Julie Andrews.

The influences in my life that are humans are as follows (in no particular order):

Bo Burnham, Kaelin Isserlin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miley Cyrus, Linda Garneau, Evan Peters, Julie Andrews, Lady GaGa, and my grandmother.

I will attempt to explain my reasons for why these people have a greater influence on me than others. Hope it functions properly.

The human form of elegance with just a spoonful of mystery.

Mary Poppins, Eliza Doolittle, Maria von Trapp, Queen Clarisse Renaldi, Millie Dillmount… I could go on…

A resume like this deserves the most respect out of any other actor/actress. Julie Andrews is a vision that will never fade. Her attention to detail, musicality and poise makes her endless generosity seem so invaluable. But! She manages to keep a cool head and stay focused on generating award-worthy performances every single time she steps in the limelight. Indeed, it is such a joy for me to even write about her because I admire her to no ends.

Among the characters she has originated/perfected, Miss Andrews leaps between the stage and the screen so effortlessly that I feel so connected to her journey. She invites her audience to follow her in moments of live theatre, and then she takes us with her when a camera is involved. To make that jump a number of times and still have the intelligence to analyze these plot lines is so impressive to me. I am constantly in awe of her history with performance. Whether she is in a box or a black box, Julie never strikes out.

She has worked with legends like Blake Edwards, Gene Kelly, Carol Burnett, Rex Harrison, and even Robert Goulet. To stand next to people like this would take a lot of confidence and cleverness, and Julie made it seem so easy. It’s as if I have no doubt in my mind about someone’s execution and that is such a comforting thing to have in my life. I don’t have to worry about certain choices that she makes because I know I will always agree with her. For example, her conceptualization of the title role in Victor/Victoria was so gracefully brought to life. This role involves a kind of androgyny that could be troubling for a female artist at the time of the film’s release. When asked to wear a moustache and find inspiration from a male perspective, she did not shy away from the challenge. I think that this choice was very risky, however, the final product was nothing less than iconic and helpful for her career. It gives me the courage to put the story first, so that I can focus on telling the plot and less on how a story could damage my personal life. Julie knows that her own experiences are separate from the characters she plays, and she embraces each role with mindfulness. And that sparkling fountain hat slays everything.

My first time witnessing her “crowning glory” was in The Princess Diaries. That VHS tape was like a stuffed animal to me. I stayed close to its presence and studied her and Anne Hathaway like a hawk. I wanted to be as great as she was in that film. I didn’t realize until I grew up a bit that Julie’s organized madness was the thing that kept me inspired for most of my childhood. From then on, she always seemed to be on my screen. Next was The Sound of Music, where I found her voice to be the lullaby of my dreams. Then came Mary Poppins and hearing her in the Shrek franchise as Queen Lillian. Around the time I was 16, I started obsessing over Youtube videos of her on old talk shows like this one and this one. But of course I started to figure out that I knew nothing about her; she had made her start on legendary Broadway and West End productions. When I heard that she had been the original Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, my ignorance stabbed me in the chest so hard I thought I would collapse. HOW COULD I HAVE NOT KNOWN THAT? Still so mad at myself. I had to do more research in order to understand her greatness on a different level.

As a teenager, I was fortunate to impersonate two of her singing roles in tap routines at my dance studio. “Le Jazz Hot” was the first song I portrayed as Julie, and I instantly felt so determined to attempt my best work for the sake of her legacy. It was a mission that brought me joy and excitement as well as healthy pressure. In addition, my choreographer was a super fan too, so there was a big amount of desire to do her well. Afterwards, I got to play a version of Maria with other dancers on my team playing the von Trapp family. What a thrill that was. To have my friends/teammates beside me onstage made me realize the opportunity of live theatre as a company of people was so much more enjoyable than to do it by yourself. I grew into my obsession with Broadway and other theatre opportunities where a group works together to produce entertainment. It was profoundly a happy time in my life. Also, I got to learn in detail about Julie’s mannerisms that she chose for Maria’s personality. I have never examined a role so in-depth and I felt accomplished with my final results each competition. I knew an opportunity like this would likely never come again, so I wanted to do it justice.

