Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Broken Hearted Girl

The Beyonce music video I worked on in LA has been released! Check it out:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Last Monday, May 18th, I graduated from Emerson College Magna Cum Laude, Gold Key Honors Society, Honors Student, with a BA in Film Production. My mom, dad, sister, and SURPRISE GUEST my brother Mike (who flew in from the Ukraine) all were there to celebrate with me! It was a great great weekend, even though we were all sick and the weather was COLD the day of graduation. So much wonderful food and friends and family. Great great great.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Movies I Can't Wait For This Summer

I love movies. So much. And there are some I am just so excited for I could pee my pants.
Here are a few in release date order:

"Away We Go." Directed by Sam Mendes. Release dates throughout June.

"Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince." Most anticipated movie of the year. July 15th.

"(500) Days Of Summer." I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait. July 17th.

"Where The Wild Things Are." I wish this was sooner! October 16th.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Road Trip Part Deux, a brief recap

We did indeed wake up to go look at the Great Salt Lake but it was far from great: about a half mile of salty muck and garbage filled the marshy banks and we could see the choppy water a ways out. It smelled preeeetty disgusting. So broken umbrella in hand we raced back to the car.

And it proceeded to rain. All. fucking. day.

We actually couldn't stop anywhere to explore (not that there was much in Utah, Wyoming, and Nebraska) but we love nature preserves and state parks. And we didn't want to get out in the rain, mud, and cold. So we drove drove drove through the disappointing Cheyenne onwards to stay in Grand Island, Nebraska while listening the whole way to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on CD.

Side note about HP on CD: I was really looking forward to listening and overall would give the series a three star rating. I liked the narrators voice and was impressed that he did voices for each character -- but he often got their inflections and meanings incorrect. I don't know if that's too nitpicky, but when you're listening and he just says everything Hermionie says in the same whiny voice no matter what her inflection is... it is a tad disappointing.

We were surprised by the small town quaintness of Lincoln, Nebraska on our third day of driving, when the sun was bright and shining. I slept most of Nebraska and didn't even see Omaha and woke up about 50 miles west of Des Moines. We had a great late lunch with my friends Loc and Robbie in Iowa City where they both attend school - it was awesome to see them and stretch our legs.

My favorite part of the road trip (with the exception of the Redwoods) surprisingly was our drive up Route 2 in Illinois, the last fifty minute drive up to my house. You pass through several small tiny towns (Dixon, Byron, the Blackhawk statue) and really get to see the hidden countryside of northern Illinois along the river. It was beautiful to end the trip with and it just flooded me with all of the reasons I miss Illinois when I leave. When I think of Illinois in the summer I think of strawberries and fresh cut grass and so far there has been a lot of that.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Way Home

Perhaps I'll find more time to post and recap my last few weeks and thoughts in Los Angeles soon - but just thought I would quickly update that I have officially LEFT the West Coast ... for now.

My dad flew into LA on tuesday night to pack my stuff up and have a fantastic dinner at his favorite restaurant Las Brisas in Laguna with my charming cousin Lin and my uncle Rich before we skipped town.

Thursday we headed up to Santa Cruz for my poetry feature there and it was great to be out of the city and to see some smiling familiar faces. The show went well and I was especially pleased to discover my favorite SC poet Jack has a chapbook and was eager to trade product. Success!

This morning my dad and I hugged some incredible Redwood trees at the forest preserve before setting out on our cross country journey. We just hauled it and stopped for a quick break at CIRCUS CIRCUSSSSS in Reno. Video games and crab cakes transpired (I am forever scared of buffets and refused to allow any consumption of the multiple casino buffets to occur). The drive was really beautiful and we went through all sorts of weather and landscapes -- purple mountains, red mountains, black skies, rolling greens hills! It was great. We're in Salt Lake City for the night and will hopefully see the Great Salt Lake tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I just had my last college class... ever... tonight. It was a really strange feeling and a pretty strange day.
I had a wonderful lunch with a friend from The Poetry Lounge at this cool Thai place on Sunset called "Toi" which has an awesome rock n roll vibe inside (beatles music and Wizard of Oz playing on old TV sets and Pulp Fiction posters) with an extensive Thai menu.
As I was more interested in a long lunch than my final paper, I was still typing it up a minute before class began, didn't proof read it until in class, and when I noticed I had forgotten to cite four of my sources, just wrote them down in pen on my works cited page.
At least there was a works cited page, right?
I don't think this last college class thing will sink in for a while - I kind of don't want to process it- because I really like college. But I'm sure graduation will be a big slap in the face.

