2017 – The Year of Concerts

Quote: “If you told me I could only do one thing, I would choose live concerts.” — Mandy Patinkin
Song: Greatest Love Story by LANCO
Location: Red Deer, Alberta

2017, what a year!! I think it was absolutely fantastic. But, this isn’t for me to reflect on the year. Well, I guess it is, but, a different type of reflection. For me, 2017 was the YEAR of CONCERTS. There are few things (if any) I love more in this world than live music. Concerts are one of my favorite ways to spend money. No problem. I love hearing musicians I love, LIVE. So, here is a nice little reflection on all of the artists I was able to enjoy LIVE this 2017 year!

First up, one of my favorites artists (may have to do with the fact he mentions my name in not one, but TWO of his songs) BON JOVI.
Bon JoviBon Jovi at The Forum. What an incredible show and start to the Year of Concerts. This House is Not For Sale was not only a wonderful tour, but Bon Jovi told a story that I will never forget. Almost 2-3 decades ago (many many years), he performed at The Forum to a half empty crowd. He figured his career was almost done and he went “home” to whatever hotel they were staying at that night and cried himself to sleep, thinking it was all over. He said, “If only I could have told myself then where I’d be in 25 years, performing to a SOLD OUT crowd, here, at The Forum.” The Forum had many memories for him, all which he shared, but that was the one that stuck with me the most. It was cool to see one of my favorite artists in such a monumental place for him! He also was a CLASSY performer. Totally family friendly, no inappropriate language, kids were rocking out to him just as hard as the adults. What a GREAT GUY!! Anddd….Tommy and Gina. ❤

The LumineersThe Lumineers – OMG. I have waited SO LONG to see The Lumineers. I miss them every time. They were opening for U2 and I cannot wait to see them on their own tour, but this was at least amazing. Also, The Lumineers and U2 in ONE SHOW? How much more perfect can life get? This was an absolutely fantastic set for them. They were soooo good. Cannot wait to see them again. Will definitely buy tickets!! (They’re in my Top 5 favorite musicians list so really….they could have sucked and I’d still buy future tickets, but it was awesome to see them thriveee!!)

U2 at the Rose Bowl. U2 tickets are way too hard to get. They’re also way too expensive. I bought the cheapest tickets I could get my hands on in pre-sale, and they were awful seats. I’m glad I saw them, it was a huge check off the bucket list, but I would never see them again unless I was way closer. This was the Joshua Tree Tour, in honor of 30 years since that album was released, and their stage show was a replica of it. 30 years ago they didn’t have big screens so…..they didn’t here either.  U2So I get it but also, how do I know it was Bono and not some impersonator? I don’t. Because they were the size of ants. They sounded great though. But in the stack of concerts this year, they didn’t even come close to being at the top. I told a great friend of mine after that, “I wouldn’t see them again unless you and I were dating and you’d never seen them.” To which he responded, “I’ve already seen them.” Thanks for that dude. Clearly you are NEVER going to ask me out, literally handed him a neon sign saying go for it. Hahaha Forget him, I mailed him a shirt, and…I’ll go again. But only if my tickets are super close. Or not at the Rose Bowl. It’ll be interesting to see them at a tour that’s not a replica of the past.

Brett Young – Fantastic. He was the first opener for Lady Antebellum and joined the stage with them again at one point during their set. Can’t wait to see him on his own tours!

Kelsea Ballerini – Peter Pan. OMG. I love that song. So much. I’m also a weirdo fan of anything Peter Pan so, that helps. She was the second opener for Lady Antebellum and what a great performance. It was like her own mini-concert. Super glad I was able to see her and hear Peter Pan ring through the valleys surrounding the Hollywood Bowl!

Lady AntebellumLady Antebellum at the Hollywood Bowl. FANTASTIC. There’s just something about live country music. One, they’re always exactly the same as the radio because they don’t auto tune themselves. Two, they’re just fun. Although I haven’t really listened to most of Antebellum’s new stuff, I’m a fan of their oldies and they played just as much of that as their new record. You Look Good World Tour, another great one for the books!

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at the Staples Center. Woohoo. We’ve hit a country double whammy. The Soul 2 Soul Tour was absolutely AH-MAZING! How can it not be when you’re seeing BOTH Tim McGraw AND Faith Hill in one setting? To make it even better, I bought second hand tickets…which ended up being VIP. VIP in the Staples Center is the life you always want to live. Tim McGraw and Faith HillTrust me. Also, Tim McGraw is a favorite of mine and he played all of my favorites, including Shotgun Rider: A song which I don’t leave out on any mixed CD I’ve ever made. True, classy, country performers. Humble and Kind. They live what they preach…or they live what they sing. One of the top concerts of the year for sure.

Coldplay at the Rose Bowl. Now, this one is a tough opinion to beat. Coldplay is and are, my favorite musicians. So even if they had a crappy show, they’d be #1 in my heart. I actually had already gone to the A Head Full of Dreams tour in 2016 (at the Rose Bowl), but knew they were returning in 2017. ColdplayJust days before the 2017 LA show, my friend’s sister posted some videos from their Edmonton show and I realized I was going to have to buy tickets to see them again. Just because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I do think Mylo Xyloto was a better tour. (I saw that in Edmonton.) But, it is cool to see their tours in outdoor arenas. Then you can get the full confetti and fireworks show!! (And I LOVE FIREWORKS as much as I LOVE CONCERTS.) Side note: This concert was just a few days after the terrible acts in Las Vegas. Thank you to Coldplay and the Rose Bowl who had extra security, and also had emergency exits explained for EVERY SINGLE SECTION before the show was allowed to begin.

Tom Walker. Let me guess, you don’t know who he is? LOOK HIM UP RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THIS GUY IS GONNA BE SOMEBODY and you can remember when GINA SAID LOOK HIM UP. Absolutely FANTASTIC. AND he’s one heck of a SUPER NICE GUY TOO!

The ScriptThe Script at The Wiltern. YES. This may have been the concert of the year solely because of my INSANELY AMAZING tickets. ON THE FLOOR, as close as possible, inside the pit. Amazing. The Script, like The Lumineers, I have missed every single tour. EVERY SINGLE ONE. But, FINALLY, I was able to catch them on the Freedom Child Tour. A very fitting name too. They were absolutely AMAZING. Sounded great, were personable, and just put on an absolutely amazing show. This was also my first time at The Wiltern, and since then, it has become my favorite place in LA to watch concerts. Great venue!! Can’t wait to see The Script again!!

Sheryl Crow Particle Kid. At first I thought he was a weird opener for Sheryl Crow, but let me tell ya, this guy has some talent. He also told a story about him listening to Sheryl Crow as a kid and how he can’t believe she’s now like his crazy Aunt. Had me sold at that story. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m all about the personal stories these musicians like to tell. I soak them up like butter in a croissant.

Sheryl Crow at the Fonda Theatre. I literally left work at 8:30pm and bought a ticket for this show at 8:55pm. The show started at 9. What a great buy for a Monday night. Sheryl Crow was one of my childhood favorites and I still love her. You really don’t realize how many hits she has until you listen to her Greatest Hits albums and it’s every single song she’s ever sang. She did not fail in person. Sounded identical to every recording ever and was a true country artist on stage. Love her mellow indie vibes.  Also, Fonda Theatre was another rad venue.

