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What a Month

It’s been almost a month since I last posted. A lot has happened, but much is the same. I can’t really complain because life is pretty good.

I figured this post should be about my upcoming summer events! There are a lot of things I’m excited for, but nothing more than music.

I have partnered up with an amazing songwriter, Richard Parkinson. He has written with quite a few people, my personal favorite, David Archuleta. He is going to be helping me get my demos ready to go, and putting together a set that I can perform. It is all quite exhilarating! I never thought the day would come that I’d step into a professional recording studio to put my work out there. This is what I’ve dreamed about since I was very young. I’m ready for this, but a lot of preparation has to happen before I can get anywhere.

Next point…I hired a personal trainer. I figured that if I’m going to be putting my best foot forward…better look the part too. He has been working me hard, but I know it’s worth it. I’m sore every time I come home, but in a good way. I need to look my best…this business is subjective. I’m happy with being me, but I want to be the best me possible.

I’m starting to put together my image. Thanks to my awesome friends in Los Angeles. They helped me decide on a few things I need to change to shape my image. It’s a weird process being told that your clothes suck, your shoes suck, and your life sucks. Not really. They we’re picky, but I needed them to be. The music business is a funny world, but I’m happy to have friends in it that give me great advice.

That is about it for my summer. I’ll be working, but focusing on music as much as possible! I need every ounce of my being to flow into these songs. I hope all of you will listen and give honest feedback. I’m ready to share!

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If I Could Go Back…

It’s late. I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m a long list of emotions at the current time of 11:48pm.

If I could go back in time right now these are some things I would change…

1. Choices after high school
2. Waiting to start college again
3. Accepting this VP position from HELL!
4. Losing contact with friends
5. Not going on a mission
6. Not focusing on grades until college
7. Any moment I felt inadequate
8. Not starting with Dean Kaelin sooner
9. Hurting my family, friends, and people around me
10. Forgetting who I am

Okay…after writing that list down I feel better. I wouldn’t change 90% of those things because they have helped me to grow. They’ve helped me establish my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I am a work in progress and all these things are for my good. I need to read D&C 121 again. That will bring me solace…

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Light at the End

After several weeks of not posting. (Life gets a tad crazy!) I am back. I’m sure you are all relieved, and aware, that my surgery was extremely successful and I can now breathe. It is a miracle that modern medicing can fix these things. I can honestly say that it was totally worth it and I recommend anyone to have it done.

This weekend has probably been one of the most difficult. I’m not sure why I’ve been in a funk, possibly post surgery blues (if there is a thing), but it sucks all the same. Valentines came and went, but unfortunately my valentine was down in LA. Kind of funny how that happened…thank you twitter!

Am I undesirable? Am I ugly? Am I unapproachable? I just don’t understand what it is that is making dating so difficult. Perhaps being a tad career obsessed has made me a dull boy. It happens to the best of us! I just think I need an outlet for a date or two.

I am working hard at the guitar and mastering songs that make me feel good. I hope to be playing at acoustic night very soon!

Music is soothing to my soul. I need more of it and it is the one thing that helps my emotions! If anyone is interested in a date, let me know. I would be happy to take you out…

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Sundance

This week has been absolutely crazy, amazing, and fun. I’ve been at Sundance all week and I can’t even tell you about the amazing things I’ve done.

I’ve met celebrities, gone to concerts, met beautiful girls, and gotten free stuff. This is what Sundance includes, but more than anything is about the movies.

This year I have been incredibly blessed to see several movies, all have been excellent, in their premiere glory. I can’t even tell you how exciting it is to see a movie before anyone else in the world has. It allows you to form your own opinion and doesn’t allow critics to influence you.

I will be writing more about my Sundance experience next week as I prepare for surgery. It will be quite the week!

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Sundance 2011 Review: “The Music Never Stopped”

There is rarely a movie at Sundance I don’t like. The selection is fairly broad, but every movie teaches me something new about life. This movie was no exception.

20 years after their son runs away from home, Henry Sawyer (JK Simmons) and Helen Sawyer (Cara Seymour) receive a call that their son has been found. Gabriel (Lou Taylor Pucci) is in the hospital in an almost comatose state. A brain tumor has destroyed many parts of his brain. The tumor is benign and removed, but leaves Gabriel without the ability to create long term memories.

Henry is completely detached from Gabriel because he feels that this is not the boy he remembers. He throws himself into work, at Polaroid, to avoid dealing with the everyday struggle that Gabriel presents. His boss calls him in and tells him that his future at Polaroid no longer exists. Henry is instructed to take the time he has and spend it with Gabriel.

A note is posted on Gabe’s cork board “Dad comes everyday at 10am”. Their relationship struggles until one night a nurse places headphones on Gabe. This causes him to get up and play the trumpet. Henry begins to research music therapy and discovers Dianne Daley. (Julia Ormond) She offers some hope that music will trigger something and help rehabilitate Gabe.

Dianne begins to work with Gabriel extensively and discovers that music from The Beatles, Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, and many other 1960’s bands brings him to life. He recounts several memories that help Helen, and more importantly Henry, to understand their son.

Henry trades in all of his records, in mint condition, for the music his son loves. He struggles to understand the appeal, but knowing his son is what is important now. The conversations between Henry and Gabriel begin to heal their broken relationship, and reveals that Gabe wishes he could have seen The Grateful Dead play. This pushes Henry to win tickets to a Grateful Dead concert on the radio.

Dianne’s work with Gabe progresses and he begins to associate things with beats of a tambourine. Henry hopes this will help him create new long term memories, but Dianne says that his memories are connected to songs he already loves. Henry feels that if Gabe could learn to love a new song maybe it would create the miracle he’s hoping for.

