Faking It

I’m not a good liar. Not really. I never have been graced with this gift as well as curse, I presume.

But I do know how to act. Many people have told me that acting is just like a more official version of lying, but I really do not find that to be true. See, when I act, I become my character in that very moment. No matter how much rehearsal I have, no matter how many times I’ve practiced my lines, I have to believe in myself to be my character.

And so why can’t I lie? Because lying is for those who have something to hide. But acting, acting is not about hiding. Acting is about opening yourself up and baring your soul for everyone to see. You become a character, even if just for two hours, you are you but in a different form. This is why I adore acting. It gives you the ability to truly see yourself, but to open up in a different version of yourself. And you can use acting in your daily life, not just on the big ol’ Broadway stage all of us musical theatre people dream of.

I’m scared, okay? I admit it. I’m scared because in just three months, I will enter high school. I know it doesn’t seem like a huge, overly exciting deal but let’s be honest: it definitely is. My parents look at me with that abruptly condescending look in their crinkled eyes, screaming one day she will laugh about it when I explain my anxieties over entering high school. It sucks, when adults tell you to buck up, kid, because one day you’ll have to live in the “real world.” Well, what is the real world? What world is high school, then, the fake world? It’s almost humorous, but in the most frustrating of ways. I could go on and on about the hellishness of certain adults, but that’s a much  different post.

The main point is, high school is scary, simply put. I’ve seen what it does to some students. It cruelly yanks out and drains every last ounce of dignity, of confident persistence, of innocence. But high school is also what you make of it. Any situation is what you make of it. I’ve got to say, I’m quite awful at this concept, as I have an abnormally negative view on life, but I am trying here. Faking confidence can help you so incredibly much. Fake confidence can win over people, teachers, anyone in your life. Now, read closely. Fake confidence is NOT overconfidence. There is a fine line between the two traits. Overconfidence is the automatic assumption that absolutely everything in the world will go your way, the vainest and most unsuccessful type of confidence. Fake confidence is when you are not quite sure of how well you’re going to do in a situation, but pretending to know just enough. For example, last summer, I went ATVing at my summer camp. I hadn’t ever been on an ATV before, but everyone around me seemed excited and unafraid of the task before them. I, on the other hand, had a mini heart-attack and I almost backed out of it due to the lingering anxiety I always seem to possess. But what did I do? You guessed it- I acted confident. I put on my best “I’ve never done this before but I’m completely sure it’ll be fun and I definitely won’t get any limbs chopped off!” smile. It worked. I am the least adventurous person I know, but because I faked faith in myself, that faith became reality, and I had the time of my life on that ATV. It was exhilarating, to say the least.

No one is good at everything. NO one. But you know those people you see, the ones who are well-rounded, seem to have every skill from dance to perfect SAT scores under their belt? They aren’t just born with some inhuman ability to achieve perfection. They had to pretend along their journey there. So, confidence is key, no matter how much you hate something, if you seem confident, then you will become confident.

It’s a beautiful day to dream.

Funny Girl

I’ve recently become infatuated with the brilliance that is young, lovely Barbra Streisand in all of her Technicolor-glory. Two words.

Funny Girl.

Unfortunately I was not alive to see this fabulous musical on Broadway, but I am lucky enough to have witnessed it on screen in my living room. Close enough. I first saw Funny Girl quite a long time ago, but I felt this urge to watch it recently, and now I am completely obsessed again. I don’t even know the words to encompass all that is Funny Girl. I’ve always been a huge fan of musical theatre, having been in tons of different productions myself due to this passion. I’ve seen many musicals on/off Broadway, but Funny Girl, despite the fact that it is a movie now, happens to be my favorite (besides Wicked). It was made in 1968, but the magic of it remains the same. I won’t go into too much detail about the synopsis of the movie but I’ll divulge you in a little summary.

