies and extracurricular activities affected my choice of degree, I will just tell you this: they are my choice of degree.
I have been doing theatre my entire life, through my church and through community theatre programs and through my junior high and high school. I did Teenage Drama Workshop (TADW) for three consecutive summers during high school and junior high school, and during the school I participated in a production every semester. I have never not done theatre.
However, you may remember if you have bee keeping up with my blogs thus far, that I was a Cinema & Television Arts major. I can only imagine you are holding your hands up now, in incredulous scoff, thinking to yourself, “Hey, lady. What gives? You said your extracurricular choices were in direct and equal relation to your degree? What is going on here, you scoundrel?” Now, calm down Reader. I am getting to that.
I was a CTVA major because I had done theatre my whole life. I was sick of it. Or so I thought. What I was really sick of was the same old thing. I had done theatre with the same people for years, and I mentally linked that to the craft itself. Silly Amanda, being stupid. I craved novelty, and I was scandalously in love with film. But after a year, I had to look back on my life. I loved film, yes. It was the most important thing to me, second only to my faith and my family. But, I was an actress. Analyzing film was not enough for me. I wanted to go to the Royal Academy, and I wanted to do this thing right, but a film major wasn’t going to do it for me. So I became a theatre major, and now, I am studying abroad in England my Junior year and studying theatre, and I am on the right path to RADA. And I have never felt more myself.
So, I encourage you to do the same. I want you to look at yourself and identify what you are passionate about, what makes your skin feel like it’s drowning in fire, something that you can feel in your bones. We all have something, we just have to be brave enough to find it. I want you to do that. I want you to ignore everyone else telling you who you are, and just think about what you want, and you go for it. You are talented and you are special and you are a beautiful, singular, glorious creature, and no one in the world has the right to tell you otherwise.
So find yourself, and you chase after what you want. I do not want to hear that you can’t. “I can’t” is uttered far too many times these days, and I have no use for them, and frankly, neither do you. Remember what Oscar Wilde said:
Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken.
Happy New Years, guys.
Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color? Dear me, what a year it’s been. I cannot believe it’s almost December. I feel like my life has just been metaphorically blown up by Michael Bay. The insanity is starting to wear on me. Sometimes when I’m frustrated I just run on my treadmill. I don’t even change into gym clothes. I don’t care if I’m wearing Uggs and my nightie, I am running off my frustrations before they send my blood to a boil and cause the rest of me to spontaneously combust.
Scholarship essays, applications, preparations for my move next year, auditions, physical therapy and the coursework for my classes, blah blah blah. We’ve all been through it, and it all makes us feel like (as Bilbo so wisely said it) “butter scraped over too much bread”. I mean, I do love bread, but not without butter or some kind of spread. Otherwise it’s like eating soft cardboard, isn’t it?
But in spite of all this, I’m working on a novel, two screenplays, a play, and a series of poems and short stories. It’s nice to unwind and just express all my deep, mysterious angst. Plus, this season of Walking Dead is pretty brutal, so I’m just vicariously living through the characters and taking my frustration and stress out on killer zombies. I bet killing zombies is a serious relaxant, when you’re used to them I mean.
I want to be a zombie hunter when I grow up.
But until than, I suppose I will be an actor/writer/musician/wizard. Actually, I’m a human, but I was raised by elves. Whatever works. I have a lot of dear friends who are professional actors, and they all seem to say the same thing: EDUCATE YOURSELF. It’s just nice to meet another human that shares my affinity for elf culture.
