Friday, January 28, 2011

Anything Goes

Weber State University presents Cole Porter's hit musical 'Anything Goes' with new book by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman. Directed and Choreographed by Jim Christian, this 1920's musical is sure to have you tapping along to the beat!

    The show runs January 28th, and 29th, 
And February 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th
With a matinee AND a night performance on the 29th and the 5th!
Tickets are $10 dollars, or $7 dollars with your Weber State ID

I would love to see everyone there :)
Don't miss out on this swell show! We are going to have some fun!
(Some fun-o! Some fun o!)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Update.

The past couple of days have been so wonderful and crazy!
Busy busy busy... but isn't it always? :) 
Stressful at times, true. But that's what makes life exciting.
Here are a couple of things that have made the past week really great.

The musical.
Anything Goes is such a grand experience. We're rehearsing on the set now. I've yet to master my time steps on the stairs of the ship... but before opening night I'm determined to have it down-pat. I feel like I'm making so many wonderful friends. Saturday was tech day and we rehearsed from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. Despite the long hours and the stress, I absolutely loved tech day.

I just love the atmosphere... listening to people hustle and bustle about, feeling the hot lights shining down on the stage, tasting the morning's breakfast of Einstein bagels and OJ, smelling the coffee, enjoying good company, and watching the show come together.

My favorite time is right at the end of rehearsal; just as everyone is leaving. I love to spend a few extra minutes on the stage and practice my blocking or my dancing. I like looking out into the empty house and up at the towering set behind me. And then I tap. The sound of a single set of taps emanating through the quiet theatre is my favorite.

I'm such a nerd. I'm just really excited for this show.

Laughter
On Friday night I went to an improv show with some of my favorite people. Josh Valdez, Nathan Belnap, Elise Vander Does and I met up with Sean Bishop, Tyson Baker, Shelby Andersen, Landon Welch and some others for the show. Our friend Liz Corona was on the team, and she was hilarious. I really enjoyed the show and I enjoyed spending Friday evening with my friends. We really had a great time, joking and laughing the night away.

I'm not really a funny person and I'm pretty sure I would fail at improv. It's fun to try, but I've never been the kid to randomly deliver some witty line in the middle of a conversation, or  the one to do something silly to make their friends giggle. So I really admire people who can make others smile and laugh.

Cabaret Night.
Every couple of months Weber State's AAT holds a Cabaret Night. Each Cabaret Night has a theme and anyone can sign up and sing a song, play an instrument, perform a dance, tell a joke, juggle, do magic tricks, or whathaveyou. AAT (a.k.a. Jaime Frank) sets up lights, tables, and sound for the evening and everyone gathers for a night of free entertainment.

Saturday night was our third and most recent Cabaret. The theme was "Songs of the Cinema" and I loved watching all of my talented friends perform! We have some majorly awesome people in the department. Sean Bishop was the M.C. and Trent Cox ran concessions. Shelby Andersen took some great pictures (I just love my AAT elders), and we had some talented people perform!

Maybe one of these times I'll muster up the courage to perform at a Cabaret Night, but last night I got to enjoy everyone else's numbers. Afterwards I went to The Pie Pizzeria with some friends. It was a fantastic evening!

Sleep and Sundays.
Thanks to Nyquil, Emergen-C, and various other remedies I'm well on my way back to good health. I finally got a full night of rest without coughing or sniffling or tossing-and-turning. It feels great to sleep without having to prop my pillows up to breathe. Fingers crossed that I continue to get better so I can be ready to perform this week!

This day has been so wonderful. I slept in until 10 am. Glorious. Then I had three hours to clean the apartment before church. I felt so happy to see my bed made up and my floor space and closet spit-spot and immaculate! It really brightened my mood. Church was lovely, and then I returned home and got comfy for the day. It felt marvelous to simply sit down and relax after such a busy week. Brittany and I watched Across The Universe while I made chocolate brownies with my favorite fudge frosting. (Grandma's recipe!) Today was just what I needed to buckle up for tech week, more classwork and homework, and the opening of Anything Goes.

