Monthly Archives: December 2014

Why I Continue To Do Musical Theatre

Since 2009, I have been doing musical theater through Christian Youth Theater and a few other community theater companies. A lot of the people I’ve met in the program want to continue on and make it their career. I personally will not be pursuing it. I might do community shows every now and then or even try directing and teaching, but I have other things that I want to do (like write books and draw all day). So why do I continue to do it? Why don’t I just spend my time doing something else? Well, let’s talk about that. 10394039_909834435735832_1744954296619038057_n1) It makes me feel stronger Correction, it has made me stronger: physically and emotionally. You can’t dance without being strong. There’s so much that goes into singing and dancing at the same time, and whenever I get a hard song down it’s awesome. As I write this, I am right in the middle of the show “42nd Street” with a newer theater company in my area, in which we are learning the show in a week. Somehow, I ended up in the ballet ensemble, which has a lot of technical moves that have been really hard to get down. But oh man, when I got our hardest dance down, I was so happy. I felt awesome, and even though my muscles are extremely sore, I feel super strong.

Diary of Anne Frank
Diary of Anne Frank.

Cast lists can be brutal. I have been disappointed so many times, especially over this past year. It can hurt not get the part you want, and I am guilty of being bitter about certain roles. But having to deal with disappointing cast lists helps you learn how to deal with rejection. It takes a certain amount of emotional stability to deal with being turned away for something, or worse, having to see another person do a job that you thought you could do too. It can still be hard, but it’s finally starting to get easier.

Oliver! (Bet)
Oliver! (Bet)

2) It makes me feel pretty

Shrek (Gingy)
Shrek (Gingy)

This one doesn’t really apply to the fellas, but oh my goodness, getting to wearing gorgeous costumes and make-up is wonderful. I’m the kind of girl that likes to dress girly every now and then, but I often will be found with a ball cap and converse. There’s something about musical theater that makes it so much more fun to get dressed up. It adds so much more to a character whenever you add the costumes, hair and make-up. Now, I have played a few characters where my costume wasn’t exactly pretty (as in, I was a man), but the times that I have gotten to be on stage dressed up, it has made me feel really beautiful.

Improv Team (Summer 2014)
Improv Team (Summer 2014)

3) It makes me more confident I’ve never been a shy person. I like people. A lot. But since I’ve started doing theater regularly, my confidence has soared. Any shell that I had had melted away, and I’ve done some pretty silly things on stage and off. My first semster of college was so easy because I got over being serious around people quickly and was just my Abby self. It helped me do so much better in my speech class and gain new friendships. I’ve found that I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation in my classes for being the kid that can always make the class and teacher laugh. I never thought I would be a “class clown”, but because of the confidence I have gained over the past six years, it’s so easy to be silly. While there I times where I know I have to be serious, it’s more fun to live life without worrying what people think of you. When you have this philosophy, you get super awesome friends, and every now and then get a laugh out of someone.

4)I have met amazing peopleMarlee Seriously. Most of my closest friends are from my adventures on stage. I am blessed to be apart of a theater group that is very close and focuses on relationships that you build with your cast mates. The friends I have made are like my family. Yes, like all other seasons in life, you meet people that you don’t get along with very well. You can get your heart broken every now and then, but there’s always about a dozen other people you love you so much, and it’s easier to push out the bad vibes. There are wonderful friends that I’ve made that I hope to some day have in my wedding, who I’ll grab coffee with and talk about our kids, and continue to share our lives with each other.

Godspell
Godspell

5) It’s a way for me to worship I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus. As a Christian, I want to try my best and do everything in a way that glorifies God. This can be a very tricky thing to do with theater, because you’re in the spotlight. You want front and center. You want people to tell you that you got the part, to bring you flowers and tell you that you did a great job. But that’s no how it works with Jesus. He’s supposed to be the center of your life, not you being the center of attention. It’s something that I still have to work on, but when I really let myself worship and love glorifying God with my performances, it’s a really awesome feeling.

6) It’s Fun! 

Willy Wonka (Specialty Dancer)
Willy Wonka (Specialty Dancer)
Captain Hook Minus the Mustache and Smee
Captain Hook Minus the Mustache and Smee

It’s thrilling to be waiting off stage in a dark theater, knowing that in a few seconds, you’ll be standing in front of a crowd of people doing what you love. For me, it’s an amazing adrenaline rush. I love performing. Taking on a new character is always an adventure, and a distraction from my crazy life. For two hours, I’m in a totally different world, and it’s great, especially when I get to be doing it with some of my favorite people. Through middle school and high school, I have been a part of over 30 shows, and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve gained from each one for anything. I’ve learned so much in this span of time, and I want to keep doing it for as long as I can. I keep learning new things about people, life, and myself through this art. It’s not about the part you get, and whether or not you get a lead, but what you choose to get out a show. It can be really hard to accept that you aren’t going to always get the role that you go for, but roles don’t define what you can get out of a show. Until the time comes where I move onto my next season of life, I will continue to learn and grow through one of my favorite things, no matter what the part (and even if I have to wear a mustache again :P). Until Next Time, Abby Narnia (2009) My first CYT show :) 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. P.S. Big thank you to my wonderful mom and dad for supporting me and letting me continue to do theater! You guys are amazing!!!!!

