• The Inauguration

    Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} I cannot consider myself a Democrat or a Republican but was raised in a more Conservative family. I would say politically, I am moderate. I am against abortion but for Gay rights. Two huge contrasts when it comes to Republicans and Democrats. I am not a racist person in any way but I must say that this whole inauguration has been extremely blown out of proportion. I think this is an absolutely fantastic and historical moment for our country and we are taking a huge step. What bothers me though, is that everyone (specifically blacks) are acting as if no other president has done any good since Obama (and he hasn’t even done anything yet!) No matter what happens, I swear in their eyes he will do no wrongs. I couldn’t help but feel that this campaign soon became more an issue of skin over anything else. No matter how much people deny it, there was racism in this campaign. It’s wonderful that we have a black president, amazing in fact! Yet still…they are treating him as if he is God and devouring every word that comes out of his mouth practically. I am just concerned that it is all too much talk, because no man or woman is truly prepared for this job no matter how much the people believe it, its one of the toughest jobs in the world! Beyonce this evening said “Obama was born to run this Country” and mentioned how she never got involved in any of the other campaigns until this one…its as if no President had a shining moment until this. I know that was the case for many other people as well, she was speaking for a large majority of them at that moment. I have never seen or heard of anyone go this crazy over one president!! I’m sure its more than just the fact that he’s black…it’s also the fact that he’s young…and he knows how to grab the crowd (obviously) “change…and yes we can” which got old a loong time ago and became much too much of a slogan for me. I hope that he meets the people’s expectations and he won’t let us down with all his talk, charm and fresh approaches. I’m eagerly awaiting this so called “change” that is said to come. I support and respect him because he is our president and hope for the best…I just do not think it will be fair when he makes mistakes as all people do and will hardly get any scorn for it as all the other presidents did because of the way the people are treating him as no other president has ever been treated before. This is where I stand and I only want fairness as I hope for the best. God bless our Country and let’s hope she’s ready for these next four years.

  • My Sweeney Todd Movie Review!!! (Finally!)

    Now time for my response to the film….oh wow this is going to be looong! Brace yourselves….:)

    I was so pumped for Sweeney Todd that of course I went to the midnight premiere last Thursday, risking lack of sleep for my last day of school before break and the possibility of more absences (at least they are excused anyhow…) Did it all happen…? Of course haha and I even already had a cold eek! Luckily my mother was sweet enough to let me sleep in though for a bit and just in time to sing on my school TV show which was a lovely experience and so fun! Anyway she probably would never have let me go to this midnight showing if it wasn’t for my extreme enthusiasm in musical theatre and most importantly Johnny Depp, thank goodness she understands, bless her! Anyhoo…onto the movie review!!!


    I have always been a lover of Steven Sondheim's music for Sweeney Todd, so the fact that they made a film out of it and most significantly with Johnny makes this film practically a dream come true! It stood out more than ever to me! The story of Sweeney Todd is such an intriguing tale, I always love the darker musicals and Johnny sang fantastically! He never lets me down and I am SO proud of him! I knew he could all along especially since he had an original background in music (playing guitar in a band.)


    The tale and music of Sweeney Todd lingers with you forever, it is so unforgettable! Sondheim is the most brilliant composer out there; his eerie chords and intertwining melodies give me chills and never cease to leave me! Helena was certainly not the best singer but got her notes and rhythms correct at least and made a wonderful Mrs.Lovett (character wise) and was fabulous on screen, brilliant character interpretation! I was just wishing for more vocal variety from her, she was always so quiet (even though her character was said to be down-played on screen.) I am just used to a fierce belting Mrs.Lovett, especially during the part where she sings “I love you, I’d be twice the wife she was…” but whatever, not a huge issue. I of course know that singing is not her forte and this is certainly not a Broadway cast, I was just being biased with my musical theatre expectations and expressing them within my critique, but it is only natural since this film is indeed a musical.