I agree with them. As someone wanting to make a career in a creative field, I recognize the importance of distinction. Sure, you can be talented, but why not allow yourself to be educated? It breaks my heart when I meet people who want to be actors and writers and musicians and singers who don’t take the time to earn an education. I mean that several different ways: the first is get a physical degree in something, whether you major in Theatre or Communications, just get a degree. In our current world climate, the man with the degree is king and honey, you should see him in a crown (if you get that reference you have immediately ascended the holy ladder of my respect for you. I should make my references a monthly thing, like Easter eggs. Oh my gosh, I am so doing that. This is going on a long time). I intend to earn my BA in Theatre Arts, with a minor in Creative Writing and than go on to earn my Masters in Text and Performance at the Royal Academy. Yes, that means years of schooling, but it also means that by the time I finish with schooling I will be more richly connected and more confident in my abilities. And I’ll look freaking impressive. The key to education is the confidence it provides you, not the actual paper in your hand (do you even get a paper?).
Now, on to Christmas! It’s the most… wonderful time… of the yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaar! Christmas means many things. It means my mom makes her homemade English toffee (that I love oh so very much even if my thighs don’t) and my brother and I watch all of the Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions in one sitting, I drink so much tea that it makes up a good 87% of my blood, and all the best movies of the year come out. I already have my tickets to The Hobbit, of course in IMAX. I am very excited.
OH MY GOSH I AM SO EXCITED OH MY GOSH. BILBO AND GANDALF AND ELVES AND DWARVES AND BILBO AND GOLLUM AND BILBO AND HOBBITS AND BILBO!
I love Bilbo. However, if you say his name over and over it sounds really weird. I love the Christmas movie season because the world doesn’t hold back. This is the time to milk the cash-cow and push for the Oscar nods. It’s a beautiful marriage of art and commercialism. Every year on Christmas, my family goes and sees a movie. Last year was War Horse, and this year is Les Miserables. I am going to cry. A lot.
But there are a couple of Christmas films that we watch every year:
2. A Christmas Story
3. Nightmare Before Christmas
4. Polar Express
That’s it. For a film industry family, we don’t really explore the Christmas movie genre. Perhaps we lack Christmas spirit. But we love Elf. A lot. We like to quote it. In fact, I am going to randomly quote it for the rest of the blog, when you least expect it. There will be five. See if you can spot them all… some might even be before this in the blog.
Is the tension killing you? You totally just started over from the top of the blog to find all the quotes, didn’t you.
Christmas is a time of magic: pumpkin flavored everything, our homes covered in lights and awkward blow-up Santas, ABC Family’s (I hate them) “25 Days of Christmas” (I love that though), and Christmas music, all day, every day. Christmas is the time I break out my favorite vintage German military jacket and my precious collection of Josh Groban holiday albums. ‘Tis the season for bustin’ out hardcore outerwear and my favorite curly-haired goofball without a specific vocal timbre. He’s an angry elf.
I hope you all have an absolutely beautiful holiday and you’re holding on in this season of incessant jingle bells and way too much to do. Enjoy every Christmas, because it’s precious. And enjoy every day you’re in classes, hard as that is. Even when the professor is droning on about something that is in every way inapplicable to your life, try to enjoy it. The fact that we can enjoy Christmas and an education is a precious thing.
Merry Christmas, everyone! (and a greeting to all the other holiday celebrations happening as well!)
P.S. You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa.
Well, guys. It’s been uh… it’s been pretty intense for the the last month. I got in a car accident and totaled my car so I had to take my parents’ car to school, but then THAT car spontaneously combusted in a Rite-Aid parking lot (of course when I was driving it) and the manager had to help us put the fire out. Because of my accident, I have to wear a neck brace and a back brace for a month and do physical therapy twice a week. But don’t worry, my neck brace is super cool. I am going to bedazzle it and put pictures of cool bands like One Direction and Maroon 5 and put a Facebook “Dislike” sticker on it and put like, six internet memes on there so no matter where I go people will be like, “Oh, she’s injured. But, oh! Look how cool and aware she is of popular media!”
When you wear a neck brace, apparently you have leprosy. People gawk at you without being aware of said gawking. I am like, “Hello there, as you can see my neck needs additional support because of trauma to my nervous system, but I am still conscious and aware of the face you are making right now.”
