Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Why Meryl Streep's Golden Globes Speech is Important

I'm well aware my readers all hold diverse political stances and opinions so I want to premise this first and foremost by saying this is not a political post in the least and I would ask that you banish that idea from your mind, just because many media articles are lending themselves to the partisan-political aspect that could be seen in Mrs. Streep's acceptance speech. Also, apparently she offended those who are fans of football and mixed martial arts, so for the sake of this article I am of the belief that she wasn't targeting sports fans. I'm just a huge freedoms and arts-nerd and want to advocate for that. Okay, read on!

So some background on me and how I have any connection to these frivolous awards shows: I've been performing since I was eight years old and probably had the desire to do so before that. When my mom suggested I sign up for the Shakespeare play my school was during in third grade I jumped at the chance to play dress up with my friends and wave ribbons around. That's where it all started: waving some ribbons around, dressed as fairies for a Midsummer Night's Dream in a classroom at my elementary school with my peers. I am now a theatre major and have been performing for over a decade. I'd like to think I know a lot about my art because of my history in theatre, but in reality I have so much to learn and so far to go. But that's for another post...

“Take your broken heart, make it into art."

In Mrs. Streep's discussion about being an actor, she poignantly reminded us all--performers or not--what it is to be human. In her speech, Mrs. Streep stated that "An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like." This is something that I had the privilege of learning during my first semester at the school I transferred to. Acting is not imitating someone or trying to act. It is simply being yourself. Which sounds backwards--I know! But actors on screen, on stage, everywhere: all we aim is to breathe this human into ourselves and portray their story and their truth. We're all humans, we don't have to act human. We know what being angry or sad feels like, even if we haven't been in the character's exact position. That is exactly the challenge of acting.

Mrs. Streep went on to say how Tommy Lee Jones reminded her the privilege we get in being performers. She reminded us that in being performers we must be empathetic yet we all hold the "responsibility of the act of empathy." This is something that has been drilled into me by my coaches and teachers since that first show I was in. To portray another human being truthfully and authentically requires an amount of empathy that I don't believe non-actors have as full a grasp on in life.

That is why her speech is important.

So many are unaware of empathy at all. Empathy goes so much further than sympathy, it is truly putting yourself in the other person's shoes and it is how I try so hard to live my life. I understand what others are feeling and I feel that emotion myself daily in conversations with others. This world would be a much better place if we took the time to feel the feelings of others. We would be so much more kind, patient, and understanding. Next time you're feeling angry, annoyed, or frustrated at another human being remember that we are all humans and life is not simply about yourself. Remember what it means to be human and take the time to put yourself in the other's shoes. I promise you your life will be better for it.

In one of my favorite movies, Funny Face, Audrey Hepburn's character eloquently reminds us that "Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being's suffering. Not a career. Not wealth. Not intelligence. Certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we're going to survive with dignity."

Monday, January 2, 2017

You Guys...I'm Back! (And a Q&A)

Okay literally, I know I'm going to post this and people are going to have no idea who I am or what this blog is because I have been gone for so long. Honestly, life hit me like a truck. Not saying that this next semester is not going to be any less truck-like but I think I've finally got it together. I started this blog when I was still at a school I hated that wasn't challenging me and I had all the time in the world on my hands to write. Then I went to Italy and truly I did not have the time to be blogging at all, but I did because life was so exciting. Then I got to school. For those of you who don't know, I transferred schools and my new schools is amazing and wonderful and everything that I dreamed it would be and more. It is such a blessing in my life. That being said, I was suddenly challenged, I suddenly had to work after a full school year of having a ridiculous amount of free time. Exciting things were happening (but not necessarily Italy exciting) that I wanted to write about and update you all about yet I was exhausted all the time and busy practically every moment of the day. This next semester, I've signed up for a lot and I mean a lot, but I'm not new anymore. I have my feet on the ground and I'm ready to run. And, my YouTube channel should start looking a little more active in the weeks to come!

So I'm back! There's my long-story-short explanation. I loved sharing Italy with all of you and I really cannot wait to be back and share so many new adventures with you. I have so many posts drafted up and ready to go that I can't wait to write about but I thought this re-introducing myself post would be a good time to do a little Q&A tag. Even those who have read this blog for a while probably don't know these things about me so here we go!

1. What is your middle name?
McCabe, the maiden name of my grandmother on my dad's side!
2. What is your favorite color?
Lilac
3. Who was your first best friend?
The first one I remember is named Kate, I met her in kindergarten, but I think I also was best friends with a girl in pre-school named Krista. I'm still friends with them both today!
4. How tall are you?
5 foot 10 and a half by Disney's standards and 5 foot ten and 3/4 by my doctor's standards. Can you believe it? I'm a giant.
5. Cats or Dogs?
I've recently been converted to being a cat lover but STILL dogs all the way.
6. Funniest moment throughout school?
I've had so many great moments throughout all of my years of school and yet the only one that is coming to mind is when I dropped my entire tray of lunch in front of the entire dining hall so...
7. How many countries have you visited?
Eight! America, Canada, England, France, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Austria
8. Are you in/gone to college?
I am currently a second semester sophomore at Chapman University!
9. What was your favorite/worst subject in high school?
My favorite subject was my AP Government class (and I sorely wish I had taken APUSH) and my worst/least favorite subject was probably chemistry. I just never understood it.
10. What is your favorite drink?
Long Island Iced Teas😏
But seriously, honestly water. I am a water addict.
11. What is your favorite animal?
Chimpanzee
12. What is your favorite perfume?
Kate Spade Walk on Air or something from Victoria's Secret probably haha!
13. Tea or Coffee?
Both!
14. What would you (or have you) name your children?
For girls I love the names Charlotte, Chloe, Scout, Emmalee, Lucy, Angelica, Anastasia, and Olivia. For boys I love the names Derek, Jonas, Tom, Collin, Jake, Cory, Chris, Blake, and Marcus. I will also probably change my mind on these names a million times.
15. What Sports do you play/Have you played?
I used to play basketball and volleyball, I used to ski and figure skate (I still can just not often) and I used to do karate and I also dance.
16. What is your favorite book?
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
17. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?
Sarah Baska, bdoubleolive, Charles Gross, Tati, Natalie Tran (at communitychannel) KathleenLights, and Jackie Aina and I subscribe to soooo many more.
18. What is your favorite movie?
I love anything with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Descendants with George Clooney, Singin' in the Rain, anything with Audrey Hepburn, Interstellar, The Kings of Summer, Moulin Rouge, The Devil Wears Prada, anything Disney, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Don't make me pick.
19. Are you Single or Taken?
Taken
20. Whats your idea of an ideal first date?
Dinner and the beach
21. How many Girlfriends/Boyfriends have you had?
Officially one
22. Favorite memory from childhood?
Any holidays!
23. Do you speak any different languages and how well?
I speak Italian and French conversationally well and I am learning ASL.
24. Do you have any siblings?
Two younger brothers.
25. How would you describe your fashion sense?
When I'm not just wearing jeans and the t-shirt on top because I'm tired, modern/trendy prep? I wear lots of dresses and J Crew.
26. What is your favorite restaurant?
I love most restaurants, no favorites.
27. What are some of your favorite TV shows?
I love Game of Thrones more than anything, Breaking Bad, Grey's Anatomy, Glee, House of Cards, Scandal...
28. PC or Mac?
Mac
29. What phone do you have?
iPhone 6s
30. Tell us one of your bad habits!
Cracking my knuckles (and my elbows and toes and neck and knees and ankles and back and...)

So welcome (back) to my blog. Thank you for reading and I'm you're excited for what is to come!