Monday, July 31, 2017

The Bold Type

One of my favorite shows that premiered this summer is The Bold Type. I hadn’t really heard too much about the show prior to its premiere, but a friend suggested I watch it because it seemed right up my alley and she was absolutely right. On the night of the 2-hour premiere, my sister and I put on our pajamas and settled in for a girl’s night and The Bold Type did not disappoint! I’m excited about this show and think it contains a lot of important messages.  

So, what exactly is The Bold Type about? According to IMDb:
The Bold Type is inspired by the life of "Cosmopolitan" editor in chief, Joanna Coles. The show is a glimpse into the outrageous lives and loves of those responsible for a global women's magazine. Their struggles are about finding your identity, managing friendships and getting your heart broken, all while wearing the perfect jeans to flatter any body type.

The show centers on three main women: Kat, Jane, and Sutton, who work for a popular women’s magazine called Scarlet. Each girl faces their own set of problems. Kat, the social media director, is discovering that she may be bisexual when she finds herself attracted to the Muslim model she works with in the pilot episode. Jane has just been promoted as a writer for the magazine and has to search for inspiration and fight to be heard. Sutton, who remains an assistant at Scarlet, wants to branch out and experiment with new departments, specifically fashion, at the magazine. The three girls are extraordinarily close and serve as one another’s support system. Each girl is headstrong, intelligent and driven.

As Karey Burke, the executive vice president of programming and development at Freeform, said in an interview to Variety: The Bold Type is our love letter to modern feminism and aims to be a destination for authentic female friendship and empowerment.” 

After watching the episodes that have aired thus far, I can say that the message has been delivered effectively. When I watch the show, it feels very authentic and definitely empowering for females. It is very feminist without coming across as “preachy” or over-the-top. I love it!  

Image result for the bold type

One of the reasons I find The Bold Type to be an important television show is because it deals with a lot of significant issues going on in society in a tasteful way. The show writers do an amazing job of addressing tough topics.The show touches on matters of race, sexuality, feminism, and identity.

Obviously, no show is perfect and there have been some critiques that The Bold Type could be more inclusive in terms of diversity with the main and supporting cast. It could also be more realistic in its representation of junior-level staff. For example, an article on Bustle mentions that “there's the mystically large salary of the early-career media professional. The Bold Type characters haven’t mentioned where in New York they're living or how far it is from the office, but Jane and Sutton do live together in an apartment that doesn't scream downtown Manhattan.”

Another great aspect of The Bold Type is that it pushes back against stereotypes of women in the workforce. The three main girls wear fashion-forward pieces that could be deemed “inappropriate” for an office environment. Kat wears a crop top in one episode, Jane sports an all leather look, and Sutton struts around in a semi-transparent top. These are not looks typically seen for the business casual category but I think they work really well and I would categorize them as appropriate for their specific work environment. 

Additionally, the show fights back against the cunning and manipulative female boss often seen in television shows. In an article written by TVGuide,
The erasure of any kind of nurturing or compassionate femininity is a very real thing in the business world for women who want to climb the ladder, and it's something that's seeped its way onto TV. The purpose of female characters like this is two-fold: one, a harpy woman creates a funny and yet challenging obstacle for our compassionate and girlish main character to overcome; two, it reinforces the idea that for a woman to succeed in a man's world, she must become cold, calculating and heartless. 
Watson says that this mentality is something that older generations of working women recognize as normal behavior, which is exactly the kind of mold she wanted to break with The Bold Type.

The article goes on to state that:
This depiction of a powerful, beautiful and well-balanced woman is where The Bold Type really thrives. By creating these supportive female dynamics in the workplace that feel instantly intimate, we get to see women who have personal lives in the office, and outside of it, too.

As Matt Seitz said for Vulture:
It’s part journalism drama, part Sex and the City–style female-bonding comedy with sex and romance; it’s equally interested in being both things at once, to the best of its ability, and damned if it doesn’t pull it off more often than you’d think.
Image result for the bold type

Right now, on RottenTomatoes, The Bold Type has a 100% rating. This is mostly due to the fact that it does not have a lot of critical response because it’s still fairly new, but I’m certain it will continue to maintain a high rating. The Bold Type is on Freeform (previously known as ABC Family) every Tuesday night at 9pm (Eastern time).

