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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I Have Wicked Bad Theater Etiquette

There are two sides to every story and here is mine. And for those who don't know, not only is Wicked a popular Broadway show, wicked is a word Rhode Islanders use to describe something that is in excess of. See what I did there? 

I was told I have bad theater etiquette while I was seeing Wicked in Providence last weekend. In case you can't tell, it struck a nerve with me so here I am venting about it.  

I've seen Wicked about six times and when I get asked to go with a friend of mine, of course I will take up the offer. The songs, the script, the story line... I love it all and know basically all the words because I'm a freak. 

The show starts and instantly, the same feeling comes over me and it's like your favorite song of all time is playing for two hours straight. There were two women sitting in front of my friends (who have never seen Wicked before) and I and turned around while Glinda and Elphaba were singing Popular and said with the snarkiest voice possible, "can you NOT." 

Excuse me? Did you really just say that. It's not like I'm acting like the theater is my living room. I'm civilized. I can act accordingly at a show so pump the breaks, lady. It's not nearly as bad as she was making it seem. 

Then once the intermission hits, she leans over me while she was walking up the isle and says with the most condescending tone, "you have bad theater etiquette." Seriouslyyyy.

Now I get it...you're seeing a show and if someone is singing along, it can get annoying. But lets be clear— I was humming along to two, maybe three songs, quieter than a whisper. Even humming is an over-statement. I highly doubt it was as annoying as she made it seem. I paid just as much for the seats and I am enjoying myself. I've seen the show a half a dozen times, dammit. Do you blame me? 

But that wasn't all.

Wicked Broadway

About 20 minutes later, a woman behind me taps me on the shoulder and says, "you are distracting me because you keep moving your head." Jesus, can I not do anything right? Good thing my friend had my back because I needed to keep my composure. Maybe my large head with big curl hair and the fact I'm 5'9 pissed her off. 

If you frequent the theater you are probably reading this and saying, "she is that person." But I'm not...at least I don't think. The people I was with even said both women were being over dramatic. There were kids rows behind me that I could hear but do you see me freaking out? NO, because they clearly have seen the show and are enjoying themselves because they paid for those seats to be amused for two hours. These women made it seem like I was belting each word, dancing in the isle and thrusting back and forth every time there was a beat. You want to snap at me? I'll show you loud...I'll show you distracting. 

Clearly I don't take criticism well, in this case. And while I am writing this I can kinda understand their frustration. I didn't just piss off one person, I pissed off two. So clearly I won't see Wicked again because I like it too much. So if you like a play and have seen it an obscene amount of times, I would discourage going for the thousandth time because people might get pissed. 

I'm mind blown by all of this. I take the intermission to vent to my friends to try and wrap my head around this. Was I that bad?  

In the second half of the show, I try to stay as still as possible. Reaching over for my wine made me nervous because I didn't want the woman behind me to throw a fit. I just tapped my foot instead. 

The show ends. The theater is piling out and while I'm standing in the isle letting people go before me because I'm a well mannered patron. The woman sitting in front of me who was behind me in the isle says, "just push her" to her friend. Lady, you've pushed the wrong person's buttons. But instead of going Johnston on their ass, I kindly let the entire row exit before me and I said in a very sweet voice, "OK folks, no pushing." 

In short, I have wicked bad theater etiquette and if you have an extra ticket, don't take me. Has anyone dealt with this before? Am I just a terrible person for liking Wicked so much? You learn from your experiences so next time, if there is a next time, I'll wear a straight jacket and put duct-tape on my mouth.

Am I sorry I distracted those women, yes. But am I sorry for enjoying myself, not at all.

Clearly, it's days later and I'm not over it, but I'll own my indiscretion.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Things They Don't Teach You In Journalism School

Maybe it's because I graduated with a print journalism degree, but I've experienced many things in my days as a broadcast reporter that I would have never anticipated I would be faced with. Granted, if I landed a job at a reputable newspaper, I suppose I'd be put in similar situations. I'm lucky enough to have found what I'm good at. I'm inquisitive, curious, a wee bit nosy and compelled to share with the public what is going on in the world around them. 

I've read somewhere that moments in your past guide you to your future and this couldn't be more true in my case. When I was in 6th grade, I decided to anchor the "Morning Announcements" at my middle school, basically just a newscast that was first thing in the morning while all the students were in homeroom. I would say the latest news, any after school meetings and sometimes what was on the cafeteria's lunch menu. U2's "Beautiful Day" was dubbed over a montage of video clips of a regular day at N.A Ferri Middle School. Little did I know those days I anchored the morning announcements will be the start of my path into journalism. Who knows, maybe I'll anchor the news for real some day. 

Back to the point of this post. I've learned a lot in the journalism program at the University of Rhode Island but here are some things I wish I had (or just forgot about)

News Reporter POTUS

1. You may meet the former President of the United States
I learned that you will come in contact with many people but I would have never thought I would be shaking the hand of Bill Clinton. He has come to the Rhode Island area so frequently while his wife is running for president, that it didn't phase me that he once was the POTUS. I've even been in the same room as Hillary and it is pretty bad ass being with people so powerful. If you work your way up to a bigger media outlet, you may even meet the current POTUS but for now, being new in the world of reporting in the smallest state in the country, I'm more than happy meeting anyone who ran this country. 

2. You will get criticized by so many people...just because. 
It is expected to get critics by people who read or listen my stories because not everyone is going to like the facts. I've gotten hateful emails saying how terrible of a reporter I am, calls threatening to sue me because they were mad I put public information in my piece. I've gotten calls (now that I switched from print to broadcast reporting) by some guy who told me he doesn't like how I say my last name. He continued with saying he and his 5-year-old daughter make fun of my name every time I say it. A lot of people have no time on their hands and want to criticize reporters' every move, why? I'll never know or understand. I was once told by my editor, "your feathers will get ruffled and if they don't, then you are not doing your job."