Barbra Streisand plays Fanny Brice (a real person but the story is mostly fictional), a young Jewish ingenue with overwhelming talent in musical theatre but who looks much different than other actresses during that time. If you weren’t pretty, you weren’t worth Broadway. Due to her “skinny legs” and “big nose”, she is mostly overlooked by producers. She struggles to get into any shows, but once a famous Broadway producer hears her incredible voice, well, as she sings in “Don’t Rain On My Parade”, BAM. She then meets and eventually falls in love with Nick Arnstein, a rich gambler who courts her. The whole story is mainly about her struggles to success as well as her rocky, tragic relationship with Nick.

This movie is spectacular because, let’s face it, Barbra is spectacular. Without Barbra the movie would be nothing. All of the songs she sings are perfect, as she pours the most funny and lovely emotion into her performances as well as having unbelievable talent. I have to admit, I do know the words to every song now, but that is because they are wonderful.

“Star quality” is a term used now to express people such as the Kardashians and Justin Bieber. I am not saying the people nowadays do not have talent, but talent back when this movie was made was certainly much more than it is today. To be a star, you had to have raw, natural talent, talent that you had to really work for. Dreams didn’t come easily. Persistence was key. There was no auto-tune or technology to make yourself sound/look/be better than you actually are. There wasn’t any insanely, over the top elaborate concerts and sets. There was just you and your ability, your drive, your passion in whatever it was you did. And Barbara is definitely the epitome of this. Despite the fact that tons of people saw her as “ugly” due to her physical differences, “odd” due to her unapologetic ambition, it never stopped her from achieving her dreams. In this movie, well, that is the whole point of Fanny Brice.

I would most definitely recommend this movie to anyone. Don’t blame me if you have “People” stuck in your head all day.♦

Mia, Myself, and I

Today my good friend Mia stopped by. We hadn’t seen each other for quite a while as she had been in Mexico and I in Palm Springs. We had a scrumptious lunch at Pitfire Pizza, and then walked around my neighborhood and exploring my park before coming back to my house. We lazed around and just basically munched on crisps and talked all day. Later on, we watched one of our absolute favorite movies ever- The Virgin Suicides. (Sofia Coppola is a genius) I decided, in a crazy spur of the moment choice, to interview the fabulous and intellectually refreshing Mia! After reading (and hopefully liking and commenting too!)  this, go check out her and my other friend Julianna’s great blog- burstsofbeauty.com.

An interview with Mia

S: Can you introduce yourself to my readers?

M: Hi, I’m Mia. Sofia’s one of my best friends, and I am so honored to be featured in her fantastic blog. I really enjoy art and that is my main outlet for expressing my creativity, I also enjoy writing much like Fia.

S: What are some of your inspirations for your art?

M: One of my main inspirations is just the people that fill my life every day, they give me such happiness and joy. A more specific person who started out inspiring me to create art was my mom.

S: Out of all the many arts, why choose visual arts?

M: The reason that visual arts is my main calling is because I am not much of a performer or an actress, and for me, visual arts show everything I am trying to express. It’s so amazing that just one color can show so many emotions, the composition of a painting, the brushstrokes- those are all feelings that come from visual arts and no other art.

S: What are some things you are really into right now?

M: Right now, I’m really into American Horror Story, because I have no real thrills in my real life. It’s a very nice escape to be so scared that you are too shocked to do anything else. I started reading this amazing novel called “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”. It is so captivating and you just think about- it’s cheesy, but reading books that are so dynamic that make you think about your life and question a lot. You start relating the character to your life and the situations you are going through.

S: Ooh, I enjoy AHS as well! In terms of fashion, what brands and trends are you excited about right now?

M: I am very excited about spring colors! I’ve been seeing a lot of cute dresses lately-Kate Spade, oh, J Crew has such cute dresses. Sof, as you know, we both love Lea Michele, and I love her little frocks and dresses she wears. It’s just adorable.

S: Yes, I adore Lea Michele so much! How do you think she’s handled the awful ordeal she’s had to go through? (Cory Monteith’s death)

M: I look at her, and I am so amazed at how she has handled it. I don’t know her personally, but I can see that she hasn’t shut out her family and friends. She is really seeking support, and I just find it astonishing that she is able to compose herself in such a polished way. She has spoken out about it, and is open about it. The main thing I see in her is her selflessness. In her time of grief, she opened up to Cory’s fans and family. She really related to people who were going through the same grief, and helped them while repairing herself.

