Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What happened to November?

I realize of course that November is only a couple of weeks in, but I could have sworn yesterday was October. October went very slowly for me. I had very little work, and had very little to do to occupy my days. November is already drastically different by comparison and quickly getting away from me.

I was hired to run wardrobe for a show in Queens back in October, but it wasn't until last week that I started working on the show. The show is a new play called The Cottage, similar in style to some of Noel Coward's plays from the 1930s. It is a hilarious show about sex, murder and violence - it's very witty and sharp. And the costumes are beautiful. I'm having a lot of fun working on this show.

About the same time that I started working in Queens, I was asked to come interview for an internship on a TV show pilot. My schedule was a bit weird at the time because of tech week in Queens, but they rescheduled my interview 5 times! By the time I finally went in for my interview I was a bit skeptical, as they were the ones who kept rescheduling. But when I arrived, they informed me that they had gotten so busy they realized they didn't have the time to actually conduct interviews. They liked my resume the best so instead of interviewing, I immediately started training. It was about an hour into the job before I was even able to ask what the TV show pilot was about. I'm not really sure how much I am able to divulge about the series, since its still so much in its beginning stages. There hasn't been a lot of press about the show - at least not yet, so I don't want to spill the beans. Let's just say it's a very exciting idea for a show, also an "anna will like this" kind of show; it will get a lot of press if it gets picked up because it will be the first of its kind; some big names are cast and at least one of the cast members is someone I've admired for all of my life and I might DIE if I actually get to meet them on set.

Working on a TV show is so different from working on a Broadway musical. I knew it would be, and on my first day I asked a lot of questions. But I didn't expect it to feel so different, its similar in a lot of ways, but it seems more relaxed, even though there is still just as much pressure, and less time to do things. But I'm having a lot of fun. The people I'm working with want me to ask questions, they want me to learn - and that's a nice feeling. If the series gets picked up it will HOPEFULLY mean a lot more exciting things to look forward to.

This is my November. I work on the TV show for 3 days and then The Cottage for 3 days. In theory I have Sundays off, but those have gotten busy as well. I literally don't have any more days off between now and when I go home for Thanksgiving. Both the show and the TV show will wrap by that point, so I still don't know what December will look like. But right now it just seems like everything's coming up roses.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jumping off cliffs

My decision to move to New York City starts almost a year ago now. In 2012 I had been thinking of visiting the city for a while and finally decided to convince my best friend that we needed to take a road trip to the city. It would be my first time back in the city since 2004, a fact I am embarrassed to admit. I was looking forward to a vacation with my best friend, but for me, the trip turned out to be a lot more. When Kristen and I got on the bus back to New Jersey our last night in the city and when we got in the car the next morning to drive back home, I was overcome with sadness. I simply didn't want to leave.

Three months later I returned for a birthday trip for myself. I was going to see some friends, some shows, some museums, but most importantly I was going to figure out if I could live in NYC. My friend Sydney and I had talked about moving to the city before in the abstract, and she came to visit while I was in the city for my birthday. We decided then that moving to the city was absolutely what we wanted to do and we wanted to do it together.

After that, I started making plans. I applied for an internship at the Juilliard School. After several successful phone interviews I returned to New York City for a face to face interview. In that last trip to NYC in May it was all but a done deal - No matter what happened with the interview, I would move to the city in the fall. Several weeks later I got the disappointing phone call that I was not chosen to work at Juilliard. It was a set back, but I was determined to still get to New York.

Fast-forward through my summer in West Virginia. I had barely slept in a week and all I wanted was a Corona, an ocean and sand in between my toes. I woke up at 7am to drive to the beach and we were less than 10 miles from our final destination, almost 6pm when I checked my cellphone and had an email from an unknown address. Talk about emails changing your life: The associate designer to a new Broadway musical, Beautiful, was wondering if I would be interested in a design internship starting the next week. Turns out Juilliard was still impressed with me and sent along my information. I turned to my mom barely able to form words and read her the email. My mother said the best two words any mother could say at that exact moment: "Well shit!"

To say this was a once in a lifetime opportunity is an understatement and even though I had been looking forward to that beach vacation for over a year, I was not about to miss this. The next day I called the designer and agreed to be his intern starting the very next week and then I called my friend Jamie for help finding a place to stay. Jamie found me a place to sublet in 2 hours (God, I love that girl) and then I was booking a flight. I packed two bags and was all ready to go fly up on Monday morning and start on Wednesday. Then life happens.