I highly recommend giving this show a chance. As both a feminist and entertainment enthusiast, I find the show to be extremely well done and entertaining. I’m excited to see where the show goes and will continue to read critical response to it. I think it’s an important show because of the topics it deals with and the way it handles matters of representation.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Why Entertainment?

So, I started a blog about the entertainment industry but why? In my introduction, I mentioned that I have always been obsessed with the arts and entertainment. Well, I decided that I wanted to share the story of how this passion was born.

Growing up, I danced. If I wasn't at school, you could find me at my dance studio perfecting the most recent routine or steps I had learned. I got involved in competitions at the age of 5 and so began my love for performing. Throughout middle school and high school, I started to take acting classes because I couldn't get enough of performing. I loved (and still do) bringing stories to life and creating new worlds. Eventually, I started taking dance more seriously and my teacher pushed my passion one step further by inviting me to do professional performances and workshops. This made me put a pause on acting because dance became my whole world. 

When it came time for college, I was faced with the hardest decision of my life: to dance in college or not to dance. I had just been injured and knew I was not up at my best when college auditions came around. So, I pressed pause on dance and turned my focus elsewhere: the entertainment industry. During my first year, I took a media course and discovered the behind the scenes action of the entertainment industry. Instantly I was hooked! 

Slowly, the behind the scenes of the arts became my new passion. I accepted an internship with an acting school for kids and was enabled to rekindle my passion for acting. Also, this internship introduced me to the woman who would eventually become my mentor. The company paired me with an independent film and television producer. She showed me the tricks of the trade and ever since, I have yearned to learn as much as I can about the entertainment industry. I started to read every magazine, news article, blog, and website I could find on the industry and absorbed as much information as I could. Eventually, she let me start working with her production company and bought what I had learned in the classroom to life. It has been incredible. 

Throughout college, I have really developed my love for entertainment and am excited to see what the future holds. The various internships I have held and the people I have met thus far in my life have showed me that it's important to stay up to date on the issues of the industry. They have taught me that it's important I know what kind of stories I want to create. For me, the thing I love most about the entertainment industry is that everyone has a voice that gets a chance to be heard. I admire those who tell stories of importance and I hope to one day join those that create stories that matter. Any work I am involved with, I know will have something important to say. 

That's a wrap on how my love for entertainment was born!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How to Host the Perfect Movie Night

A movie night is the perfect way to bond with your friends and enjoy some classic cinema. Executing the perfect movie night takes time and planning. Many times it is thrown together at the last moment, but there are different steps it takes in making sure your night will be a success. I like to follow a couple fun steps when hosting a movie night with my best girl friends that I thought could be
fun to share with you!

  1. The invite. The first thing I make sure to do is call all of my girls and make sure that they are available for the night. 
  2. The movie. Once the the invitations are confirmed and the time is set, it's important to pick the movie. Going through my collection (which is large) takes time and consideration. It's important to narrow it down to a few choices before ultimately deciding on the winner for the night with my friends. It always has to be something the entire group will like. 
  3. The outfit. For most movie nights, my group and I like to establish comfort. This results in having to choose the perfect pajamas for the night. The right comfort level makes for a great night. 
  4. The food. Planning the menu is important. You want to make sure that you have delicious treats and drinks. A balance between desserts and popcorn will be the perfect combination to snack out on. Usually, we establish that everyone brings a snack and we share pot-luck style!
  5. The atmosphere. It is important to make sure the living room is decked out with blankets and pillows. Before settling in for a good movie with great friends, you want to make sure everyone is comfortable so that the viewing with be that much better. 
  6. Enjoy! Once everything is all set up, it's time for the guests to arrive. Gossip will take place, hugs will occur, and then everyone will settle down for a night filled with comfort and laughter, and quite possibly a few tears. 
Movie nights are a great bonding opportunity with your friends. They give you the chance to spend quality time with all of your friends and enjoy a movie whether it be a corny rom-com or a sad drama. I hope my steps will help you host a fun movie night!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

How to Get Cheap Theatre Tickets

Living in NYC, one of the most popular things to do is go and see a show. I know that among my friend group, we love going to see the latest shows both on and off-Broadway. But, Broadway tickets can a bit expensive for a student. During one of my previous internships for a Broadway company, I had to compile a list of discount tickets and that inspired me to write to this post.

