Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dear Santa,

(To the Reader: Don't let your younger children read this forward. ;) I am almost 21 years old. Since I have been able to make sense of putting pen to paper, my mother has insisted that every Christmas I write a letter to Santa. As a child, I took it for face value, entrusting that my parents would get my letter to the North Pole through the special deal all parents have with the postal service. As I grew older and the magic of Old St. Nick faded, I figured Mom would let up on the "Dear Santa" format, and just accept a list of things I wanted/needed that Yule Tide season. But no. Such basic, impersonal writings were rejected, with my mother saying something along the lines of, "Santa wants a REAL letter; not a demanding list." So, continuing on into junior high, and high school, and now my young adult life, I am required to write, text, or in this case, blog, a letter to Santa. Here is this year's rendition.)

Hello there, my jolly old friend! How have things been this year? How's the North Pole? How are those eight crazy reindeer? Most importantly, how's the Mrs. doing? I hope all are well. They deserve to be happy at your busiest time of year.

Anyway, on to the section where I ask kindly, and do not demand, some special gifts from the best gift-giver on the earth. It's taken me a while to think of all the things I desire this year; I've gotten into the habit of buying things for myself, and you know how I am about the whole "asking for things" thing. But, here goes.

For most of my life, I've been content to own basic tennis shoes for days I'll be on my feet, one or two pairs of dress shoes for Sundays and other dressier occasions, and random pairs of flip flops for summer... all the time. This lifestyle is WRONG!!! So. I would deeply appreciate a cute pair of rubber boots for those wet and soggy days we get around here every once in a while. I'd also appreciate money to help fund for other cute boots that I will buy on my own time. I'm way too picky to ask you to guess at what kind I want.

I'd also love to get some cake-building supplies. In particular I'd like an apron (preferably a cute one, but more importantly functional and long enough to cover me) and frosting piping tips. Anything else that has to do with baking and/or cake shaping would be cool, but the aforementioned will suffice. I've found that Michael's has the best variety (of supplies, not aprons), in case your elves have problems building the things themselves.

As my parents know, my organizational means in the basement are... limited. I'm really really grateful for the portable closet Good Friend Aubrey so generously gave me earlier this year, but I'm finding that not all of my clothes are easily hung up. If you could please give me a superdy cheap-o dresser from DI... or... ya know... scrap wood from your shop... that would be great.

Due to the fact that my laptop sometimes has issues downloading the latest versions of programs, I can no longer access the iTunes store. Traditionally, you have been gracious enough to give me an iTunes gift card, but unfortunately I won't be able to use one this year. If you still want to give me some form of funding for entertainment (which I would LOVE, I'm all for getting new music and movies) the best rout would be to give me a gift certificate to FYE. If at all possible, it would be great to figure out how to fix the problem with my computer, but I've already tried multiple things and none have worked, so... no biggie at all if you can't figure it out, either. I love my lappy, and I'm fine with it the way it is.

If we really wanna get splurgy, I'm always up for a starter on laser hair removal. But seeing as how I'm posting this in a blog... let's just talk about that later. :)

That sums me up! Thank you oh, so very much for considering my requests for Christmas this year! As usual, don't worry about getting absolutely everything on the list, just whatever comes easiest for you. The fact that you're still doing this for me is more than I could ask for, so I won't ask for more. I love you, Santa! I hope you stay healthy and happy in all your journeying in the next few weeks. Keep that sleigh up to code!

Love, Tanika

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dear Sanity,

I've written at least one blog a month since I started this thing. Seeing as how it's almost the end of November and I have yet to write anything, in case I don't get around to it within the next few days, this is my blog for the month. I can put you at ease. We won't have to add a little extra "in" to the beginning of your name.


Now I feel like a lame, pathetic loser because I haven't written anything worthwhile this month.

Oh. Well, I have time later today... ya know... after calling it a night...

I'll figure out something less disappointing in the morning.

Love, Tanika

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dear E vs. I,

I've been fighting this for a long time. I've always thought of myself as an Extrovert (E). But I am not. I am an Introvert (I). This may come as a surprise to many who have known me pre-college, because I seem so unbelievably outspoken half the time, and decently outgoing whenever else I'm observed. And that was true for most of my life.

