On The Town

Title: On the Town

Director(s): Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen

Actors: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Anne Miller, Jules Munshin, and Vera-Ellen

Genre: Romantic comedy, Musical

Release Date: 1949

            Three sailors Gabey (Kelly), Chip (Sinatra), and Ozzie (Munshin), spend twenty-four hours of leave in New York City and try to make every second count. During a ride on the Subway, Gabey becomes mesmerized by a picture of a woman, Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen), and hunts around NYC with his friends to find her. Along the way, they meet a loudmouthed cab driver Brunhilde “Hildy” Esterhazy (Garrett) and Claire Huddesen (Miller). 

           This movie is a fun-filled, family-friendly musical with the talents of legendary triple threat Gene Kelly and legendary singer Frank Sinatra. First, Gene Kelly offers a fantastic performance and is terrific. Second, Frank Sinatra gets to show off his musical talent in another light in this film, and he shows his incredible acting skills as well. Finally, although not as high-up as her fellow costars and mainly has a dance background, Vera-Ellen shows that she is a force to be reckoned with.

           The cinematography was not too complicated. It was easy to follow, and there were no awkward cuts and seemed practical for the filming style of the time. The tone of the movie gives off a feeling of fun and adventure. There are times when I wanted to get up and dance to some of the songs. The music in this movie musical is very vibrant and exciting. Some of the music is slow, jazzy, and romantic. An interesting factor was the sound of cars, the slamming of brakes, honking horns helps you understand how busy the streets of New York City are.

The acting was well done. The actors and actresses make it seem natural, as if they are embracing their character’s personalities as their own.  Something that might be fascinating about the movie is the costumes. I noticed that the female characters wear a lot of the same color or have a certain consistency in apparel. For example, Hildy wears a lot of yellow and beige. You will notice this in her taxi uniform and dress. Clair wears dark but vibrant colors and off-the-shoulder dresses. And Ivy, even though she wears many different colored outfits, a lot of them have shoulder pads.

This movie is definitely one of the classics and a must-watch. If you are a fan of fun, heartfelt musicals or a Gene Kelly fan, then this movie is for you.

Hello, Ms. Streisand!

Title: Hello, Dolly!

Release Date: 1969

Director: Gene Kelly

Actors: Barbara Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Marianne McAndrew, Danny Lockin.

Genre: Musical

Hello, Dolly! Is based on the Broadway show of the same name, which opened in 1964. The film was directed by famous actor, dancer, singer, and director Gene Kelly, who is most known for his famous lead role in Singin’ In The Rain.

Hello, Dolly! Is a fun-filled, romantic comedy musical that includes the talents of Barbara Streisand, Walter Matthau, and Michael Crawford, bringing to film this incredible story. This story takes place in 1890’s New York City. Dolly Levi (Streisand) is a widowed socialite-turned-matchmaker who is seeking the attention of her newest client Horace Vandergelder (Matthau) while helping his young shop employees Cornelius Hackl (Crawford) and Barnaby Tucker (Lockin) find love in New York City. This movie has wonderfully talented actors who make the story come alive. First, Barbara Streisand gives a legendary performance of the comedic and slightly bossy character of Dolly Levi in this film. Second, Walter Matthau does a fantastic job as the uptight shopkeeper Horace Vadergelder; it was both hard to like and dislike him. Finally, his two employees Cornelius and Barnaby, are played well by Michael Crawford and Danny Lockin. As a dancer and Gene Kelly fan, I was very much looking forward to watching the choreography, and boy, was it entertaining.

