Thursday, May 2, 2019

April Wrap-Up

"Mary Poppins Jr." has consumed my life (in a good way), so I have a feeling this post will be pretty short. Goodreads has so kindly informed me that I am nine books behind my reading challenge, which is not great, but I'm hoping to catch up on the books piled on my nighstand once the show is over. Then again, it'll be on to the next one by that time, so it might be a while before I catch up!


Books I Read

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40854717-gmorning-gnight

5/5

I got this as a stocking stuffer for Christmas last year, and it was the perfect book to read first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Lin-Manuel Miranda compiled his iconic "good morning/good night" tweets into a book with super cute illustrations. They're great affirmations to keep in mind throughout your day, so I read one each morning and night every day until I finished the book. It's very fun and inspirational. I instantly felt like I was in a better mood after reading them.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25664518-the-secret-life-of-the-american-musical

3.5/5

This was really interesting for both fans of musicals and those hoping to write one someday. I loved the analysis and learning more about the history of some musicals and how they've evolved from the early stages to the productions we see today. I didn't agree with everything the author had to say, but he made some interesting points. I just wished he would have had a little more variety in the examples he used. I could've used more excerpts from modern musicals, or at least those different from "Gypsy," "Carousel," and "Oklahoma." You could definitely tell those were his favorites.

Movies I Watched


2/5

Cheesy as all get out. Bad acting. At least the robot was cute. That's pretty much all I have to say about this one.


3.5/5

This was fun and goofy and totally relies on the audience's ability to suspend their disbelief. I still take issue with the fact that this school seemed to have no security checks at all when it came to confirming that the guy who shows up claiming to be a substitute teacher is actually the substitute teacher you hired. I appreciated the Adam Pascal cameo, even though I wished he was in it for longer than about five minutes, total. I'm curious to see how this compares to the musical itself.


4/5

This was one of the better older movies I've seen. Even though the whole thing was completely predictable, it kept my attention pretty much the entire time. I saw the ending coming from a mile away, but it was still interesting to see how it would get there. Any movie that can keep me engaged for an hour and a half despite it only being set in one room is a well-written movie.


5/5

By the time you read this, I will have probably seen this movie for a second time already. I knew it was going to be good, but it was so good. I didn't expect to cry much, but I actually cried a couple different times. I was very satisfied with it. I can't say a whole lot without spoilers, so I'll just leave it at that.

Quotes I Wrote




This is my life right now, so no quotes to share.

Obsessions I Acquired

Billie Eilish - Her "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" album is so good! Her music is very eerie and off-kilter in the way Melanie Martinez is, though I think I like Billie Eilish's stuff even better. I'm not sure I have a favorite song yet, but the first one I was introduced to was "Wish You Were Gay."



Pictures of the Month

One of my "Mary Poppins Jr." castmates was Rooster in "Annie," and a photo of him as the character became a meme throughout the cast, so yes, yes I did make t-shirts with his face on them for April Fools' Day.
 

Another "Mary Poppins Jr." castmate was super sweet and invited me to go see "Be More Chill" with her since she had an extra ticket, and the whole experience was so much fun!
 
GUYS IT'S WILL ROLAND
 




My Playbill board is getting pretty crowded . . .
For my 19th birthday, we went out for sushi, watched "Sherlock," listened to John Mulaney sketches, got a free drink at Starbucks, and played games with friends. It was perfect.
I had a Broadway-themed birthday party and all of my friends dressed up as their dream roles.
Newsies!
With my LCT family.
With my Manheim family.
It was a great group of friends!
I got to catch up with Sam, one of my writer's camp friends. It had been way too long since we'd seen each other!
Spirit week at "Mary Poppins Jr." This was from dream role/show shirt day.
Gender swap day is always a huge hit.
 
 
 
Painting crew working on the set!
My whole family auditioned for "Beauty and the Beast." Yes, the whole family. I convinced my parents to do a show with Max and me since this will be the last one before I leave for college. My parents are townspeople, my brother is a featured dancer, and I'm a Silly Girl! This is one of my favorite shows, and it's so cool that the last show I'll perform in before college was also my first musical. I can't wait to get started!
Max and I had some car troubles, so we got to practice our practical life skills in finding someone who could help us jump it. We also learned how to check our oil, wiper fluid, coolant, and many other things. It was a great day of unexpected, natural learning. xD
Post-"Endgame" selfie, after we've dried our tears!
Impromptu game night with friends!
A bunch of "Mary Poppins Jr." castmates goofing off before rehearsal.
I dog sat a couple of adorable, snuggly, sweet labradoodles. I loved the quiet time and the cozy window seat.
This month's picture of Scout is brought to you by my mom, who snapped this adorable shot.