Liam Gallagher at The Wiltern. First, I LOVE OASIS. Oasis is one of my Top 5 musicians/bands. The chances of me ever seeing them perform are 0. Okay….maybe 0.1. Seeing them separately is all I can do, and of course, it’s Liam’s voice we want to hear. Liam GallagherLiam has a bit of a reputation when it comes to concerts….he’s been known to storm off stage and not return, forget lyrics, start fights with the audience. He did none of that during the As You Were Tour. He put on a freaking great show AND his voice was incredible. He didn’t sing Wonderwall which broke my heart, but you have to be thankful for just getting a show when it comes to the Gallagher brothers. I would definitely buy tickets for Liam again, and just hope that this show wasn’t my one lucky time. Also, shout out to everyone attending. I believe this was the nicest crowd of people at a concert this entire year. The crowd actually stayed 30 minutes after the show had ended to sing Wonderwall, and other Oasis hits that didn’t get touched. It was beautiful. I met some cool people there too. Definitely a great memory!!!

OH MY GOSH. THIS BRINGS US TO THE LAST CONCERT OF THE YEAR. LANCO. LANCO was by far, the friendliest band this year. They even invited me in (thanks to a very persistent friend) for a meet-n-greet before the show because the tickets were a birthday gift for me. They were so genuine and polite, it made me even happier to be a fan of them. LANCO1Even better, I have been a fan of them BEFORE they were on the radio. The friend from the U2 story, he always finds me these super indie bands before they make it big. LANCO was the first band that I was able to send HIM before they became popular. Although Troublemaker was their first big hit, Greatest Love Story is my favorite. (And again, I knew it before the radio play.) I LOVEEEE that song. It’s ah-mazing. Go listen to it if you haven’t heard it yet. The cool thing about LANCO, they performed at the Troubadour which is a venue that has stories to tell. It was very popular in past decades for musicians to perform in, but it is also a very small venue. This allowed a close intimate performance with the audience. Their frontman, Brandon Lancaster, at one point, divided the crowd and then ran through the middle of us banging drums, etc. Something I’m glad he’s taking advantage of now, because that’ll be much harder to do at the Staples Center. (I trust they’ll get that big.)

LANCOLANCO also holds a special place in my heart because it was my LAST CONCERT of 2017, to finish off 2017 The Year of Concerts. I should mention, by the way, I didn’t wake up January 1st and say, “This is gonna be the year of concerts.” It actually just became a joke mid-way through the year because I was just continuously going or continuously buying tickets. (I am also missing some of the openers but…I put in the openers that mattered in my heart, and my ears.) Either way, what a year of live music it has been!!! It has been AWESOME. (And for those not familiar with the venue names, these were all in Los Angeles. I’m just writing this blog from my Canadian Winter getaway.) Thank you to all of the bands, venues, friends I went with, performers, audience members beside me, merchandise attendees, THANKS Y’ALL for supporting and being a part of making live music happen.

Can’t wait to find out who I’ll be seeing in 2018. I’m hoping to make a trip out to Nashville. Hmmm, 2018, The Year of Travelling, sounds pretty good too, no?

Happy New Year Y’all! ❤

 

 

 

Tony Reavis drops his EP, So Grown: Interview HERE

Quote: “I want to stay real to me.” –Tony Reavis
Song: My Life in Second Grade by Tony Reavis
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Alright my bloggers! Today we have a special blog with actor and musician, Tony Reavis. Reavis, who lives in Los Angeles, released his EP, So Grown, TODAY, but still had some time to interview with me! Read the interview and check out his EP. Links are at the end of the article! If you don’t want to read the interview but want to hear some amazing music, just scroll to the bottom!

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GO: Where are you from Tony/where do you call home?

TR: I’m from a suburb of Seattle but I just say Seattle because if you’re not from there, no one knows. Seattle will definitely always be home.
But shout-out out to Kent, if people know what it is, because I definitely wear Kent with pride as well. But again, if you’re not from the area, you have no idea.

Tony ReavisGO: What inspired you to start in music?

TR: I’ve always done it as a hobby since back when I got into the arts. I’m definitely an actor first, and a comedian, but it’s always been something that I’ve been interested in and thought I was good at. (And had people tell me I was good at too!) When I moved to LA, I used it as a way to express myself and my stories. I have a lot of stories to tell, even if they’re goofy. This is a way for me to tell those stories and you know, that’s the goal.

GO: You said “back when you got into the arts”, have you not always been involved in the performing arts?

TR: No. Looking back on my life, I can see the seeds that were planted and how I always wanted to be but it wasn’t until I was about 20 years old. Before that it was always about baseball and sports and when I was done with baseball I was like “What do I do now?” Then I kind of fell into it and fell in love with it, and now, here I am.

GO: Let’s get into the EP itself, where did the inspiration for the EP come from?

TR: Well, the main thing I always want to do, whether it’s with my comedy or writing, or anything like that, at the end of the day, I want to make people laugh, smile, and feel good. But, when it comes to music, the most important thing to me is realism. When you look at me and hear that I’m doing a rap album, there can be a lot of raised eyebrows at that. So the most important thing was being real to me.

GO: You definitely don’t look like most rappers. You actually look like a pretty clean cut guy. Will your music reflect that too?

TR: My music is very different from other rap music but not in a parody way like Weird Al. It’s more story. I’m never going to rap about anything I don’t believe in. It’s never gonna be about guns or money because that’s not the world I live in. I have a song called My Life in Second Grade because that to me is silly, fun and no one is ever gonna have a song about that. It’s just my kinda thing. I want to stay real to me.

GO: My Life in Second Grade is hilarious and was released about a year ago. Was that your first song?

TR: Yeah, I released it because I’ve been working on this for a year and a half and when you’ve worked on something for so long, you want to share it. I released it kinda quietly. I didn’t promote it or anything, I just shared it. Just so people who heard I was doing this music thing knew what I was doing.

Tony ReavisGO: Where did the idea for the EP title, So Grown, come from?

TR: Basically the idea of the EP being titled So Grown is in light of itself because I feel like I’m still a child and that goes along with a lot of the songs. They all tackle important life things but the satire of the songs is that I’m not grown at all. So the song Grown Ass Man is that I list off the things that make me a man but they’re silly things that probably prove that I’m not a man. Worst Valentine’s Day,  I tackle love, but at the end you see maybe I’m not as mature as I thought. Or in My Life in Second Grade, I think that might be the first time in rap history that someone raps about second grade. Because it’s not just an anecdote, the entire song is about a day of my life in second grade. So it’s all a wink wink but in the end you see I still have a lot of growing up to do.

GO: Your song Worst Valentine’s Day… it goes through a bunch of stories that happened on Valentine’s Day….are those real stories that happened to you?

TR: Ha! Um, they are based on true events. It’s not exact. I took liberties for the art and sake of the story, but they’re definitely rooted in truth. Not exactly verbatim. There are definitely people out there, that if they listen to it, it’ll sound familiar to them.

GO: What’s your favorite song on the EP?

TR: Ummmm. It changes. It always changes. Used to be Dope Ass Day because that’s kind of the single per say. If one of my songs were gonna be on the radio, it’d probably be that one, plus I have the music video for it and it encompassed what I’m all about. Great vibe. But it changes. I have a song called The Party which may be my favorite song now that the EP is finished and I’ve listened to it all the way through. It’s an anti-rap song. I’m straight-edge and so it could be called anti-rap. I don’t do drugs or go to the club. And this song is about me at a party and how it was a rough time. It’s the most story driven so that might be why it’s my favorite song now. It’s a very interesting take on a rap song. But I’m sure everyone will have their own favorite song and you can make a good case for each one.

GO: I heard that you’ve never had a drink in your life, is that true?