The cinematography and camera work seemed very straightforward and easy to follow. There was no awkwardness in cuts and transitions. The cinematography flowed well together. The tone was engaging; it was mostly happy and upbeat, except for the uptight Mr. Vandergelder. The songs about love, parades, and dressing your best made this musical extremely fun. The music and sound were enjoyable. The cameo of Louis Armstrong was exciting in the restaurant scene. It was fascinating to hear Michael Crawford singing. To some, his singing voice may not quite fit for some musicals, but for this movie and his character, it was just what the doctor ordered. And of course, Barbara Streisand’s voice is amazing and one you cannot go wrong with. The music throughout was very vibrant and upbeat. Each actor was perfect for the role they were cast as. There were moments when the dialogue was a little hard to follow, but captions could help with that. One might think this is because at times Dolly Levi talks fast, and that is just a part of her character, which Streisand does well at. Walter Matthau blends into his role as Horace Vandergelder, showing how his character does not like Dolly, or anyone for that matter, to meddle in his affairs when it comes to marriage. Michael Crawford and Danny Lockin bring to life the naivety in their characters. Barnaby and Cornelius, who are nineteen and twenty-eight and three quarters, have never traveled outside of Yonkers and never kissed a girl.

The costumes are well made and very close to the clothing style of the time period. When looking at the costumes, one might pay more attention to the hats worn by the women. Each hat was created differently for each female character. The decorations of feathers and ribbons were marvelous and intricately designed to fit its corresponding outfit. As someone who is very much interested in the fashion of different time periods, the clothing was fascinating and well made for the film. It was hard to tell whether some scenes were recorded on a set or on location. The set design was very fitting and appropriate for the time period. The editing was well done. One part that was interesting was in the beginning when we first see New York City and the people seemingly roaming around. It is a still picture that changes into different colors. The first time we see the picture, it looks normal, then it turns to a gold/brown color, then it turns blue, then it goes back to normal. Then, from the top, right-hand corner, a half-circle appears and becomes bigger and bigger, and the picture begins to move.

This musical is a fun-filled, romantic comedy that includes some excellent acting, singing, and dancing. This movie is wonderful to sit down and watch with the family. If you enjoy classic musicals, then this is the film for you.

Going Outback

            Address: 6804 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22306

            Phone Number: (703) 768-1063

            Hours: Sunday: 11AM-9PM, Monday-Thursday: 11AM-10PM, Friday-Saturday: 11AM-11PM.

            Price: $13.29-$24.49

Outback Steakhouse is one of the largest steakhouse chains in the U.S. The steakhouse has more than 600 restaurants in the U.S and other countries. Outback Steakhouse was founded in February 1988 in Tampa, Florida, by Chris T. Sullivan, Tim Gannon, Bob Basham, and Trudy Cooper. Chris T. Sullivan then became the CEO Chairman before the company went public in 1991. He then collaborated with the founders of Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, and Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion. Tim Gannon was the co-founder and CEO of Outback Steakhouse. He created the Iconic “Bloomin’ Onion” recipe, which has made over $1 billion in sales worldwide, along with other dishes on the menu.

           Before walking into the restaurant, admittedly, there were some expectations, having traveled to Australia. One might expect to have that feeling of being in the Outback, but that was not the case. The atmosphere was a little unimaginative and generic, only providing pictures of the Outback of Australia on the walls. It was not very busy and a little gloomy. The service made up for the atmosphere with attentive catering. The wait for the food was not very long. While waiting for the food to arrive, a pesky fly was flying around, getting in the way of the food when it came. Only one person worked at the bar and seemed to be multitasking taking orders while completing other orders. 

The first dish was the Bloomin’ Onion. This entrée consists of one onion that is fried and cut to make it look like a flower with dipping sauce in the middle. The way to eat it is by pulling the fried onion from the center of the dish. The presentation was very attractive and inviting and had a certain neatness to it.  There was not much taste to the fried onion until you dip it in the onion sauce, which contains mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, paprika, salt, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. The spices of the sauce made the Bloomin’ Onion explode with flavor. The texture was a mix of crunchy and moist. Unfortunately, only part of the onion was fried, this was a bit of a disappointment.