However, looking back, I've realized that I seemed to be this way because of my upbringing, particularly in my schooling. I started out in preschool with many of the kids in my neighborhood. I knew almost everyone there beforehand. Then, going into kindergarten, I still had that same base of familiar people; just adding a few more. Because my family has stayed in the same house for almost as long as I can remember, and I never transferred schools or anything like that, I was constantly in a familiar environment. From elementary school, to junior high, to high school, I was never the new kid.

There were times when I had to try to make friends, but it was never a long struggle. If I had shy moments or there were times I felt excluded, I could always go back to that base of people whom I had known for years and trusted. Or, I would be swooped upon by those who were older than me and saw my potential, and I was included. By my senior year, I was completely comfortable and in my element, never needing to stretch myself outside of familiarity more than to include those who came into my world.

Then I graduated, and went to college.

For the first time in my life, I was not the top dog. It was the classic scenario of turning from a big fish in a little pond to a small fish in a comparatively large pond. In the theatre world, I had serious competition. I was not the best at everything. I became extremely intimidated by pretty much anyone who grasped things faster than I did. I lost a lot of my drive and confidence. Suddenly I found myself in large groups of people with next to nothing to say. Making friends was difficult, but it happened. Instead of being a member and leader of an army of comrades, I chose to spend my time with a few close friends, slowly getting to know them on an individual level.

Because I had known myself to be an extrovert for most of my life, it was difficult to come to this conclusion. In the last year or so, I've had people (mostly those whom I have allowed myself to become close to since college) diagnose me as an introvert, and I was almost offended by it. How could such a person who had been known to be so confident, so well-known, so LOUD, be an introvert? According to one particular friend, the best way to tell whether someone is an E or an I (thank you, Myers-Briggs) is to put them in a large crowd of people they don't know. Does this person easily go out of their way to introduce themselves to anyone and everyone in the room, or do they choose to stay aloof, barely speaking unless spoken to, and possibly finding one or two people to get to know?

Considering my background of knowing most of my peers in my childhood, I was rarely surrounded by strangers. I thought, because I made myself the center of attention in many situations, of course I was an E. Even in classroom settings where I didn't know absolutely everyone, I was always one to speak up. However, once I was finally put into multiple scenarios of unfamiliarity, I either became or discovered my Introvert-ness, for lack of a better word.

I am shy. It is difficult for me to put myself out there among people I don't know. Unless I know and am comfortable with all or most members of a party, I have a tendency to keep my conversations between a few people, or, if there is an intimidating element pressing upon me in the situation, I shut down completely. Once you get to know me, then you will discover that I still am that loud and confident person... but just with you.

So there you go, E vs. I. I can now comfortably accept the fact that I'm an introvert. And that's okay.

Love, Tanika

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear Eric Whitacre,

HOW did I forget about you? Please, oh please forgive me for this lapse in judgement. I've had With A Lily In Your Hand stuck in my head for the last hour, and I quite suddenly miss being in a high quality choir. SO much. AND it makes me miss analyzing in-depth poetry.

With a lily in your hand
I leave you, o my night love!
Little widow of my single star
I find you.
Tamer of dark butterflies!
I keep along my way.
After a thousand years have gone
you'll see me, o, my night love!
By the blue footpath,
tamer of dark stars,
I'll make my way.
Until the universe can fit inside my heart.

That being said, I would not go back to high school, given the chance. Aspects of it, yes, but it's not worth it to have to relive EVERYTHING.

Excuse me while I look up more poetry and music.