TR: Yes. Very true. Never had a drink in my life. 25 years. Never done a drug that’s not medicinal… as in pharmaceutical… not what some people call medicinal. Yepp, just my lifestyle.

GO: Most rappers don’t live this type of lifestyle. You’re beating against the grain of a stereotypical rapper.  Are you scared?

TR: No. I mean, it’s just who I am. It makes me different but I don’t think different is bad. This goes back to why I even do the things I do when it comes to music and stuff. I just want to be true to myself. I don’t want to make a song about something that I don’t believe in. That’s why I’ll never make a song about gang violence. I never grew up that way. And some people did. Kendrick Lamar grew up in Compton. We have a very different background. And I respect those stories, but I didn’t grow up that way. It’s not me. And it’s very important to me to never pretend to be something I’m not.

Tony ReavisGO: What is your goal within this industry?

TR: Oh geez, that’s a tough question because I’m a very ambitious person. My goals kinda change every day because there’s so much that I wanna do. This whole music thing started out as a hobby but, now it’s something that I could see myself doing for a very long time. I’m always an actor at heart but, working on this music and working hard on this EP, this is something I want to continue doing. This is the first step into this world and I want to see where this takes me before I set any solid music goals, you know what I mean?

GO: I totally do! Since this was/is your first step, what was your process for making the EP?

TR: Process, oh man. Um. It was really weird. When I started it, I pretty much wrote about 9 songs in like a 5 day span. I don’t know what hit me but you know, the motivation came and I just couldn’t put the pen down. About 4 of those songs made it onto the EP.
One of the things about me as an artist, I always want to be doing something. It’s important to make your own work. Especially as an actor. So it just hit me and I showed a few people and they were like, “Yo this is really good.” So then it became something that actually started to happen. I took my time with it and that’s why it’s taken me a year and a half.
When I first went into the studio, my engineer gave me some good advice. He told me to have a plan and not just release it; otherwise only 500 people would hear it and then no one else. He said to listen to it until you’re sick of it then, release it when you’re ready with a plan. Like, Dope Ass Day, by the time the music video came out, I had heard that song so many times, I would have been okay if I never heard it again. But I’m glad I waited until the video was done rather than simply releasing the song, because now I’m in love with the song again. The first time people heard the song was with the music video and that’s what helped it become what it is, so I’m glad I waited past the initial excitement of just the single. Wouldn’t have had the same impact if there was no music video.

GO: What was it like making the music video for Dope Ass Day?

TR: It was a lot of fun! It was my first music video. It was a very light-hearted video and a lot of fun to make because it’s just a lot of fun, even when you watch it. And it was kinda my first step into this world. I was really really pleased with how it worked out. I worked with great people on it, Tilted Screen Media. They really brought my vision to life and I didn’t have to work hard on being like, “No this is what it’s supposed to be like.” We were on the same page from Day 1. You know it’s gonna be a successful thing when there are happy accidents- when something happens in the shoot and you think, “Oh yeah! We can use that!”

Tony Reavis and Brent WhiteGO: I’m guessing there was a happy accident then?

TR: Oh yeah! Brent [White], who is my hype man, we didn’t know what he was going to do in this video so we were like, “[Brent] go hang out for a while.” So someone buried him in the sand and we were like, “Hey let’s use that!” And that may be my favorite part of the video now!

GO: Do you plan to tour or perform live?

TR: I mean, that would be one of my goals and a dream come true to do that. You know, being an independent artist, it’s never easy. The first step is trying to gain an audience and demand. Because you know, if no one is listening, then there is no one to perform to. When you listen to the songs, they’re all story driven and the goal is to get music videos for all the songs. When you hear it, it’s funny, but when you hear and see, it’s funnier because you can see it play out. But I did a show in LA and it went way better than what I thought it would. And I think that’s because I’m an actor so I know to perform the song, not just sing it. So, it’s definitely great hearing it live because you can see me perform it. So that’s the long answer for yes, that’d be a dream come true.

GO: Before the interview, you told me about something that happened during your live performance, will you share the story for our readers?

Tony ReavisTR: When I performed Grown Ass Man, where the title of the EP comes from, which again, is a satire where I list off things that, in my eyes, make me a man. At the end, there is a trumpet solo and I say that’s one of thing things that make me so grown because I enjoy finer things like jazz. There’s a bit in it that I want to start rapping again but the trumpet keeps cutting me off. I was worried that it wasn’t gonna work but it actually worked so well that the DJ actually thought something was wrong with the track and that the trumpet wasn’t supposed to keep playing. So I was scared it wasn’t gonna work and it actually worked too well. So that’s a good thing.

GO: Tony! We need to know… is there more music on the way?

TR: Yeah, always! I released the EP today, but I’m already back at the studio working on new stuff, getting beats ready.

GO: Do you do all of the writing/creating yourself?

TR: That’s something I’m proud of. I don’t buy people’s beats. I make everything I do. I make it myself or I work with my buddies and they help me out.

GO: So, when should we expect the next album?

TR: This EP took me a year and a half but I don’t want my next one to take as long which is why I’m back in the studio already. It might have a bit of a tone shift. Not as funny and comical. Definitely won’t be serious like Eminem, but might not be as comedy driven, like this EP. So we got a long way to go before the next thing is ready.

GO: Okay, I have to ask, Trump or Hilary?

TR: Oh geez. (laughs) I will not get involved with this. Elections make me sick. I know it’s important for our country but all I ask is that people are informed because people just listen to sound bites or twitter headlines and listen to that instead of actually being informed on what either platform is about. And I made this decision before even coming into this industry, that if I ever became someone with a big enough voice that people would listen to, that I’d never name drop like “Oh you should vote for them”.  I say be informed because we all have different values and it varies what’s important to us. So it’s more important to vote for what you believe in rather than who Kanye West likes and who he told you to vote  for.

So GrownGO; Some wise words indeed my friend. Tony Reavis, thank you for coming in to chat with me today and best of luck in your career!

TR: Thank you Gina and thank you for having me! Thanks for the support!

GO: Tony Reavis’ EP, So Grown, is out TODAY! You can get it on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play AND Amazon!

To check out his music video Dope Ass Day, please click the link here: Dope Ass Day Music Video

 

Follow Tony Reavis on Social Media!

Twitter: @iamtonyreavis
I
nstagram: @iamtonyreavis

DIRECT LINKS to Tony Reavis’ EP So Grown:
iTunes: So Grown
Spotify: So Grown
Google Play: So Grown
Amazon: So Grown

 

 

 

Follow Gina on Twitter and Instagram @ginaomilon. Stay tuned for more blogs!
www.ginaomilon.com

Nobody Cares You’re A Model.

Quote: “Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.” –John Green
Song: It Takes Two by Katy Perry
Location: Hollywood, CA

So yesterday I was walking home (which is in Central Hollywood) and I am on the corner of a very prominent intersection. This will remain nameless for my own personal protection but…it’s a big intersection.  As I am waiting to cross the road, an ambulance’s sirens come into hearing distance and the entire intersection freezes. This is where the point of this blog begins. Right across from me, I saw something that really aggravated me to no end.

There was a guy driving an SUV with his girlfriend/wife in the passenger seat. Now, he was already past the crosswalk but he heard the sirens and stopped. He was not in the way of the ambulance so he was fine. This guy had tattoos all up and down his arm, his ears were stretched and he had those all-too-common hipster glasses on. His girlfriend/wife was an average looking dirty blonde female. No tattoos, piercings, etc. Now, the fancy pancy black SUV behind him starts honking. The driver of that vehicle? A white male who definitely was once/is a model (definitely an aging model though…probably around 35ish…so can’t blame the “young” factor) who apparently thinks he’s better than the rest of the intersection. He can’t blame that fact that he didn’t hear the sirens. They were loud.

