those days when you can only smile

The status I posted on FaceBook two nights ago:

“Those days when you can just smile through everything and nothing goes wrong and everything just keeps getting better and better? Those are the best. Cherish those days.

I just had one of those days.”

Now, this day was actually two days ago, but essentially I am still on a high from it.

I woke up and while I was definitely tired, I was glad to be awake. It was beautiful outside, I was working in my favorite department that day at work, and I got to talk to someone important to me.

Prior to work, I had a conversation with a good friend, we just talked about what was going on that day and then I went to work. As I was working I ended up being the Theater/Presentation Checker and I got to only do that all day. I helped out with organizing the box offices for the majority of the day and finally for the last 2 hours of my 8-9 hour shift I got to actually check theaters.

When I started checking theaters I went and had another conversation with my friend because they were at the theater. I found out how long they would be there and planned to come back later. We talked for like half an hour at that time and then both figured we needed to get back to work so we did.

I got off of work and went home, took a shower, and my brother asked me to come see a movie with him and our little brother. Of course, I agreed. On the way to the theater, I convinced my brother to stop at Kroger so I could get a Mexican Coke for my friend at the theater. He agreed to let me do that so we stopped there, I bought the coke, and we were back on the road to the theater.

When we arrived there we got our tickets and headed to concessions. While my brothers were at concessions I told them I would see them in a bit and headed over to where my friend was so I could give him his Coke (which was for his birthday).

I walked up to him and he was very involved in what he was doing right then so I jjust stood there and waited for him to notice me and finally when he did I was like “Here. This is for you.” and I held the Coke out to him. He got really excited and was genuinely happy and then he threw me off when he asked “Can I give you a hug?”

Of course, I said yes, I wasn’t about to turn down a hug. Then we stood there and started talking and before we both knew it we had been talking for like an hour and a half. It didn’t feel like it had been that long, but it was. I really enjoy his company, he’s a great friend and I’m positive we’ll still be friends for a while.

After that, I went and finished watching Star Wars with my brothers and finally we left and hung out at home. The day was literal perfection. I am not sure how much better you can get.

Like I said, I am still on a high from all that occurred that day.

If you have the opportunity to have a day like this, take advantage of it. They don’t come along all the time and may surprise you when they do or even disrupt your plans when they do. But they are so worth it.

As always, fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

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#donotbeafakefriend

I recently posted a FaceBook status that reads:

“It’s interesting when you realize just how many people you talked to/were friends with when you were younger that decided you were just another face in the crowd they could forget and now they have to interact with you. It always makes for some nice awkward encounters. Word to the wise? Maybe be a genuine friend or just don’t invest time in people. This way it won’t be awkward in the future. ‪#‎donotbeafakefriend‬

This is a good lesson for anyone to learn, but I am about to focus mainly on my faith. If no one knew this, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With this comes a lot of close-knit community ties. We have a tighter community than most other religions. Especially with the fact that we don’t necessarily “choose” where we go to church, but rather go to a specific building based on where we live. Not only is it the building that an area is assigned to, but different sections of the area go to the church building at a specific time.

In Utah, this topic may not be a thing seeing as there truly is a church on almost every corner, but in Texas, this is absolutely a real occurrence. Especially when you reach cities that are even slightly more city than suburb. Even 45 minutes away from a major city deals with the tiny close-knit community that Mormons/LDS members are known for.

However, it’s not even home wards that we are dealing with here, it’s YSA’s (Young Single Adult wards and branches). If you thought the way we did Sunday services was strange, you’re gonna get a real kick out of this one. Outside of Utah and Idaho, we don’t really have multiple YSA’s for each stake. We, more than likely, have one.

And this brings me back to my main point. Do not be a fake friend.

When we are younger, we have the chance to meet people in our area and age group in the church at various activities and we 0ften become friends with many people this way. The only caveat here is that many young members of the church will simply tolerate people that they wouldn’t want to be friends with outside of these activities. Thus, when college hits everyone goes their separate ways, UNLESS they continue to live in the same city that they grew up in.

This is because they now begin going to the YSA branch/ward in their area and now have to encounter those people again on a regular occurrence–even more than they had before as children.

This is not an issue for everyone, but this can be one for many because they have chosen to ignore those they “befriended” as young children because they, at the time or later, thought they were “too churchy”, “too weird”, “not cool enough”, or even “merely tolerable”. (This list doesn’t end. People have endless reasons for dropping someone and ignoring them completely–This isn’t only in the LDS community. It happens with EVERYONE.)