Love, Tanika

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dear Today,

Here are the things I learned from you:

1. It is ALWAYS the better decision to go to church rather than sleep.

2. Those ideas that I get that I'll never be married come from Satan, and I should really stop indulging him.

3. I have some really awesome women in my ward. I can bond with them.

4. I need to stop being so judgmental of the "culture."

5. Things are a lot easer to get done if I don't stop to think about how difficult they are going to be. 

6. Heavenly Father listens to my prayers, even when I don't realize that I'm really asking.

7. I know how to receive revelation, and I shouldn't doubt my most basic instincts and feelings.

8. I need to focus on the REAL reason I go to church, and not so much on the social aspects of it. 

9. I am a light. And it's okay to admit that I do a lot of things right, even when I do some things wrong.

10. By asking to be humbled, I am already on the right path to being humbled. 

11. Nail polish is a good conversation starter.

12. I know things. I should start expressing the things I know regardless of how those I fear will take them.

13. That being said, there ARE people on my side, who understand, and who will listen without looking to argue.

14. It is more important to be honest than to worry about what others think of me. If I am not honest, they probably aren't thinking good things about me anyway.

15. Faith is a usable object, not just an abstract idea. Faith moves mountains, even when physics says it can't. 

16. People who want me to be involved aren't out to get me. They just want me to be involved. 

17. Demeaning myself does wonders at stopping any sort of progress I may want to make. 

18. Waiting around for others to realize I'm drowning will only kill me faster. My salvation is between my Savior and me. 

19. "Fake it 'til you make it" does not mean I am lying until I figure things out. It means I am practicing those things I don't understand until I understand them. It is a leap of faith. 

20. This is my favorite line I've ever said in any show I've ever been in: "Make sure you understand a thing before you try to condemn it." People would learn to love a lot more if they practiced that advice from Hannah Whitefield.

21. I don't have to be surrounded by negative to be a positive influence. I can surround myself with positives, add my energy to theirs, and radiate all our energies combined. 

22. I am a positive. I know other positives. We CHOOSE to be positives. 

23. "For God so LOVED the world that he GAVE his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much that they both CHOSE to save us in this way. This was the greatest act of love ever committed. 

So, Today, thank you. I needed you more than I would have guessed when I woke up to you this morning.

Love, Tanika

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dear Facebook "Find your Friend" Picture Tagging Feature,

You just asked me to tag the wheel of my car.

Not the front one. Just that back one.

I love you.

Love, Tanika

P.S. I don't know what that feature thing is really called, because I have my facebook language set to Pirate. It's called "Mark yer Matey" or something like that in my tongue.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dear People Invited to Theatrical Events on Facebook,

It is a rare happenstance when a production is put on for one night only. Usually, they run several nights a week for multiple weeks, or even months. On the event page, the person who created it will most likely put the date of closing night as the end time for the event, as well as opening night for the start time of the event. That way, you will see and understand that there are various chances to see the show, and know exactly how many MANY times you could take one of those said chances and see it. This does not mean that you are expected to see the show every single night. We are not asking you to make the same commitment we have made to be there every night. We just want you there for one evening, maybe more if you choose.  We just want you to be able to see it; we're flexible that way.

So when you say you cannot make it to opening night, and therefore will not be able to see the show at all, you display yourself as an unobservant git who deserves to be shot.

And it hurts our feelings.

Love, Tanika

P.S. I don't really believe anyone should ever be shot. It's just frustrating when we are excited for people to come see our show, and it's dismissed because people don't take the time to realize what's going on. It's just a vent, and I apologize to anyone who is offended or now worries I'm a homicidal maniac.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dear Pop-tarts,

Thanks for not trying to be something nutritious for breakfast anymore. You are much better suited for dessert. I'll for sure try that ice cream Pop-tart sandwich on a stick thing.

Love, Tanika

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dear Bra,

I'm on a hunt. I want one of you that will give me the support I want (maybe with a little cleavage... is that so wrong?) without adding so much padding that I look like I'm about to tip over.

Also, I don't want to have that cut-in-half boob lookin' thing. That's just nasty. I don't wanna be spillin' out of anything.  Just... cleavage. I know that's difficult, but I believe it's possible to get this AND the above together.

AND, if possible, can you be a cute bra? Like... not a bra that says, "Hello, I'm a bra. And I am only a bra. I keep your stuff in place and that is IT, lady." I want one that says, "Hello, I'm a cute bra! Not that you're gonna be showing me off to anyone, but YOU feel cute because I am cute. So feel cute!"

AND AND, I know this is a tall order but... can you be for around $30? I'm willing to cave on this one, but it'd be really really REALLY nice to not have to go broke to have my chest look the way I want it to.

