Acting

My Apologies

Happy Saturday!

Yesterday I attended my last ever class at Augustana, and now I just have to find a way to get all my finals done next week — while also catching up on everything I missed when I was in the hospital the week before. The fact that I’m about to graduate is still sinking in, but I’ll say more about that when it’s done sinking.

But anyway, I made a very unpleasant discovery this morning. I was writing a paper and decided to use the solid word “obnoxious.” It’s a word I’ve embraced and used frequently throughout these part three years in the US, mostly because it’s so fun to say: Obb-noch-shuss, obnoxious.

However, as I’m reflecting upon my use of this word I suddenly see how obnoxious it is to use words you don’t know the full meaning of.

In improv class earlier this year I was asked how Americans seem compared to Norwegians, and I responded with “Americans are really obnoxious in comparison. Especially Midwesterners.”

Silence in the room.

You see, I thought obnoxious meant: Outgoing, lively, lighthearted, energetic and animated, and I honestly thought I delivered them a compliment so great that nobody knew how to respond — hence the silence.

The second part of that sentence was supposed to be “theatre people are even more obnoxious than normal,” so you can only imagine how relieved I am that I stopped when I did.

It made sense to me to say Americans — and especially theatre people — are much more outgoing than Norwegians, but today, while writing my paper I decided to actually look up this highly versatile English word.

AND I’M MORTIFIED! Oh my God!

The Merriam Webster dictionary got it all wrong!
Apparently it means “extremely unpleasant,” “disgusting,” “harmful,” “distasteful” and “nasty.”

And I can’t even begin to think about all the other times I’ve used this word to describe something or — even worse — SOMEONE I think of as fun or energetic.

My deepest apologies to the wonderful members of 33rd street improv. I’m surprised you let me be a part of the group at all after such an incident.

And after this realization I’m filled with a tremendous gratitude over the fact that our live show turned out so well, despite the prejudicial, ethnocentric and ignorant Norwegian person you had to deal with during the process.

33rd Street Improv. Photo: Jayna Fitzsimmons.


Love you,
Maria

Sweaty is the New Skinny

Good evening, dear readers!

Last time you heard from me I was out on the East Coast, but I’m back in Sioux Falls — with less free time than I thought was possible, haha. Like I mentioned earlier, I worked three weeks ahead on my homework before I left for LA, but I had to take all the midterm exams and do all the projects after I got back, so needless to say, I haven’t had much time to keep the blog alive. But you’re here, and that means you forgave me. So, welcome to you all!

I thought Over the Bridge was ready to be put to bed after LA, but I’ve been invited to show it at the Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell on Thursday, and then there will be two more screenings here in Sioux Falls before Christmas. I’ll tell you more about it later.

Another new thing is that I’m directing my first theatre show! This whole theatre thing has really grown on me — it wasn’t that long ago I thought it was a … rather… weird form of art, but after picking up a theatre minor to help me improve my directing skills, I’ve really learned to love it. It’s so much fun, and I’m very excited to present the play “Precipice” on the Augustana main stage next weekend. It’s a short play that will be shown together with seven other short plays, so it should be pretty cool. More about that later too.

Theatre does come in handy whenever Halloween is around the corner as well. Flashback to the past:


Even if it’s tons of fun, I’ve been craving an hour of free time. You know, just one hour where you can relax, scroll through facebook, watch an episode on Netflix or go grocery shopping (Wal-mart makes me relaxed, I know it’s weird), but with all the projects and exams it seemed like a long shot. I was, therefore, delighted to learn that daylight-saving was coming up, and I got a whole extra hour! You’ll never appreciate something like that until you’ve skipped three weeks of the semester and have to catch up on the 504 hours you lost while traveling, haha.

Since this is not a fashion blog, I’ll also take the freedom to share a a time-saving tip I discovered last week:

I’ve been wearing running shoes and leggings everyday lately, because you see, walking to class, walking to meetings and walking to the cafeteria is simply too slow. I won’t get there in time if I just walk, so I’ve been running. Not only do I get to my appointments a little faster, I also save that hour I’d normally be spending at the gym. Win, win.

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Paparazzi shot by: Naras Prameswari

And if you add the weight of your backpack, camera bag and theatre props in the plastic bag you get a full body workout!

We all know sweaty is the new skinny, right?