So, here are the options you have to score cheap tickets to that show you've been wanting to see!
  • Student Rush
    • Not all shows have student rush, but when they do the prices cannot be beat! Getting to the box office around the time it opens is key to scoring those cheap student rush tickets. Use as a resource. 
  • TKTS Booth
    • With this one, you have to be willing to wait in line. I recommend going with a friend so you can take shifts if you need a break from waiting. 
  • TodayTix App
    • Easily accessible on your phone, TodayTix offers a wide variety of discount tickets for some of the most popular shows. 
    • This website requires a $4 a month membership but they offer a great supply of discount tickets for a variety of shows. I am not a member but I know some people who are and they love it. Typically, I prefer to use one of the free resources. 
    • Although I've never personally used this website, I have a couple friends who highly recommend it so I thought it was worth mentioning. 
  • Lottery
    • Check to see if the show you want to see has a lottery you can enter. Though you may not always win, it's still worth a try in my opinion. (Personally, I'm still waiting for the day I win the Hamilton lottery). 
  • Go to the box office the day of the show
    • Another option that requires getting up early in order to get to the box office early enough to see if they have any cheap day-off tickets. (I did this for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London and got an amazing discount so I highly recommend this one). 
There are so many other theatres that offer their own discount programs that are worth a look. I hope this list of how to get cheap tickets helps you out the next time you want to see a show!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Emmy Nominations!

Today, the Television Academy released the nominations for 2017 Emmy® Awards. This year is the 69th award show that honors excellence in television and has recently extended to recognize other digital platforms such as streaming and web programs. The Television Academy was established in 1946 with a small number of members. Now, the Academy consists of nearly 27,000 members who represent various peer groups of the television industry. The newest peer group is choreography and I find this incredibly amazing because as a dancer, I love to see choreographers getting the recognition they deserve! This year the nominations were presented by Television Academy Chairman and CEO Hayma Washington, Anna Chlumsky, and Shemar Moore.

There is a tie for most nominations this year: Saturday Night Live and Westworld. Both programs earned 22 nominations. Other top contenders include Stranger Things, FEUD: Bette and Joan, and VEEP.

I decided to post here some of the nominees for what I believe to be the "most popular" categories.

Outstanding Drama Series
  • Better Call Saul (AMC)
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
  • House of Cards (Netflix)
  • Stranger Things (Netflix)
  • This Is Us (NBC)
  • Westworld (HBO) 

Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Atlanta (FX)
  • black-ish (ABC)
  • Master of None (Netflix)
  • Modern Family (ABC)
  • Silicon Valley (HBO)
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
  • Veep (HBO)

Outstanding Limited Series
  • Big Little Lies (HBO)
  • Fargo (FX)
  • Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)
  • Genius (National Geographic)
  • The Night Of (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
  • Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
  • Claire Foy, The Crown (Netflix)
  • Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
  • Keri Russell, The Americans (FX)
  • Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld (HBO)
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
  • Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC)
  • Anthony Hopkins, Westworld (HBO)
  • Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul (AMC)
  • Matthew Rhys, The Americans (AMC)
  • Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan (Showtime)
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards (Netflix)
  • Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us (NBC) 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Pamela Adlon, Bad Things (FX)
  • Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
  • Allison Janney, Mom (CBS)
  • Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
  • Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish (ABC)
  • Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Anthony Anderson, black-ish (ABC)
  • Aziz Ansari, Master of None (Netflix)
  • Zach Galifianakis, Baskets (FX)
  • Donald Glover, Atlanta (FX)
  • William H. Macy, Shameless (Showtime)
  • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
  • Carrie Coon, Fargo (FX)
  • Felicity Huffman, American Crime (ABC)
  • Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies (HBO)
  • Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)
  • Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)
  • Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
  • Riz Ahmed, The Night Of (HBO)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective (PBS)
  • Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies (HBO)
  • Ewan McGregor, Fargo (FX)
  • Geoffrey Rush, Genius (National Geographic)
  • John Turturro, The Night Of (HBO)

 Watch the Emmy’s live September 17 on CBS! The show will be hosted by Stephen Colbert. I’m excited to see who wins! View the complete list of nominees here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Interviewing a Broadway Lyricist