Do you exist? Can you just magically find your way to me? That would be awesome.

Love, Tanika

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dear World Outside My House,

Although it's only been two days since I've had the chance to physically acknowledge your existence, I'm already feeling like some sort of mute, invalid hermit type thing. Perhaps the drugs I'm on, which don't necessarily take away the pain but instead make me care very little about the pain, possibly making me care even less about everything else. Like the fact that I haven't changed my clothes in two days, let alone showered. Is that TMI? I don't care. See what I mean?

By the way, these pills also make me randomly dizzy, and therefore it's hard for me to go through my paragraphs and fix whatever sentences that aren't that coherent. Including this one. I'm sure I'll go through this blog again in a week or so and say to myself, "Oh, Tanika. WHY did you think it was a good idea to write a blog while under the influence of whateverthecrapthesepillsare? Don't do that again, honey."

Then again, this may not be half as bad as I think it is. And the fact that I'm on pills, not necessarily the pills  themselves, is making me paranoid that I seem really really strange right now.


I want to thank those who have come over and visited me since my first put-under operation of finally getting rid of my puss-filled tonsils. First off, my fabulous Name Twin, Tanika Lee. You're a total sweetheart, and you MUST ACCEPT the love and adoration I have for you for checking up on me, texting my mommy the whole time I was at the hospital, then making your wonderful grandma drive you all the way down here to deliver a box and a half of Jello. It's been a life saver. I love love love you.

Aaaand then there's Taylor. Thanks for bringing a third of your movie collection over so I don't have to watch the same movies that I watch every time I get sick over and over, and especially thank you for sitting with me through two movies and then letting me sleep while you were still there. I hate being boring company. Thanks for just going with the flow. :)

Lovely Warner Sisters, Aubrey and Randilee. The Fun Shaped Jello was absolutely adorable! Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to stop by and give me a quick hello. You guys are pretty much awesome. I like that we're friends.

And of course, my parents and family have been stupendous caretakers throughout the whole thing. Mom and Dad haven't had a meal made out of solids at home since I've been here. It's times like these when you realize how much you really care about your family, and how much they care about you. And my family really cares about me. I'm starting to get the feeling that they may force me to take a shower sometime soon so I don't scare off the rest of the world anymore.

So, outside world, I know you're still there. I KNOW it. But, to be honest, the internet and tv aren't doing it for me. If you wanna come see me, I'd LOVE to see you. I don't know how entertaining it will be for you, but still. I'm gonna be bored for the next week. And in being on pills, and bored, and being in pain, and not being able to talk much, I've become rather self-centered. More than usual.

Yeah... that's pretty much all I wanted to say.

Love, Tanika

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dear 90's Grunge and Acoustic Music,

I'm having a two hour love affair with you. And you should be thanking "vh1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s." Just so you know.

Just some examples. I'm not in an angry/dark place or anything. It's just....Yay.

Love, Tanika

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear This Question,

"If you could go back in time and change anything, would you?"

Ya know what? People usually say (in response to this question), "No, all my decisions have lead me to who I am now, the good and the bad are all a part of me." And that's all fine and dandy for those people; I am happy that you're in a great place in your life. But there are really some things I wish I hadn't done, and there are ESPECIALLY things I wish I had done better. And I can repent, and have repented, which is AMAZING, but my life would be easier if I had made better decisions in the first place.

So, to answer this question, yeah. I would. I would go back in time and slap myself in the face and say, "Realize in your now what you are doing to me in my now! Listen to your parents! They are so unbelievably right! Follow through with something for once in your life!" I'm not okay with a lot of who I am today; it would be a complacent lie to say otherwise. Trying to fix what I've broken is difficult. It's already been hard dealing with decisions, or lack of decisions, I made for most of my academic life. There are habits I've created that, in my mind, are impossible to break. It makes me feel horrible.

I feel like I should have been one of those people who got perfect grades in high school, who strived for excellence, who got on honor roll and thought, "Oh, good. Another average semester." But I wasn't. There was a point when I just stopped caring. It got to the point where if I passed a class that had nothing to do with choir or drama, there was a celebration between my parents and myself. How... settling of me. And of my parents, but that's a bull crap psychological blame game to bring them into it.