S: On a happier note, what have you been listening to lately?

M: I’ve been really into Ellie Goulding and an artist called Fluke. I love Ed Sheeran, Amy Winehouse, Miley Cyrus, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, you know. My favorite song right now is Awkward by San Cisco, which you showed me!

S: How have you been handling school stress lately? It’s been pretty bad recently, at least for me.

M: Seeing as we are on break, I’ve been very relaxed. When in school, I get really strung out over the smallest details. I know it doesn’t seem like the world will end if I get less than 90%, you know, but in that moment it feels as if everything is falling apart. I think this more to the last minute when the tests and assignments are coming up, even if I am so well prepared.

S: Yeah, I feel exactly the same way, it’s crazy. Anything you’re looking forward to for high school?

M: Expanding my friend groups. I’m looking forward to… well, just generally growing up as a person and becoming more passionate and focused on certain things.

S: This has been lovely. Anything else you’d like to say to the internet?

M: Before the beginning comes the end.

 

 

On that note…

It’s a beautiful day to dream. ♦

This Magic Moment…

There comes a certain moment in life, usually as a teenager, when an insane epiphany is somehow just, bam, reached. It is arguably one of the worst and best moments of your life. For some, it comes at a much younger age, but for others, it takes a lot longer to figure out. It is this:

Your parents, despite everything you’ve thought so far, are not perfect human beings who do not make mistakes.

Maybe it is only me, sometimes, it is. But I have realized this: up until this moment in time, we are raised to believe that parents are these sort of god-like souls who, despite even if we absolutely hate what they do to us, can do no wrong. I was convinced that if my mom or dad told me to do something, that something was right or wrong, they were always right, despite any doubts I had about it. I thought about their ways in black and white. There was no grey area for me yet. There still isn’t, completely, of course, as I am only 14 and still very much under the control of my parents. But I have matured my thinking.

Parents are like us, just with a whole lot more experience. They are not invincible, they do not know everything, and they are most definitely not always right.

I probably seem naïve, right? Who am I, a mere fourteen year old girl, to declare something as bold as this? I have every right to. I have parents. Parents talk about their children in much worse, much more severe ways than this, of how much of a nuisance we are, and why would we not be allowed to do the same for them? We, as teenagers, are in this stage of inexperienced realization that is slowly becoming experienced realization.

This moment is simply everything to us. This is probably a terrible example, but if one of our parents is insanely, disgustingly misogynistic and has taught us that it’s okay to be this way, once we realize that our parents can be wrong, we say “no”. No is a powerful word, especially against parents in the wrong who have been used to you listening to them all your life.

This moment allows us to become ourselves, whoever that may be. If you are straight, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, or you feel like you cannot be defined as a gender, go for it no matter what anyone tells you. It doesn’t matter what your parents say is “right”. It may be right to them, but is is absolutely not right at all for someone to pretend they are something they are not. It isn’t okay to make someone feel like shit because they aren’t what you are. It sounds cheesy, I know, but in all honesty you are who you are, and there isn’t anything wrong or bad about that.

What I’m saying is this: Love your parents, respect them, follow their rules, but not in any circumstance let them tell you who you are when you know they are wrong. Don’t let them change you, push you into something you have no intention of being or doing. I promise, it will make you so much more satisfied in the long run. We’re all humans who are going to die anyways, so why not be yourself? ♦

Skool Sucks

I honestly am the queen of overstudying, yet somehow I am also the queen of doubting myself.

It doesn’t make much sense, does it? I mean, I did just completely contradict myself and probably make no sense, but it is somehow true. Some people’s absolute joy comes from perhaps winning a basketball game, or placing first at a dance competition. I thrive on grades. For me, a “good grade” is at least a 95%. I have high expectations for myself, probably way too high, but desiring that shiny, sparkly 100% written in red pen makes all those nights of obsessive studying and excessive effort worth it. I have always wondered why those 100%s, which will most likely be useless and forgotten by next year, mean so much to me. I understand it a little bit more now, albeit not much. Procrastination actually leads to perfectionism, or something like that.