To celebrate (?) the night I'll leave you with two videos. The first is the newest Bat For Lashes single "Daniel" off her new album. I've been listening non stop to her first album in my car lately.

I've been really interested in music video concepts and presentations recently as I just did my final project for my internship on a music video treatment for The National's 'Fake Empire.' Anyway- one of the directors from my internship directed Coldplay's "The Scientist" video, which was the first of its kind, utilizing the backwards storytelling and requiring lead singer Chris Martin to actually learn how to sing the song backwards.

Monday, April 6, 2009

San Francisco

This weekend my friends Rose and Kim escaped with me to San Francisco for the most perfect weekend. It was exactly what each of us needed and I am so grateful to have experienced it.

First of all, I'm in love with San Francisco. I needed to experience a city that felt alive and it was brimming with people and bikes and parks and ocean and beauty. I was completely captivated and spent so much beautiful time alone wandering and exploring and falling asleep in random parks. I felt so very much at peace finally in California and it was such a relief. I have been spending all of this time feeling so displaced in Los Angeles - the sidewalks are so dead here. It feels so empty to me. I needed an escape for a while, a reminder about a lot of things, and this was it. Thank you San Francisco.

Secondly, I got to spend time with some wonderful Berkley and Santa Cruz poets from Cupsi and I was surprised by how much I needed to spend time with them. It was like this delightful force just pulling us on this conversation and allowing us t share poems, and I had a really great time.

Lastly, I am surprised by how little time I have left in California. I have a lot to figure out before I leave and at the same time I don't want to figure it out because it means that College is over. I am ready to be with friends in Boston this summer but not ready to graduate. It's such a confusing and conflicting need and desire.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Civil Rights: Iowa Passes Same-Sex Marriage!

Great news this morning -- Iowa has become the third state in the US to pass same-sex marriage after Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously passed the decision, stating that "the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution." This is just another step in the right direction and I am so happy this has happened. After the Prop 8 decision in California back in November, it felt like a cloud was hanging over the issue of same-sex marriage and I am glad that people throughout the nation are taking steps toward equal rights.

You can read more about the decision on CNN's website here:

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I thought I had posted about this but maybe not...

You can now purchase my album (and REVIEW it) on iTunes! Which is super cool and fun. You can just type my name in the search bar and it comes up. And that's just a sweet things to have happen. Check it out.

In other poetry news --

I was able to do a poetry show recently with a bunch of other L.A. poets at UC North Ridge. It was a lot of fun to hear so many adult poets read after being at Cupsi and to really just relax and listen. I also got paid an awesome $250 to read two poems to a crowd of like 40 people. As I'm super poor this was excellent and much appreciated. But I hope I'm able to keep in touch with some of the poets out here over time because I've enjoyed getting to know people and hear their work.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Open Letter To The Last Person I Will Ever Love

College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Recap!

This past week has simply been a blur and I cannot believe it's already come and gone. The 2009 Emerson College Slam Team- better known as The /B/ Team- had an incredible time in Philadelphia this past weekend competeing, sharing, and getting to know fellow poets. We made it to Finals Stage after an unbelievable Semi Finals round and placed FOURTH in the nation.

Here's a recap of events:

Monday: I flew into Boston to discover that snow does still exist and practiced with team for a good four or five hours.

Tuesday: Practice at Max's lasted THIRTEEN hours and we had some beautiful team bonding moments. Between the change in weather, the flight, and the long practice my throat gave out and I was on the verge of getting sick.

Wednesday: Everyone exhausted and feeling a little under the weather we held a slightly easier practice for a couple of hours before meeting up with Simone Beaubien for last minute feedback and practice and a last night at The Cantab.