Although Julie Andrews has found more and more success in her life after her golden age, I still feel that her defining years were in those classic movies. I know that that specific style of motion picture is usually not created anymore due to generational changes, but I can’t help but wish that actors would remind themselves of the importance of grace and poise. I think I would respect their work more if I saw that they were more interested in creating art and less interested in fame. And that is what Julie represents, in my opinion. Her work ethic was and still is clearly guided by passion. The ora that she possesses could cure cancer, if that was humanly possible.

One day, I hope to meet her. Just to see her smile in person.

I will forever be indebted to her.

Why I love to cry.

The socially acceptable rule about crying is that it can happen in public if young kids are upset, or tragedy strikes a mass group of people. Besides that, it is uncommon and often taken negatively if a person were to burst into tears on the street. In my experience, people tend to give a side-eye glance at a crying loser and say nothing to them because it’s too much emotion for every day life. I am also guilty of reacting this way. We are all so busy with our stoic lives to acknowledge a person who is in need of care.

On the other hand, maybe that person doesn’t want to be bothered. Maybe they would rather be left to their tears and given the chance to let their feelings out alone. How are we to know, right? So the only explanation is that we shouldn’t help each other in this situation… huh? I’m still questioning this statement… need more time to figure it out…

I try to be aware of the last time I cry so that I can schedule sadness into my busy lifestyle. That means, once in awhile, I have to do what is known as “emotional hygiene”. This article talks a bit about it. I think it means we must take care of the sad feelings just as much as the happy feelings. As we go through the ups and downs, the benefit of being emotionally open will help us purge. If we hold things in, we are adding unneeded pressure to our capacity to be patient. Making things harder for ourselves. Thus, the ability to let out our emotions is one that is intellectual. At least that’s what I tell myself when I want to scream at the tops of my lungs because of Donald f**king Trump.

I love to cry because I find peace in complete despair. In some weird way, I am willing to cry loudly and proudly if it means I will feel better afterwards. I like the deepest downs because it means the highest ups are next. The comedian Louis C.K., who definitely hasn’t been behaving properly since he started his career, explained my thoughts so well in this video on Conan. I don’t want to promote him anymore but no one else has been able to put this in words. We all want to feel high as the sky but I think we should also feel grateful for when we are down like the ocean floor. It’s scary and vulnerable but doesn’t that make us more susceptible to controlling ourselves? If there is a moment where we need to stretch our emotional boundaries, the next time will be better because we learn how far we can go and we learn about our natural instincts. If no tears leave our eyes, it means that we are (literally) closing up the ducts and causing our minds to work harder to be less genuine. I think that’s why I love crying. It’s authentic. And full of reality.

Through the journeys of happy and sad and everywhere in between, I need to remember to take the time to acknowledge my feelings, the feelings of others, and why we need to have feelings.

“When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.” – from the song Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars.

MOMENTUM Film Critique

The film MOMENTUM boldly describes a man’s connection to movement in an astounding way. Boris Seewald, the director, manages to introduce the principal character, Patrick, without giving away the real secret behind his personality. I was very intrigued from the beginning as to what Patrick wanted to share with the audience, and I felt confused about why the location of an empty house would be the ideal environment for this story-telling. However, his colloquial dialogue and mannerisms gave me the impression that the setting would not matter; he is going to tell an interesting story, nonetheless. As well, the addition of the mother character is brilliant for a half-way twist and keeps the audience engaged as they watch her dance moves and listen to his words.

