Favorite Movie Exercise

Recently, I was doing some research on favorites. Why do we have favorites, what might they say about us, and how do they shape our personalities? In my research, I found this article about favorite movies. And I was fascinated! I recommend reading it (found here), but the basic gist is something about you might tie your favorite films together. Make a list of your top 10 movies, think about themes and elements, and ask yourself what ties them together. What do your favorite movies say about you?

I wanted to put this exercise to the test.

Almost a year ago, I made a post listing my favorite movies (here). I was looking through it again and decided to tweak it. My mind changes sometimes with favorite films, though I continuously seem to go through the same 20. But for this list, I decided on what speaks to me more often than not. Here’s my list in relative, not exact order:

  1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
  2. Die Hard
  3. Howl’s Moving Castle
  4. Willow
  5. Beetlejuice
  6. Legally Blonde
  7. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
  8. Jurassic Park
  9. Drop Dead Gorgeous
  10. The Frighteners

An eclectic, as Domenick put it, list. Different plots, different genres, different filmmakers, different actors, blah blah blah.

So what ties these together?

*! As a warning, there may be spoilers to the above mentioned films. !*

Let’s start with the top four: Mitty, Die Hard, Howl’s, and Willow handle a character underestimated by seemingly bigger forces. And usually the characters are constantly undervalued. Walter Mitty is constantly pushed around by those of a higher authority though he does more than they comprehend. John McClane is a cop from New York thrown into a terrorist situation in LA before taking them all out alone. Sophie, a girl who is undervalued by self and society, is cursed but is the only person who can keep the world moving. Willow is a small person bullied by those around him sent out on an adventure to save the world-ish, and even with the constant trash against him is the one who never stops and ultimately does save the world.

These are all stories of thriving when underestimated/undervalued, or continuing on when everyone says you can’t because you are the only one who can.

Let’s continue with the rest of the movies, and see if this theme continues throughout the other six.

Beetlejuice has a couple of underestimated characters. The Maitlands are undervalued as a simple superstition and walked all over on, but are able to take back their own house. Lydia is undervalued for being an oddball, but accepts herself and becomes more open in the end after making friends.

Legally Blonde is the ultimate movie of being underestimated. Elle is a beautiful blonde sorority girl from California who is treated like shit when she goes to law school. She doesn’t give up; she kicks all the ass.

To Wong Foo follows three drag queens in a road trip across America before they get stranded in middle America. They’re underestimated as ‘career girls’ and undervalued as drag queens. But they speak out and help the town value itself.

Jurassic Park. Everyone knows this movie for one word: dinosaurs. Obviously, the dinos themselves are underestimated as they fuck everything up. Ellie is underestimated as a woman in this survival situation. Malcolm and his knowledge is undervalued. But they survive, and that’s the point.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a mockumentary about a teen beauty pageant in a little town in Minnesota. The lead teen is undervalued because she is “trailer trash” compared to her competition who is from the wealthiest family in town. And she is underestimated for being kind. She prevails though, fireball and all.

The Frighteners is about a man who can see/talk with ghosts when a serial killer ghost starts claiming the living. He is an undervalued member of society since he ‘scams’ using his connection with ghosts. He is underestimated since, obviously, no one believes him. He kicks ass, though, and saves the town.

And if I think of some of my other favorites, like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Wonderman, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Imitation Game, and more, the majority of them, if not all of them, involve characters underestimated and/or undervalued before showing out, showing off, and being super awesome.

Now, for the last part of the exercise, why am I drawn to these kinds of movies?

I myself feel like an underestimated and undervalued person. Whether it’s myself or other people doing it, I feel like I’m pushed down to not achieve greatness. Not every movie ends in ultimate victory. Sometimes we fail, and we can fail hard. But they were no longer underestimated for what they could/couldn’t do. They were not undervalued as less than. These characters sought for the moon even when they were told they couldn’t.

I see myself in these moments, and that’s why I love movies. I connect with them.

Anyway, this was a fun look into my favorite movies and my own psyche. I recommend trying this with your favorite films. You may discover something new about yourself.

Hugs

Alexandra

The Ring Experiment

I’m very single.

It’s not a surprise to people who know me because I joke about it (and I’ll be damned if I ever keep a relationship a secret again). And being a certified adult™, I have plenty of friends who are in relationships, engagements, or marriages.

Some more backstory, I went to a university was rampant. Like, 90% of the people I met there were already married or got married before graduation. And looking into statistics, the percentage is actually something like 70-85% marriage status. Yeah, everyone was getting married.

I was not.

But because of that whole 5 and a half year situation, I have made the unintentional habit of ring-checking. I can notice a wedding band quicker than anyone else. It’s awesome and awful at the same time.

But I was curious, am I the weird one or do others ring check?

So I thought I’d wear a ring for a while.