Thursday: Bus ride at 7:30am with a switch in NYC, the whole team passed out and woke up groggy but excited in Philly. My throat was killing me. We made it to the hotel, checked in, got more excited, ran some pieces and showed up for our first preliminary bout at 9pm. We went up against Sam Houston University, Standford University, and Montclair State. There were barely enough judges and a cold room so we threw up "Elbows" in the first round, Carlos and Max's awesome duet in the second, George with a perfect "S is For Lisp" in the third, and closed out with Los's new piece "Nice Things." We edged out Standford for the win by .2 points!!! Los and Max's duet took the one for the scores for the night.

Friday: Los, Max, George, and I shared a room and slept in. I was sick so I took my time getting ready for the day and we run our pieces a couple hours before we go to compete. We went up against UC Santa Cruz, Niagra University, and Western Wyoming Community College. We know we have to take first or second in our bout to go on to Semi Finals and Santa Cruz is going to be tough competition. We start off strong with Max's "Ode To Heavy Metal," followed by George's "Lonely Hearts Club," Peter's "No Records", and me with "Carbureturs." The surprizzze of the night is our rookie Peter scoring with his persona piece "No Records" and taking the one in the bout! We took second place by just a few decimal points and spent the rest of the night trying to calculate if we were for sure in Semi Finals. After a terrifyingly long Coach's Slam/5th Wheel Slam causing me to debate whether or not I still liked poetry - we found out our Semi Finals round would include the following: University of Pennisylvania, UC Santa Cruz, SUNY New Paltz, and University of New Mexico. Tough competition but we were pumped!!

Saturday: After staying up until six in the morning, we slept in as long as we could before our Semis bout and then practiced the shit out of our stuff. We drew the B slot! What karma! This meant that we would be closing out the Semi-Finals bout and would follow the home team UPenn in every round. I was so nervous I went to the bathroom four times during the bout. Max went up first with "John Henry" and matched UPenn's powerful two person piece score. We then sent up Max and George's awesome Hip Hop/Metal duet - but it didn't get the crowd or score reaction we were expecting despite an awesome performance and I was legitimately worried about our possibilities of moving on to Finals. I was so excited to have already made it to Semis in such good company, but the scores were wicked close: everyone was within decimal points of each other. I went up in the third round with my piece "Shutter Dove" and gave a performance I was proud of. It's one of my most personal pieces and when I got off stage my friend Claire hugged me and I just burst into tears. Everything I had been feeling about that poem just exploded out of me and I was sobbing. The scores were good but not high enough to put us in the lead - we were tied with University of New Mexico and .1 away from UPenn. We had to get over a 29.2 to make it into Finals when we threw up Carlos with "Wet Paint". His performance was incredible (including a pick up and drop of the mic stand with the last line of the poem) - I have never been prouder of the kid. He killed it so hard we got a 29.4 and our ticket into Finals taking second place in Semis to UPenn. SO COOL.

Finals: We had a two hour break between Semis and Finals and we were fucking exhausted. We went to a tea house to discuss what was going to happen for Finals. The team was divided on whether George would perform on Finals or Peter. It went back and forth and the conversation was awkward but I have never been more awed by someone than I was by George. He selflessly and happily gave his turn on Finals stage to Peter against the team's vote, stating that he loved this team and that he had had these kinds of opportunities before and this felt correct.

Awards were given out on Finals before the bout - and Carlos was named "Best Male Poet" and Peter received "Best Persona Poem" which was awesome.

We drew the A slot and completely 100% went into the room with the knowledge that we had already won. We had such an incredible time - it was honestly one of the most relaxing experiences I have ever had at a poetry event because we just cheered everyone on and enjoyed everyone's poems and there was no pressure - we just had this huge bonus of getting to perform in front of everyone. One thing we were really proud of was that we didn't repeat any of our poems. Not a single one in the four bouts that we had in the four days we were there. We showcased ourselves and Boston and Emerson to the best of our ability.

Los went up first with "10 Parts"- simply stating that it was honor to kick everything off and plowing through one of the most energetic performances he has ever given of the poem. Max went up in the second round with "To Young Lovers" one of my favorites of his new pieces and had every girl in that room sigh in unison. Peter went up third with his poem "Philip" which is really personal for him and performed so well. The night could not have been more perfect as Los opened the Slam and I got the opportunity to close the entire shabang. Ben from UPenn went right before me and got a perfect 30 (actually a perfect 50) and the crowd went wild as they knew UPenn had just won. Big Poppa E quieted everyone down and said "We have one more poet in this Slam who still has the chance to come pour their heart out on this stage. Emerson who you sending up?"