It wasn't covered much on the news because luckily no one was hurt, but on the afternoon of July 22, there was a crash landing at LaGuardia airport (I had actually looked at booking that flight oddly enough). All flights to LaGuardia were cancelled and all flights to surrounding airports quickly filled up. I got in a nice long line of angry travelers to rebook my flight and try to get back home. If you want to see people's true colors, take them to an international airport and tell them all flights to their final destination are full. It was like the world had ended. Where as I was just grateful that I had not been on the plane that had crashed and I was going to get to sleep in bed that night- but maybe I'm just a glass half-full kind of girl.

Of all places to get stranded, I was stuck in Charlotte- so close and yet not home. After leaving Greensboro at 10:30 that morning, I returned to Greensboro at 11:30 that night. And then next morning I returned to Greensboro at 11am. The flight attendants even recognized me. I was so ready to get to New York. I waved goodbye to my Dad and went to my gate. I decided this would be the right time to tweet something from my phone about "on the road again." And then the worst feeling in the world overcomes me: Where's my phone?

With minutes until my first flight leaves I realize that I am without my cell phone. I have no idea where it is but it is not in my purse - my one carry-on item. My Dad has surely already left the airport and I do not know what to do, except cry. All my fears coming to a head: I'm moving to arguable the biggest city in the world, where I know few people, about to start a brand new job with big named people, none of whom I've ever met, without a cellphone. I cried most of that day. Luckily I had my iPad, but airport internet is shotty at best. I contacted Jamie, my angel in hipster clothing, over facebook to call my parents, not that it will do any good at this point, but my flights were getting more and more delayed and I was supposed to meet with Jamie once I landed. I got off the plane got in a cab, walked in Jamie's apartment, cried some more, called my cell phone on the off chance I had accidentally packed in my suitcase - to no avail, and finally got a hold of my parents, who at this point were standing in their living room holding my cell phone that had just rung. I was relieved the phone wasn't actually lost and Mom ran to FedEx right then to overnight the phone to Jamie. Then Jamie took me to a Mexican restaurant and bought me some much needed booze and food. Jamie also helped me find my sublet apartment and carry my luggage across Brooklyn - again, my angel.

The next morning I arrived to a Costume Shop in the theatre district and started my new job. Within one week I knew all the fabric stores in the fashion district, where the best Costume Shops are and met so many important people it was hard to keep them all straight. None better than the designer and associate designer of Beautiful, who made me feel like a part of the design team and were always so much fun to work with. Everyday I went to work with a smile on my face. I never knew what I would be doing that day - fabric shopping, shoe shopping, fittings, rehearsals - it was so great.

The internship ended in September. Beautiful did it's pre-Broadway run in San Francisco and has gotten some wonderful reviews. It will return to Broadway in November and officially open in January.  Since I got here I've met so many people. I now live in Manhattan - Washington Heights/Harlem (Sydney and I don't agree with which neighborhood we actually live in), in a beautiful apartment that we all feel very lucky to find. I have two roommates: Sydney is one of the best people I have ever met. She is a props artisan, crazy talented and well just a little crazy. We wouldn't have done this move without each other and I'm so lucky that I get to come home everyday and hang out with her. Our third roommate is Matt, an actor and web designer, also Sydney's older brother. Our apartment still needs a little love and care, but we love it.

I haven't been working consistently since the internship ended. In NYC, everything is 10x pricier than it should be so I've become an expert budgeter. I get hit on everyday, even when I look like a man, wearing sweats and no make-up. I have to leave an hour before I have to be anywhere in case something happens on the subway. Basically, living in New York is not as romantic as the movies make it seem sometimes. But even so, I could not be happier. There's always an adventure outside my door, and we all know I live for adventures. I live in one of the best cities in the world, with one of my best friends in the world, doing theatre with the best in the business. What isn't to love?


The first weekend Sydney and I were both officially living in the city (we had not quite yet found our current apartment), we went to Times Square and took this picture. Moving to the city together was our dream and we we did it. Without jobs, without a place to live and with very little money between us, we jumped off a cliff and followed our dreams.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer 2013

What a summer it has been for me!

I left my job at Centre a few weeks early at the beginning of May to return the Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. Theatre West Virginia offered me the position of Costume Consultant and Costume Designer for 3 of their shows this summer. I was very excited to return, and bring some of my students with me. 