I am incredibly self-deprecating, and it’s a confession I avoid making, but I must admit to it. I am not humble, I have gone way beyond that word. I don’t allow myself to take pride in earning a 97%, because maybe my friend who I want to tell earned an 100%. I never brag about grades because I feel that if I allow myself to feel pride about grades and such, then I will be punished and get a terrible grade next time. I am always waiting, always expecting the worst to happen next. I am the perfect example of the lyrics of a classic Alphaville song, Forever Young- Hoping for the best but expecting the worst (Also covered by One Direction). I always cross my fingers that I’ll get another perfect grade, but I never let myself believe that it will actually happen.

This is a damaging way of thinking, trust me, I know. I’ve attempted to stop terrorizing myself like this, but I simply am unable to do that. I hate to say this, but I think that a lot of it has to do with my family. If I get a 98.5% and tell my mother, she’ll go, “That’s good, but why didn’t you get an 100%?” She means it in a teasing way, she doesn’t actually have such high expectations, but it still stings. Maybe I’m oversensitive, but it’s just me.

The point is this: Don’t do what I do. Let yourself be proud of your work, of your achievements, no matter how small. We all know too much pride is definitely an annoying thing, we’ve learned it since we were in kindergarten, since we first heard the infamous “tortoise and the hare” story. But what we’re never really taught is that too little pride is even worse. Without a sense of pride for our work, we would turn into shy, weak little people who let people walk all over them. We’d beat ourselves up until we turn into nothing. So I’m just saying, be proud of yourself once and a while. Despite common belief, you actually deserve it.

(Here’s a playlist for you to be proud and shout it out to!) http://8tracks.com/seaphase

 

Oh, yeah- it’s a beautiful day to dream.

X,

Sofia

The future

Today I’m going to write about a very difficult, terrifying, nearing topic that is unfortunately something we all have to worry about at some point in our lives. Unless, of course, you’re a person who is just going to spend their lives watching Netflix and eating soup out of cans (no judgment to these people). I am currently at that tricky age where I’m not quite a high schooler yet I have outgrown middle school. My past has defined me so far- of what I have made of myself in my 14 years in life. Right now, my present defines who I am. But now it is slowly changing. In just a few months, my future will define me. The future. Something I have much control over yet I also have no control at all. I could plan my whole life to become something and then… boom. I could change my mind in an instant or, an unthinkable event could occur.

Let me just say it: The future is inevitable.

We do not fear the future, yet we fear it more than anything else. Yes, I can be terrified that something cataclysmic will happen or I’ll get into a car accident or I will lose my phone or whatever. The future is ominous, true, but it is also the ultimate escape. The future contradicts itself, because we can be equally as concerned about awful things happening to us as much as we fantasize about wonderful things happening to us. The problem is this:

A large majority of people, specifically in my community, don’t have many plans for their future. Let me rephrase that. They have their dreams of the results of their futures, but they have no plan to actually get there. A lot of people believe that their dreams will just be handed to them. Like, one day they’ll wake up and BAM they’ll get into Yale or be magically discovered and become a famous actress. This is a calming, common way of thinking that many enjoy and actually believe  will happen. And I admit, for some, it actually sort of does. This way of living is cheery and bright and shiny for us as human beings, to believe that we will one day not have to work for anything or actually even try anymore.

It’s a magical way of thinking. It’s just not the truth.

We spend so much time as imaginative human beings fantasizing about the future, believing that it will be spectacular and perfect. We spend so much time just thinking and daydreaming about it, that when the future actually arrives, we have spent so much time imagining it that we never even did it. This is what scares me. This disturbingly near reality is what we don’t like to think about- the getting there. No one wants to have to face all the realities of growing up, the problems, the conflicts, the boring things, the hard things. But unfortunately we must.

