Friday, November 27, 2009

gratitude |ˈgratəˌt(y)oōd|

Well, it's my first Thanksgiving home since I came back from Canada and there is much to be thankful for. I'm nearing my year mark back home and I have many things I've done that I'm proud of but more importantly, people that I have met who have been there for me. I owe these people many thanks and deeply indebted to them. Among those people, (who are to many to name here) I have created a list of other things I am indeed grateful for. It's amazing to see what you have put down, and once the list has begun, I have been able to see how truly blessed my life is.

  • I'm thankful for my friends, old and new. I have met some amazing people this past year who I now count as some of my dearest friends. They have helped me when I was a lost freshmen, they have guided me during rehearsals for plays with loving comments and friendly camaraderie. They have been colleagues, old mission companions, teachers, ward members, workmates, and general friends. I can do nothing with them, and being with them and feeling an overwhelming joy knowing I am sharing my life with such talented, caring, and creative people.                                       
  • I'm thankful that I've found my passion in life. I have talked with many people about schooling and it has surprised me to learn that many of them are still wondering what they want to do with their future. By no means do I think this a fault on their part, but I am glad I have found from an early age what I want to do with my life and what my calling is. It's what keeps me going when things are tough, it's what helps me look forward to each day, and I'm glad I have been blessed enough to be able to find that.
  • I'm also thankful for my limits. I'm discovering more and more about myself everyday in pursuing my studies as an actor and I'm learning what I can do, what I can't do, and what I haven't yet done.  It's liberating to know what forces restrain me and which ones I can conquer. By knowing what is beyond me, I can find ways around it to other doors that are open. 
  • I'm thankful for my parents and family. The older I get, the more I realize my parents are right about everything they've taught me. I've also learned that the most important people in my life are those I have been raised with. No amount of learning, money, fame, or acclimations can replace the people I am proud to call brother, sister, father and mother.
  • I'm also thankful for the really small things I have around me. Sorry, for getting all puppies and sunshine, but its true. Little things like a nice cup of herbal tea, christmas lights, Sammy's pie shakes, a good book, good plays, good movies, good music, my bike, a fresh harvest from the garden, my walnut trees, and other things like that.
Its good to be alive and able to experience a life thats so rich and full of beauty. Life is good.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is THE BEST french cookbook that I've found so far. It has beautiful photography and the recipes are wonderful. There is a section on chocolate that has some of the best desserts ever. My favorite recipe comes from this book so I've decided to post it so you all can enjoy! Its a great meal with some grape juice and mini quiches.
Warm Tuna and Potato Salad Serves 6
For the dressing
2 shallots, finely diced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound small red potatoes
6 ounces thin green beans, trimmed
olive oil for the pan
8 ounces of cherry tomatoes
6 ounces tuna in olive oil, drained
4 salt packed anchovies, filleted and cut
into thin strips
1 large bunch of basil
For the dressing, put the shallots, vinegar, mustard, salt,
pepper into jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously again.
Shake well before using.
Gently cook the potatoes in their skins in a saucepan of
lightly salted simmering water for 20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes, cut them in half , and place them in
a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat the warm
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 F. Lightly brush a
baking sheet with the olive oil. Toss the cherry tomatoes in
oil to coat them and roast for 10 min. Add the hot tomatoes
to the potatoes and green beans.
Flake and add the tuna along with the anchovy strips
and gently mix. Tear up the basil, scatter it over the salad,
and serve at once.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bard, pistoles, y Mexico

Im currently in a production of Much Ado About Nothing at UVU and I must say, I am quite enjoying the experience. After participating in Chris Clark's production of As You Like It, I couldn't get the idea out of my head that I really wanted to be in another Shakespeare piece. I enjoyed the vitality and exuberance of Shakespeare's characters, and since I was only a musician for As You Like It, I was really anxious to sink my teeth into an actual role.
So here I am, weeks after a very nerve wracking audition, playing the role of El General Don Pedro. Here's an image of what the director, (John Graham) is envisioning for us:
That's right! We're Mexican! It's taking place during the Mexican revolution. I'm having a lot of fun and I'm learning alot of things. I've made a list of some of the experiences and lessons that I've learned.

1. Cowboy boots are a pain in the butt. I've never worn them before, and I have to wear them every rehearsal. Mine are kind of stylish though, so its cool. Beauty is pain....?

2. Bull fighting is a horrible sport. My character is supposed to have a certain grace mixed with machoism, so I was told to watch bull fighting. While I could see how it applied to my character, the event itself is one of the most violent and cruel things I've ever seen. They basically skewer the bull alive. Im all for a good show, but seeing a animal in spasms on the area floor vomiting blood? Not really my cup o tea.

3. There is not very much subtext in Shakespeare. Everything you need is in the script. People said what was on their minds so all the clues needed to build a character is all there for you. This was a little hard to do at first, but after a while I've found it makes acting so much easier.

4. Stage Combat is convincing when its practiced well. One of John's specialities is stage combat and so our process is really specific and detailed for every fight scene in this show. It usually consists of doing each movement step by step and in slow motion until it's completely safe. Some of the actors are doing movements so complex that they wont be going full speed until the week before the show opens.

5. Make bold choices! Sometimes you make a mistake, but if you never do something bold, you can never do anything exciting either. There are many people in this cast who are making some pretty great choices in their characters, and its only been through trial and error that those choices were found.

6. I will never like Mexican food. I'm okay with salsa, and Wendy's bean dip is to die for, but I am not a fan of Mexican food. I had such a hankering for ribs when I was in Charlotte's web, and I thought this might be the same, but no. I'm just not a fan.

I love this show. Viva Zapata!