Walking up to that stage was one of the most perfect moments, hugging everyone on the way and just being in a complete and utter state of euphoria. I wanted NOTHING more than to go to CUPSI and share "Open Letter To The Last Person I Will Ever Love" and that is exactly what I got to do. I got to proclaim how I will fall in love and it is possibly the best moment of my life. It was so pure and so simple and so beautiful and I was so unbelievably happy to share that moment with everyone in that room, especially my teammates.

Monday, March 16, 2009

IndieFeed featuring Elbows

Before I even attempt to blog about the amazing time I just had at CUPSI - please check out my segment on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel. It just went up at:

and features "Elbows" as well as a big plug for The Gringo Choir. It's just super cool to have happened especially in light of this past week.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Let's Go To The Zoo...

This past weekend my R.A. partner in crime and friend Brendan and I went on an adventure. We first took a quick trip to the Oscar Nominated Costume Exhibit at the Fashion Institute downtown. The highlights were when Brendan secretly touched Heath Ledger's Joker costume and whispered "I just touched a dead man's clothes" and my discovery of my favorite 2008 film "The Fall" having their costumes on exhibit.

We then ventured to something I've been dying to go explore: The Griffith Park Abandoned Zoo. The Zoo closed in the 1960s after facilities weren't holding up (animals had escaped) and they decided to just move up the road to build a new zoo. The abandoned buildings were creepy and awesome and we climbed inside every old cobwebbed cage we could find:

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Birthday Month

Above Photos: My favorite bookstore in downtown Burbank; Laser Tag birthday crew; The crazies who follow me around; Mamusia comes to L.A! Yay!!; The Academy Award nominated Production Designer and Set Decorator for The Dark Knight; Right Booby and Left Booby; Family trip to Laguna Beach!; I was the only one who ran into the waves; Afternoon at Venice Beach reading Calvin and Hobbes.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Gotta Getty

Above photos from top: Free trip to the Getty Center!; The most disappointing thing about the Getty Center Art Museum is it's Art Collection - this was one of the few pieces that I truly enjoyed; Overlooking Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean; My fellow RAs Rachel and Brendan; The architecture of the Getty Center is what actually attracts the crowds and it IS beautiful.

Tabloids: Beyonce and Me

I'd like to think that I didn't make too big of a deal out of this - which is why I didn't go splashing it all over the internet and blog about it earlier. But today I was informed that the above photo was in all of the tabloids. Take a minute. You might have trouble looking away from Beyonce and at my butt - but there I am.

I worked on Beyonce's most recent music video shoot a week ago and it was by far in my top two Californian days since my arrival. It was a perfect 67 degrees and sunny in Malibu that day and dolphins, Beyonce, and the paparazzi were out. It was an incredible experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity, especially since I got to assist the art department on set.

What was great about working with the art department was that I didn't have to work as a P.A. the entire time: I instead was able to help build the set, hand roses to Beyonce, clean the car she pretended to drive in the video, and ask the wonderful guys I was working for a million questions about working professionally in the art department.

In the above photo I am chasing Beyonce and the camera crew down the beach with a handful of roses, waiting to hand them off to Beyonce.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Barefoot Whale Riders

My CD is now available to be purchased online which is awesome news! You can check it out, buy a copy, and post a review here:

In other news, I will be a featured poet on an online performance poetry radio channel the week of March 16th. You can check out the website and the wealth of other spoken word artists here:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Last Of The Mohicans

Last Of The Mohicans is one of my family's favorite movies - we've been watching it for years and I remember being confused as a small child when I was asked to leave the room when Hawkeye and Cora got a little tooooo friendly. Mmmm dreamy Daniel-Day Lewis...