The sirloin steak and Aussie twisted ribs were for the main course, along with fried rice, seasoned vegetables, spicy pickles, and onion sauce. Everything presented nicely on the plate. It was as if each piece of food had its own little corner. The steak and the ribs were cooked to medium-rare, with the ribs covered in barbeque sauce and drizzled with onion sauce on top. There was no sauce on the steak. Everything tasted delicious, but three things stood out. First, when biting into the ribs, it was surprising to feel the meat fall right off the bone. There was practically nothing left on it when I finished. Second, the rice was cooked very well and moist but almost overpowered the ribs and steak.

The last thing that stood out was the pickles. They looked to be homemade and a little dry, but these pickles packed a punch when you take a bite out of them. The power of the spiciness was overbearing. I Would not recommend it if you do not like spicy food but would recommend everything else. The texture of everything on the plate was moist, especially the ribs because of the barbeque sauce. There was a little too much barbeque sauce on the ribs, making it a little difficult to use utensils after eating them. In the end, the sirloin steak and twisted Aussie ribs with a side of fried rice and vegetables are recommendable.

The Thunder from Down Under was for dessert. It contained vanilla ice cream placed on top of a warm chocolate brownie. Chocolate shavings were sprinkled on top of the ice cream with chocolate and caramel syrup drizzled on top of the brownie. The dessert was presented well, considering the vanilla ice cream melting a little on top of the brownie, and the chocolate shavings appeared sprinkled on nicely. The taste was a mix of hot and cold with the ice cream and the brownie. There was not much of a taste except for the blend of chocolate and vanilla. Even the caramel syrup did not contribute much to the dessert. Despite there not being much to the taste, the texture was interesting. It was a mixture of creamy, crunchy, and wet. It was creamy because of the ice cream and the syrup, crunchy because of the chocolate shavings, and wet because of the warm brownie underneath. I would definitely recommend.

Pros:

Excellent ribs and rice. Exceptional service. Family-friendly.

Cons:

Generic/boring atmosphere. Flies like to pay some visits.

Would recommend bringing the family on a dinner night out. Would not go on a first date.

Independent Restaurant Review

Sammy T’s

            Address: 801 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

            Hours: Monday, Wednesday – Thursday: 11:30AM-8PM, Tuesday: Closed, Friday – Saturday: 11:30AM -9PM, Sunday: 11:30AM – 7PM.

            Phone Number: (540) 371-2008

            Price Range: $10.00 – $26.00

 Sammy T’s has been an iconic staple of Downtown Fredericksburg since its founding in 1981 by Samuel T. Emory. Before it became Sammy T’s, the building served as an Auction House and General Store in 1805 after its construction. Then it served as the Fredericksburg Post Office until 1921. After that, it became Horton’s Auto. There might not be many known things about Samuel T. Emory, but what is known is that he was a former professor of Geography at the University of Mary Washington.

The service at Sammy T’s is exceptionally good with little wait time for food. In all the times that I spent there the service was enjoyable and the wait staff is always polite. The atmosphere of the restaurant is small but cozy, the sun always shining through the glass windows and the doors makes it feel warm and inviting. But, because of its small size, it can feel a little cramped at times.

The first dish I ordered was the Grilled Cheese. It contained Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Swiss as the three kinds of cheeses. It also came with a side of homemade pickles and fries. The presentation was neat. Each food had its own portion of the plate. There was a good number of fries on the plate, the sandwich bread was toasted to a nice golden brown. The pickles were settled nicely beside the sandwich.  There was a mixture of tastes from the sandwich due to the different cheeses it consisted of; there was the distinct taste of cheddar, mixed with the creamy taste of the mozzarella and swiss. The fries were perfectly salted, and the homemade pickles had a certain tanginess to them. The texture of the sandwich was a mixture of crunchy and creamy. It was crunchy due to the toasted bread, and creamy due to all the different cheeses. The fries were perfectly crunchy, and the pickles were expectedly moist.

Pros:

Delicious food, exceptionally attentive service, not a long wait for food

Cons:

Can feel a little cramped at times.

A definite must if you are visiting Fredericksburg. Would recommend for a first date.

