Archive for Month: November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is officially one of my favorite holidays, and over the past two years I’ve been fortunate enough to celebrate it together with my family away from home — also known as my friend Brittany’s family!

I started the break with a run in the foggy weather, followed by a nice brunch at the pancake house with three of my international friends. Then later, Karen, Brittany, Harald and I headed for Huron — about two hours North of SuFu.

 

Huron must be one of the most relaxing places on earth! It’s so quiet, so far away from all the hustle and bustle in the city, and Brittany’s family is so welcoming and comfortable to be around! (Which is exactly what we all needed after a very busy couple of months.)

Video from last year:

 

In between the chatting, laughing, cooking, eating, sleeping and board games, we’re also  working our way through all eight Harry Potter movies. I’ve never actually seen them all.. heh… so it was about time. And my opinion? Well, the first two were surprisingly good! A little too much magic for my taste, but I guess that’s an invalid argument so… yeah.

 

Also, some of you have asked why I haven’t been very active on social media lately. One part of the answer to that is that I’ve been extremely busy (I leave my room at 6:00 a.m. and I don’t come back until 10:00 p.m.) but the main reason is that I suddenly realized I’m almost halfway through my college education. Half way! Time has gone by so fast, and instead of desperately trying to document everything through Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, I’d much rather LIVE the moments and enjoy myself. I want to remember how it felt being all the places, instead of remembering everything as “Oh yeah, that thanksgiving was the one where I took so many pictures.” Therefore, I deliberately chose not to take any photos from this year’s gathering.

However, this “vacation” from social media is just an experiment.

Well, I better get going, we’re heading to the gym (gotta burn off some of that extra turkey and pie haha) So talk to ya later!

Have a blessed holiday,
Maria

Filming and First Day of Winter

Hey y’all!

I’m sorry it’s been so so long since my last update. When I checked in to see what I had posted last time I suddenly felt the need to splash some life into this place again.

Well, I’ve mostly done film and theatre work, so I have, in other words, been dealing with my favorite kind of busyness.

 

All through last week I was working on a fundraising video series for the Athletic Department here at Augie. I just finished it up last night, and even if it didn’t turn out quite like I pictured, I enjoyed every part of it.

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We had planned on shooting everything outdoors, but the weather decided to go crazy this week, sooo we had to shoot all interviews inside the President’s suite in the football stadium instead.

 

And speaking of the weather…

 

I’ve also visited the movie theatre quite a few times. “Mockingjay Part 2,” “No Escape,” “Our Brand Is Crisis,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Amy, “”Woodlawn,” “The Walk,” “Everest,” “Meru,” “My All American” … to mention a few. The latter six were awesome, so please go see them if you get the opportunity.

Wups, I better run to my class, so talk to ya later,
Maria

#ThrowBack to High School

I was looking for an old e-mail yesterday and suddenly came across this video. It’s the B-roll footage from a (very bad) short film I was in, my junior year in high school. “Luckily,” I don’t even know where I can find the actual film anymore, haha!

I want to give myself A for effort, but I still don’t understand how I could possibly think that any of this was a good idea. I mean, the stunts weren’t exactly complelety without risk … and I did it for a school project that didn’t even matter that much. But oh, what don’t we do for the art?

I just got back from Walmart, and will have to read a chapter for tomorrow before I head to night class. So talk to ya later!
– Maria

My First Theatre Audition. Oh My…

Hello there!

Right now I just got back from work at the yearbook and our monthly “press night” — which is when the whole publication gets together to present the stories we’ve been working on this month. Our editor will then go through each and every one of our spreads to see what we have to fix or improve for next week. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, and I’ve stopped counting the hours I spend on each spread… it’s a lot. But once I get the hang of designing page layouts, I believe it’ll get less stressful. It is, after all, a lot of fun! Even though our meetings are held on Monday nights (when Netflix sounds more tempting than ever) we always manage to have a good time, and today was no exception. We’re a pretty amazing crew.

I started the day with a morning run out in the crisp autumn air. Then I had a nice pancake breakfast, went to class, had a meeting with the athletic department about an upcoming video project, before I ran over to the theatre for my first audition ever.

Yes, a-u-d-i-t-i-o-n ! Honestly, I never thought I’d ever step onto a stage in front of a full class of other actors, ten directors and two professors to perform a monologue where I have to scream and shout (so loudly I had to rehearse it my car while driving not to scare the crap out of my floormates in the dorms.) But as I’ve mentioned before, I want to be a movie director, and I firmly believe that good directors should be able to see things from an actor’s perspective… sooo, that’s why I made the decision to expand my comfort zone and “thrust myself” into the world of theatre.