Has Anyone Told You That You’re A Bit Weird?

How many times have you been called weird? Or someone told you that what you’re doing is really weird? Some people have probably heard it more than others. I myself have heard it many times, and for many different reasons.

“You’re in college? And you’re 16? That’s so weird!”

“It’s kind of weird that you don’t stick to one style.”

“You’re hanging out with them? People are going to think you’re weird .”

“You use Matt Smith memes to make a point? You’re such a weirdo.”

        I hear stuff like this all the time, and not just directed at me. But let me tell you something, you ready?

 Weird is not bad.

WHAT??!?!?!?!??!!
      WHAT??!?!?!?!??!!

  I know, shocker. You can’t base the way that you view yourself off of what other people think. I have devised a list of three ways that you can combat the “W” word. I myself am constantly working on these, but when I do go by this list, life is so much easier.

Let's do this.
                 Let’s do this.

1) You can’t please everyone.

Let me tell you, being an art major is really risky. If you’re in the same boat as me, or you’re another fine arts major (shout out to all my musical theater major friends), you’ll get at least one or two people who will:

 1) Say that that’s a weird thing to be doing with your life

2)Ask you how you’re going to support yourself and

3) Assume that it’s just a phase, and you’ll switch to a more “practical” major

down the road.

 These are the people I want to prove wrong. They are a motivation for me to keep pushing myself to succeed. I have chosen to embrace the fact that God blessed me with a knack for creative projects and a good work ethic. Who am I to not do what God has put on my heart to do with the skills I’ve developed? If someone calls you weird for doing what you love, just remember that there are way more people out there who think what you’re doing is awesome. You just get to prove the haters wrong.

Haters gonna hate.
Haters gonna hate.

  2) Your style is your business. Embrace it!

Okay, let me tell you a story. Fellas, stick with me, I promise that there’s a point. One day at school I wore a really flowery dress. It even had pink in it. Curled my hair and everything. There was no occasion. I just felt like it. The next day, I woke up and felt no motivation to look like a fashion model. I wore a gray v-neck, leggings, a flannel around my waist and my boots that are falling apart. The spent most of the day painting, and I ended up having stains on my skin from the oils. The next day, I wore cowboy boots. Just for the heck of it. A friend of mine and I were just eating lunch and he flat out said, “I seriously can’t figure out your style. It’s different everyday and it’s really weird.”

Ladies (and gents), you can’t let clothes define you. When I was younger, I was not into clothes at all, but now that I put more of an effort in my appearance, I dress for me, not anyone else. I love expressing myself through different styles of clothes; I don’t like being put in a box. One day, I might have a hipster vibe, and the next day I could be really girly. If I wanna wear cowboy boots, I’m going to wear cowboy boots. If you like a certain type of style, fine! Stick with what you like. But if you enjoy different kinds of clothes, don’t let the restriction of being a certain kind of person stop you from feeling awesome.

People, we have to stop judging people in general, especially just by outward apperances. Once, I went into a comic book store after church while wearing a dress and my hair done and all, and the guy at the front counter talked to me like I was clueless girl who just wandered into the store. When I go in there dressed in more comfortable clothes, I don’t get talked down to like I do when wearing more girly clothes. I’m guilty of this too! I have judged people by the clothes they’re wearing, and I was surprised to find that my assumptions were dead wrong.

 Bottom Line: You do you, and don’t judge other people!

Embrace your personal style
Embrace your personal style

3) Find the right friends

This one links back to #1. You are an awesome person. As an awesome person, you should be hanging out with awesome people. If you aren’t hanging out with people who are awesome, that can cause problems. Toxic friendships can chip away at your awesomeness. I have found myself struggling with this a lot over the past few years. Being in a college atmosphere, it’s very hard to keep my language clean. It’s so much easier to let a cuss word slip now after being around people who cuss constantly. That’s just one example. Toxic friendships can pressure you into many different things, from drug and alcohol abuse to just being mean to other people.

You want to find friends who embrace your weirdness. I want people who be interested in my life and enjoy the things that I enjoy. I don’t like being called weird, so having friends that think I’m weird is not a good situation. Friends that share a mutual weirdness are the best kind of friends. They build up your awesomeness and help defend against the anti-awesomes.

True friends have your back.
True friends have your back.

  No one is normal. Normal isn’t a thing. People need to stop trying to achieve normalness, because it is not possible. I feel that that it’s more that some people are more serious, and others like to be a bit more fancy free. Both kinds of people are needed in the world. So embrace the quirks that make you the remarkable person that you were made to be! It would be a very boing world if we were all the same.