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I wore it for three weeks everywhere. Work, rehearsal, the friggin’ library. I didn’t make mentions, I didn’t say anything, just wore it on my left ring finger indiscreetly. And you know what happened?

Nothing.

Not a single thing.

No one treated me differently, no one asked questions, the people I live with didn’t even notice.

What was the point of this post?

I don’t really know.

But experiments are meaningless without data or writing. img_7721

Your lesson of the post of the day (what?) is a person is not a relationship, despite what my old college taught me. Turns out to be my problem, and a problem at my old university. Notice a person before you notice their relationship status.

Man, this was a bad post, but I’m allowed some, especially if it gets a thought out my brain.

Thanks for reading.

Alexandra

Can I Enjoy Editing Again?

I have a YouTube channel. It’s there for everyone to see, promoted on the side of my blog here (or at the bottom if you’re on mobile). I talk about my videos a lot. And a couple of months ago I took a break, mostly because my computer went belly up for the last time, but also because I was a busy bee.

Well, recently I came back to making videos and…I don’t have the same passion as I used to. Filming was boring, editing was a time-fueled hassle, and I just can’t come up with good video ideas.

I could go the usual route of just quitting like I have many past hobbies. But I have invested so much of myself into it that I don’t want it to go to waste.

And then I realized that that was the incorrect mindset to have.

Nothing about it was a waste.

Not the time devoted to it, not the money that went into, not the blood, sweat, and tears it took to maintain it.

I loved doing it for the time I did it. I enjoyed coming up with ideas, writing scripts, becoming different characters, and chasing my cats around with my camera. Most of all, I greatly enjoyed editing. It was the best part of video-making.

Yes, I have invested so much of myself into it. In return, I was given new knowledge and new experiences I couldn’t have had otherwise. So, it was a very sound investment indeed.

Now, I not quitting YouTube just yet. I’m giving it a few more months (mostly until my Adobe Premiere Pro subscription is up). Maybe my passion will be renewed, maybe I’ll leave it be. Whatever the decision, I’m happy I took the adventure to begin with.

Hugs

Alexandra

Memorial Day

It’s one of those holidays I always hear about but is half-ass-edly celebrated to the point where I don’t even know what’s meant to be celebrated.

What is Memorial Day for?

It’s a technical federal holiday, meant for remembering and honoring those who died while serving in the Armed Forces. But what struck me wasn’t the respect to those who died, or lack of. It’s considered, more popularly, the unofficial start of the summer vacation.

That’s right. Memorial Day is known for marking the end of a school year.

Okay.

It was only while writing this blog that I realized what Memorial Day really was, and what should be on my mind.

Four years ago, my brother’s best friend, a boy like a brother to me, died while serving overseas. Memorial Day is to remember people like him.

Now, I’m not planning to really celebrate. I’ll be going to work, having a normal day, running errands. But, I won’t disrespect it. And in my head, I’ll remember my ‘brother’.

Respect those who lost their lives, even if you didn’t know any of them personally.

What is Style?

Style (n)–a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed

In this context, I’m talking about outer appearance.

Style is so often talked about in fashion. But what is style? I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately, since I changed my wardrobe. (I was going to make a video about my wardrobe change, but other vids got in the way).

Style is a big part of fashion. But what people may not understand is that style is a big part of personal fashion. Style is expression. There is no set style because there is no set people. Individuals mean individual styles.

One article says that style is outer expression of your inner self. That’s why there are style coaches. They are just meant to help you express your inner self outwardly. Style is the way we communicate without words or facial expressions. (The article is aptly called ‘What is Style?’ and you can read it here)

So what does my style say about me? I wear all black. Literally. Just black clothes. But my shoes, hats, jewelry is not black. It’s all kinds of colors. So what does all black with a splash of color say about me? What does it mean I am expressing inwardly? What am I communicating?

I still don’t know.

I just know what I like.

And I dress in what I like. It is my personal fashion and my personal style. I’m not communicating anything beyond myself: a dark soul with splashes of color.

Dress how you like. Style is subjective. It’s about what you enjoy wearing, and it doesn’t have to say anything.

Hugs

Alexandra

Is My Friend More Worthwhile Art-wise?

Is it just me, or is there a snootiness when it comes with opinions about art?

As you guys know, I’ve been making comics lately. It’s a janky series called Just Vinyl Comics. I would, infrequently, also make colored pencil art.

Now, every artist gets criticism, constructive or otherwise. I’m no exception. However, the most popular criticism seemed to be, why waste your time on comics?; or comics aren’t real art, try real art; or comics aren’t worthwhile compared to painting.

The problem is people don’t seem to understand art is more than painting. And by their logic, my friend Lee Valentine, a painter, is a more worthwhile person than I am. (Also, check out his stuff, he’s amazing). That’s like saying Pablo Picasso is more worthwhile than Bill Watterson. We can’t compare them. Picasso paints, Watterson cartoons.

