Lilah: What to do when it seems like there’s too much to do and you can’t do any of it

Take a walk

One of my favorite things to do is to walk (or jog, depending on how many wild turkeys are chasing me) through Brookline. It’s adjacent to South campus, and there are some magnificent houses. If your mom raised you like mine, checking out some sweet real estate is as good as watching TV! You can imagine yourself living in these mansions, and leave work at home for a minute. Taking a walk really is the best way to clear your head. You can listen to music, or just hear the birds chirping in this beautiful suburban neighborhood.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 10.25.08 PM

Find a tv show that calms you down

Personally, some of my favorite shows are also very therapeutic. For example, Chef’s Table on Netflix gets a bad reputation for having frivolous (but amazing) cinematography and pretentious cuisine. However, the dynamic cinematography along with classical music as the soundtrack is the perfect balance that calms your senses. Another show I used to watch was How It’s Made. If you like watching robots do stuff with, again, soothing music overhead, this show is a must.

Chef’s Table just released a season that only features chefs with a sweet tooth. I highly recommend it if you enjoy dessert.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 10.25.41 PM

 

Make lists

This point often escapes me when I see a mountain of work ahead of me. First off, looking at the mountain is much scarier than breaking it up into pieces. If you have ever seen What About Bob?, you’ll know to take “baby steps.” I recommend making a list that sorts out the days of the week. Then, you can make a separate list of “to-dos.” Then, start placing certain tasks into certain days. They may not be completely realistic goals, but writing them down gives you a sense of control.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 10.26.20 PM

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 10.26.25 PM

Call!!!!! Your!!!!!!!!!!!! Parents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would you believe I call my mother every day? It’s true! She’s my rock! Please, I beg of you all, call your parents. First of all, they miss you so much that they will probably douse you in love once you call. But, I look up to my parents, so they are there whenever I need advice. Even when I don’t need to talk about anything specific, I call my mom. Just knowing that they are there for you, even though they’re not with you, means a ton, and it will calm your nerves.

Lilah: The COMedy COMmunity

Over the last week, my improvisational comedy troupe, Liquid Fun, has been touring Chicago’s vast comedy scene. At Boston University, the comedy community welcomed me under its wings during the first few months. Since then, it has been the core of my social and academic experience. It always surprises me how many of us are in the College of Communications. Many of us, like myself, are Film and Television majors. I believe this is because comedy, specifically improv, crosses over with the television degree to a large extent.

IMG_3959

In Chicago, we frequently attended shows at Improv Olympic, known around town as iO.

Here, we saw the best of the best in terms of on-your-feet creativity and humor. It was very inspiring to see how successful people got at such a weird art form. I love improv, but it is extremely odd. I would not consider myself a great screenwriter, but improv helps a lot. For me, coming up with a script premise is extremely hard. However, I create about 10 scenes every time I have practice. So, it does push your creative side and forces you to form full story arcs within a short period of time.

Most of the players in these shows were pursuing acting, writing, and other careers related to film. I am thankful for the close relationship between TV, film, and comedy. I feel like, being in the comedy community, I also have a community of people within the TV/Film world that I can depend on in the future, either as friends or colleagues.

I will now gush about improv. Only having done it a year, I can feel that my personality has changed drastically, and for the better. Improv allows you to shed any hesitation you might have, and to go forward no matter what. This is extremely important when it comes to the entertainment business. When you are confronted with a situation that needs to be dealt with, it’s important to be able to stay calm, and to improvise. Because, and this is the truth (maybe not, I’m young, who knows), no one really knows exactly what they’re doing. So, being able to make do with whatever is in front of you is crucial in order to progress.

Aside from the business talk, I really do love improv. It is an amazing “sport”/”art” that is open to anyone who wants to try. In Chicago, there were events every night for the public. I have never laughed so hard, so many days in a row. That is why being in the comedy community is so integral to my life here at BU. I could not imagine not laughing as much as I do. When life is getting kind of rough, say, during finals week, you can depend on practice to lighten your day. No matter what is weighing you down, when you are doing improv, you let it I am utterly thankful for the friends I have made, and I cannot recommend these clubs enough for people coming to BU.