I recently bought the book in a fantastic used book store to satisfy a desperate need for new and challenging reading material. I'm about forty pages in and the book is getting really good. The first few chapters were difficult to power through but I did and the pages are falling out. The copy of the book is faded and torn and very loose and the smell of the book seems to be making it more enjoyable to read. I'm considering just tearing out pages as I get through them as so many have already jumped ship...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Faces Of Us

My friend Brendan who is an R.A. with me here in L.A. started a blog
around the time we got out here called "Faces Of Us." It's a photo campaign that aims to bring awareness for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights to the National spotlight. The blog has been steadily growing over the past two months and has caused people from all over the nation to pen their own sign, snap a photo, and send it in to be published on the blog. It's been really inspiring to see the amount of support the blog has gotten and interesting to see the conversations that have sparked over certain photos and signs. It's strange to have spent the past four years in such an LGBT-friendly environment at Emerson and to truly see with Prop 8 that the majority of this country doesn't want to recognize gay rights. I think Faces Of Us is a great way for people to have their voices and opinions heard and allows the message of equality to really personalize what we should be fighting for.

You can check out the blog and submit your own photo at:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Birthday: How to turn 22 in a new city

I love birthdays. You may think that you love birthdays too, but nothing makes me happier than making someone else's birthday totally awesome. So my birthday is really important and I was worried that since I would have to plan everything myself it wouldn't be as fun.

I was wrong.

I had the best day since being in California even though I had to work part of the day. I was simply in the best mood. I woke up late, found an incredible used book store in Burbank, bought a top at Urban Outfitters with a gift card, ate some french fries and frozen yogurt, and went to work at Emerson's LA center. My friend Brendan covered the first few hours of my shift so I worked the afternoon/evening and then...we went to laser tag.

Let me explain something: I happen to be a master of laser tag. This is in part because of the excellent facilities in Rockford, IL and the countless birthday parties I attended there and partly because I'm just awesome.

I ANNIHILATED everyone in both games. And it was awesome.

We got food after laser tag and hung out at my apartment watching the Princess Bride and eating homemade cake and cookies (courtesy my cousin Lindsay) and delicious banana cream pie (my favorite!). I haven't laughed so much since coming to L.A.

Such a perfect day.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

San Diego!

Above Photos: Welcome to San Diego's Balboa Park; I made Ilya and Jake climb this mosaic lizard thing and Ilya checked Jake out; Ilya at the beach; Jake getting ready to run into the water; Me at the beach; Walking around the town of Coronado on the island in the San Diego harbor; Leaving Coronado; Ilya and Jake get rowdy after Mexican food.

Californian Dreaming

Above Photos: Santa Monica Beach; I sat in the shade so as to avoid burning... I am white; Manuel! Max was visiting L.A. so we sat in the shade together; Orange County; My trip to the Los Angeles Zoo!

Friday, February 6, 2009


One great thing happened today:

I got accepted on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel which is going to feature "Elbows" on a segment and it'll be great to have that to my name and I'm totally excited.

One lame thing happened as well:

I got an offer to feature at a poetry festival here in LA and I had to turn it down cause it's during College Nationals in Philadelphia. The woman who called me was so bummed but probably not as bummed as me. ALL I'M SAYING IS WE BETTER DO REALLY GOOD.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

If only I were a CeleBRITNEY... oh well, close enough!

Tonight I had my first experience at In and Out burger with some friends after class (I had a grilled cheese with a strawberry milkshake) and as I walked up to the counter to place my order the girl took one look at me and said "You perform at the Poetry Lounge! You're really good!!"

The people I was with just stared at me. And then we ate In and Out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Road Trip Quotes

I typed out a pros and cons list we came up with on the road trip that I found in the back of my notebook but blogger wasn't behaving so I've just included some priceless quotes from our travels:


Julie and Carrie to Mike: "Your farts make me want to vomit! I'm gagging!"

Carrie: "Lick it like you want it Mike!"

Carrie: "Do you fart?
Julie: "No. Do you?"

Julie: "That's right Mike, you spit on Texas!"

Carrie: "My coat! Take it off!"
Mike: "Take it ALL off!"

Carrie: "Get out of my dreams... and into my car!"
Mike: "You hooker bitch!"

"Don't get blitzed
cops everywhere"
-- Flashing sign in New Mexico

Carrie: "They weren't your normal milk cows - although there were babies!"

Mike: "No, that shit was like the whole kindergarten class came out of my ass."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Oil Factory

The company I am interning for produces music videos and commercials. Their lead director has made videos for Beyonce, Shakira, Coldplay, Kings of Leon, and my personal favorite, No Doubt. Here are some videos from Oil Factory you might recognize:

Kings of Leon, "Use Somebody"

Ting Tings, "That's Not My Name"

No Doubt, "Don't Speak"

Coldplay, "Fix You"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Devil Wears Yogurt

Welcome to California: The Mecca of Frozen Yogurt.