    Now onto Johnny…if I am biased on any opinions it would be him obviously, but you see I sincerely did think that his singing was superb and way out of the ordinary of the customary expectations people have for actors in that sense! He handled it so entirely well! He just grasped it to the fullest, took it as a challenge and once again gave a stellar performance. Some critics have been saying it was his best performance yet, I could believe it! I truly hope he wins an Oscar finally, he has already been nominated for two in his past (J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland and Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.) I truly do not believe he receives half as much appreciation and respect as he should get for his astounding ability, but he likes it that way which is remarkable. Most actors live for being praised, but he is just so extraordinarily humble. Anyway, back on topic the film which has been nominated for numerous Golden Globes I might add and has been rumored to be up for best picture, actor, director and plenty more I assume! I am not surprised with all the praise-worthy and positive reviews it has been getting!


    As for Johnny’s character interpretation…WOW! He gets SO into his character! He has so much intense diversity as Sweeney even to the point where you begin to feel for him, almost as if you are him! It is astonishing how he does that, always so proud and impressed by what he can do and all his work! He becomes more of an inspiration to me each and every day….wow was I blown away, just how he handled his part is beyond words! Of course I already got the CD too and am listening to it non-stop! (At this very moment in fact… ironic eh!? It probably really shocked you all haha!)


    Now onto the whole horror/Tim Burton gore which was an early concern for me for I do not do well with gore! I absolutely cannot handle horror movies and do everything I can to avoid them and never see them for the life of me for I know I am highly sensitive! Knowing that this was a musical though with incredible melodies and Johnny Depp starring in it, I knew I would be able to handle it and be okay! (My sister Becca told me right before the film began, you are no less of a Johnny Depp admirer if you close your eyes at the bloody scenes, which was comforting to hear I must admit) of course, I did not close my eyes, not for that reason though but because I was relieved to see that they kept it theatrical and stage like and it was quite comical actually! It literally made me and my fellow audience members laugh out loud, it was honestly funny! I am sure half of the laughs though were out of relief haha!

    The only part I was disturbed by when it comes to the death and such was in the final sequence when “someone” who is actually alive gets pushed into the fire and you can see them burning and screaming, now that really upset me because I think it is just about every persons largest fear. I think we can all imagine how horrible it would be to burn in a fire ALIVE, not like it isn’t disturbing enough to burn in a fire deceased and then be turned into a pie and consumed, but my gosh that was a bone-chillingly horrifying scene and not to mention thought!


    It is such a dark, depressing musical, I actually cried at the end of it I got so into it. It just pulls you in and there are so many surprises within the final conclusion. I was upset with the fact that they did not explain the fate of Johanna and Anthony as usual, but the audience naturally could assume of course. The ending was so well done and completely expected from Burton, you just knew he wanted to end it on that depressing note, it was wonderfully done though. Actually, the first words that ran through my head right after the film was finished, was “beautiful” and “spectacular” (and my sister agreed.) I was extremely pleased with it, especially how quiet they had "him go," if you know what I mean. (Not wanting to spoil anything for those of you who have not seen it.) Also the fact that he knew what was coming and was almost silently asking for it, but only very slightly. If you noticed when he stopped his singing and imperceptibly looked back, you could tell he was quite prepared and letting it be since there was nothing more to live for anymore, wow. Those amazing intricate details and subtleties are what really make a brilliant film such as this one (and maybe for those of you have seen it did not notice this particular moment within the final sequence before but after seeing it a second time this small feature was much more apparent to me and that is what I love about seeing films over again, you always pick up on something new which makes the film much more fresh and remarkable…well most of the time at least.)


    Also, I love how they kept the film very much a musical and the singing seemed to fit perfectly. By hearing this continuous Sondheim music circulating within each of the scenes background, it really set the audience up for the singing and seemed so natural and realistic. Twas perfection in my opinion.

    The little boy’s voice who played Toby sounded lovely! It was so beautiful, sweet and pure and not to mention strong! All around just impressive for a boy his age, he is going to go places I am sure! He is a wonderful little actor in the making, I cannot wait to see more of him and where his career will go!


