Friday, October 11, 2013

Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee...

Sandy Dumbrowski. Iconic musical character. Sweetness embodied. Olivia Newton John. Gidget. Good girl gone bad.

These are all things people think of when they think of Sandy. But really, who is this character? And why does it matter?

Because let's be honest, the storyline of Grease is is fairly weak. But for some reason, people love it. Shows sell out. People know the music by heart. But if the story is so weak, why is that? It's more than the catchy songs, big production. Grease is clever. It's cleverly and wittily written and the characters are incredibly well developed for a musical. These great characters are what brings people in.

There are ton of tidbits in there for character development if you care to look. To be fair, the first time I did this show, I didn't look this hard.

But now that I'm older - and have spent a fair amount of money on acting classes - there is SO much to see.

Doody has a line to Roger about how is old lady actually dragged herself out of bed to open a can of sardines for him since it was the first day of school. This clues us in to dysfunction in the home. Marty's whole solo, "Freddy My Love," is all about using boys and her looks to get money and gifts and how she has about 50 boyfriends. It practically reeks of daddy issues. Nearly every line Jan has is her trying to keep the peace, telling the audience that she does this a lot, meaning her parents probably fight all the time.

Now. Sandy. Who are you?

When analyzing a script, we look at three things.What does the playwright say about me? What do other characters say about me? And what do I say about myself?

The playwright tells me that I am sweet, naive, wholesome, and look like Gidget. Ok, so that's skeletal start,, some stepping stones.

Danny tells the boys I'm cute. The other girls continually refer to me as Sandra Dee and too pure to be pink. And Sandy herself says things like, "just because we're steadies doesn't mean we'll go all the way." This tells us she's fairly strong and seems to stick by her values and thinks for herself. These are all things I can glean directly from the script.

Now, until last night, I kind of forgot to play Sandy as strong. Just because she's naive, that doesn't mean that she's weak.

Whoops. Duh.

When John reminded me of that, a light bulb kind of turned on. She's strong, which is why she can goad Danny into trying out for the track team, why she can try to beat up Rizzo, why she can scream at Danny, and why she doesn't go all the way at the drive-in.

Now, you could argue with me that the whole point of Grease is that she changes for a guy, but hear me out! She changes into the infamous Bad Sandy of her own volition. No one makes her do it. No one gives her the idea. She makes the switch because she wants to (So, Grease haters, just calm down). She makes the switch because she thinks it will make her happy.

Now to the nitty gritty of my Sandy. The specifics of who I am in this role.

At the start of the show, Sandy is 17 years old, a new senior at Rydell High. Her family is upper middle class and live in the suburbs. They are conservative Catholic and Sandy grew up going to Mass every Sunday and Wednesday. Mr. Dumbrowski is a doctor and he got transferred to the hospital in the city mid-summer. She didn't want to spend every summer day in the house with her mother so she would escape unpacking by going on walks to the beach and the boardwalk. Her first little rebellion was her summer romance with Danny, the precursor and foreshadowing to the rest of the show. They would spend days swimming, wading, boating, building sand castles, roller skating, things of pure romance. Her father has no idea, but her mother has an inkling, because Sandy seems so happy, especially for just having moved to a new town.

She has also met Frenchy, through their mothers. Since they are neighbors, her mother brought the Dumbrowskis a housewarming gift as soon as was appropriate and the two girls hit it off.

Sandy is all set to go to Immaculata, the all girls Catholic school, but her father gets in a shouting match with the Mother Superior (thank you, script, for telling me their religious stance!!) and she get dropped right into public high school.

Her father's fight with the Mother Superior tells us that he is a force to be reckoned with, and this is reinforced by Sandy's line during the ill-fated ear piercing about how he would probably kill her for this. Now that could just be an excuse, but that's a pretty weak acting choice. If I delve a little deeper, I could decide that her father is the man of the house and he wants to have an immaculate household. He would be furious if Sandy were to do something to tarnish his reputation and his anger scares Sandy a little bit. I don't think he's an abusive father or husband, but I would imagine he yells if dinner is not just right or there's mud on the tile.

There is a lot to these characters, especially Sandy. She wants to fit in with these Pink Ladies, but their behavior is so outside her realm of understanding. She still has her values, but it conflicts with her desire to belong and to do well in school - that's why she does a Biology project with Eugene. People just pull her around, though, each telling her the best way to succeed at Rydell. Rizzo tells her its through smoking, drinking, and piercing her ears. Patty tells her its cheer leading. For a girl who grew up sheltered and in an all girls Catholic school, public high had to be a shock to the system.

Sandy is a strong, sweet, naive character who really just wants to find her place in this new town. I understand only too well how it feels to define your feeling of belonging around a boy and to have it shatter around you in a second and to leave you floundering. I understand feeling like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole and trying to stand by your values in society. Everyone understands that and that's why Grease is a best seller.

Her transformation into Bad Sandy makes me think of that scene in Easy A where Emma Stone walks down the hall in her new duds. People notice her. And it's not that her personality has changed - she's still smart, witty, silly Olive, but she put on new and crazy clothes. I feel like Sandy really did that.

Sure, Sandy became a little rougher and she punched Patty in the face (though she did hit Rizzo too, so that's even a new thing for her). Maybe she is just saying yes to all the aspects of herself.