As the Queen of Ice Cream, I will say that I miss JP Licks. A lot. However, I have begun to succumb to the tastiness and lifestyle of Californian Frozen Yogurt. I was informed by one of my favorite friends, Tynan Potter, that I should accept my addiction to Pinkberry before I arrived in L.A.

"Pinkberry? What's that" little naive Carrie asked.

Pinkberry is the chic frozen yogurt place that has been called a "cultural phenomenon" and "Tynan's favorite thing about California." I quickly tested the waters upon my arrival and decided that despite mixed reviews it WAS good. They offer an upscale atmosphere, three flavors, and many toppings, but it's a bit pricey.

I was next introduced to Yogurtland. Which is basically the cheap disneyland version of the disneyworld of Pinkberry. It's a self serve yogurt store with twenty flavors and unbelievable flouresent lights: but I accept that. Cause it's good and addictive. The best think about Yogurtland is you control how much you want and how much you pay for as you weigh your cup after filling it with toppings.

As with most things, you get what you pay for. I would say that Pink Berry's toppings are fresher and yogurt is more tart, but I'm going with the cash flow right now and working on the art of mixing Yogurtland flavors (cheesecake and vanilla wafer are winning right now).

I've spotted several other yogurt chains and it's clear that California loves the facade of eating healthy and still divulging. And I am totally okay with that.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Internship, Family, and Rachel Getting Married

The weather took a turn yesterday and I experienced my first California rain. It does not in any way compare to Boston rain. But in lighter news I secured and started my internship!

This was such a stressful experience - researching and applying and interviewing and following up... I applied to so many internships and I interviewed at about 8 different companies. Everything from strictly development film companies where I would only be doing script coverage to music video companies offering on-set experience to Working Title Films who didn't know what the hell I would be doing. So I was actually offered positions at my two top choices and after some confusion (I accepted one and then was offered the other and realized I needed to switch) --- I will be working at a Music Video company out in West Hollywood (edge of Santa Monica) called The Oil Factory. It was really similar to the other company I first accepted, but I liked the more comfortable feel of this place and the people were also friendlier. I think it will be a good learning experience and hopefully I will have some time on set.

Yesterday was actually my first day at my internship- I carpooled with the other intern who is in the LA program with me - and we mostly got acquainted with things and watched a ton of director's reels of commercials and music videos (everything from Jet to Gwen Stefani to Beyonce to car commercials to kodak commercials) and ate free lunch.

After work I met up with my cousin Lindsey who lives by Cal State Fullerton and we drove down to my Aunt and Uncle's house in Lake Forest to hang out and spend the night. And today Aunt Pat and Lin and I went to see "Rachel Getting Married" (which Anne Hathaway is nominated for a Best Actress Oscar) and got lunch.

"Rachel Getting Married" was really interesting - it's about a dysfunctional family: Anne Hathaway gets out of rehab in time for her sister Rachel's wedding which is taking place at their family's house in Conneticut and the film takes place over three or four days around and during the wedding. The performances were all really honest and there were some very moving moments - and though there are times it feels long and some scenes that were unnecessary- it had a very real feel to it and it seemed very alive. The overwhelming realness to the relationships and friendships in the film are fantastic.

Also the Production Design was really awesome! The film takes place mostly in the family's giant house and the set was really really cool - very layered and personal with a lot of history. And the wedding design was so unique - it also has many layers and themes to it. The design was just so encompassing and natural and really beautiful. Oh and Beau Sia the poet is in the film.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

$75? Thanks, I'm broke.