Anyway, to this day, I can't stand to do homework. Even if it's easy. I've put up a mental block. The word "homework" gives me an ulcer. Every year, every semester, I think, "This one will be different. I'll figure out a great system of how to do my homework, and turn it in on time, and la de frickin' da," and something miniscule and stupid will happen, like I'll forget my book for one day, and I stop doing homework for the semester. And I fail.

Do you understand why I say YES to this question? If I felt like I had things really resolved with this issue, I'd probably be able to be everyone else with this question. It's not resolved. I'm probably dropping out of college because it's not resolved. And society says these days that if you don't graduate from college, you fail life and you'll never be happy, whatever.

I could keep going, but it's late, so I'll probably do the second half of this rant entitled something like, "So since I'm not your typical go-to-college type person, this is my plan" some other night. No comments because I haven't finished explaining myself.

Love, Tanika

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dear Cakes,

Why is it that when we're making the practice cake, everything goes near to perfectly, but when we're making the real deal, everything falls apart? This is my sister's wedding, here. I wanted this to be GOOD. I wanted you to be something I could be PROUD of. The cake for the birthday party was great; I got little to no credit for it, but it was great. I'll definitely get credit for this one, though, because it's the one that won't be all that amazing.

In other words, maybe I should just go grab a cake from the grocery store and call it embarrassing. Deal? Deal.

Love, Tanika

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Glorious Life,

I don't know what happened between today and yesterday, but despite still feeling a little bit sick, I am elated. I don't know what it is. Perhaps I'll make a list of all the things it may be:

Maybe it's that I feel so much better (health wise) than yesterday.
Maybe it was seeing that boy scout stuff while discussing Charlie's wedding cake.
Maybe it was tonight's episode of Glee (don't judge, Reader).
Maybe it was seeing many of my good old friends from Mattress.
Maybe it's my awesome antibiotics that look like party pills.
Maybe it's Lady Gaga.
Maybe it's awful popular music from 1999.
Maybe it's the rain, even though that's slowing up yard work.
Maybe it's that the family dog likes me best. (He sleeps with his eyes open, by the way. Creepers.)
Maybe it's my hair.
Maybe it's Sunshine. But that one is scary to think about.
Maybe it's because you just lost The Game.
Maybe my antibiotics that look like party pills really are party pills.
Maybe I'm on the manic side of some undiagnosed manic-depression. But that one's not fun.

Whatever it is, it feel like I'm being hugged by the air itself. It feels like I'm five years old. It feels like Disneyland without lines and everything is free.

The world is glowing, people.

Here. Have one of the most ironically hopeful songs out there.

Love, Tanika

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dear Tonsils,

This is really really bad timing for you to be red, swollen, and creating huge amounts of stones, thus making me hack and cough and think "Ow" every time I swallow.

Oh, did I mention that my doctor, once again, came up with no diagnosis for what's going on? It's not strep, and because my mom said, "Please let it not be tonsillitis!" during the appointment, he was too afraid to say what it really is, IF it is tonsillitis. So he did his usual "Well, let's slap some antibiotics on like a band-aid and send you on your way!" bit, and now I'm sitting at home feeling like crap.

I really should be outside doing SOMETHING with the yard to help out with Charlie's wedding coming up in a few weeks, but moving hurts. So I'm waiting for this woman to come over so I can type up and print out the addresses to put on the invitations that aren't even here yet. And my whole family is totally stressing out. And now I'm out of commission for the most part, because I can't get anyone else in my family sick three weeks before this wedding.

So please. Give me a break and just be healthy so I can go back to helping my family out. Please, oh please?!

Love, Tanika

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dear People who are/know people ages 3.5-18+,

This is my shameless plug.

This June, I am assisting at the UVU/Noorda Youth Theatre Summer Camp. It's a spectacular opportunity for kids and youth to learn about various aspects of theatre from highly qualified specialists, and a great way to meet new people, build self confidence and have fun! The camp runs from June 7th to July 2nd. You can sign up as many weeks of the camp you want with however many classes you want; basically in a "build your own summer camp" format.