I was in West Virginia for two weeks helping them get started with their season. When I left, my friend Leslie (a Godsend if ever there was one) returned to Kentucky with me to help pack up my apartment and say goodbye. (The girl took a week off of work to pack up boxes of someone else's stuff in an un-air-conditioned apartment. I'll never stop thanking her for that!). 

Then I came back home to North Carolina. I was so excited to have a summer in North Carolina. Even though I would be working in West Virginia, most of my summer was to be spent at home. But life sure is what happens when you are making plans... I spent about a week and a half at home (trying to unpack all of my furniture and things from Kentucky and designing The Wizard of Oz for TWV) and then I went back to West Virginia for the opening of their season. It became clear that Oz was going to be a massive under taking and I was going to need to be in West Virginia longer than the 3 weeks I was suppose to be. I went back home for a week, well maybe 5 days, and then returned to West Virginia to get the party to Oz started. 

The Wizard of Oz is a massive show to produce and manage in all aspects: cast, scenery, props, lights, pyro and costumes, no matter where you are.  No one had an easy time working on this show this summer. There were nights of no sleep, there were nights of tears and there were nights of frustration and anger. And yet somehow we did a show for 1200 people on opening night, and the audience was none the wiser of all the blood sweat and tears that had gone into the show, literally the hour before we opened. As a designer, I am not supposed to be backstage during performances. The wardrobe supervisor and dressers are supposed to take care of costume backstage without the interference of the designer. Well, during our second night of dress rehearsals, both of our dressers hurt themselves to the point where they couldn't run the show and I had to step in as a dresser for opening night. To say I wasn't pleased is an understatement, but the show must go on and you gotta do what you gotta do. 

As emotionally and physically draining as The Wizard of Oz was, I was a little sad to leave. They were going to start working on the next show without me, and I was a sad not to be a part of it. And no matter how hard I try to kill myself at TWV, I really love that theatre and the people there. Plus I had to say goodbye to my students - my time at Centre was really coming to an end when that happened. But as sad as I was to leave, nothing anyone could say or do was going to keep me there an hour longer than I needed to be. The next morning I packed my bags, bright and early, and drove back to North Carolina to go on the beach vacation I had been looking forward to for 2 years. Nothing was going to keep me away...

Until an hour before we get to the beach house I got an offer to intern on a new Broadway Musical in NYC the very next week...

Life. Gotta love it. 

Next Post: Getting to NYC when a plane crashes, you forget your cellphone and starting a new job when you have no idea where you are or what you are doing. And everything else that happens when you decide to jump off a cliff and follow your dreams. :)

Post Script:
From May 4 to August 23, I lived out of a suitcase and I never stayed in one place longer than 3 weeks. That makes for quite an adventurous summer. I never really noticed that I can't sit still. I've signed a lease for NYC that's longer than a year and it freaks me out a little. Living in one place longer than a year!? Weird. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Ole Kentucky Home

As I'm sure everyone has gathered from Facebook, I no longer live in Kentucky. Nope, I've moved on to another state - but that's a another post for another time.

Even though this post comes a few months late, I wanted to write something to acknowledge the time I spent in Kentucky. I'm very grateful for the time I spent there because I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I love to cook and bake. I learned that I hate living alone. I learned that I am actually good at managing a shop and teaching students. I learned that I am a city girl at heart. It wasn't really a secret that I wasn't very happy in Kentucky. No, Kentucky wasn't the place to me. But even so, I can't say anything bad about Kentucky. In fact, now that I've been away for a few months, I'm a bit surprised by how much I miss it. Well, not so much it, as much as the people.

The people of Kentucky are bay far some of the nicest people I have ever met. My students were really great and I loved getting to know them. Now that they are back in classes again, I want to talk to them to hear about their summers and talk about their new classes. I really enjoyed hanging out with them and I liked being someone that many of them felt they could come and talk to. I hope that puns and back-offs live on in the Costume Shop because they were some of my most favorite memories (especially the puns that annoyed Matthew).

Speaking of the boss man, I probably miss him the most. I can say with confidence that I will never have another boss that is as supportive and understanding as Matthew. By working with him every day I learned so much about theatre, design and art. I genuinely think he is the smartest man working in theatre and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities he gave me. It was a comfort to know I had someone looking out for me as a peer and as a friend. I'll never really be able to fully express my gratitude to him. Basically, he's just a really awesome guy. Also, I really miss the white pizza ;).