If you are coming to BU, or if you have already been at BU, and you have any inkling to do any sort of comedy, PLEASE DO! It is the best decision I have made here, and it will definitely continue on into my career. You will grow lifelong skills and values, and you will make friends that will challenge your wit and creativity. In COM, you will be surrounded by people who are involved in many of the groups on campus. The two work beautifully hand in hand, and it will serve you well as you progress in this track!

Lilah: Some Thoughts about Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving break brings many mixed emotions. Kids are thankful that they get to escape school at the apex of stress, aside from finals week. However, some dread going home to confront their odd families. This is especially stressful when you are a film and television major. I do not know what to do when family friends say, “So what are you planning to do with that degree?”  I was at a restaurant, and I ran into an old family friend and his parents. When my parents asked what his major was, he said business management. “None of that art nonsense in this family, no,” said his dad. “Zoinks,” I thought to myself. He then asked, “What’s your major?” to which I sheepishly responded, “Film and television.” He looked embarrassed, and so did I.

Personally, my family is entirely in the entertainment business, so they cannot judge my decisions like a third party. However, they can scrutinize every little decision I make because “they know best.” I am not completely sure what is best. I will say that, whenever someone criticizes your decision to pursue a communications degree, you must remember that you get what you put in. Like that man, a lot of people view the arts as nonsense. Sure, if I was a parent, I would love for my child to pursue something that had a stable income. Instead of instilling a sense of financial stability into my mind, my parents have always taught me to be headstrong and hard working. I have found that, with the qualities they gave me, success follows. As does happiness. On the other hand, I think the world would be way worse off if the arts weren’t there to distract from mundane activities or bad times.

On the subject of family, I must write a little love letter to mine. Everyone that knows me knows that my family is the heart of everything I do. As I grow older, I see that my family is morphing into a stereotype of itself. Our activities include singing around the piano and dance parties, exclusively. We are loud and obnoxious, but our bond grows tighter every year. As I left to return back to school, I realized how much I needed my family – especially during sophomore year, during which the “sophomore slump” can easily overwhelm you. When things are difficult at school, your family will always be there to support you. For me, calling my mother every day is the only way I can survive.

Overall, Thanksgiving brings you together with those you love, or those you dread to see. Just remember to defend yourself when someone says, “Oh…” judgmentally when you say what your major is. You are working hard here at BU, and you cannot let anyone invalidate your work. Also, cherish your family, because you do not know how often you will see them in the future. ALSO, despite how exciting or busy college life is, CALL YOUR MOTHERS!

Lilah: New Kid on Set

I have a story that epitomizes my time as a new Production Assistant this summer. I had the opportunity to work on “The Sinner,” a new television series produced by USA Network. I was the youngest person on set by 5 years, and I often misunderstood directions. Part of this is because a film set has a different language. This story has less to do with that language and more to do with my own ignorance, but it still shows how things got lost in translation for me during my time on set.

The Key PA had asked me to get our Assistant Director a “peanut butter and jelly sandwich, heavy PB and heavy jelly, triangle cut.” I enthusiastically ran to Crafty to execute the best PB&J this man had ever seen. For context, I never ate sandwiches as a child, so I am still pretty foreign to sandwich culture. I spend 15 minutes making this beautiful creation, bring it back, and a fellow PA says, “Uh, I think he meant cut down the middle.” I had cut the sandwich into a literal triangle, and I realize that I did not know what “triangle cut” meant. In my defense, I only started eating PB&Js in college! Sue me!

I left the sandwich by the door, and raced back to Crafty to construct another PB&J – cut down the middle this time. After 25 minutes, I hand it to my anxious AD and return back to my post. Suddenly, every crew member starts coming up to me and asking, “Hey, can I get an octagon-shaped sandwich?” Ah, another mistake: I left the sandwich on a bench, everyone got a picture, and word spread fast. From then on, that mistake was my trademark.

Although I was anxious about being the youngest crew member, it turned out to be an amazing experience. My naive mistakes gave other people a break from the stress of filmmaking. While I didn’t necessarily enjoy the torment, it reminded me about the nature of a film set. In the end, they respected me. I worked insanely hard for almost 4 months, 15 hours a day. A common saying for me was, “She’s young, she’s learning.” The crew taught me how to laugh at myself, and how to move on from errors. If you are ever the youngest person on set, use it to your advantage. Make friends with whoever crosses your path, because they want to give you advice. Being the center of a joke on set was truly amazing, because everyone learned the new kid’s name!