Along with classes and workshops, the summer camp is producing three Theatre for Young Audiences productions: 

Super Student and the Case of the Water Pistol (grades 4th-9th)
High School Hamlet (grades 7th-12th)
The Secret Life of Girls (grades 10th-12th)

Auditions are being held THIS FRIDAY, May 14th. You can come prepared with a minute-long monologue, or just take one of the cold reads. They'll even let you say your name five different ways if you want; they just want to see what you can do. 

To register, call 801-863-8012. For details, click here for the Facebook event page and here to download brochures for full class/workshop schedules and information, SCHOLARSHIP opportunities and for online registration. I promise, if this sounds like an opportunity you or your friends may even be vaguely interested in, you should check it out and sign up for classes. You do not want to miss out!

Love, Tanika

P.S. In case you were wondering, the classes I'm assisting in are Story Book Drama for classes ages 3.5-4.5, 4-5, and K-1st grade during the 3rd week, Storytelling: Personal Tales for grades 10-12, and Improv for grades 7-9 in the 4th week. If you or someone you know are in the right age group for my classes! You know you want to come play with me.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dear Sentence Structure,

I love you. I wish people knew you better. It gets discouraging when I have to read a simple paragraph and I have to treat it like code so I can figure out what on earth the poor writer is trying to say. I'm not saying I'm perfect at sticking to your rules, but at least I use you, for the most part. Please, oh please, do what you can to infiltrate the minds of those who feel the need to express themselves through writing, yet have no idea how to put together a cohesive sentence.

Love, Tanika

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dear Emotional, Sexual, and Mental Frustration,

You're back in my life. Crap.

Love, Tanika

P.S. Have a cookie.


So now I have actual words to say on this subject. I find it insanely ironic that being emotionally needy is an extremely unattractive state of being, but in that state of unattractiveness, that is when you need people to be attracted to you the most. It's a never-ending cycle of needing people, and therefore pushing them away.

I have a new fear. I have a fear that I'm going to grow up to be one of those spectacular 40-something-year-old women who people always wonder, "She's so cool! Why isn't she married?"

I'm terrified.

Love, Tanika

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dear Reader 2,

I'm doing a small collection of mini letters I've written in my head in the last few days.

Dear Theatre,

Why is it that the 6-foot tall girl who is deathly afraid of heights is always. ALWAYS. The one chosen to do the complicated stuff on the extremely high part of the set? WHY?

Love, Tanika

Dear Men,

Is the following statement true? "If a guy wants to see a girl, he WILL do whatever it takes to see that girl." I'd really like to know, for the sake of my sanity. By the way, I'm single. And I should be dating a lot more. You should ask me on a date. I'm interested in you.

Love, Tanika

Dear Pirate Language on Facebook,

You make people's lives sound far more interesting than they are.

Love, Tanika

Dear "It" Girl,

You could seriously have your pick of most of the guys in the department. Pick one. Don't go all crazy white girl on him, and stick to him. Leave the rest of the poor male population to the rest of us girls. You don't get to flirt anymore. Chastity belt is now locked in place.

Love, Tanika

Dear Noorda Theatre Summer Camp,

Please, oh PLEASE, find a place for me. You have no idea how much I want to work for you. I don't care if it's changing diapers. I just need this experience this summer. Please, Please, PLEASE!!!

Love, Tanika

Dear Men (Again),

Fo shiz. Ask me on a date. I'll look pretty and try not to embarrass you and myself too much. And if you're repulsed by the idea of asking me out... please tell me why. I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong these days that makes it so impossible for you to think of me in that way. Ugh, I hate being one of those girls. Forget I said anything.

Love, Tanika

Thanks for letting me share!

Love, Tanika

P.S. Have you seen He's Just Not That Into You? Remember Gigi? I'm her. Without the exception. Heaven help me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dear Drivers,

If you are turning right at some place other than a stop sign or a traffic light and there's a turning lane, you don't get to slow down until AFTER you're in the turning lane. DO NOT slow down, and then get in the turning lane. You're begging to get rear-ended and flipped off. The turning lane was created for you to use for your slow-down time. Use it well.

