Friday, December 17, 2010

R.I.P. ...Tadpoles?

This past summer my dear companion,  John-Carlo, and I went to our local park to catch tadpoles.  Our master plan was to catch the little darlings, transport them to the make-shift Costco fountain in my backyard, and raise them as our own.  Every few days we would go back to the park to get more. We were addicted.  What a wonderful plan! We were in charge of these little babies, and we treated them appropriately.  So much love went into our poles. We transported them ever-so lovingly from scummy pond, to McDonalds beverage cup, to the fountain.  I researched online how to care for my poles--what to feed them, what kind of environment they should live in. I fed them a CVS brand of fish food...they just ATE THAT UP.  I even gave them the occasional treat of lettuce, a supposed tadpole favorite, however, they didn't take to that very thrillingly.

I fed them religiously, every single day.  I checked them day and night, just to make sure their well being was was well...well.  The various websites I read concerning tadpole care said they would be full fledge frogs in about six weeks.

Week four came about.  No legs, just bigger bodies.  I thought, "Oh my little darlings, you're all late bloomers, but do not fret.  Your mother does not discriminate, I will care for you!"  And care I did.

Week five came.  Still no legs, but sadly my time had come to return to school, two hours away from my now somewhat plumper poles.  I put the reins in the hands of my father.  He too, fed them carefully and diligently.  Until the day came when our now green Costco fountain became just a bit too green for Paw's liking.

He later told me it was just a bit of chlorine he put in--which even in small amounts may be lethal to poles according to the websites.

My poles--our poles, were dead. I was heartbroken. Though, my paw is a smart fellow.  At the time of death it was about week eight into the lives of the poles.  Still no legs, in fact, no frog-like features at all.  Paw concluded that my dear poles were indeed not poles at all, but impostors!...MINNOWS!  A small, dumb fish that is also commonly found in the ponds of the park.

Stupid Minnows.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Art is taking the chaos of life and imposing order on it

In high school I had a wonderful-nay, beautiful AP English teacher.  How I write today is a manifestation of my personality and her technique (and all the good parts I attribute to her technique).  Religiously, almost daily, she would remind us as a class that "art is taking the chaos of life and imposing order on it."  Never in my entire life will I forget that saying, I don't think it possible if I put forth my greatest efforts.  It's permanence within the depths of my skull are not entirely due to the pounding repetition of the phrase, but also because I have not encountered such a combination of words that resonates such a truth about the world until hearing this one.  We as humans don't have many orderly things.  Sure, we take a stab at democracy and religion and running corporations, but those don't always work out; nothing ever does certainly.   Art on the other hand, art is honest and truthful and therefore orderly.  What better way to explain and interpret the world than taking something from within yourself to offer up to the rest of humankind.  If more people participated in some art form and presented it, I bet we wouldn't feel so alone as a race.

The world being so large, and me being so wee, I haven't seen as much art as I would like, but I'm hungry for more.  I've been fortunate enough to have gazed upon a handful of gorgeous art museums in Paris.  Thankfully, the Getty is within my grasp as well; I'm there quite often.  And besides that, every time I enter a new city my goal is to find the nearest and best (based on my taste and opinion) art galleries and exhibits.

Currently, my favorite artist is Mick Lestrade.  I stumbled upon this creative genius at the weekly display of art among the beach at the lovely Santa Barbara. The first glimpse of Mick's work had my eyes begging for more.  So I find myself in Santa Barbara whenever feasible just to flip through his beautiful interpretations of this world.
My darling boyfriend of mine purchased me one of Mick's paintings for my last birthday.  I wake up every morning just titillated at the sight of it.  As you can see, one of Mick's techniques is to simpley thrust paint splatters among a canvas and then he finds the picture from the splatter...GENIUS! I adore the man (the most charming little French man you'll ever meet) and all of his work.

Now, in the past I haven't been a large fan of exposing my paintings to the general public, for the plain reason of I felt it too exposing.  My paintings are the chaos of my life and my attempt to impose order, so I thought the process of sharing to be all too revealing.  But then in Meisner class last week I had a revelation (hard to believe, I know).  Markus was talking about how the point of art is to share, to help other people learn and to grow (hence my statement made concerning the world being a better place if more art were to be swapped around) and that it was even selfish to keep one's art to himself.  So here I go Markus! These are a few of my paintings...
This one is an ode to Mick.  He has a similar one, but instead with a caucasian person holding an ice-cream cone (mine is cotton candy).

Kelsey Jean


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


First off I apologize for my lack of blogging.  Being back in the strange and mysterious land of Thousand Oaks has taken a wee more time adjusting, to get back into the swing of things, than I anticipated.  But I digress, and here I appear once again.

As a student and enthusiastic learner in general, I absolutely adore most all of my classes this semester-with the exception of Geology of course, what would an aspiring journalist/actor need that for?  One class in particular that is having an immense impact on me is Meisner.  Ironically, the class that has had the most impact is worth the least amount of credits (none at all).  But that right there shows just how appealing this experience is.  Every Friday for three hours about 20 or so actors congregate to listen and learn and awe at everything our professor, Markus Flanagan, has to say.

