Saturday, August 31, 2013

Improv Workshop for NIGHTMARE ON 13th!

Today I am teaching a workshop for Nightmare on 13th! This is seriously the best haunted house I've ever been involved with. This is because of 2 things. 1, the people there really care about you. Once you're in, you're part of a wonderful group of abnormal people, who come together to create something awesome. 2, the place. The creativity abounds here, and is what has kept me coming back. Seeing the new ideas and getting to be new and different characters and just having an outlet for all the dark creativity that flows through sometimes!

Here is part of the improv workshop. It's not everything, can't give away trade secrets! But it's some important stuff that anyone can and should know, especially if you're into acting or improv or haunted houses and especially all three! Hope you enjoy!


One of the best parts of the production that really stands out from the competition is when the public talks to our characters and our characters respond back and have a conversation with the customers as their character. In doing this, the customers feel like they are completely immersed in a different world and less like they are just in some haunted house. It makes you much more believable as a character and can amplify an audience's fears that you will actually do what you say you will. 

Small Exercise
-One of the first things you need to do before you can improv decently is shed your shell of shyness. Don’t ever be afraid to shake off that shell and show people your inner craziness! Nobody who works here cares how strange you are, in fact, the crazier you are the more we love you! We are all strange and weird here, which is why we all want to work at a haunted house. So be crazy! Run around and let it out! Seriously, go for it.

Something I’ve noticed a lot as I’ve been an actor is that people really don’t care what comes out of your mouth, as long as it’s something. Get your brain out of the way. You know how your mom says to think before you act? Well, improv is about placing yourself in the situation, as the character, and then just going nuts! Absolutely nuts. Don’t think, just act! What does your character say? Feel? Express? Why are they there? 

-Once you’ve shaken off the shyness, take a good long look at your character. Think about it as much as you can. Part of improv is making things up on the fly, but just as important is to do all the background preparation you can. The 5W’s help with your dialogue. (Yes, I realize the W in How is at the end, get over it.)

Who: Who are you? What’s your name? What’s your background story?

What: What are you? Are you a person? Demon? Adult? Kid? What is going on around you?
Where: Where are you? This includes location and even time frame, like most vampires are in the 18th century, that sort of thing.
Why: Why are you here? Is this your house? Why did you end up in this situation? 
How: How do you act? How do you walk, talk, what do you sound like?
Last is Motive. What do you want and how are you going to get it?

Always continue to ask yourself questions about your character and be creative with it. Never stop developing your character. Use your room, props, costume, makeup, everything you have to inform you about the character and then embellish it with movie lines or your imagination or other sources. Maybe a customer will ask you a question you've never thought of before and it’ll create a whole new side to your character.
If you can’t do anything else, figure out who the heck you are and why you’re there. You want to be able to answer someone when they ask, "Why are you stuck in a maze? Why is half your face melted off? Why are vines growing out of your skin?" Answer that and you’ll be golden.

The key to improv that anyone anywhere will tell you is Yes, AND. That means to take what someone gives you, whether it’s a stupid comment or whether they’re playing back to you, and running with it. You’ll get a lot of Junior high kids saying to you, “You look stupid.” Now the last thing you want to to is stop acting and say, “No I don’t!” Be your character. If you’re a clown then use it that way. Run after them singing, ‘stupid is as stupid does and I’m going to cut out your brains to make me smarter!! Bwahahaha!’ If you’re a gun shop owner, run with it that way. “Stupid? You call me stupid! I've got a gun here that says you’re ten times stupider than me for coming in here, I’m gonna show you!” and really go after em. If you’re a zombie or a monster, that’s even easier, (Turn, fix them with your good eye, and really harass the living daylights out of them)

That's it for now! Hopefully see you at the workshop, and if not, maybe next year! Peace!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Getting on with LIFE

Yesterday in one of my conversations with DAD, I was unceremoniously told that it was time to get a life.

SNOW ANGEL: Get a life? I have one, remember?

DAD: Yep, I gave it to you. But now it's time to stop playing around and move one.

SNOW ANGEL: ????????????

DAD: Go back to school like you've been talking about, get into PA school, and get a job so you quit complaining about the money situation.

I was all like, Excuse Me! I've been doing my best and working my butt off and it's not my fault I don't have enough money to go back to school, who was it that gave me the stubborn genes anyway? Oh right, YOU.

And, once the angry voices in my head calmed down, here's what I actually said.