Prior to this, the closest I’ve been to a stage is the weightlifting platform. Well, if we exclude the singing competitions I participated in as a kid… It was so terrible I didn’t need anyone to tell me how bad it was… I heard it.

When I first joined the theatre here at Augie, I thought I’d just have to go to lectures, listen to a professor, take notes and pass a written exam. I was also pretty determined that I’d never actually set foot on a stage, because I used to think that theatre was a little.. hmm, weird… for me. I’ve acted for several short films in the past, but that’s different.

However, when I realized that in order to pass the acting class, I’d HAVE TO perform, and no matter how poorly I did, I would still have to play a part in the final show. So I decided to leave all my theatre-prejudice at home and just go for it. Acting is acting, whether it’s on stage or in front of a camera, right?

Now, after several monologues and in-class performances, I’ve realized that I absolutely LOVE it! Gosh, it’s fun.

Somehow, it makes me feel… free. It’s almost the same kind of freedom I experienced as a track athlete. I can’t actually explain it, but I just love the intensity and pressure of it. The whole process of preparing, warming up, and executing… it’s very similar to track — minus the stress fractures and tendonitis.

After the monologues we did several “cold readings,” and for those of you who are not familiar with such “theatrical” terms I’ll try to give a brief explanation. The directors give you a script and you just have to jump straight into the action and perform the scene to the best of your abilities. You get no time to rehearse beforehand, so this is a slightly more uncomfortable than performing a monologue you’ve had a week to prepare for. But it went great, and it was a fun, new experience.

The show we auditioned for is called “Rabbit Hole” — a play that was adapted into a movie back in 2010 with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in the leading roles. I just got to know that I’ll be playing Mrs. Kidman’s part (which is the part I was hoping to get). I guess my colorless middle-aged-lady-like clothing style did the trick, haha! The actual “show” is in December and is a requirement for my acting class, so it’s not exactly a huge production. But I’m excited.

Bless y’all,
Maria

Halloween in Austin, Texas

Those of you who have read my previous posts probably knows that I’ve spent the past week down in beautiful Texas. Our adventure “down south” even got a little extended because we ran into some flight troubles on our way back yesterday — but we made it back safely to Sioux Falls today, yay! Right now I’m in my room eating a slice of pizza and trying to prioritize what I should write about in this post, which usually isn’t a problem — because my weeks mostly just consist of homework and classes — but with an above average venturesome week I suddenly have a lot more to write about.

So… let me just start with where I left off last time.

I started Saturday off with a run in a park I found with my friend and fellow journalism major, Matthew.

After 50 minutes of running in the early morning hours, we tried to get a picture with the awesome hipster-grafitti bridge in the background, but as you can see… that didn’t work very well, haha

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Photo: Some stranger we met at the bridge

Then we attended a few more sessions at the Journalism convention before we got ready for the highlight of the day, Halloween!

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Photo: Naras Prameswari

 

After we all got dressed up we decided to go to Chez Nous, a French restaurant. Because of our large group size we had booked a table before hand (without really knowing what kind of place it actually was) but as soon as we entered, we quickly realized that it was a rather fancy restaurant that seemed more fit for the upper class and socialite of Austin than a bunch of college kids in costumes. (We wore everything from emojis to Robin Hood and see-through bubble plastic, so I think most of us felt a little “misplaced.)

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Photo: Janet Blank-Libra

 

Things didn’t get much better when the menu only offered super expensive dishes we didn’t know how to pronounce, and on top of it all managed to break a glass in front of the waiter. (And no, we were not drunk or high, just hungry) Since it was absolutely impossible to find anything “edible” in the menu, we ended up ordering a couple of different appetizers that we shared — which, by the way, cost us more than ten servings at a regular restaurant… almost. After having tried to force down a couple of snails, moldy cheeses and patees we left and got pizza instead. In other words, don’t visit Chez Nous if you suspect your taste buds are not sufficiently mature for such … powerful… tastes.

After I had convinced myself the French snails would not come crawling back up my throat, we walked the Austin Halloween Parade, which is said to be one of the biggest in the US with its 60 000 participants!

Pirate-family reunion:

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Photo: Rachel Johnston

We also stopped by the Driskill hotel for a “photo session”

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Photo: Unknown British lady in school uniform
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The shower man Photo: Sarah Kocher

And generally just had a blast all night!

On Sunday last years edition of the Augustana yearbook, Edda, placed top 10 in the National College Media Convention “Best of show” competition! Whaat?! Little tiny Augie is among the best in the whole country. I’m proud to be a part of a team with such amazing talented people, and I look forward to seeing what we can do with this year’s edition.

All in all, the trip to Texas was a huge success, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to experience America together with our great group!

xoxo

Bless y’all,
Maria

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