If there isn't a turning lane, be kind and at least signal a few seconds before you slow down. And I promise, it isn't going to kill you if you don't come to a complete stop before turning. In fact, NOT coming to a complete stop is safer. I promise. Try it.
Love, Tanika

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear Ben Folds,

Despite the fact that whilst rocking out to this particular song I gave myself whiplash, it helped me out by being an outlet for my teenage angst:

So thanks. I plan on hiring you for a month to follow me around and make up songs about me as I walk. Just so you know. It's coming.

Love, Tanika

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dear People of the Performing Arts,

In order to save myself from becoming the biggest hypocrite on the face of the planet, please remember this particular blog is more of a vent than anything. If you're currently in a show with me, DO NOT read this blog.

In the rehearsal process, unless you are a director or captain of sorts, or have been told by a director or captain of sorts to do so (and ALL of your cast members know it), do not tell other people what to do. Ever. Once you do, you have crossed a major line as a performer, and there's no going back. You have created an unnecessary hierarchy in which you are the resented dictator.

I know you may think you are being helpful, and in some ways you are, but more often than not it will cause your fellow performers to resent you. Personally, if I were a director and one of my cast members started to take over, I would make a mental note to never cast that person again, and I would inform other directors of your tendency to control. Seriously, it's not a good thing to do.

If you notice that some people are doing things wrong, ASK the director to go over or clarify what you have noticed. Do not raise your hand and then make an announcement to the cast about it. Do not even utter the phrase "I've noticed some people doing..." Pointing out others' mistakes makes you a target. People will now watch you. And they will notice every single one of your mistakes. It's particularly funny when you make the same mistake that you've been harping on with others. And believe me, it will happen. 

You are a performer. You are part of the cast. No matter how significant your role is, no matter how well you've grasped a concept that others are not getting, you are not the director. The director is the director. Let them do their job. Again, if something isn't going the way its supposed to (notice that I did not say how YOU think its supposed to) go to the director. It's even more appropriate to go to the director privately. Unless it's a social problem that needs to be addressed for the well-being and unity of the cast and certain people need to be dealt with by an authority, do not mention names. Just name the problem. In question form. 

The only time it is appropriate to help someone is if they ask for it, and only if it's about something technical, like a certain step or part of a song. Do not help with character work. If they ask for it, tell them to go to the director. Also, this help should be on your and the asker's own time, not while the director is giving instruction. If someone asks for your help during that time, say, "I don't know!" in a kind and friendly way, then raise your hand. 

If you address a problem, and the director fixes it once, but people continue to make the mistake, this STILL does not give you permission to tell your fellow cast members what to do. Just ask to go over it again. This may make you look a little slow of learning, but that's better than crossing the directing line. In all honesty, if the director doesn't work the problem until it's completely resolved, it's probably a bigger deal to you than it is to them, and your opinion doesn't really matter. If the director does go over the problem again and again and people still miss it, chances are they realized their mistake as they were making it. At that point, it is their responsibility to resolve the issue themselves. Not yours.

A side note on a minor form of this breach: shushing. It's annoying. If the director is trying to get the cast's attention, sit quietly and be attentive to the director. Wait for others to notice what you're doing. If they don't, it's their loss. And focusing on their inattentiveness will only make you miss instruction more. It's amazing what apathy for a possible annoyance can do to your happiness level. 

In short, worry about yourself. Take care of yourself. Be friendly and sociable and helpful when appropriate. Good for you for excelling; lead by nonverbal example. People will like you a lot more, and people won't write blogs like this about you. 

Love, Tanika

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear Chinese Zodiac,

For years (most of my life, really) I've thought I was the Year of the Horse. But, alas, I have been horribly mistaken. Because my birthday falls before the Chinese New Year, it turns out I'm the Year of the Snake.

This has shaken my world, and now I feel I need to transfer to Slytherin.

Love, Tanika

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dear Icy Hot,

You smell like mint. My lovely mother bought some for me to put on my legs after doing so much bending and stretching at rehearsal, and I lathered away, in my room and with the door closed.

Not two minutes later, I heard one of my roommates say to the other, "Do you smell mint?"

"Yes!" said the other, "And is smells sooooo good. Do you know what that is? It's making me hungry."

