Sunday, January 16, 2011

Some Business to Tend to...

Hello everyone!

Alas, my spring semester begins this Tuesday, which means I will be preoccupied with schoolwork, so I won't be able to place my full focus on this blog like I have been these past two weeks. However, I will do my best to remain consistent with my entries. I will try to post weekly, monthly, and whenever the spirit moves me. I actually have been working on other projects for this blog, so you haven't seen the last of me. ;) Thank you for reading these past two weeks. I appreciate your interest and patience. I created this blog to be productive during my winter break, and I think I achieved that.

It has come to my attention that people haven't been able to comment my posts unless they had a Google account. I have now given permission now for anyone to comment on my posts. I apologize for this misunderstanding and inconvenience. Of course, only friendly comments and constructive criticism are allowed. :) 

Thank you again for your support in these beginning stages of "Taking it One 'Stef' at a Time". I look forward to writing for you some more! If you are starting school soon, have a great semester! :)


Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments: The Rimers of Eldritch

The Rimers of Eldritch-December 2010-L. Howard Fox Theatre
This play is a mystery whodunit of who killed Skelly Mannor, the town outcast. What I liked about it is that it kept you guessing the entire time and you eventually realize how the characters are all intertwined into the same situation, even though they are first introduced as separate storylines.

*Beware of Spoilers*

• The relationship between Cora and Walter: Cora is somewhat of an outcast as well because her husband has passed and she has employed a younger man, Walter, in her diner, and the two close early to do you know what. This is a topic of gossip among the townspeople. It’s not really the relationship I want to criticize, but the randomness of it. There are times the two would just walk onstage, kiss, and then walk backstage together. I know, bowchikawowwow. I know this serves a purpose to suggest what they are doing, but it’s just odd. Even when something else is happening onstage with other characters, Walter walks in the background and starts unbuttoning his shirt in front of Cora, a rather exciting moment indeed because the whole time you are wondering if he is going to pull a Full Monty and start undressing right there in front of everyone. It’s just that his unbuttoning has absolutely nothing to do with the scene that is currently happening onstage whatsoever. It is an additional scene just thrown in there to thwart our focus. Towards the end of the play he impregnates another character, which pretty much comes out of nowhere, and this character repetitively tells him that she loves him, which is how the play ends.

• Robert attempts to rape Eva: I’m just going to get this one over with. Robert and Eva are the two youngsters of the play in their early teens that are in the middle of the trial for Skelly’s murder. It turns out that Nelly Winrod shot Skelly thinking he was the one assaulting Eva when it turns out that Skelly was the one who rescued her from Robert. The infuriating thing is it’s quite possible the characters will never find this out because Robert lies about the whole thing, Skelly isn’t alive to defend himself nor would anybody listen to him anyway when he was alive, and Eva is in a state of shock. Eva is actually the one who comes on to Robert, wanting to attempt sex with him, which is weird itself to me considering that they are supposed to be childlike teens. Eva accuses Robert of not having enough guts to have sex with her, and Robert, tired of being looked down upon like he was throughout the play, attacks Eva, leading to the other events. Like most rape scenes, it was frightening.

I actually reviewed this play for The Montclarion as well. You can read my review here.

Check out the previous post of this series: Sweeney Todd


Sexual moments in college productions is not a bad thing at all. In fact, it makes the show that much more interesting and complex. It just depends on what happens, how it is done, and your demographic of audience members and how they perceive it. I am looking forward to future Peak Performances this upcoming semester and beyond and what awkward sexual moments 2011 has to offer.

And this concludes this edition of "Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments"!!! Yay!

If you’re ever in the Montclair area, I encourage you to check out these performances. They are always very well done and worthwhile. ;) Here is where you can find out more:

$15 a ticket, Free for undergraduates using an MSU ID. Hope to see you there! :D

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

(Please note that the videos I use in this post are not mine. Credit goes to their respective owners.)

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street-November 2010-Alexander Kasser Theater
Sweeny Revengeful, Murderous, Throat-slitting Todd. That’s right, folks. THE Sweeney Todd. By far my favorite play I have seen at Montclair State so far, this show was epic and phenomenal, so that’s why I am so excited to finally get to write about it on my list. I don’t think, from an audience point of view, I saw one flaw. However, like most Peak Performances, there are awkward sexual moments to commend.

*Beware of Spoilers*

• The Beggar Woman hits on both Sweeney Todd and Anthony: When we first open up the story after the most awesome prelude ever, we meet Sweeney Todd and Anthony on a boat embarking for London. When they get off this boat, they are both bombarded by a Beggar Woman for money and then—sex. At this moment and then throughout the play she makes comments about their penises and comes onto them quite strongly. This may sound weird, but part of me wishes that Sweeney had given in to her advances. One reason being that he has maybe been deprived of sex the past fifteen years at the penal colony. Another reason, a reason that is more relevant to the plot, is that this way he would have recognized her as his wife Lucy ahead of time. So many lives would have been spared and Sweeney probably would have never met Mrs. Lovett. Anthony would have found out that their daughter Johanna was in Judge Turpin’s clutches and together they would have found a way to get her back and live happily ever after.

• Judge Turpin rapes Lucy: I hate rape scenes on stage, in movies, in books, etc. I feel like such events are so real for people that actually experience them, that when they occur in these forms, it’s as if we are using it as entertainment, almost glorifying them. I mean, if rape is going to be a theme for your piece, just mention it. Don’t show the actual act in detail in my opinion. What if a rape victim trying to heal is in your audience? This kind of scene can be traumatizing for he or she and bring back horrible memories. Not often will a person going into the theater know what exactly is in store. But unfortunately, these scenes exist. It is most awkward on stage because it is happening right in front of you, making it that much more real and frightening. In this context, Mrs. Lovett is telling Sweeney what happened after Turpin sent him to the penal colony, so we are getting flashbacks as a musical number. Turpin invites Lucy to a party and even though at first she rejects his invite, she eventually attends. When she gets there she does not know anyone, poor thing, for it is a masquerade party and the guests are flamboyantly dressed in disguises. At this point Turpin’s evil sidekick Beadle Bamford attacks and restrains Lucy so Turpin could rape her—right in the middle of the party. The party guests witness this and do what you would expect any normal large group of civilized people to do upon witnessing a rape—laugh at Lucy. Say it with me: WTF? Thankfully this scene ends with Sweeney crying in agony, thus causing Lovett to end the song. Check out both “Poor Thing” and “My Friends” from this clip:

• Judge Turpin lusts after Johanna: Yeah, I think this one speaks for itself. An old man who acts as a father figure to a young developing girl and then lusts after her is beyond creepy. However, there is something I want to say about this. I may sound crazy, but I really don’t think this is too bad. Hold on! Let me explain! I mean I feel like it is normal for an older man to find a younger girl sexy, he is only human. It depends on how he acts on these feelings that makes it wrong. It’s not like Turpin plans on raping her like he did her mother, and he does ask God to help him restrain himself. But then again, Turpin does plan on marrying Johanna and tells her and Beadle about it nonchalantly as if it is completely normal… Oh please. This is just plain weird and creepy so let’s just move on.

