Sunday, August 25, 2013

This Week in Pop Culture

Movies

Yesterday I saw Short Term 12 and bawled my eyes out. But in a good way? This indie about a foster home and the kids and adults that try to build a community regardless of their difficult circumstances was absolutely beautiful and eye-opening. Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. were brilliant. as were the kids who played Marcus and Jayden. Everyone go see it when it comes to a theater near you.


Television

I'm in the middle of season four of Doctor Who. I'm actually really enjoying Donna as a companion, despite initially hating her in the Christmas special. She's toned down on the shrillness and I love that she doesn't fawn over the doctor. It was cute with Rose but got old real quick with Martha. Donna isn't afraid to tell it like it is. I'm also really enjoying the deeper themes of the Doctor's sense of morality--who's ok to save, and who isn't? It's a tricky philosophical question in any circumstance but I think the show is handling it quite well.

YouTube

I just love this meme because I really think it encapsulates a lot about where the entertainment industry is headed and that New Hollywood is really starting to come from today's YouTubers.


I'm obsessed with half of these people (did you know Zoe and Alfie are dating in real life? I can't even get over it), and YouTube really is starting to churn out people into more mainstream Hollywood projects. For instance, comedian Noel Kristi of YouTube fame just recently got cast on SNL. Go her!


News

The VMAs are happening right now and I am not watching them. According to my Twitter feed, however, Taylor Swift is saying dirty things off camera, Miley is saying dirty things on camera, and Gaga is acting crazy. So the usual. I'll catch the highlights on Buzzfeed tomorrow.

BEN AFFLECK AS BATMAN. I CAN'T STOP LAUGHING ABOUT THIS.

I'm sure he'll be great. I mean, he's already played a superhero, right? Right???

Sunday, August 18, 2013

This Week In Pop Culture

Movies

The Truman Show

Up until middle school, before my acting career was destroyed,* I used to pretend that I was starring in a giant movie about my life. That everyone around me were extras, and people in some far off planet were enjoying the story of my life. Now, it would make a pretty boring story, but I thought it was a pretty imaginative idea. Turns out it's not so original, or Peter Weir has the same brain as me, because I finally got around to watching The Truman Show. I heard about it a few years ago but was turned off by the Jim Carrey-ness of it. Turns out Carrey does a fine job here, and literally everything about this film was how I pictured the logistics of the scenario. The mise-en-scene, structure, cinematography... everything was perfect and built like little puzzle pieces that reveal more and more of this world as you go. Absolutely brilliant. And that ending. Gave me chills. 

*I auditioned for the 7th grade production of The Three Musketeers, so confident in my skills in the dramatic arts. Let me preface this by saying that if you don't make the cast, they put you in the crew.  I didn't even make the crew. Needless to say it was a crushing disappointment and my pursuit of the theater was short-lived.

Elysium

In a film not as good as District 9, Neill Blomkamp goes for a more heavy-handed allegory here about immigration in a sci-fi setting. But it was visually beautiful, and it had Matt Damon, so I can't complain too much. I guess I just had too high of expectations after District 9. Blomkamp seems to be a one-trick pony.

Music

Stomp

I first saw a video of Stomp in fifth grade, and I attribute my pursuit of percussion in middle school and high school to that moment. I wanted to be as cool as those guys. Of course I never quite acquired Stomp-like drumming skills (this is just a post full of my failures, huh?) but I've always appreciated a good beat using anything and everything you can find in the world around you. Seeing this show live was unreal. Knowing the basics of percussion, I can't even get over how hard some of that stuff was. And it's hilarious. I mean, just check out this newspaper sequence:



Katy Perry's "Roar vs Lady Gaga's "Applause"

Right now I'm feeling "Roar." But that could change in the next hour.


YouTube

I'm a big fan of Hank and John Green, but I've never actually seen the videos that started it all, the Brotherhood 2.0 experiment, where the Vlogbrothers only communicated via video blog for a whole year. So I'm starting from the beginning. It's nice to see that John Green has always been the same smart, hilarious novelist we know and love, and Hank has gotten over some of his earlier creepiness. These brothers making being a nerd awesome. DFTBA.




Thursday, August 15, 2013

On Learning to Be Patient

They say you should never pray for patience, because you'll get your answer and then some. I've always been good about taking this advice. But sometimes it doesn't matter if you ask for it or not--something I learned the hard way this summer.

While it's been an incredibly fun summer (I mean, I'm living in in New York City. Let's get real.), it has also been, without a doubt, the most stressful four months of my life.

Both unmarried and wanting to get the heck out of dodge after graduation, I somehow felt that NYC was the place I needed to go. I knew upon moving here that it wasn't going to be easy. Yet I'm the kind of person that always has a plan. Sophomore year--go on a study abroad. Junior year--get an internship. After graduation--get a rad PR job in an industry that I love in the best city in the world.

If only it was so simple. I felt like I did pretty well for myself in college, but because of this people seemed to expect a lot from me. Everyone would tell me, "You're going to be so successful!!" Yeah, no pressure.


