Good evening and thanks for stopping by!
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that my financial situation almost kept me from accepting my spot at NYU Tisch last spring. But what I haven’t told you is that my financial situation almost kept me from entering my second year at Tisch.
I had to use all my savings and resources on just making it through my first year of film school. My family, friends and even anonymous donors put a lot of work into making my dream of film school become a reality, and I did end up having enough money to make it through the year, for which I’m incredibly grateful.
As you now, my semester was filled with lots of stressful events that kept me busy, and the truth is that throughout the entire year I had no idea if I’d even be able to afford a second year at Tisch.
I chose not to worry about it, because I wanted to believe God would provide, somehow.
The Bread and the Bananas
My close friends started to notice this “economical scarcity” on my eating habits, while others probably thought I was “just on a special diet consisting of bread, bananas, yoghurt and peanut butter.” I’m not a big fan of either of those foods (certainly not after this year…), but I found that it was cheap enough for my budget and it gave me what I needed to keep going.
However, I received the most wonderful email a few weeks ago. If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, chances are you already know, but I’ll tell you again.
I got to know I’ve been accepted as a NORAM Scholar and was selected as a recipient for a scholarship that will help me close the financial gap between what I get in funds from Norway and my Tisch Scholarship.
As a result, I’ll be able to attend NYU Tisch for another year!
It’ll still be tight, and I’ll probably have to sustain myself on a few more of those banana sandwiches in this upcoming year, but receiving this scholarship lifts a huge burden off my shoulders. Combined with my reporting job this summer, I might even be able to afford some actual meals.
God is so good, and he does, indeed, provide.
Here are some pictures from the award ceremony at the Nobel Institute in Oslo:
Three Lavelles. My sister had to work, and couldn’t make it to the ceremony. But the three of us had a great time.
Have a blessed evening,
Phew! It’s been a while since I last stopped by to give you an update, and leaving you all hanging on the “Rough Patch” I mentioned last time wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but if you read my post “You know you’re a grad film student when …” I hope you can forgive my … rather sporadic … blogging.
I won’t bore you with my daily routines, but the truth is that there simply is no time off as a grad student at Tisch. Honestly.
Every day starts early and ends late (it’s not uncommon for me to be at school for 14 hours or longer ever day). Add the commute and normal life things such as sleeping and eating and there’s just no time left.
“But you have the weekends, though, right?”
Well, the weekends are spent shooting our directing exercises; which often takes up all Saturday and all Sunday. Read more about our weekend adventures HERE. It’s worth your time, I promise 🙂
But you know what?
I love it! There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, and nothing else I’d rather do.
Here’s a little snippet from my Snapchat. It’s a random collection of short clips from everyday life at NYU:
Right now we’re about to wrap up pre-production of our first project; a black & white, MOS film, with no music or dialogue, shot on Super 16mm film. It sounds like the easiest thing to do, but when you’ve been robbed of all the crutches that would otherwise help carry a film, it becomes a fun challenge.
It’s also a true privilege to shoot on actual film!
Last weekend’s directing exercise was supposed to be fun as well, but I think our crew can agree that getting sprayed off a sidewalk with a water-hose could’ve been more fun.
Long story short:
We had set up everything for our scene on a PUBLIC sidewalk in Midtown. However, some people with troubled egos decided that the public sidewalk wasn’t public enough for us to shoot on, so we got into an argument that ended with two men calling the janitor in their building who then started “cleaning” the sidewalk with a water hose where we were shooting.
The picture below was shot before he realized his methods weren’t effective enough. He loosened the hose from the socket to create a sprinkler-effect that sprayed all over shortly after. For the record, we weren’t even shooting in front of their building; we shot in front of a shut-down café next to their building.
Since we also happened to have $xx.000 worth of equipment in our hands at the moment he started spraying, we had to leave — or defend our case in court, I guess.
I wish we were shooting a journalistic documentary, because then we could’ve slammed the First Amendment in their faces, but oh well. Pick your battles.
I personally think we handled it pretty darn well. Go Crew 7!!!
Talk to you soon!
Eveybody’s grown up, and then there’s me.
Seeing how many of my former classmates are all “grown up” with boyfriends, fiancés, husbands, kids, houses, cars and down-paid student loans have made me think thoughts that felt distant when I was at Augustana, but suddenly very close now that I’m here in Norway.
I’ve felt a combination of relief and gratitude for the freedom of not having to “grow up” yet; of not having to worry about buying a station wagon, finding a job, planning family vacations or weddings, arguing about how to raise the kids, and about making secure, logical and reasonable life choices.