• Johanna asks Anthony to kiss her: It’s not the fact that she wants him to kiss her that bugs me, but the fact that she asks at the weirdest times. I am not the biggest fan of Johanna anyway because to me she is this annoying damsel in distress who constantly needs rescuing and she just seems to me to act like a dingbat. She does not seem to be worldly wise and notice what is going on around her. When Anthony rescues her from Fogg’s Insane Asylum after Johanna uses Anthony’s gun to shoot Fogg. Wait a minute…Johanna shoots Fogg??? That’s right. The damsel in distress actually does something productive for once and ends up pulling one of the most epic moves in the show. Anyway when she does this, the lunatics escape from the asylum and run in the town resulting in a police chase. Anthony and Johanna reappear onstage as Johanna reminds Anthony that he promised to marry her on Sunday. Unfortunately the badass Johanna does not last long after the gunshot because then she goes, “Kiss me.” Anthony finally accomplishes what he set out to do throughout the entire play, which is to rescue Johanna without getting caught by either Turpin or Beadle, and in the meantime lunatics are running around town causing more chaos for the scene, and she has the nerve to ask him to kiss her AT THIS PRECISE TIME? He actually had to briefly stop them from running away to do so. That is two precious seconds taken away from their escape. There is a time and place for a kiss and now is not the time! Their focus now is to make their escape. Once this escape is successful, they will have plenty of time for kissing. Now I know I spent a lot of energy on this point about just one kiss, but it just had to be said. This scene, along with the deaths of both Turpin and Lucy, you can see here:

• Mrs. Lovett pining after Sweeney Todd: It just annoys me when women go out of their way to make a guy fall in love with them and convince themselves of their love when he is clearly hung up on someone else. That is what happens here. A perfect example of her unrequited affections is exhibited here:

Just as an added bonus, I thought I'd also include the two musical highlights of the performance (in my opinion) in this post. I do recommend checking out the other videos from the performance on YouTube as well. But for now, please enjoy "Epiphany" and "A Little Priest." :D

And finally, the last play of the series: The Rimers of Eldritch. :)

Check out the previous post of this series: The Seagull

You can check out my article about this show for The Monclarion here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments: The Seagull

The Seagull-October 2010-L. Howard Fox Theatre
Set in Russia, practically the biggest well written love triangle set on stage. I know I said that about Arcadia, but this one is ridiculous. There is absolutely no happy coupling whatsoever. The love is always one-sided and the characters always love somebody other than who they are with. No one is coupled with the person they love.

*Beware of Spoilers*

• Arkadina introduces Nina to Trigorin: Arkadina is an actress who is dating boy toy writer Boris Trigorin. She is an older woman but looks relatively young and attractive for her age. One of her greatest admirers is young Nina, the love interest of her playwright son Constantin. So like any woman in a relationship, Arkadina introduces younger-female-than-her Nina to her man Trigorin, who is closer in age to Nina than Arkadina. Why does she do that? It is almost as if she is asking for them to form a relationship. She saw how fond Nina was of Trigorin and how Trigorin looked back at Nina and gradually falls for her. This was extremely stupid on her part! Unless, was this some kind of set up? Judging by her facial expression, she seemed very satisfied with the introduction, like she knew what she was doing and that this was her intention. But, isn’t she with Trigorin? And isn’t Nina with her son? The move just doesn’t make any sense! What makes this even worse is that eventually Trigorin impregnates Nina but never leaves Arkadina, Arkadina never learning about the pregnancy or relationship between the two, even though she is the primary cause of it.

• Arkadina gives Trigorin head: I get it. Oral sex is a normal sexual act so it shouldn’t count as awkward. And it’s not like it was totally graphic so it wouldn’t be considered totally controversial either. This was awkward because it was mimed and in context she was showing desperation, doing this to convince him to travel back home with her. Now I know they wouldn’t show the actual act in all its glory onstage, but still. It was suggested and the way it was suggested was quite humorous. You had to figure out for yourself what exactly she was doing to him, his pants fully enclosed and her head nuzzling into his groin. Looking at it, you think to yourself, “Um, yeah, that’s probably what’s happening.” I think what made it awkward too was that it was unexpected.

• Masha and Medevenko (Actually it's Medvedenko. I noticed my error awhile back but never changed it. Correction has been made March 31, 2012 at around 12:12 AM): I love these two. Their dialogue opens up the play and throughout remains quite humorous to me. Masha is this depressed twenty-two-year-old girl who is in love with Constantin and constantly pursued by Medevenko, the town teacher, who is clearly treading where he shouldn’t and is trying too hard, though he never backs off. She eventually settles for Medevenko and considers him a good man but doesn’t like him in the least. She rejects his every advance and even rolls her eyes at him every chance she gets. Though this pairing may be unhappy, there is just something about the bitchiness of Masha and the composure of Medevenko that just makes them so comical. Even though their relationship is rocky, it’s not that serious.

Next in the series: SWEENEY TODD!!! :D

Check out the previous post of this series: Side Show

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments: Side Show

(Please note that the videos I use in this post are not mine. Credit goes to the respective owners.)

Side Show-March 2010-Alexander Kasser Theater
Okay so this is the only play I did see not live (but boy I really wish I did!) so I apologize if I get any information wrong. However, I have seen a good number of videos on YouTube and read up on the story to understand the basic premise. Interestingly enough, even though I did not see this production live, I have noticed that it contains the most sexually awkward intense scenes out of my whole series, so let’s get started. Basically the storyline is about conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton who are joined at the hip and (brace yourself) buttocks. They work at a Freak Show and are eventually founded by talent scouts Terry Connor and Buddy Foster to make them big time celebs. These two guys eventually become the girls’ love interests. This is where the fun begins.