While Patrick talks to a person who is off-screen, the audience is treated to a very calm opening sequence with no extra sound but Patrick’s cheeky voice. He begins his silly story by talking about nacho chips as being the thing that initiates his urge to dance, and slowly we see that he cannot describe the story unless he moves around. He gets to be at a loss for words, so he starts moving in a frantic manner. Then, he explains that anyone has the tendency to move when the urge comes around and his mom, who sports two elegant outfits, is also included in the dance party. Together, they spin, punch and smile their way around the abandoned house as a music track picks up and leaves are thrown. With the music at a rapid tempo, the two shakers seem to be dancing like no one is watching, and projections are displayed behind them. Patrick finishes by declaring that his inspiration comes from nowhere but a tortilla chip.

The whole film has a nice crescendo to it in that it starts with a quiet conversation with Patrick. The audience is able to hear him on a personal level, and then get transported to his world of movement and drumming. I think it is well-structured in that sense. The message also resonated with me not only as a dancer but as a human because I understand the concept of finding rhythm in any conceivable way. It comes from inside of our bodies, and the story of Patrick’s nacho adventure is very relatable to his audience. As well, I like the use of leaves and in some ways, the leaves are also a character. When they are tossed up, it shows a clear example of momentum and randomness, similar to Patrick and his mother’s moves.

In terms of what I did not like, I am confused about why it is shot in what seems to be an empty house. It feels too bland and does not make sense as to why Patrick would be telling this story in this location. The characters are blocked off from the rest of the world by being in a closed setting. In my opinion, it should have been shot outside in a park where we could see other people walking by or stopping to join the dance party. Also, due to the fact that his story is about a high school dance, I feel as though the music that is played in the background is too intense and probably would not be the song playing at the disco. A better choice would be a pop song that could bring life to his story a bit better, instead of using drumming noise that reminds me too much of tribal dancing.

To conclude, I am amazed at how a simple story can be so captivating and why the director chose such a unique inspiration within a nacho chip to make a film. As well, I think the actors were so committed to the outburst of dancing and held nothing back, which made the message very clear: movement can come from anywhere. Although the location and music did not quite match the film’s charming personality, in my opinion, I think the film did a wonderful  job of starting off slow and building up to a climatic and exciting ending.

“Everyday” by High School Musical 2 Cast

This isn’t a very popular song to choose from the High School Musical franchise. Most people would quote “All in This Together” or even “Bet On It” before they would think about this song. For me, it was the song that made me cry when I watched it for the first time and it still gets me teared-up when Troy sings that opening line. I am lucky to have grown up on these movies and to have had role models in Gabriella, Kelsey, Taylor and Martha.

The emotion that comes with this song brings together the friendships of Troy and his class-mates, Gabriella and Sharpay and helps gives Ryan an opportunity to shine. Yes, the finale song “All for One” mixes an up-beat rhythm with some glorious dancing, but I can’t help but love the vibe of Kelsey’s piano instrumentation. It is subtle and sweet at the beginning and then hits it home with feelings of teamwork at the end.

There are so many lyrics in this song that encompass positive affirmations for oneself. Lines like “We’re not gonna lose, ’cause we get to choose. That’s how it’s gonna be”, and “There’s more to life when we listen to our hearts. And because of you, I’ve got the strength to start”, boldly express the confidence young teens need to get through the scary parts of their lives. It’s phrases like these that are needed more than ever for teens to grow into self-assured individuals. Teaching teens that their friendships and other relationships are so vital to developing as a human, and in addition, they must look to love for guidance. We require so much love to be happy and we all have the capacity to give it back to others.

With Gabriella’s logic, Taylor’s organizational skills, Kelsey’s musical genius and Martha’s optimism, I have been able to watch these characters problem solve and experience struggle in their lives. It really is different from the female characters that are shown on Disney Channel nowadays. I am speaking about certain characters who all look like supermodels at age 15. The main characters from Liv and Maddie do not strike me as girls who seriously struggle with making friends, and Zendaya’s character in KC Undercover is an example of an over-extraordinary girl. These young girls aren’t normal, and aren’t going through normal problems as teenagers. What happened to issues of bullying, exclusion, artistic silence, or even just having zits?