Even though I miss it a lot these days, I know in my heart I made the best decision for me to leave Kentucky. But no matter how far I go, I will think of my old Kentucky home with fondness.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Year 24: The End.

Well Year 24 ended last week and I didn't accomplish everything on my bucket list but I still had an amazing year.

The List
1 I moved to St. Louis and had an amazing 5 1/2 months there.
2 I did not go on a blind date. But I did fall in love with someone for the first time in my life. I will never be able to truly express how amazing I think this person is. He and I were never really going to have a chance for a future because of circumstance, time, and location. But he will always be one of my dearest friends. Always.
3 For my dear friend Claire's bachelorette party we went to a karaoke bar. I don't even remember what I sang because I had had so much to drink, but I did it. Not really my cup of tea.
4 City Museum in St. Louis, Dollhouse Museum in Danville. Not the weirdest of museums but atypical to say the least.
5 I couldn't give up TV for a week. I just love movies and being entertained at all times!
6 I finally went further west than St. Louis! In January I flew to Los Angeles and saw my friends Brad and Sara and their three kids. I had so much fun with all of them. They are truly one of my favorite families on the planet! While we were there I saw the Dolby Theatre, The Hollywood Sign, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Santa Monica Pier, and the Pacific Ocean. But the most fun was probably playing Uno with the entire family.
7 I bought 2 CDs this year. But my favorite was "Aim and Ignite" by Fun. Fun is like the hippest band right now, but their first album, I think, is better.
8 I didn't actually join a gym, because in both of the jobs I held while I was working this past year gave me free access to a gym. And I did go, probably not enough to mention, but enough to cross it off the list.
9 Save Money. Well I did and I didn't. That's probably all that needs to be said.
10 My friend in St. Louis, Taylor, and I went to trivia a few times. We weren't very good but we made a decent team. I haven't found any trivia games in danville.
11 My last weekend in St. Louis I finally touched the Mississippi River. Wasn't anything to brag about, but I did it!
12 I did not visit West Virginia, except for driving through it on my way to St. Louis. But the good news is I will be back in West Virginia for part of the summer. I'm very very excited!
13 I was convinced by others that going to the top of the Gateway Arch isn't very exciting, so I passed on the opportunity. But some of my best memories in St. Louis happened at the Arch.
14 I had lobster at Red Lobster. I think I'll stick to crab legs.
15 Still haven't played paintball.
16 Didn't visit grad schools like I wanted to, but I have seen OU and am more excited to be going to grad school in the coming years.
17 Since moving to Danville I have enjoyed cooking so much. Any opportunity I have to cook for someone else, I'm all about it.
18 I got side bangs and heavy layers. It didn't look like much of a change, but I finally got the hair I had been aiming for for years.
19 I am embarrassed that I did not go to a single Cardinals game in St. Louis while I was there. That is probably my biggest regret.
20 I did not give a fake number at the bar, however I did leave my business card and got an email from that gentleman. I never emailed him back, and I still feel a little bad that I didn't. He probably doesn't remember me anymore anyway.
21 By the time Christmas was rolling around I was more interested in going to NYC than on a cruise. But especially after the Carnival Cruise disaster I think this bucket list idea has sailed. (hah!)
22 Yep I was employed for the entire year I was 24. I'm very proud of this accomplishment. I already know it will not happen for me for the year 25 and probably not again for a few years. But it was a very big grown up accomplishment. Go me!
23 I did save my receipts until I forgot what I was saving them for...?
24 My internet has made it harder to skype with friends than I would like, but everytime I get the opportunity I'm very excited.

Having a Bucket List for the year was fun. Don't have one for Year 25, but I still plan on it being just as grand of an adventure.

Monday, March 11, 2013

SETC: Louisville

I'd like to take a moment to thank all the friends, colleagues, past, present and future employers, who I got the chance to speak with at SETC in Louisville this year. I was really excited to see all of you, even more so in the state that I've been calling home for the last 7 months.

SETC is a whirlwind of nerves, excitement, emotions and craziness, but this year takes the cake. A lot of people that I have come to respect and admire went out of their way to help and encourage me this year and I am beyond grateful. We all have our insecurities, and one is never more insecure than at a theatre conference competing with others for work in theatre. I do not need a job offer this year to keep my insecurities about my career in check because the words that were said to me from my peers all across the nation were more than enough to keep me confident (at least for the time being). Thank you.

