Friday, October 28, 2011

I Only Have Eyes For You

I honestly forgot how much I love performing. I don't know how I let myself go so long without it.

Hanging out backstage, doing my makeup, warming up in the wings,
taking that deep breath just before the lights come up, getting lost in
movement, and taking off all my makeup after the show.

I love it all.

What a fantastic experience this Undergrad Concert has been!

Take As Directed
Choreography and Performance by: Katy Callie
Lighting Design: Katy Callie and Cari Koch
Costume, Makeup and Set Design: Katy Callie
Music: I Only Have Eyes for You, by The Flamingos

“She could always keep busy during the day, and at night—the lonely ones—there were always the beautiful dolls for company. She’d take two of them tonight. Why not?”
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Take As Directed tells the story of a life that has been completely dominated by prescription medication, and the feeling of being yanked around by doctors and side effects. It also explores elements of self-injury and depression.

Certain things get lost in this video, such as facial expressions, movement dynamics like shaking, and makeup design. But you get the gist of it. And here’s an interesting tidbit...It states in the program that “This piece contains adult content.” Hm. Guess I really freaked everyone out.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Don't Be Olivier

Two more dancers dropped out of my Transition Project after I sent out an email saying if they can't make it to rehearsal, then they can't be in the piece. So now I only have four dancers including myself. It's not what I wanted (Ideally I wanted 8 dancers), but it's a relief to know that the three other dancers I have are fully committed to the process and actually show up to rehearsals!

However, it's tough adjusting my vision for 8 dancers to a cast half that size. That, combined with the choreography block I'm currently having (not quite at Guido Contini* level, but getting there), has made me really worried about where the piece is heading. I was feeling really glum today after rehearsal, because we have so much to do before adjudications in late November and I'm struggling to get the choreography out of me. And I was just bummed that my cast is so small.

Then tonight, I had an epiphany. This is like my Olivier from Project Runway moment. Olivier is a sizeist prick who basically "hates dressing fat people," and repeatedly blamed his bigger-sized models instead of owning up to his own mistakes. I realized that I'm kind of pulling an Olivier here. I could either bitch about my small cast and let that hinder the process, or I could suck it up and make it work. I'm working with what I've got, which might not be my original vision, but it's what I have. So I'm going to make it awesome instead of whining about it. Plus, my three dancers are lovely and I'm lucky to have them. So there! Enough whining! I'd rather shoot myself than turn into Olivier.

Lots more to report, but I'm very sleepy and about to turn in. More later.

*Guido Contini is the lead character in Nine. He's a filmmaker who has the worst case of writer's block on the planet, and it basically destroys him. It's painful to watch. So whenever I'm struggling with choreography block, I rate how desperate the situation is according to how close I am to feeling like Guido.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

When In Rome

There are many artists I listen to that are perfect for autumn, but I think my favorite has to be Nickel Creek. There's just something about their brand of folksy bluegrass deliciousness that feels like autumn to me. I've been listening to them on a loop recently as I feel the weather slowly change. I think When in Rome might be my favorite song from them.

I've been going to Skateland almost every day to practice for roller derby tryouts (4 days!). The staff knows me now, to the point where the guy at the skate rental stand saw me coming today and immediately brought out a pair of size nine speed skates for me. D'aww. I love being a regular. It's tough to skate at a rink, only because there are so many people there and the majority are kids who are all kinds of unstable on skates. But maybe that's a blessing in disguise, because I'm practicing my dodging skills by skating around them! I'm getting the hang of roller skating (not an easy transition after years of ice and inline skating) and building my endurance more and more each day. I know that roller derby training is going to kick my ass, so I'm trying to build up as much strength as possible so if and when I make the team, I'll be at least a little bit ready. I hope I make it!! It's a huge commitment and also very dangerous, but I think it'll all be worth it. This is where my heart is leading me right now, and I'm looking forward to potentially trying something new and meeting lots of new people.

