Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Nobody's talking to me except a bunch of dead French politicians who I'm pretty sure are just in my head."

Remember Masked?

That project I talked about back in October and have brought up occasionally on here since then, but haven't gone into a whole lot of detail about?  Yeah, that one.

Turns out I've been working pretty steadily on it all this time, and it's getting pretty close to what they call actual production.  That is, pre-production's almost over.  Filming will begin soon.  (Then comes post-production.  Yip yop yoop.  ...I have no idea what that means. It's supposed to be a Noise of Apprehension, I guess.)

But anyways! Things are progressing pretty well now and I'm pleased to inform you (if you didn't know already) that we've already cast almost all of the lead roles!  We haven't announced all their names yet... there's one particular chap who's being kept in reserve as of now, muwahahaha... but if you're curious about the few who are Out and About already, here they are.  (Just for fun, see if you can figure out who these characters' counterparts are in the novel, and leave a comment with your deductions. :D)

Alexandra Rovirosa is playing Margot James 

Isabella Rovirosa is playing Suzanne James

Jacob Funke is playing Drew Ffoulkes

Kristian Jett is playing Angelo St. Cyr

Michael Reiser is playing Tony Dewhurst

Maggie O'Neal is playing Julie Denman

(Julie is a character with a difficult-to-discern counterpart, as she's a blend of several different novel characters, haha. So don't bother trying to figure hers out.  ;))

Bonus puzzle-- the quote in the post title is an actual line from one of the scripts and it's spoken by one of the characters pictured here.  Care to guess which one?

To read more about the cast and the creative team, visit our website (oh yeah! we have a website!) and check out the Cast & Creative page.

Also we're on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook and Pinterest.  Just so ya know.

...Yeah, this post is pretty shamelessly show-promoting.  But if you've stuck with it until now, thank you muchly, and here's a tidbit of Interestingness at the end.   Though most of our main roles are cast, we ARE still looking for at least two actors to play supporting roles... and we have a way in which you might be able to get involved, if you're interested.  So go check out this post on The Day Dream. Seriously, go do it.

(Also, while I'm at the business of self-promoting, go check out all the spring stuff in my Etsy shop, too.  Please.  Because all the proceeds from that are going toward Masked.  Worthy cause and all that. Just sayin'.)

(Also, I promise my next post on here will be an actual real thoughtful-and-intelligent piece of writing.  Like, a review or something.  Or a Musing.  Or something remotely intellectual.  But my brain's a little zapped right now. So I leave you.)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Two Are Better Than One

"I do not pretend to understand the nature of friendship between men, Dr. Marshland, but surely in its better points it resembles that between women. "
~Mary Smith, Cranford

"So I hear you're going on vacation this spring!" my friend Jenny said to me the other day.
I can never hold back the grin that comes to my face when this topic comes up.  "Yep, I'm off to State-That-Is-Far-Away-From-Here again. For two whole weeks!  Which is great, because by then it'll have been more than seven months since I saw Melody and I'll be in need of another Dose of Best Friend."

"That's going to be so fun," she said.  "So you're staying with her family?  And your mom said you're going to the Pacific coast, right?"

"Yeah, her family's being unbelievably sweet and letting me tag along on their vacation," said I, grinning even wider and probably resembling the Cheshire Cat.  "You have no idea how much I've been looking forward to this.  I seriously can't wait."

"I guess it's kind of like having cousins out there," she said, considering.  "I mean, like extended family that you'd go and visit.  You guys must be pretty close."

You could say that.  :D  In fact, you could say a lot of things about Melody and me-- the phrase that her mom used once, "the two of you are like sisters, except a little bit better" is one of the best of the lot.  For the past three and a half years our relationship's strengthened more and more, and I don't hesitate to refer to my best friend as my twin sister anymore.  We don't have the same biological parents or the same birthday, but she's part of my family now and I'm part of hers and the two of us are separated only by a very large number of stupid, lengthy miles.

But now? Now I am, to borrow a Melody-ism (I do that a lot) absolutely Full of Squee.  Because now we're in the home stretch again, that delightful period of time directly preceding an Actual Real-Life Visit, and I'm so happy I could SCREAM.

On May 19th, 2015, I shall take a very long plane ride and then sit around in an airport for three hours (yay layovers) and then take a not-so-long plane ride, and around 2 PM I'll be with my favorite person in the whole world (for whom I can thank this very blog, for introducing us in the first place) for two. whole. weeks.  And two days.  I'm not coming home until the FIFTH of JUNE.

Like I said, so excited I could SCREAM.

We have a lot of plans, of course.  Plans that involve drinking lots of tea (as always) and doing some cake decorating (I'll teach her) and going bowling (she'll teach me) and having a yard sale and playing games and going to libraries (she works at one, which is so cool :D) and watching lots of movies (we're currently planning on Death Comes to Pemberley, National Treasure 2, Newsies, Northanger Abbey... hmm, we like movies that start with N, apparently).  Oh, and making a blanket fort and hiding from people, because we're mature young adults.