SNOW ANGEL: Um, I don't know, I guess I could try.

DAD: Get on it, let me know how it's going by the end of the day. I expect some results! Love you!


Yes, Snow Angel's Dad is like this. Pushy and asking for results and not offering help. You could also say he was loving and empowering and wouldn't settle for a daughter who mopes about a bedroom at a 3rd rate job. This made me think though.

Am I living up to my full potential? What's keeping me back? Are the things that I think are obstacles really obstacles at all? (My smart-aleck brain replies, 'well if they ain't obstacles then they sure are a hell of a road-bump.) Maybe the obstacles are actually springboards? (Which still hurt like the dickens when you trip on them and skin your knees and hands and face and...) If so, why don't I go around them??? Ha, take that smart alecky brain!

I guess the reason I'm saying this is because by the end of the day, I had a path mapped out to complete the classes I needed to get into PA school, requirements of several PA schools lined up, and applications to two colleges in. Just like that. In the space of 4 hours I lined up a possibility for the next 3 years of my life (school, PA school, job, ect.)

So, what was holding me back? Fear. A smart-aleck brain that borders on depression occasionally. I don't mean this blog to be so self-reflective, it's just... what could I do if I wasn't holding back all the time? What could YOU do? Think about it.

A Kiss Backstage

A hug in the dark,
turns into a kiss.
Not just one, but two
then three.

Others were looking,
wondering what was going on
You didn't care,
you went for it.

In that moment I realized I loved you.
No filters, no barriers,
just you,
pure and without walls.

I'm already with someone else,
someone whom I've been trying hard with,
but the kiss showed me what could be,
excitement, fun, something different.

You've been there every week,
looking for me,
waiting for me,
asking how I was, what I was doing.

Why didn't I see that before,
It's too late now,
when you kissed me I ran.

I was scared of what it meant,
scared of the possibilities,
scared of changing my path,
but realizing slowly,

We're meant to be together.
I have to see this other thing out first.
See if he's interested,
as much as you seem to be.

I admire your patience,
the way you wait, take things slow,
just relax and let things flow
Will you wait for me?

Only time will tell,
if kisses in the dark,
stolen and surprised,
means what I think it does.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Most Important Thing in this Life

I once heard in General Conference that the most important things we will take from this life are our relationships with others. I don't remember where that quote is from exactly, but this has come to my attention time and time again over the last few weeks, and I wanted to expand on that a bit. 

The most important things in this life are our relationships with others. 

This has struck me again and again, is it really going to matter how much I worked or how successful I was. Will it even matter whether I finished all the levels of Candy Crush Saga? Not really, in fact, maybe not at all. What does matter are the people that we meet, live with, work with, play with, and choose to be around. 

Also apparently, to be Batman. When I was Googling my topic to see what else was out there, I typed "The most important thing in this life...." and Google completed it with " to be Batman." Gotta love the interwebs. 

Treasure your relationships, not your possessions. -Anthony J. D'Angelo

Why do you think so many movies and stories have been written with love in them? It's because relationships are the most interesting thing in the world, and love relationships top them all. Most of the relationships that involve love are given to us from birth, those are the ones of family. These are givens, at least hopefully they are, in a perfect world they would be. The second ones are those of platonic love, the people you choose to love that are your friends. Now these are interesting, but not as interesting as the relationships involving romantic love. These are relationships that begin in a myriad of ways and have just as many ways to end, but they have more of a spark, a fire, drama and intrigue than all other relationships. They are begun sometimes quite suddenly, and ended even more abruptly at times. 

In the end, love is all that matters. 

Why is this though? Why would someone take the time to pen the quote, In the end, all that matters is love. I think that's because it's true, I can't see clearly sometimes through the fog of life, but the one thing that stands out is how we treat others, our relationships with them, and the love we cherish and develop will be the one thing that stands the test of time, from this life to the next. 

The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing.  -Blaise Pascal

The heart does have its reasons, and if we tried to explain what makes us connect with other people, we would never get to the end of it. Love and our ability to connect with others and form relationships with them are what makes us human, what sets us apart on this world. 

As I go forward I want to work on connecting with more people, take the time to work on my relationships with others, and be the type of friend that I want to have. I'm still looking for that one special relationship, but I have a feeling it'll come when I'm not looking so hard. It's hard to admit to myself that I care so much about people, because often it feels like they don't care back, and I worry that this is the case with a lot of others.