So the ambulance goes on through the intersection while this male model is still honking. After the ambulance clears on through, the light is no longer green for the Hipster dude. So instead of the other cars allowing him to get out of the way (which would have been the polite thing but I mean…these are LA drivers) they start going forward. The Hipster taps the roof of his car through the window and the wife turns to look through the back window….and all 3 of us were thinking hey, the Model will reverse his car so they can get out of the way. But no. The male model looks straight on at them and doesn’t reverse. He could have though….there was no one behind him…it was WIDE open. So the Hipster guy for the final time becomes a gem and just turns into the right lane because he has no other choice and doesn’t want to hold up anymore lanes. He probably had to circle the block so he could get back onto the road he was originally trying to get to. Meanwhile Male Model just carries on as if the world revolves around him.

So this whole thing got me thinking about how we perceive people from the way they look. And I am criticizing myself just as much for this because I am very bad for judging people based on the stereotype they “must” fall into. If tattoo and stretched ear guy was on the street next to accomplished clean cut male model….I’d be standing near the male model because I mean, we’d all think he was the upstanding citizen, right? But in this case, the upstanding citizen was the one everyone would have pegged their cards against. He was the one who was doing everything he could to help everyone else’s need in that intersection. So to that man, I say thank you and I apologize that all of society judges you based on your looks and the stereotype they fall into. I will do my best because of you and what I witnessed to really make an effort to stop doing that.

But to the Male Model….here is what I have to say: How completely inconsiderate of you. You watched the ambulance go by, you watched the vehicle in front of you struggle to make a path and you sat there making it even harder. Were you too good to bow down like the rest of society and help someone out? Guess what buddy. Your fancy car and luscious hair doesn’t impress anyone. Nobody cares that you’re a model (but really probably a fading out model) because nowadays, anyone can be. Guess what, I’m a model. I have modelled for some of the hugest fashion companies on the planet. And here is every reason why I shouldn’t be a model: I am 5”1. Enough said. (Thanks Mom). I have freckles everywhere. One of my eyes are lazy…not all the time, but whenever it feels like not working properly.  My nose is giant and it has a huge ball at the end (Once again…thanks Mom.) I DO have high cheekbones HOWEVER, they are hidden under a layer of baby fat that will 100% never leave my face. (Thanks Dad).  I’m super small but my legs are not thin because I grew up a dancer…the muscle on my legs will never allow me to have those stick thin legs. The only thing I really have going for a modelling career is thick eyebrows and straight teeth (Thank you to my dentist.) But in 2015, anyone can be a model because we have Photoshop and we have Instagram. Ta-da. So you sir, are really not as important as you think you are and you are DEFINITELY not the most important shiny car waiting in that intersection for that ambulance to go by. You should be ashamed of yourself.

The idea of stereotypes in our culture are really quite fascinating because the Millennial generation has done everything we can to “shatter” them and yet while “shattering” them we are actually enforcing a whole new round of them. For instance, you see a Male Model on the street and you’re going to turn to your friends and say, “Wow. Bet he’s a douche.” Hands down. You will say this while also thinking he’s super hot. But put the Male Model next to a Biker, and you’re going to be scared of the biker and make nice with the Male Model because the Biker is probably a criminal. Yet haven’t the “hipsters” of our generation dressed down on purpose to shatter the idea of clothing and hair gel=good human? Hasn’t The Walking Dead shown us that sometimes the Bikers are actually the best of the crowd?

I don’t really buy into the idea of hipster anymore because hipster is actually just a whole new trend that Urban Outfitters is having a fun time exploiting. If you go buy your wardrobe from Good Will, then maybe you can call yourself a hipster, but those $95 jeans with holes and paint on them…don’t count as hipster. Go buy some $10 ones from Wal-Mart and we’ll begin to work from there.

So, to end my slightly over exaggerated rage, I apologize to all of the “hipsters” , bikers and people who choose to not look like the “normal cut-out copy”, for our society being afraid of you. For all we know, you may have the kindest heart in LA (or the world) and we are writing you off because we can’t see past our own human model. And to all those men who look like a male model. Good for you. You’re hot stuff. Don’t be a prick though. And if you aren’t one…good for you! In the end, it doesn’t matter that you have every physical feature anyone could ever want. It matters what’s inside of your heart and that you’re willing to spread goodness to the rest of the world without recognition. Also, be careful of those friends who are only with you because of your looks because that’s so a guaranteed.  The good friends are the ones who are joking with you that your profession is selling your body. (I mean, it pretty much is.) They’re definitely the keepers.

And as a disclaimer, I want to say that no, not all of these stereotypes apply to everyone. Not every “hipster” is nice and not every “male model” is rude. But the stereotypes us Millennials have portrayed upon OUR world are really starting to walk a very fuzzy line. A line that I believe needs to be abolished for everyone, including me.

Last note….when there is any sort of emergency vehicle heading by you….GET. OUT. OF. THE. WAY!!!!!!!!

Good Bye LA: Round 2

Quote: “I normally live in Los Angeles, if you can call it normal living.” –Steven Morrissey
Song: LA Song by Beth Hart
Location: LAX Airport, Los Angeles CA

**This was written before my boarding…I apologize for any spelling/grammar mistakes. **

Well here it is again: Time for me to pick up and leave the United States and head back to Canada for the summer. You know, last summer I was really sad to leave and this summer, I am sad to leave again but not as sad. I know I will miss my friends a lot but I’m excited to be able to come back to LA fresh again in the fall.

This year I spent the summer in Canada and then moved to New York for 5 months.  It was exactly what I needed. I needed to be able to get out of LA and just regroup. It’s crazy to think how much has already changed in one year. I am such a stronger person, I’m not as weak, I’m probably a bit more hard thanks to that NYC living, and I have a stronger relationship with myself and my intuition. Relationships that went bad a year ago have been forgiven and started again, friends that changed for the worse were weeded out, and the friends who stayed with me through this year are even more appreciated. I’m so thankful for this year and everything I’ve learnt and been taught in it.

LAWhen I was at my last church service this past Sunday the message was all about friendship and even though there may not be a clear correlation with what I’m about to say…it sparked my thinking. I’m very privileged that I can leave LA every summer. Los Angeles is a beautiful city and it’s one of my favorite places in the entire world…but it sure knows how to sweep you up and twist you into this monster you never wanted to become. I have the privilege to be able to pack up and move back to such humble starts every summer and that ensures the fact that I don’t become my own monster; that I don’t fall into the LA trap.

So instead of grudgingly looking at this 5 month break (trust me…I’m still not EXCITED for it), I am going to view it as a time to return to my humble roots and get out of the fast lane for just a bit. I’ll be working 4 jobs again so it’ll still be fast-paced but I’ll give my city attitude a break for a bit and hop into the prairie country mode. I know how much good the last break did for me and relationships I had with people, and I sure hope this one does just as much or more.

Los Angeles, thank you for another great round. I will blog soon about my last few experiences in LA before I left, including attending the Stanley Cup game last night at the Staples Center. But for now, this was just quick good bye to the city I love. I’ll be back, I’ll be stronger, and I will be so happy to greet you again.

Love you forever and always

gina

Good Bye New York

Quote: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you funnier” –Michael Perilstein
Song: Once by Glen Hensard
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan
New York, New York

Well February 14th is here. The day I am flying back to Los Angeles and leaving New York. Somehow I was able to pack everything up in my two suitcases and backpack. New York was crazy for me. I strongly disliked it at first, but it really grew on me. And I mainly hated it because I kept getting put down for being from California but in the end, that stopped. So let me share what I have loved about my time here in this beautiful city.

