Guest Speaking and Rehearsals

Thank God it’s Friday!

We’re currently in the midst of rehearsals for the play I’m directing here at the Augustana Theatre. Read more about it HERE. And as a result, I’ve had to adapt to the circadian rhythm of a theatre director — laaaate nights, and not-so-early mornings. I usually hit the gym at 06:00 AM, and if I go to Yoga-class I leave home at 5:00 AM, so I basically live in a different time zone now, but rehearsals are going well, and I can’t wait to see my actors take the stage on Friday.

The set is still under construction, but we’re getting there.

Yesterday I was at the Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell to show Over the Bridge, and do a Q&A with the audience. I actually felt pretty honored just to be invited, and it was nice seeing a different campus, and a different crowd respond to the film.

To show a documentary with profane language — in the chapel of a Methodist college — was a tiiiny bit uncomfortable, but the reason I didn’t cut or bleep it out was because I wanted to give a realistic view of what Sarah and I saw and heard when we explored the homeless community in Sioux Falls. Luckily, the audience was cool about it, and the event went very well. Thanks to Arin Winger for making me feel so welcome, and to everyone who showed up and asked questions after!

This weekend is another busy one, so I better get to work. Talk to you soon.

God Bless,

Photo: Naras Prameswari
Photo: Naras Prameswari

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.

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?


New York City

Good afternoon!

While I was in LA I thought it’d be impossible to find room in my heart to love another city to that same degree, but I guess it’s like having babies: there’s always room for more love. Not that I would know, but that’s what I’ve heard people say, so, heh.. it must be true, right?

I first visited New York two years ago, and after three days of holding onto the greasy poles inside the subway cars, walking through the hot steam from the sewers in the streets and feeling trapped beneath the tall skyscrapers, I told myself I’d never ever want to live in that city. But as with LA, I’m now in love with the place — I could move here in a heartbeat!


Last time I’d just moved to the US a few weeks earlier, and at the time, I thought even Sioux Falls was huge, so no wonder I felt overwhelmed, haha. But now, two years later. I see the beauty in all that chaos.

2014: Yes, I was as exhausted as I looked. Photo: Karen Jøsendal.

So why am I here, you ask? Well, as senior at Augustana I have some big decisions to make, so I’m here for some meetings with NYU Tisch School of the Arts! I still have two more meetings before I’ll fly back to SD later this week. I’ll tell you more about all that later.

I’ve avoided all the typical touristy stuff because traveling across the whole continent in three weeks has put a toll on my financial resources, but I’ve found cheaper ways explore the city. Running, for example, is free!


In LA I was so busy I didn’t have time to eat much besides the vegan snacks and green juices they served everywhere, so I haven’t hesitated with trying out some less healthy treats this week. It’s cheap too!

The famous “cronut” is apparently a must-try in New York, and it was worth every single one of those calories.

Croissant + Donut = Cronut. Add me on Snapchat: Maria Lavelle
Supposedly “The best fries in the US” are found at Pommes Frites on Manhattan.

Now I’ll get ready for my meeting, so talk to ya later!

Be blessed,

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