*Beware of Spoilers*

• Buddy asks Violet to marry him: Okay so this part really irks me so I could not wait any longer to write about it. The twins wonder if they will ever find love being in their condition, so to make Violet happy Buddy proposes to her to prove that he loves her. This eventually goes awry because he reveals towards the end that he cares for her and loves her but not like she loves him. I know that sex isn’t the only factor to make a successful marriage, but sex is important in a marriage regardless. How was Buddy planning on making love to Violet while she is still attached to Daisy? That’s just…that’s just awkward. There’s no other word to describe it. Was he hoping for a threesome every time? And what if she gets pregnant? What would labor be like with Daisy attached to her? And what makes this whole idea even more awkward is that Buddy suggests to Terry to marry Daisy. What every man wants—another man is his marriage bed, because this means four people sharing a mattress, correct? Awkward. Here is the scene:

Another additional thing that has been bothering me but has nothing to do with the plot: How do Daisy and Violet use the bathroom? Sorry but I just had to ask that.

• “Private Conversation”: Aside from my bathroom question, this actually leads to my next point. Poor Terry. It turns out he actually does have feelings for Daisy but, get ready for this, he doesn’t have the GUTS to tell her! I can understand that he wants her alone, just the two of them together, which is the point of this song. The song is depressing because he really likes her and cannot have her to himself due to the circumstances. He doesn't know how to go about having a relationship with her, so this is why he restrains himself. It also shows that he is too shy to reveal these feelings in front of everyone, leading you to kind of sympathize with him because this is something people can relate to. He imagines what it would be like to be alone with her and plans in his mind what he would say and do. But wait, doesn’t he openly flirt with her and kiss her in scenes before this? He practically makes it known that he likes her, so why is he so saddened? Also, I find it hard to fathom how a fully-grown man has this many issues courting a woman. In a later scene he makes it a point to tell Daisy that he wants to spend time alone with her and give her the attention she deserves, so isn’t that proof enough that he does indeed like her? He doesn’t have to verbally say it because every scene they are in together he flirts up a storm with her. In fact, from what I've seen, I don't even think he ever acknowledges Violet whatsoever because he places his whole focus on Daisy in every scene. He even quits his job to be with her more! And yet he denies his feelings for her, even to himself. It is obviously an “obvious connection” between the two! What exactly does Terry think he is hiding? I just don’t understand why he is that bent out of shape. Check out the song here and maybe you can tell me:

But be warned, it’s a beautiful song that is beautifully sung, but it can be a real tearjerker. Well it was for me anyway when I first watched it. By the way, you will see Daisy apart from Violet in this scene. This is only a figment of Terry’s imagination. Just as an added bonus: I love the way she sings the line at 2:48. I like the way she sings a lot of lines in this song and other songs, but that’s my personal favorite.

• “One Plus One Equals Three”: What makes “Private Conversation” that much more depressing is the fact that this song is performed right after, with Terry solemnly walking off the stage. Sung by Buddy and the twins, this song announces the engagement between he and Violet. Buddy knows that he is inheriting Daisy as well, so this explains the title. This song is so offensive and distasteful to me because it is such a slap in the face to Terry, who was just crying about Daisy seconds earlier, and it is just seems to further prove that Buddy is looking forward to having not one but two women in his bed every night. It’s like he’s saying to Terry, “Haha! I have my girl, and yours too, so you can’t have her!” The whole concept is just plain irritating. Regardless of how much I dislike the song itself, it was still very well done. You can check out this song here:

Another thing the song suggests is that Buddy is only marrying Violet for his own benefits, which makes me kind of hate it even more.

• The whole “Tunnel of Love” sequence: Along with “Private Conversation,” “Tunnel of Love” is my favorite song of this show. It is an awesome scene and once again very well done. The day before the wedding the foursome decides to take a relaxing ride in the Tunnel of Love. This whole scene is when each character’s emotions come to a head, leading to all kinds of awkward for the characters and complexity for the plot. Finally Terry gives into his emotions and begins to feverishly make out with Daisy in this ride, something that Daisy has been asking for since the beginning of the play, so she obviously enjoys herself throughout this scene. Of course, Terry cannot hold back any longer and feels comfortable to kiss her because the darkness of the tunnel daunts everyone’s vision, therefore he has her “alone.” Now his concern is being able to keep this heat up when they exit the Tunnel of Love. Buddy is having the opposite issue of being intimate with Violet with her sister by her side, which is odd considering how in broad daylight Buddy doesn’t have a problem showing the shy Violet his affections. In this way in seems like the four should switch partners depending on personality. As the four are hovering in mid-air, dancers do a routine underneath them on the stage. After the first refrain, ecstatic screams are heard (which to me seems kind of random and odd) and these dancers begin to undress a little bit, suggesting that perhaps people are possibly having sex in this tunnel. Either that or it's just symbolizing the sexual tension among the main characters. This is one of those suggestive scenes that has potential to be acknowledged as suggestive but often goes unnoticed as such. For some reason, when I saw it, I didn’t consider it a scene for children to witness. Kids definitely wouldn’t be scarred by it, but it’s just my opinion and first impression of it. I think I just consider it a bit more adult oriented. Check it out here and decide for yourself:

Here is the same scene from a different angle:

• Every time Daisy flirts with Terry: Daisy is the flirtatious of the two twins as she quickly falls for Terry and flirts with him any chance she gets, while he returns the favor. She asks for a kiss, he gladly obliges. However, when Buddy proposes to Violet, it is assumed that Terry is going to propose to her, because apparently these two guys come as packaged deal like the girls do now. What? Just because Buddy is marrying Violet automatically Terry has to marry Daisy? Now, maybe the whole thing with Terry is that he wants to get to know her before making any significant moves. That is the smart thing to do and yet Daisy is constantly annoyed every time Terry does not give in to her marriage proposals. Don’t women normally want a guy to take it slow? I just feel like the whole time she is pushing him whereas Terry prefers to take appropriate time and not rush into things. He likes her but maybe he is just not ready for a commitment just yet. Her flirtatiousness (and Terry's) is very obvious in this clip:

Tomorrow: The Seagull. :)

Check out the previous post of this series: Polaroid Stories and As You Like It.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I want to take a brief reprieve from "Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments" to share some awesome news with you!

When I was younger I created a Facebook group to help raise awareness of the impending doom of the bookstore Borders closing and even included a petition to keep this from happening. I got a few signatures and even showed the petition to some Borders employees, who greatly appreciated it. However, as time went on, I didn't think that anybody looked at the group much anymore let alone know of its existence.

That being said, something pretty cool happened today. The people of Marketplace Public Radio actually found my SAVE BORDERS!!! group on Facebook and asked me to do a phone interview! Here I am mentioned in the article and you will be able to hear part of my interview as well!