Gina Omilon Central ParkI’m definitely leaving New York a stronger person. I feel like this city does everything it can to break you. But I’m not broken. If anything, I’m leaving so much more whole than when I first came. I didn’t let New York win and that was the goal. It’s crazy, but I actually feel like New York has become home. My shabby little studio on 85th and Broadway, in the middle of Manhattan, felt like home. I’m super sad to be leaving it. And leaving this city. It’s weird for me because growing up I never felt homesick travelling, I never wanted the trip to end. And leaving Los Angeles for the first time last year was the first time I had felt that idea of home sickness. But then I got here and I adapted so quickly and I made an observation about myself. All I ever want to do is travel and see the world and I think I will be able to make “home” anywhere on this earth because I just love this world so much. Canada is home, Los Angeles is home, London is home and now New York is too. I’m lucky to be able to say this was home for a bit and know I can return anytime.

Bagels, pastries, pizza, Chinese food delivery….these things I will miss. Walking everywhere, I will miss. Snow, I will miss. The cold, I will miss. (Although I will welcome the warmth too.) Honking and sirens, I will have in LA so won’t need to miss. The constant buzz of the city, I will miss. Walking and only seeing skyscrapers, I will miss. Living in the Upper West Side and feeling safe at any time of the day or night….I WILL REALLY MISS. (This does not happen in Hollywood.) I started making a list of things I would miss about New York a month ago…so here are some of those:
-Free Printing at the university library
-The subway
-Easy transportation to anywhere in the city or other states
-No insects
-Rats are way way better than spiders and bees
-The City
-Buying cheaper movie tickets at the university rather than the theatre
-Cheese Danish’s
-Bakeries and Cafes
-O3’s (My amazing class. We got so close and we became family.)
-Nice homeless people (Homeless people are not nice in Hollywood but they’re super chill here)
-Skyscrapers skyline

O3A huge bonus to this experience was my class. We weren’t super close at first but right after mid-terms we started a project in one of our classes and well, that changed everything. This class became a huge family to me. I’m so scared now to go back to Los Angeles because I know no one there will get what my third semester class was like and our dynamic. (Unless they were in my class of course.) We just got so close, it’s unreal. Going out for the weekend became class field trips and everyone would go. It was so much fun. We literally started doing everything together (all 16 of us) and we loved being with each other every minute. So to all my O3’s, if you’re reading this, I love you guys. Thank you for making this New York experience so much more fulfilling. You guys were there for me throughout the semester, you opened up to me and I opened up to you and I’m thankful for your trust. I’m thankful I met all of you and I really am going to miss you. It’s so weird for me because as a person, I don’t like to get all mushy gushy. I like to keep my walls up super high and not let anyone in and yet this class got in. I really am going to miss them and leaving them actually does make me sad. Usually I say that and then move on within seconds, but this, this is for real. O3’s….I love you guys. Namaste mot- …OH. And there’s the next subject.

Haymitch and Katniss- AMDA StyleI don’t think I have had a teacher this influential in my acting process- and life in general really- since high school, as a teacher I had this semester. His class was the one I talked about above. He is the reason our class got so close and there’s not a doubt in my mind that we became better actors in the rest of our classes because of it. It caused us to be so much more supportive of each other. I’m not going to say what the exercise was or what happened in it. It‘s not meant to be shared, it’s meant to be kept inside that class and that’s it. But, I’m super thankful for it. This teacher taught improv which most people think is the slack class or the easy one. Well, I can definitely say this is the class where I learned the most this semester! We didn’t just do improv, we learned about so much more to do with acting and life in general. I could really go on and on about this class and teacher, but I’ll stop myself so I don’t bore anyone. This teacher knows how much I love him and that’s good enough. He’ll always be my Haymitch and I’ll be his Katniss, just learning everything I can from him. But everyone reading, if you’re lucky enough to have Michael Perilstein as a teacher or director, soak up every minute! 100% one of the best teachers I have ever had, so thank you Perilstein, for absolutely everything!

amda mas 2I really just love this city so much and I’ll be back. I have to play Girl (Once) on Broadway at one point in my life…so I’ll definitely be back. But thanks New York and everyone who was a part of this experience. I really feel like such a different person then when I first moved here. I became a New Yorker. (And to those who are like you can’t be a New Yorker…Homeland Security stamped by passport declaring me a New Yorker…so actually I am.) And according to How I Met Your Mother, you’re officially a New Yorker when you cry on the subway and don’t care who is watching…..so yepp. That has definitely happened so there we go. The government and television both agree…ANYWAYS. (BTW…I love New Jersey too much to be a real New Yorker.)

Washington SquareI’m scared to go back to Los Angeles. I left there and so much in my life has happened since then and I’ve changed so much. Every one of us that went to New York has all been through a lot that our LA friends will never get. They won’t get what it’s like to go to every class knowing you’re being judged because you’re from LA. They won’t get the difference in curriculum and the stress this campus causes. But, I guess this is life. You move and you meet new people and relationships grow or falter. I’m just living life and I’m loving every minute of it.

New York, thank you for being such a huge part of my life thus far. I started my 20’s here (a whole new decade), I spent my first Christmas away from Canada here, I watched the Ball Drop in Times Square for New Years Eve, I went to 8 Broadway shows, I travelled to 10 different states, saw my 2 dream universities when I wanted to pursue a career in psychology (Princeton and Columbia), travelled to New Jersey way too many times to count and just lived life.
Manhattan Island
Thank you New York, Good bye to my little island.

Farewell 2013, Welcome 2014!

Quote: “Don’t be sad, Just be awesome” — Jess Weaver
Song: Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns
Location: New York, New York

Happy New Year everyone out there! 2014…whoa. Where did that come from? I hope everyone had a beautiful New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!

NYE in NYCMy New Year’s Eve was by far the best I have ever had! Before last night, my favorite New Year’s Eve was heading into 2010. I was on a cruise boat in the middle of the Atlantic and there was a giant 2009 ice sculpture and we took bats to it and broke it. Then wah-la, 2010! But witnessing the Ball Drop in Times Square, New York, has definitely beaten that cruise boat memory! What an absolutely extraordinary and magical night! Well, really all day. At 9:30am, I walked over to my friend’s apartment and by 10am we were heading to Times Square. At 11am we were in line to get through the security check and I was interviewed by Fox News, and by about 11:40am we were in a “pen” in Times Square. No food, no restrooms. That’s where you stayed until midnight unless you chose to leave and be escorted out of Times Square. The Square literally gets shut down unless you have tickets allowing you in after a certain period of time.

