Halloween 2018

I did not think this Halloween I would be dressing up. Last year for Halloween, I dressed up as Eponine. Around the same time time, I dressed up as Rizzo for Octoberfest. My club picked Grease as our theme for Octoberfest. This year, I still had my Rizzo jacket and so I was able to dress up as Rizzo.

Dressing up as Rizzo is way different than dressing up as Eponine. I love Grease, but it is not hugely meaningful. It is just a musical I love. It is a musical that is not exactly in the meaningful musical category. So two Halloween years in a row, I dressed up as two musical theatre characters. The thing about musical theatre characters is that you have to make the costumes. Rizzo’s jacket was made out of a man’s bottom up shirt, and the letters were ironed on. I am glad I kept that jacket from last year. At home, my mom and I found black leggings and a black t-shirt. Rizzo is the leader of the pink ladies and is the tough one.

Below are pictures from me dressed up as Rizzo and Eponine. The Rizzo costume did not come from this year, but was the outfit from Octoberfest, but basically the same costume from this Halloween.

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“Summer Nights”

June 16th, I got to see Grease at CPCC. So in one month, I saw two musicals at the same college. I was expecting CPCC to also do an incredible job with Grease as well. About my history with Grease, I saw the movie in elementary school, and I remember that my favorite song was “We go Together” because of the silly lyrics. I was glad that I actually saw it live. When I saw Les Mis with my family at CPCC five years ago, we sat in row Q, but for Grease, we were in row S so it was crazy how I was in almost the same row.

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Just like Oklahoma, Grease used a minimal set, and it worked. They moved the set pieces on and off. I loved the lighting they used, and at different times throughout the show, the different lights changed colors and I loved seeing that.

About the cast, the moment the show began, I heard the ensemble start singing and they just were incredible. Just by hearing that opening, I knew I had once again another cast that I would love. CPCC knows how to cast a wonderful cast. It was like seeing Grease for the first time. There were songs I never heard before like “Freddy my Love” and “Magic Changes”, and those were incredible. CPCC got special permission to use songs that were not originally in the stage show and I am glad that they did. It made this production unique. The different costumes were wonderful and I loved the T-Birds the Pink Ladies costumes.

Grease is just a fun and exciting show to watch. It is different than watching the movie.

2017 Year in Review

Yes, today is 2018 and Happy New Year, but I think today I shall write about last year.

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2017 was a tough, but wonderful year. I don’t remember some things that happened month after month, but will do the best I can.

January- all I remember about this month is my birthday. I don’t remember anything else. Part of 2017 consisted of being in St. Louis visiting my grandma over New Year’s.

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February- I remember two things about this month. I was house manger of my school’s production of Little Shop of Horrors and got to see a production of it. Plus, every year at my school around Valentine’s day, we are able to make a stuffed animal and I made a rainbow dog named rainbow.

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The bunny in this picture is Beatrice Rose, my stuffed animal I made at school in February of 2015. Rainbow is the dog next to her.

March- I have no clue what happened in March. Spring Break might have happened in March, but I just don’t remember.

April- this was when Gardner Webb’s Easter egg hunt happened. Each student is limited to just on egg. In both 2015 and 2016, I never managed to find one. But this year when I was looking at the prizes prior to the Easter egg hunt, I was eyeing this gigantic stuffed bunny. This year right when I saw the email that said it started, I immediately got dressed and started looking. The prize you are given is based off the number in the Easter egg. I actually found an egg this year and because I was the first one to redeem my egg, they gave me the gigantic bunny so they did not base my prize off of the number. I ended up naming the stuffed animal Chester.

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The last school production of the semester was in April. I was house manger of Full Moon over Montmartre, the school production and got to watch one production, but I found the show to be quite boring.

May- what happened this month was the Les Mis party. Since I knew the party was coming, but not surprised like 2016, I got to dress up as a character and I decided to dress up as Eponine.