Some other things that have been really great this week:
Warm weather.
Hot Jell-O.
New Tap Shoes.
Sunshine.
Sub Sandwiches
Chapstick.
Mission calls.
Housing offers.
Dr. Pepper.
Run crews.
Chocolate milk.
Quotes.
Phone calls.
Friends.

It really was a nice week. Especially this weekend, now that I've been feeling better.

One other thing,
I've been thinking a lot the past school year about my eating habits. That big fear called "The Freshman 15." Yeah, that's not going to be me! Back when I was dancing ballet four days a week I could get away with eating whatever I wanted. Now, my exercising patterns have changed but my eating patterns have remained the same... and I'm afraid if I continue to eat as carelessly as I do, my carelessness will start to show. So-- I'm officially going to try and eat healthier. I'm not looking to lose a ton of weight or anything, I just want to feel better about my eating habits. Also, I think eating healthier will help prevent sickness and fatigue.

Unfortunately I got a sticky start because I made a pan of brownies with the most unhealthy frosting smothered on top. (Not to mention the extra frosting sitting in the refridgerator.) I suppose I'll just have to refrain from eating it all at once. ;)

So here's to eating healthier, getting over the last of this cold, and surviving another busy week!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A little under the weather.

Everyone is always talking about how
"People who are in theatre together are like family"
This is true in many ways.
We rehearse together, eat meals together,
Laugh together, cry together...
We spend A LOT of time with each other.
Thus, when one of us gets sick... ALL of us are bound to get sick.

I have finally caught the Anything Goes cast illness.
I've watched my fellow castmates dealing with this yucky stuff
And despite the water, constant hand sanitizer, and efforts to get efficient sleep,
I have inevitably caught the bug.

So I spent the majority of my three-day weekend feeling sickie.
Feeling a lil' bit under the weather
But it was still an ok time.

I went to the AAT winter social
Where we ate lots of treats and watched this

I went to an Allred concert with my roommate,
Where we always have a good time:)

And we had two cute visitors at our place this weekend.
Our little sisters, Brooklyn Paxman and Brooke Hathaway
Came for a sleepover. :)
I have the best sister anyone could ever ask for.
Even though I felt sick, she came and kept me company.
Love her :)

Also,
Thank goodness for this

This...

And I dunno how I'd survive without this:

So it was a nice weekend. Other than being sick,
Can't complain too much.
Now for an early bedtime!
I am determined to quickly get over this rotten cold.
Let's buckle down for another week :)
Nighty Night!
Much love.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Redbox Encounter.

I stepped out from the warm heat of my car and into the frigid night air, singing the recent Kelly Clarkson song that was on the radio.

♫ ♪"Some people wait a lifetime, for a moment like this."♫ ♪

I precariously stepped across the icy road, ho-humming to myself while Brittany followed behind me, clutching the redbox disk in her hands. As I scanned the Smith's Marketplace parking lot, I locked eyes with a random guy who was looking back at me. We held each other's glance for a moment. I quickly shut my mouth to refrain from singing, only to open it again as I made a quiet sarcastic remark to my roommate.

"Why is that random guy looking at me? So what-I sing to myself. He should get over it."

Brittany giggled as I glanced back at Random Guy. I'm sure he couldn't have heard me singing... he was pretty far away. But why was he looking at me? He glanced at me again and I quickly averted my eyes, now embarrassed. We approached the crosswalk and Random Guy fell into step beside me. I snuck a glance over at him.
He was somewhat taller than I, and was sporting a studly striped shirt and dark jeans. He had a great smile, a tan complexion, and dark hair hidden beneath a beanie. Now that Random Guy was closer, I noticed that he was very handsome. I also recognized him from somewhere... I felt like I had just seen him.
Wait a minute... I literally had just seen him. Only five minutes previous to our Smiths trip he had been sitting on a couch in the lobby of the church as Brittany and I were exiting the building. And then as if reading my mind he said,

"Hey, were you ladies just at the church for family home evening?"