What drove me to write about this is that I now have an assignment where I have to interact with one of these “friends” from my childhood each month who I suppose was never truly a friend. It wouldn’t be weird if the person in question hadn’t continually ignored me as an adult and pretended like I didn’t exist. However, because they did this it will make interacting with them that much more awkward. I had made the effort to reach out to them as I was at school and such and they, countless times, ignored me.

Y’all may be thinking “oh she’s just butthurt that this happened to her…”, “she shouldn’t have tried…”, “only she would be affected by this…”, “it’s all in her head…”, “this isn’t really happpening to her…” but all of those phrases are so far from the truth.

If the person in question hadn’t been friends with me when we were young children there would be no issue and this would be another instance where I get to meet a new person, but because I’ve known them for over 15 years, have known what they went through, and have seen how far they’ve come without them even thinking that I might be a friend, this is going to be awkward. And it probably won’t be awkward just for me.

I can guarantee you that the second they realize that I was one of the people they knew as a child whom they often spent time with they will feel the awkwardness.

This is not a post where I am asking you to pity me or help me wallow in my sorrow, but this is a post where I am asking you to please, PLEASE, please be genuine. I cannot express how much I hope everyone takes this and decides to be a genuine individual and friend. It is hard to realize how important it is when we are young, but as we grow older we need to recognize that nobody has time for fake friends. Nobody has time to be fake. No one has time to even think about being fake. Genuine is where it’s at. This is the only type of friend ANYONE should be. And the only type of friend that I intend to be. I will interact with this person just as I would with any of my close friends. I will continue to love them and reach out to them, no matter what because I truly care about them and I hope, more than anything, that I can make a difference in their life.

 

These are my thoughts on this topic, I hope y’all have thoughts to share with me as well because I love to hear stories and comments from people.

Fare thee well!!

Karen Alyse

Advanced Music Research Paper (StarKid)

starkidresearchpaper

StarKid, Team StarKid, or StarKid Productions is a group of writers, directors, editors, and designers who have gathered together to create accessible, quality theatre for the modern era. This team of talented artists formed at the University of Michigan in 2009 has pioneered the use of the internet as an innovative way to produce theatre by making it available to millions of people around the world. This new form of live performance blended with the accessibility and quality of High-Definition filming has created a very new world of opportunity and distribution for the theatre margin.

The Michigan Daily stated that StarKid was “taking the theater world by storm one cheeky musical at a time” proving that this group has given a new name to musicals and musical productions. The Chicago Reader indicated that StarKid Productions is “ingenious…has ‘the next big thing’ written all over it” because they are the future of musicals as they have become more and more prominent on the internet. The fame of the StarKid member Darren Criss on the TV show “Glee” only adds to the fame and influence of the StarKid musicals on the world.

In just 2 years StarKid had reached over 90 million views on YouTube and attracted the attention of many national media businesses such as Entertainment Weekly, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, The Hollywood Reporter, The Detroit Free Press, New York Magazine, and National Public Radio. StarKid remains at the top, completely committed to pioneering the new outlet for theatre distribution through the internet.

StarKid first appeared on the internet in July of 2009 with their musical A Very Potter Musical which was a fan-made parody that premiered and immediately went viral due to the attention of the fans of the Harry Potter series. This musical was filmed during a live performance through the University of Michigan, it was an instant hit with the staff of Entertainment Weekly and of course, the Harry Potter fan base where it quickly garnered nearly 2 million views.

A Very Potter Musical is centered on Harry and his friends when they go back to Hogwarts and must defeat the Dark Lord after he returns from the dead to take revenge on The Boy Who Lived. It combines the books with the movies and even adds a little bit of that StarKid flare that shows up so often in any and all of their productions.

In March of 2010, StarKid’s second musical production, Me and My Dick, blasted its way onto the Billboard charts, landing at #11 for Original Cast Recording—a first for a college production. The show solidified StarKid as a real contestant in comedy musicals and also grabbed national attention from the likes of MTV and blogger Perez Hilton.

Joey Richter is the main character in this musical production and he and his best friend face the trials of love, growing up, high school, and many other trials that come with being teenagers. It is a coming of age story and it has been said “you don’t want to miss it”.

In May of 2010, StarKid made a return with A Very Potter Sequel where they received 4,000 ticket requests for the 400 seats that were available. This production—which was named to Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List”—premiered to packed houses with fans from across the world lining up hours before each show.

