Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Busier than ever! Updates galore.

"It's just so smooth and nutty," she says with a glint of love in her eyes.
"...and the smell just enhances it!" I respond.

I just took a sip of coconut oolong tea- I thank my lovely roommate Ivy for that! For those of you who do not know, both coconut and tea are two of my most beloved things. Anyhow: Let me preface this blog entry with the following: the past four months have been the busiest, most stressful, and most rewarding months of my life and I will never live my life like this ever again. What a great learning experience! I learned the word "no" and finally learned the importance behind the concept of "limiting oneself." Let's just say that I said yes to all projects and did not what so ever limit myself. In the past three months so much has happened.

The album art for my recently released album "Confused Travels."
So, my album that I began just four months ago is now complete and released! "Confused Travels" features 12 original songs and is available through iTunes, Spotify, and from, well, me!  My friend Keara Dooly did the album cover art and I am so happy with what she created. I've been interviewed twice about my music (check them out here and here) and have been posting live performance vids and track previews on youtube (which you can see here). I additionally created a stop motion animated music video for my track Warm Rush:

To stay updated on Miss Whimsy (that's my music name!) you should probably like the Miss Whimsy Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/misswhimsymusic - Additionally in the next few days I will be releasing a website for Miss Whimsy! Also, a local radio station emailed me asking me to preform live on the radio... I thought about it and was filled with the polarities of both fear and glee. I've decided to respond: why yes, I can do it! -- This is a big step for me!

Also, for Hanukkah I got a couple of new instruments, so as usual, I was super inspired and made some rough (and please note *unfinished*) test songs experimenting with them:

Test song using hammer dulcimer (note that I plucked it instead of hit it... oh Kira Bursky):

Test song using melodica (a melodica is basically a piano you blow into! Cool, right?!):

Test song using natural reverb in a stairwell (not a new instrument, but oh well.):

Now for the film side of my life: My film Girly won first place at the Mosaic Film Experience Film Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They actually paid for me to take a bus to get there, so I got to go. It was fun being interviewed, meeting many cool people (I was staying with two animators actually!), and seeing my film on the big screen. Seeing my movies in theaters is always such a fulfilling feel.... gosh darn I love it so! 1st place received $1000. Seems like a lot, but... it's all already gone. It was put towards the album! Wow, right?! But, hey, at least it was recycled towards another artistic endeavor of mine.

All of the cinematic arts finalists and panelist teachers. Boy I miss them.
Just last wednesday Girly was screened in front of a sold out crowd of 700+ people, plus it was live webcasted. This was a part of a big arts competition called "Young Arts." Just a few months ago I received a phone call saying that I was one of the 7 film finalists in the U.S. When I heard this my stomach dropped, I mentally fainted, and then I proceeded to have a one-person dance party with myself. They paid for me to fly out and stay in a hotel in Miami. There I met 171 of the most talented and driven young artists of the U.S. The arts categories ranged from anything from visual arts to theater. The panelist teachers and the other finalists for cinematic arts were so amazing. Each one of them was so knowledgable, passionate, and lovable. Some of the bonds and friendships I formed will last forever. I know that it was only a week long, but I connected up to certain people more deeply than I have ever connected up to anyone else before. I know that sounds crazy, but hey, passionate people connect to passionate people. I cried so much when I parted ways. Now as I sit here I am filled with a sweet sense of melancholy. Time has a funny way of causing our appreciation for things to grow.

(Left Picture: That's Eden. She is an amazing jazz singer. In a week we became super close best friends. So grateful to of met this lovely soul; Right Picture: That's Ted. He was one of my panelist teachers. He is an animator for Dreamworks, and before that worked for Disney. He worked on the Lion King- crazy, right?! Meeting him and working with him was one of the most inspiring things of my life. Wish I had more time to learn from him. Already miss him.)

All of the cinematic arts finalists on stage alongside the dancers in front of the crowd of 700+ people!
Feature film... yes, yes, yes. I will indeed be taking a gap year next year to make my first feature film. I was struggling for the past few months with pinpointing what theme I wanted to focus on. I was juggling a few possibilities. One possibility was focusing on a film about accepting love and allowing yourself to feel it. Another possibility was making the film metaphorical for child abuse. The possibilities went on and on. Finally one stuck with me: a film about female empowerment and defeating gender norms (specifically the idea of "boys don't cry.") I have a complete first draft treatment. It's a children's fantasy adventure film. When I get a little bit further along with the treatments I'll release more details...

And now for the main endeavor of my current moment of existence: my capstone film. By tonight I will have another draft for the screenplay of my film "We're Okay." The film is about the way people perceive you versus the way you are actually feeling. Everyone thinks Delilah is really happy, but truth be told, she is not. On her 18th birthday she decides to kill herself, but this attempt causes her body to shut down and send her into the world of her mind. This world is a stop motion animated circus world of found objects. In her mind she discovers why she is feeling the way she is... BUT: you will only find this out once you watch the film which will be completed and released at the end of May or beginning of June. I begin production on February 1st, so I have around 3 weeks left of pre-production. I have a lot to do, but I'm excited.

I have a few other projects in the works (a short animation collaboration with two of my best friends, a short film for the White House's first high school film competition, facilitating the creation of a mural on my campus as student senate class president, etc!)  Busy as usual, but it's finally the right level of business. I'm enjoying myself. Especially my new stash of dried fruit. Oh how those freeze dried strawberries make me feel so good....

Cheers! And stay hydrated!

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