Maisie the Writer

Just a girl blogging about her life…


2 Comments

“Volunteer”–in response to today’s DailyPost prompt

Volunteer

There’s this website called DailyPost, and every day, they have a new one-word blogging prompt. It’s always a good challenge to try to craft a good post in response to one of their prompts. Today, October 22nd, 2016, the DailyPost prompt was “volunteer,” so I’m going to make a list of things I associate with the word “volunteer.”

  • “How does a ragtag volunteer army in need of a shower somehow defeat a global superpower?”–Aaron Burr in the song “Guns and Ships” from Hamilton
  • soup kitchens
    • According to my dad, they also have sandwiches at soup kitchens. In that case, wouldn’t it be called a sandwich kitchen? Or a sandwitchen?
  • food pantries
    • the ads for said food pantries on the subway that feature really sad-looking little kids and always make me feel bad about my life
  • Peace Corps
    • I know people who have done/are in the Peace Corps right now
  • Small children
    • Oy gevalt!
  • Community service hours
    • My friend in yoga class who is required to complete said community service hours for school and is not excited about it at all. I really don’t blame her.
    • The fact that we don’t have them at my school *cue party music*
  • Voluntourism
    • When you go on a trip to volunteer in the place where you go
    • I don’t know, I just like the word and it pertains to volunteering
  • Volunteering as tribute
    • Katniss Everdeen
    • Archery
    • J-Law
      • J-Lo
        • J-Hud
        • Beyonce
        • DREAMGIRLS!
      • Cee-Lo
      • How low can you go?
      • Lo and behold
  • My mom volunteering as a pinstripe girl at a hospital sometime in the 80’s
    • Relating to Thomas Jefferson and how he “basically missed the late 80’s” in Hamilton, except for the fact that not only did I miss the late 80’s, I missed the early 80’s and the 90’s.
      • Come to think of it, I don’t even remember the early 2000’s. I was never a kid who shopped at Limited Too or binge-watched That’s So Raven. I was born in 2000, for pete’s sake! My prime was the Good Luck Charlie era!
  • World War II-era motivational posters and the awesomeness and feminist badassery that is Rosie the Riveter
    • Motivational cat posters

a7c0cbaca9eb3dc97adc1e343c07b2a4


1 Comment

My top 9 picks for The Voice Season 11!

Alright, guys, it’s that time again! The Voice Season 11 Blind Auditions are over and the Battle Rounds began last night, and it’s time for my top picks from this season to be revealed! It was SUPER hard to limit all of the immense talent on this season to 10 artists. This isn’t meant to hate on any of the artists who are not on the list. Every single artist on Season 11 has something that makes them special, this is just my opinion on who stands out to me. Also, click on each artist’s name to view their blind audition performance.

1) Wé McDonald

The Voice - Season 11

Wé McDonald is a 17-year-old from Paterson, New Jersey. The thing I love the most about her voice is how clear and powerful it is. There was so much intention and strength behind her vocal delivery, and her vocal technique is immaculate. Her performance was a textbook-perfect example of a four-chair turn. Ultimately, Wé went with Alicia Keys because Alicia said that Wé could “show the world what love sounds like.” Wé’s battle aired last night. Spoiler alert: she absolutely slayed it and won!

2) Billy Gilman

8kixi07x_400x400

Billy Gilman is a former country singer from Rhode Island who had great success very early on in life. His song, “One Voice,” earned him 2 Grammy nominations at the age of 12, but in his heart of hearts, he wanted to be a pop singer. Some people may think that Billy peaked 16 years ago, but I would argue that now is his time and he is a stronger singer than ever. Billy was another four-chair turn, but he went with Adam because Adam said, “So rarely do I hear EVERYTHING happen on this stage!” Adam went on to express that Billy “embodies all of the qualities of the person who wins the show.” Billy also won his battle last night and showed everyone what battling was all about.

3) Riley Elmore

2016_thevoice_s11_rileyelmore_bio_headshots_1455x1455_cc

If the authorities were looking for the 16-year-old crooner who swallowed Frank Sinatra, Riley would have been arrested by now! His clean tone and classic style moved Adam Levine and Blake Shelton to turn their chairs. Ultimately, Billy went with Adam after Adam took it upon himself to sing “The Way You Look Tonight” as a duet with Riley to teach him how to loosen up onstage. “Beginning the coaching process,” as Adam called it. Riley also won his battle, Michael Buble’s “Cry Me A River,” last night.