It's nice when people acknowledge your hard work. It's a good feeling and I am proud of myself for what I have done. :D

Tomorrow "Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments" will resume with Side Show. :)

Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments: Polaroid Stories and As You Like It

Because both entries are relatively short and both plays were playing at the same theater during the same week, I decided to combine the two into one post.

*Beware of Spoilers*

Polaroid Stories-December 2009-L. Howard Fox Theatre
I loved this play. It was very unique with limited scenery. It is about homeless people on the streets each representing a story of the characters of Greek mythology, particularly Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Now what I have been writing about so far is sex scenes and relations gone wrong. With our play here, even simple make out sessions aren’t safe.

The make out scene between Eurydice and Orpheus: This is the second time we see these two together. The first time Eurydice is trying to escape from him and Orpheus is pretty much stalking her, thus suggesting a somewhat abusive relationship, so we know he is bad news. The next scene we find them running onto the stage and then start rolling on the stage kissing each other with dialogue. My friend that was with me found this a bit disturbing and so I thought this worth mentioning on my list here. Orpheus does not let Eurydice out of his clutches throughout the scene and is way too touchy-feely. Because we know that he is a bad guy from the beginning, this scene is awkward to watch even more and we sense that it will eventually not end well between them.

As You Like It-December 2009-L. Howard Fox Theatre
I’m going to do my best with this one, considering Shakespeare wrote it and we all know that Shakespeare may take some effort of understanding. But, it is the only play on my list here that pretty much does not have a sexually awkward scene. Though like any play it has its conflicts, it is the most heartwarming play I have seen so far. It is an adorable love story with a happy dance sequence at the end.

Rosalind disguises herself as a man: If anything would be counted as an "awkward sexual moment" in this play, it would be this. From my understanding, our lead heroine Rosalind is kicked out of her uncle’s home and thus travels the land dressed as a man in search for her father. In her travels she runs into her beloved Orlando, whom she met back when she was in woman form. As she is dressed as a man, she gives Orlando tips as how to court his beloved Rosalind, who is she. This isn’t sexually awkward (well maybe a little bit) but interesting that she is able to tell him what she wants without him knowing who she is. What woman wouldn’t want this ability? This is a common tactic for Shakespeare, for he did the same thing for Twelfth Night.

Next on the list: Side Show. :)

Check out the previous post of this series: Arcadia

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments: Arcadia

Arcadia-November 2009-Alexander Kasser Theater
Now this has got to be the most confusing play I have ever seen in my entire life, but in doing so it has become one of my favorites. It takes place in two different centuries as the characters in the present setting try to solve the mysteries of the past utilizing the resources provided for them, all in the same location of Sidley Park, Derbyshire, England. These mysteries pretty much center on the romance among the characters of the past.

*Beware of Spoilers*

April 1809: The scenes from the past have got to hold the biggest love triangle of all time. The following is this triangle in a nutshell: The play begins on April 10, 1809 with Thomasina Coverly asking her tutor Septimus Hodge the meaning of “carnal embrace”. This question initiates the action of the rest of the play, revealing sex secrets and murderous desires. Septimus, who is in love with Thomasina’s mother Lady Croom, who in turn loves Lord Byron, slept with Mrs. Chater, who apparently slept with Lord Byron also, wife to less than decent poet Ezra Chater and the object of affection of Captain Brice. Mr. Chater and Captain Brice form an alliance to kill Septimus in a duel and Septimus is up for the challenge. Bernard Nightingale in the present tries to prove that is was Lord Byron who shot Mr. Chater thus killing him by ransacking the game books stored in Sidley Park, home to the descendants of the Coverly family: Valentine, Chloe and Gus, whose house is currently being studied by author Hannah Jarvis for her book. The whole conflict in 1809 is opened like a can of worms by Thomasina’s question and acts as a catalyst for the rest of the plot. Thankfully the scenes set in the present aren’t as confused, for the goals of these characters are pretty obvious.

A thirty-year-old man hooking up with an eighteen-year-old girl: Okay so I know this isn’t that important to the plot but it really bothers me. Bernard in his late thirties has sexual relations with the eighteen-year-old Chloe. Now I know that she is legal and all, but I just find this coupling unsettling considering all the years he has on her. Chloe’s character gradually becomes more and more annoying as she falls more and more for Bernard because we as an audience know that she is just being naïve. Bernard eventually dumps her and does not want her to accompany him back to London, for his heart wasn’t in the relationship as much as Chloe’s. Surprise! This kind of outcome is predictable considering he is a man who likes his sex and also makes advances towards Hannah, which is another sexually awkward moment in itself considering the rocky relationship the two have.

Gus: Gus is the youngest of the Coverlys and is also mute. He has no lines but makes it obvious that he harbors a crush on Hannah by exhibiting it through his offering of apples, dancing with her, and just acting shy around her. Though this is cute, every time the kid enters the scene not only is he mute he is timidly awkward. He just stands there and then runs out frightened. But I guess because he is young, this kind of shyness is understandable.

Thomasina kisses Septimus: I am currently on the fence with this one, but because I complained so much about Bernard and Chloe together, I only found it fitting to write about these two as well. Septimus is twenty-two and Thomasina is thirteen and then sixteen. In the final seen they share kisses. They may be considered awkward because of the age difference and the fact it happens so suddenly, but I really don’t think it counts as an awkward sexual moment. This is because Thomasina at sixteen in 1809 is way more mature than Chloe at eighteen in the present. In 1809, it was probably common for a sixteen-year-old girl to be married with children already. Plus, it was only a kiss. Septimus was Thomasina’s tutor with whom she got along, so the kiss they share is actually kind of cute and innocent in this context.

Next up: Polaroid Stories and As You Like It. :)

Check out the previous post of this series: A Man of No Importance

Monday, January 10, 2011

Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments: A Man of No Importance

A Man of No Importance-October 2009-L. Howard Fox Theatre
Taking place in Ireland a young playwright named Alfie Byrne takes upon writing a play for the town actors to perform while also facing the difficulty of discovering his own sexuality. The whole play is pretty much Alfie’s coming out experience, and an awkward coming out experience it is.