(I knew I recognized you! And yes I was at the church... and why weren't you with our ward? Because obviously I am definitely missing out on all the cute guys.)
"Yeah we were at the church. And now we're just returning a redbox movie. Gotta love redbox. I'm sure you know how that goes."

Say what?! What kind of a response is that Bailee?
Random Guy softly laughed, pretending to find my lame comment about redbox amusing and sparing us both the too-familiar awkward silence that follows lame comments such as mine. You know what I'm talking about... crickets-chirping-in-the-background/someone-nervously-clearing-their-throat kind of silence.

Why couldn't I have said something normal like, Yeah we had a game night tonight, what ward are you in? or, Yeah we were at the church! By the way my name is Bailee, what's yours?

Because that would just be too easy.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

I did my best to salvage the moment and smiled up at him, hopefully compensating for my utter stupidity. He genuinely smiled back. We entered the grocery market and the bright store lights reaffirmed to me just how handsome Random Guy was.

Brittany immediately peeled off to the left, headed towards the Redbox station area. I looked at Random Guy and we exchanged "See ya laters". (Exactly how that went down, I'm not quite sure. I was probably too taken with his good looks and charming personality to clearly remember. Ha.)

I scurried over to the Redbox where Brittany was returning our DVD. Brittany and I enthusiastically agreed that Random Guy was super charming. I began devising a plan that we walk into the store and pretend to buy a gallon of milk to see if we could run into him again. Brittany (being smarter than I) pointed out that my idea was awesome except for the fact that if we went to check out and Random Guy was still around, he would notice that neither of us were actually buying anything. Then I thought about buying something for reals... only to remember I didn't have my wallet with me. Brilliant.
Instantly saddened by the realization that I lost my chance to ask Random Guy his real name, we exited the Smiths Marketplace. Then, I looked over my shoulder and noticed Random Guy walking towards the Redbox area where we had just left! At the last minute he looked up and saw me exiting the building, right as the sliding glass doors closed behind us.

Hold up.
Random Guy randomly walked into the store for a tiny moment and then turned right around and entered the Redbox station area? He seemingly followed us into the Redbox station area, only to find that we were no longer there. Could he have possibly been returning to talk to us again? Or was it merely coincidence and he was just renting a DVD? Knowing my luck, the situation was probably the latter.

But let's pretend that he had decided to come back to learn our names or talk to us. I  suddenly felt like mustering up the courage to go back and talk to him again. Maybe I'd even make up a lame excuse for going back... to pick up a candy bar, or something. So what if he thought I was a little weird? I'd probably never see him again anyway. Right?  What did I have to lose?


But we just kept walking. We climbed into the car and made the short drive home.

Bummer. Not only once, but twice I had let an opportunity to meet this attractive guy slip through my fingers. It seems really ironic that he saw us leave the church and then he arrived in the Smiths parking lot at the exact moment we arrived, just five minutes later. It seems ironic that he came back to the Redbox two seconds after we were finished returning our DVD. Maybe he was following us. Maybe it was just coincidence. Maybe it was coincidence that we were at Smiths the same time, but maybe after that he was interested in getting to know us. What if I had asked him his name? What if Brittany and I had been stationed at the Redbox for two seconds longer? 

This is just another story of a random encounter with a stranger who I will probably never see or talk to again. It's funny how life works that way.

Sometimes you have random encounters with people who one day become your best friend, your spouse, your roommate, or your co-worker. Other times you meet someone and never see them again. They step into your life for a moment and leave just as quickly.

At the time of any specific 'encounter', you have no idea what role the other person might play in your life. But whether it be at a party, in a class, or at Smiths Grocery Market; those brief encounters with other people in the world are what makes life fun and exciting.

I suppose the fun part is discovering which of these millions of people are going to be the ones who stay. Which people are going to become the best friend, the lover, the roommate, or the co-worker? Which people will be the ones who only stick around for a short time? And which are the ones who will merely pass you by?
And most of all, what can we learn from each of these people? No matter how long they choose to stay or we choose to have them stay, what can we take from their walking into our individual lives? What can we take from them? And what can we give?