We must deal with the planning, the hard work, because once you find your passion, you have to live for it. If you really want something, if you know it’s your dream, then you have to do everything possible to get there. It’s terrifying, it’s hard, but the satisfaction that comes along after is surely worth the work. Achieving your dream is a priceless thing. For me, at least, it is the ultimate gift. I would rather work my ass off to feel that feeling, to do what I love, instead of living a mediocre life in a career I have no interest in, even if it gives me more money. I know what I want my life to be, and I fantasize about it all the time, but I also know I have to work for it. So, yeah, I’ll have to work a whole lot harder, read a lot more, spend my summers at medical programs instead of going to the beach and partying, but I would rather do this. Because for me, it is so insanely worth it.

X,
Sofia

Midnight Memories

I. Am. Dead.

Why am I dead? Because the absolutely ridiculous, amazing, adorable, perfect Midnight Memories music video just came out!!! I am a very dedicated Directioner, and watching this video (already watched it five times, it’s playing as we speak) makes me into a huge mess of cluttered emotions. I have been crying because the video is so absolutely genuine, old school One Direction it’s crazy. The grandmas, the lame house party, the stealing of a boat, and of course, Niall taking a huge bite out of a sausage reminded me of the glorious X-Factor days. I honestly would give anything to meet these boys, and I mean anything. Midnight Memories is one of my favorite songs of theirs (but my favorites change every week), and the video suits who these boys are perfectly. Their silliness in the video is the most charming thing about it, it’s absolutely endearing. The song obviously isn’t a funny song (it’s an amazing song), but the video is and it goes along perfectly with it. I am really hoping that you all help out, Directioner or not, to break the Vevo 24 hour record. It is something us Directioners are quite skilled at. We get into pretty nasty fights with Vevo because Vevo can be extremely irritating sometimes for numerous reasons which I won’t go into detail about. Anyways, I’m going to leave now because I am currently sick and drowning in self-pity, and I really need to sleep, so I will leave you with some wisdom from us Directioners. Use it wisely, use it as much as you possibly can. This advice is for the Vevo situation.

Refresh, don’t replay.

 

 

Worrying… way too much

I’ve never really took time over a school week and thought about anything, well, other than school. My mind is usually filled with thoughts like this: homework essays due math ugh stupid school oh god did i forget to study study STUDY!! i need an 100% not a 96!! 

Obviously, I always tend to worry over, well, whatever I can worry about. Over years of constant worries about even the seemingly stupidest, small things, I’ve come to realize that worrying so excessively really isn’t benefiting me much. It’s making my life much more stressful than it needs to be. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t ever worry about things, of course we have to as human beings. Without it, we wouldn’t turn that assignment in or pay our bills. But there’s a good amount of worry, useful, normal worrying, and then there’s my kind of worry: crazy, sleepless, restless, nail biting worry that literally feels like it’s going to suffocate me. 

Even in middle school, which honestly doesn’t really count for anything, this persistent demon of stress is probably the hardest thing most teenagers have to go through. This seems like a boring, weird topic to write about, I know, but it’s so important to understand that everyone, every single person, whether they’d like to admit or not, worries. Everybody has stress, whether it’s over something as small as a quiz or college applications, or a surgeon completing a difficult surgery, or anything that causes people stress. Stress is defined by what you, and only you, worry about. Don’t let other people make you worry about unnecessary things, don’t let them drag you into their endless issues. Put yourself first. I know that seems really hard for some people, I know it is for me. I always seem to put others’ needs before mine, including their feelings. I’m still like this, and I’m desperately trying to stop letting everyone, even my best friends, walk all over me. 

Take a step back, for a moment. Realize that solving others’ problems, ones that are small and pointless, before yours isn’t going to help you at all or them. Sometimes pressure and the easy way out appeal to us more than anything. For example, if a friend keeps asking for the answers to homework or something repeatedly, I know it may seem easier to just give in. But after you do that, you’ll have to feel guilty for something you could’ve easily said no to. So just remember this. Try to put what is best for you in mind, not for someone else.

I hope this post helps a little, if anyone needs to talk or anything I’m always here. I never tell anyone’s secrets to anybody. I promise!

Aha…

It’s a beautiful day to dream.

Truly,

Sofia