My Top Ten Favorite Musicals

Theater is one of my favorite things in the world. And though I have the talent of a rock, and would never participate in any musicals ever, I love watching them and over the past couple years my obsession with Broadway has grown stronger. So, I decided to compose a list of my favorite Broadway shows and movie musicals and why.

10. Dear Evan Hansen: I haven’t seen this musical yet, but I am obsessed with the soundtrack, and I really hope I get to see it one day.

9. The Lion King: There’s no reason why this musical is low on my list, because I loved it with all my heart. I was in awe during the whole production with the costume design, music, and set, and would recommend it to anyone, but it’s not a show I would go see a second time unless I went with a friend who would really want to go.

8. The Greatest Showman: This is only a musical, but there are rumors that a Broadway production of it is in the making. This was my favorite movie during all of 2017. I loved everything about this musical movie. The music, the actors, the story, all of it. So much so that I saw it three times in the theater within three weeks, and several times after that on the plane.

7. Wicked: This one should definitely be higher on my list, but I have too many musicals to mention, so this had to be right here. I’ve seen Wicked at least three times because every time it goes to my city my family has tickets. It was the first musical I’ve ever watched and it’s been one of my favorites since.

Photo Credit: playbillstore.com

6. Kinky Boots: To describe this musical in one word, I’d say iconic. A Broadway show about drag queens? With a powerful, positive, feel-good story and catchy as heck tunes? I stan it. Plus, Brendon Urie was a part of it over the summer, which started my obsession with the musical, but isn’t the only reason I love the production. The show’s amazing with or without him and I saw it with David Cook and he was amazing in it. I’m gonna miss this show when it closes in April. #Revival

5. Mamma Mia: Anyone who knows me knows this musical is bound to be on my list whether they decide to read this or not. This is my favorite movie. I’ve never seen the live production of it, but I’ve watched the movie at least 100 times and if I could revive any Broadway show it’d be this one (or Newsies).

4. Hamilton: Do I need to explain why Hamilton’s so high up? I’ll probably have to say why it’s not my favorite, but this musical is amazing. There’s a reason why it’s so freaking popular. It’s a rap musical and all the dialogue is done rapping, there’s no simply talking except for maybe two times in the whole production. I was lucky to see this show with my aunt last year in Los Angeles with tenth row seats and it was the most magical three hours of my life. Additionally, history is one of my favorite subjects and this musical was a modern production on a story from almost three hundred years ago with a diverse cast and an incredible soundtrack.

3. The Book of Mormon: I dedicated a whole blog post to this show last year, but it didn’t do it 100% justice for how amazing it was. This show was hilarious and I went into it skeptical that I was gonna like it, but I loved every part of it. The second it comes to California again I’m buying tickets and I’m anticipating the moment I get to go watch it again.

2. Phantom of the Opera: I get to finally see this musical during summer time and I’ve been wanting to see it more than anything since I watched the movie on Netflix last summer. As of now, it’s still the longest running Broadway musical and I still haven’t seen it, but that will change… hopefully. But, it’s still reserved this spot on my list because I am obsessed with the story, despite how high-key toxic the relationship between the Phantom and Christine is. But, that’s what makes the story so interesting and addicting to watch.

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

1. Aladdin: This show is the most underrated popular show in Broadway right now. Aladdin is my favorite Disney movie, but watching the Broadway version was the most magical three hours of my life. I remember at one point I had to close my eyes because the costume and set design were so insane with bright lights and glitter that it was blinding. I never saw so many dancers in sync and so many perfect voices in harmony together in one song. I remember when the show ended, and my aunt, sister, and I were all leaving the theatre and I was in a daze for the rest of the night. Then the next day, I wanted to return.

This was a really long list, but if you’ve made it to the end, I 100% recommend you go to any of these shows and you’ll have the best experience ever.