*Beware of Spoilers*

Any confrontation Alfie has with Breton Beret: We meet Breton Beret, who coincidentally wears a beret and looks more like a stereotypical French guy lost in Dublin rather than an Irish guy in my opinion, in the play’s local bar, because, you know, what is an Irish play without a bar as one its settings, right? Anyway Breton hangs out in this bar and he often checks out Alfie, suggesting that he is gay. He then begins messing with Alfie’s mind, saying that Alfie was checking him out as well. He pretty much speaks in riddles with a sly tone of voice confusing Alfie and making him begin to realize that he is gay as well. Now bear in mind up until this point Alfie pretty much considers himself straight so this so-called connection he and this guy have is news to him. You can tell that Alfie is uncomfortable in every scene with him until the muse of Oscar Wilde (yes, THE Oscar Wilde—I’ll get to that in a minute) inspires him to try to pursue a relationship with Breton because the man he is in love with is straight and does not return his affections let alone know about them. It then turns out that Mr. Beret is one of those gay-basher guys and beats and robs Alfie. Yes, a quick change of events there. I actually found it a real jaw dropper because it happens so suddenly and unexpectedly.

Alfie walks in on Robbie Faye and Mrs. Patrick: The man Alfie falls for during the play is Robbie Faye, the town bus driver. It becomes obvious that Robbie does not return Alfie’s affections, nor is Alfie really sure of his affection for Robbie, for like I said this whole play is Alfie’s coming out experience of discovering who he is. Robbie is a friend of Alfie’s but there is a point in the play when Robbie actually seems to find Alfie irritating. This is when Alfie walks in on him and Mrs. Patrick. It turns out he is having an affair with this married woman. What makes this scene awkward is the fact that the lights are completely off and when they come up Alfie walks in on a heavy make-out session between the two, Mrs. Patrick a bit undressed, leading to a disturbing reaction among all three parties involved. It’s kind of heartbreaking because we can all relate to feeling the disappointment of witnessing someone else with the object of our affections. The fact that they were in a sexual embrace preparing to do the deed, Alfie thought he actually had a chance with Robbie, and the whole struggle Alfie had with his sexuality, was all toppled onto each other, making it that much more difficult for Alfie to handle. Seeing Robbie and Mrs. Patrick together was just icing on a not-so-tasty cake.

Oscar Wilde: That’s right. The legendary supposedly homosexual playwright himself makes an appearance. Though this may not be considered an awkward sexual moment, I thought I’d include it because I believe there is a connection between him and Alfie. Alfie greatly admires the work of Oscar Wilde and uses them as inspiration for his own pieces. Regardless, the whole scene with Wilde is awkward because he just randomly enters as Alfie’s hallucination dressed with a huge hat, cape, and cane, and provides Alfie with the same attire. They walk around the stage and to me the scene just seemed out of place with the rest of the play. However, it seems as though the presence of Oscar Wilde does serve a purpose because a good thing that comes out of this scene is that Alfie seems to finally become comfortable with his sexuality and goes out to pursue relationships with men. Unfortunately, this also leads to the episode with Breton Beret.

Tomorrow: Arcadia. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Winter Break Project to be Posted Shortly

Greetings faithful readers! I hope you are enjoying the snow. :P

Starting Sunday or Monday I will begin posting a series of entries that I have been working on for a good majority of winter break. I am pretty proud of it and have worked very hard on it. I'll probably post one every day of the week instead of just posting two to spread it out because the entries are pretty lengthy. I apologize for the constant posts and lengthiness, but this is the only way to post them before I return back to school without bombarding you with two gigantic messages all at once. Some entries will be lengthier than others. I really hope you enjoy them!

The posts in this series have sexual content, so I ask you to proceed with caution. Perhaps this series is not for all viewers, but you the reader be the judge of that. However, I want to inform you that not all of my future posts will be this kind of content. This is just for the series.

Peak Performances is another name for theatrical shows produced by Montclair State University. As I was thinking one night (December 29, 2010) about the different Peak Performances that have occurred so far during my attendance at Montclair State University, a majority of them I have seen live, it has occurred to me that every show had something in common—awkward sexual tension. Though there is nothing wrong with a little hanky-panky behavior onstage, it is the context and delivery that makes it awkward and out there. Sometimes it is rather humorous, other times it is just plain uncomfortable. Never is there a time when a couple has sex or any activity in that range where it just seems natural and we just leave it as that. There is always additional weirdness going on. Now I am just going to limit this to the performances provided by the Department of Theatre and Dance at MSU, which involve MSU theater majors. Furthermore, this piece is definitely NOT a knock on anybody involved with these performances or the performances themselves, for I admire their abilities greatly, but rather the characters and situations they are portraying. Finally, last but certainly not least, it is only my opinion and I just decided to write about it. This is a series I like to call "Peak Performances and their Awkward Sexual Moments."

None of the shows I mention are playing at Montclair State University anymore, but if you plan on seeing these shows at other venues, I suggest you be careful when reading the series because I provide plenty of spoilers to get my points across. Enter at your own risk. 

Now without further to do, please join me as we take a trip down memory lane to commemorate these memorable moments.

First up, A Man of No Importance . :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Thoughts on MTV's Jersey Shore

In "honor" of "Jersey Shore's" third season premiering tonight, I thought I'd post this piece. Like some of my other pieces, this orginally was published as a Facebook Note back when I was a freshman. The show had just premiered at the time and so as an Italian American from New Jersey, naturally I was kind of pissed about it. I was bottling up my frustration until I couldn't take it anymore and had to write down my feelings about it, so at school between classes I wrote this. I got both praise and criticism for this piece, but it's understandable. This one takes more of a rant style as opposed to my other works, because obviously I was ranting and pretty angry. But I think it is a well written rant nonetheless, which is why I am posting it. Though I am still not a huge fan of the show, I have calmed down since. There are times when I even laugh about it with my friends, so it's all good. This is basically just an initial reaction, so I apologize in advance if anybody finds this too harsh or offensive. Enjoy.

I'm hearing an awful lot of hype about the new reality show "Jersey Shore." I am a huge fan of New Jersey, born and raised here, and I absolutely love the shore. It is an amazing place unique to our state and I have been going there since childhood. However, I am tired of my state of residence being ripped apart because of some negative stereotypes. New Jersey is an amazing state with a lot of history and landmarks and it is completedly offensive to have the state represented in such a way. New Jersey has had a bad rep for such a long time now and it has to stop somewhere. It would be nice if MTV respects the wishes of me and my fellow New Jerseyans and helps us out with this by discontinuing the series and stop feeding into the mockery that has been in existence for ages.