Still plodding along in school. I continue to struggle with staying awake in the morning, which is so frustrating. Tomorrow I'm going to try waking up earlier. It may seem counterintuitive, but maybe having more time in the morning to wake up will help? Ugh, I don't know. I really hate the way I feel in the morning. I envy early birds who pop out of bed like Julia Child in Julie & Julia ("I'm UP!"). I'm like a zombie, and I stay that way for a couple hours. Bleh.

My transition project is a bit of a hot mess right now. I've had so many problems with casting and absences (very reminiscent of Sweet Charity, ughh). So we're way behind and it's really frustrating. I did a bit of firm housekeeping, though, and I'm hoping that things will run smoother from now on. Pray that no one else drops out!! Also, I just launched a Kickstarter project to raise money--check it out and feel free to donate! Any little bit, even $1, helps tremendously. I'm hoping to raise $500 to cover costumes, props and copyright fees primarily. All that stuff is expensive!

And that's pretty much all that's going on at the moment. Apartment is still awesome, kitty is still awesome, I'm hanging in there.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

I've seen people do this on other blogs, and I decided to copy them. :)
Here are ten things I've been loving lately...

1) THE WEATHER. Holy wow, the weather this week has been unbelievable! My favorite times of year are the "mish-mash" seasons, meaning the days in between the major seasons. Arizona does mish-mash incredibly well. The between-summer-and-falls and between-winter-and-springs are absolutely perfect.

2) Whip It. I have roller derby on the brain. I'm trying out for the Arizona Derby Dames next Sunday, and it's practically all I've thought about this week. Whip It has definitely been my inspirational movie that gets me all pumped up and ready to kick ass.

3) Skateland Chandler. It is vastly superior to Skateland Mesa, that's for sure. I love going there to practice for derby tryouts, even with all the screaming children. The staff is really nice and the skates they rent out are decent (they also rent speed skates which is perfect, since that'll be the type of skate I'll be using for derby if I get on the team). I highly recommend it if you're in the area and ever feel like skating.

4) Ben Kingsley as Feste in Twelfth Night. I watched the Trevor Munn adaptation of the aforementioned play today, and enjoyed it. While everyone was brilliant (especially Imelda Staunton; girl has got some Shakespeare CHOPS), Ben Kingsley's Feste really stood out to me. He had that perfect mix of enigmatic and sharply witty. Lovelovelove.

5) All the homoerotic tension in Twelfth Night. It's so brilliant because there's all this sexual chemistry between Orsino and Cesario, but Cesario is actually the lady Viola in disguise! So it's homoerotic-but-then-again-not. Then Olivia falls in love with Cesario and there's all this chemistry between them, only Cesario is a lady! So it's actually quite homoerotic. Shakespeare, you are truly a genius!

6) Parks and Recreation. I seriously can not get enough of this show right now. I wasn't into it at first because the first season is a little too awkward for my tastes, but I stuck with it and the show really finds its legs in the second season and is just brilliant and hysterically funny!

7) Driving with my windows down. Since the weather has been stellar, this has been fantastic. Tonight I did it while sipping a hot cocoa in one hand. It was perfect.

8) My Transition Project class. I love seeing how everyone's projects are developing as well as giving and receiving feedback! The class flies by and we've been having some really great discussions. It's exciting and terrifying and I love every second.

9) Bridesmaids. I finally saw it and really enjoyed it! It wasn't what I expected, but I totally loved it nonetheless. I wanted to smack Helen in the face. And I'm so, so, so happy that Melissa McCarthy is getting so much recognition! She is a comedic genius and deserves every bit of fame she's acquired from Bridesmaids and Mike and Molly.

10) Breakfast at McDonald's. I'm really not a big fan of McDonald's food. I go there often to grab a drink since they're only a dollar, but tend to steer clear of the food. Except for breakfast. Their tasty, tasty breakfast. I live for Egg McMuffins as well as their Hotcakes!! Om nom nom. I can't figure out why it's so just is.