Here is a photo of the incident. Pictured next to me is our Director of Photography, Radium Cheung.

Lilah: Raise your end-of-the-semester spirits with these healthy tips!

As we head into the final days of second semester, it’s important to have time outside of the library or class. When crunch time comes, make sure you do little things that make you happy! I personally find myself struggling to balance between friends, sleep, and work. I’m sure I’m not alone. Aside from the daily conversation with my mom to keep me grounded, I need other activities that will allow me to fully enjoy my last few weeks of Freshman year.

Here are some things that, personally, relieve stress when I’m busy planning my schedule down to the minute.

1. Turn your phone off / Take a break from social media

It’s easy to take breaks from work by scrolling around aimlessly, but social media can also cause more stress! Take a break from the internet, and meet with friends instead. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s a difficult task. It is quite easy to get lost scrolling through every app for hours on end. Also, side note! Keep your eyes up on the sidewalk! You don’t want to run into this fierce New Yorker as she heads to class.

2. Take a walk / Go outside

When you live in central campus, you can easily stay within a 50 feet radius for weeks. I personally feel much better when I go outside (especially when it’s so nice now!). Going on walks is a really great way to clear your mind. Or, if you prefer to lounge around, the BU Beach is a beautiful place to lay down in the sun. Also, the COM lawn is a beautiful green area where you can relax with your COM friends! It is also important to explore the beautiful city that lies beyond BU’s campus. Especially as the year is ending, make sure to visit the places you never got to during the semester.

3. Breathing Exercises

It may sound cheesy, but when you’re stressed, breathing exercises help a lot. Take your mind off work, and let yourself focus on ~being zen~. At orientation, they taught us several exercises that help in times of stress. At that point, I was confident in my ability to defeat the end-of-the-semester slump but I was wrong! Remember to count your breaths… and your sheep.

4. SLEEP! SLEEP! SLEEP!

It’s so important to nap during this time of year. I’ve been strongly anti-nap my whole life, but here I am! Napping away every day! Don’t be a stereotype. College kids are allowed to sleep, too.

5. EAT! EAT! EAT!

Take a good portion out of your day to have meals. Whether you’re alone or with friends, mealtime is a therapeutic and necessary part of your day! Also, drink water. Always.

Lilah: Who’s Who in the Cooking Video World

I’m sure everyone has noticed the latest fad on Facebook: cooking videos. Instead of seeing Aunt Sally’s latest redecoration shenanigans, your feed is flooded with videos of comfort food being made in under a minute!

Well, I’m here to guide you in the right direction. As an obsessed viewer, I’ll tell you who has the best videos out there.

Delish posts the unhealthiest recipes, because they all include about 2 pounds of butter, cheese, or sugar. They’re fun to watch, but they can be a bit overwhelming. Delish posts a lot of food articles, so you’ll have to sift through to find the videos.

Cooking Panda does a satisfactory job, but again, the recipes are extremely unhealthy. Good to drool over, but pay attention to the ingredients!

They just caught onto this new fad, and they’re doing pretty well! If you’re feeling classy, head on over! They feature Food Network’s actual chefs, so it’s a bite size version if you don’t have cable.

The original popular one on the block.

Tasty has sites that represent many different cuisines, such as Japan, Brazil, France, England, and Germany. I find that they are pretty accurate, but many of them do not update often enough to satisfy my visual cravings! Within all the Tastys, the original is the best.

All in all, the only benefit to Tasty is the deep-rooted bond that some may have, but we must move onto the future!

Finally, the Queen of cooking videos. Tastemade gives a wide variety of cuisines, and they are all unique and faithful to the countries. In my opinion, their videos have better cinematic quality than any other site. Personally, I believe Tastemade Japan is the true winner. Aesthetically pleasing, out-of-the-ordinary recipes right at your fingertips. In second place,

Sweeten is one of Tastemade’s other sites, and if you have a sweet tooth like me, you should check it out. It’s all super sugary dessert recipes (watching pastries being made is the BEST).

I recommend that you try making the recipes! If not, just sit in class and watch them until your stomach growls.