It’s a gross understatement to say 2020 was a rough year so I won’t say it. Instead I’ll look forward to the new year with cautious optimism & lots of prayer. Speaking of prayer, I recently heard Joshua Aaron’s Hebrew cover of the song The Blessing, & it is a spiritual experience. It’s the perfect prayer to lead us into the coming year so I recommend you find a quiet spot, close your eyes, & let the song wash over you. Wishing you & yours a healthy 2021! 💙
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” ’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”– Numbers 6:22-27
As I was writing this blog post, the Gilmore Girls episode currently playing on my iPad, season 3 episode 7, referenced Riverdance. That is the best possible sign that today is a great day to support the Irish arts! Former Riverdance dancer Kincaid Stringer & his mother Shannon Kincaid, a painter, have teamed up for a great cause. They’re selling seven of Shannon’s paintings through Indiegogo for a COVID-19 relief fund; all proceeds will support Irish actors, artists, backstage workers & crews, clubs, concerts, cultural & event spaces, dancers, dance schools, festivals, musicians, performers, singers, theaters, & writers. I grew up dancing & singing so the arts are very important to me. Riverdance is the reason I asked my mom to sign me up for dance classes at the age of four so the Irish arts are also very important to me. Let’s not forget my Irish ancestors! 🇮🇪 The arts have done a lot for us in quarantine so it’s only right that we give back. You can choose to only donate money or receive a painting or two or seven in exchange for your donation. If it’s not already obvious, I’m buying “The Dancer.” Can’t wait to have a gorgeous Irish dancing queen above my bed! 👑 Please consider setting aside $25, or more, to support a great cause & get a piece of Ireland for your home. 💚🤍🧡
*NOTE: The Indiegogo campaign ends on September 17th, & the paintings will ship in November. Because of COVID-19, please consider that shipping could be delayed.
Irish people’s love of dancing has been well documented throughout their written history. In fact, one of the earliest references to dancing details a visit between the Mayor of Waterford and Mayor of Baltimore in 1413. The modern Irish dancing of today is no longer merely a processional combination of singing and dancing as an act of celebrating, but a sport that produces athletes that are physically strong, as well as creative and artistic. What was once a tradition specific to Ireland (as well as England, Scotland, and some parts of America) caught like wildfire in 1994 with the debut of Riverdance. The theatrical show consisting mainly of traditional Irish music and dance took the world by storm and has been a global phenomenon ever since. Now, twenty-five years later, the Irish dancing community consists of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people around the world today. Teachers from around the world have committed themselves to spreading their love and passion for Ireland’s traditional form of expression. Regardless of how far a dancer progresses competitively or professionally, being an Irish dancer is something that is inextricably bound to their identity forevermore. In this piece entitled “The Dancer,” you feel the excitement, the confidence, and the artistry that comes from expressing a centuries-old tradition that has touched the hearts of many. – Kincaid & Shannon
Ireland and Scotland combined have a rich culture within the performing arts, which has resulted in a thriving gig scene. Musicians are constantly pushing the boundaries in order to create new and fresh work that is often steeped in tradition. Many are staunch believers that musical traditions must be preserved as they always have been – the “play it like my father used to” kind of sentimentality. Yet, every generation brings a new wave of talent that feels that this attitude discourages progress and evolution. This debate between tradition and innovation is a tale as old as time. Still, many feel it is possible to honour your origins while also exploring and adapting to the future; they are not mutually exclusive. Irish music legend, Míchéal Ó Súilleabháinn, believed that traditions are never frozen, but rather are fluid. He believed that the idea of authenticity originating from a pure source located in antiquity was bogus! This painting is for the new wave of artists and musicians who are creating some of the most incredible new-age folk / Trad music in the world. Project Smok, Beoga, Talisk, Ímar and the like are leading the way for the future of Irish music. – Kincaid & Shannon
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