Neck brace does not equal blind. Neck brace DOES equal people opening the door for you though. Unnecessary, but sweet. Did I mention that I found out that any wheat products I have ingested in the last couple weeks have been fermenting and making gaseous pockets in my intestines? So long, toast. I will miss thee. My goodness, I have gone through some major changes this month.
No. I mean literally.
I changed my major.
I decided to put some “Confidence Socks” on my cold feet and am happily (and warily) plowing forward. Theatre is not the most stable major, but I am not the most stable person. So it works out.
It just make sense. My ultimate goal is the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, so the best thing I can do is prepare starting now, and reflect how serious I am through my academic and extracurricular choices. Plus, I really miss performing. A lot. Like, so much. I do it in my room in front of my mirror, but that is not the same.
Oh, did I mention I’m studying Theatre next year in England?
Let me mention it, then.
I AM STUDYING THEATRE NEXT YEAR IN ENGLAND OMG.
Wait, I lied. Strike that. Rephrase.
I am a candidate for the Study Abroad program through CSU and I am (probably) moving to the UK next year to (extremely probably) study Theatre at the University of Hull (very extremely probably).
But I am going. Because there is nothing wrong with me.
That’s what they told me. As long as I get the pre-requisite classes done and maintain a 3.0 (extremely easy) I am in.
But I am just speaking on faith and telling everyone I am going. Does that constitute as lying? Let’s hope not.
That sounds really bad.
In case you haven’t been able to interpret the subtext, let me divulge how I feel: I want this so intensely I can’t even entertain the (improbable) idea that I won’t get in. See?! I just did it RIGHT THERE. I can’t even type it, for goodness sakes! I am, as they say in some countries, a crazy person.
I am sure you all have something like that, something you want so much you feel like it’s as fully a part of you as the bones in your body and the blood in your veins. Our dreams reflect so much of who we are, and we should never ever ever give up on them. We can’t give up the things that help shape us.
I have been able to express myself creatively, though. I have been doing a lot of photography, and a LOT of writing. I am in the middle of a series of poems, two short stories, a screenplay and a book! We’ll see what comes out of them. I submitted some of them to the Northridge Review, CSUN’s literary magazine. I’ll find out if they’re going to be published in May. If they are, I will let you all know.
Now, on to MyMajors business! I took the online assessment, and these were the majors that were suggested for me:
3) Film, Cinema & Video
4) Creative Writing
5) Public Communications
Who’s surprised? Yeah, me either. Those assessments are very accurate (and extremely helpful). I recommend you take it. Interestingly enough, there were NO changes to my last assessment, which I find hilarious. If I would have followed this assessment, I would have been one year into my Theatre degree instead of one year behind. TRUST THE LIST. Haha. All of those things are facets of my personality that make sense. Now, I WAS surprised how high Journalism came on the list, but I think that may be because there were not a lot of film-heavy questions in the assessment. Or, maybe I am just in denial and I am secretly Anderson Cooper’s prodigy. Oh, I wish. He is a beautiful man. I mean, who goes from being a millionaire Calvin Klein model to a CNN anchor? What a random, beautiful thing…
Anyway, take the assessment, guys. It may reassure you that you are making the right choice, completely change your mind or present new possibilities!
If I had to pick a favorite Thanksgiving food, there you go. That’s it. Pumpkin anything I will eat. Pumpkin ice-cream, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin candy, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin juice (I wish I went to Hogwarts), pumpkin anything, I am so down.
I AM THE PUMPKIN KING!
(If you get the reference, you’re so cool.)
(If you don’t… you disappoint me.)
Looks can be misleading. How about this: it’s the turn of the century and you see a man, small in stature in the back row of a crappy little comedy club in London, smoking a cig like it’s life-blood (irony intended), with his eyes locked on the stage. He’s wearing a crummy little suit on his crummy little frame with his head is cemented to the back wall. He looks bemused, uninterested and oh so very tiny. With his lips clamped on his cigarette and his face searching the stage for some sign of intelligent life, he looks the very image of a tiny little know-it-all with arrogance but no future. His hair defies the will of it’s host and practically sprouts wings at the crown. What we can divulge is nothing more than the standard perception: he’s a man with a quest to find something to keep him from perpetuate boredom. Apparently it’s not working.