So overall, from beginning to midnight, it was a 14hour wait, then about 2 hours to get back home (where I live anyways) so it was a 16 hour day. When it was 12 hours to go until the ball drop, I began a memory from each month per hour. Here’s a recap of my Top 12 memories in 2013!

missrdsJanuary: Ending my one year reign as Miss Teen Red Deer-World 2012, and crowning the new reigning queen, Madison Fertig, as Miss Teen Red Deer-World 2013.
February: Watching all 3 seasons of The Walking Dead with my at the time roommate, Ashly, under 48 hours. We only ate nachos the entire time and after it all when we went outside, the sun unbelievably stung the eyes.
March: With Ashly, once again, and my other friend Kelly, we went swimming for hours on end in one of our pools in LA. Then after we all realized we were starving so we headed to McDonald’s and all ordered massive orders. Mine included 3 burgers.
April: With Kelly, and my 2 other friends Kiah and David, we headed to Disneyland for the day to celebrate Kiah’s birthday! It was an absolutely fun day!! And I met one of my Disney favs, Eeyore!
May: I spent a day on my favorite place in California, Huntington Beach. It was uncontrollably windy and super cold, but wonderfully fun. It was with great friends so how could it not be? I also got a scar on my ankle that day from playing soccer with Gabe on the beach. He’s so competitive that he actually maimed me. Shout out to all my friends there: KW, AR, KK, JW, TR, SL, GM, BA, CB, SP!
Tristyn and GinaJune: I went on a 23 mile hike within 11 hours with my friend Tristyn. It was one of my last few days in LA until I returned in 9 months so we soaked up all of my favorite trails, plus her favorites. The pain from that hike didn’t go away for weeks, but I can’t wait to get it [the pain] back. (The minute I land in LA…I’m going hiking. Hiking in NYC doesn’t happen.) That was by far one of my favorite days this entire year!
July: Emceed Miss Teen Canada-World 2013, live in Toronto at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, beside Luke Bilyk. A huge night and I’m forever grateful to MTCW Inc. for offering me such a huge opportunity and welcoming such fantastic memories!
August: My best friend Tyler and I hit up the corn maze in Lacombe, Alberta, and videotaped us trying to get through it. The videos all edited together are now what I like to call, The Amazing Maze Canada!
September: Working at the restaurant all day with some great friends! AM, RR, KS and AS! Also, my Dad and I watching the Rebels Home-Opener together 🙂 Love watching hockey with my dad!!
October: Moving to the Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. November:  Thanksgiving Weekend in general! Thanksgiving was great because the food was awesome and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was cool. Then after a fairly unproductive Black Friday, on Saturday I headed to Philadelphia with friends, Alecia and Kate. It was just a fun weekend, but it was our first period of time off school…YES!
December: This was the hardest month to choose one thing. I turned 20 and entered into a new decade which has been absolutely rockin’ so far! (Not to mention it was the best birthday I have ever had…special shout-out to Jess, Tony and Mari for making that happen)  I had a fantastic first Christmas away from the fam jam, and then I spent New Year’s Eve in Times Square awaiting the Ball Drop!

Most of the people I spend majority of the days in my life with made it into this yearly countdown.  Except one person. Kayla P, I love you and I don’t know how you managed to miss every big event, but I noticed. Because I kept waiting to describe one of our crazy events…so here is a full paragraph to you, letting you know our memories are just as big and I love you lady!

NYC in NYC CrewSo every hour of the 12 hour countdown, I posted a memory from the month. At 6PM, they raised the ball to the top of the pole! Around 8:30PM, performances began. We saw Icona Pop, Miley Cyrus, Enrique Iglesias, Melissa Etheridge and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, among others. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were definitely my favorite though!! They had amazing energy, and I felt that they were beyond happy to be there!! Also, at one point, Domino’s walked through carrying pizza and selling it to the loudest bidders. So the group I was there with all pitched in and bought a medium pizza for $20. Talk about over-priced….but we were hungry. I actually only went with 2 other people, Caleb and Alecia, but then we met 3 Canadians from Vancouver and of course, being a West Coast Canadian, I got talking to them and we stuck together the entire process. From playing games in the afternoon, to shaking because we had to use the restroom so bad at 10pm…it was great meeting them and I’m so glad I could share the experience with them!

NYE MidnightTo everyone who says people waiting for the ball are crazy, I say you have not lived, you probably don’t live very happily or you’ll simply never understand how fun life is when you’re crazy. It may have been crazy, but the last 60 seconds of 2013 were the best New Year’s Eve countdown ever. Throughout the entire night really, I’d say it was worth it. But to watch that ball begin to drop and fireworks begin to go off, live in Times Square, was absolutely amazing! I would do it again in a heartbeat. There is no way to describe how magical it felt! I loved it. Then all of the confetti pouring onto the audiences all over Times Square was so cool, especially knowing that the confetti was wishes, hopes and dreams, people had written down on papers. My hope and wish that I had written was somewhere in that crowd falling onto Times Square among millions of others. I wasn’t watching it on television anymore, but I was there in person, experiencing it! Frank Sinatra’s voice was blasted all over Times Square and we were welcomed into 2014 in a classic New Year’s Eve tradition known all over the world. As many of the announcers said, we welcomed in 2014 in the crossroads of the world; An experience I shared with approximately 2 million people beside me, an experience I will eternally be grateful for!

2013 was beyond a fantastic year for me. I started it off by living in Los Angeles where I had so many fantastic opportunities, I went to the Billboard Music Awards, I was on the East Coast for a month networking in Ontario and New York, I took a 3 month vacation in Alberta where I worked and saved up money, then I moved to New York City. Before I turned 20, I lived in the 2 biggest cities in North America and I have 2013 to thank for that. It truly was such an exciting year filled with so many blessings. And the one to thank is God. He was looking out for me the entire year and I’m truly thankful for His guidance and blessing throughout 2013! And I can only hope 2014 will be just as amazing and more!

nye in nyc 3 I already know that I will begin 2014 living in New York City obviously, and as of now, all of my plans are leading to me ending it with living in Los Angeles again. I don’t have a resolution as I don’t see the point in making one. First, nobody keeps them anyways. Second, if I want to change who I am, I will do that when I please, not because it says January 1st on the calendar. However, when I was walking back from the Ball Drop, a guy stopped me and said “I just want you to know you are so beautiful.” I thanked him and felt really touched because it was such a sincere compliment rather than the typical creepy guy style. And I didn’t know how I could be considered beautiful wearing the million layers I had on (literally 5 pairs of pants, 4 hoodies and 2 coats) and having been in them for over 16 hours.

NYE in NYC ShotSo if I have to say what I want out of 2014 in myself, I want to be beautiful. And for everyone reading this, just be beautiful. I don’t think this means outward only either. Sure we are all beautiful with make-up or nice suits, but we are also beautiful in our natural state of relaxation in sweats. We are beautiful because we are happy inside, because we love others, because we are displaying selflessness and gratitude. We are beautiful because we are happy with where we are in life and having the knowledge that no matter where we are, we can change it. There will always be tough times but they are not forever lasting and we always have the power to somehow change our course. Even if it is as small as deciding to just take the situation and accept it for what it is. Just be beautiful within the disaster, with the triumph. That is my “resolution.” I hope it will last me a lifetime because I think that that mentality could do wonders for a person.

Gina on NY BillboardSo my readers, family, and friends, may 2014 be a year where you can be beautiful. May you travel, or stay at home, rest, explore, experience and live life to the fullest. Or even see yourself on a New York billboard like my friends and I did last night! 🙂 Take what is thrown at you in stride, keep every moment dear to your heart but throw away the ones that don’t deserve long lasting attention. Be happy with yourself and accept yourself for who are you. Accept your faults and the mistakes you’ll make, they’re going to happen. But moving on from them and realizing they don’t have to control you means they don’t have any weight anymore. Inside and out, just be beautiful.

Welcome to Twenty Fourteen. Enjoy every day. 2015 is only 365 days away…it’ll be here before we know it.