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What I Learned From The 100

Photo Credit: PureFandom.com

In January, I got the chance to miss three days of school and head up to Vancouver to watch the production of my favorite tv show, The 100. Now I probably know what a lot of people were thinking: this girl went on vacation to meet Bob Morley? Actually, yes, but while I did get to meet my favorite actors, eat sixty five dollar filet mignon, and find out so many spoilers for the show – and no, I’m not sharing – I also learned so much about the filming industry that I didn’t know before.

    1. A one minute scene that seems so well put together takes hours to be made. Literally, one small scene, and it won’t even be the entirety of it. I went to the outside set for one day, and they filmed the same scene for hours, and when I left they were still filming the same scene. It was absolutely fascinating how they did it. They filmed from every angle with multiple cameras. They’d have the same actor repeat the same line a hundred times just to capture a different detail of their face from a different angle from multiple cameras.
    2. The CW has the weirdest rules. For starters, actors could say any cuss word known to mankind, but they aren’t allowed to say the Lord’s name in vein. Also, actors aren’t allowed to show side boob in the shows. At all. So, basically the dresses lots of actresses wear at movie premiers would not be allowed on any of the tv shows from The CW we know and love.
    3. They usually don’t rehearse. Apparently they get their lines, have fifteen minutes of their own time to figure it out, and then get in front of a camera. That’s a part of the reason why there are so many bloopers, and so many retakes of several scenes. Their rehearsal is the filming.
    4. The camera makes people look bigger than they actually are. Not fatter, just bigger. When I met the actors, they were so much smaller than I expected, because they were a fourth of the size of what they look like on screen. They weren’t short or tall specifically, just tiny. It was definitely not what I expected.

I’m pretty sure that I learned a lot more things from that trip that I couldn’t have ever learned inside of a classroom, but that’s what I remember off the top of my head.

Branded Feminism

When I was five, my mom bought a silver iPod with bulky, rounded corners and a perpetually dirty screen. I would always listen to her vast array of songs while sitting in a shopping cart at the grocery store or in Walmart. On special occasions, like my birthday and Christmas, she’d let me pick songs that we could buy the music videos for. And more times than not, I’d pick a song by Taylor Swift.

Back in her country days, Taylor Swift was a drama-free, curly-haired bundle of joy. I thought she was just the coolest anyone could get. However, as she got older, (and I as well) my opinion of her changed.

I grew up with my sister constantly educating me about different aspects of feminism, from the everyday struggles of women of color to how to have inclusive discussions about class, race, sexuality, and gender. So, when Taylor Swift proclaimed herself a feminist, I was excited to see what a person with her following could inspire. To my dismay, her “feminism” did the opposite of inspire.

In fact, recent studies have shown that when a major celebrity calls themselves a feminist, it makes people care less about feminism. Feminism has become a hot topic of discussion over the past few years. When a celebrity talks about feminism, it usually is just to build their image, not to bring awareness to its issues. Even if Taylor Swift is a feminist, some things she does demonstrate outdated views in equality, as feminism changes every day.

Photo Credit: http://www.cosmopolitan.com

For example, while her “girl squad” may promote girl power and sticking together, to many in Hollywood it is just like a high school clique. Stars, such as Miley Cyrus and Chloë Grace Moretz, have spoken out about it. One such star is the Disney star, Rowan Blanchard, who said, “The ‘squads’ we see in the media are very polarizing. Feminism and friendship are supposed to be inclusive, and most of these ‘squads’ are strictly exclusive. It makes feminism look very one dimensional…’Squad goals’ can polarize anyone who is not white, thin, tall and always happy.”

Mostly, this band of models and singers is just a way to uphold Swift’s pristine image. I mean, if Swift were really about girl power than why would she use her group of friends to diss other women, like in the “Bad Blood” music video?

As a women who believes in empowering other women, Swift is in plenty of celebrity feuds. With a list including Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, among others, she can’t just be an innocent girl getting bashed on. Naturally, people are going to disagree on social media, but the fact that remains is that Taylor never really owns up to her mistakes, and yet she still has a pristine image in the eyes of many.