3. You will have to grow a pair
If you want to disappear in the crowd and have no attention drawn to you, then news reporting isn't the job for you. I've had to interrupt many speeches by moving my microphone, walk into corporate meetings while they have already started, asked very difficult questions to a very important person, and walk up to the podium while someone is speaking to change my batteries. Throw that awkwardness out of the window. I have felt so uncomfortable doing these many reporter tasks but it needs to be done. You have to have some big cajones to do some of these everyday things  and it's part of the job, so get used to it. 

WPRO News Talk Radio


4. Be over prepared
Extra batteries, umbrella, raincoat, blankets, mints, extra hair elastics, a phone charger and a second pair of shoes...the more you have the better. You will never know where a workday will take you and being under-prepared is the worst feeling in the world as a reporter. It happens to frequently but learn from my mistakes, always be prepared for any possible situation. 

5. Twitter is your best friend
There was very little I was taught about the wonders of Twitter while I was in college because times have changed since the pen and pad days. Most of my professors briefly touched upon social media in the industry but not many of them use it as a main source of news or breaking it. It is a rather new tool used by journalists to break news and gather information from a variety of sources. Nowadays, that is how a media outlet will break news and determine who was the first to do so, which is something every reporter wants to do. It's comical to see all reporters with their heads in their phones while a news conference is going on because live tweeting is what you do now then the full story comes later. It is a very useful tool so get yourself a work Twitter like I have (found here and please follow me!) and establish yourself in your state's press corp. Don't get me started on being verified. Believe it or not, that little blue check-mark next to your name means you are the real deal and I am dying to get it. Come on Twitter, verify me already! 

6. The amount of satisfaction there is after reporting news, especially of high importance
Any news story will affect someone in some way. The feeling I get when spreading word to the public on a story, especially a big one, is something I have come to love. Knowing I am the source of information to so many is what fuels my fire. Whether it be a recall on food products, sharing an amber alert for a missing child, telling the story of a 100 year-old in time for their birthday, any of these things will help someone in some way and I am more than happy to do so. If it weren't for news reporters, the hard questions wouldn't get asked and answers wouldn't be given for those who, in turn, can make their own judgement. I like to think that journalism is essential to democracy. 


Do what you love and love what you do. That's my motto for a happy life and successful career.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Average Girl's Guide to Getting Pumped for Pumpkin

Hello September

There are still a few weeks left of summer but with the start of September and back to school, it's basically fall already so it is time to prep for all of the fall goodness. I've already seen countless one-liners reminding me fall is approaching and pictures on my Facebook feed of pumpkin spice everything so it is officially time to start hibernation. 

Coffee shops have already launched their pumpkin flavored coffee and although I haven't gotten my hands on one yet, it is only a matter of time. The temperature has dropped a few degrees and I'm ready to trade in my maxi dresses for chunky knit sweaters. Nobody loves fall like basic bitches...I would know because I'm as basic as one gets. Here is a guide to getting pumped for all things pumpkin.

1. Wardrobe change
It'ssss sweater weather! No more worrying about looking bloated in that tight summer dress. Bring out the leggings and chunky sweaters, and you mustn't forget the leather boots. You won't miss those hot summer days as much as you think. Once you swap your clothes, you are already half way there to basic bitch-dom for the fall season. Did I mention blanket scarfs?! I basically live in mine from September to May. 

I've ordered these new booties because I can't get enough of nude booties for fall. You can find them here.
Nude Booties
2. PSL
Pumpkin. Spice. Latte. 

Fall hasn't officially begun unless you've gotten your hands on a pumpkin spice HOT coffee. There is something about a hot coffee on a chilly morning so trade in your iced coffee for hot, and don't forget the pumpkin! Might as well grab yourself a pumpkin muffin because you can never have enough pumpkin shit, plus you won't have to worry about your figure as much because your handy dandy chunky sweater will hide all of those extra calories. Personally, I can only handle one pumpkin spice coffee because it gets nauseating. I'll settle for pumpkin spice banana bread, or pumpkin spice granola.  

Yankee Candle Crisp Fall Night
                                   
3. Whip out the fall decor
I know it is still technically summer but now that it is September, I think it is totally justified taking out the fall decor and buying a new candle. This one I just got is perfect (check out Yankee Candle's new fall collection!) Soon I'll be able to put my fleece robe on, spark the candle and binge watch all my favorite shows because when fall comes, so does your favorite series! Now that the weather is colder, I won't feel like a P.O.S for staying on the couch all day because in the summer you have to be outside to soak up the sunshine or you're an asshole.

Oh! Bring on the blankets. The one above I crocheted myself. And yes I know, I should have dusted my side table before taking that pic. 

4. Crock pot meals
Light your fall candle and wipe the dust off your crock pot because the season hasn't begun until your first soup/stew is on the dinner table. And Jake loves short ribs but I can't make them in the summer because it will make our apartment way too hot. What better way to warm your place with the heat of short ribs braising for hours and the smell of the deliciousness. Maybe this weekend I'll make my first crock pot meal to celebrate the season.  

Fall pumpkin spice starbucks

5. Step up your Instagram skills
Fall wouldn't be complete without Instagram pictures of foliage and pumpkin patches. All of the orange. All of the hashtags. All of the pictures of your feet in leaves with a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. I love the Photoshop Express app. I don't usually put a crazy amount of filters on my photos but it has the best options to edit photos and especially brighten colors for that perfect fall pic. I've started to use the app over the last month because I want my Instagram game on point in time for pumpkin patch picking #aheadofthecurve


Alright guys and gals. Go out there are get prepared for fall because it is practically here! 

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