Aaaaaand we're also going to the Pacific coast.  That is, her family's going on vacation and they're graciously letting me come too.  The two of us have taken day trips together before (and one overnight at my grandmother's house one time) but this will be our first real road trip, and to say we're excited would not only be an understatement, it would be redundant because I've already used that word too many times in this post.

Let's just say I'm elated and very much looking forward to it

(photo credit to Melody)
But in the midst of all our fun activities (and hiking and camping-- well, cabin-ing, which is my kind of camping) we'd like to make something fun to put on our blogs (that's how we met in the first place, after all) and that's where you folks come in.

We're planning to make a podcast together, or at least a voice version of a vlog.  (A v-vlog? Nope, too stupid.) With Internet privacy and all that, we decided not to make a video blog together, but we thought it would be fun to put together something like a podcast, perhaps accompanied by a slideshow of pictures or other Visual Aids.  In all modesty (of course), we are rather hilarious when together, and thought the rest of the world should be able to listen to at least one of our conversations and enjoy our hilariousness.  As one does.

So we'd like to answer any questions you might have, and here are some handy-dandy helpful guidelines for that sort of thing.

~Submit anything that you might be curious about, whether about one of us in particular or about the two of us together.  However, if you have a question specifically for Melody, submit it here in the comments of this post.  If you have a question specifically for me, hop over to Melody's blog and leave it in the comments on her post on this same topic.  We won't publish any of the questions just yet (but will let you know when we receive them) so that they'll be fresh when we read them to each other as we make the podcast.  Make sense?
~Ask whatever you like, but we do reserve the right to not answer anything we deem too personal.  ;)
~Jazz it up! Be creative! Feel free to ask the ordinary things like "what's your favorite color?" and "are you for or against flowers in church?" but we encourage you to ask even more interesting things like "which of you would be more likely to run away to New York and pursue the stage?" and "what's the dumbest thing the two of you ever did together?."  (Fair warning-- she might not let me answer that one. Not that I can think of a specific example right off the top of my head, but I'm sure with a little pondering...)
~Make sure your questions are submitted before May 19th! :)
~We shall do our best to answer all the questions in the podcast and get it recorded and published in a timely fashion. Howeverrrrr, there is a slight possibility that the podcast might not get completed during our visit, in which case we shall definitely answer all your questions in a joint blog post and will apologize profusely for not having had enough time to do what we promised.  Because, ya know, life gets busy sometimes. (But we really do want to do this.  It'll be fun.)


Okay, back to the regularly scheduled Sentimental Sap programming... in all seriousness, I am so thrilled to be able to go and see Melody again.  Over the last three and a half years (I'm still a bit mind-boggled that it's been that long!) we've really become like sisters, but even closer than that, and she is truly my other half.  We've been through ups and downs and sadness and joy together now, and had our share of spats (although we've never yet had any actually horrendous fights, just "foofalations" as we call them) and more than our share of communication (ha, if you could see the length of the emails we write to each other... and knew how much time we spend on the phone... heh, heh.  It's a wonder we get anything else done.).  

What my friend said about extended family is true, though.  She's become a real part of my family, and not only do I not know what I would do without her, I don't even like to think about the possibility of having to do without her.  She's just the best, you guys. :D

In recent months I've become closer with other members of her family too, and I think I can say truthfully that yes, I am traveling out to see my extended family.  My un-biological family, yes, but extended family nonetheless.  Because Melody's family is an extension of her (so to speak) and she herself is an extension of me, and... you get my drift.  I like her. And her peeps. :D  

So!  There you have it.  This exceedingly ramble-y and hyper post now comes to a close, and you are left with the knowledge that Amy and Melody are going to see each other again, a fact which makes the world a better place, duh.  (Because we're self-centered and like to think that way.)

And now I will stop sentimental-ing at you.  (Um, that's totally a verb. Because I said it was.)

“So closely interwoven have been our lives, our purposes, and experiences that, separated, we have a feeling of incompleteness—united, such strength of self-association that no ordinary obstacles, differences, or dangers ever appear to us insurmountable.” 
–Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Odds and Ends

"Hour of Tea" by Vladimir Volegov

Oh, hi there, all of you whom I haven't talked to for almost two months.

Still alive over here.  *waves* Life's been a little crazy and a little busy and not exactly conducive to writing long blog posts of late, but I promise I haven't abandoned this spot!  I do have a few new posts in draft right now (including a couple of movie reviews that realllllllly need to get finished) and they'll be along eventually.  ;)

But for now I thought I'd do one of those random update posts because I always like reading those and they make good filler when you're not feeling particularly Creative.  (Hey, I'm being honest here.)

So right now I am...