How was your April?

Saturday, April 6, 2019

"FEATURING Kate I. Foley" - an Interview from Sasha at "Midnight Book Girl"

Sasha from "Midnight Book Girl" was kind enough to review my poetry collection, Instructions For Flight, on her Bookstagram a couple months ago.

Look how gorgeous this is!
Now she's just published an interview she did with me, and if you're curious to hear more about the projects I'm working on, what fictional characters I relate to, and some of the obstacles I encountered in writing/publishing Instructions For Flight, you should definitely check it out!

What projects are you working on right now? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

February/March Wrap-Up

I'm dreadfully behind schedule when it comes to my reading challenge for this year. I'm going to blame the business of getting ready for college/applying for scholarships and being overly exhausted from rehearsals for "Mary Poppins Jr." I have never been involved in so much choreography before, and while I'm having a blast, I'm definitely tired. And behind on everything, it seems. I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things with reading/writing/blogging soon!

FEBRUARY

Books I Read

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12543.Bird_by_Bird


4/5


An excellent book on writing! It lived up to its expectations, maybe even a little more than On Writing did, for me. I never agree with everything an author has to say about how you should approach writing, but I love getting new ideas. If nothing else, it inspires me to keep working. I appreciated her ability to be honest without being too cynical. It was a quick read, and I'd recommend it to any writer.

Movies I Watched



3.5/5

This was super goofy, but a lot of fun. It was pretty predictable, but that didn't necessarily take away from the enjoyment of it. I was surprised to find that it didn't feel as dated as I thought it would be. Even though it was cheesy, I liked it.


5/5

What an impressive person! I loved finding out more about her life and hearing the perspectives of people around her. One of my favorite parts was probably learning how much she loves opera (so much so, she actually made a cameo appearance in an opera once!).


4/5

Despite its heavy subject matter, this movie was pretty funny and light for the first half or so. The beginning was enjoyable, but probably a little too long and repetitive in some parts. After the halfway point, you can't help but feel a sense of dread. I knew the ending was headed nowhere good, but I couldn't tell exactly how it would end, so it kept me paying attention. I liked it a lot.

Quotes I Wrote

This section will probably be pretty bare for a while since this year I'm mostly focusing on rewrites. Should I rewrite anything good, though, expect to be the first to hear about it!

Obsessions I Acquired

Nothing new to report.

Pictures of the Month
@midnightbookgirl_ did a review of Instructions For Flight on her bookstagram, and the photo was so pretty!!
Saw our friend Amelia perform in "Mary Poppins Jr." as the titular role. She was "practically perfect in every way!"
Jane Banks from our "Mary Poppins Jr." cast was in the ensemble in this production.
We were able to see the show with some of our "Mary Poppins Jr." castmates. It made us even more excited for our show!
Saw my friend Tyler (who was the other Captain Hook in "Peter Pan Jr.") as Roger in "Grease." I ran into my "Beauty and the Beast Jr." directors there, too!
Went out with friends to see a production of "Chicago." It was amazing! We saw it at a regional theater, but it was Broadway levels of good.
Homeschool group Valentine's Day party.
Saw friends in "Into the Woods!" The entire cast was fantastic.
Post-show family selfie.
That same production of "Into the Woods" had to find a last-minute replacement for Sleeping Beauty since the original one had a family emergency. I did three shows for probably a grand total of seven seconds onstage, but every second onstage is a second well spent. It was tons of fun to get to know the cast, even in that short amount of time, and see the show several more times. Here I am with Snow White, who taught me how to put on a wig for the first time.
My friend Trin also played Sleeping Beauty one of the nights I wasn't able to be there.
With my vocal teacher after the show.
The whole cast and crew of "Musicville" did such a great job putting on a fun show! I had a blast working as the student music director and getting to watch these kids grow, especially those who had never done theatre before.
With the leads. They did awesome!
With the kind and patient director. She made every single actor feel important and confident in themselves.
With the musical director, who was also the music director for "Lion King Jr." I always love working with her!
With the student stage manager and a castmate from "Charlotte's Web" who was cast in her first big role in "Musicville."
After one of the shows, a bunch of the student directors went out to eat. It was late and we were all exhausted, so there was a lot of giggling.
Time for Scout pictures! Photo evidence that she likes licking my hand the same way someone might lick an ice cream cone. What a weirdo.






How was your February?