The Hopes and Fears that stand Between the World and Ta-Nehisi Coates

Title: Between The World And Me

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: The Text Publishing Company

Date of publication: 2015

Number of pages: 152

Ta-Nehisi Coates starts off his book Between the World and Me with the word “son.” Right off the bat this tells us who this story is addressed to, but at the same time, it seems as though the reader is his son, sitting down to read a letter or be told a story by his father. This helps capture the audience and pull them into the story. Coates is known for his correspondence with the Atlantic and the author of another memoir called The Beautiful Struggle. He won the National Magazine Award, The Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Pol Award for his cover story in the Atlantic.

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s effort at addressing questions of what it is like to have a black body and “find a way to live within it.” answering them in letter form for his young son. He describes his awareness of his place in the world through a collection of experiences from Howard University, The Civil War, the South Side of Chicago, Paris, his childhood home in Baltimore, and the houses of families who had their child’s lives taken from them. (Between the World and Me summary)

This is one book where the reader will not have any idea of what they are getting themselves into. The way that this story is written is so captivating and eye-opening to the point where it feels as though Coates is addressing the reader as his son. It is captivating because of how he pulls you into each story from his life and how he relates history to the present day. “Never forget that for 250 years black people were born into chains—whole generations followed by more generations who knew nothing but chains. You must struggle to remember this past in all its nuance, error, and humanity.” (Coates, p.70). It is eye-opening because of how he goes in-depth about what goes on in the streets of his Baltimore home, his fear of not knowing his place in the world, fear of not owning his own body. “But you are a black boy, and you must be responsible for your body in a way that other boys cannot know. Indeed, you must be responsible for the worst actions of other black bodies, which, somehow, will always be assigned to you.” (Coates, p.71). There are some relief moments where Coates talks about “The Mecca” of Howard University and how he spent most of his time in the library reading about Malcolm X and his speeches, and how he met his son’s mother. There are no chapters in this book, which may seem odd and confusing to the reader, but once you start reading, you can’t stop. The story is broken up into three parts, which seems as though each part signifies a different part of his life. This book is a must-read.

            As I mentioned, this book is captivating in many ways and once it is opened, it is very hard to close, and hard to close without thinking and or processing the information and thinking “Wow!” Towards the bottom of the book cover, Toni Morrison says, ‘This is required reading,’ and I agree. This book is extremely inciteful, eye-opening, and powerful in many ways. A definite must-read.

A woman’s search for life.

Eat Pray Love (2010)

Cast: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis.

Director: Ryan Murphy.

Genre: Memoir, Biography, Travel literature.

Eat Pray Love is a fascinating adaptation of the memoir book written by Elizabeth Gilbert packed with meaningful, challenging, and thought-provoking moments as a woman travels the world to discover what is essential to her.

Julia Roberts stars as the story’s main character Liz Gilbert, whose life started to fall apart after she divorced her husband. Still whirling from the separation, she falls in love with a young stage actor (James Franco). However, their love dissolves, and Liz starts to question herself and becomes depressed. She needed to get her life back on track. Feeling the need to get her life back on track, she goes on a year-long journey of self-discovery to Italy, India, and Indonesia. 

This movie contains a cast that comes together to create a compelling story. First, Julia Roberts gives an emotional and intense performance in this film and draws us into the moments and inner monologues of Liz Gilbert. Throughout the film, she narrates every thought and feeling, pulling us more into the story. Second, Viola Davis plays Liz’s friend Delia Shiraz. It is hard to analyze Viola Davis and this character because she is only in a couple of scenes towards the beginning. Nonetheless, she gives a compelling performance as the best friend that questions Liz on her motivation to travel. Next, Richard Jenkins plays the role of Richard From Texas. He brings to life the blunt and passionate personality and emotional complications that haunt his character every day. Lastly, Javier Bardem plays the charming and caring Felipe. Felipe has also gone through a divorce and tells about his experience with becoming the main parent in his children’s lives. Javier portrays this part with simplicity and uniqueness. 