You see, but you do not observe, as the legendarily glorious Sherlock Holmes once said. We see a man with a tired look in his eyes and that ferocious mat of hair on his head, but what we don’t observe is the ink stains on his tired fingers, the impacting cinematic classics forming in that oversized head, the birth he has witnessed on the sets of some of the immortalized wonders of old Hollywood. Charlie Chaplin did not look like much, not really. But man, he was something. Really, really something. He changed the cinematic world by being nothing more than his darling little self, or as Oscar Wilde wisely put it: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
Now, allow me to loosely connect this clumsy narrative to my point: colleges are like Charlie, or like people to be more specific. What they look like to start is not really a significantly contributing factor. What they contain, how you apply what they offer, now that is significant. I went to Chapman University recently to visit a friend. I have to tell you something about Chapman: it be flawless, my friend. University Drive is a hipster wonderland. Cafes and antique shops abound. I mean, they have a freakin’ crepe shop, and dang are they good. I just started crying with every bite. They have a circular courtyard with coffee shops, restaurants and a cigar lounge, and all about seven pleasurable minutes from campus. They have a movie theatre right out of The Notebook, and when I say that I don’t mean Ryan Gosling is standing outside looking like a hot mess with a beard and a pick axe. Oh, my word. Ryan, it still isn’t over for me, either. Call me… or write me every day for a year. Or both. Both is good.No matter how in love I am with that campus and its perfectly manicured gardens and its glorious fountains that you can swim in (no joke, its encouraged that you swim in them) and its student lounge that looks like a Carnival cruise line and the spiral staircases in the dorms… It is not the school for me.
I attend a university with none of those things. It’s beautiful, and I am grateful for it, but it isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Chapman. But it suits my needs. I need a university with a great film school that doesn’t cost me a trillion dollars (I am talking to you, USC. You’re brilliant but seriously, dude, I do not make that much paper). I encourage you to keep that in mind when you are Adventure Timing your way through the college campuses of America.
To me, college visitations are analogous to stepping through the wardrobe: you can experience the new and the magical, but there is danger there. You have to keep your head. Remember what you want out of a college, whether its academic or experiential and keep that in mind. Find what suits your future, not what suits your eyes. Do your research on their programs, their financial aid opportunities, anything that interests you. Do not go off reputation alone. Don’t visit thirteen-hundred and five colleges hoping that seeing it will give you some great epiphany. It may not call your name in languid whispers the second you step on to it’s shores. Sometimes it isn’t that simple. Know what you want before you attend colleges and try not to visit more than five. Narrowing it down to five possibilities will lessen the visual stimuli. If you see a million campuses it will only dilute your willpower to pick the one and only. Be logical, not emotional.
With that, I encourage you to relish the opportunity. The excitement of the new and possible is always to be cherished, so allow yourself to do so. But remember what Bilbo said: “It’s a dangerous business, going out your door, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might get swept off to.”
You have my permission to stop reading, now. I am just going to be ranting and raving about Halloween possibilities, all that jazz. Don’t feel obligated to read. But you totally should because I am very interesting. No, but seriously…
HALLOWEEN OMG OMG OMG I AM SO EXCITED! There are so many possibilities for Halloween. Mean Girls never lies. I am not a Regina George when it comes to my costuming inclinations. I am a proud Dead Bride Lohan.
Last year I was Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp. Gosh, I looked amazing. The year before I was a mime. This year, however, will be the crowing achievement of my masquerading career. I am going as the love of my life and the bane of my existence, the often imitated but never duplicated, Sherlock Holmes.
I am proudly sporting a deerstalker and I will have a pipe and and the appropriate attire, with my friend Lindsey as my trusty Watson, and I am going to look so amazing that everyone will bow before me, Loki-style. Unless they dress up as Batman. Than we may have a problem… and eventually a battle to the death. Bring it on, Bruce.