4) Ali Caldwell

2016_thevoice_s11_alicaldwell_bio_headshots_1455x1455_cc_1

Ali Caldwell has all of the qualities that are necessary to win the show: a perfect voice, a clear idea of who she is and wants to be, and the drive and determination necessary to make her dreams come true. Because of her absolutely enormous potential, all four coaches fought tooth and nail to get Ali on their teams. In the end, Ali took her mother’s advice to “dare to be different” and went with Miley Cyrus. Ali won her battle round last night, and I envision her onstage at the finale.

5) Sa’Rayah

sarayah-ba02-324-247x146

Sa’Rayah’s voice speaks for itself. She is the type of singer whose voice belongs in a stadium filled with thousands of people. Miley and Alicia immediately picked up on Sa’Rayah’s obvious talent and personality. The only reason that Adam and Blake didn’t turn their chairs was that they felt that Miley or Alicia would work better with Sa’Rayah. She ended up going with Miley because of her desire to do something unpredictable. Sa’Rayah is also a major contender for the trophy this season.

6) Whitney and Shannon

whitney-and-shannon-on-the-voice-nbc-620x375

Season 11’s only duo’s hypnotic harmonies earned them a four-chair turn. (On a totally separate note, if my little brother is reading this: GABE, WE NEED TO FORM A SIBLING DUO AND DO THIS). Blake argued that the only successful duo in Voice history, The Swon Brothers, competed on his team, and he wanted to replicate that success with the new sibling duo. However, after Alicia said that the duo “represent the future of music,” there was no way that these talented ladies would join any other team.

7) Courtney Harrell

courtney-harrell-the-voice-2016-james-bay-let-it-go-compressed

Courtney Harrell’s blind audition was the first time she sang in public for over 15 years. Her voice has the ability to be really soft and vulnerable, but the big notes she hit were just as incredible and powerful. Courtney’s re-entrance into the music world inspired Alicia and Blake to turn their chairs, and, after her mother’s screaming from backstage, Courtney chose Blake to be her coach.

8) Dana Harper

2016_thevoice_s11_danaharper_bio_headshots_1455x1455_cc

What stood out to me about Dana’s voice was how beautiful her lower register was. Most female artists on the show hit these big notes up in the stratosphere, but Dana came along and paved her own path to success. Adam, Alicia, and Blake all turned for Dana, but Dana eventually went with Blake because of his vision of her success on the show.

9) Gabriel Violett

xscreenp20shotp202016-09-30p20atp201_39_52p20pm-pagespeed-ic-mpxctsup6i

Gabriel Violett came onto The Voice stage hoping to find success after starring in Spring Awakening on Broadway. His pitch-perfect rendition of “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes turned Alicia’s chair almost immediately, but Blake swooped in at the last second. Gabriel ended up joining Team Alicia.

 


2 Comments

What is feminism, exactly??

People these days seem to be getting extremely confused as to what feminism really is, so I’m going to clear up any misconceptions by making a list of things that feminists do and do NOT believe.

Feminists DON’T believe that…

  • Women are superior to men
  • Men are superior to women
  • White people are superior to people of color
  • People of color are superior to white people
  • Straight people are superior to LGBTQ+ people
  • LGBTQ+ people are superior to straight people
  • Christians are superior to non-Christians
  • Non-Christians are superior to Christians
  • Neurotypical people are superior to differently-abled people
  • People with disabilities are superior to neurotypical people

Feminists DO believe that…

  • Women are equal to men
  • White people are equal to people of color
  • LGBTQ+ people are equal to straight people
  • Christians are equal to non-Christians
  • Neurotypical people are equal to people with disabilities

See the difference (hint: look at words in bold text)?

The only reason feminism is called “feminism” is because it started out by being a movement that promotes equality for men and women. However, it has evolved into a multifaceted movement, called intersectional feminism or intersectionality. My personal belief is that if feminists say that men are equal to women, but also say that people of color are inferior to white people, they’re directly contradicting themselves. How can you fight for equality for one group while denying equality to another group? It doesn’t make any sense!