A Very Potter Sequel welcomes Harry and his friends back to Hogwarts along with Voldemort’s Death Eaters who turn the time back to Harry’s first year at Hogwarts where they battle werewolves and suffer through detention with Umbridge. This is one sequel you don’t want to miss; as the Director, Matt Lang said, it is “even more fun than the original!”

StarKid’s Chicago premiere production, Starship debuted to seven sold-out screenings in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago before hitting the internet in April of 2011, The Starship cast album climbed to #4 on the iTunes charts during the first weekend of release and went on to reach #1 on the Billboard Charts for Cast Albums.

Starship is set in the distant future, on a far off world inhabited by a race of giant insects where you meet Bug. He doesn’t seem any different than any others of his kind, however inside the pus-vesicles that serve as his heart he longs for something more than his mundane life. Ever since he was a small giant insect he has visited the mysterious wreckage of a starship, fascinated with the alien race that once made up its crew—the humans! He wants nothing more than to meet them and become one of them. When the sky darkens with the arrival of a new Starship of colonizing humans, Bug sets out on an adventure in which he befriends the crew, falls in love, and faces off against evil robots, brain-eating scorpions and the corrupt Galactic League. This science-fiction musical comedy is sure to appeal to many long time sci-fi fans.

StarKid’s first national tour, The S.P.A.C.E. Tour, occurred in November of 2011 where they played 21 shows in 17 cities across the country. StarKid’s second Chicago production occurred in March of 2012, Holy Musical B@man, played to full-houses and debuted on YouTube with over 700, 000 views to date. StarKid’s second national tour, APOCALYPTOUR, occurred in May of 2012 which culminated in a sold-out show at the historic Roseland Ballroom in New York City.

Holy Musical B@man takes place after a young billionaire witnesses the murder of his parents and makes a solemn vow to dress up like a bat and wage a one man war on crime. However, when he realizes that one is the loneliest number to wage a war with he sets off on a musical adventure to rescue the city from the greatest super-villain of all time and to find a super friend. Throughout this whole musical they poke fun at Batman, who is in fact everyone’s favorite superhero (right after Spider-man)!

Ever since Darren Criss (who played Harry Potter in all of the A Very Potter musicals) joined the cast of Glee, The StarKids (his real family) tease him unceasingly about being a warbler and doing warbler moves and make many other references to the popular TV show. They even incorporate hits at Glee into their more recent musicals.

Their most recent musical was A Very Potter Senior Year, the final installment of the A Very Potter Musical series. However, due to the short amount of time that they had Darren for, they could only do a staged reading of the musical at the Harry Potter convention, LeakyCon.

A Very Potter Senior Year centers on Harry and his friend’s final year at Hogwarts and their last battle against Voldemort where it incorporates a couple of his deaths all into one death.

Another young StarKid member, Joe Moses (who played Snape in all of the A Very Potter musicals), has set out by himself as well. He has started his own one-man show in New York where he mixes new and original sketches with Snape reprisals. His thought on internet fame was “If I’m lucky enough to have people interested in what I’m saying, I should be saying something good.” Joe Moses can do 12 different accents, not including Cockney and he works a day job as a bartender, you really can start from anywhere.

Currently, the StarKid YouTube channel has gained 130 million views, 177,000 subscribers, 156,000 Facebook fans, and over 70,000 Twitter followers worldwide all of which are expected to increase the more popular and well-known they become.

Works Cited

  “ABOUT.” HOME. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 May 2013. <http://www.teamstarkid.com/about.html&gt;.

Dunn, Gaby. “A StarKid Is Born.” New York Times [NYC] 8 Feb. 2012: 1. Print.

Votta, Rae. “A Day in the Life: Team StarKid (Featuring Darren Criss).” Billboard 31 May 2012: 3. Print.

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Fare thee well!

Karen Alyse

Forgotten….or Busy?

I haven’t posted on here recently… I feel bad about that. However, I do have an excuse. I need to finish all of my homework and such because I am leaving for New York on Friday. I will miss a day of school and that is the day I have a bunch of tests and junk… Anywho, I’ve been working to be ready to turn everything in because if I can’t turn stuff in…. I might fail >.< NO ONE WANTS TO FAIL. Then there is the fact that I am now obsessed with books on my phone…and movies on my phone…and games on my phone. ;D Yay. I shall share a meme with you that my friend made. It was pretty great 😀 Enjoy!

Fare thee well!

Karen Alyse

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