Another major bonus of growing up in the years that I did is the choreography of Kenny Ortega. He handled The Cheetah Girls, all High School Musical movies, and other iconic movies. The care he took with this song makes me very grateful that he wasn’t lazy with his work. I found this video a few months ago and had a full-on smile-fest watching the cast rehearsing in sweatpants. Kenny truly wanted to create a movie that would influence a complete generation of budding teens and it is clearly displayed that he didn’t take things lightly. If he had put less effort and produced a film with a confusing message or negative themes, it would have changed the way we (as ignorant kids) saw the world. I honestly believe that. It would have been completely different.

As for the future of Disney Channel? Well, I hope that the directors, producers, choreographers and cast know that value of what they are creating. It is super important for the generations to come that kids and teens are influenced in the right way. Proper morals, polite talk with others, and hearts set to love everyone. Everyday.

Death Finds a Life (The Book Thief)

What is lost when one dies? Although it seems that his/her passionate soul disappears, the ones who mourn them still feel the person’s presence like a sweet fragrance in the air. The hair clip of a young girl holds the memories of her caring smile. The medals of a fallen soldier will still shine enough to remember his or her loyalty. During times of war, the smell of death lingers constantly, reminding citizens to focus towards bright love in the darkness that surrounds their country. Historic authors such as Markus Zusak incorporate the relationship between violence and compassion through the eyes of their narrators. Relayed by Death himself, The Book Thief shows how vulnerability brings Death closer to humans, yet he stays strictly passive, magnifying the reader’s sympathy for the characters in the novel. Set during the Holocaust, Death demonstrates no power of what unfolds, reveals his intrigue for the complicated minds of the characters, and becomes emotional and human.

Specifically, Death lacks the abilities to control the storyline, because his meticulous task is to steal all of the deceased bodies. He is on a tight schedule with no time to alter the destiny of the characters, as Claire Rosser writes about in her review of the novel. She discusses that, “[t]he narrator is a Being who is with humans at the moment of death, who carries their souls away. (…) It’s a busy time for the narrator, of course, in the middle of a world war, with bombing, the concentration camps, and all the death and destruction” (Rosser). While Death stands by, young children, like Liesel Meminger, are dealing with the scary events that rush so quickly in front of their inexperienced lives. He is not capable of saving dying Germans or killing harmful enemies. Therefore, everything that happens to the characters is their destiny, making the reader feel more sympathy for the atrocities of the Holocaust that Death does not initiate. Even though one would usually want to blame death for ruining lives and digging graves, this alternative Death is powerless. In addition, the soldiers suffering through the Second World War face ultimate decision making. During their travels by truck, Death silently watches them fight over a seat that they do not realize will be their doom: “One seat, two men, a short argument, and me. It kills me sometimes, how people die” (Zusak 464). As jobs are assigned, the other soldiers are risking the chance that their lives could end just based on where they sit in a truck. Death becomes the wallflower, tagging along for the ride. The characters control what they do and where they go, while the narrator sits on the side lines waiting to be assigned the job of carrying dead souls. Consequently, readers cannot accuse Death for the death of the characters. It is all up to the choices they make. Thus, Death is silent throughout the novel, designating his inevitable appearance solely for picking up dead spirits that chose the wrong path.

Not only does Death stay out of the way of the characters’ lives, Death discovers more about the humans he fears so much, as Liesel’s story is told. Her thievery of Germany’s books casts a haunting effect on Death, and while reading her adventurous journey, her reactions confuse him. The narrator monitors Liesel’s reactions to the deaths of her friends, and he comments particularly on her appearance. Though the aftermath of the bombing is traumatic enough, Death sees Liesel search for her family. He says:

“It amazes me what humans can do, even when streams are flowing down their faces and they stagger on, coughing and searching, and finding. (…) I realized at that moment that she was not wearing any shoes. What an odd thing to notice right then. Perhaps I was trying to avoid her face, for the book thief was truly an irretrievable mess” (Zusak 536-537).