Blessings,
Maria

Family Rivalry

My uncle and I have always been true competitors, and there hasn’t been a family gathering without us challenging each other in some ridiculous activity. We’ve tried everything from sprints to planks and Russian cossack dancing (he ALWAYS beats me in the latter. Man, that guy is a pro! You should see him)

This time he challenged me to hang from the bridge in a park nearby with my bare hands, for then to climb back up. It’s so much harder than it looks!

Watch the video below and see for yourself, haha.

Caution: No animals nor humans were injured in this production. That is, if you exclude the severe muscle soreness I experienced the next couple of days — I decided to take a break from working out, you know.

By the way, this is NOT his film debut. He’s in a real movie that will be released this coming fall. Oh yes! He’s on the casting list for one of my future movies, so watch out for this guy, folks!

I love you uncle Remi. If I didn’t already know how cool you are I wouldn’t have deared to post this <3

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Bless you all,
Maria

Save the Cat

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a project that is completely different from anything I’ve ever done before. In fact, I’ve always just put it off because I’ve had no idea where to even start, or how to do it.

I’m talking about screenwriting!

By making documentaries I’ve been able to avoid the writing process all together, but I believe that in order to fully understand how a movie works, sitting down and writing one — scene by scene — is a good idea. So, that’s what I’m doing.

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Thanks to this wonderful book called “Save the Cat” by Blake Snyder, I found the courage to give it a try. I’ve had an idea for a feature film for three years, but my goal with this one is simply just to finish it. I don’t care if it sucks, I just want to put it on paper, see the process from a screenwriter’s perspective, and learn from it.
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That’s why I took up acting last year — to see it from the actor’s perspective, and why I’m taking a stagecraft class this fall. A director needs to be able to communicate efficiently with all the people on set, whether it’s the actors, technicians or writers, which is why knowing their job is a must.

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Favorite T-shirt: “But what I really want to do is direct.”

I only have X number of hours of storyboarding and 110 pages to go, so well, I’ll approach it like training for a marathon. One mile at a time.

Have a blessed afternoon,
Maria

My first half marathon

As a follow-up to last year’s “This is what happens when a former triple jumper tries to run a 5k” I want to share today’s half marathon experience with you all, but I recommend you read the post about the 5K first.

Hey there! You rebel. Go back up and read the post like I told you to. Well, decide for yourself.

Okay, now that you’ve read it you know that after my stress fracture finally healed up this past fall I’ve been running a little every now and then. Nothing serious, but just enough to keep my exercise addiction alive.

I finished up the documentary “Over the Bridge” about two months ago and was planning on just chilling the rest of the semester. However, I got bored after three days and realized I needed a new project. So I gently forced my friend Matthew Housiaux to join me on the journey towards Brookings Half Marathon. Sorry, Matt!

And at 4:00 this morning it suddenly became real. We drove to Brookings, (about an hour north of Sioux Falls) lined up with hundreds of other runners with the hope of surviving the 21.1km (13.1 miles) that waited us.

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One would think that I, as a former track athlete, wold have lungs of steel and that running hundreds of miles would be easy, but that notion does NOT apply to me. Not even the slightest. I used to avoid all endurance training because I didn’t want to waste time doing something that wouldn’t make me better at what I was doing in competition, so to even consider running a half marathon was a big step for me.

I was, of course, terrified of going out so hard the first mile I’d end up crawling the remaining 12, so I took it pretty easy — and to my big surprise — it was fun! The first 10km (6 miles) felt so easy I was wondering if someone had accidentally injected me with EPO. One really shouldn’t joke about that, but you get my point.

However, the soles of my feet started aching shortly after, and by the 15km (9 miles) mark I didn’t exactly feel that great. But at that point I just wanted it to end so I picked up my pace and shuffled my way to about 18km (11 miles) and from there I somehow made it to the finish line. Yay!

With my time of 2:08.52 I placed as 104 out of 225 women. Even if the time and placement doesn’t even resemble anything that has to do with elite sports, I’m very proud that I was able to finish all 21 kilometres without stopping. I ran the last 10km in 55 minutes, so at least I finished stronger than I started, haha.

Overall, it was a fun experience and Matt said it was worth it in the end… which makes me feel a little better about pushing him to do this with me. Thanks, Matt!

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No I didn’t wear my coat and this beautiful silver cape during the race. Although, I might have been able to shave off a few minutes if I did… Who knows? #Superherocape

Now I’ll head to the theatre to perform the monologue I told you about earlier. Man, what a busy day!

Have a great Saturday all,
Maria

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