I am also 50% Italian, so therefore I have opinion on that aspect as well. I have been told that because I am Italian, I am automatically a guido and should know how to frolic. There is a HUGE difference between guidos and Italians. For one thing Italians are NATURALLY tan. We are family oriented, damn good cooks, and are NOT dumb despite popular belief. Italians are a pure-bred nationality whereas guidos appear to be "fake Italians." To say that guidos represent the Italians of New Jersey is just outrageous.

I know from personal experience, however, that New Jerseyans do a lot of stupid stuff and we often are stereotypical. We're loud, we fight, we drop F-bombs, we flip people off with our middle finger, but we do NOT pump our fists in the air! WHO DOES THAT? We are also NOT idiots who constantly break the law and brag about our "hotness."

To have New Yorkers represent us is a disgrace because duh, they're from New York, not JERSEY! We are two very diverse groups of people. Our accents aren't even the same no matter how much they may seem similar!

Incidentally I've never seen the show considering I do not have MTV. I am just going by people's reactions on Facebook, the many fan pages and groups against it, and the promo I have seen. Regardless, I am still annoyed.

Of course, some of my fellow New Jerseyans may actually find the show funny and entertaining and feel that it's good thing to laugh at ourselves. I'm all for laughing at myself, but my whole point is that the people being portrayed on the show are not us. Guidos do not make up the full population of New Jersey, only a portion of it. Trust me, I would laugh at it if I could relate to it.

Maybe people are always mocking us and our ways because they are jealous and frightened of us. Sure, we fight and are loud, but we FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE! WE WANT OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD! We pick arguments for a reason to prove a POINT. People are afraid of us because of our determination, will power, intelligence, strength, and NUMEROUS TALENTS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE GELLING OUR HAIR!

MTV, please don't act like you know what we're about, because you obviously don't. Don't belittle us, because you're only embarassing your network.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Got Mentioned on an Actress's Website!!!


I came across this tonight and it lifted my spirits a bit. Rachel Dunwoody was an actress who played Chris Gorman in The Barn Theatre's production of Rumors this past September in Montville. I reviewed this play for Montville Patch and it turns out the link to my article got posted on her website. My name and quote is right there smack dab on the webpage:, .

The reason why I post this is because I received some news tonight that kind of discouraged me a bit. Plus, I am still trying my best to surge up the courage and confidence I know I have deep down inside that has not entirely taken its full form yet.

However, seeing stuff like this gives me the encouragement I need to continue what I am doing and the reminder of why I do it. I know that maybe perhaps I am indeed on the right path. I just have to keep going, have faith, and keep my mind, focus, and purpose in check. I mean, it's pretty cool knowing that an actress whose work I have acknowledged has acknowledged my work as well. It's a good feeling. :D

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Blast from the Past: On the Town

Paper Mill Playhouse is one of my favorite theaters in New Jersey. It is also very well known. I have seen a few shows there, one of them being On the Town. My father and I went to see it back in 2009 and I decided to write this piece for The Montclarion. Unfortunately, it was never used. No one has ever seen it until today. I wanted to publish it somewhere, and so now I finally found a home for it. :) So please enjoy one of my lost articles about On the Town.

The Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey is known for its classic musical productions. I attended the premiere of its latest addition, On the Town, on November 11.

The musical surrounds a day in the life of three sailors Gabey, Ozzie, and Chip, played by Tyler Hanes, Jeffrey Schecter, and Brian Shepard respectively, on leave in 1944 wartime. The show begins with the trio arriving at New York City by ship at 6AM. In a total of literally twenty-four hours, the sailors and their fellow comrades have a chance to explore New York City before they must return to their ship and embark on their duties. Each guy has his own agenda to accomplish while there: Chip wishes to sightsee the places his father told him about while relying on his guide book, Ozzie just wants to live it up with a few “dames,” but Gabey’s goal is to find his one and only love.

The three begin their adventure on a subway where they regard a poster advertising the most recent “Miss Turnstiles,” a competition of the subway similar to that of Miss America, named Ivy Smith, played by Yvette Tucker. Upon seeing her, Gabey is convinced that she is the girl for him and dedicates the twenty-four hours to finding her and perhaps make a date with her before he leaves town. Beings though they were in New York City, finding one girl in a day seemed impossible. After much consideration, Chip and Ozzie decide to postpone their plans to help their friend.

The three go their separate ways to cover more ground and instead of finding Ivy, Ozzie and Chip each find dames of their own. Chip seeks assistance from recently fired cab driver Hildy Esterhazy (Jennifer Cody), who is more interested to lure Chip into her bed than help him. Ozzie runs into author and anthropologist Claire DeLoone (Kelly Sullivan) at the Museum of Natural History, who is eager to let loose and ditch her workaholic lifestyle and fiancé. Hildy helps Chip to come out of his shell while Ozzie helps Claire to embrace her wild side, and eventually intense make out sessions ensue. At first these two ladies seem to be a distraction of sexual desire in the quest of finding Ivy Smith, but later they prove to be true heroines and the ideal object of affection from their new men.

Surprisingly, Gabey does find Ivy early on, suggesting to the audience that something bad is yet to occur. The suggestion proves true when Ivy is unable to make the date she and Gabey plan due to work. This sets Gabey into a depression and the gang, who eventually reunites with their new girlfriends by their sides, attempts club hopping to cheer him up. However, his business with Ivy is not finished yet.

Not only do the sailors find love in the big city, but they also find trouble. Throughout the course of the play, they each do something to anger someone and these troublesome acts accumulate, causing them to have one additional police officer after another on their tail each time. This is one of the many recurring gags.

Even though On the Town was a musical, there was more dancing than anything, and fine dancing there was, thanks to choreographer Patti Colombo ( Whether it was Gabey’s anguish expressed through movement or Ozzie and Claire just jamming with cavemen, true talent was displayed.

As much fun the musical was, there were points about it that depressed me. Supposedly it was the sailors’ first exposure to New York City, but it could very be their last exposure as well, not only to New York City, but also to freedom itself. When they make their departure, there is no telling in what kind of condition they will return or if they will return at all. It is somewhat irritating because it is possible that this day was their last chance to experience a woman’s love. Gabey, the one who was initially looking for it, spent most of the day searching for Ivy, whereas Ozzie and Chip had their girls the whole day. Contrary to popular belief that a woman needs her man, a man needs his woman just as much. This is proven when the soldiers ogled every girl they saw on stage. When they leave the city, they get to look forward to looking at other men for a good majority of their days. Gee, that’s fun.

