“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” –Helen Keller By Laura Goehrke
This past Sunday, the 86th Annual Oscars was chock full of several highlights—Lupeta Nyong’o’s beautiful acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress in 12 Years a Slave, Ellen ordering and distributing pizza slices to celebrities in the first few rows, John Travolta’s butchering of Idina Menzel’s name, and Meryl Streep shimmying with Pharrell during his hit song, “Happy.” Throughout and in between all of these Oscar moments, there was an underlying theme—that of celebrating movie heroes. As I watched the montages of the history of heroes, I realized how many popular stories are based around such characters. But why? What is so appealing about the hero, and their tales of adventure?
It’s seems simple enough. People look up to heroes, both fictitious and real, because of their courageous efforts, their ability to conquer improbable challenges, and their unwavering leadership to those around them. Heroes are known to save the less fortunate from distress, put the greater good ahead of their own wants and needs, and in some cases, start revolutions. This is all well and good, but the quality of a hero that draws the most admiration and inspiration to those around them? Their journey: their adventure from the ordinary world into unknown, uncharted territory.
I found proper Americana music in Ireland, obviously. By Melissa Presti (Book Publisher)
Remember when I was off traveling for two weeks? This notebook has been sitting on my desk looking all smug since I've returned.
However, I did come back bearing new music! After finding myself at The International Bar in Dublin, Ireland listening to a group of guys jamming on their guitars and playing covers, I met part of The Young Folk band. The bartender played their tunes, I swooned, made some friends, and reignited my love of indie folk music.
The Young Folk draw close and obvious comparisons to Fleet Foxes, The Lumineers, and something that resembles the original fascination with Mumford & Sons. With audible influences from country, folk, and traditional Irish instrumentals, the songs on their debut album The Little Battle feel unique yet familiar, like long lost friends.
It would seem an Irish band has hit all the right notes of classic Americana.
They will be playing SXSW next week (another blow to my absence), so check them out now before everyone else discovers them!
Enter at your own risk...and confusion. By Annissa Omran (Writer/College Student)
That duck just snapped at my ankles and roared like tyranasaurus rex - hey I can write about that
A creepy man in the grocery store told me to "smile because girls are prettier when they smile" while pushing a cart filled with beer and cat food - hey I can write about that
Leonardo DiCaprio lost another Oscar and is probably working on a new, potentially violent, plan for world domination - hey I can write about that
(Don't hurt me, Leo, it's a joke)
I slipped in a puddle and just decided to lie there for a while - hey I can write about that
A drunk guy sat next to me at a party and proceeded to spew Ryan Gosling's lines from Crazy Stupid Love, thinking I didn't recognize them - hey I can write about that
(He literally said the "that's boring, entertain me" part WORD FOR WORD)
Experiencing cripping doubt about feelings I may/may not have toward someone along with fear over the ensuing embarassment if anyone ever found out - hey I can write about that
I'm hungry - hey I can write about that
I'm jaded - hey I can write about that
I dream of a musical in which Childish Gambino and Terrence Mann collaborate - hey I can write about that
(How my brain would react if that dream became reality [p.s. I love you Donald Glover])
I started an 8 page essay at midnight last night and finished at 5 am and I'm now running on coffee fumes and am incapable of thinking of a coherent blog post - hey I can write about that
ANNISSA OMRAN is currently a college student and eternally a writer. An old movie aficionado, her interests include show tunes, singing loudly, and singing show tunes loudly. She also provides a (dramatic) running commentary on the life of a young writer. EMAIL HER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR
AKA, the scariest acting exercise on the planet. By Michael Kras (Actor/Playwright/Director)
Starting tonight, I'll be performing in two different Shakespeare plays, which we'll be doing in repertory. I'm playing Angelo in The Comedy of Errors and the Captain in Twelfth Night. We've spent all of our second year of acting training doing extensive Shakespeare work... learning how to get into his text as actors, how to speak his text, all that jazz. Without that preparation, I don't think acting Shakespeare properly would have been possible. After all, Shakespeare isn't easy stuff. Not only it is tough to navigate as an actor, but we also have the added responsibility of making this language perfectly and specifically understandable to the audience.