I'm on the compassionate service committee in my ward, and as I've been reaching out to try and help girls, the amount of people who think they are alone and that no one cares is staggering. These are girls that have tried to make friends but feel that they still have no one, girls that feel shut out from the already existing friendships in the ward. I wish we could see, in color, how people feel, because I think we'd be shocked at how many people feel the same way that we do. The relationships we develop are so important, and if you take the plunge and reach out to someone else, you never know how that may affect them in the long run.

Just, take the time to work on your relationships. You never know which ones you will come to treasure, to need, and to cherish.

Why Is It SO Hard To Get Ahead in Life?

I see something really interesting happening with my current generation of college-going or just-graduated college peeps. Little by little, we are dividing into 3 categories.

1. Moving forward, on, and up with life.
2. Immobile, staying the same
3. Taking gradual steps backwards.

By far and large, way too many people are on levels 2 or 3, very few are on level 1. I'm not really sure why this is, but that's the truth of it.

I'd like to think I'm on level 1, but in reality, I'm probably on level 3 with sporadic forays into level 2 or 3. Moving forward is really hard in life, and usually requires money and stuff. A lot of times hard work isn't even enough to really get ahead with life, which is pretty sucky when you think about it.

So where are you? Moving ahead, staying the same, or moving backwards. Think about it, change it, get out and live life.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Random Questions

Random questions:

When is it appropriate to text someone you really like? All the time? If you happen to think of something clever? Never? Wait for them to text you first?

If I ceased to exist, would my best friends meet and become best friends with each other instead?

What is the absolute inverse of having -$19 in your bank account?

How many nickels does it take to reach the moon?

Is it appropriate to randomly call your married siblings and scream, "Haha, SUCKA!" into the phone?

How many hours of tv does it take before your brain starts turning into grape jelly?

When do pieces of you cease to be part of you? Like, fingernails? Bits of hair? Voodoo dolls say those are still bits of you forever, but you don't feel or control those parts anymore. If you lose a whole limb you can't control it anymore, so is that technically a part of you?

Do you think it'll be possible in the future to put your head on a robot body and still function? Or do you need the heart and a few other organs to really BE you? (I'm guessing you still need some other key parts, like your endorphin gland and some other stuff to really feel like you, otherwise you just feel dead or whatever.)

If you stacked up all the books you've ever read, how far would that reach?

What is the point of condensing every bit of information into little data bits that are then stored on servers and then destroying original paper bits of information if all our fears point to the server system eventually being destroyed by a zombie apocalypse or something?

Why do people read romance novels? I mean seriously, I'm a girl and still can't figure it out.

What do you feel is having a true human connection with someone? What does that even mean?

Feel free to answer any of these that strike your fancy, and good luck. I'm still trying to figure it all out.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inverse Happiness

I saw someone smile today,
They looked happy to me.
Something nice had gone their way,
And things were good you see.

That made me mad, 'Oh Why!' I cried.
"Why is my life always bad,
and their life better than mine?"

Inverse happiness,
is like that you see;
When others achieve greatness,
It makes you angry.

When an ex finds a lover,
Or a friend a new job;
You want to have them over,
and grenades at them lob.

This doesn't make sense though,
It just isn't right;
To be feel really low,
when someone else is bright.

Is your ex supposed to,
be forever alone?
No one to talk to,
No one to be at home?

And what if no one,
ever got a new job?
We'd all be poor,
running like an angry mob.

Be happy for others,
when they happiness find.
Smile for your brother,
Tell your ex you don't mind.

Someday soon,
It'll come your way.
A blessing, a boon,
Like chardonnay.

The tables will turn cruelly
And all your friends can be mad at you
When you show off new jewelry,
they just might sneer at you.

So be happy for others,
tell them you don't mind.
Keep happiness going round,
when it's your turn to shine.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Randomest Date Ever

So I went on a date the other day. I tend to go on those occasionally, especially considering that I do some of the asking. This date turned out to be one of the more exciting and unusual ones I've been on for awhile, so I thought I'd relate the particular occasion.

My date on this particular occasion was a guy I've known for some time, who happens to be a snappy dresser with a flair for detail, tending towards 1920's. You know, a red belt here, fingerless gloves there, suit jacket with an asymmetrical seam to set it apart from the others, that sort of thing. I promise this plays into the story. So my date, let's call him Snappy 1920's Man, showed up wearing a black button-up shirt, dark semi-skinny jeans, and a red punk belt with black sneakers. He looked pretty awesome, not gonna lie.