But in between that relief and gratitude, there’s doubt. Logical doubt. Tempting shortcuts rooted inside comfort-zones. So many easier options, secure options, reasonable options.
“Am I making the right decisions with my life? Is my dream worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? Am I the only one in the world not wanting to settle? Should I settle?”
You see, Norway is a paradise for secure, logical and reasonable life choices. I’m surrounded by people who’ve done it all the “right way.” You know, the way banks, parents, teachers, coaches and neighbors have advised you to do things from the day you were born.
The Utopia for comfortable and predictable lifestyles is right here in Norway — everywhere I turn I see logic screaming for attention.
Still, I choose not to listen.
Please don’t get me wrong; my heart bubbles of joy when I see people who found their way, their job and their loved one. I’m thrilled to see that their relationships are thriving, that their coffeemaker was on sale, that their station wagon runs well, that their honeymoon-tickets were cheap, that their baby said a word, that the lawn is recovering from the winter and that their student loans are paid down. I’m happy for them, I really am.
But I also know that behind my occasional moments of doubt and temptation for “the comfortable,” I have to continue working towards my dream; the dream that won’t be satisfied by having a house, a car, a coffee-maker and a nine-to-five job.
In the midst of all the noise, I need to follow my heart and trust God.
So, what am I trying to say?
– In my head there’s nothing logical about NYU Tisch, or even attempting to apply to the program. Less than two percent gets accepted, and it’s so expensive that regardless of how fast I say the number, it still takes a great deal of syllables to pronounce the cost in its entirety. Meanwhile, I could have studied for free at a Norwegian university, settled with my journalism degree, gotten a normal job and started saving up for that station wagon — but once again I ignored logic and went with my heart.
Sometimes I feel confident in the decision, and sometimes I ask myself what in the world I’m doing.
Yesterday fit the latter description. I felt freaked out when I thought about the tremendous amounts of money that goes into my dream, and about the things I sacrifice.
But I tell myself that even if I’m not close to buying a house or a car, and probably can’t afford anything big enough to earn the name “apartment” for quite some time, I’m at least fueling my dream the best I can.
I don’t need a perfect lawn or a nice coffee-maker for now, I need to make films.
The rest is up to God.
Good afternoon and thank you so much for the questions 🙂
Last year I think some of you had a little too much fun with copying and pasting gigantic questionnaires into the comments section, and I didn’t even get to respond to all of them. Thankfully, I didn’t run into that problem this year; I even had time to add some pictures!
Do you have all the money for film school now?
No, I only have the first year covered, so far. Which is a miracle in itself, so we’ll see. I trust God’s plan.
Er du fortsatt singel? (English: Are you still single?)
Yes. No news since I wrote THIS post.
Name your favorite bible verse.
1. What’s the most dangerous thing you ever did?
– Ooh, that’s a tough one. Some things are better left untold. Don’t they say that being alive is pretty dangerous?
2. Biggest pet peeve?
– Conversations like these:
Random American person: You have an accent. Where are you from?
Random American person: Oh, me too!
Me: Cool, where in Norway?
Random American person: I think the town was called Stockholm. You see, my great grandmother’s, uncle’s, third cousin’s, great aunt’s sister was from Norway. Do you eat lutefisk? (Pronounced loodafisk)
3. Where would you want to live?
– Right now I wouldn’t want to live anywhere but New York City, but maybe in a few years I’ll want to move somewhere else. I love Los Angeles equally much, but who knows. I’ll live where God wants me.
4. Your biggest mice?
– Whooh, thankfully you didn’t replace that “m” withy a “v”. Or else I’d have to share my biggest vice, and that would’ve been bad. You can read this post and see if you’ll figure it out on your own 😉
5. Is your tattoo real?
– Yes, they are.
6. What do you like the most and least about blogging?
– Good question! I like that I get to express myself through writing, and the almost-theraputic effect it has on me. It’s a great outlet, de-stresser and a nice way to keep my friends and family abroad up to date with what I’m doing. I also like that it gives me a voice that reaches a little further than it otherwise would have.
I can’t find too many things I don’t like about it. It can get a little strenuous when I meet people I haven’t seen in half a decade, and they seem to know “everything” about me, and I have to ask 40 questions in a row to keep the conversation going. But that’s entirely my fault; I choose to blog about my life, so that’s a part of the deal.