Upon graduation I had only an unpaid, two-month internship to look forward to. It was at an excellent PR agency working with clients in my preferred industries, but so much was still uncertain. What if I didn't like it? What was I going to do afterward? Why did I choose the most expensive city to break into anyway? So many questions and doubts swirled in my head before I left for New York.

Luckily I loved my time at this agency. I really enjoy media relations work and proved that I had actually learned some valuable stuff in college. But they weren't hiring at the time I finished. And so I was stuck.

After the internship ended there was that week of limbo where I tried to play it off--I'm unemployed! I can watch Netflix and stay in my pajamas all day! But of course I was terrified. And very quickly becoming broke.


I probably applied to twenty different places, and went in for several informational interviews, before I serendipitously found my current internship. My boss found me on a job search website and reached out to me (I had never heard of this happening before) and it sounded like a good gig. I was able to appreciate the irony of getting the only job I hadn't actually applied for. But it was only part-time, and I could maybe last until the end of August on my current savings. After that it was back home to mom and dad, and most likely, Utah. An embarrassing scenario, to be sure.

But I still tried not to despair. After a couple hours of freaking out, I looked into freelance work. I heard of some people getting good work that way. I checked out odesk.com and got a couple small jobs. Even my boss had a really awesome side business he needed PR help with. I wasn't making a ton of money off of any of this, but it was enough, and it gave me some great experience.

August started. I started freaking out some more. Making it worse, I had signed a year-long lease in Brooklyn on a crazy instinct. Then my current internship said they couldn't think of hiring full-time until mid-October. I like working here, but I couldn't really deal with that. I decided to bug my old agency one last time...and this time it worked.

I'm excited to start my new position at Goodman Media International. It'll be my first big-girl job, and I know it will put me on the right track for where I want to go in the future. But I had to learn a lot of lessons this summer to get to this point. I learned to be patient. To be persistent. To think outside the box when all seems hopeless. And that for some crazy reason, I'm meant to be in NYC at this time.

So that's my story of the summer. I'm both happy and sad that it's coming to a close. I'm definitely ready to start the next chapter in my life. Let's let post-grad life begin already!!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

This Week in Pop Culture

That's right, I'm bringing it back.

Movies

Ok, so I've totally been slacking in this particular department. The last film I saw was Sharknado, which was everything and more, but that was like three weeks ago. I can tell you that I hope to see Fruitvale Station this week, and I already saw The Spectacular Now and Austenland, which premiere this week, at Sundance. I feel like that counts, right? Anyway, everyone should go and see The Spectacular Now (and see that Shailene Woodley is not a fluke and is here to stay) and girls who love Jane Austen should see Austenland. I talk about them in more detail here.

Television

I'm currently cycling through season two of Parenthood, season three of Doctor Who, Orange is the New Black, and Orphan Black (seriously, how does Tatiana Maslany play ALL THOSE CHARACTERS??). What I watch depends on my mood, but they are all brilliant for very different reasons. Here are these reasons, in five words or less:

Parenthood: Real life emotions. Tears. (Sidenote: A mix of Adam Braverman and Nick Miller would make the perfect man. Just saying.)
Doctor Who: David Tennant. Blink.
Orange is the New Black: Strong females. Of all races.
Orphan Black. Tatiana Maslany. Crazy clone shenanigans.

And of course, SYTYCD every Tuesday. We're finally at the Top 10 and can I just say, DAAAANG Aaron and Jasmine. Holy crap.



Books

I actually get a lot of reading done now that I have a long commute on public transportation. I recently read the entire Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner. What a brilliant series. You instantly fall in love with Eugenides, the clever and complaining Thief with a million tricks up his sleeve, and his complicated relationship with Attolia, the Ice Queen with Issues, is so subtle and delicious. I honestly didn't see most of the plot twists coming (especially in the first two books). The only issue I have with it is that at the end things only seem to get done with violence, a moral I don't entirely agree with. But there's enough mind trickery to make up for it.

I've also started JK Rowling's  Robert Galbraith's  The Cuckoo's Calling, which has been enjoyable so far. I'd like to see more of Robin, but the mystery of supermodel Lulu Landry's death has kept me intrigued. I'm about 35% through it.

Music

Jay-Z and JT's "Holy Grail."



YouTube

I recently plowed through the whole series of Your Dad's Friends, which was hilarious and perhaps hit a little too close to home. I've also been obsessed with Miranda Sings, the absolutely hysterical, egotistical character played by Colleen Ballinger who thinks she is the best singer to grace the Internets. Check them out now.



News

1. If you haven't seen Steven Colbert's triumphant reaction to Daft Punk's snubbing, then you're living life wrong.



2. ComicCon and VidCon recently happened and I'm still jealous that I wasn't there.

3. Comedic geniuses literally playing our feelings in the upcoming Pixar movie, Inside Out.

4. And of course, the existence of Orson Welles' Too Much Johnson.


That's it for this last week! What are your recommendations?