And if we want to continue this stretch of the imagination, am I actually more worthwhile than Lee because I do theatre and sing (an art form) much more than he does?

It’s a weird argument.

The point is, no, one person’s way of art is not more worthwhile than another person. Whether you paint like Lee, make janky comics like me, or some other form of art.

No art is more important than another.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. Check out Lee Valentine Art, he’s great at what he does! He’s the one who made the painting for me.img_5011

Dropping the Ball

I didn’t post on Wednesday.

Why?

Because I forgot.

Sometimes we drop the ball on stuff. Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we are too busy to do everything we want.

And it’s okay.

It happens to everyone; we’re all human.

But what we definitely need to remember in these moments is not to be hard with ourselves.

Strive to be better, yes. Change something to help you remember what you need to do.

But don’t beat yourself up for being human.

Chibi Self

I found a website where you can make yourself into a chibi character. And this is what I did for me:

I posted it on social media with the comment ‘just needs a fatter face’.

And I realized today, what a shame to say something negative first rather than positive.

So, here’s my chance to actually compliment my Japanese chibi self: how cute!!

Website: https://picrew.me/image_maker/8687 just warning, it is in Japanese

Why I Don’t Like Musicals

I’m a theatre person. I’ve said that so many times, but I always get hung up/questioned about a certain aspect of my theatre passion.

I don’t like musicals.

Sure, some musicals are cool and I like them (The Producers, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I guess Into the Woods). Some musicals have a couple of good songs and I can tolerate them (Les Miserables, Wicked, even Shrek the Musical). And the majority of musicals I just don’t like. Even if they have one song I like, it doesn’t save the entire musical (Dear Evan Hansen, as an example).

Overall, I prefer straight plays. I would rather go off Broadway to see Death of a Salesman than go on Broadway to see Hamilton.

“You can’t be a real theatre person if you don’t like musicals.” Okay…wrong. By that logic, you can’t be a singer if you don’t like opera. You can’t be a vet if you don’t like snakes. You can’t be a farmer if you don’t like goats. You can’t be a chef if you don’t like haggis.

You get it? Just because I don’t like a portion of theatre does not mean I am not a theatre person.

I started theatre as a kid, doing plays and a single musical. I found my real passion after doing ‘The Mousetrap’ by Agatha Christie when I was 13 years old. I was able to go to the Shakespeare festival when I was 14, where I fell in love with plays even more after watching ‘Faustus’. I was accepted to an acting school at 15 after performing ‘Antigone’. Yeah, I did musicals in high school. Only two. Everything else was a play.

There’s a part 2 to my preference over plays. It has to do with my own talent. On my way to college, I adored acting. I can prat fall, clown, and move all kinds of ways if need be. When I was 14, I was in choir and my teacher told me I couldn’t sing. When I was 15, I was told that again. When I was 16 and 17, the musicals always cast show choir people rather than drama kids. So, I just accepted my fate of being a shit singer, and stuck my passion into plays.

And the last little part: I like shows grounded in some sort of reality. Random singing and dancing does not do that for me. I’d rather watch acting than singing and dancing.

In no way am I saying musicals shouldn’t exist or that they are below straight plays. It’s just not for me. Plays and musicals, one is not better than the other in the theatre world. I just prefer plays.

Wherever your preferences for your hobbies lie, you’re not wrong.

Hugs

Alexandra

Cosplay Makeup

I’ll occasionally get questions about makeup, especially since I’m the one in town to go to for stuff like that.

Here’s the thing: you don’t need fancy makeup anythings.

Everything can be done using regular everyday makeup. I do it all the time. The only thing I say anyone needs to have beyond makeup is fake blood. But you can even make that on your own so you don’t need to pay out the nose for fake blood.

Anyway, eyeshadow is my saving grace for absolutely everything. And I get to give you examples. img_4589

Need to become a fawn? Brown and black eyeshadow with white eyeliner.

IMG_1203Want something more decorative to become the element Earth? Green, gold, and brown eyeshadows. That’s all I used on that!

 

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Maybe some basic scarring? Yep. Eyeshadow.

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Or if you want more intense scarring to be like the cool kids, you can use tissue. That’s right! Basic everyday makeup and tissue/toilet paper.

 

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And if you want a glossier finish beyond what eyeshadow/powder can do for you, try water. Mix that powder with a wee bit of water and boom. Face paint.

And those are some ideas I wanted to share.

Enjoy the weird photos and the exorbitant amount of blood I put into a lot of my looks. I don’t have a problem…

Don’t feel like you need to shell out to cosplay or costume. You really don’t, at least not in the makeup department. Use that money on the actual costume department or whatever you will.

There was no real point to this post, but I wanted to make it so here it is! ^_^

Hugs

Alexandra