    Burton was SO creative with his coloring, effects, backgrounds, and the whole set design & costumes were breathtaking, just perfect! He made you feel part of the world of Sweeney Todd during that time period in London and my goodness such fascinating camera angles as well! I greatly enjoyed the sudden variety in "By the Sea!" By having the rest of the film in a constant shadowy darkness, that scene stood out significantly, great effectiveness! Another favorite of mine was "Epiphany,” Johnny was so entertaining to watch during that scene, I cannot get over his extreme intensity! Johanna was a gorgeous song as always, just beautiful and haunting, gives me goose bumps!


    Alan Rickman was the real creeper in this film, kept looking forward for him to finally die, same with Beadle. My that actor always does way too well at the creepy evil side kick characters, Harry Potter for example as Wormtail/Peter Pettigrew (getting to work alongside Snape once again as well as Helena Bonham Carter who played Bellatrix Lestrange...)


    What makes this tale more remarkable is the fact that it was once What a magnificent musical and this film in my opinion was absolute perfection. The only other complaints are the fact that they took out “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” (huge part of the stage musical) also taking out some key words in the song "God that's Good," hence the title. I was utterly intrigued and captivated by this film in so many ways! It was beautiful and breathtaking! I was so entirely pleased and impressed with it, a new favorite of mine for sure and it was so much better than I ever could have imagined! It was the best film adaptation of a musical I have seen yet I believe, just fantastic! Incredibly done! BRAVO!


    Comments? Cannot wait to hear what you all have to say!…(Those of you who have seen it or are thinking of seeing it/not too sure…let me know!) 

    *Next Post: My lovely experience, recap and all around response to this years Christmas and of course life in Hawaii for a week! I leave tomorrow morning ahh! I am so thrilled! I better get packing though, I just keep procrastinating! I seriously can never stop writing, tis amazing though! :) So glad for all the inspiration lately!




  • ~Fiddler on the Roof~Holiday Season~ NYC Response~And a NEED to UPDATE!

    Where in the world to start!? I feel just awful I've been absent from posting my writing in here for so long! First of all I MUST get this off my chest! Just how terribleI feel since I never got the chance to say what an incredibly wonderful time I had at the NYC Red: the Book signing/release party! It was so much better than I ever could have imagined, I felt so lucky and blessed to be a part of it! It was so cool to match each and everyone’s stories with a face finally and get to meet the amazing Amy who we had been working with all year! She was as fabulous and kind as I imagined, I mean she is the brilliant one who pulled this book together in the first place, discovered us, got us published, helped us, taught us SO much and pulled the fabulous party together! The food was great, the atmosphere was perfect, and the conversations, smiles and giggles were just endless! I wish I could have stayed longer and chatted much more! I hope we get to have more events, gatherings, celebrations etc like this again sometime in the near future! The girl’s were so sweet and it was great to finally share our success and stories together and celebrate! I wish I could’ve spent more time in NYC too, but I had rehearsals that weekend for a show that was going to open soon! It was all so worth the trip for that party though! Thanks for the great time everyone!

    Now I just finished up being in my high school musical production of "Fiddler on the Roof," which is an absolute favorite of mine! I was SO proud by how all the runs went, and felt so blessed to finally do a production with profundity and not like those “happy go lucky, fluffy musicals” such as “Guys and Dolls” for example (which what we did last year, blleeccck.)

     Another reason why I loved this show so much was because my mother played Golda in this same show within her high school career and adores it with all her heart so she really exposed it to us and so I always of grew up with it around the house! Not only that but my sister did the show in England through our old performing arts school called “Stagecoach,” so I have seen it countless times. My family really cherishes it, it means a lot to us. My mom practically cried when she found out we were doing it and I was happier than you could even imagine for this had been on my top five list for musicals to do in my lifetime ever since I first was exposed to it!

    I was fortunate enough to get to play the role of Fruma-Sarah (the butcher’s dead wife who comes back from the grave within a dream to deliver one significant message in a very intense, extreme and scary way, it’s more like a warning if anything!) It was such a fun experience, not to mention challenging! 

