Monthly Archives: July 2015

Secret Arrows; Getting Started II

Good news! Now that we have 7 chapters of Secret Arrows written, we’ve decided to share the first chapter with you. (We previously shared the Prologue.)Except, it may not be call Secret Arrows. We’ve decided that it’s a little corny, so for now, we’re calling it “Secrets of Rensovia. (Rensovia is the Medieval kingdom that Val lives in.) If you have any mysterious names, go ahead and post in comments. We just might name our book that!  Just a warning, Chapter One isn’t so interesting. We need and appreciate them. We do feel like the rest of the book gets better,  so even if you don’t like it, still come back for Chapter 2, because it DOES get more interesting. Anyway, here goes.

Chapter One 

key2The Truth

The whole day had been a waste. It was only noon, yet I had already broken 3 dishes, countless glasses, and spilled a goblet of wine during my kitchen shift. To make matters worse, my father had just been recruited to fight in a war, and I was worried sick about him. After all, he was the only family I had left. Nausea knotted in my stomach as I continue to scrub the dishes. 

    As ever, luck wasn’t on my side. I had smashed the most expensive piece yet. I flew to the broomstick and dustpan, but I knew it was too late when I heard the clumping of a soldier’s thick soles down the hallway. As I was beginning to stuff the scattered shards into my apron, the lock began to rattle. I gave a silent thanks to myself for locking the door earlier, but I knew I had to keep working to have any chance of salvaging my job. I was stuffing the last of the china shards into my apron pocket when the door finally clicked open, revealing a burly guard. I tried to ignore him, like a good little maid, but I eventually cracked, feeling his eyes boring into me. “What do you want?” I huffed. “I’m just a lowly maid!”

     He turned to me.”I just thought you might want to know” he breathed, so that I could just make out what he said. “Know what?” I snapped. But, I was starting to connect the dots. I just didn’t like what they said. A soldier talking to me privately, the sympathetic look in his eyes… Yes, it could only mean one thing. My father was dead

       

                                                                        . . .

 

     “Your father has died.” The soldier’s emotionless response only confirmed my suspicions, but it was still a blow. My father…dead….the two words just didn’t belong in the same sentence. After telling myself for weeks that he would be fine, it was hard to believe that he wasn’t. 

     “H-how?” I managed. If I was going to believe this, I needed some proof.

     “You see, it wasn’t just him,” the soldier began, his eyes misting, perhaps envisioning the deaths of my father and these apparent others. “No, Sargent Keyroid was eliminated along with the rest of his unit.”

     With that, he turned on his heels and left me to my sorrow. I was as sullen as any girl who had just received the news of her father’s death, maybe more. But, I realized, along with the units’ death came the opportunity I had been waiting for practically my whole life; the chance to be a knight.

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                                                                   . . . 

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      Everything and everyone had their place. Women were maids, men were knights, pigs were food. So, as you can imagine, I, as a girl of 12, was looked down upon by just about everyone except the pigs, which made my mission of being a knight next to impossible. Now, a few years back, I had finally figured out that I could disguise as a boy and change my age to try out for the army. Everything was set; I lopped off my hair, practiced fighting with kitchen knives to build up muscle, snuck into private fighting sessions meant for knights. You name it, I had done it. But, when I was finally ready to try out, I discovered what you could call a hurtle. A huge one. You see, all the spots were taken. It was devastating after all that hard work, but I made the most of it, biding my time, waiting until an opportunity to be in the army arose. So, when I heard that an entire unit had died, I knew that those deaths were simply blessings in disguise.

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                                                                . . . 

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  “This is it” I thought, collecting all the knives I could carry. I had to look intimidating in order to have any shot at qualifying as a knight. Anyone with sense knew that knights were fierce, muscled. My racing thoughts were clouded with what ifs. “What if I get discovered? What if I don’t do well? What if I make a bad impression? What if…” Praying that only a couple boys would come to try their hand at being a knight, I left my broom closet bedroom, supplies in hand. A glance at the clock showed me that I had a mere 5 minutes to reach the training arena. The time had been posted on the wall three hours ago. So, I cautiously set off down the hall, scanning my surroundings for people who could catch me in the act.

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     Luckily, I arrived at the tryout without incident, but it goes without saying that I wasn’t off the hook just yet. There was still the detail of appearing masculine. Just before I stepped into the training room, I patted down my hair, rearranged my gear, and rubbed over my chest, thanking God that it was still flat. With a deep breath and a final adjustment of my jacket, I was ready

Deja Vu – The Little Mermaid Jr. – AGAIN!