As mentioned, Liz (Roberts) embarks on a trip of self-discovery, meeting new friends, and facing new experiences.   For example, when she travels to Italy, she experiences the food and culture.  Another moment that affects Liz is in a scene where Richard From Texas (Jenkins) pulls Liz to the side of a private area and unveils his emotional past and how he came to India.

There were many great reviews and opinions of the book but mixed views of the movie, which some people might expect when a novel adapts into a film. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to read the book, but I researched other’s thoughts and how close the adaptation was to the book. For example, some say the relationship between Liz and Felipe lacked some of their issues in the movie, and Liz’s ex-husband was portrayed differently in the film. However, after researching the book, it seems that the movie is mostly accurate to the book. This movie you can watch without needing to read the book first.

 I did not love the movie Eat Pray Love, but I did not dislike it. If I were to rate it, I would give it an eight out of ten. Some parts of the film that I felt worked and were effective, and some of the editing I felt was a bit choppy in certain areas.

The way this movie went about with the cinematography was interesting and effective. The close-up shots add a vibrance and acute definition. For example, there is a scene in which Liz (Roberts) is learning Italian; this close-up shot is significant because she is learning the language and pronunciations. Another where the cinematography was effective is when Liz drives around in a taxi in India. Many different camera angles were happening simultaneously, which made the scene feel busy, eventually depicting what is going on around her and outside of the car. The tone of the film switches between calm and exciting. In the Italy scenes, there was a lot of liveliness and excitement, but there is a sense of calmness in the Bali and some of the India scenes. Italy achieves a sense of enthusiasm through the vibrance and liveliness of the music and food. In India and Bali achieves calmness through meditation, sound, and the finding of balance.

As I mentioned, the music and sound gave certain feelings of excitement and complimented the ambiance of each location. Most of the music seemed traditional to the country of origin. Whereas towards the beginning, when Liz had not left and was still in New York, the music leaned more to pop and classic rock. The music and sound were very fascinating.

The acting allowed intense emotions to fills some scenes, emotions just happen with little to no build up in some areas, but the scene, and the scenes after continuing with that emotion. There were also moments where the acting seemed natural to the point where you forgot that the people are acting.

The costumes, I have found to be different in each location style-wise. The costumes were loosely fitted with natural-toned colors like brown, white, and green. For the scenes in India, it is noticeable that Liz’s costumes have changed to slightly conform to the normal clothes in that region. I noticed that Richard From Texas’s clothing style has conformed to this as well. One scene in particular, and I will do my best to not give away what happens in this scene, shows what a woman would traditionally wear during a certain ceremony, wearing a vibrant red color outfit (I am not sure what the name of the traditional outfit is called in India) and intricate jewelry.

I researched that a lot of the scenes were shot on location, which made it captivating and fun. Each location had its own uniqueness to it. showing the different cultures, society, and a little bit of agriculture too.

The editing towards the beginning of the movie threw me off a little. As I mentioned, there was a weird cut/transition from the scene where Liz and her ex-husband were in the car and then to them in bed. I felt there were not a lot of build-ups, it just stopped right there. There was another transition scene that I found to be a little awkward was the transition from her leaving David’s (James Franco) apartment and getting into the car with Delia (Davis), to driving on the highway. The transition had a swiping moment which did not do much for effect and should be a little better.

Eat Pray Love is an overall emotionally resonant movie filled with tons of moments that will leave the viewer at the end of the movie in their thoughts, it is filled with a lot of eating, praying, and yes, loving. If you are interested in contemporary movies based on a memoir, or travel movies, then this one is the movie for you.

Fiction Book Review

See Me

By Nicholas Sparks

Release/Publish Date: October 13, 2015

Themes: Love, revenge, suspense.

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Nicholas Sparks continues with his known reputation with the romance genre with this rollercoaster story of love and drama. The book jacket has a white border and a picture of a beach with dead roses on the sand. The background is unfocused, which brings the reader’s attention to the dead roses.