What do we give to the other random people whose lives we enter? What do they learn from us?

I dunno what I gave today other than complete stupidity... but I definitely learned something from Random Guy tonight. Don't be afraid to talk to people you encounter from day-to-day. You might regret it later if you missed your chance to get to know someone who might be super nice.

And also...
Don't ever sing to yourself at the grocery store. ;)

Monday, January 3, 2011

In Reflection.

Here we have it; another year has flown by. When reflecting back on 2010, I realize how many significant and memorable experiences I have had this year. It's probably been one of the most monumental years of my life up to this point in time. The year was filled with joy, sadness, romance, success, failure, and growth. Overall it's been another amazing 365 days of life. Let's take a look, shall we?

During the first part of the year, I was a senior at Riverton High School, and I will always cherish the memories I have made as a Silverwolf. In 2010 I continued being heavily involved in the Theatre program at RHS. I was the only student ever at Riverton High to be cast in every show in a single year. Being involved so heavily sure did keep me busy, but I loved every moment of it. During 2010 I performed in the MDT Revue Broadway and All That Jazz, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, The Greek Mythology Olympiaganza, and MDT's Spring musical Lucky Stiff. Each show taught me something valuable, and each show holds its own wonderful memories. I also had many great times serving as a Thespian Officer during the remainder of my senior year. It was in MDT and Theatre that I found my passion, I decided my career choice, I made many friends, and I learned a lot about myself. I enjoyed being a part of the drama club and I will always remember the awesome times I had in that program.

In May of 2010 I participated in the Miss Riverton Scholarship Pageant. I had started working on the pageant since the beginning of January, but we performed May 8th and it was a marvelous time. At first, the whole pageant thing was very alien to me and sometimes the work seemed mundane, unnecessary, or frustrating. But by the end of the process I had learned a lot about myself. It was a wonderful evening, and what I consider to be one of my bigger accomplishments of the year. The night of the pageant I was crowned 1st Attendant for the Riverton Royalty, and I was honored to have the opportunity.

One of the most stressful, trying, yet rewarding experiences I had in 2010 was the process of choosing which college I was to attend in the fall. I began my search in January, auditioning at the Utah Theatre Association Conference (UTA) and traveling to handfuls of individual schools for auditions. I was lucky to receive scholarship offers from multiple schools, and I wanted to choose the school that would be the best for me. Then I was blessed with receiving a full tuition waiver to Weber State University. After further investigation, I decided back in March that WSU was the place for me.

And so began my preparations to move out and began life as an adult in the college world.

On June 2, 2010 came the most monumental night of my life thus far. My high school graduation. It all seemed very surreal, standing there in my very own cap and gown. Graduation was a special night. Tears were shed, pictures were taken, and memories were made. I will never forget the wonderful times I had while I was at Riverton High School. I am proud to be a Silverwolf Alum. I loved the experiences I had in high school, but I was excited to press forward and venture out into the college/adult world.

Summer of 2010 was amazing, as always, and it was far too short, as always. In June I went on a trip to New York City with my mom and the RHS drama club. I saw nine Broadway shows and went sight-seeing all over Manhattan. It was an incredible vacation, marking my second trip to the Big Bad Apple. I loved taking my mom back and sharing all the excitement with her. It was the perfect graduation trip, as well as an unforgettable one.

During the Summer I was privileged to be cast in The Pirates of Penzance at The Hale Centre Theatre. Being involved in that wonderful production was the perfect Summer transition from high school to college. I loved being part of a semi-professional show. The talent in the cast was amazing! Being the youngest member of the cast was intimidating at first, but I soon became friends with many in the cast. I enjoyed many Applebees karaoke nights and other cast-events. Rehearsals consumed most of my summer evenings and all of my Saturday mornings, but it was worth it. We had a fun and successful run, and I loved every moment.