3 Comments

“Gay” is not an insult

Today, at school, I was walking to Spanish class when I heard something that really irritated me. Two older boys were walking past me, and one of them said something to the other one, and he responded with, “Man, that’s gay!”

I really wanted to just turn around and say, “Since when is ‘gay’ an insult?” But then, I realized that these boys were both well over six feet tall and probably juniors or seniors in high school, and that it would be in my best interest, safety-wise, not to say anything. So, I decided to do what every other teenage girl does when she wants to avoid getting socked in the jaw by an adult-sized teenage boy: rant about it on my blog.

But seriously, why is anything considered even remotely feminine stigmatized by guys? When a girl dresses like a boy, most people don’t really give it a second thought (that’s not to say that tomboys don’t get bullied; they sometimes do, which absolutely stinks, so bullies, please stop it). However, if a guy (gasp!) doesn’t do sports or takes up a traditionally “feminine” hobby like dance, theatre, music, or visual arts, the other guys give him a pretty hard time. They call him “gay” or a host of other names that are far too inappropriate to put online for young children to see.

But since when is being gay a bad thing? Since when is femininity weak?

Just because someone is more feminine, it doesn’t mean that they’re not strong. In fact, I think that people who identify as feminine are extremely strong for having to put up with society constantly telling them they’re worthless. Every single day, girls and women overcome adversity and push back against the notion that they’re incapable of greatness because they are. I also think that boys and men who take on more traditionally feminine roles, such as being an artist, dancer, performer, or stay-at-home father, have a tremendous amount of courage. Despite the odds, they are staying true to their hearts.

I would like to close out this post by giving a shout out to everyone who lives life on their own terms, according to what they feel they should do. You are brave, powerful, beautiful, kind, and lovely. Don’t ever change.


1 Comment

The Musical Theatre Tag

1. What was the first musical you ever saw?

I saw Charlotte’s Web at a local theatre when I was around 6 years old. The show featured several child actors, so I asked my mom if she thought I could do what the “big kids” were doing. My mom signed me up for a theatre camp the next summer, and ever since then, I’ve been in love with it.

2. What was your favourite musical growing up?

Probably Once On This Island because I was in it when I was 11 years old and I listened to the soundtrack obsessively even after I finished the show. The music in that show is sooooooo good!

3. Were you ever in a musical?

Yes! I’ve been in Charlotte’s Web, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Peter Pan, The Lion King, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific, Once On This Island, The Little Mermaid, and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Right now, I’m in an original musical revue called Evil For Good.

4. What was the first musical you saw on Broadway?

The Lion King. SOOOO GOOD!!!!!

5. If you could be any female character in any musical who would you be and why?

Ursula from The Little Mermaid because I love playing villains and I have a good vocal range for the part.

6. Which male character?

Bert from Mary Poppins because I’d get to be the dance captain for “Step in Time,” the most epic tap number in the history of epic tap numbers.

8. Who is your favourite theatre actress?

Renee Elise Goldsberry, the original Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton. No one will ever be able to truly replace her.

9. Actor?

Lin-Manuel Miranda. Is there any other answer? The dude can act, sing, rap, and compose.

10. Favorite film adaptation of a musical?

The film adaptation of Hairspray is pretty awesome. I’ve seen it, like, a bazillion times.

11. What do you think is most underrated musical?

I have to say Matilda. It has a great storyline, characters with relatable flaws and backstories, and perhaps the most satisfying ending of any show ever.

12. Overrated musical?

I can’t really think of any that I’d describe as overrated.

13. What musical made you cry?

Les Mis was pretty sad.

14. What musical made you laugh?

I saw Matilda on Broadway, and there were some hilarious moments in that.

15. Are there any musicals you saw and hated?

I don’t hate any musicals, but there are some that I find dull, cliche, and boring, namely Grease.

16. What musical do you want to see as a film?

HAMILTON!!!!!! Or Wicked. Everyone says Wicked rocks, but tickets for it always sell out before I can see it!

17. Which musicals are you dying to see?

Hamilton and Wicked.

18. Any movie or book you think should be turned into a musical?

The book How My Private, Personal Journal Became A Bestseller already has a film adaptation (the Disney Channel movie Read It and Weep), but there’s lots of potential for an epic musical in it.

19. What is your all-time favourite musical?

That’s so hard! Probably Hamilton or Matilda.