Ériu is the goddess of sovereignty and the mythological mother of Ireland. She is often interpreted as the modern-day personification of Ireland. Along with her two sisters, Banba and Fódhla, Ériu was a part of a triumvirate of goddesses. Before their final defeat, each goddess requested that the island be named for her. This was granted to all of them, but Ériu became the chief name in use. The old Irish name Ériu evolved into Éire in modern Irish and depending on the case is spelled Éireann or Éirinn. This is how we finally arrived with the English name for the country, Erin. The painting has been imbued with symbols to depict all that Ériu embodied within pre-Christian Irish culture. Ériu represents the sacred feminine, as illustrated in the column capitals, or the decorative element at the top of a column, that represent the three phases of a woman’s life cycle – the maid, mother and crone. The stars behind her and the lunala around her neck evoke her role as a lunar goddess. Her hair bleeds into the trees, depicting her connection to the earth and its bounty. She holds this bounty in her hand as a glass of mead, which was served at the feast of Goibhniu, and offered immortality to those that drank it. Around her head is a ring of knot work encasing the land, which is topped by the stone of divisions from the hill of Uisneach, the symbolic and sacred centre of the island in Irish mythology. Ériu’s bones are said to have been laid to rest on this hill and serves as a gateway between the Underworld and the world above. – Kincaid & Shannon
There is much more to an Irish pub than just having a drink. In Ireland, pubs are central to the way of life. Similar to a church, they represent a pillar of Irish social life and community. A place where pints, comfort food, live music, and sport can be always be found; somewhere you can meet friends, neighbors, or even complete strangers, in an inviting atmosphere. It’s for these reasons that recreations of Irish pubs can be found in any city around the world. O’Connor’s was opened as a pub in Galway in 1942 by Thomas O’Connor, and is currently operated by third generation O’Connors. Every inch of it decorated in eclectic memorabilia, the pub has become famous for its hospitality and world-class live music. So much so that Ed Sheeran used it as the location of his music video “Galway Girl” in 2017 featuring actress Saoirse Ronan, furthering the pub’s world-wide recognition. – Kincaid & Shannon
Ireland has a rich tradition of various festivals taking place throughout each year. The Rose of Tralee was first held in 1959 and has since been held every August in Tralee, County Kerry, to select a young woman to be crowned the Rose. Cities all over the world host their own selection balls to determine who will represent them in Ireland. The festival bills itself as a celebration of the “aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility, and Irish heritage” of modern young women. Bursting with music and dancing, this festival celebrates the very best of Irish culture and the future of Irish relations worldwide. The winner and their family become a part of a global network, showcasing how Irish culture is thriving amongst the Irish Diaspora. They say, “Once a Rose, always a Rose.” – Kincaid & Shannon
A session is a casual gathering of musicians playing traditional Irish music, usually taking place in a pub, but has also been known to take place on street corners or even in someone’s kitchen. Irish “trad” music has garnered a deep appreciation, not just in Ireland, but also around the world. It’s important to note that a session is more than just a casual jam between musicians – the focus is on the instrumental tunes found within the Irish tradition – reels, jigs, hornpipes, polkas, slip jigs, and the like. Whether it be in a pub or someone’s home, sessions are times of brilliant music and ever-flowing drink that have a certain habit of continuing late into the night, if not into the wee hours of the morning! – Kincaid & Shannon
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
These are just two quotes from one of the biggest literary personalities in Ireland’s history, Oscar Wilde. A literary treasure, Wilde was a hugely popular playwright and poet in the late 1800s. Besides well-known works such as The Picture of Dorian Gray and Lady Windermere’s Fan, his biting wit and flamboyant style gained him notoriety as well. As a people, the Irish are known for their good sense of humour, which has bolstered them during periods of great hardship throughout history. Wilde embodied this intrinsically Irish trait to the very end. Even as he faced death, he was cracking jokes and reportedly said, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.” A collection of art in support of Irish culture would be incomplete without paying homage to Oscar Wilde. – Kincaid & Shannon
Ms. Darbus is the High School Musical equivalent of Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter. She’s dramatic but loves what she does & the kids in her care. ♥️
HSM 3 came out two weeks before my 15th birthday. Two of my best friends joined me for dinner & a movie theater date. I even made HSM-themed gift bags! Yes, I was THAT superfan. 😂
Final thoughts for the day: I forgot to update you on Disney Plus issues so buckle up. I didn’t experience that many problems in the beginning like other people, but it’s gone a bit downhill since then. Every time I add to my watchlist, previous items disappear. I have to search for certain movies & shows which defeats the purpose of having everything in one place on a watchlist. A recent update added a “Continue Watching” feature, but that hasn’t been working smoothly. For example, I could pause what I’m watching, exit out of the app for a little bit, & come back to the very beginning of that same show or film. Add that to the spinning blue circle of death, and it’s very frustrating to skim through & film clips for a vlog. 😂 I understand the bugs of a brand new app so I want to make it clear that none of this is a dealbreaker. I just want to be honest about how the app is performing right now.