MARCH

Books I Read

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22082082-our-own-private-universe

4/5

This was the perfect book to keep me company on the plane this past month during vacation. It had such great bisexual rep, especially for those in the early stages of questioning/labeling themselves. It was fun and easy to read and had a great voice. My only criticism would be that there were times that things felt a little disjointed. There were some good subplots, but they didn't weave together very smoothly. And because of that disjointedness, we'd sometimes get huge chunks of paragraphs of Aki's inner thoughts, which would come across as preachy or overwrought since it wasn't sprinkled throughout the book instead. I definitely still recommend it, though.

Movies I Watched


4/5

I really enjoyed this! It's a great start to her character. I loved seeing Nick Fury again, too. I was entertained the whole time and I'm excited to see where she goes from here. The curse of origin stories is that there does have to be a lot of setup, and I didn't get a great sense of Carol's personality, but it's also hard to get to know a character who doesn't have her memories sorted out. I've heard a lot of people comparing this to "Wonder Woman," but in my opinion, "Wonder Woman" was way better. This was good, but not amazing.


3/5

I loved this concept and the general creepiness of the whole situation, but the execution left something to be desired. Based on research on how this movie came about and the difference between this version and the original one, I probably would've liked the original a lot better. The feminist themes it handles are great, but the ending was rushed and too tidy. I wasn't a gigantic fan. This definitely seems better suited as a horror movie than a dark comedy.


3/5

This is such a hard movie to rate because if I'm rating it based on the movie alone, then yes, it's a 3/5. It was super weird. I liked it, but I also felt like I was watching someone's hallucination. But if I'm rating it based on the experience of seeing it in a movie theater with a couple dozen other people who are all shouting commentary at the screen and dancing and singing along, then it'd be a 5/5. It was tons of fun watching it in a group, especially since I'd never seen the movie before. Luckily, I was able to go with a friend who knew what to say at all the right moments, so I feel like I got the full experience. I would go again just for that group aspect. And next time I'll be more prepared to join in!

Quotes I Wrote


Once again, not much I can say here. I am making good progress on my rewrites, though.

Obsessions I Acquired

Nothing new here, either. I'm still deep into binging "Orange Is the New Black" and really enjoying it.

Pictures of the Month

This was the month of attending high school musicals, so there are many pictures . . .

Saw a bunch of old castmates in "Anything Goes!" Their set and choreography was especially impressive. Everyone did so well.

 
 
 
 

Went to see friends in "Sound of Music" along with my vocal teacher and a bunch of her students.
 
 
 
 
Family vacation to Jamaica! It was such a fun trip. It was my first time out of the country and I loved the whole experience (minus my terrible sunburn).
 
 
 
 
Getting to swim with dolphins was probably the biggest highlight of the trip. They were so sweet. They're like the puppies of the ocean!
 
 
 
 
 

Sad selfie taken on the day we had to leave.
We weren't too sad, though, because we got to visit Harry Potter World on the way home! It was as magical as I remembered it from years and years ago.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There was a fearless squirrel who actually came running over when it was called. I'm pretty it thought we had food. We were all slightly nervous it was going to attack . . . xD
 
 
 
"Newsies" was one of the best high school shows I've ever seen. The cast was PHENOMENAL. It didn't feel like a high school production one bit! The choreography was so intense, but everyone seemed to have mastered it. And as far as ensembles go, not much could beat this one. They brought tons of energy to the show.
 
Just a bunch of crazy theatre kids at a birthday party.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Friends in a production of "The Pajama Game!"
 
Once we realized we had all four houses represented between us, group pictures were a must.
 
 
Got some much-needed time together with an old friend on the first day of spring.
. . .  and then we were photobombed by a hyper nine-year-old.
Our Bert from "Mary Poppins Jr." was also Rooster in his high school's production of "Annie," so naturally he had a gigantic "Mary Poppins" cheering section.
I am no longer a "Rocky Horror" virgin, as I was so clearly singled out when I first walked into the theater.
I got contacts! The poor woman at the eye doctor who trained me to put them in was so patient. We must've been there for half an hour. I definitely don't wear them every day, but they're nice to have on hand for things like auditions, performances, and choreography rehearsals.
My friend Josh invited me to see his old high school's production of "The Little Mermaid" and we snagged a picture with our vocal teacher, who played keyboard in the pit.
 
 
 
 
 
World Theatre Day was on March 27th, and naturally I had to commemorate it.
My scruffy pup got a haircut!
 



Scout always gets jealous when I've been around other dogs.
See? Rejected.

How was your March?