Last night I went to check out "Da Poetry Lounge" in Hollywood at the Greencourt Theater on Fairfax. I'd been researching it quite a bit and was looking forward to going. It's Shihan's venue and I like Shihan, but I knew it was going to obviously be West Coast slam and was college/high school kid heavy. I went alone and ended up in line by a girl and a guy who rode up on bikes so I talked to them and they were both cool UCLA kids and we sat together during the show.
The venue has limited seating - it's like a mini-theater and once all of the audience seats are filled, everyone else has to sit on stage. There are also two halves to the three hour show so a huge line of people wait outside for their chance to get in the second half. I was just planning on reading for the open mic but the first half was a slam so I put my name in at the last minute.
There were about ten poets in the Slam and all of us were high school or college aged - three white, seven black, three girls, seven guys - mostly bad hip hop/Def Jam style stuff. One girl was really great- really powerful in both her stage presence and writing. They pull names at random from a bucket and surprisingly score creep wasn't really an issue in the slam and everyone was really vocal and open about scores (in the sense that people booed high scores for bad poems). The second round would be 4 poets and third round 2 poets.
I got pulled last in the first round and I knew I was going to open with Elbows. Nobody said anything or reacted or made any noise whatsoever while I was performing... I thought I was just bombing so hard. You could hear a pin drop. When I finished I got the first 10 of the night and the two kids I was sitting with were FREAKING OUT -- one of them leaned over and said "I'm so glad you don't suck, that would have been so awkward."
There was a sorbet poet and as I had the highest score I went first in the second round. I did Carburetors and simply prefaced it with "I wrote this about a party I went to once." Which I think definitely helped. The performance felt good and I got two tens.
I wasn't expecting much but I ended up in the final round with this kid who was pretty decent. Coin toss elected me to go first and I went up with Open Letter To The Last Person I Will Ever Love - which is my most recent performance piece and somewhat on page (it's almost completely memorized). Though I got another ten and high scores, I was pretty positive that I had lost because the other kid did a very political piece that the audience really liked and scored really well.
The prize was $100 -- and Shihan had the audience vote on the winner getting the whole $100 or splitting it with second place, $75-$25. I voted for the second and ended up screwing myself out of $25 haha.
It was totally unexpected and cool and a bit like walking into a saloon and being the new gun in town. A ton of people talked to me and kept asking "Where the fuck are you from?!" and I was like "BOSTON" and then this one guy goes "Ahhhhh Cantab!! Now I get you."
Which was perfect.
I did get told I reminded a lot of people of Buddy Wakefield. HA.
We got food at a 24/7 weird chic DJed restaurant bar. I got oatmeal. It was delicious.

It felt so incredible to perform in an entirely new place for all of these new people and be the complete opposite of what everyone else was performing ... and have people like my work.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Los Angeles!

I know I'm behind on my posts but I'm pretty much winding down road trip blogs and figured I would go ahead and dive into details of what L.A. has been so far!

First - go see Slumdog Millionaire. It's incredible. I saw it with my beautiful friend Emily who was in town last week and I involuntarily cried during it because I want people to love each other or something along those lines. The acting is awesome, the story is great, it's enthralling, and there's totally a surprise when the credits start rolling.

Second- my apartment is great! I live in the Oakwoods right at the border of L.A. and Burbank and am pretty much a stones throw away from downtown Hollywood. I live in a single because I'm an RA and my bed comes out of the wall. It's cool. I do wish I was closer to Santa Monica because it's so cool and totally an hours drive away.
Also- a lot of people told me not to expect much before I got here and said the Oakwoods weren't as nice as Emerson wanted you to think. In response to those people: you're fucking spoiled. Grow up. I have a pool outside of my room.

Third- The weather has been nothing short of phenomenal here. I know the rest of the country is literally freezing but we're having this weird heat wave and it's been around 80 degrees every day. I haven't seen a cloud yet!

Fourth- Driving everywhere sucks. There are too many cars and no one walks anywhere. Nor can you actually walk anywhere. People drive places to go exercise. That doesn't really make sense.

Five- I miss Boston. I'm having a good time and I do like it and am excited for everything to actually begin with classes and internships but... Boston. People in Boston. I miss you. I don't necessarily think Boston is the place for me to stay forever and that's not a plan at the moment... but I do miss all of my friends. A lot.

Oh yes- I think I'll go for a dip in the infinity pool

Above photos: Welcome to Tom and Michelle's house in Phoenix Arizona! From top, the infinity pool; Julie in the guest house in her robe; The super cute dog whose name I can't remember; The dream kitchen; and the foyer with the giant piece of art made from recycled newspapers...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Arizona: Look to the skies

Above Photos: El Morro National Park Monument; Entering Arizona; Heading towards Flagstaff and the Mountains; Mike takes a photo of a great sunset and cloud formations; On our way out of the Mountains and towards Phoenix.