On a less sensual note, another message the play sends is that you must live life to the fullest and live every day as though it is your last. I have lived in New Jersey all my life and I rarely travel to New York, mainly because I highly dislike it the congestion. But should I do so more often? Should I take advantage of the wonders New York City has to offer like the sailors did? I could die tomorrow just by walking across the street. Do I do enough each day? These were the questions that ran through my mind while watching the magic happen on stage at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Not only was On the Town entertaining, it makes you think.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fleet Street Comes to Normal Avenue in Epic Proportions

This past November, specifically the afternoon of November 20, 2010, a few of my friends and I saw the production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at our school, provided by the Department of Theater and Dance, meaning MSU students. This post is actually the uncut version of the review I wrote for it for The Montclarion, which you can find here.

I wasn't sure if the editors could use it because it was in the past and I had submitted this after Thanksgiving break, so I wasn't sure if it was too late to publish it as current news. I just had to write about the show. I couldn't not write about it. It was one of those performances you had to write about to get it all off your chest to express your full appreciation of it and have closure. My editor got back to me and said that they could use it and that they had wanted to cover it. I was beyond thrilled.

So as you will see, what I originally wrote was really long because I did not want to forget anything, so it's understandable that they had to edit a lot. However, I did want to post the original somewhere because towards the end of my Thanksgiving break is when I finally worked up the nerve to write it and send it to my editor, because like I said, I wasn't sure if he was going to use it anyway so I wasn't sure if I should write it. But because I couldn't not write it, I did and took the chance and asked if he could he could use it at all. I wrote everything on my mind and wanted my editor to use what he needed from it.

I worked day and night on it and am extremely proud of it, so I have been wanting to share this version as well. I had to publish it somewhere. I originally was going to post it under Facebook Notes, but considered this a better home for it. :) Enjoy!

Ok so I know that Thanksgiving break is passed us and that the Department of Theatre and Dance and John J. Cali School of Music’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street ended around two weeks ago, but I was given the muse to write this piece, regardless of this lengthy passage of time. The show quickly sold out all five days it was playing at Alexander Kasser Theater, including the matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday, possibly having to turn away plenty of enthusiastic theatergoers who wished to see it. Due to this high demand of tickets, I feel that the play is deserving of a review in order to paint a picture for those who were unable to attend and give it the recognition it deserves.

Before seeing this production, I was not a real big fan of Sweeney Todd, so thankfully I had my good friends Julia and Cherry, who have been big fans, there to make my experience that much more exciting. The performance clinched our fandom. When you sit in your seat, you are greeted by a set so magnificently portraying the dark streets of 19th Century London. Dangling from a rope is a dead body wrapped in cloth. One by one the ensemble, baring resemblances to the darkness of the scenery, walks onstage to the music of a creep-tastic organ, each inspecting the dead body. In song, they invite us to “Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd.” Sweeney Todd, played by senior Adam Bashian, then enters to help complete the song. Prior to the performance I had read the cast list on Facebook and remembered him from last fall’s Arcadia as Bernard Nightingale, so I was excited to see him in his element once again and immediately deemed him as perfect for the role of Sweeney Todd. As soon as he enters the stage in that first number, he has a presence that remains throughout the rest of the show, complete with amazing singing and acting skills, along with a deep, thrilling voice. A slightest snicker of his adds the extra flavor needed to complete a scene.

Bashian is not alone in this, however. Junior Jesse Ellyn Zeidman uses her talents of wit and accent emulation to portray Mrs. Lovett, Todd’s partner in crime in his murders, and freshman Kirk Geritano, as Judge Turpin, uses his maturity and impressive vocals to portray Todd’s main nemesis and target. Because there are plenty cast and crew members to mention, I unfortunately cannot commemorate each one, but I will say this: Even the minor characters, including those from the Company, blew me away and could have very well been considered leads due to their stamina. They are just as important and are needed by the audience to lead the plot. It was fascinating to recognize certain cast members that I have seen in past Peak Performances altogether performing in such a way. What made it even more fascinating was the fact that these were Montclair students but you would think it was a Broadway cast. Whether they are the townspeople or escaped lunatics, you could definitely see the passion that they had regardless of the size of their roles. What I liked also was how the orchestra joined this cast and crew onstage for curtain call, for I have never seen that done before.

Even though Sweeney Todd is considered a musical thriller, ironically it was also pretty funny. Humorous moments were scattered throughout, especially during “A Little Priest,” which proved to be a highlight number as Todd and Mrs. Lovett jokingly plotted the demise of their victims. Because “Epiphany” is my favorite song from Tim Burton’s version, I was looking forward to hearing it throughout the first act, so this finally being sung by Bashian was a highlight for me as well.

Sweeney Todd was directed by Jodi Capeless, and according to her biography, she has plenty of Broadway and Off-Broadway credits under her belt. This kind of quality showed in Sweeney Todd. This has got to be the best show I have seen at MSU so far, and I have seen some great ones, because of the professionalism behind it. Good examples of this are the change of scenes with the automatic set that moved on its own and the lighting to help accentuate the intensity and eeriness of these scenes. You could mentally feel the illusion of heat from Mrs. Lovett’s oven, even though it was just a set with great lighting and smoke.

Beings though Sweeney Todd uses his razor to slice the throats of unsuspecting men who enter his barbershop, it is expected to see some gore, though I was not sure in this case because this was a staged production and the only exposure I had of Sweeney Todd prior was Tim Burton’s film. Sure enough, right on Kasser’s stage theatrical cringe worthy blood squirted from Todd’s victims at the moment of impact. As a somewhat squeamish person, I found this a bit disturbing, but I survived. It did not happen too often and it was not as messy as one would think, so thankfully it was not that horrible for it to haunt me.

I left Kasser that night in what I like to call a “Sweeney Todd high” and have been in a “Sweeney Todd withdrawal” ever since the show ended. And this is after seeing the play only once. In the famous words of MC Hammer, Tim Burton “can’t touch this.” Nothing beats this play. It was THAT good.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Symbolism of Angel Dumott Schunard in RENT: My Interpretation

As my first legitimate post I figured I'd post this. I originally wrote this last spring and published it under my Facebook Notes but figured that since Christmas has just recently passed and I also mention New Years as well, it is an appropriate choice. I was inspired to write about one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite musicals and how this character represents the true meaning of Christmas.

Warning: This note is more so for those who are familiar with the concepts and storyline of the musical RENT. I’d love for anyone to read this but just a warning that it may contain spoilers. Also keep in mind that I don’t consider myself a Renthead because I just got into it a few weeks ago so if I get some facts wrong I apologize!