Markus is such a fascinating human-err, excuse me, God.  Markus knows everything, it even says so on his resume, don't believe me Google him.  Sure, he may have been born with this gift of all-knowing wisdom, but most likely he picked it up from Mr. Meisner himself (Markus' teacher of the technique back in the day).

Meisner deals with the concept of repetition.  Without giving everything away, basically repetition is a process in which two people start out repeating petty words to each other based off of convenient observations.  The point is to match the sound of the person and to explore the word for something never recognized in a single word before. The next step involves diving into the person's soul, exploring them as a person and the meaning behind the words they present to you, all while repeating.  After that, it becomes about listening to every tinge in your partner's voice, picking up on subtle cues about their person...that's about where I'm at.  I don't fully and completely understand the big picture, but that in itself is so thrilling to me.  Every class I feel I experience an epiphany, only to have that epiphany be morphed into something new by the next.

This class, this concept, this way of life, or cult has slowly begun to take over the theatre department at the school I attend.  The 20 or so in the class are obsessed (and rightly so-it's truly fascinating) and the remaining participants in the department, I assume, are sick of hearing about it.  Whenever we can repeat, we do it, no matter campus placement, no matter the people present.

I'm terribly excited for this phenomenon.  I feel extremely fortunate to have stumbled into this technique and I simply cannot wait to learn more, gobble up more Meisner.  I'm in love, I'm obsessed, I'm in a cult.

Until the next unanticipated moment,
Kelsey Jean

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Frivolous Body Art

   Just the other evening my dear, old (in reference to the friendship itself not her age), gal pal and I were chit-chatting about tattoos while in my family jacuzzi-- where I find a lot of good conversation is born.  Throughout the talk we giggled at girls we knew that got  meaningless hearts or butterflies, among other nonsensical, pointless doodles thrown upon their very skin.  And their reasoning?  Because it's cute. Well Duh. I stand opposed.   

   I believe in art and I believe in beauty and I believe in poetry, and absolutely the intermingling of the three.  I also strongly believe tattoos are one of this culture's neatest, most intense, (supposedly) passionate forms of art.  For a person to take a statement, whether it be a portrait, or symbol, or phrase, or what-have-you, and ink it-- with some assistance from a trained professional-- onto their very being is such an immense artistic move.  People are walking around everyday with their bodies' as canvases.  Beautiful!  And just as Monet had a thing or two to say about each of his paintings, tattoos have (or should have) essays upon novels upon numerous factoids of information just about bursting to be told about the art's model.  Art has meaning, art is not "just cute".  So if you get a lame tattoo at least make-up some meaning for it and slap it on at your earliest convenience.  

   I, myself have a little piece of art on my body, and no I promise I didn't make-up a false meaning for the thing.

   I could potentially write a thesis paper on this bit of ink gracing my lower, right back...but I'll spare you and provide just a nice overview. 

   I was diagnosed with cancer in my freshman year of high school, which consisted of a four pound cancerous tumor commandeering one of my kidneys-- the right side, hence the location.  Now at the age of 18, I can obviously say I was "saved" (get it? A life preserver? eeh? eeeeh?), from my disease.  I was saved by so many people, good people.  The entire oncology team I worked with, at both UCLA hospital and Cottage hospital were so good to me; including every nurse and surgeon involved.  My community was just darling and helped my family out immensely what with meals and nice wishes and cards and gifts and love, love, love!  I was saved by other fellow cancer patients I met that shared their journey with me absolutely filling me to the brim with hope and passion for this world.  Mostly, the tattoo is a constant reminder to have faith in humanity, especially in a world where all the bad may at times seem to completely devour the good.  Though, I am living proof that there are indeed good, swell folks out there that will save you if given the chance.   

Kelsey Jean


Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Beginning

   I have had many a mentor insist I start a blog for quite some time now.  I'm occupationally passionate about two things in this life; drama and journalism, so a person can see why blogging may assist me on my road to vocational success.  Though there's always been something nagging in my ear, tugging at my sleeve, whining all about the premise of blogging.

   My former opinion of "blogging" was that it seemed all too pretentious for my taste.  Just the premise of writing one's ideas and opinions down for others to read seemed simply preposterous.  Who would actually read what I have to say (a small, almost 19-year-old female) other than close friends and/or family?  Though, I suppose that's the conditioned society we live in talking.

   But then I got to thinking on it, and is that not how books begin?  And newspapers?  And magazines?  And (preferably) informative television?  All concepts, forms of entertainment, begin with a person jotting down his ideas.  And I think that's swell-- that the human population has such a thirst for knowledge that we read books and engage in other mediums of knowledge so that we may hear about others' ideas and opinions, and hopefully learn a thing or two from it, or at least walk away with a better understanding of humans themselves just by reading one's words.

So here I am, diving into the swimming pool of blogging.  I may have floaties, but at least I'm in the water now.

For Now,
Kelsey Jean