One night Henry suffers from a heart attack and is sent to the hospital. He doesn’t show up for his usual 10am appointment with Gabe. While in the hospital Henry calls the radio and wins the concert tickets.

Gabriel comes home for Christmas dinner and is reunited with his old girlfriend. This moment causes Gabe to have flashbacks of when they we’re together. Tamara (Tammy Blanchard) then reveals she is married with three kids, but Gabe doesn’t remember this for long.

As they open Christmas presents there is one gift that Henry is especially excited to give Gabriel. The tickets to The Grateful Dead concert. This excites both of them and continues the healing for them both.

At the concert Henry ends up dressing in tye-dye and a bandanna. Gabe is confused when the band comes out and Pig Pen is not on stage. Henry then tells Gabe that Pig Pen died several years ago. He doesn’t retain this information for long and asks again where Pig Pen is. Henry just smiles and listens as Gabe thinks he is sick.

The band starts up and they both sing songs like “Truckin'” and “Ripples”. Then suddenly a new song that Gabriel hasn’t heard before comes on, “Touches of Gray”. He dances to the song and loves it.After the concert they both reminisce about how much fun it was.

We then flash forward to Helen dressed in black and Gabe in a suit. He is running around his room frantically looking for something, but isn’t sure what. Henry has passed on, and missed his usual 10am appointment with Gabe.

At the funeral a boom box is brought out and “Touches of Gray” comes on. This immediately causes Gabe to cry.

As they walk away from the grave side, Gabe says to Helen, “Do you know where I first heard this song?”

Helen replies, “No, Gabe. Where?”

“The Music Never Stopped” was a story of despair, triumph, and miracles. The cast was perfect and gave performances that had the audience crying, cheering, and singing along. “The Music Never Stopped” is based on a true story and brought the entire audience to tears, myself included. Following the movie was a five-minute standing ovation for Jim Kohlberg.

JK Simmons (Juno, Spider-Man) gives an incredible performance as a father that learns to understand and love his son again.

Lou Taylor Pucci (Carriers, Horsemen) gives one of the strongest performances as Gabriel. The character is incredibly complex and you see every facet through his portrayal. In his Lou’s own words from the Q&A, “It was almost like playing two characters.”

Julia Ormond (Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Cara Seymour (An Education) give the perfect amount of support. They both are cheerleaders for Gabe and Henry and help to bring that dimension of real life.

I would have to give the movie 4/4 stars, because it brought out every emotion that I love in a movie. It allowed me to cry, laugh, and reflect on my own relationships. If you are up at Sundance, this is a movie not to be missed!

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Musical Me

Every week I have the incredible opportunity of working with an incredible vocal coach. Dean Kaelin has taught some of the most successful people in the music business. Dean’s students include David Archuleta, Carmen Rasmussen, and Julianne Hough.

It’s been an incredible, rewarding, and humbling to work with him. It seems like every lesson I get something new. I can now sing notes that only a few months ago seemed impossible.

I’ve also found my love for country music. It’s fun and has real meaning behind it. My life has taken an interesting turn in the music arena, but for some reason I feel like it’s the right one.

Is American Idol in my future? Probably not. I would rather take a traditional route. I will be hitting the studio in March, assuming I have recovered from surgery, to record some demo tracks. My excitement cannot be contained.

I will be doing a day by day recovery, but the minute I’m back to singing, you’ll know it!

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Sunday Funday!

Do you ever wake up on Sunday and dread what the day will bring? I know that I have, but recently it’s become one of my favorite days of the week. It just takes a little perspective to turn things around. There are many things coming at me this week and I worry I won’t be able to handle them all. Today was the day to prioritize. Therefore I will make a list, in order of importance, so everyone will know what this week holds for me.

1. Nauvoo Pageant Audition– Too many auditions to count, but this is the one that counts most of all! When I decided to come back to the church, I became obsessed with Nauvoo. I wanted to be there, live there, perform there, etc. Last year I auditioned for the pageant and made it to the final callback. Fortunately, the Lord knows what is best for me, and allowed me to get my wonderful job. (Which, by no coincidence, ends in May right before rehearsals begin!) I am determined to show them that I am ready! Not just with my finances, voice, or acting ability, but with my spirit. My life has changed so dramatically over the last year. I just couldn’t feel more right about this audition.

2. Chair Interviews– These are a time suck. My hope is that I will find the right person to fill this job. The last person was so wonderful, but I understand circumstances change. I just hope that I can hold it together this semester!

3. Possible Date– I’ve been thinking more and more about dating. Normally I am able to squash this idea pretty quick. Too many reasons to actually name, but here are a few. I am extremely busy, emotionally unavailable, socially awkward, and really focused on a career right now. So why date? I’m getting rusty and practice makes perfect. Fortunately I think I have found someone to ask out, no pressure, and just have a good time. We’ll see.

4. Bishop Interview– Honestly this one isn’t as big of a deal because I meet with my bishop quite often. That is until I realized that I think I’m ready to go to the temple. Not just for baptisms, I’m talking like legit TO THE TEMPLE! For anyone who knows me on an intimate level, this is a huge step for me and one that most people never thought would happen. Here I am almost 23 years old, haven’t gone through the temple, and no prospect of marriage. I’m sure there is a registry for this type of law breaker in Utah. And no, I’m not thinking LDSlinkup.

That is my week in a nutshell. May not seem as stressful as I made it sound, but it feels overwhelming day to day. These are just the responsibilities I throw on top of my regular ones. We’ll see how this goes…more to come!

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