Struggling to reunite with her family, Liesel uses her courage to find their bodies. Death notices her irregular qualities, showing that Liesel is his immediate target of interest. He never seems to get bored of the book thief, and her choices help him to conclude more about humans. Even as he is foreign to the humanist choices of the characters, Death is intoxicated by Liesel’s power. The story she writes gives him clues about the astonishing perseverance of the characters. Death is drawn to her, although her strong mind is void of the thought of giving up and dying. Also, in a review of the novel, Karen Breen describes Death’s attraction to Liesel. She writes: “In his many travels around the continent, Death becomes mesmerized by Liesel Meminger after her brother dies and she’s given over to a foster father (…) Death attempts to understand the dueling human compulsions toward great evil and great generosity” (Breen). That is to say, humans are complex characters; it would be quite difficult for Death to fully comprehend the motives of the characters he observes. With invisible eyes, Death’s attention stays glued to Liesel during her life. Liesel finds comfort in the words she reads, although she steals these books from other people. She chooses to solve her frustration with the war by making “her” books speak loudly for those who feel silent and hopeless. In the most perplexed manner, Death watches her riskiness and gradually becomes less afraid of Liesel. All in all, he is scared of the compelling characters he sees, yet Liesel becomes his muse as he starts understanding the human race.

In addition to Death’s confusion, Zusak utilizes the personification of his narrator to give him human-like qualities, shaping Death more like a human than Death thinks. Writer John Green explains in his review of The Book Thief how Death’s narration incorporates surprising fondness as he reads about Liesel’s life. He declares that, “[t]his is no Grim Reaper- we have here a kinder, gentler Death, who feels sympathy for his victims” (Green). Accordingly, the concept of death usually is described with themes of the Grim Reaper and hell. Instead, Zusak is able to oppose the conventional idea of death, injecting humanity in the narrator. The feelings of love and admiration for the dying characters infuse colour in Death. He participates in the mourning of passed loved ones. Although there is darkness and gloom during the war, Zusak focuses on the thought that Death just wants to bring the dead souls to a happier place. He knows his job is a crucial part of the journey out of life, but Death is considerate of the ones he picks up. Also, Death reveals his emotion towards the deaths of the characters. As Liesel’s friend Rudy is dying, Death reflects on his jovial personality, unveiling his tenderness for the young boy:

“On many counts, taking a boy like Rudy was robbery- so much life, so much to live for- yet somehow, I’m certain he would have loved to see the frightening rubble and the swelling of the sky on the night he passed away. He’d have cried and turned and smiled if only he could have seen the book thief on her hands and knees, next to his decimated body. He’d have been glad to witness her kissing his dusty, bomb-hit lips. Yes, I know it. In the darkness of my dark-beating heart, I know. He’d have loved it all right. You see? Even death has a heart” (Zusak 242).

With regards to the fact that Death is literally sucking the life out of Rudy, there is so much compassion for the boy. Death feels badly for the life Rudy will not be able to have, including playful risk-taking and moments of true love. Even though violence is striking citizens all over Germany, the concerned narrator realizes that the colours and atmosphere of the war would have been tolerable for Rudy, with Liesel beside him. Death knows the power of love, and he displays his vulnerable side. Contrary to stereotypes, Death’s role of the narrator forces his personal emotions and feelings towards the characters to be visible.

Above all, Death cannot puppeteer the characters in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, but he follows along, observing their lives and deaths like a bystanding human. He is curious of the choices that they make, and vulnerable to the fact that no matter how hard he tries, he can never choose for the characters. However strict his job is, Death always softens his heart for Liesel’s delinquency, and Rudy’s jovial distinction, even after they die. The impact of a person’s death is enough to reshape the way one views the cycle of life. Does the empty body of a corpse mean all emotion has seeped out of their bones? Saying that passion is slaughtered out of a deceased body is an ignorant concept because only by dying can one know what happens after death. However, dying people must be optimistic that as their breaths subside the true warmth and compassion that steered their lives, day by day, never gets destroyed. Thus, the ones who live on this cold-blooded earth can remember, even in times of hatred and violence, the powerful hearts of those who died. These hearts will continue to beat… unliving, forever.