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May- August- I grouped these together to talk about all the books I read over the summer. I ended up reading nine books in one summer and that is a lot of books. I read Oliver Twist (5/5), Clearing in the Forest (4.5/5), 2 Land of Stories Books (both 5/5), Queen of the Tearing (3/5), Five Little Pigs (3.5/5), 150 Years of Musical Theatre (5/5), Hundred Story Home (5/5) and Same Kind of Different as Me (5/5).

June- something my family does every year is going to a weekly Sunday Symphony in the Pops. Each year outside, we go to this outdoor symphony and each week there is a different. Earlier in the day, we lay out a tarp to reserve the spot. My family and friends spend time at this yearly event and everyone brings food and we have dinner like picnic style.

One of the symphonies is also dedicated to Fourth of July. Songs that represents America are played at that one and one of them honors solider and the songs each play each of the division’s hymn and when the veterans hear their hymn, they have to stand up and it is a wonderful thing to watch. At the end of that entire symphony, there are fireworks.

Another June memory was hearing my church’s choir sing at Duke Chapel. Hearing them sing at Duke Chapel reminded me of the time they sang at Bristol Cathedral.

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July- my family went on vacation to Ponte Vedra, FL.

What also happened in July was a day visit to Asheville. First stop was having lunch at Moose Cafe. What we do in Asheville is walk around and one of the stops usually involves getting ice cream at Kilwin’s. One place I love going is Malaprops. One section I love stopping at is the “mystery” book section. It is so much fun because the books are wrapped up in brown paper and adjective are written on it and we have to select the book based off of the wrappings and it is a lot of fun discovering the book we have picked and we are not allowed to open it till leaving the store.

August- that was the month I entered my last year at Gardner Webb. I made the move from dorms to suites, which ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. August also consisted of going to a wedding.

September- I think September was when my school did a production of  Real Inspector Hound and I was house manger of that show. At the end of the month, I got to watch Rent with mom and dad. I have loved Rent since Fall of 2012, but never got to see Rent live. So I finally got my opportunity. I ended up buying a poster and t-shirt. We sat in the Mezzanine towards the center and those were perfect seats. The production was amazing, but the only complaint I have is that the couple next to us were talking the entire time and even though they were whispering, they were still taking and that was annoying. But other than that, I loved the show and became a bigger fan of Rent and it was so good that I was an emotional wreck.

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October- This is Halloween month. There was Pumpkin painting this month, and painted it Gardner-Webb themed. There was Octoberfest and of course Halloween and dressing up. For Octoberfest, I was dressed up as Rizzo from Grease since our club choose to do a Grease theme, which was our club’s homecoming theme in September, but I am not exactly sure if homecoming was in September or not. For Halloween, I was Eponine, my 2nd time this year and I was dressed up as her about 3 to about 10, so that was a long time to stay in my costume. I cannot believe I went to the Gathering dressed up as Eponine. This time as Eponine, I made myself look a bit dirtier and it was fun dressing up as her.

November- I ended up seeing Les Mis in Greenville with my school and I also participated in Pinterest Night. That same week, I went to the Big E, which was closed off starting at 11 and I saw Murder on the Orient Express, which started at 11:30, but think I fell asleep during part of it. Since it was November, I also celebrated Thanksgiving with family and I met family members I had no idea existed. I also was house manager of my school’s production of God of Carnage

This was my first time seeing Les Mis on tour, but 5th time seeing the stage production and 2nd time seeing it with a professional company. Just like Rent, I was an emotional wreck. It had this incredibly powerful cast with wonderful advanced staging, which gave Les Mis a fresh complexity. I had an understudy as Eponine during this production. I love  this 25th anniversary production and it allowed things to flow smoothly and some scenes were improved upon from the West End production. The production and the cast had a lot to live to after seeing the West End production in 2015, but this cast and production lived up to it in its own way and so did the cast in their own way.