    It’s funny, I even mentioned this in my essay “The Depth of Depp” within Red that I am now willing to play the more eccentric roles that I never played before just as Johnny does and that is certainly what happened! I was so proud, I cannot even tell you! The crazy parts are way more fun to portray and much more tricky than the stereotypical romantic soprano leads as usual.


    When I played Fruma-Sarah in “Fiddler on the Roof” I got the chance to go crazy, wear ridiculous death make-up, scream, and belt my heart out with a big booming voice! It was fantastic and most definitely was the best role I have ever played yet! I’ve enjoyed it so much and more than any other’s I have played because I was impersonating someone completely different from myself which was a truly fascinating experience! My director for real called me “The Bitchy Bat Woman from Hell” haha he is fantastic! He literally is a genius though, my high school is SO fortunate to have him! I just hope everyone acknowledges that and does not take it for granted.


    I was a little nervous at times while playing this role actually for I was being held up on top of the shoulders of one of the guys in our cast, but nothing scary or dangerous ever happened thank goodness! In my mother’s production during her high school days, the guy holding up their Fruma-Sarah dropped her on accident and she had to go to the emergency room eeek! That was sure comforting to hear…but luckily I was safe! My mother and I prayed every single night before I went on for that scene! It was such a powerful effect though and I looked super gigantic and just scary! It was AMAZING! Ohh so fun! Best musical or role I have ever done! 


    It feels so good to finally have free time though! To be able to get the chance to have more time for my writing, music listening/studying/creating, singing, spending time with friends, family, chatting, watching films, shopping and not to mention the Holiday festivities! I literally feel as if I was more excited and ready for Christmas BEFORE Thanksgiving, I am not even kidding you! It was all because of our vigorous rehearsal schedules and shows but so worth it of course!

     It’s incredible when you are in the middle of a production, focusing all your time and energy into it as if you are selling your outside life to do it. Let me tell you, even though that part of it is unfortunate it is absolutely worth it for numerous reasons. One because you learn a lot, also you have an incredible opportunity to express yourself and get out all your extroverted energy (that is…if you have any, which most all theatre people do,) you get to be with your friends or at least people a lot like you and different from you as well which is cool. In theatre you really learn to respect, appreciate and trust the people you are with for you are relying on each other and feeding of each other's energy, you have this close bond that is almost unbreakable, well at least most of the time. You see, when you are in a cast, you spend a lot of time away from your family while rehearsing constantly and then putting on the productions, plus the celebrations etc..then the cast literally almost becomes a family because of all the time and hard work spent, and that is not even the half of it. The strong relationships and bonds you build are also part of what make it so and it honestly is beautiful. I love my theatre, people community, and family more than words and cannot thanks them enough for the support and endless supply of love they give. I absolutely cannot wait for more shows and theatrical experiences to come and not to mention theatre beyond high school and the twin cities!  

    For now though, it is time for me to focus on the Holiday Season, my family, and just resting and taking it easy for I have been going, going, going so much to the point where I have crashed from the lack of sleep, over usage of energy, and stress from all the homework I had to make-up eek! So is that a good enough reason for not posting in such a long time!? Haha, well that will all change now, but I must mention it takes a lot of time for me because I am SUCH a perfectionist it is not even funny! I spend over hours writing these thoughts of mine, crafting it, rewriting it, editing it, etc, etc, etc! So many thoughts of mine, sometimes even uncontrollable, putting me in front of a blank page can be dangerous...!!! Beware!!! :)Don’t even ask me how long it took me to edit my Red essay haha!

    That is another reason why I have not posted for such a long while as well besides lack of time, sleep and being over worked is that I felt I wouldn’t have done my writing justice by just submitting thoughts, I always go overboard on it and to the point where I feel people won’t even read it, like I rant (which I am totally doing now haha!) but I love the whole writing process, I really do! I could so do this for a living, and I believe everyone and anyone can! I also cannot help but wonder…does anyone even read this? I mean I guess it does not really matter since I would write this stuff on my own anyway and its like a whole journaling experience, capturing moments in my life etc, but still the fact that I am going out and submitting it to the world after being published….I see all the other 57 girl’s posts and I honestly only skim since there are SO many! (Well of course unless there is one that totally grabs me!) I mean I wish I could/had the time and patience to read them all but dang that would take forever and my ADD just doesn’t allow me to do that, haha jk! I would also love to leave comments on everyone's writing more often as well not to mention receive them too, hint hint wink wink! ;) Lol!