Colin Hancock has a second chance in life. With his history of violence and the threat of prison haunting him every day, he is motivated to keep moving on with his life. Maria is the daughter of Mexican immigrants with a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a distinguished law firm in Wilmington, North Carolina. Despite her picture-perfect track record, she has a traumatic past that drives her back to her hometown. Maria and Colin have a chance encounter on a rainy night, “The rain blew in soft sheets, making the oncoming headlights shimmer,” and meet again with the help of Serena, Maria’s younger sister. They start to form a romantic relationship but start to take a turn when Maria’s traumatic past comes to light. It is unclear throughout the story who caused these scary events, thought to be an act of revenge. These events start with dead flowers in Maria’s and threatening notes. Then, Maria’s worries grow as her family becomes a target and the messages and actions to more violent acts. “It takes over—fear, I mean. No matter how hard you try to fight it, it takes over, crushing the life out of you.” During this part of the story, there are many twists and turns. Readers will surely be on the edge of their seats. Colin goes to great lengths to protect Maria and her family. This novel is slightly different from what Sparks is usually known for, such as A Walk to Remember, Safe Haven, The Last Song, The Notebook, and many others, but is captivating nonetheless. Those familiar with his work would also know that many of his books have become film adaptations. Those unfamiliar with his work will find his books and movies very enjoyable.

When I first saw this book in the book store, I knew I could not leave the store without buying it. I had read Nicholas Sparks’ previous works and have enjoyed reading them. He packs each story with lots of emotion and adventure. Sparks can pull the reader into his stories and make them feel like they are a part of the journey. The adventure, the suspense, everything in this story will keep the reader on their toes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it. 

My childhood Restaurant Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Restaurant:

Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Address:

5925 Kingstowne Towne Centre

Alexandria, VA 22315

Price Range:

$10.00 – $25.00

Hours:

11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Romano’s Macaroni Grill is an Italian-American cuisine restaurant chain with approximately 88 locations worldwide. The restaurant was founded in 1988 by Philip J. Romano in San Antonio, Texas. He now operates an abundance of restaurants in Dallas, Texas. Romano has established many other restaurant chains, but his most notable ones are Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Fuddruckers, and EatZi’s.

As a kid, my family and I used to go to Macaroni Grill (as we called it) pretty frequently. I loved it there. Considering the Pandemic and how little time I had, I did not enter the restaurant this time. Instead, I ordered curbside pickup. But I will do my best to describe the ambiance. It is very family-friendly and is accessible to everyone. A wonderful part was that there is a big sheet of paper put across the tablecloth so that you could draw on the table. I remember asking my mom to draw me something, my brother and I would always play Tick Tack Toe or Hang Man. That is one thing that I always remember when I think of Macaroni Grill. 

The restaurant’s overall atmosphere is inviting, I recommend going with friends and family, but I

do not recommend going there on a first date. There was an adequate number of

items on the menu. I did not feel overwhelmed or limited about the choices.

Although there were not many choices on the dessert menu, I was expecting that.

The food was prepared quickly and was delivered right after I called to

let them know I have arrived. The server was polite in person but on the phone

seemed a little aggressive when I asked to repeat her question that I did not

hear.

For the main dish, I

will be including my and my mother’s thoughts and reviews. For my main dish, I

had the Pomodoro Tortellacci. Each tortellacci was placed neatly except for one

(maybe due to me driving). It made me feel hungry just opening and looking at

it. The taste was not highly flavorful, but very filling, and the sauce went

well with it. The texture was creamy, silky, and cheesy. The pasta was al dente

and easy to cut. It was not undercooked or overcooked. It was just right. I think that if I come here another time, I will order this meal again. I recommend trying this dish. 

For dessert, I tried the Chocolate cake. The presentation was not the best, and

that part could have been because of me driving. Some of the icing wiped up

against the container leaving a chocolate smudge. The taste was rich and

moist. The cake was a little underbaked and spongey, and the nuts gave

it a bit of a crunch. I could not finish the cake because of how big the

slice was and its richness. I didn’t hate it, but I probably wouldn’t order it again. I do not recommend this dish. 

