Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Hi nobody! I really need to work on promoting this guy more.

So, yesterday January 20th, 2009 was a day that changed history. Barack H. Obama became the 44th president of the United States. He is also the first african american president EVER. As an african american, I can honestly say that this isn't something I thought I'd see this early in my young life, if ever. I thought that there was still too much prejudice in this country for people to see past the color of this brillant man's skin to see that he would really be the best person for the job.

This whole election was definitely one that changed history. I mean, there was so much more at stake than there has been in the past. Not just the war or the economy but both. The person who was to take on the presidency had to be someone strong enough to handle all of that. And to fix the mistakes made by the administration before him. And now I know that some of my friends don't agree with my political views and this isn't going to be a post where that's all I speak about. But now that Barack has been sworn in and is officially official I pause a minute to think about how different things would have been if John McCain had been elected. I really don't think that things would have changed much if at all. The rich would still be rich and the poor would just get poorer. As a member of the poor I would really like to see things change in that capacity. It isn't fair that my parents have to be driven out of the city they've called their home for 50+ years because rents are getting expensive. It isn't fair that I will be paying off student loans until I'm 42 because of the killer interest rates. It shouldn't be that only 5% of the population controlls the wealth. And this is something I really believe that Obama will change. Of course it isn't going to happen in a day, a month, a year, maybe not even 4 years. But I know that he will set the wheels in motion for such a thing to happen.

Why do I know that? Because Barack and Michelle Obama are regular people. They're just like me and my family, except now they have a really swanky address and a lot of power. But they shop at Target and their kids go to public school and Michelle wears clothes from the Ann Taylor Loft and looks just as beautiful in them as she would in Dior. They didn't come from money so they understand what it means to have to fight and struggle just to keep your head above water. They know the uphill battle than me and a lot of my friends are now facing with paying back our student loans, forcing us to live with our parents or to do jobs that we may not want just to be able to pay the bills but be no closer to moving out of their houses no matter how much we want to. They understand what its like to be a student who struggles to find a job in this economy which is damn near impossible. And they care and want to make it better for us. Would McCain? I don't think so, I really don't. I mean he and his wife come from priviledge. I bet their kids didn't have to take out student loans and they have plenty of money to live comfortably.

They have no idea what it's like to have to make a decision like feeding your family or putting gas in your car. They don't know what its like to put off buying something that you need just so that everyone else in your household is taken care of. They don't know that kind of sacrifice which is why I don't think that they would have done what they needed to do to make it better. And as a woman, I would fear for my rights if McCain would have won. Why? Because we wouldn't have any anymore. Obama is going to keep the rights we have like Roe v. Wade and giving us new ones, like help for single mothers who have to take off work if their kid gets sick. He understands the plight of the working class family.

And as I sat on my couch wrapped in a blanket watching him take the oath of office and make his speech, I was proud. Proud because we now have a man in office who will do everything he can to make life better for everyone. A man who doesn't let anyone off the hook for the situations we now find ourselves in as a country. A man who has pride, not just because of who we are and what we've done but because of what we can do and what he will lead us to do in the future. You may not agree with me, but where has that pride been for the last 8 years? Where has any of that responsibility been the last 8 years? Where has that humility been the last 8 years? Surely not in the United States of America. In the past 8 years I've seen arrogance and gluttony, not physical gluttony but monetary gluttony. An abuse of power and people who didn't care about the thousands of innocent lives that were lost under their command. And I don't care what anyone says, that isn't a country to be proud of. How can you be proud of a country that has not only failed its own citizens but has caused devastation all around the world? You can't. At least I can't.

Now I am proud to be an American. I know that the Obama administration will work tirelessly to restore the world's faith in America and its citizens. I know that I sat and watched an eloquent, well spoken and sharply dressed man make a promise. A promise to not only his country and the world but to himself to make this world a better place for future generations. As Sam Cooke said in his famous civil rights anthem 'It's been a long time coming but I know a change is gonna come.' Yes it is Sam. And yes we can America. Land of the free and home of the brave.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Making it on Broadway!

So, there was a contest being run before the holidays through Broadway with the program Making it On Broadway. Basically if you friended Making it on Broadway, you would be entered to win a free master class during one of their winter intensive programs. Well, I was the lucky winner, and believe me when I say I was lucky. At first I thought that I would only be able to attend one class but once I got to the first class, Jodie Langel, the co-founder and teacher at Making it on Broadway, informed me that I would be able to sit in on all of the master classes for the week.

I attended two of the master classes during this week's intensive one with Roger Bart (who had only finished performing in Young Frankenstein two days before) and one with Andrea Burns, one of the current stars of In The Heights. They were two of the best classes I have ever had the privilege of attending. I absolutely loved observing their two different approaches to working with the actors in the class. Both were very hands-on with the students and answered every question as truthfully as they possibly could. When I asked Roger Bart how he finds the balance between taking a job because it's a paycheck or doing something because of his feelings toward it as an artist, he told us to find the artistry in every role. But if you've been in the chorus making a steady paycheck and you're ready for something more, know when its okay to say "No." And Andrea Burns was also honest about what being an actor feels like. Of recently performing on the Tony's, she was very frank. She knew that the opportunity may never come again so she relished every minute of it, especially when she knew others who got their turn before her.

As for watching them actually work with students they both had very different approaches but both very helpful. Roger Bart was mainly going on his first impressions of a lot of the pieces because he admitted that he's not super savvy on a lot of musical theatre. And his gut reactions were still very honest and very wonderful. You can tell that what he said was appreciated and the kids were not just taking it at face value. I mean, obviously the man knows what he's talking about; he has a Tony. And he's absolutely wonderful as an actor and as a person. I kinda want to be his best friend. Andrea Burns wasn't starkly different but different enough. She asked a lot more questions about the motivation behind the choices that each student made. Watching her work with the students made me feel like I was in college again and that was kind of enjoyable for the moment.

I didn't get the chance to thank Roger because he had his knee drained earlier that afternoon and was in a lot of pain so they kind of rushed him out but I got to thank Andrea and tell her what a treat it was to see her work. Only last night I was singing along with her on my computer and then poof! there she was in front of me! It was kind of epic. I've never gotten to have that kind of experience with a Broadway actor before. Well except for when I met Laura Benanti, but I didn't get to watch her work; I just got to take a picture with her and have her tell me that I was beautiful.

But both classes were absolutely awesome. The intensive is a bit pricey, but from the little sneak peek I got, definitely worth the money you'd be spending! I'm definitely going to save my pennies and sign up for the next one! For more information and to see a list of past professionals that have worked with the program, check out their website here I want to thank Broadway Space and Jodie from Making it on Broadway for giving me such a great opportunity.