That is it for my 30-day Disney+ marathon. I hope you’ve enjoyed geeking out over Disney with me. If you need more ME in your life, I’m doing a Hallmark Christmas movie marathon. 🎄 Thank you so much for your support! You’ll be hearing from me very soon. 💕
0:25 is the moment our jaws dropped to the ground realizing Zac Efron has the voice of an angel. The moment we scratched our heads in confusion over why he didn’t sing on his own in the first movie. This is a hill I will die on: ZAC EFRON SHOULD’VE SUNG IN THE FIRST HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL MOVIE!! I know there are stories about him not feeling confident enough in his own abilities. That’s a lie from the pit of hell! Zac Efron can SAAANG, & nobody can sway my opinion.
“Can’t be Gabriella. Whenever she calls, he just blushes.” Love this moment & quote from Coach Bolton. 😂
“I’m saving up for a car so I can take that lil’ hottie on a proper date.” *sigh* We didn’t give Corbin Bleu the attention he deserved. I’ve always been in love with him, but I know that Zac got most of the spotlight. For what it’s worth, Corbin is still 🔥 😍 If you need evidence, watch this scene:
You have to watch the scene to really get the context & emotion, but it’s too hilarious not to mention here. 😆
Mr. Fulton: “Distribute these in the staff area, but not until the end of shift.”
Taylor McKessie: “What? Wait!”
Mr. Fulton: “No discussion, Miss McKessie. This is a business. Welcome to the world of adults who wish to keep their jobs because they have mortgages they wish to pay, tuition bills, car payments, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So, sometimes, we have to perform tasks, however unpleasant, that are necessary for that all-too-important paycheck to land in our all-too-empty pockets!”
Taylor: “May I get you a cup of tea Mr. Fulton?
Mr. Fulton: Chamomile would be lovely.
More proof that ZACSHOULD’VE SUNG IN THE FIRST MOVIE! My friend Katie got me a birthday card that sang this song. Poor Troy can’t sing anymore because I played the song so much. 😂
High School Musical 2 premiered on August 17, 2007. I coordinated a sleepover for me & two of my best friends. I wore an HSM shirt & painted my nails red & white in honor of the East High Wildcats. We made ice cream sundaes & ate popcorn & screamed until we lost our voices. It was one of the best nights of my life.
Final thoughts for the day: ONE MORE DAY! ONE MORE DAY! ONE MORE DAY! Are you ready for my Disney+ marathon to end? I’m sure you’ve all loved reading my ramblings everyday. 😂 On a serious note, I truly appreciate those of you who’ve supported me for 30 days. If you’re a new follower, I hope you’ll stick around to see what else my lifestyle blog has to offer. See you tomorrow! 👋
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HSM was directed by Kenny Ortega. I don’t need to tell you who that is. 🌟 If you don’t know, you don’t deserve to know. 😂
It’s not a secret that Drew Seeley provided Troy Bolton’s singing voice. Please hold. ☎️ I will provide my feelings tomorrow . . . 😑
In the beginning of the film when Troy arrives for the first day of school, Chad Danforth says “. . . it’s gonna be a happy wildcat new year man! Because in two weeks we’re going to the championships with you leading us to infinity and beyond.” To infinity and beyond. Buzz Lightyear. Toy Story. 🧸
Ms. Darbus might actually be my favorite HSM character. She’s dramatic & reminds me of my film teacher in college. She also has the best quotes, & her banter with Coach Bolton is hilarious. 😂
*Chad is holding a basketball* – “Mr. Danforth! This is a place of learning, not a hockey arena.”
“And while we are working, let us probe the mounting evils of cell phones. Perhaps the most heinous example of cell phone use is ringing in the theatre. The theatre is a chapel of arts, a precious cornucopia of creative energy.”
“It’s called crime and punishment, Bolton. Besides, proximity to the arts is cleansing for the soul.”
*Referencing the basketball team* – “This school is about more than just young men in baggy shorts flinging balls for touchdowns.”
“Now, I give every student an even chance, which is a long and honorable tradition in the theatre, something that you wouldn’t understand, but if he is planning some sort of a practical joke in my chapel of the arts . . . I will not allow my ‘Twinkle Town Musicale’ to be made into a farce.”
“This morning, during free period, will be your chance for the musicale auditions. Both singles and pairs. I will be in the theatre until noon for those of you bold enough to extend the wingspan of your creative spirit.”