December- the first half of December was not that exciting as it was time for finals. However, Winter Formal was during that time and I literally came looking at Glinda. The dress I wore reminded me of her “Popular” dress so my suite mates made me look like her during that  particular scene. In December, I got to decorate a Gingerbread house and visit Santa.

But the second half was Christmas Break. I ended up seeing the Man Who Invented Christmas, read two classics, and of course celebrated Christmas. The classics I read were Hunchback of Notre Dame and A Christmas Carol.

Outside of the two classics, a good church family friend gave me six classics since she was downsizing her book collection. So I have a lot of classics to read, but these books were be read after reading Nicholas Nickleby this coming summer and right after that book will be David Copperfield. After David Copperfield is when I will start reading these books.

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I went to two parties in December. One was when we were at a Christmas party at a friend’s house and it was the usual batch that we tend to be with at Christmas dinner. The second December party was for New Year’s.

Honorable Mentions:

Glow Zumba- I have no idea what month this happened in.

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Going to late night trips to Cook Out to get a milkshake

Trips to FATZ and a Mexican restaurant with friends

I had a wonderful 2017, but cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Just spending time with college friends

How was your 2017?

Dressing up as Rizzo, Eponine, and Glinda

This year, I have had the wonderful opportunity to dress up as three musical characters. They are Rizzo from Grease, Eponine from Les Mis and Glinda from Wicked. My knowledge of these characters differ and some of them have more meaning than others. I will talk about each of the characters I dressed up as and when I did and will bring up the meaning of them.

First up is Rizzo. The knowledge I have of her is very slim. But still I loved dressing up as her. I dressed up as her for the homecoming parade and for Octoberfest. The theme for Homecoming was Bulldogs on Broadway and my club choose Grease. Rizzo is the leader of the Pink Ladies and she is complex, tough, and quite badass.

Next up is Eponine, who I dressed up as for a Les Mis party and Halloween. Unlike Rizzo, Eponine plays a much bigger role in my life. She is from Les Mis and that is actually a musical that has a lot of meaning in my life. Eponine is one of the best musical characters in existence. She is a girl who doesn’t have a lot of good things happening in her life. Her world is quite dark because she was raised to be a thief and criminal and her parents do not even love her. The only good thing in her life is Marius, the only person who treats her kindly, and that is why she loves him. He only loves her as a friend, but he cares about her. He is the light of her life and that is why she responds to her unrequited love in the way that she does and she will do anything for him. She is strong and quite brave and complex. So my knowledge of Eponine is so much stronger than my knowledge of Rizzo. I have loved Eponine for four years now.

Next up is Glinda, who I dressed up as for formal. The dress I wore to formal reminded me of Glinda’s “Popular” dress and that song has a lot of meaning in my life. My suitemates took the time to make me look like Glinda from that song. That is why there is the flower in my hair and why my hair is curled. “Popular” was my favorite song from the musical when I was 12.

Glinda is popular, outgoing, funny, and quite complex. She ends up becoming Elphaba’s best friend. The “Popular” scene is really when the two become best friends. They end up falling in love with Fiyero, which helps strengthen their friendship. Glinda goes on quite a journey throughout the musical. Yes, she is comical, but she eventually has to deal with pain,  which happens throughout most of act II. In act I, she was in a relationship with Fiyero, but he breaks her heart in act II after he realizes his true feelings for Elphaba. She also has to hear all of these rumors spread about her best friend and she knows they are not true. Than later, she realizes that only one friend truly mattered, which was Elphaba and the two realize they have to part way. Glinda like Eponine is from quite a meaningful musical. I have loved Glinda for eleven years now.

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So of all these characters, Eponine and Glinda are the most meaningful. They are characters from Les Mis and Wicked. When it comes to those two musicals, they are the musicals that really helped me become the musical fan I am today. Wicked, which I first saw on Broadway, sparked my love of musicals and I began to understand the importance of  strong emotional connections and the emotional side of musicals. So I started to understand musicals as a whole because of Wicked. The emotions that come to mind are excitement, love, joy, and sad. I started to understand sad all because of Wicked.