Happy New Year!
Forever and Always ❤

gina

New York City: My Own Little Island

Quote: “A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe. ” –Le Corbusier
Song: New York New York by Frank Sinatra
Location: New York, New York

New York City. The city that never sleeps; The city that is known to either produce romance or crush dreams. The city compared to an apple….a big apple.
I’m sitting in my small tiny Manhattan studio where I can touch both walls with my hands out. I like it though. Never have I thought, “Oh I could never live in this forever.” Actually, I would like my own washroom and kitchen, but then it would be just fine. New York would be fine to live in too. I don’t mind it. I miss Los Angeles, that is for sure. I miss the laid back Californian style and vibe. New Yorkers are always stressed out and now I am becoming one of them and it sucks.

Empire StateToday has been exactly one month since I moved to New York City. I LOVE The City. A part of me knows I could live here and that I will probably move back at some point. This city has a vibe I enjoy with the fact that it is clean and you feel like a New Yorker. When you live in Los Angeles, you walk the dirty streets and feel like a tourist even though it’s home. New York has a way of making you feel like you belong. It is a romantic city. I wake up at 6am and begin my journey to 30 blocks away, where I’ll spend my day. I see the New York streets empty, quiet and dark. Then I watch the sun rise over all of the skyscrapers, the cars pick up, children starting heading to school, horns start beeping, and there it is. My New York City is awake. It is beautiful.

Then you say you’re from California and it’s like all hell breaks lose. One thing about New Yorkers (no offence), is they are beyond arrogant. Now, I’m sure not all New Yorkers are like this of course. Just like not all Californians smoke pot, or not all Texans are Republicans. But New Yorkers look down on Californians. It is actually quite ridiculous. They 100% think they are superior to the other side of the country.

NY VS LAI’m in the acting industry, so this is really focused on that arena, but uh hello fellow New Yorkers. I am not sure if you’ve noticed, but uh….the industry moved to Hollywood for a reason. So jump off your high horse and realize that New York is not the only place to learn the trade anymore. In fact, Los Angeles has MORE opportunities than New York. And you just don’t like our training because it is primarily taught by MY generation. That is really my biggest pet peeve about New York. If I said I was from New York I would get treated like an equal, but I have to tell my teachers I am an exchange student from Los Angeles and they all of a sudden treat me like I’m 3 years behind in my degree. May I add, that I am WORKING towards a degree, something which my New York school doesn’t even offer. But I am from California so I am probably just a weed smoking hippie who doesn’t take acting seriously.

You know, the people in the industry on this side of the continent have been telling us that we should work, live and breathe acting and not focus on anything else because if we do, we aren’t serious enough. Do they realize this is how movie stars AND BROADWAY stars become drug addicts, alcoholics, have mental breakdowns etc etc.?? You have to take a break, you NEED that balance or your life spins out of control. That is why I love Los Angeles and my training there because as intense as it got, I always knew, I had a moment to take in for myself. New Yorkers don’t give you that moment and I personally think that is why a mass amount of them are high-strung, workaholics.

Of course, this is not all New Yorkers.  I have had the pleasure of working with two amazing directors who I am beyond honored to have as mentors and they have not stereotyped the Californians. And for that, I appreciate them! I have actually taken away something from them and actually learned tools because I know I’m not going to be criticized every 10 seconds for transferring from a State I’m not even from. Heck, I’m not even from the United States! But enough ranting about the New Yorker Arrogance. That is for a WHOLE OTHER blog…which will come the next time New York feels like giving me 5 seconds to breathe.

upperI really do like New York, school aside. The seasons change, we’ll get snow eventually, you can buy flowers for $5 at every street corner (I thought that was only in the movies), there are cool rustic bars and cafes everywhere. Then you have the ocean, the Statue of Liberty and skyscrapers all around you. I am living on my own little island and I love it. Yea, my studio window is about 5 inches away from another brick wall so that’s not an appealing view, but I know I am living in one of those giant buildings that just take up Manhattan. I can take the subway almost anywhere in The City. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. Los Angeles….you need to get back on that whole subway system man. (NY copied LA’s subway system and then LA destroyed it. WHY!? It was genius. And now New York takes the credit!!)
In Los Angeles, I had 4 roommates and one of my closest friends (Jess) as my neighbor. In New York, I’ve been all on my own. I actually get a lot more homework done so that’s kind of nice haha And I have my friend Mari who happens to live IN my building ON my floor so we lucked out there. Sooooo when we both get lonely and want to eat pizza, at least we can split it. Haha I’ve enjoyed being on my own in New York and just having friends nearby. I wish they were closer because I live farther away from everything, but oh well. As of today, 3 months till we’re all back in Cali anyways.

SantanaHalloween was fun. My friends and I hit up Greenwich Village and participated in the NYC Halloween Parade, aired on television. I was Santana Lopez from Glee. After being Rachel Berry 3 years in a row, I felt like it was time to switch it up. (I still love Rachel the most though. You know, because I am her real-life self…we’ve been over this in previous blogs.) It was one of my favorite nights so far! I also really enjoy Central Park! It’s my equivalent of The Hills. Less hiking and more walking, but it’s nature with buildings surrounding it and I just love that!

This really isn’t a long blog, it was more of a mini update. I intend on blogging later about different teaching styles I’ve had in New York and why certain ones will never work and why others do. I have definitely had interesting teaching styles this semester. When you go to New York, I feel like you get trained as if this was still the 50’s and we’re all aspiring to be on Broadway. The thing is, most of us are aspiring to be on film. Personally, I will take whatever (I’d rather be on film), but the constant theatre-only-training is a tad out of touch. So yes, I will blog about teaching styles and then about the BROADWAY shows I’ve been too and my thoughts on each! You know, they say Broadway is a dying art (which I don’t necessarily disagree with) BUT…I LOVE living a 20 minute subway ride away from Broadway and being able to see any show when I want. Unfortunately I am poor, so that is not as often as I would like but we get the point!

ginaAnyways, New York City has been splendid so far! Any city named after food (even if it’s fruit) has to be great, does it not?

I love it the most in the mornings, that is for sure. When I feel like my little island is really, just my island.
xoxo
gina

Los Angeles: Just the Beginning

Quote: “You say I dream too big. I say you think too small” –Anonymous
Song: Home by Phillip Phillips
Location: LAX Airport, Los Angeles, CA

Wow! So my first year living in Los Angeles, California comes to an end today! I am flying back up to Alberta, Canada for a nice Canadian summer vacation. I am beyond sad to be leaving California because I’m unfortunately going to be gone for 9 months. I’ll be in Canada for summer, and then I will head to New York until February.

Tyler and GinaThis was my first year away from home, along with my first year in university! My freshmen year. Wow! What a year to remember. This year in general was by far, my favorite year of life thus far. I want to give a huge shout out to my best friend back home, Tyler Mackesey, who kept me going everyday when I needed some common sense driven into me or just a good laugh. Throughout the year we were able to remain best friends and never went more than 2 days without talking to each other! Tyler, thanks for being my best friend while I’m in Canada, and while I’m abroad. Thank you for all of your support and always making sure I didn’t go crazy!

It’s crazy what one can learn when living away from home for the first time. I think it’s really good actually. You finally get full control of your decisions and have to answer to their outcomes whether they are good or bad. And grocery shopping was always a fun thing too! I know I learned a lot about myself. I also changed a lot of myself too, and for the better. When you grow up in a small town,  everyone just sees you as who you have always been and it’s so hard to change. Moving away, I could be anyone I wanted to be because no one knew me. So I got to change my attitude on life a lot more, change my interests and just be more who I wanted to be. It’s going to be weird going back to my small town because I won’t be the girl I was when I left, and hopefully they’ll accept that.

