stardust and friendship magic

Well, readers of my rambles, I am currently sitting in one of the most quirky, yet inviting coffee shops I have ever been to. Like, this deserves to go in the coffee shop hall of fame. This place is called Stardust Video and Coffee and it’s located in Audubon Park in Orlando. Ok, where else has a bar, a stage, a room with art, a room with movies, games, and books, AND a random stranger can muse outloud to no one in particular about the butterflies flitting about in the sunlight outside? Amazing. I changed my location twice, (once, I’ll admit to avoid the musing stranger bc he was distracting me from my tasks), and again bc there was this cozy nook where I could be surrounded by shelves of games and books. I have found that you really have to get the full experience of various locations when you visit coffee shops.
They have lavender syrup, and it was divine in my latte. The hummus and pita was also surprisingly good: the pita was toasted and crispy, and the hummus yummy. The staff was friendly and quick. Its 11:30am on a Tuesday and I am surrounded by professionals and students with furrowed brows all typing furiously. A few groups of friends and a family have wandered in. The decor is pretty bold, as evidenced below in the pics that I took, but was cozy and inviting somehow too. I really want to come back here and see what it’s like on a night with a band playing.



Some actor said in their Tony speech this summer that “Friendship is magic”. Friendship can also make you feel comfort in a place that is foreign. Friendship can give you the confidence to be the best you that you can be. I am lucky enough to be able to call the other 7 interns my friends. I am blessed enough to have found a friend in my landlady/Roomie Pam, and of course, in her dog, Logan.
This past week in the internship, which is with Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, we all worked on all the things. We conquered the task of teaching Shakespeare paraphrasing (putting his words into language we can understand) to kids in school. We built an ensemble with many games. We played. I learned that though I am the youngest in our little ensemble, I have something to contribute. I also have a lot to learn from the older people. I am not intimidated by that. At least, right now I’m not. The staff of OST is extremely encouraging and have welcomed me and my eccentricities with open arms. For instance, I am always the one eating, or asking to fill my water bottle. I can also be kinda bad at directions. More than one person has been kind enough to walk me to the costume shop again, or to show me where the nearest water fountain is.
This coming week we have classes with the artistic director of the theatre on Shakespeare and we are dissecting and performing a speech. I am doing a speech of Puck’s. Though an Imp is not immediately what I strike people as, I believe it will stretch me in physicality. It’s a challenge. After all, imps are magical, friendship is magic, and theatre is the most magical thing of all.


where I love to be: coffee shops

I’ve had a long time affair with coffee shops, and any new place I go, I love to find the coolest ones. I think I’m a closeted introvert and I love being around people, but able to do my own thing. Here are some shots from Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen in Winter Park, right outside Orlando. 

Winter Park is a manicured paradise and is truly beautiful. I took a stroll down Park Ave after dropping my dad off at the airport, and spent a good hour and half at Barnie’s, catching up on news and getting myself prepared for the week with my fancy new toy. 

The picture below of the iced coffee doesn’t do the place justice, because I was embarrassed to be seen taking pictures. I just don’t want to seem like a product of my generation, ya know? Too late, I totally am. I mean look at me: I have a blog and an Instagram and I take selfies. 

I had their iced coffee (amazing and free because of a yelp offer), oatmeal (fresh and adequate), and caved into a yummy blueberry Danish suggested by the friendly server. Outside seating was plentiful, inside was smaller but really cool and had a nice streamlined and bright design. The place was populated by regulars (a group of marathon runners, extremely proud of their status above us mere mortals, were sitting outside as well).

Across the street on Park Ave, (appropriately named) was this gorgeous park and rose garden. Here’s a shot:


All in all, Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen is among my top fav spots in Orlando to pretend to be an introvert.

Send me on my way (a posthumous post)


Below is what I write in the car 2 days ago, on the first leg of our drive to Orlando, CA.

So here I am, sitting in the passenger seat while my wonderful father drives us and my filled-to-the-brim Camry through Houston traffic towards New Orleans, and then Orlando.
We’re listening to The DaVinci Code, classic rock, Marvin Gaye, and I’m easing Davie into Ed and The Lone Bellow (props to my stellar friends Monica and Sierra for expanding my musical taste. Left to my own devices, it would be jazz standards and original broadway cast recordings for the rest of my life).

We are surrounded with my worldly belongings. In the packing department, I tend to be two parts ruthless, one part pack rat. I went like a Goodwill hurricane through my clothes. However, I have every handwritten note I’ve received in the last 4 years in a box. There’s something cathartic in the release of what you don’t need, and something so calming about being surrounded by the familiar. Like Patti LuPone quoted someone else saying, I just want to be surrounded by my beautiful things. However, there’s a fine balance between too many tealights and not having enough socks.
I’m so ready to start this internship. All 8 of us are in Les Mis (3rd time, representttt), teaching Shakespeare classes, bein in some more shows and more interny kinda things. A friend said that I am so lucky that I have 9 months of work. And it’s so true. I am unbelievably lucky. I am lucky I get to dive into life with these people for 9 months. I am lucky I get to do what I love.

…and I’m really lucky because I get to go to Disneyworld.

Brilliant, Yet Quirky, Title Here

I’m not quite sure how to do this blog thing. Did I even upload this post correctly? I guess we’re about to see. Anyway, I decided that I’ll use this platform to bare my bizarre and sometimes deep thoughts to the world. Maybe it’s bc I have an hour or two to spare these days, maybe it’s bc I just got a fancy new iPad toy and I want to play.
Play: what a funny word. In acting, we are constantly reminded to have a sense of “play”. But nobody likes a playa. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game. When you’re in a musical, the only real rule is to stick to the play.
(^example of my stream-of-consciousness style. Not too late to get out, people.)
So I think this blog will basically be the collected thoughts of a caffeinated youth about to embark on another journey. If it’s trite or boring, so be it. If it’s a bunch of misquoted metaphors, so be it.
I think it was Neil Gaiman that said to write about everything. To learn to write, by writing. There’s also no such thing as being in the right mood to write. That last one’s from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Just some examples of some misquoted quotes I want to live by.
This blog might be something that I am extremely ambitious about, and then forget about in a month. I’m ok with that. If in 10 years, I want to see what I was like 10 years ago, I’ll have a little piece of my, silly, run-on-sentence self.