Works Cited

Breen, Karen. “Best children’s books of 2006”. Rev. of The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. Kirkus Reviews 74.23 (1 December 2006): 16. Gale Database. Web. 20 March 2015.

Green, John. “Fighting For Their Lives.” Rev. of The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. The New York Times Book Review. (14 May 2006): 26. Gale Database. Web. 20 March 2015.

Rosser, Claire. “Kliatt.” Rev. of The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. Kliatt 41.3 (May2007): 30. Gale Database. Web. 20 March 2015.

Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. Print.

2018 Update: I wanted to share this because “The Book Thief” is currently in the works for a musical adaptation!!! Check out this video from Playbill.com for a recently released song (with the charming Luca Padovan playing Rudy and the elegant Isabella Russo as Liesel!!!) 🙂

Tumbles and rumbles and bumbles.

As a person who studies movement, musicality, and force, my favourite moments of life are when I am being controlled by outer forces. Within reason, I love the feeling of rollercoasters or plane rides that may be turbulent, and it gives me great joy to feel out of control for a bit. I am able to relax into the waves of push and pull.

I love to be dragged by my friend on the floor after a night out.

I love the way this video is sculpted.

I find comfort in the bumpiness of rollercoaster rides because I know that I am stuck inside a seat and there is no where to go. Yes, they can be scary at times but if I trust that the engineers and crew have designed it specifically for safety then I can just enjoy myself. The slow up towards the big first drop allows for gravity to be felt at full capacity. There is so much force pulling me down but the ride just keeps going up. Then the drop happens and we follow gravity like a servant. I feel so in-tune with the Earth’s pull that my mind goes to my happy place and my organs settle down for once. They aren’t fighting anything, unless, of course I had a full meal beforehand. Otherwise, I let the ride do its job of sending me around, about, and through wind. It’s magical and peaceful. Like a yoga class with more seatbelts.

Another fleeting moment of uncontrollable happiness is when a plane takes off and lands. The start of an airplane experience begins with a huge jolt backwards into the cushion seat. My immediate reaction would be to fight this feeling and find my own posture sans force, but I let go of any tension in my back to allow the ascend to be pleasureful. Eventually, the plane starts to go down toward ground level and the few seconds where the plane has to defeat itself and come to driving speed I release forward into a glorious contraction, almost hitting the seat in front of me. It’s so wonderful! My body has completely given up!

Finally, the last moment I will share with you comes from my time in California at a beach that I forget the name of. The group of people I was with didn’t feel too keen on swimming but I was drawn to the water. The waves were extra crazy and the sun was warm on my pale skin. I found my footing in the sand and took a selfish amount of time to submerge into the water. Getting out far enough, my mind raced to where the water must be coming from. The Pacific Ocean, nonetheless, but where exactly did the current start? I belonged there, I thought. Even though I wasn’t quite far out, I still felt separated from my friends. It wasn’t a dangerous amount of space but it was safe enough that I could feel personally attached to the salty waves. Sun shining, waves going, and suddenly I forgot that I had legs to stir myself. I just went along with where ever I went. In fact, one big wave brushed my sunglasses off! I tried to search for them but knew there was absolutely no use. Oh well. My mind settled back into its seashell and the waves took their time to carry me to the shore. Stepping on the sand again reminded me of when you step off a treadmill and it feels weird to be solid in your gait.

“Oh there ain’t no diamonds in the boredom. Oh there ain’t no darkness that I fear. Oh there ain’t no way to say I love you more, so be clear, just to be clear.” – Ben Howard

Bo Burnham.