Well, I'll let you guess. :D

"Upon my word," said her ladyship, "you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person. Pray, what is your age?"
"With three younger sisters grown up," replied Elizabeth, smiling, "your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it."
Lady Catherine seemed quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer; and Elizabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence. 
"You cannot be more than twenty, I am sure, therefore you need not conceal your age."     
"I am not one-and-twenty."     
~Pride and Prejudice, chapter 29

Yep, I'm turning twenty.  Or that is, I did-- almost a month ago.  (Heh, heh. I was going to write a commemorative post to bid farewell to the teen years, but yeah, that didn't happen.)  Last year my age matched Elinor's and this year it matched Elizabeth's and next will be Emma... and then I'll be out of Jane Austen heroines (unless you count Jane Bennet, but nobody does :P) until I turn 27 and match up with Anne Elliot again.


My mom and I are reading A Chance to Die (a biography of Amy Carmichael) by Elisabeth Elliot together right now, and I just got Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking from the library, so I've been enjoying what I read of that so far. :D  My sister gave me The Making of BBC Pride and Prejudice for my birthday, which has been SO much fun to poke through, and I recently finished up The Penderwicks In Spring.  Which I pre-ordered the moment it was available.  No shame. :P  I'm still working on a Goodreads review for that, but let's just say I was not disappointed. ;)

The book in the picture above is The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee by Marja Mills, which DID disappoint me, and in fact I have a review of sorts in draft right now (with a lot of philosophical rambling about the role of truth and ethics in journalism) but I'm including the picture because I thought it was pretty and I don't generally take good pictures, haha, so this one needed to be commemorated.


I saw Into the Woods back in January and have been enjoying various recordings of that musical (Bernadette Peters is a majestic empress, y'all) and I'm also binge-listening to Cecilia Bartoli and a lot of pieces by Scarlatti.  But really, just about anything Cecelia Bartoli sings. Because she's amazing.   And hilarious.  Proof below-- this is a piece called "Papagena" from Mozart's The Magic Flute and this video cracks me up every time. :D


I started a new nannying job in January (in addition to the one I've had for the last two and half years) and it's a little bit exhausting (four VERY energetic kids ten and under) but rewarding and lovely and all that.  And the kids are beyond cute, so that's a plus.  No pictures, because privacy, but here are some amusing conversational tidbits from the mouths of babes...

 6-year-old: You wore earrings today!
Me: Yes, and so did you!
6-year-old: I always have these in.
Me: I know.
6-year-old: But yours are just SPECIAL. They're just... I don't know. So CLASSY.

3-year-old: I like my pasta clean and fresh.
Me: ......
Me: ..............
7-year-old: He means he likes it without any sauce on it, duh.


Experimenting with 50's style dresses and skirts for SPRING!  What I'd really really like to make is a reproduction of Maria's lilac dress from West Side Story, but I have a bunch of other projects lined up right now so that will have to wait.  I'm also modifying a Regency dress to fit my youngest sister so she can wear it when she plays piano for a Jane Austen themed fundraising tea at our library later this month.  (SQUEEP.)


Last year I won a DVD set of Wind at My Back, season one, from Sullivan Entertainment, and I immediately fell in love with the show.  Recently Melody and I have been watching season two as well (and I've been showing season one to my sisters!) and I can definitely name it as one of my favorite TV shows of all time.  It's a sweet family story set in 1930's Ontario, following the struggles of a widow and her three children, her absolutely abominable mother-in-law and their friends and relatives and all their trials and triumphs and blah-de-blah.  Pretty much impossible to describe without sounding incredibly schmaltzy, but if you can get your hands on an episode or two (they're expensive and/or hard to find, unfortunately), the show is definitely worth watching.


Lots and lots of stuff for Masked!  Screenplays, of course, but also audition sides and script treatments and character studies and all those other little things that go into producing a show.  It's a bit of a whirlwind at present, but we're getting very close to the actual filming now and that's SO exciting!


Well, these pictures have been cracking me up for days now. :D


I was going to make this one "drinking" but decided that didn't sound quite as nice as I would like it to. :P  I'm talking about tea, people, sheesh.  My aunt recently gave me some Yunnan black needle tea which I was a little cautious about trying because it sounded quite different from anything I'd had before, but I ended up really enjoying it.  A couple of weeks ago I also happened upon Celestial Seasonings' Tangerine Orange tea in a grocery store I don't go to very often, which was a happy occurrence indeed, because that particular kind is quite hard to find these days.  :/


Humility is a big thing the Lord's been impressing on me lately-- that along with trust and letting go.  The three go hand-in-hand, really.  I like to saunter through life with my own plan in mind, confident in the (narcissistic) assumption that everything is going to go the way I want it to, and if it doesn't, well, I'll fix it.  But "life is what happens when we are making other plans" and I've been learning time and time again that roadblocks will come up and tragedies will strike and times of hardship will come hurtling toward us, and there's not a whole lot we can do to stop them.  Or, even, get rid of them when they come.  Which is, in its way, incredibly humbling, because it reminds me that I am not the all-powerful being I like to think I am :P, but it is also incredibly uplifting because it reminds me that the God I serve IS an all-powerful Being and absolutely nothing in this world happens outside of His perfect plan.

Happy spring, everybody!