I would win, though.
Speaking of 221b Baker Street (and the motherland), next year I plan to spend my junior year in the UK via CSUN’s study abroad program!! Whooo! I am so excited I may actually implode before I get there. If you’re in the UK, specifically London, hit me up… because I need a place to stay post-CSUN when I attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, which I totally will because I am awesome oh my gosh I am so nervous it’s so hard to get it oh my gosh oh my gosh I am freaking out.
RADA + ME = HAPPY.
HOMELESS + ME = NOT SO HAPPY.
I’m joking. I don’t wanna live with strangers, even if they are are British.
Well, has this been one crazy summer. Imagine the movie Blank Check from the nineties, but without the money, the crazy high-jinks, John Candy… uh, you know what, this summer has been nothing like Blank Check. Let me start over.
Well, has this been one crazy summer. Imagine nothing, because I am just going to tell you right now what I did. Come with me and you’ll be in pure imagination… of what you are about to read. Right now.
I digress so often I should be put in a home. My summer was flawless. Hate to rub it in, but it was. Not only did I get to spend glorious time with my people (by which I mean my family and friends, not ardent followers of a cult) I spend two and a half weeks in the impressively clean Japan. And when I say impressively clean, I mean it. They are trash Nazis over there. If you litter, you are basically cast out into the fiery pit. Basically.
Japan is an incredibly country! The charming, tiny people are so kind it is almost alarming. They seem like they live to serve and to manufacture perfect dining experiences. Seriously, the food there was unreal! I think about 87% of my photos from the trip are actually of food. My stomach is my compass, what can I say!
Levity aside, it really was a life changing adventure of a trip! The Japanese are such a kind and peaceful people, and the beauty of their country reflects the same peace and harmonious generosity. Even in the areas affected by the tsunami, there was an overwhelming hospitality shared. I was truly touched and grateful to spend time with such geniality!
We had a ball! We ate, we drank, we were merry. There were parades and decorative rice fields and my goodness, so much food. They eat surprisingly large amounts for such a small people. It was painfully obvious and somewhat depressing for me. They could eat intense amounts of food that not even John Goodman could dream of and still weigh as much as a bag of Christmas tree ornaments. I wish you could inject Asian genetics intravenously and speed up your metabolism.
Anyhoo, my summer essentially consisted of Japanese perfection, heroic blockbusters, many trips Venice beach, way too much money spent on sushi, Disneyland, way too much Italian food at Buca, helping my sister-from-another-mister with her store on Etsy.com (DistressedVintage, check her out! Hand-dyed treasure chests in the guise of shorts.) perfect purchases my like Al Pacino mugshot mug that I got from a ¥370 store, a beautiful drive to northern California to see my grandmother and my great-grandmother (WHO IS 97 OMG), and rockin’ out with the most glorious playlist known to man including but not limited to fantastic old men who still rock leather pants. I am talking to you, Robert Plant. Keep it up, my friend.
It was a beautiful, memorable, eccentric and possibly ironic summer. I finished it off with a glorious visit to Chapman University to visit a friend where we swam in the fountains and ate mushroom and asparagus crêpes. Yeah, I am THAT sophisticated. You do not even know.
But now we come to the important stuff, the meaningful stuff: school. Yes, guess who is back, back again? And no, it is not Eminem because he hasn’t had a single in a year. He should though.
Okay, so what was I saying? Oh, right. School! That one thing we are all here for! This semester is going to be incredible, and I say that because
I believe in wishful thinking.
I could not think of another adjective.
I am taking astronomy, an astronomy lab course, a writing course, a screenwriting course, and a photography as art course. It is gonna be boss, meine freunde! I have class Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, so I am probably going to be spending some quality time at my friend’s casa between Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Sometimes sleeping is better than driving. But never while you are driving. Than driving is better.