7. Celebrity crush?
– Hmm, I can honestly say I’ve never had a legitimate celebrity crush. The walls of my room have always been completely clear of posters, (besides the celebrity-drawings I made, that my mom put on the walls against my will) so this is a tough one, haha. I guess I don’t see celebrities as stars; most of the time they’re just normal people with cool jobs, and I also find it hard to have crushes on people I don’t know on a personal level. BUT, on a superficial note I must say that Chris Hemsworth and Tim Tebow are pretty handsome.
On an even more superficial note; some faces are just exceptionally good for drawing.
8. Who could you marry in a heart beat?
The right one.
9. How many kids do you want? If you want kids at all.
Ooh, I feel like I’m making big decisions just answering these questions, hah! But yes, I definitely want kids at one point. How many? I have a feeling my future husband might want to have a say in it, so we’ll see.
10. How tall are you?
Somewhere between 5’7″ and 5’8″.
I’m confused, did you study media or film?
– I majored in journalism and took a minor in theatre at Augustana. I’ll study filmmaking at NYU Tisch this coming fall. Read more HERE.
How did you fund over the bridge?
– When we started, Sarah and I didn’t intend for Over the Bridge to become anything more than a 4-minute film, so we didn’t do any fundraising beforehand. We did however, have a fundraising campaign to pay for entry fees at film festivals.
Did you rent the equipment for the shoot?
– We shot everything the minimalist-way and used our own equipment for the shoot; two DSLR-cameras, a microphone and a tripod. All-natural lighting.
Are you working on any new projects now?
– Over the Bridge turned out to be a much bigger project than anticipated, so I’ve spent all my freetime outside school on following up that project with film festivals, guest speaking, media-interviews, screenings at other schools and city council meetings etc. There hasn’t been any time for a new project, but I’m very excited to take on new projects at NYU this fall!
What’s your workout and diet regimen like?
– I try to avoid anything with the word “regimen” in it, because I’ve spent so much of my life trapped inside strict training routines, both as an athlete, fitness enthusiast and “exercise addict.” Nowadays I just do some running and functional strength training. During the school year I hit the gym every morning, and now when I’m in Norway I just exercise after work. I eat pretty much everything. But then again; I’m not exactly in this shape anymore.
What’s your comfort foods?
– Pizza and ice cream. No doubt.
Do you make money on blogging?
– Nope, not a dime, but I get other things for it — which I’ll write more about later 🙂
Bouncing into eternity
I want to thank you all for the wonderful response on my last post “Bite the Dust.” Before I decided to publish it, I felt like I was about to put myself into a den of wolves, because it’s a sensitive topic and you never know how posts of such a nature will be received. But thanks so much for all the nice comments and emails! Some of you even approached me in person to tell me how much you liked it. Wow, thank you! Several of you said you wanted to share it on Facebook, but couldn’t because there was something wrong with the link. I apologize for the technical issues, but my IT-guy fixed it, so feel free to share it now instead, haha. (As a temporary side-effect of the technical issues, some of you may have a rather… over-sized… picture above, but I hope you don’t mind).
Anyway, I just started my summer job as a reporter at Haugesunds Avis (a regional newspaper in Norway), and I actually like it even more this year. It’s nice to do something that doesn’t involve exams and homework, and it feels good to get back into some routines again.
This year I work as a front journalist as well as a regular news reporter, which means I’m in charge of all the breaking news, online layout and some copy editing in addition to actual writing. You all know that as a journalist I prefer to delve into deep complex feature stories, characterizations and portrait interviews rather than typical news stories, but front journalism is right up there with the features. You’d be surprised by how much happens in a town like Haugesund, I’m just saying.
I did, for example, spend a significant amount of time covering a runaway kangaroo this week. Yup, a kangaroo — in Norway. I hate to tell you that Norway isn’t quite as exotic as it sounds in this very moment, and that it ran away from a zoo, but well. The story about this bouncy Australian creature flourished on national news, and I felt like I was writing updates on a bigtime celebrity. I named her “Skippy” and we really grew quite close through these regular quotes from the Zoo-owner, and the videos from people who suddenly stumbled upon her on their way to work. You can only imagine how it felt to hear that my dear Skippy-roo had to be put down. May she bounce into eternity.
Right now I just got back from a family reunion in Bergen. I haven’t seen my cousins, uncles and aunts in a year, so this was simply fantastic.
And tomorrow, I’m expecting another special visitor. My dear friend and co-producer of Over the Bridge, Sarah Kocher is coming to visit!
You’ll hear from us in a few days.