And what would Summer be without a Summer romance? I met Isaac back in April, but we started dating during the Summer. He's a great guy, and we did a ton of things together including tubing down the Provo river, going to the shooting range, feeding stingrays at the Aquarium, a day trip to Lagoon, and many movie nights and barbecues with friends. Isaac was a wonderful boyfriend and he taught me some great things while we dated. Later in the fall our relationship ended, and while it may have been hard at first, I learned a lot about myself from the relationship and really grew from it.

But let's back up to those Summer months again. No matter how much I willed Summer to last longer, it's ending came just the same. Time for me to move out. Another monumental moment of my life up to this point in time. Moving out was bittersweet. Some college kids HATE moving away from home, and others CANNOT WAIT to get out. I was stuck smack-dab in the middle. I loved being at home with my sweet family, but I was excited to begin this new part of life, and I felt like I was ready. Fortunately for me, Ogden is not far from home and I can visit often. So I moved out of Riverton and I hit the ground running... beginning my crazy college advenutres in O-town!

Everyone was right, "high school is to be endured, college is to be enjoyed." That doesn't mean it's easy. Far from easy, but definitely worth it. I jumped right into the Theatre program at WSU. I made it onto the Associated Actors and Technicians leadership board, landing myself a spot as Freshman Representative. I was cast in two student-directed scenes, and biggest of all... I was cast in my first mainstage college production, Anything Goes. I was thrilled to be cast in the tap ensemble with 30 incredibly talented students at Weber State, and recently (because one of the girls had to drop the show) I've been asked to play the role of an Angel! We don't open until the end of January but so far it's been a wonderful experience.

For a while in the late fall/early winter I hit a slump. Relationships had changed, I wasn't meeting a ton of new people, I was adjusting to a new ward, classes were hard, and I was having the wrong outlook on life. But then, thanks to a loving family and roommate, and a little spiritual enlightenment; the rest of my college experience was turning out to be awesome. I enjoyed my new apartment, my professors, my classes, and halfway through the semester I became single to mingle at school! Life was really starting to go my way and before I knew it... finals week! I survived the last week of the semester almost entirely unscathed, and I even passed my math final... a feat that I was proud to have accomplished! I successfully survived my first semester of college!! :)

So overall it was an exciting year. I feel that 2010 was really about self-discovery for me. Even from June until today I have learned more about myself than I ever have before. I feel that the girl back in June during graduation is very different from the girl who is sitting here today. Sure, I'm still me... but I feel like I have grown so much in such a short time. 

I have begun to claim my indiviuality. I am forming my likes, dislikes, priorities, and opinions about life. I've learned and grown so much. Being away from my family has helped me grow to love them even more than I had previously. I've learned to cherish friendships and other relationships; because you never know when they'll pass by you. 

But most of all I've learned about ME. And I feel now's the time in life for me to do just that. I've left the nest; I'm not under the roof of my parents home. And I'm not yet tied down by a spouse or a restrictive career. I'm at school furthering my education. I'm furthering my knowledge about everything in life... and there's only a small window in a lifetime where an individual can be so selfish as to focus completely on oneself.

So 2011... I want to continue to learn about myself; who I am and what I want to become. I want to take advantage of that small 'window' or time frame where I can focus solely and entirely on discovering myself. ME. Bailee McKenna Paxman.

Sure, I have specific goals, aspirations, resolutions, whathaveyou... I mean, I would love to make the musical theatre majors program at WSU. I would appreciate to keep my tuition waiver, and get a summer job working at Hale Centre Theatre again. I'm going to continue perfecting my craft, being as involved as possible, and learning as much as I can about that which I am passionate for. The performing arts. :)
I would also love to pass Math 1050. Come April, I would LOVE to be finished with math classes for the rest of my life. I want to fall in love. I want to make new friends. I want to cherish every moment in this amazing time of life! One semester of college has gone by in the blink of an eye... and time only moves faster and faster.

So 2011... I find myself continuing down the path of self-discovery. Here I sit at my apartment, at the very beginning of a new day, new week, new month, new semester, and a new year. I have a clean slate. It's an extremely refreshing feeling. An entire year to shape as I please. So- let's make it the best!

Much love and Happy New Year!