Because school is only about forty-five minutes from my casa, I drive. I do not dorm because that would be weird. But, I can understand the anxiety and stress of moving into a dorm because I have helped other friends do it. Adventures and new things can be scary, but no matter!
Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
So embrace the new stresses of college life, dorm life, but not thug life. It is going to be a beautiful year, and I am excited to share it with you! C’est une belle vie, mes amis. C’est toujours une belle vie…
Much love, to you. Always to you.
While I would love to tell you about the general experience of “college-hopping” (That is, visiting numerous campuses in hopes that one springs to life before your very eyes and shouts, “Pick me, pick me!”), I can tell you about the general experience from a secondhand eye, and explain to you what on earth you should expect, from a student/human point of view. Savvy?
College is as college does. You can go to Yale and end up working as a semi-satisfied partner of a slowly degenerating humbug of a business, or you be Tom Hanks and go to a small college in Sacramento and turn out to be Tom Hanks. However, it does help if you’re Tom Hanks. If you are, I congratulate you and I humbly request that you take a look at my reel and a recent screenplay I’ve written about a quirky old man with a heart of gold?
So, when you are inevitably overwhelmed by the amount of pressure you feel on picking the right school, finding a dorm-mate that doesn’t smell like Swiss cheese or turn your antique lava lamp into a makeshift bong, I want you to take a deep breath (And I mean a deep breath, none of that shallow stuff. I mean like if Captain Hook was coming after you and you had to hide in a mermaid grotto and the water was rising. That kind of deep breath) and just relax. It’s fine. You are still you, despite the protests from universities that you can’t truly be complete without them. It’s all going to be okay, just stay focused, positive and for goodness sakes, remember to live every day like you’re Glenn Coco.
When I was in my senior year of high school, there were dozens and dozens of letters for colleges that said things like “Come for a visit!” and “We care about your future!” and, of course, I was like, “Brown cares about my future?! I feel loved by this school whose geographical location I am unaware but whose name I am aware of!” Of course, that was before I turned it over and found out it was for a summer program for pre-grads, not from the actual university. But I liked to pretend it was. Some of you will actually receive letters from schools like that, and some of you won’t. But, who cares? You make your life what you make your life. No school is going to do that for you. Will some schools offer more opportunities in terms of connections, internships, higher-up priority? Yes. Will some people be able to afford those schools and some people will not? Absolutely. This is an inevitable fact. While everyone is entitled to a quality education, not everyone earns the right to attend an Ivy League through their hard work, or receive the opportunity through old money and new ideas. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the same chance to fight like mad for what we want. So, when you’re choosing a college, when you’re checking out the campus cafeteria (we all know that’s what you check out first), remember that the school you choose does not make you who you are, you do. It was facilitates a window of opportunity to step into the man or woman you are going to become.
Hard work and sweat never fail, and mistakes are going to be made. If Michael Caine can star in movies like “Jaws 3: The Revenge” and still have a respected career, than you can certainly make something of yourself despite your fears and failures. Be proud of who you are, where you go, what you do. Step out and be bold in the classes and in the classes that don’t.
I’m writing this on a plane to Tokyo, listening to French pop-musicals, because I am that cool. I write for this blog, develop ideas daily, write far too much for things that don’t matter and neglect things that do, and I daydream far too often. I’m a nutcase and a scatterbrain, and I feel a false sense of eclecticism most of the time. But guess what? I have gumption, I tell you. I am a college student who believes in a future of promise, despite myself. My dreams are expensive and somewhat confusing, but again, who cares? I am almost twenty years old and I am going to dream wildly like I did when I was nine. Why not? So you do that. Don’t just look for some school that’s going to impress those mean twins from The Social Network, look for your nine-year-old self. I promise that’s okay. When you step onto a campus, think about the beautiful possibilities that are inevitably present in its sidewalks, regardless of whether of not those sidewalks were walked by a past president or not.