“Casting the leads of a show is both a challenge and a responsibility, a joy and a burden. I commend you and all other young artists to hold out for the moon, the sun, and the stars. Shall we soar together?”
If you’re an HSM superfan, you know better than to skim past Chad Danforth’s wardrobe. Every graphic t-shirt he wears features a fun/funny quote such as “I come with my own background music.”
Remember the vocal warm-ups that Ryan & Sharpay Evans do?? I’ve been doing those ever since I saw the movie for the first time. I also sing Troy & Gabriella’s version of What I’ve Been Looking For. No voice lesson is complete without either of those things. 🎤
After they perform What I’ve Been Looking For, Sharpay reminds Ryan that she told him not to do the jazz square. He replies with “It’s a crowd favorite. Everybody loves a good jazz square.” My friends & I quoted this in dance class every time we did jazz squares across the floor or in a routine. 😂
During the montage of Troy & Gabriella preparing for their callback, I’m pretty sure Zac Efron’s singing voice was used for Breaking Free. When they perform the entire song at the end of the movie, the first few lines also sound like Zac. Listen carefully! I really do think it’s him & not Drew. And yes, I do know that his voice was mixed with Drew’s. The majority is still Drew. I can’t talk about it. You’ll find out why tomorrow. 🤭
📣 G – O – D – R – A – M – A – C – L – U – B – EXCLAMATION POINT! 😂
I saw something in the credits that legitimately surprised me. I didn’t know that Drew Seeley, credited as Andrew Seeley, helped write Get’cha Head in the Game. 🎼
Final thoughts for the day: I’ve already said a lot so I will bid you goodnight & stop talking. I hope you enjoyed my HSM lovefest because there are two days left, & there’s really only one way to end this marathon. 😉
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Newsies is directed by Kenny Ortega, director of The Cheetah Girls 2, the Descendants trilogy, the High School Musical trilogy, & Hocus Pocus. If that isn’t enough, he choreographed for Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, & Pretty in Pink, three classic films.
👁 Spotted: Baby Christian Bale! He is A D O R A B L E 😍 Also, his voice is so sweet. 🎶
Final thoughts for the day: I’m a little upset that no one told me to watch this movie sooner, but better late than never. I loved it, & the soundtrack immediately went on my Spotify playlist.
🎵 When I dream, on my own, I’m alone, but I ain’t lonely. For a dreamer, night’s the only time of day when the city’s finally sleepin’. And my thoughts begin to stray, and I’m on the train that’s bound for Santa Fe. 🎶
Final thoughts for the day: I never watch Bambi because it makes me so sad, but I have no regrets. The characters are stinkin’ adorable, & the animation is beautiful. My Disney+ marathon is winding down. How’s everyone feeling? I must admit I’m very tired & a bit of a grinch at the moment. Hopefully I can get some much needed rest & relaxation soon. See you tomorrow! 👋
8:45am – Bath + Ducktales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp 🛀
Final thoughts for the day: Unfortunately I don’t have much to say tonight. Look at that wake-up time! I am EXHAUSTED. 😴 It was nice to relax in a nice, warm bath & enjoy a nostalgic adventure with some of my favorite ducks. I don’t think I ever watched this movie as a kid so it was cool to finally see it. More Ducktales is never a bad thing!
I actually got choked up talking about this movie on camera for my vlog. Middle school & high school were rough for me, extremely rough. When my friends & I would blast Cheetah Girls CDs & sing for hours, everything negative in my life would go away. They fueled my love for music. I didn’t care what I sounded like or what other people thought; I would sing at the top of my lungs because I loved to do it. I don’t feel ashamed to be 26 & still singing Cheetah Girls music at the top of my lungs. They got me through hard times, & that means the world to me. ♥️
9:30pm – Hallmark Christmas Movie Marathon 🎄
Final thoughts for the day: I’ve already poured my heart out so here’s the only other thing you need to know: When my friends & I would pretend to be the Cheetah Girls, one of us had to take on 2 cheetahs because there were only 3 of us. If you’re curious, I was the one who pulled double duty with Chanel & Dorinda. Big shoes to fill, but I was honored to do it. 🎤
Final thoughts for the day: I had a lot of work to do today so I was down to the wire trying to finish a movie on Disney Plus. That being said, I did not pick something just for the sake of the marathon. I truly adore this movie & think it deserves more attention. The animation is beautiful, & I love the setting & characters. Short but still full of Disney magic! 🐶