In 2013, we did The Little Mermaid Jr. And, believe it or not, we loved it so much that we rejoined The Little Mermaid Jr. family with Creative Arts Summer Theater (CAST) this year (2015). As expected, this time it went a little differently. In 2013, I got casted as Sebastian, Ariana as Ursula. Needless to say, we didn’t get the same roles with teens in the mix. Still, we did pretty well, if I do say so myself.streaming The Circle 2017 movie

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This time, after much time and effort preparing our audition songs (“I Know Things Now” for Ariana and “The Girl I Mean to Be” for me) we became Sebastian (Ariana) and Scuttle (me.) We were elated to get two main roles, since we were competing with much older kids for roles.
The cast had only 26 people (tiny compared to our previous 75 person casts. ) ranging in age from 8-18 (We’re 11.) It was difficult to make elaborate scenes with such few people, but we managed. The only time the lack of cast members was really noticeable was during “big” numbers like “Under the Sea”, since in 2013, we had almost four times the people onstage.

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Speaking of the stage, we didn’t really have one. We had an awesome, awesome, backdrop, but since we performed in a gym with bleachers for the underwater effect, we had nothing to perform on but the gym floor. To make up for it, the backdrop was super realistic, and we even got to help make some of it. One of the parent-volunteers was a magician, so he showed us some cool tricks while others were getting makeup done.

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And boy, was the makeup elaborate. The director did mine (a very sweet talented woman). It ended up looking really good, with “feathers” around my eyes and a beak-like nose, but it was a little awkward having her at such close quarters. Ariana’s face was tinted red and they tried to make her look like a crustacean but I think the makeup just made her look sick!

In the end, though, it was a really great experience. We made tons of friends, and had fun acting, singing and more!

Take One – Headshots By Mom

U1DNA5 HRAs I mentioned in “Just an Update”,  Ariana and I are finally doing headshots, a major step in our acting career. For those who don’t know, headshots are many photo representations of all the different looks you can do as an actor\actress.(Similar but more professional than the image to the right, a happy and girlish “look”) That way, when you go to apply for an agent, they already have an idea of what you look like and what you can do. Long story short, headshots are important.

U4DNA7 HR

As for why my mom is taking headshots, Ariana and I are thinking about applying for an agency called Take 3 Talent. Just for a vocab update, agents are people who  help you find acting work. In exchange, they get a percentage of your pay. Basically, if they don’t find work for you, they don’t get any money from you.

Work is hard to find on your own, so if Ariana and I want to be professional actresses, for now, we need an agent. Its hardly that easy, though. Since the agent represents you, they have to like your work. That’s where the headshots come in. In order to apply for an agent, you have to send in headshots – not professional headshots by a photographer but pictures that your parents take – along with a sample of your singing. If they don’t like you, they don’t accept you. That’s why it’s so important that you try your best with your headshots.

Making headshots is a longer process than you’d believe. Our first step was to find the color(s) that looked the best on us: coral, blue, and green. (Our uncle helped us with that, since he’s an optician and specializes in finding the right color glasses for people.) Naturally, we didn’t have clothes many clothes in those colors, so we went shopping. When taking headshots, there are different looks: pop, girly, nerdy, old, young, sporty, ect. So we hunted for clothes in those categories in our colors. At long last we came up with a selection of clothes. The rest of the day was spent reading up.camera

We watched videos about how to accentuate your jawline, make you look more confident, and smile with your mouth closed. Soon, we were ready to shoot. We struck poses against trees and brick walls, curled and straightened our hair, changing clothes all the while. It was stressful work, though fun and beneficial. But, even as I write this, we’re still not done!

Here’s the final result of what we created…what do you think?

These are Ariana:

U2Ariana6 HR UAriana10 HRUAriana5 HR

These are Daniela:

 U2Danieal16 HRU4Daniela6 HRUDaniela13 HR

 

Just an Update

FilmstripHey! This is just an update on our lives and whats coming on our website soon. We’ve  stopped working on “To Be Determined”, because we think the lyrics are cheesy. (We know you were thinking it.) We still might write a song, but with a better theme. Right now, though, our lives are pretty chaotic. We’ve just finished a new play (more on that in “Deja Vu”) are currently in the process of making head shots (see “Take One”) , and have lots more of Secret Arrows to share with you now, (Again, feel free to criticize) not to mention choosing a middle school. EEK!movie I Am Heath Ledger