Finally, she doesn’t have the best track record with treatment of people of color. The reason she invited Zendaya and Serayah McNeil (two very successful women) to be in her “Bad Blood” music video, was probably because she had recently been called out for only having white friends. In her “Shake It Off” music video, she had black women twerking all over the camera, but no black ballerinas. Of course there would be black girls twerking in her music video, but generally that form of dance isn’t seen as very classy, as opposed to ballet. Ballet is graceful and fluid, and there are plenty of black ballerinas that could be included. In Taylor’s “Wildest Dreams” video, which is literally set in Africa, there was not a single black person. While these examples aren’t very apparent and could be skewed in many ways, they reflect the microagression that people of color experience on a daily basis.

With all this said, I really hope Taylor’s feminism grows in the future. It’s been quite a while since she’s been on tour or released new music, so maybe she’s taking the time to think of new ways to help educate the masses about inclusive feminism.

Outcast

Outcast – a person who has been rejected by society or a social group.

This may be the common definition and concept of what an outcast is,  however,  I don’t agree with it. I believe that there are many different forms of an outcast. I believe in some cases an outcast can be considered a drifter.

Photo Credit: https://drscdn.500px.org

A drifter is someone who isn’t necessarily an outcast, separated or rejected by society but someone who is distant. Doing their own thing, while being associated with the “in” crowd but is always just on the outside. It’s like being in a group of people but always having a thin piece of glass separating the individual from the group of people.

 

I wonder how the people in the “in” crowd feel?

Do they too consider themselves as popular or with the “in” crowd, or do they think of themselves as drifters?

#FOODSTAGRAM

In today’s culture, constant sharing of people’s day to day lives has become the norm.  Particularly, sharing of pictures of food.

But why has it become so important that we share images of our meals with the whole world?  Food has evolved from former functioning as nutrition into a source of status and culture.

For example, through the popular social media site Instagram, you’ve probably seen countless pictures of people’s bubble tea from Urth Caffe or someone’s In-N-Out burger. 

Where does this need to share their food come from?  The aestheticism of food has become more important than actual consumption. 

The tradition of mealtime has drastically changed from an intimate gathering to something shared with the whole world.  Specifically, rather than be engaged in food and conversation, individuals remove themselves from the present moment of the meal in order to stage the scene of their food. 

The closeness of a meal is lost by revealing the location of a person as he or she eats. 

The image of restaurants has become a status symbol that is spreading through social media. People have become obsessed with proving their participation in this trend by taking pictures of locations that are coined “popular”. 

The concept these restaurants put out, with help from socialites creates the obsession surrounding it.

Our culture has become brainwashed with the idea that what they eat helps their image.  This also contributes to the growing number of people who believe that their social media image is essential to their lives.

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photo credit Konnectifi

Trucks Take Over

As I was driving today in the predictable evening LA traffic, I realized just how many different types of cars there are on the road. In my family alone, we have a truck, two sedans, and two vans, all by different companies. All of this thinking brought a question to my mind:

What is the most popular car in America?

I tried to answer it myself as I was driving by counting a few different types and thinking about what types of cars that people I know own. I finally concluded that it was the Toyota Prius. They are hybrids, so they tend to be very fuel efficient and are a great smallish size, and I see so many of them on the road I didn’t even second guess myself.

But, after looking up the most popular car in America, it was quite a surprise to me to discover that the Ford F150 takes the title.

I mean, in my opinion, they are beautiful. I LOVE trucks. But, when purchasing my own car, I realized that they are not very sensible (especially for a teenager) and that they are not really necessary unless a person is hauling around things or towing trailers, like some businesses do.

It’s crazy to think that a huge gas-guzzling truck would be the most popular, especially with gas prices being so high. I have seen a lot of them on the road, but it still came as a big surprise to me.

Maybe it was just my wishful thinking that people would choose more fuel-efficient cars in order to start caring for the environment!