It has recently occurred to me that the phenomenon musical RENT is indeed a Christmas play and movie just as much as Charles Dickens’ specialty is. Think about it. It begins on Christmas Eve and ends on Christmas Eve a year later. In the theater production, the characters sing various Christmas carols, including Jonathan Larson’s original song “Christmas Bells.” Though it would not be considered one of them jolly Christmas jingles, it is still there. Plus, there are various Christmas morals of happiness suggesting family togetherness, living life to the fullest, and just trying to make the best out of the worst possible circumstances. What I want to know is when is RENT going to become a Christmas special on ABC in the running with Rudolph, the Grinch, and Frosty? I think it would be interesting to watch Idina Menzel moo in RENT a week before Christmas Eve instead of watching Jim Carrey steal Christmas. LOL. Nothing against How the Grinch Stole Christmas, for I happen to enjoy Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Grinch and the movie itself, but it would be nice to have RENT in the lineup for the 12 Days of Christmas. I’m just saying. :) Though one would probably not think of RENT as a family-friendly film considering the various adult references. But I say, what is wrong with a little catering to the adults of the world?

Okay so I seem to be going a little off topic. So I have already established that I find RENT to be a Christmas production. That being said, why not believe that Larson had intended for his character Angel Dumott Schunard to represent his namesake, a legitimate guardian “angel,” a symbol of Christmas. I definitely feel like there is much more to him symbolically than what meets the eye. For those of you who do not know who Angel is, the following is a brief description of him in a nutshell: He is a homosexual drag queen who prefers female pronouns and has a keen ability to bust a move in heels. She hangs out in a tree playing a drum that looks more like a white plastic bucket, falls for fellow lead character Tom Collins after rescuing him from the street after he is mugged, kills Benny’s dog (without knowing it was Benny’s) by driving the dog crazy with her drum playing to the point where the dog makes a excitable jump from the third story of a building. This is all for a rich lady who randomly shows up in a limousine complaining about how the canine’s constant barking have kept her from her slumber. Phew. Try to say all that in one breath.

Also, like a majority of the characters, she also suffers from AIDS.

Regardless of this disease, Angel is one of the more joyful characters (after all, isn’t Christmas the season of joy?) in the production while the others pout about the doom and gloom of poor living conditions, AIDS, and relationship issues. In fact, the best relationship the story has to offer is the relationship between Angel and Collins, which seemingly has no visible flaws and is very heartwarming.

When the other characters begin to split apart, hence the term “rent” being a huge theme in the production, she is the optimistic glue that holds them together, especially in the New Year scene when all of the couples begin to argue and she encourages them to form a clean slate. Even take the scene where Angel first meets Collins. She did not have to help a total stranger, and yet she did. She, Angel, Collins’ “guardian angel,” represents what Christmas is all about.

What had me begin thinking about Angel symbolizing an actual angel is when I saw one particular scene: Contact. Look it up on Youtube. That is how I saw and heard it. It is basically the scene when Angel expires from AIDS. Cut out the various sexual innuendos and orgasmic moans and you get a very spiritual moment. We find Angel standing above a flowing white sheet dressed in white (the proper angel attire in my opinion), thus giving the illusion that she is ascending into heaven. “Take me! Take me!” she repetitively cries, and we can only assume she is crying for the assistance of a higher power. However, the sexual innuendos do serve a point, for once Angel's solo occurs, the rest of the cast, unsatisfied with their night of pleasure, claim, “It’s Over,” between them, to which Collins responds, “It’s Over,” meaning Angel has lost her battle with AIDS. Notice how as soon as she finishes singing to God the rest of the couples break apart and from then on the show takes an even more depressing turn and the friends go their separate ways. Angel’s death is the “rent."

I chose to write about Angel because I find her to be one of those very inspirational and complex (in a good way) characters that you just have to analyze. She has these many qualities and associations and seems to cover a more entertaining background throughout the show in comparison to the rest of the characters who seem to travel an unchanging wave. The way her character deteriorates as she perishes and how the rest of the cast is affected once their solid rock, their “angel,” is gone, is phenomenal. She is the piece of the puzzle to move the story along and seems to do so more than the lead characters, which is ironic for she is a subplot to the Roger and Mimi love story.

Nonetheless, Angel remains to be the group’s link to each other even after death when lead character Mark Cohen cures his “filmer’s block” (play on writer’s block) and dedicates his film to her and their friends’ lives in the past year. She is the angel who helps reunite a family once again. As you can see, Angel Dumott Schunard represents practically every aspect of what the Christmas season should be.

Welcome to "Taking it One 'Stef' at a Time!"

Greetings! and welcome to my blog "Taking it One 'Stef' at a Time."

My name is Stef (short for Stefanie) and the title is a play on words "Taking it one step at a time." I choose this title because a) it goes well with my name and b) the saying itself represents where I am in my life right now.

Happy New Year 2011! I consider this new year to be full of new experiences and new beginnings for me. It is a time for me to become a whole new confident Stef who does not look down on herself or constantly compare herself to others, which is something I have a tendency to do. I am proud of myself and the life I have lived and want to begin the new year not thinking otherwise.

Currently I am a sophomore at Montclair State University and I am on the fence about what my life holds for me, though I do have an idea about what I like and what I do not. All I know is I love to write and I have known this since I was two years old (yes, two!). Right now I am on my winter break so it has given me the chance to write leisurely as opposed to writing essays, and beings though I am indeed an English major, I write a lot of them lol.

I am also a huge fan of theater but have had experience in the journalism field as well since high school, so for the longest time I have felt torn between the two. But then I realized that I love reviewing theater, which is what I currently do for Montville Patch and The Montclarion, MSU's newspaper. That is what I plan on writing about for a majority of "Taking it One 'Stef' at a Time," along with anything else that's on my mind that is worth writing about.

Considering I am a writer, people have asked me if I blog or have encouraged me to blog. I have seen my friends blog and my father currently has his own blog as well (, so I figured I'd give it a try--FINALLY. I figured the new year is a perfect time to begin and thought that Blogger was a great place to start for a beginner like me. I am really excited but I'm a bit nervous about it as well because sometimes I can be a little overprotective of my writing, experience writer's block, and it's just that I am a private person in general, but I have been wanting to do this since I began writing Facebook Notes so I figure that this is an evolution. :)

When I return back to school, I plan on continuing with "Taking it One 'Stef' at a Time," but because this is my first attempt at blogging I ask you please bear with me any flaws my blog may have or if it is not as consistent. But hey, it looks like fun, and I am extremely excited! Wish me luck and enjoy! ;)


P.S. I also look forward to any constructive feedback you may have!