I hope to see you all again next year in Alabama, or even sooner in a theatre somewhere.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscars Recap.

I usually wait to post a post-Oscars account but I have some friends on the other side of the ocean that will read this in the AM so I want it published for them before I go to bed (yes, you Kayla.) 

Well I'm going to bed pretty happy. I predicted 20 out of 25 categories correct, which is around my average. I missed Production Design, Cinemantography, Sound Mixing, Film Editing and Music Score (although I really wanted Mychael Danna to win because I love him).  I got Costume Design correct for the first time! (I don't agree with the winner, but at least I predicted correctly!) Jennifer Lawrence is adorable. Daniel Day-Lewis is a beautiful human being. Seth MacFarlane is hilarious and Musicals RULE! And yes the whole ceremony was a little "gay," - GET OVER IT. 

My bones to pick:
1. Okay, everyone knew Adele was going to win Best Song (c'mon, she's Adele). But the other nominees needed to have their moment in the sun. 
2. Captain Kirk in the opening number? Really?
3. I totally predicted Barbra Streisand singing "The Way We Were" in the memoriam. But it really pisses me off when we tribute one person who died more than all the others. I love him, but really how can Marvin Hamlish deserve any more screen time than any other legend we lost (particularly Nora Ephron.)?
4. Seth, get off the stage. You were a fantastic host and then you sang a song about losers in the end. You were a winner until that moment. Also boob song and puppets - why?
5. Ang Lee over David Russell? Really?
6. Sorry Catherine Zeta Jones had to lipsync.
7. Sorry Russell Crowe can't sing on key. 
8. Who invited Kristen Stewart? Do you want to be an actress? You know half the world wants to be the Academy Awards presenting an award with Daniel Radcliffe? SHUT UP! LOOK HAPPY!
9. I want Meryl on the screen longer. She's my Queen. 
10. With the exception of when Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted, the show never seems that long. This year didn't seem long - but it was. Seriously it wasn't over until after midnight?

My loves:
1. Music Music Music - all of it was great. 
2. Charlize Theron can dance? seriously?
3. Thank you Jennifer Hudson for reminding us that America is an idiot for not making you our idol. Clearly we were wrong. 
4. Seth MacFarlane and Sally Field making out? Beautiful moment. 
5. Jennifer Lawrence being the most perfect 22 year old. Tripping over a dress. Doing shots before interviews. LOVE HER!
6. Ben Affleck getting his due and having a beautiful speech.
7. The reenactment of The Sound of Music! OMG!
8. Maybe I don't hate Daniel Day Lewis - gracious human being. 
9. Michelle Obama presented Best Picture. Ok, didn't see that coming. Well done producers. 
10. My predictions were exceptional this year. I last minute changed one but I didn't do it on my blog so I'll stand by my 20 out of 25 (but it was really 21 out of 25!)

Fashion picks:
Jane Fonda
Sally Field
Sandra Bullock 
Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Aniston
Jessica Chastain
Amanda Seyfried

Fashion Fails:
Samuel L Jackson
Anne Hathaway
Zoe Saldana
Bradley Cooper's mom

I've been sitting on the couch for several hours now and I don't want it all to be over. But I guess I'll go to bed now (1am) See you all next year!

Oh, and Happy Birthday Emmanuelle Riva!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It's that time of year again. That magical time where I lock myself in a room with a TV, plant myself on the couch, dominate the remote, and smile from ear to ear for several hours. Yes, it's Oscar night. This year will be an interesting year for the show. New host, new voting system and the possibility for many upsets.
As usual here are my predictions and my commentary with each award. I didn't see as many of the films this year as I would have liked, but nevertheless I have an opinion and here we go!

Best Actor: 
My Prediction: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
There are a few categories that are shoe-ins this year and this is one of them.
Who'd I give it to: Daniel Day-Lewis.
Is anyone else nominated?

Best Actress:
My Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Lining's Playbook"
Other Nominees: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty," Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour," Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"
Okay, so this is one of the more interesting categories. For a long time everyone thought Jessica Chastain would win, then it was Jennifer Lawrence and now a lot of people think it will be Emmanuelle Riva. It really is still up in the air. The Academy loves honoring the older nominees who might not get another chance to win. Lawrence and Chastain's careers are just jumping off and there are plenty more nominations ahead of them, but not so much for Riva who will turn 86 today! But until the nominations, who had even heard of Riva? Also, wouldn't it be awesome if 9 year-old Quvenzhane wins?
Who I'd give it to: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Lining's Playbook"
I'm becoming a HUGE JLaw fan, and it started after seeing this movie. I cannot tell you how amazing of a movie it is. And she kills in this movie. Fingers crossed.