Next, the main dish that my mother ordered was the

Butternut Tortellacci. The presentation looked attractive and made her want to

eat it. The taste was creamy, savory, and flavorful. The texture of the pasta

was al dente. The cheese felt creamy, and the squash was soft but firm. Just right.

By looking at the menu, you can see that Macaroni Grill

intends to make pasta dishes and various other dishes.

But not and abundance. The menu is created to show the best or most popular

items in each category, and the presentation is kept simple but

attractive. The price-point of the meal and restaurant lived up to my

expectations. The price range for each meal is about $10.00 – $25.00. The total

price of both our meals, including tax, came out to be $50.88. 

Pros:

While the host on the phone seemed a little aggressive and

quick, the food arrived as soon as I hung up, and I did not have to wait long.

Cons:

The desert was not presented well and a little underbaked.

Overall, I recommend the Pomodoro Tortellacci and the

Butternut Tortellacci. But I would not recommend the Chocolate Cake.

Summary 4

  1. What I learned.

I learned so much in this class. I learned how to set up a website. (which I may use for something else in the future hopefully) There were frustrating components that went into creating this website like typing in my email wrong and getting logged out and not being able to log in for a while. I learned how to photoshop and learned the hard way of how frustrating it can be, but I liked doing it in the end.

2. What I would do differently if I were to take this class again?

I would ask for help me. I am very much a do-it-yourself type person and so i wont ask for help unless i am failing misserably at something and I just can’t get it. I definitely needed help with using Adobe Photoshop.

3. What was the most exciting project?

I definitely found the Audio and Video projects the most exciting and fun. I learned how to edit and mix sound in another class, so doing that wasn’t too hard and I had fun picking out the different effects and music. I enjoyed doing the video projects because I got to live out my (sort of) Youtuber dream. I very much enjoyed creating my get ready with me nightly routine.

Thank you so much for a wonderful course! I hope to do some more of these creative projects in the future.

The Star to Be (Final Project)

I woke up today feeling anxious, excited, but mostly nervous. Today is the day, the day that could be the day that changes my life. Why am I so nervous? I rehearsed my song so many times to the point where it gets stuck in my head even if I just think of it. I practiced my monologue in front of my mom every freaking day. This audition could be it for me. Ugh, New York is so beautiful, I feel… I know I belong here I can see it as I am walking down the street to the audition building. My name in the lights, and signs, and posters! I walk in, feeling even more nervous and anxious. I sit down, waiting for my turn to go in. I start to feel myself vibrating and shaking. “It’s okay, just go over your song and monologue the way you practiced,” I said to myself. “Ugh, but what if what I practiced might not be good enough. No matter, just give them a performance so good that they might pay to see the show.” I bet every girl in here is thinking that. They call me in, this is it! I walk in, introduce myself, express the song and monologue that I will be doing. Oh God, I’m done. I say thank you, they tell me that they’ll be in touch and I open the door to gather my things and leave.

It’s morning, I am sitting at the table eating breakfast and I hear the phone ring. It’s the casting director. I got the part! “Oh my goodness! Thank you so much!” He gives me the information and the schedule, I scramble to find a pencil and paper to write it down. I fumble while writing. As I hang up the phone, i can feel my heart pumping so much that it feels like it’s about to jump out of my chest!

Months of rehearsals go buy and one review night gone well. We got good reviews and are now able to move to Broadway!

The first night. I feel anxious, excited, but mostly nervious. Tonight’s the night! I feel like I am in a dream. Why am I so nervous? We rehearsed for months and got good reviews. We have rehearsed so much that I just start doing the dance routines whenever I think of them, same with the songs. I should drink some water or tea before I go on. “You got this, just give them a performance that is so good, they’ll want to come again.” The Stage Manager knocks on my door and yells “Places!”. Here we go!

The Inspiration for this story: