Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Country Music Singers Have Always Been a Real Close Family

There's something that country music awards shows have that all other award shows do not: a sense of family.

Sure, there's generally plenty of love at awards shows: the losers love their fellow nominees (and if they don't they keep that private most of the time) and are happy for them (most of the time), the presenters love the performers, and the winners love everybody. But it doesn't feel like one giant family, like country music award shows do. The people who spend the year listening to the songs and watching the music videos may have their favourites, but they still love every one who steps unto that stage to collect an award. As someone once said about fan conventions (a whole 'nother post) and I paraphrase now: it's not an awards show, it's a goddamn family reunion.

First off, it's a little less formal than your average award show (at least any that aren't run by MTV). The men wear vests and ties, yes, but they're also wearing blue jeans. The ladies may wear full length gowns, but they're also just as likely to walk the red carpet in a cocktail dress. And look fabulous doing so I may add.
When the winner's name is announced and they make their way to the stage, there's few handshakes or those manly slaps on the back, no it's full-on hugs for everyone. And so often those acceptance speeches include their fellow nominees, not in the 'honor to be nominated alongside sense' (though there's that too), but thanking them for the duet they sang together which won earlier that night, or for believing in them when their career was just beginning.

Maybe it's just a Southern thing, but I could care less who takes home the shiny award since I'm a fan of everyone in country music (I've even come around to the Zac Brown Band again).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quick Update

Sorry, lovelies, but I have been NaNoing my head off (it's in the corner reading a book). The upside of that is that my word count (and strangely my novel) are coming along well. Downside is I've been neglecting this blog. Come December that wil change, but I thought I'd do a quick update anyway.

Job situation: Did an extras gig on Grimm, but nothing seasonal and/or part time yet. Still sending out applications and hoping.
Love life: Haha, you're funny if you think I have one.

There's a Kane concert in a week, so I'll see my friends then. I believe that is all. In case I don't see you, have a lovely Thanksgiving or as the British call it Thursday!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why I Wish I Was a Graffiti Artist

Well, to be honest, I'm jealous and impressed by all who can take the pictures in their heads and make it a reality. More power to them, seriously. Now, here I mean those who (for whatever reason) use the walls of industrial downtowns to express themselves and let the world know they were here. I do not mean those who leave gang signs. It is the former category that I wish I was a part of. I want a can of paint of a spray can to be my way of telling people about my world.

I want to do silly things, like add a B to the front of the Roadway trucks because I'm a theatre nerd. Or make references to country songs like writing 'Billy Bob loves Charlene' in John Deere Green letters three foot high on a water tower. But I also want to do meaningful things (at least to me) like inscribing the names of all the friends I've lost (count is up to nine at this point) somewhere people will see it and know the names of people who did such wonderful things and meant so much to me and mine.

Also, as a graffiti artist you can make lasting art on your own terms. You don't need to wait for a gallery showing or craft fair (or in my case being cast in something) to have a piece of you that is seen by hundreds (maybe thousands depending on where you are) of people or just a few that wander by, that's power. There's a magic in that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Don't Want Freddy and Jason; Give Me Vincent

I love horror movies. Love love LOVE them! But here's the thing; I'm not very good with gore. Sometimes I even have to turn away from episodes of House and Private Practice when they're cutting into people's heads or organs or...excuse me a minute.

Okay, better now. Back to the love of horror movies. I watch the classics. I don't mean the newer '70/'80s classics: Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween or Friday the 13th; I mean House on Haunted Hill and Invisible Ghost. I mean Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi. These are the killers that will kill you quiet and then go after your friends who don't even know you're dead because you were dissolved in an acid bath in the laboratory. I mean the killers who kill one person and then have to keep killing so that first murder isn't discovered. You know the guy who lives in the secluded castle on a hill? He scares me a good deal more than the guy wearing the hockey mask. Unless the guy in the castle is Dr. Frank-n-Furter, then I just wanna party with him.

I love and fear the men like Vincent Price who's very voice suggests he will have a nice tea after a long day's killing people and forming them into wax sculptures of historical figures. By the by, may I suggest you rent House of Wax? Not the newer Paris Hilton-version which I only watched for Jared Padalecki and his abs, but the Vincent Price one. You'll be able to sleep with the lights out, but you'll flinch at everyone in an artist smock for a month. You want a real scare that may not startle a scream out of you, but will haunt your dreams for weeks? Find a Bela Lugosi flick or a Lon Chaney Jr. movie. Did you know Little Shop of Horrors was originally an actual horror movie made in 1960 that was only later made a musical?

The best modern horror movies I can think of are the Paramornal Activity flicks. No buckets of gore, but see if you don't flinch at shadows afterwards. They freak you out in the theatre, sure all horror movies worth their salt do that, but then they stick with you. They get into your head and make your quiet house or apartment seem like it could be harboring angry spirits. You can run from a masked man wielding a chainsaw- and really, those things are very heavy, how fast can those guys really run?. But when your lights flicker and your heart starts beating a little faster or when a man's voice or smile is enough to send shivers down your spine, that's really being horrified.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Time Marches On (To the Beat of a Lady Gaga Song)

I have officially reached that age. Where not only are my friends who've been with their beloved since kindergarten are getting married and having babies, but so are my exes and my former crushes. *sigh* I'm still just under two months out from being twenty-three and I can count on one hand the friends who are NOT getting married, are engaged, or have reproduced. One hand. And the first person who says "Oh you're too young to worry about that" gets kicked. I'm not too young. But I am not looking at any of those options any time soon and I'm fine with that. This is not a poor me post, this is merely an expression of disbelief at how together my friends have it. Well done, you all.

Today's purchases.
Two dresses, three sweaters, and two pairs of trousers from ART's costume sale-$11
Pumpkin Scone and Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffin-$4
Holiday novelties, word search book, and double-stick tape at dollar store-$5
Parcheesi and a free weight to work my arms with-just under $7
Watching Jensen and Jared conduct a set tour on MTV's 10 on Top this morning-priceless

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wearing a Purple Shirt and Writing

Today being the National Day of Writing (we have one of those?) I thought I'd write a post. Sorry, everyone, that I've been MIA. Busy auditioning and working an unexpected work shift and socializing and getting violently ill. Also watching a lot of Tim Burton films. But you didn't need to know that. Anyway, I'll be doing a lot more writing come November (because blog posts count towards my 50,000 words and I am a competitive gal). NANO SOON! Spiced Apple Cider, soon to be mine!

Anyway, the purple shirt bit in the title wasn't just telling you what I'm wearing, but a movement called Spirit Day. Wearing a purple shirt on the day twitter tells you to wear a purple shirt shows your support for LGBT youth. Which I support, having been one once. The kids are still dying, people. That is NOT acceptable. Wear a purple shirt, smile encouragingly at others wearing purple shirts, let's let lawmakers know how many LGBT and allies there are. Let's get some change up in here. *totally NOT 'raising the roof'*

Monday, October 10, 2011

What Video Games Taught Me

1.Just when you think you're going to die, you'll find enough heart to keep going.

2.No matter how many times your loved ones are taken in by bad things, you should still try to rescue them.

3.Explore everything, because the best treasures are never out in the open.

4.That little voice over your shoulder may be shrill and annoying, but you need to listen to it if you want to do things right.

5.Every party requires dancing.

6.Even chubby guys can be heroes

7.Don't eat red and white mushrooms.

8.Just because it's in a treasure chest doesn't mean it's good.

9.The bosses get harder as you travel, but that's okay because you're getting stronger.

10.You find out who your real allies are when they're watching your back.

11.Sometimes you have to leave some things behind in order to be light enough to keep going.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sex is Never the Enemy

I don't believe in 'I've seen it all', especially as it relates to human sexual practices. I don't see how anyone can. The expression is used when you've seen something so far beyond your realm of experience, you couldn't imagine it if you weren't looking at it. Which is hyperbole anyway, but even if it's exactly true (tricky concept in itself), you've just seen the farthest side of human sexuality and imagination from you. There are countless points between these two disparate sides. No one, but no one, can see it all in the realm of sexuality.

Also, I highly recommend (if you're into discussion about sex and want to start seeing some of those different sides of it: http://sexisnottheenemy.tumblr.com/ )

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why I Think Kurt and Karofsky Should be Together

Don't get me wrong, I hated Karofsky for a long while there. Then he did the unexpected (because I wasn't in the habit of reading Glee spoilers at that time): one day, instead of punching Kurt, he kissed him. And with that one incredibly complicated act and the subsequent ones, he became not just a random jock with slushies, but an equally complicated character. Someone who, unlike Kurt, was running in circles that weren't going to accept him as who he really is.

Dave (because I'm using his first name since Kurt does too) has been shown in so many new lights since he kissed Kurt: someone who not only enjoys dancing, but is good at it; a scared kid beneath the tough guy exterior; a good student (seriously, even I didn't take Calculus 'cause it's hard). With the Bully Whips (bring back the beret!), he got to use his anger and frustration against actual bullies instead of someone who reminded him how life could be aka Kurt and his friends.

Also, can we give it up for Max Adler? In a show that takes over-dramatic to a new level (and entertainingly so, don't get me wrong), his subtle changes of expression give Dave Karofsky a quiet nuance. I refer the reader to the scene between Dave and Kurt outside the classroom in the episode 'Prom Queen'. Actually I just refer you to the whole of that episode. I feel like there should be an award for Best Acting in a Certain Episode of a Show You're Sorta In just so I could present it to Max (at which point I would dissolve into giggles and blush)

Now, the reason I think Dave and Kurt should be a couple. Let's take a look at Kurt's present boyfriend, Blaine *insert Pretty in Pink quote here*. I don't really have a problem with the character of Blaine in general. Although he does make some funny faces when he sings and dances, but if i can overlook it for John Mayer, I can do the same for Darren Criss who is a great singer. In a recent episode, Blaine was given the chance to audition for the male lead in the school musical: the role Kurt is also trying out for. I also refer to basically Kurt's entire tenure at Dalton, where Blaine sang the leads and Kurt did back-up. Therein lies my problem with this couple: they clash. Not vocally, they sing beautifully together. I mean, this is going to be a problem in their relationship (not a spoiler, just a well-educated guess). The fact they're both so damn talented that it will always be one or the other who gets the lead.

Enter Karofsky. He has not been shown to have any singing talent up to this point (though if you look up Max Alder singing "New York, New York" you will not be disappointed). If Kurt were to get with him, they wouldn't be competing. And I honestly think each boy would be good for the other. Dave would calm Kurt down a little bit, Kurt would let Dave shine a little more (more Karofsky dancing!). Now I know this is just one girl's opinion, but yeah, I really think Karofsky and Kurt should become a couple. (also they'd be superhot together!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Want A Man (or Woman) With a Slow Hand

"Forget about Sinatra and Coltrane/or some old Righteous Brothers song/hey, even Barry White ain't gonna work tonight/if you really want to turn her on"

Bless you, Brad Paisley, for putting into song lyrics what I have always known. None of that cliched romantic music for me, thank you. Give me not only some 'Old Alabama' but Ronnie Milsap and Conway Twitty. Newer artist Josh Turner, you're on this list too. If you really want to turn me on, give me the music I've known all my life. Those deep-voiced, sultry songs that can become a lovely blur in the background as the fun gets going are my go-to sexy songs.

Nothing makes me shiver like 'Feels So Right' or 'Let's Take the Long Way Around the World'. 'Slow Hand' and 'Let's Make Love' go without saying, am I right? And if I'm feeling more contemporary, Josh Turner's 'No Rush' and Garth Brooks' 'The Red Strokes' or 'Shameless' get me revved and raring to go. I am aware this list contains no ladies thus far. Let me amend that: Dusty Springfield's 'Son of a Preacher Man', Gretchen Wilson's 'I'd Love to Be Your Last', and Heidi Newfield's 'Johnny and June'.

Future suitors, please take note.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sorry/Grateful

The closing night of a show is always a strange thing. You've spent weeks (hopefully) backstage with your castmates (which I've determined is one word and bugger what grammar says), giggling, cracking inside jokes and marveling over the power and presence you each can bring to your roles on the nights you are really 'on'. I try to do closing night gifts, because I figure I've spent all this time with these people, I really ought to know enough of what they like that I can pick out something small that I know they will like. Last night's seemed to go over well, which made me happy.

I am one of those dorky people who really do prefer giving to receiving when it comes to presents. My favourite part of Chrismukhah (oh stick around, we'll get to that) is going shopping for people's presents. Yes, I do pick up the occasional thing for myself (Bath & Body Works is never safe from me in November/December) as well.

Anyway, back to the show. Cast parties, the biggest audience yet and smooth lighting and scene changes marked this last show for us. We filled in skipped lines and improvised when we felt the urge in our characters. Backstage we chatted about the cast party and what being actors is for each of us. I'm going to miss these people and only hope we make the effort to hang out or work together again.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Should Have Gone to Medical School

I went to the doctor today. He told me the pills were working (I knew), the dose seemed good (I knew), I could talk and eat again (sensing the pattern?) the MRI didn't show any tumors, or growths (I did not know and had not previously considered). It took more time to schedule the three month follow-up than for the appointment itself.

So worth the thirty dollar co-pay.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Open Letter to Eddie Izzard

Dear Eddie,

First off, I love you. Seriously. You're totally awesome and I feel you should be told. It's not just that your stand-up routines are hilarious or your dramatic television roles are brilliant, it's you. As a person. My twitter is regularly filled with marathons you're doing (fair play to you, I can barely make the trek to the farmer's market that is a whole half mile from my flat) and charities you're supporting. Not to mention the world events you link to. Which, as an American, is important. Our news channels tend to forget there's a world elsewhere, unless we're supposed to be deathly afraid of it.

So, I think we should totally get married and have babies and live happily ever after. I would have written a song about it, but I have no musical talent and @Molly23 already did that for Stephen Fry. Let me make the case for why you should marry me: I am young, have been told I'm pretty; I'm healthy and don't have a history of mental illness in the family (one generation or two isn't a history, is it?). I'm relatively clever and can hold my own in conversation at dinner parties. I'm not materialistic (except where books and movies are concerned) and would totally share my clothes with you. (Do you still have those cute heels from Dress To Kill? No reason, just a casual chat) I won't expect you to be funny all the time and will always tell you when your eyeliner is smudged.

Of course I don't expect you to marry me just off a blog post (though I'd be fine with it). So if you're ever in Portland, Oregon someday, give me a shout. Or you know, an actual message because while you won't attract strange looks in Portland by shouting 'Beth!' in the middle of downtown, there's a chance I won't hear you.

Love (and I mean it),
Beth Damiano

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Top 11 FIlms I Wish More People Would See

I have a very deep and very true love of indie films. This means I can get away with being clever by quoting films I know no one but me has seen (most of the time). But since I like other people to like what I like (*rereads that sentence*...uh, yeah), I'm always lending these movies out to people when I know they'll like them.

Check out any of these films, you will not be sorry.

1. Ten Inch Hero-my all-time favourite film ever. In turns, it's hilarious and heart-wrenching. It's clever without being gross and if nothing else, Jensen Ackles (of Supernatural fame) delivers a monologue about buying tampons while wearing a kilt. It's worth it just for that.

2. How To Rob A Bank-if you ask me who my favourite actor is, you're going to get an answer of "Nick Stahl" at an excited volume, complete with flailing arms. This is one of his lesser known (a feat for such an underrated actor) films, but it's wonderful. Also fantastic is Erika Christensen of Parenthood fame. It's got the perfect combo of action and clever dialogue. Great, great film.

3. Funny Face-Sure, everyone's seen Breakfast at Tiffany's and Sabrina, but this is the best (IMHO) Audrey Hepburn movie. For a start, she's opposite Fred Astaire and their whip-fast dialogue would give even newspaper editors a headache. I'd like to believe more people have seen it, but the number of blank looks I get when I mention it proves me wrong.

4. The Trip-better than Brokeback Mountain, but just as heart-breaking by the final frame. Happier ending than Brokeback and funnier by far. Riffs on the trends of the decades as we follow two lovers (Tommy and Alan) through their relationship and reunion.

5. Reflections in a Golden Eye-Liz Taylor at her shrewish best and Marlon Brando like you've never seen him. You will not be sorry.

6. Fired Up!-not as well known as Bring It On, but waaaaaaaay cuter.

7. My Best Friend Is a Vampire-Ickle Robert Sean Leonard (of House Fame) gets turned into a vampire and parties it up. No sparkling here and it's great '80s camp.

8. Open House-trust me, it's 'Fantabulous' and the songs will be in your head for days.

9. Peter's Friends-Name a great British actor. Yep, they're in this film. From the always great combo of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie to such quotability ('Do you have any Equal?' 'I am famous for having no equal.), this is a fantastic, wonderful film.

10. Little Voice-seriously sweet British film. Bonus points for young Ewan MacGregor.

11. The History Boys-an amazing play turned into an amazing film keeping all the original cast together, which is almost unheard of. Brings up a lot of discussion about the nature of education while still be clever and funny.

Top 11 Films it Shocks People I Haven't Seen

So I LOVE movies, I really do. But there are some that it still shocks people that I've skipped. Yes, yes, The Godfather is a classic; sorry, I don't like gangster films. All right, White Chicks is the funniest movie ever (to quote my college roommate), sorry, not my kind of humour. I had never seen The Wizard of Oz until last year and missed out on Sound of Music until I was twenty.

So here it is, in no particular order, be prepared to wonder how I can claim a love of cinema having missed this films.

1. The Godfather-all I know about this film, I know because of You've Got Mail.

2. The Godfather Part II-all I know about this film, I know because of Serendipity.

3. Singing In The Rain-collective gasp from all my musical theatre friends...there we go.

4. Knocked-Up, The Hangover, White Chicks, any number of hit 'comedies'-I just don't find these funny (from what little I've caught of them), not my sort of humour, I'm afraid.

5. Saving Private Ryan-Tom Hanks and Matt Damon and yet I still haven't seen it. Really dislike war movies.

6. Fame-don't love the 80s quite enough, I'm afraid

7. Captain America- Love Chris Evans though I do, I heard too many bad things about this.

8. X-Men: First Class- ditto, excepting Love James McAvoy though I do.

9. Footloose- this fact really disturbs some of my theatre friends. I don't know why.

10. Casablanca-what shocks people most is I have no earthly desire to watch this movie.

11. A Christmas Story-because I have literally no desire to. Literally no desire whatsoever. This fact shocked the daylights out of my friend Chelsea and thus I have added it to this list.

Friday, September 16, 2011

In Defense of Slytherin House

(because I'm the kind of person who not only cheated on every test to be placed in Slytherin, which I think qualifies me anyway, but actually cares enough to make this case)

Slytherin House gets a pretty bad rep. Personally, I blame He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for this. One bad apple spoiled the whole bunch for a little while, but I think we've got our own back. What does the Sorting Hat say about Slytherin? Does it say 'You must be this evil to ride'? No it does not. It says and I quote (because I can):

"Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends."

Cunning is the main word here. Not evil. Not meglomaniac. Not horrible hair or no nose. Cunning is the major qualification for Slytherin. And what's wrong with being cunning? This is like hating on Captain Kirk for changing the parameters of the Kobayashi Maru test (told you, serious geek here). In general, we may not be as wise as Ravenclaw, but we can find the back door to any solution. Sometimes even the side door.

I give you Draco Malfoy as an example. Now sure, you could love him just because he's really really really ridiculously good-looking (which, I learned at Dragon*Con, if you say to Tom Felton will earn you a laugh and humble 'I don't know about that'), but he's more than that. Take Half-Blood Prince. Draco's eluding Harry at every turn, always one step ahead. He's being cunning. While Harry's persistence in following Draco (don't get me started or we'll be here all day) is how he catches him because Draco's being (say it with me now) cunning. And no one can say Draco Malfoy is evil. Mean, yes. But actual evil? No way. He couldn't kill Dumbledore and let's not forget his clinging to Harry like a damsel in distress (seriously, don't get me started) in the final book because he's fighting against the Death Eaters. Oh, redemption.

Sure, some wackadoodle evil has come out of Slytherin, but this House has been around for hundreds of years and until Voldie, no one else was trying to take over the friggin' world. Hitler was a bastard, doesn't make all Germans before and since Nazis now does it?

So, I say, Slytherins let your green and silver flags fly! Smirk all you like, because while the Gryffindor's (which is hard to spell) are saving the day and the Ravenclaw's are making the grade and the Hufflepuff's are all singing "Kumbayah", we're the ones sneaking into the kitchen for extra pudding. And isn't that what it's all about?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(Almost) Everything I Know In Life I Learned From Labyrinth

1. Labyrinth is spelled L-A-B-Y-R-I-N-T-H and will impress the heck out of people when you can spell it at six years old.

2. Don't take things (including baby brothers) for granted.

3. Never say the phrase "This is a piece of cake".

4. The way forward is sometimes the way back.

5. Start your wishes with "I wish", less dramatic, but more effective.

6. The Bog of Eternal Stench: is what it says on the tin.

7. Fairies bite.

8. Always ask permission.

9. Don't take the brass ring out of the knocker's mouth or you'll have to find a way to get it back in.

10. Information is easily exchanged for baubles.

11. You remind me of the babe.

12. You're only allowed to throw your own head.

13. An oubliette is where you put people to forget about them.

14. One door leads to the castle, the other to certain death. One of the door guards always tells the truth, one always lies.

15. When things get wild, chilly down, chilly down with the wild things.

16. When you think things aren't fair, figure out what your basis for comparison is.

17. Forever is not long at all.

18. Be careful what kind of help you ask from The Helping Hands.

19. "You're mother is a fragging aardvark" is a great insult.

20. Don't listen to false alarms when you're on the right track.

21. Have a cup of tea with the worm who showed you the way.

22. Every now and then, for no reason at all, you need your friends.

23. Truth hurts like hell.

24. Before you start wishing things away, make sure the Goblin King isn't in love with you.

25. Be kind to owls. You never know who they might be.

26. Jim Henson is the patron saint of youth.

Theory 1A

So I don't know about you, but as I kid, I read a lot. I mean, a lot. I mean, so much so that I read every book of note in my school library by the time I graduated. Seriously, I was reading about dream interpretation and how to do claymation because I'd finished every novel in the joint.

As a kid I also watched a lot of movies and TV. I mean, I played board games and did jigsaws and had tea parties and read the aforementioned lots of books, but also movies and TV were heavily involved in my down time. (This is a theory as to why I became an actress) So, since I was an unpopular child, I had one best friend in the real world (Mary, who is still my best friend to this day) and dozens in make-believe worlds.

I listened to Sara Crewe's stories in her attic chamber, I tended The Secret Garden with Mary Lennox and Dickon, I contributed to The Pickwick Portfolio with the March sisters, I galloped across England on Black Beauty. I crossed a vast library with books for companions to get to the exit, I danced along with Fred and Ginger, I "wanted so much more" just like Belle, I was a part of Ariel's world, I traveled to Africa with Simba and to Arabia with Aladdin and Jasmine.

Add to those the friends I made in music (I was secretly Mandy Moore's sister and was totally going to marry Aaron Carter) and the lessons learned from the country radio station and you have my background pretty well mapped out. So, you're wondering, what the heck does this have to do with anything. Well, I just wanted to give you a brief overview before I start posting about how (Almost) Everything I Know In Life I Learned From Labyrinth or Adventures in Cooking Like Samantha from American Girls, so you'll be fully aware of what sort of things to expect from this blog.

We all ready?