We went to a scary movie because despite the angelic features of Snow Angel, she does tend towards the dark and gruesome on occasion. The movie was excellent, as was the reactions of the audience and Snow Angel's date (Yup, gonna be in third person, deal with it :) and afterwards it was still early enough that we weren't quite ready go home. So, my date turns to me and asks;

SNAPPY 1920's MAN: So, you know that really creepy staircase in the movie?


SNAPPY 1920's MAN: I know a place that's got a staircase that's at least 3 times as creepy as that one.

SNOW ANGEL: Oh really? Is this place hypothetical or real?

SNAPPY 1920's MAN: Oh it's real, it's out back of my best friend's house in this awesome old barn I used to play in all the time.


SNAPPY 1920's MAN: Do you want to see it?

SNOW ANGEL: ...Uh, yeah!

And off we go to find this old barn with the presumably creepy staircase. This date has suddenly taken the most interesting turn of pretty much any date that I have ever been on. That's saying something, because in the last summer I've been taken to a trampoline park, ziplining, and a few pretty crazy concerts. Some part of my brain was wondering at how intelligent I was being to agree to go to a deserted old barn in practically the middle of the night for a first date, but the adventurous side was like Cool! Let's do it! Woot!

Upon arrival at the path to the old barn (whose location shall remain secret), 1920's Man decided that Snow Angel needed a piggy back ride into the barn to save her shoes, which were flimsy lace flats, not at all appropriate for exploring an old barn at night. He gallantly carried me through the high grass and then, seemingly in a clearing, set me down.

SNAPPY 1920's MAN: We're here.

SNOW ANGEL: Here? Is this the barn?

SNAPPY 1920's MAN: Oh yeah, it's just dark (turns on a flashlight, revealing a huge old 1800's barn that has suddenly materialized around us.)

SNOW ANGEL: Whoa! This is awesome!

SNAPPY 1920's MAN: Watch out for the holes in the floor, I've put my foot through it a few times. (Points out two smaller holes that are approximately foot-sized)

SNOW ANGEL: ...Okay.

We poke around for a bit, looking at hay and owl droppings and holes in the ceiling, probably the coolest and creepiest place I've ever seen. The wind rubbed the tree branches against the roof making the neatest creaking sounds I've ever heard. I'd use this place for recording sound bites for a scary movie if I ever choose to make one.

My brain had kind of deserted me at that point. After midnight my conversation either becomes honest to the point of bluntness or even rudeness, or stops working altogether. At this point it was supplying comments such as, 'This place is so awesome!' or 'Did you ever spend the night here?'... Most intelligent comments ever spoken on a date, I know. So, what happened next completely discombobulated me.

SNAPPY 1920's MAN: Want to go see the staircase now?


*Enormous cracking and creaking sound erupts from the floor*

SNAPPY 1920's MAN: *Plummets through floor*

SNOW ANGEL: Whaaa!?!?!?

Luckily my date did not fall completely through, thus sparing me from having to call 911. We did finish the date without further mishap, although I did receive this humorous text from him after getting dropped off at home.

TEXT: Sad day, get home, get ready to clean my pants and the Entire crotch is ripped haha.. Buh bye pants

I practically woke the house up laughing, and that finished off the best/most adventurous/scary date ever.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Torture We Enjoy

Li fe is hard, no doubt about it. recently I've been thinking to myself, and I've discovered a thinking fallacy in my brain. I think this occurs quite often with many of us. This fallacy goes something to the effect of, 'If (______) happens, then my life will be easy/easier. See if you recognize any of these.

Oh if I can just finish this semester then life will be easy.
If I can just get a boyfriend/girlfriend then life will be easy.
If I can just lose X amount of weight then life will be easy.
If I can just get a good job life will be easy.
If I can just get a different job then life will be easy.
If, if, if, if, if......then life with be easy.
And here's a picture of a hiking trail in Mt Rainier, just because.

Sound familiar? Of course it does, that's what life's about.

I'm here to tell you something though. Brace yourselves. Truth of the matter is, life doesn't get easier. It can harder or easier in increments (or way harder if you do something monumentally stupid like drugs or crash your car or start another semester at school, you know, usual stuff) But it doesn't get easier.

We simply find a form of torture that we enjoy, and we stick with it. We fill our lives with all these little tortures, which hopefully we enjoy and then we call that good. Think about it.