But the scariest thing about these Shakespeare plays is not the ones we're doing, but rather how we're doing them. In fact, there's no way to be fully prepared for what we're about to do.
You see, we're doing these plays in the original practice. What does that mean, you ask? Well, here are the conditions.
Incan Princess, Yma Sumac, rose to fame with her 5 octave range and inspired a fabulous lip-sync performance. By David Gomez (Actor/Songwriter)
In the 1950's the exotic rhythms of Latin America became a craze in America and there were lots of Bossa Novas and Tangos on the radio. During this time, Peruvian singer Yma Sumac became a household name because of her exotic looks and freakish range.
She was born Zoila Augusta Chavarri del Castillo in the highlands of Peru, but later adopted the stage name Yma Sumac. In Quechua, the language of the Incas, it translates to "Beautiful Girl." Her singing range spanned from B2 to C♯7.
Yma was discovered by musician Moisés Vivanco who later became her husband and manager and brought her to America. Her husband was often very controlling and they divorced and later remarried.
She was featured in the movie The Secret of the Andes, which inspired the Indiana Jones franchise. Although the music in the film didn't accurately reflect the peruvian folk music she sang, her unique sylings and vocal abilities were captured forever.
Keep Calm And Pray For The Vernal Equinox. By Alisha Giampola (Actor)
A lot has been going on in the past few weeks of my life. I have gone to see a lot of shows recently (some on The Broadway, some that my friends are in), have been doing a lot more singing (more on that in a future post, I promise), am working on what my friend Alesia and I have dubbed #beachbody2014 (I'm going on a vacation that involves bathing suits, and am officially in a mild-panic-that-isn't-going-to-really-prevent-me-from-eating-that-cookie about it.), and of course the Oscars happened.
The 2014 Oscars will go down in musical theatre infamy as the Oscars at which John Travolta, for mysterious reasons known only to himself (some have attributed it to his dyslexia, which in my opinion is no excuse as the man is an actor and could surely have memorized two words before heading out onstage), pronounced Idina Menzel's name as Adele Dazeem. If anyone is interested, my "Travoltafied" name is "Amelia Grazaham", which, for the record, is a lot less incorrect than my name is usually pronounced. Poor Idina was either insanely nervous, or having a bad day, or was just super thrown off by hearing some other person's name said right before she had to open her mouth, and ended up sounding not at all her usual diva self. As my friend Jake pointed out, "Adele Dazeem is no Idina Menzel, that's for sure."
In other Oscar news, Bobby Lopez is now a proud member of Club EGOT, which is awesome and well-deserved. He is also the youngest person to ever EGOT (can you "EGOT" in verb form? Probably). Where does one go after one EGOTS? Does one just aspire to win other random awards to continue adding to the acronym? Like the coveted EGOTPNOGM? (Which stands for: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, Pulitzer, Nobel, Olympic Gold Medal, of course.) If Lopez starts training now, he could be ready for the US curling team in 2018.
Also this weekend we SPRING FORWARD AND OH MY GOD YOU GUYS THAT MEANS WINTER IS ALMOST OVER. I have never been more excited about losing an hour in my entire life, and I am not being hyperbolic in any way. Remember my vacation that involves bathing suits? Yeah that's happening in 16 days (but who's counting?)
What should you wear when you see one of the new Broadway musicals? Here are some ideas... By Kimberly Lew (Blogger/Playwright)
Broadway tickets these days ain't cheap, so if I splurge on a ticket to a show on the Great White Way, I like to make a night of it. With lots of new musicals opening around this time, I thought I would put together some outfits you can wear the theater (though perhaps when the weather is a bit warner), inspired by these new productions.
For a show that's all about Romance with a captial 'R,' you'll want to pull out all the stops. Combining simplicity of small town living with some ease of an Italian village, you'll be ready to fall in love with this breezy crimson dress with a lace clutch, heart necklace, and black pointed heels.