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to interview a professional in the theatre industry. Her name is Susan Birkenhead and she is a lyricist for musicals. Below are the questions and answers. I hope you enjoy because she truly is a wonderful lady with such wisdom.
  • Tell me a little bit about yourself.
    • I am a lyricist. I’ve been working in the theatre since 1978 when I was one of five writers on a show called Working, directed by Stephen Schwartz. My mentor was Jule Styne, who wrote Gypsy, Funny Girl, among others. I have four children, now grown, and am currently working on three shows that are bound for Broadway. Monsoon Wedding is still playing in Berkeley CA (it’s pre-Broadway try-out), The Secret Life of Bees which is about to do a workshop at New York Stage and Film, and Betty Boop, which will have a workshop in the fall.
  • When did you realize that being a lyricist was right for you?
    • When I was in a famous workshop called, Lehman Engel’s Musical Theatre Workshop at BMI. I went in as a composer/lyricist, and realized that my musical imagination was not as fertile as those of my fellow students (some of the most famous names in musical theatre) …but my lyrics landed every time, and eventually, people began asking me to collaborate. 
  • Who has had the biggest impact/inspiration for you and your career?
    • Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, George C. Wolfe, Frank Loesser, Cole Porter.
  • What's your favorite part of working in the theatre industry? 
    • Everything. The work itself, the family that forms (and endures) with each show, the rehearsal process, and most of all…standing in the back of a theatre, watching people react to your creation. Nothing like it.
  • What has been your proudest achievement?
    • A show called, Jelly’s Last Jam. It was George C. Wolfe’s first show. It was called a groundbreaking musical by the New York Times, and it was. 
  • What have been some of your favorite Broadway shows? 
    • There are a lot…but the masterpieces are: Sweeney Todd, (most of Sondheim’s shows), Gypsy, Guys and Dolls, Chicago, …
  • What are some of the challenges facing the arts? Do you think there's a way to overcome them? 
    • Hard to say. Money is always an issue…but I think there’s a lack of very good training. I was so lucky to have a mentor like Jule Styne. I believe strongly in the mentor-protégé relationship. Some call it apprenticeship, and I guess that’s what it is. I always say that Jule was my PhD.
  • Any advice for someone wanting to pursue a career in the theatre world?
    • Resilience is as important as talent. Things fall apart constantly. People die, or go off to make movies, or have babies. You have to have at least three projects going at any given time. When a show falls apart, for whatever reason, you have to be able to bounce back. I’ve had it happen with some of the most promising projects—some of them with giants in the industry. I cry for three days, then get up on the fourth and say, “Next!"

As you can see, Susan Birkenhead is a fascinating woman with immense intellect and experience. Her passion for theatre and the industry as a whole is contagious and it was a real joy getting to speak with her. The words and advice she shared with me will inspire me for years to come, I am sure of it. Thank you for your time Susan!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Spotlight on a Blog

When blogging, I think it's important to support fellow bloggers, especially those blogging about similar topics. There is one particular blogger that I stumbled upon recently who is also relatively new to blogging and writes about interesting things.

The blog is called “blockbuster films” and they discuss, you guessed it, blockbuster films and the box office of films. The blogger, Calvin, writes very insightful posts and the blog is very well constructed. One post that I really enjoyed reading and wanted to share with you all is called “Predicting the Highest Grossing Films of 2018.”

In this post, Calvin provides a list of 10 films that have the potential to do well in the box office. After stating a film, commentary on why the film has potential is provided. I enjoyed this post a lot because I never thought to predict which films will be box office hits. I typically tend to predict which ones will do well at award shows. Calvin’s post is fun to read because it has a specific tone weaved throughout and it blends personal opinion with factual information really well.

Number 1 on “blockbuster films” list is Avengers: Infinity War. I have to say I agree with this because the superhero film seems to be doing extremely well in the box office recently and what’s to say that will end in a year?

Personally, my favorite films on the list are Incredibles 2 and Fantastic Beasts 2. As a huge Disney nerd, I cannot wait to see Incredibles 2 and know that as Calvin said in the post, nostalgia will draw in a lot of others who have waited years for this sequel. (Something else I found interesting about this post, is that the top 3 predictions are all owned by The Walt Disney Company). Like I've said in previous posts, I'm also a huge Harry Potter fan so I know Fantastic Beasts 2 will draw in a lot of fans of the Harry Potter franchise.

I recommend this blog to anyone who wants to stay updated on news related to upcoming blockbuster films. Calvin’s blog is both fun and informative and I can’t wait to keep following it!

The Bold Type

One of my favorite shows that premiered this summer is The Bold Type . I hadn’t really heard too much about the show prior to its premiere,...