30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 17

Prompt: Your highs and lows of this past year.

2010… A Good Year.

Okay, because I am constantly trying to be a more positive person, I am only going to hit the highlights of the last calendar year. In order of appearance (with a few “randoms” thrown in there at the end):

Visiting Chicago for the ITAs (Illinois Theatre Auditions). I traveled with Lindsay. It was cold (like Chicago is at the end of January/ beginning of February), but a lot of fun!

Fado's in Chicago. So good. Cute placemats, too.

Amazing dessert. I believe it was Guinness Chocolate Ice Cream and a wonderful Brownie.

Twelfth Night – Definitely one of the best theatre experiences of my career. A super fun cast (and lots of fun cast parties), and I got to play one of my dream roles: Maria.

Spring Break in Los Angeles. As soon as we landed, I knew that I wanted to move here. We stayed in a hotel a few blocks from Hollywood Blvd, so I was able to experience being a tourist in LA. We apartment-hunted for the majority of the time, and finally found our current home. It was a little stressful, and not the most typically fun Spring Break, but definitely memorable! It was truly wonderful and life-changing.

Santa Monica Pier

Louisiana Tech Stage Combat Workshop and Crawfish Boil. I cannot begin to explain how fun this trip was! Carpooling to LA with Matt, Tonia, Erin, Aja, Kyle, and Paul… too fun (yeah, I like long roadtrips with cool people)! Then, the weekend was full of all sorts of combat – bullwhip, scrappy fighting, knife fighting, swordplay, rolling over tables and couches, etc… and all with some of the best fight teachers (several of them Masters) in the US. I simultaneously felt like a beginner and a badass. I really didn’t want it to end. However, when the weekend was over, almost everyone at the conference met up for a huge crawfish boil – which included a knife throwing contest, because that’s how we stage combatants roll. True story.

Drive-Thru Daiquiris. Apparently, this is allowed in Louisiana, as long as you don't drink it in the car. They were delicious!

I was a Crawfish Newbie. No longer...

Practicing our fight for class in the hotel room.

Expertly throwing knives. Well, actually, I suck at it, but it was still fun!

Movement Show. I was so blessed to be able to work with so many motivated and talented students, all willing to give up their extremely limited free time to be in this show. Erin and I each choreographed three original movement pieces and presented them as part of our “final” for our Movement Independent Study with Tonia. Each piece was unique and so fun to create!

One of the posters for our show!

Directors: Erin and Me

Graduation. Theatre Graduation was sweet and touching, even though Lindsay and I didn’t cry (because we are Cylons – don’t tell anyone). OCU Graduation was long and tedious, but I suppose it was worth it… 🙂  Afterwards, I had a small reception, and a few awesome people stopped by, as well as several members of my family. It was really lovely to see everyone, some of them for the last time before I moved! So much love to all of you!

A quick snapshot in the hallway beforehand.

Moving to Los Angeles. It was a long, long drive. After several hold ups with our moving truck, we finally made it (as did our stuff, several days later). Fortunately, I had my mom and Delaney for the entire process, and my dad was able to make it later in the week. The whole thing was quite stressful, but so exciting! I am so unbelievably blessed.

Driving

Los Angeles finally shows up on the road signs...

Delaney hanging her head out the window to sniff the "fresh" LA air. Don't worry, we were parked.

Cookout with our families! Also, this picture just makes me giggle, for so many reasons.

Scott Pilgrim Video Game E3 Release Party. Mainly went for the free swag. Met some people. Interesting times, indeed.

Scott Pilgrim Swag

Los Angeles Film Festival (Part 1): Edgar Wright Saves the World. First time seeing Edgar Wright in person. JJ Abrams did the question-asking. Wright is so awesome. Seriously. Abrams is pretty darn cool, as well. It was a nice long Q&A with 9 minutes of Scott Pilgrim footage (freshly edited – we were the first to see it)! So cool. Also, Lindsay and I met BK and Jonathan at this event. So glad I met these two guys. 🙂

LA Film Festival Tickets!

When I was taking a picture of the giant crowd, I actually accidentally caught my new friends on camera. Jon pointed this out to me later. Funny.

Los Angeles Film Festival (Part 2): The Last Exorcism World Premiere. I love horror films. I basically force Lindsay to watch them with me. I think she is developing a taste for them, as well. The movie was pretty good, although I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. Saw most of the cast, as well as Eli Roth. Good times.

Los Angeles Film Festival (Part 3): Monsters at the Downtown Independent. It was my first time at this cute little theatre… and it was awesome. The film was great and the following Q&A with Gareth Edwards (the director) and Whitney Able (lead actress) was also awesome.