3 Comments

Stuff that’s aggravating me right now

 

  1. The fact that Donald Trump has a chance at being our nation’s next President. I’m pretty sure everyone else shares my current frustration, but to sum up my feelings I’m going to quote my mother: “This whole situation is like a really terrible horror movie where a giant orange monster somehow becomes the President.”
  2. Police brutality. WHY DO WHITE POLICE OFFICERS SUDDENLY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SHOOT INNOCENT PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEIR SKIN IS A DIFFERENT COLOR?!?!?!? THIS IS 2016, NOT THE 19TH CENTURY!
  3. Terrorism. It seems like every day, a new country is attacked, and it’s becoming annoying. However, I’m so numb to it at this point. Terrorist attacks seem routine now. Sad, but true.
  4. Being left out. I have no friends at the camp I’m going to right now because whenever I try to talk to someone, they ignore me completely. It’s super frustrating. To top it off, three of the most popular girls had a sleepover this weekend and kind of rubbed it in everyone’s faces. It’s giving me all kinds of flashbacks to elementary school. The whole situation sucks, and I can’t wait to go to a new camp in a couple of weeks.


5 Comments

My Thoughts on the Events of Last Week/Weekend

I’m sure you’ve all heard about all of the awful tragedies that happened in Orlando this weekend. I will get to that part of the story later, but first, I need to tell you guys about something else that happened to me even before my favorite singer was shot and killed and before 53 innocent lives were stolen by a raging terrorist.

It all started Thursday afternoon, the second to last period before the school day was over. I was working on a group project in physics class with several other students, when one student decided to make a series of extremely hateful comments. I will not go into detail about what was said because if the student who made these comments reads this, he’ll know I’m talking about him. But regardless, they really upset me, so my parents encouraged me to take action. I woke up early Friday morning and spoke to my physics teacher about the whole situation, and my physics teacher contacted the science department head and the dean of students. Although the student who made hateful comments was pulled aside by the dean and talked to about the impact of his comments, the dean didn’t really do much about it and just said, “Teenage boys say things like that all the time and they don’t really know what they’re saying and how it will impact others.” Then, he made the student apologize to me, and I had to accept his apology. To the student’s credit, though, he was very apologetic. I’m not sure whether or not he was sincere; maybe he was just a good actor. The whole confrontation with the dean made me so physically exhausted that I could not go to yoga class, which is something I would normally never miss for the world. My father then wrote an email to the dean and said that it wasn’t right of him to wave off the response as another instance of “Boys will be boys,” but the dean never responded to the email. At that point, my family and I decided not to expend any more physical and mental energy on this situation, and just write the student off as a hateful bully.

The next morning, I found out that one of my favorite singers and biggest inspirations, Christina Grimmie, was shot and killed after her concert in Orlando. I was hoping to have a better day than the previous day, because speaking to the dean of students is never any fun, but this completely ruined it. Christina inspired me a lot because all she wanted to do with her life was to use music as a vehicle to inspire others and make them happy. Her heart was always filled with love and joy. Bryana Salaz, one of my other favorite singers and one of Grimmie’s best friends, said that Christina was the type of person who was hilarious and could make anything into the most fun time ever, but she was also the first person that Bryana always called when she was upset because Christina always listened to her and made her feel better. Also, did I mention what a ridiculously, amazingly talented musician she was?!?!? Because she was unreal. I miss her more and more with each passing day.

Then, a matter of HOURS after Christina died, the whole nightclub shooting also happened, in Orlando. Fifty-three LGBTQ+ American citizens were brutally murdered, and several more were injured. It was an unspeakably awful injustice against everything that this country is supposed to stand for. The abhorrent acts of the murderer only proved that he had a lot of intolerance and hate in his heart. I really don’t have much to say about this event because I feel like everything has already been said. What happened was just plain WRONG. There is no argument that could possibly begin to validate this violent tragedy.

But just imagine, if we had gun control laws, we wouldn’t have to worry about more people dying every single day. The lives that need to stay on this earth would stay on this earth. After this weekend, I am more motivated than I have ever been before to continue to advocate for gun control laws and speak out for the equal rights and treatment of every human being on this earth. I am going to continue to fight on behalf of Christina Grimmie and the 53 innocent lives that were robbed from us this past weekend, and I will always support the LGBTQ+ community and their fundamental human rights.