The influences in my life that are humans are as follows (in no particular order):

Bo Burnham, Kaelin Isserlin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miley Cyrus, Linda Garneau, Evan Peters, Julie Andrews, Lady GaGa, and my grandmother.

I will attempt to explain my reasons for why these people have a greater influence on me than others. Hope it functions properly.

The guy who wrote a song about being a straight, white male and got away with it.

If you’ve seen his performances on YouTube or Netflix than you understand that his type of comedy may not work for some people. It delicately balances such a fine line between psychotic and socially acceptable. And that’s why I can’t get enough of it. If you’re a sensitive person and you go see him live, you’ll probably end up leaving the theatre with less emotional triggers. This is because his comedy puts the cultural, racial, sexist, religious and other problems in the world and scales them down to a grain of sand. They are mere jokes that are involved in his act.

There seems to be so much over-reaction about certain political statements which I think is necessary for our society. However, when Bo describes these kinds of arguments, he makes sure to include a clever wit. For example, he sings a four minute song in his comedy special what. as if God himself, the highest power, gives no sh**s about the rules that make up Catholic religion. Bo’s song flips around rules like not eating pork, masterbation, and he even goes as far as to say that aliens in heaven are much better to hang around than humans. If anyone was going to write a song about what God is actually thinking, this is the way to do. Go watch it.

Also, when Bo seems to step over the line a little too much, he makes sure to finish the joke and then further explains his intentions as a little coda. I believe that not only shows his professionalism but his dedication to the art of comedy. When he included a song about suicide in his most recent special titled Make Happy, I was nervous about how to react. Has this guy finally gone too far? The first few verses of the song are horrid and very blunt. To a point where if you don’t hear the rest of the song, you would definitely disrespect Bo for pessimistically using suicide as art. But during this time, his eyes are basically closed as if he is talking to himself rather than the audience. Bo’s inner voice comes out and he gives us a glance at why his comedy is closely linked to his own troubles. Then, as the next verses come in, Bo reconnects to his audience to check in on how they are doing. Like me, most people in the audience seemed stunned and awkwardly laughed… uncomfortable situations get people intrigued. Another clever idea from Bo. So, he comes back to the social aspect of his performance and declares that if there are people that feel like killing themselves then the best thing to do is get help, and speak to professional therapists. He proves the point that songs from pop artists are not interchangeable with real-life counselling, and his final joke is that people who get their help from Katy Perry’s “Roar” should rethink their decisions BIG TIME. So clever and personal all at the same time.

Rather than give you another example from Bo’s songs, I will move onto the philosophy of his poem “I F*** Sl*ts”, also from the what. performance. I know, I know… where are you going with this, Brianna? Stay with me because I know it can be difficult to link crude phrasing with philosophical wisdom. When he sets up this poem, Bo makes sure to tell the audience that it will be sappy and romantic, and coming from a male it might seem off-character… right? Nope, it’s perfectly on-character because guys have so many feelings that I think are stronger than female ones. In fact, these feelings are so strong that the only way for them to handle their insecurities towards women is to call them sl*ts and refer to their testicles as nuts. Here, Bo turns into what I think is the teenager version of himself and gives himself the freedom to say whatever his horny heart desires. He is a little boy who wants his reproductive organs to have sexual interactions frequently. I get it. Lots of boys do. So why do we force men and boys to silence their desires? Well, because they don’t have the f***ing willpower to be nice about sex (I digress).

As for Bo, I feel so influenced by his comedy and his performance quality because he scares people in the best way possible. He grabs your attention and then makes you think super hard about the human condition. I want to do that.

It is so appealing to me that he was going to study Experimental Theatre at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Due to his success as a comedian, he didn’t end up attending the prestigious program but, I can see why his eyes were set on experimenting with what it means to create theatre. Changing the game one joke at a time, Bo is able to turn politics into art and comedy into philosophy. His thought-provoking shows will continue to influence my creativity and I really hope he puts something new out for us soon. When he’s ready, of course. No point in rushing intelligence.