Performance is a Passion

20130827-082255.jpg(above: my roommate and I at Into the Woods call backs.)

I haven’t performed in two years.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I was in a small singing group that did one concert. I was in the chorus of a musical. I had a decent role in a one-act play, but I was dying of illness. And I had a lead in a senior directed. So my first sentence isn’t true, but it felt true. It didn’t ever feel like I was in a full show. It didn’t feel like I was fulfilling my passion for acting.

Without the regular rehearsals to fill my time, I lost a lot of motivation. I actually think I got depressed. It wasn’t because I had nothing to do, I just wasn’t doing anything that I loved. Truly. Like acting or singing or writing.

Well, I’m fixing that this semester. I’m getting back into the performance scene, maybe multiple times this year, if I can. I’ll be doing NaNo, as usual. I’m going to fill my time with the things I love. Classes won’t be going to pot, in case my family reads this, but my priorities will lie in my passions.

It’s important to do what you love. At work or school, monotony and routine are too easy to fall into. If passion isn’t entwined with that routine, we begin to burn out. It’s disheartening. It’s exhausting. But incorporating something you love in your daily life is invigorating. An outlet for your passion can give you enough energy to make it through the rest of your daily tasks.

So I’m finding outlets for my passion. I just received the role of Jack in Sondheim’s Into the Woods. It was very unexpected, but it is a great role (I mean, I’ll be playing a boy). But I went in and did my best and I felt confident about my auditions. And playing a boy will be an awesome experience. I’m excited. It gives me a lot of opportunity to look forward to this semester. And it looks brighter than some of my past semesters have been.

(Beware Jackie the Giant Slayer!)

The End Is Not the End

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“What is you favorite thing about living in America?”

“Swim.”

How many of you would seriously count swimming as the favorite thing about your country? No, that has to come straight from the mouth of someone who’d never had the luxury before moving here. From someone who is grateful just to be in America and to have more freedom and comfort than they had before. From a Karenni Burmese refugee I met at my home church a week ago.

Since coming back from Thailand, I -see- more Asian cultures here and notice their influence. What’s more, I understand them better. I’ve become more familiar with Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Burmese, Khmer, Persian, Malaysian, and Thai cultures since spending time in Asia. And it makes me realize that my adventure is not over just because I flew back to America. In fact, it was just the beginning. It opened my eyes to people I took for granted before.

The group of Burmese students I’ve gotten to know in Austin meet once a week to eat, sing, and study the Word. They have been in the US for three years (or less). They came from camps in both Thailand and Malaysia and are from a variety of tribes: Karen, Karenni, and Kachin. Their English is good and they are learning more every day.

The problem is, Americans don’t stop for them. They go largely unnoticed at church and school because people don’t understand their roots or their culture or their language. Isn’t it much easier to ignore them and move on if we feel uncomfortable making the effort? But I can testify that the foreign friendships I’ve made have by far been the most rewarding. (My best friend is Venezuelan and it’s awesome.) This is because they value the friendships they make like precious jewels; the joy that it brings them is tangible, I swear.

And it doesn’t do me any good to come home from the earth-shaking, mind-blowing adventure only to go back to school in West Texas with college drama and everyone just striving to date and blah blah blah because it’s not important! It’s trivial stuff. There are opportunities around you if you stop to see them. If I pull myself out of a closed-minded routine, I would have way more opportunity to be useful, build friendships, and actually love what I’m doing for once. Like I did in Thailand. Because it isn’t over. The end is not the end. And there’s still so much I can do here.

Zutara Week 2013 Compilation

Not everyone on my blog may be interested in reading the fanfics I wrote for Zutara Week 2013. Still, I figured it’d be good if I compiled the links to all of them. Of course, I have no rights or claims to the characters, but it is a cool experience to try and get in their heads. And, seeing as I posted my thoughts on fanfiction already, with reference to this week-long project, I figured I’d share.

Calor “Heated Words

Euphoria “Heritage of Water and Fire

Voices “If Not for the Voices

Gravity “Alone in a Nation

Bound “Save the Cabbages

Soothe “Searing, then Soothing

Spark: I’m afraid I never quite finished the last one. My job got so hectic and it was the only one I didn’t get around to in time. It’s halfway finished, I’m afraid. If I get it up ever, I’ll fix it here.

I’m not proud of all of them; some of them were pretty rushed. But I had fun and that’s the important part, right? I hope you enjoy these!

Couch Potatoes Anonymous

Oh hey! Did y’all know I have an unhealthy addiction to television shows? Well-written ones, mind you.

I’d laugh, but it really is a terrible thing for a college student. I have far too many. I watch them when I fix my meals and sit down to eat. If I can’t keep up that way alone, I set aside a weekend every now and then to just catch up. It really got me thinking when, just yesterday, I got hooked on Downton Abbey. My Nana is recovering from a heart attack, so my entire family has found themselves butts glued to the couch, eyes riveted to the screen. As this type of drama is typically not my “cup o’ tea,” I didn’t expect much. I was pleasantly surprised to discover, not only a well-written story, but distinct, entertaining, real characters. So, alright, I admit I was wrong to judge by the pilot.

Downton Abbey has added itself to:
The Vampire Diaries
Once Upon A Time
Arrow
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
How I Met Your Mother
Doctor Who
Sherlock
Grimm
Beauty and the Beast

Not to mention, I am adding the following this fall season:
The Originals
OUAT in Wonderland
Agents of SHIELD

Don’t even start me on the Chinese and Korean “bubble shows” Karen got me started on in Thailand.

Judge me all you want. I realize that’s quite the diverse list and some of them may be considered “nerdy” (but you are never too old for Marvel) but I stand proud. Especially since I count these shows to have some of the most entertaining plots and characters on television today.

It takes a lot for a writer to write a novel. Or a screenplay. It’s effort. So imagine the effort (although often a group effort) it takes to write a story in 20-40 minute episodes, with 16-22 episodes a season that last for several seasons that progresses every, single episode! (Forgive the run-on sentence.) It amazes me to see the plot twists, the complexities of character, the spider-web story-lines, the interactions and emotions that evoke a real reaction from the audience.

In fact, I can’t watch something well-written without wanting to write. I sit down in front of my television with a notepad and pen to start sketching out relationship webs, brainstormed ideas, or preliminary character concepts. Similarly to books, a good story just makes me want to write one of my own. I want those fascinating characters and intriguing stories that keep the audience laughing, crying, and on the edge of their seats.

So, that’s my excuse then. Television inspires me. So an addiction must be okay. If you need me, I’ll be over here, blazing through my massive list of tv shows.