I became more adventurous, and could be because there was opportunity for it. I could  go hiking as much as I wanted, actual rock climbing without straps. I could watch sports and not get judged by the drama kids, and love Improv shows and not get judged by the jocks. And when things went wrong, I didn’t get upset or wrapped up in girls drama, I just went  on my own merry way. I got to be the girl I always wanted to. And that is what Los Angeles is to me. It’s freedom. It’s home. It’s where I want my life to be.

la skylineI learned even more about myself too. And got a lot closer with God. I learned that He really was my best friend. He was the one I could talk to at anytime, anywhere, when I needed help or comfort. He was also the one who reassured me when I was confused or forgave me when I knew I needed it. I’m not perfect and I made mistakes during the year, but God was always there with open arms forgiving me. I want to thank my church Reality LA and Pastor Tim Chaddick! When I first moved here, I probably would have moved away from Christianity because I was sick of all the fakeness in it. RLA was brought into my life and it opened up everything to me. I looked forward to church every week and I knew I could just go there and refresh. Thanks to my great friends within the church too! Gina, Michael, Kelly, Tony, Christian and Tristyn!

And then of course, in every girl’s life there is those boys. Well oh boy. Did I ever learn a couple lessons in that department. In high school, I pretty much ignored all possibilities of having a relationship with boys. At the end of the day, I enjoyed the single living and wanted to focus on grades for scholarships. So here, I may have opened up that door just a tiny bit. Well, there was this one guy who pretended to like me and pretended to open that door on his side for a bit. Turns out he had a girlfriend back home and really just looked at me as that girl who he could have a thing with every month or whatever. So yea. That sucked. The worst part is I’m not mad at him. I was mad at me, and not because I didn’t see the signs. That I can deal with. Life kind of sucks sometimes, no bother in getting mad about it and stuff. Move on. I’m just mad at myself because I still kind of like the guy. I’m stupid, I know.

And then, when I finally got over that guy, I liked one other. And guess what. His liking of me lasted a very nice little short time and then I got friend zoned to the max. Which was kind of my fault. So now I’m leaving and I still like that guy, but uh that won’t happen either. But we’re still friends who hang out; he is a very adventurous soul, so I really enjoy our hanging out time. And he even said good bye to me at one point during my last week. (I’m not saying when or where because I am being as discrete as I can.)

What I’m getting to though is I realized that boys can be lame, and that even though I let my guard down, I came out of it okay. Yea, it sucks and you know what, it probably will take me a bit to get over it, but I’m still standing strong. So maybe letting my guard down just a smidge wasn’t so bad. I know I’ll still keep it up, but I’ve started the process of letting people in a bit and softening that pretty tough heart I’ve got. SO that’s improvement. And through it all… I had great friends to help me through. Tyler, Tristyn, Ashly, Kayla, Jess, Kelly, Kiah and Nisa are just a few to name. Jess even tried to win an intense game of Beer Pong against Guy Numero  1 for me, thanks Jess! 🙂 And Nisa, thanks for telling me when that one girl started bad-mouthing me because she thought I had “stolen” her boys and because I was “too nice and happy all the time”. haha We’re sisters baby girl…we stick together…..because we love to sing like the Cheetah Girls 😉

LAI’m a stronger person than I was a year ago. I’ve had the taste of freedom and I know I don’t want to go back. I love Los Angeles, I love California. People say it’s such a big city and everyone only cares about themselves, but that’s not true. I got a free ticket to the Jonas Brothers concert because a girl gave hers up after just seeing me on the street. People are so nice here and although there are 10 million people here, I feel like this city is still a big giant family. We’re the City of Angels, the City of Dreams. And there is nowhere else I would rather be ❤ I love it. This is my home. Tyler said to me the other day, “But this is your home Gina.” about Alberta. Although Alberta is my home as where I am from, LA is now home home. The saying goes “Home is where the heart is” and my heart is in LA, so that’s where my home is. I’m excited for my opportunity in New York and I know it’s going to be such a great experience! And in 9 months, I’ll be back here, in the best city in the world! This has been an amazing first year, with crazy experiences. It’s the best year of my life and I’ve grown so much! I’ve loved every minute of this year! Thank you to everyone who has been  a part of it, and God for allowing it all to happen!

I love you LA, thanks for making dreams come true!

I’m coming back for you Canada!

Gina Gina Omilon

 

P.S. If this was written on paper, you would see the tears stains. Because tears are streaming down! I love you Cali, I love you LA, I love all the friends I’m leaving, and how much stronger I’ve become this year. Thank you for everything. ❤

“What is Beauty?” 1.0 Edition

Quote: “Beauty?… To me it is a word without sense because I do not know where its meaning comes from nor where it leads to.”  — Pablo Picasso
Song: Beautiful Day by U2
Location: Hollywood, CA

In one of my university classes, I was given the assignment to begin making a list from now till the end of the semester of what I think is beautiful. I can’t choose things I’ve seen from the past, although for my own benefit, I eventually will, but to start it I must begin in the present. These things can be attractive to all senses; not just sight, but smell or taste.

Gina Omilon  First though, before I begin talking about what I think is beautiful, I love Picasso’s quote because it is true… there is not a definition of beauty. Beauty really is subjective to your own view and therefore it can’t really be defined. But one can define it for themselves. I see beauty as something that I view or interact with in some way… as something that I will remember for a long time. Something that I commit to memory because I can feel the connection it has with my heart or my mind. Simple things that make me smile or make me want to install the picture or sound or feeling in my mind forever. That’s how I define beauty.

I got thinking about this assignment and decided I wasn’t just going to make a list in my notebook but blog about it. I think the world needs to realize how much beauty there is in everyday things. I have always been that ‘weird abstract artist’ stereotype who sees something random and will make a mental note of how that is art or how that is beautiful. Now, I don’t see a garbage bag and think “Oh how wonderful.” But I see people and their mannerisms, and nature. Things we take for granted because we are so used to them. So I began my list this Saturday when I went to Huntington Beach. Here is the beginning of my list since Saturday, and each time I have a nice amount new to add, I will create another addition of this blog! But here is the beginning:

What I see as BEAUTY in the WORLD:

– The little girl standing in the ocean. She reminds me of me when I was a child. Long flowing brown hair and she looks happy and carefree
– The sound of the ocean as I am falling asleep on the beach sunset-on-pacific-ocean
– The sight of rain clouds coming in
– The sound of rain
– The feeling of rain hitting me and being nonchalant about it which just creates an innocent happiness inside of me because rain makes everything feel clean
– The colors of the sky during a sunset
– All of my friends huddled on the beach just spending time together
– The taste of the burger from Jack’s (A Beach Hut)…..it was the best burger I’ve tasted in who knows how long
– Sitting with a guy hugging me on a beach and feeling like I’m in the latest Channing Tatum film
– Going to church and feeling peace and restoration during worship
– Walking on cement and seeing one single daisy (a favorite flower) and loving how life can be created anywhere
– The sun shining and feeling the heat on my face and seeing the entire sky light up
– Being able to count more than 3 stars in the Los Angeles sky
– Going for a nap and waking up to see I’m  hugging my text book. Then, laughing because I’ve gotten to a place where my textbook is the most comforting item around.
– Having one of my guy friends give me a strong nice hug that makes me feel like nothing is wrong in the world, even for a second
– Staying up late giggling and talking with my roommate Ashly. Those are memories we’ll never let go
– Tristyn showing me pins on Pinterst that describes our friendship and how close we are

To be honest, I’m pretty sure I’ve missed about 30 items on this list. But this is what has stuck with my memory. I encourage you to start making a list of things you think are beautiful and just keep track of them. It’s crazy how beautiful our world is and how encouraging it is when we really pay attention!

Look for Beauty!
gina