Les Mis took the emotional nature a step further, but it wasn’t something I was used to in the order of musicals. I had no idea the emotions had that level before. Les Mis showed me that yes, I may have started to understand sad before, but I was 100% blind to heartbreak. Les Mis turned my love of musicals into a passion.

Dressing Up as Rizzo and Eponine

This year, I ended up dressing up as two musical characters, who are Rizzo from Grease and Eponine from Les Mis. My excitement for dressing up as these two characters was different. Even my knowledge of them is different as well. Below I will talk about these characters and why dressing up as them had a different nature when it comes to them.

Rizzo was a character I dressed up yesterday. The thing with Rizzo is that I don’t know her that well. She is the leader of the Pink Ladies at Rydell High. I want to say that she is tough and complex. I only had to buy the button up pink shirt and some iron-on letters to make the jacket. I dressed  up as Rizzo because yesterday’s homecoming theme was Bulldogs on Broadway. My club decided to focus on the musical, Grease. Because Sandy was taken, I had no choice but to dress up as one of the pink ladies and decided to do Rizzo despite the limited amount of knowledge I have about her.

Then I had a lot more fun dressing up as Eponine. Eponine, between the two, is the girl I know the best and who I love the most. Eponine is the complex, courageous, loyal, tragic, streetwise, unloved, lonely and strong teenage daughter of the Thenardiers. Her parents horribly abuse her and they dragged her into the criminal world. Her life is dark and she is so alone in life and does not know what it is like to feel loved. She meets Marius one day, who she falls in love with so deeply. Marius is the first and only person to show her kindness, which is why she loves him the way she does even though Marius loves Cosette. She would do anything for Marius to make sure he is happy, which is why she responds to her unrequited love the way she does.

Eponine’s costume took more pieces than Rizzo’s. I got all of my pieces at Goodwill the same trip. The dirt color I found in a makeup kit I got for my stage makeup class for one semester. I loved dressing up as Eponine and getting dirty. I had to look like I was covered in dirt because Eponine is living in poverty. I dressed up as Eponine because I attended a Les Mis party.

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Rizzo had the cleanest look between both girls. That is because Rizzo is not living in poverty unlike Eponine who is. It is interesting though that I dressed up as one character from a musical comedy and another character from a musical tragedy. Eponine is more meaningful to me than Rizzo because of the meaning Les Mis has to me. Eponine’s main song is “On My Own” and Rizzo’s main song  is “There are Worse Things I Could Do”

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Describing Musical Soundtracks

Today, I decided to describe some of my favorite musical soundtracks.

  1. Les Mis- revolutionary, passionate, epic, heart-renching
  2. Wicked- fun, exciting, Ozian
  3. Sound of Music- exciting, heartwarming
  4. Newsies- passionate, exciting, fun
  5. Beauty and the Beast- fun, exciting, magical, romantic, heartwarming
  6. South Pacific- exciting, romantic
  7. Pippin- exciting
  8. Man of La Mancha- hispanic-sounding
  9. Annie- exciting, optimistic
  10. Music Man- fun, exciting, light-hearted
  11. Phantom of the Opera- haunting, romantic, beautiful
  12. Rent- life
  13. Grease- exciting, fun

How would you describe some of your favorite musical soundtracks? Are the words I picked accurate?

Musical Couples from My Younger Years

A couple days ago, I wrote of musical couples  that I first came across in college. Now I want to write of the musical couples that I discovered in my elementary and middle school years. But some of them had to be reintroduced in my life throughout my time in college.

  1. Elphaba and Fiyero
  2. Belle and Beast
  3. Nala and Simba
  4. Jasmine and Aladdin
  5. Sandy and Danny
  6. Maria and Captain
  7. Lisel and Roulf

This list is so much smaller than my older years. My favorite couple in musicals is part of my younger years. My favorite couple is Elphaba and Fiyero.