    You see, with my own personal writing it is often just thoughts, that of course are never super edited or anything (like most writers, unorganized, sketchy, artsy...or maybe thats just me lol!) that I may expand on later or not…for it could just be a quick moment in time almost like a photograph that you later look at and go, what the heck was I thinking!? Now when it comes to posting and submitting my work like this, I take all the time in the world to edit and perfect it for its going out before the public eye isn't it?….And that is the question my friends….will they take the time? All in all it does not matter too much because you always know at least one person will read it and it will grab someone’s attention, so leave comments I suppose then eh?....Also, it will be a great memory for me, a personal journal like xanga etc, and an awesome way to get my word out there for hey you never know who will read your work and be touched by it! :) 

    I cannot even BELIEVE that Christmas Eve is tomorrow, I just cannot get over it! My mind has totally been focused in other areas and I was sadly more excited and into the spirit (like I mentioned before) around Thanksgiving time…wow. Even now that the show is over, my mind still has not been 100% focused on Christmas festivities and such as usual, I mean it certainly does not have to be by any means but it just makes me feel sad in a way. Am I less exciting or festive? Am I way too stressed for my own good? I mean I should not be now since we are finally on break, I guess I just have not adjusted yet or been used to it! (Which reminds me, not only are we on break for one week as usual but two weeks ahh!) My family will be going on a Hawaiian cruise which is waaay to good to be true! Warm Hawaiian sun, (and mmm their sunrises and sunsets are to die for) tropical ocean beaches, and adventures and explorations unknown here I come! (I will most definitely have Pirates of the Caribbean on the brain while there haha!)

    I think a large part of the whole distracted away from Christmas issue this year was just that it added more stress to my life at the moment when I could not handle it, such as the Christmas shopping and baking etc. (Also, Fiddler was the most enjoyable yet most stressful show I have done so far within my high school career) because I had a larger role, more homework now that I am a Junior, etc…oh yes….and another little something I forgot to mention! Sweeney Todd came out on the 21st, so what else was I doing all of December…? Getting all excited, finding whatever news, clips and interviews I could on it! I literally had been counting down for it for practically a year, I knew about it before most anyone! Boy was I thrilled, and still am even though I have already seen it of course! That for sure made my mind drift much more than usual from the Holiday Season activities!

    Next SWEENEY TODD REVIEW BABY! :) Get excited yaall! ;)

  • Red: the book!

     Wow, first of all I am just SO thrilled to be on this website and to start posting and connecting with some of the other girl's and hopefully with some of our reader's!! This is my first time (& probably for most of us) being published, and let me tell you it feels unlike anything in the world! I just feel so proud and accomplished and it is so fantastic! I simply cannot stop smiling when I think of it, I mean the fact that we are getting our word's, thought's, and feeling's out there to the world is mind blowing! Who know's who will read it, who know's who's live's we may inspire or touch?! Wow! I feel so lucky, I've even cried with happiness! (I am such an emotional person haha!)

    And wow...just imagine if Johnny got the chance to read my essay, I would simply die! That would be incredible, I sure hope he somehow does! :)

     Also SO SO SO thrilled for the NYC Party! It'll be the experience of a lifetime! Cannot wait to meet all my fellow author's of Red and let alone our incredible editor Amy G herself! The amazing woman we've been working with all this time and who has helped our dream's come true! Wow, it just seems so unreal that this has happend! Just seeing my name plus my hard work and thoughts printed in a book is just...indescribable! I don't think I will ever be able to get over it! Cannot wait to celebrate tomorrow!

     I could write for hours more but I must force myself to go and get packing for the big day! (I have a 7AM flight tomorrow eek!) It's all SO worth it!! NYC here I come baby!!! :)


    ~ Grace H