"I have no idea, but I really really want some, too."

I've stayed in my room ever since, hoping they continue to hunger after the cream on my knees.

Love, Tanika

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dear Pandora,

Thank you.

You give me music (particularly on my "Home" station) I actually want. And if I don't want it, I can tell you and then you apologize to me. Then you never ever play it again. I should learn to be like you. Also, thank you for introducing me to artists in this genera I love so much. The genera I call, "Too good to play on the radio." I'm sure it has a real name, but once I look it up, it'll become this thing, and no longer the general essence of my life. Anyway, thanks for knowing it exists and letting me listen to it.

To make a really awful music cliché, you rock.

Love, Tanika

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear Spinning Beach Ball of Death,

Yes, I'm talking about YOU:

Also known as Marble of Doom,

You make my computer life a living Hell. Every time I see you, tension fills body almost to Hulk-like proportions, and I must do everything I can to not throw the nearest, blunt object at the screen. I find your beautiful color scheme mockingly ironic.

Love, Tanika

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dear Men in Relationships,

I have some rules for you. Kudos if you already apply them, but I know there are enough of you out there who aren't that this must be said.

1. When you are in a relationship, the person you talk to about your relationship the most is your girlfriend. Not your other friends who are girls. NEVER, EVER complain about your relationship to other girls. You have no idea how many of those girls are sitting there trying to be helpful when all they're really thinking is, "If she sucks this bad, why don't you just dump her and jump me already?" Unless you know some seriously cool, 100% complete lesbian, your best friend of the opposite sex should be your girlfriend. SHE is the one you love. SHE is the one you should want to talk to the most. If you need to vent, write in your journal. Then talk to your girlfriend about the issue.

2. You can flirt with other girls, as long as it's completely harmless and happens rarely. DO NOT flirt over facebook or some other public forum where your girlfriend can accidentally come across some comment you left on your hot friend's suggestive picture. That makes it really easy for both the girl you're flirting with and your girlfriend to read whatever you wrote over and over again. As I said before, you never know when that other girl may be really interested in you.

3. Emotionally cheating is still cheating. Even if you aren't doing anything physical with some other girl, if you find yourself wanting to spend more time with or talk to her more often than you do with your girlfriend, you have a problem. I don't care how close you were to this girl before you started dating your girlfriend. I don't care if you really think there's no way a relationship would work with her. If you had to choose between your girlfriend and this girl, and you have to think about it for more than 10 seconds, you need to reevaluate your relationship and have the guts to do something about it. This isn't high school. Friends don't come first anymore.

4. There is no such thing as "The One," at least in the sense of what that usually means. If you're going through relationships thinking, "Someday I'll find the one whom I will never want to cheat on. She'll be all I'll ever want, and suddenly I won't be attracted to any other girls. I won't stop looking until I find her!" you will continue looking until you become that creepy old man who lives at the end of the street that all the parents warn their young teenage girls to stay away from. Finding true happiness in relationships comes from choosing to focus those desires on that one person and making it work with this girl who's crazy enough to make it work with you, too. Love isn't something that can stand on its own; it must be cultivated constantly. You don't find the one, you create the one.

I know this could take a 180 and switch the genders of the situation. I just find that in my life, this is an issue with guys a lot more than it is with girls.

Also, I know some of you may be thinking, "Wow, this is a potentially seriously jealous girlfriend talking here." You may have a relationship where these offenses I've discussed are not considered as such. That's called an open relationship, and if it stays that way, you aren't going anywhere with this girl.   If you're saying you'll commit, then commit.

Love, Tanika

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dear Certain Customers of a Certain Restaurant,

I promise you, I will make the sandwich the way you like it if you tell me how to make it. Especially if you choose to call the sandwich you want by its name as stated on the menu, then give me whatever variation you want. We'll all be a lot happier that way.

Love, Tanika

Dear Reader,

A lot of the time, I tend to think in letter format; particularly when there are things I wish I could say, but for propriety's sake, I refrain. I've created this blog so that I may manifest those letters in my head to the world. It's more fore me than it is for you, so... have at thee.

Love, Tanika