Q&A Session!

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Advanced Screening with Edgar Wright Q&A: Yeah, this was awesome. Had such a great time going with my other obsessed friends, watching the film (epic), listening to the Q&A afterwards, and talking about the movie and Q&A. Fun times. O, and I still went to a midnight screening of Scott Pilgrim…

Shopping for proper attire. Almost bought this shirt. Ended up going with the Sex Bob-Omb design instead.

Huge crowd. Yes, that is the line circling around in the background. Thank goodness Jon was able to save us spots at the front of the line.

Audrey came to visit me! It was so fun to be able to show her around Los Angeles and play tour guide. A few places that I took her to were: Santa Monica Pier & 3rd St. Promenade, Hollywood Blvd., Porto’s, Dino’s, Scoops, and The Encounter. O, and I also introduced her to BtVS. We had such a great time, and I really hope she can visit me again soon!

Old picture from a different CA adventure with Audrey. Apparently, this time around I was more focused on taking pictures of food. Whoops.

Scoops!

Drinks at The Encounter at LAX.

Shaun of the Dead Midnight Screening on Halloween. Really cool old theatre. Great company. Awesome film. Fun trivia (we knew all the answers, but had to let other people win) & prizes.

The Theatre.

Check out that ceiling!

Black Swan Advanced Screening. A couple of friends and I barely got into this screening/Q&A. I was just floored by the film. So good, so bizarre, so detailed. Loved it. The Q&A afterwards with the two head writers was also really incredible. That’s one of the things that I really love about LA: the opportunity to get to hear other artists’ stories.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I went with my parents and little sister. Words cannot describe how awesome this place is. My family nerded out big time. We also spent some time in the other parts of the park, as well as regular ol’ Universal. Very, very cool.

Hogwarts Castle

Hogsmeade Village

Hogwarts Express at night!

Butterbeer!

Delaney's Dark Mark.

We also have an obsession with Jurassic Park.

Christmas. I had an unconventionally fun Christmas. I got to see Audrey again when she picked me up at the airport in Oklahoma. Then, the next day I had my wisdom teeth taken out… bleh. Fortunately, it really wasn’t that bad. In fact, the day after, I was out doing farm chores (read: shoveling horse poo) with my family. Christmas day was wonderful. I love just hanging around the house with my family, just everyone spending time with each other. The day after, we drove to Kansas to see some extended family. Fun times. Then, we drove back to Oklahoma, and I got to spend a few more days hanging with my parents and Delaney before I attempted to pack up all my Christmas loot into a few suitcases. It didn’t work. Boxes were sent out later 🙂

 

Christmas in the country. Love.

A few other random things, though not in a particular order/time frame:

Red hair! Maybe it shouldn’t qualify as a highlight, but I finally had the balls nerve to highlight my hair another color besides blonde. It was exciting to me, okay?

Red hair - first time!

Second time!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My roommate and I finally finished the series. Good grief, it is good stuff. 🙂

Can't begin to tell you how many nights we had that involved Buffy or Angel and wine. Good mix.

Roommate fun. Accidentally dressing in the same outfits. Creating crazy themed presents. Getting snowed in the apartment and making a nerd-tastic video. We are awesome.

Matching

And again...

And again... See, told you this happens a lot.

Zombie-Themed Gift

Clowning Class. This was awesome. It was so fun creating my clown character. Of course, mine was a total nerd. What can I say? The clown is supposed to be an exaggeration of oneself. Of course, any class with Tonia is totally amazing…

Clown Friends!

Serious Clowns with our Clown Mama Tonia

Advanced Stage Combat. Another awesome course. Learned some Capoeira, Escrima, Martial Arts, and bettered my sword tricks and bullwhip skills.

Directing Class. I learned so much from this class and Hal. The discussions were incredible and (thankfully) unforgiving. It was nice not have the feedback candy-coated. I also loved directing my scenes and presenting them. Fortunately, I was able to work with some really talented actors. And, I gotta say, I love being able to put my own twist on moments. The best part is when I can help another actor achieve something that they didn’t realize was possible for them. Love.

On-Camera Class. Thanks to Tim, I realized that I wanted to give Los Angeles and film acting a shot. I totally fell in love with film acting during the course of this class. Tim also recommended my current film teacher/coach, Jay (who is equally awesome), which definitely made the whole LA transition less scary.

Film Projects. I had some really eye-opening experiences on-set last year, both good and… interesting. Not matter what, I always took something away from each project. For that, I am grateful. And I also made quite a few friends!

All in all, it was an excellent year! Thank you to everyone who made it wonderful!

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