Life is beautiful and full of uproarious opportunity, should you choose to explore it. I intend to study abroad in my education, have my screenplay selected for the Senior Film Festival, attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London after I earn my degree here, and there isn’t nothing in the world that is going to stop me.
And I’m a broke, singular, and somewhat delusional young thing. So whoever you are, you’re better off than me. If you have half the confidence in the future that I do, whoever you are, than you’ll be more than okay. Trust me.
As of today, I am starting a new series. I know I haven’t blogged since Sinbad was a relevant comedic presence, and I apologize. A girl has to do what a girl has to do. And in my case, that would be passing my classes, quitting my job, and becoming a new contestant for Miss California … just kidding. That can’t happen to me. I’m weird. But I did what I had to do for me, and that meant quitting my job and pouring my heart and soul into my craft and into my schoolwork. I still make the bacon, guys. I baby-sit. Just like The Babysitters Club, except I am not a boy-crazy fantastically dressed tween. Well, I am pretty fly when I think about it. I wear denim vests.
Back to the series. I realized a few things as of late. First of all, I am dead broke most of the time. Second of all, beauty products just keep going up, because the market knows we need them … and they are cruelly squeezing our money out of our perfectly manicured hands. And third of all, we always advertise beauty products with the angle of “natural beauty” and “natural products” and “organics” and all that jazz. But, it we REALLY want organic, if we REALLY want something pure and natural and back to our roots … like trees. ‘Cause trees are natural? … Uh … Sooooo … pun, uh … pun intended.
I started experimenting with masks in high school because I have severely sensitive skin. I cannot even emphasize that enough. You have no idea. I went to the dermatologist and I was just like, “Hey, so … my face is broken. I can’t even touch it! It fights me to the death!” … And he just looked at me, sadly. And I realized I was going to be forever alone, and forever sensitive-skinned.
But I am as strong as Thor’s hammer and as clever as Loki’s face ( I am going to be making Avengers jokes, guys. Go see it. ). So, I decided “Heck with this, Mr. Doctor! I am going to help myself! I have the internet, I do not need your medical authority and expertise! That’s what YouTube is for!”
So, I did some reason and I found various natural masks that help with several different skin problems, which I will highlight in my upcoming blog series! Yay! Series! And I won’t disappoint you like Twilight. Although, the score for those films was beautiful. Alexandre Desplat for the win. Go Frenchies. Oui oui.
In this blog, I am going to introduce a delicious honey & cinnamon mask and discuss the various healing properties associated, and how to apply it! Yay! Spa day! Put on your bathroom and towel-turban!
Let’s talk about the ingredients of theses fascinating simple mask, shall we? First of all, cinnamon. It’s not just a name for your beagle. It’s a natural exfoliant, with antiseptic, astringent, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It stimulates the pores, and assists the other ingredients to achieve their full benefits. So it’s like a health insurance salesman. But totally not.
Okay, so honey. No, not YOU. The food. I told you before I wasn’t a boy-crazy tween. Goodness. Everyone I go… what was I talking about? Oh, right.
HONEY! WHOO HOOOO!
It’s perfect and I love it, just saying. It’s just amazing, and I believe Jessica Alba was in a movie entirely devoted to it. So they say. It’s nutrient rich, antioxidant rich, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral as well as being an extremely effective moisturizer. But the real wonder is how gentle it is on sensitive skin!
All you need for the mask is as follows:
(You can add nutmeg, too!)
Step 1. Take a small bowl and put about 2 tablespoons of honey, more depending on the problem areas you are desiring to fix.
Step 2. Put about 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon into the bowl.
Step 3. Mix WELL.
Than, carefully, apply the mixture! You’ll need paper towels and something to apply it with (the back of a spoon works fine). DO NOT WEAR ANYTHING NICE. The honey melts and drips a bit, but the cinnamon prevents complete and utter honey meltdown.
Enjoy! Next blog, I will share more of my tasty secrest! … Uh, secrets. Not America’s Sweetheart Ryan Seacrest…
Look out for my new series of video blogs and my own personal blog!