I'm a nice girl, but I like wearing tight pants. I have big curly hair. I swear sometimes. Maybe that's not such a terrible thing either. Maybe it's just a people thing.

Maybe Sandy isn't divided between Good Sandy and Bad Sandy just because she says "What the hell!"

I'm pretty sure she's just Sandy.



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Is it: Warm? Comfy? Cute? Or "olive" the above?

Another fashion post! I promised to be better about writing these (Ashley!) so I wanted to get this one out there too! I really liked this outfit, like a lot. I felt cute and fairly pretty.

I'm going to share a little secret.

Ready? Here we go.

Sometimes putting together outfits is really hard. I have been lusting after these pants for months. Literally. And then finally they were on sale and in my size, so I snatched them up. And then I got them home and thought, "What on earth am I going to wear with these?"

So I turned to my favorite online toy. Pinterest. I have a whole board called "How to Wear This? Inspire me!" And that is where I put ideas for mint jeans, white dresses, red leopard print dresses... anything that might be tricky to style on a whim or that I just want to spice up the look of. And that board is massive. There are so many pins on it of hundreds of different ideas and looks.

So that's my dirty little secret.

I also plan outfits out in advance. One - it is helpful since I am so busy. It's nice to know what I am wearing, to set it out the night before, and to just put it on in the morning. No matter how late I am, if I have my clothes and jewelry set out, I can always have the illusion of being prepared. Two - it helps keep me awake in geology after a late rehearsal night and an early morning. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

So yes. I paired olive green with navy blue with this outfit. I also pinned my scarf with this gorgeous ornate turtle brooch.

I got this pin at the funeral of one of the wonderful older ladies from the church I grew up. She loved turtles and she had a massive collection of turtle things and knick knacks, and she wanted everyone to take an item or two to remember her by. So, I love this pin and I love to wear it.

My little brother got me this scarf for Christmas a few years ago. He has good taste.

I got my sweater from the little boys' section of Goodwill for $1. So that was a GREAT find. It is wool and has this cute understated cowl neck.

Olive jeans are great for fall weather. In my pictures, I am wearing my knee high black boots (from Target), though about halfway through the day I switched to leopard print flats (also from Target). It wasn't pouring rain that afternoon and I want to get as much mileage out of my flats before it starts to snow and rain for six months.




Monday, October 7, 2013

Tribal Print For Days!

I have been experimenting with all sorts of new looks and styles, recently with mixing prints.

I have always been a little in doubt of whether or not I can pull of all sorts of prints and colors, but the wonderful words of Coco Chanel reminded me that I can wear whatever I please. So without further adieu, here is my exciting tribal print outfit.

It was also a fairly inexpensive outfit. I have been getting really good at shopping cheaply, but still with quality this semester, as I have been working on being a better budgeter and more conscientious about my spending.

The tribal shirt is from Ross and was about $6. The scarf is from Wal Mart and cost me $4. The camisole I got from a thrift store for $0.50.

 The boots are also from Wal Mart. The children's section, to be specific, and they're about a size 13. But that's ok, because they cost $15. So it was a good deal. My jeans are from Maurices, and those were expensive ($35) but I have kind of become a jean snob. A part of me realized I should probably be buying jeans that will last me a few years.

  My hair was real easy too. I parted it down the front and swept them back over my headband. I also combed the back back smooth so it  look nice and not lumpy. I twisted the sides so the back and the bobby pins so it looked artistic and nice instead of thrown together. 

So that is the tribal print outfit. This is a very simple blog post, no deeper meaning at all. 

But sometimes those are good too! 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sweaters and Boots and Scarves, oh my!

Hello, everyone!

I just want to start with a huge thank you for the huge amount of support and love I have been getting since my last, very personal blog post. It has been overwhelming and inspiring and I am honored that I was able to touch of you so. 

I am doing fairly well. Both the counselor and my doctor are pleased. The doctor is especially glad that I have put on a couple pounds and you can no longer see the vertebrae in my spine. 

So here I am. And I am enough. 

Today, though, I want to talk about fall. 

MM. Oh fall. I love it. The leaves are changing. The air is crisp. Pumpkin spice is back. It is scarf, sweater, and boot season. And let me tell you, I have been rocking these three fall fashions. 

Here is a breakdown of three of my fall looks so far:


 This is my Beauty and the Beast Sweater. I got it at Hot Topic, on sale. I paired it with simple, dark wash skinny jeans, my brown knee boots, and those big orange metal earrings. 



This was a favorite fall outfit so far. These red skinny jeans are from the Wal Mart clearance rack and the ruffled button down is from the Storm Cellar, a local consignment shop. I also wore my brown knee high boots with it and styled my hair in a faux undercut.


Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! I got this one at Goodwill for $1. The scarf came from my roommate's closet and I paired it with a red tank top and a pair of baggy jeans with sequins on the pocket from Wal Mart. I cuffed the hem, wore a pair of patterned tights underneath to show through the tears and pair of red flats from Payless.

SO. Yes. I love fall. Everything about it.

It has been raining here like crazy and the air just smells so clean and I am definitely planning a chili in the crockpot night here pretty soon.

I also love that it is show season. Grease is in full swing, so be prepared for pictures of that, and I got cast in another small show on top of that. And on top of that, I get to help design a production of A Christmas Carol.

So really, I am doing pretty well. Talk to you all soon!