Psalm 139: 14: I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it well.

Until Next Time,

Abby

Important

Immanuel, The Gift, and Comic Con

Matthew 1:22-23 “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel, which means God With Us.”

I love my church family. I have grown up in my local church, and these past few years especially, I have felt that I have been growing deeper in my faith while learning from our Pastoral Staff. Our lead pastor, (Bob) delivered a powerful message this past Sunday leading up to Christmas that really impacted me, and I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

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That’s a powerful phrase. It gives the idea that the Almighty Creator wants to be with us: flawed, sinful people. We as humans should have nothing to do with God, but in His grace, He sent Jesus, His Son, to be on earth with His creation, to live among us, to die for our sins, and three days later, rise again to seal the deal.

You hear Christmas songs this time of year with Immanuel and God With Us throughout them, but what does it really mean?

Well, think about this. If I went to Comic Con in San Diego, I would be with about 100,000 other people at one large event, but was I really with them? No. I didn’t travel all the way to California to be with 100,000 strangers; I went with my best friend (Watson, it’s gonna happen someday ;D) to be with her, and grow our relationship as friends as we brave the war zone that is

Tom Hiddleston is not my close personal friend :(
Tom Hiddleston is not my close personal friend 😦
Watson and I have a close, personal friendship :)
Watson and I have a close, personal friendship 🙂

San Diego Comic Con. I also can’t send out a tweet saying, “Was with @TWHiddlston in Hall H today! #besties” without looking like an idiot, or my friends giving me flack about it. My tweet would have to be more like, “Saw @TWHiddlston dressed up as Loki in Hall H today! #fangirling”. I (sadly) don’t know Tom Hiddleston personally, so though I was in the same hypothetical room with him, I wasn’t really with him. (Now, if I had gotten a back stage pass to hang out with him and the cast of Thor, that would be a different story.) There is a difference between be with a huge crowd and being with a close friend. In a crowd, you’re just going through the motions, trying to get to the next booth and probably trying to have as little contact with them as possible. With a friend, you want to be talking and growing closer together through inside jokes, memories and heart to hearts. With a true friend, you put an effort into the relationship. If you don’t talk to your friend for weeks, you’re missing out on stuff in their lives which can cause you to drift apart.

This is the same concept with God. You can know in your head every verse forwards and backwards, word for word in Hebrew and Greek, but if you don’t have a personal relationship with Him, He isn’t really with you. There’s a huge difference between knowing about Jesus, and knowing Him as your Savior and constant companion. One is the way separation, the other is the path to salvation. If you are a Christian and have a relationship with Christ, you can still grow apart from Him by ignoring His word and not putting an effort into growing closer to Him. Jesus is like any other friend; if you stop talking to Him, the relationship is strained. God is always there, but it’s up to us to choose to be with Him.

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clip-art-christmas-snoopy-938072

I hope that is this Christmas Season is in full swing this week, you’ll stop to really look at your relationship, or lack there of, with God. It’s easy to get swept up into the motions of this season: presents, family, friends, decorations, baking, and traveling can take up a lot of our attention. These are all great and fun things, but our attention really should be on the amazing event that happened in Bethlehem thousands of years ago. I’m guilty of it! I’ve been stressing out about getting commissions finished up, while working on gifts for my friends and family, and just wanting to ignore everything else. I’m thankful for Pastor Bob’s message yesterday that gave me a big wake up call, and that God is gracious and forgives me when I lose sight of His amazing love. All it takes is believing that Jesus came down, died for all of your sins, and that He rose again to accept His wonderful gift. It’s the Greatest Christmas Gift you could ever get; better than all the toys in the world or Badge for Life to get into Comic Con 😉

Three days and counting till the big day! Spend this time with the ones you love, and remember the Greatest Gift that was offered to you on that night so many years ago.

Until Next Time,

Abby

Trying Something New

I thought that since writing is something that I plan to do with my future career, blogging might be a good way to practice. So, hey there! My name’s Abby. I’m a sophomore at my local community college, as well as a homeschooled student. I enjoy art, writing, doing musical theater, being active, and meeting new people. I kind of have a knack for talking to people I don’t know. Sometimes, it’s easier than talking to my friends that I’ve known for years! I also live up to the fact that I am an extremely geeky human. Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR, Disney, Avatar, Sherlock, Buffy, Marvel, DC, (and probably a few other randoms I’m forgetting) make me so happy, and many have inspired me to be a writer and artist. I plan to study Illustration and possibly English when I transfer after graduation, though I’m not sure exactly how that will all play out yet. But that’s okay, because with all stuff I’ve done in my short life, it has always turned out for the better, even if it didn’t make sense at the time. God works in interesting ways sometimes! I plan to do different kinds of posts, some spiritual, some about school, and some just ranting about random things in my life. I hope that you’ll join me on this new journey! Until Next Time, Abby