Best Supporting Actor:
My Prediction: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"
Other Nominees: Alan Arkin, "Argo," Robert De Niro, "Silver Lining's Playbook," Phillip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master," Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
The producers would be smart to wait to do this category a little let in the ceremony. For the first time in Oscar history all the nominees in a category have been nominated once before! And there really isn't a shoe in. Or is there? Waltz has sweeped all the other awards but lately De Niro has been picking up some steam. He's done more press for Silver Linings Playbook than he has for any of his other movies. Also it's been 32 years since he won. Remember when Meryl Streep hadn't won in 29 years... I'm just saying.
But still usually when you sweep all the other awards you can pretty much go ahead and write your speech. But this will be a category I'm happy to be wrong about.
Who I'd give it to: Robert De Niro, "Silver Lining's Playbook"
Have you seen this movie? Enough said.

Best Supporting Actress:
My Prediction: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"
Other Nominees: Amy Adams, "The Master," Sally Field, "Lincoln," Helen Hunt, "The Sessions," Jacki Weaver, "Silver Lining's Playbook"
Well everyone knew Anne Hathaway was going to win back before the movie was even released. And rightly so. I'm not a fan of the movie personally, but you can't deny that Hathaway KILLED it. I'd personally love for Field to win, just because she's awesome and I can't deny the fact that I like her, but if anyone other than Hathaway wins it would be the biggest upset in Oscar history.
Who'd I give it to: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"

Best Adapted Screenplay:
My Prediction: "Argo"
Other Nominees: "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Lining's Playbook"
I don't have a real guess with this one. But Argo has the momentum to win.

Best Original Screenplay:
My Prediction: "Django Unchained"
Other Nominees: "Amour," "Flight," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Zero Dark Thirty"
Quentin can't go unrecognized at this show, so here ya go. However, Zero Dark Thirty won the WGA...
Who'd I give it to: "Moonrise Kingdom"
This movie was awesome and it deserves more recognition than it got this year.

Best Animated Feature:
My Prediction: "Brave"
Other Nominees: "Frankenweenie," "ParaNorman," "The Pirates! Band of Misfits, "Wreck-It Ralph"
Who I'd give it to: "Brave"
"Brave" isn't as good as past Pixar movies, but it's still Pixar and can't do wrong.

Best Director:
My Prediction: David O. Russell, "Silver Lining's Playbook"
Other Nominees: Michael Hanke, "Amour," Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Ang Lee, "Life of Pi," Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"
Talk about unpredictable. When Ben Affleck didn't get nominated, it really rocked the world of award shows. He was won best director at every award show INCLUDING THE DGA! So it's anyone's guess who will win. But Lincoln was really the "Daniel Day-Lewis Show"no one cares about anyone else involved in the movie because Day-Lewis overshadowed them all. Ang Lee I'm sure did a great job (haven't seen Life of Pi yet), but he's already won. And Silver Lining's Playbook is amazing so I hope it wins.
Who I'd give it to: David O. Russell, "Silver Lining's Playbook"

Best Picture:
My Prediction: Argo
Other Nominees: Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, "Les Miserables" "Life of Pi,""Lincoln," "Silver Lining's Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty"
If Ben Affleck had gotten nominated for Best Director, this may be a different race. But everyone wants Affleck to have his day in the sun so let's give him the biggest honor we can. Best Picture trumps Best Director.
Who I'd give it to: "Silver Lining's Playbook"
I've only seen 3 of the 9 nominated movies this year, a record low for me. Lincoln was good, Les Mis was disappointing. Silver Lining's Playbook was an unexpected gem and it wins my Best Picture award.

Best Costume Design:
Because I work in costumes I always give my commentary of the category. I, embarrassingly, have never predicted this category correctly, but the Academy and I have very different opinions of what makes good design. Just because costumes are elaborate and spectacular, doesn't mean they are a good design. Nevertheless here is my prediction and opinion, whatever it's worth:
Who I'd give it to: "Les Miserables" - actually had good designs but they aren't pretty, so it can't win.
My Prediction: "Anna Karenina" - A pretty historical drama. Sounds like an Academy winner to me.

Other Category Predictions:
Cinematography: "Skyfall"
Film Editing: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Foreign Film: "Amour"
Make-Up and Hair: "Les Miserables"
Music (Original Score): "Lincoln"
Music (Original Song): "Skyfall" from "Skyfall"
Production Design: "Les Miserables"
Sound Editing: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Sound Mixing: "Skyfall"
Visual Effects: "Life of Pi"

I don't include Documentaries and Short Films in my predictions because I have no way of having a clue but here are my predictions whatever they are worth.
Documentary Feature: "Searching for Sugar Man"
Documentary Short: "Inocente"
Short Film (Animated): "Paper Man"
Short Film (Live Action): "Curfew"

Happy Oscar Day Everybody!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, Samantha

Time heals all wounds. It’s a lie. Time only makes pain more tolerable. And then one little thing happens and the pain is as fresh as the day it started.

 Everyone has hard times; everyone has chapters in their lives they want to forget - I’m nothing special in that sense. I’m an open-book. Almost. There is one chapter that I don’t share openly. I’m not ashamed of it. But sometimes I feel as though talking about this time in my life is, in a way, bragging of my own sob story. Then it seems trivial, when it was anything but. Others have had harder times and my story isn’t very unique. But it is precious; therefore I shield it from judgment and harm because I don’t think anyone can really understand. But it has come to define me. It is my chapter, my life, my story.

 I remember when the age of 25 seemed old, but it’s not, it’s so young. We should be facing our quarter-life crises together, getting drunk at bars, worrying about money, and kissing men - not boys. But instead today is just another day where I’m left wondering about all the stories we never made. Samantha would be 25 today. My quarter-life crisis started when I was 21, the same time Samantha’s life ended.

 My emotions have become a brick wall when it comes to cancer. I am not fazed by it, nor am I saddened by the mention of it. It’s hardened me in a way that is unflattering, for I am unsympathetic towards cancer, an evil and indifferent disease. But almost everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another, therefore I am not special, and those affected by the disease are no less deserving of my sympathy. I guess it’s made me bitter - that I had to live through it and witness its unmerciless attacks while my best friend had to die from it.

 My unflattering and emotionless brick wall may appear bitter, and it is. But it hides the sincere empathy I have for those that have the ill fate to be affected by the disease. I understand more than anyone really realizes. But I reserve and withhold my understanding and empathetic nature for fear that it will open up the wound of my loss and pour salt in it. That would simply be unbearable.

 And then the other day, while watching a silly television show, with an ill written cancer storyline, I burst into tears. An unimportant, minor character was discovered, frail and pale, in chemo treatment. The character had relapsed and all the old memories that I had buried were all on the surface again – or maybe they were already there because of her impending birthday. I remembered Samantha’s voice each time she told me she relapsed, what she looked like after weeks of treatment, my fears and my loss. And it was unbearable.

 It doesn’t get easier. I don’t cry as much, but I still think about it. Not the cancer – never the cancer. But I still think she’s a phone call away. There’s still a hole in my life where I know she would- should- be. How can it be four years since we turned 21? How do you get past losing a best friend?

 I carry Samantha with me everywhere. She’d love West Virginia, and St. Louis and even Danville. She would love the bars, the music, the dancing. She’d tell me my jokes are horrible and kick my ass in the gym. She’d tell me to get over my broken heart and then kill the boy that broke it. She’d also tell me the truth, that the guys I waste time on don’t deserve me. She’d be sympathetic when I didn’t deserve it, loud when I am quiet. She wouldn’t put up with any shit and wouldn’t linger on the unnecessary or unwanted.

 Sometimes, I think I romanticize her memory, but she wasn’t perfect. She’d speak without thinking. She had horrible taste in boys. She liked crappy romance movies like Tristan & Isolde, The Lake House. She took terrible care of her car. She didn’t always give people second chances. She had a hard time saying “no.” Jokes sometimes had to be explained her. But she was smart, she was fun, and she was kind. She needed me as much as I needed her – which is my favorite quality in a true friend.

 She was fierce. She was loyal. She was human.
And I miss her.

 “Remember that the pain of parting from friends will be felt by everybody at times, whatever be their education or state. Know your own happiness. Want for nothing but patience. Or give it a more fascinating name: call it hope.”