Visibility

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The desire to be seen–

Selfish or

The most basic human need?

We crave visibility,

Demand to be told we matter,

We’re important…

But are we?

We must be told we’re goddesses,

Amazon warriors,

phoenixes,

queens,

fierce

Would looking inside ourselves not tell us the same?

Are we not born with an innate sense of worth?

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It isn’t enough to simply be seen, noticed, acknowledged

It has to be by the right person–

Mother

Father

Bestie

Lover

Potential Lover

Such a choosy beggar

Woe is me

Forever doomed to dissatisfaction

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Give me the keys to the kingdom and I will never again fear

question

doubt

I will forever know that I am infinite

flippin’ legendary

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“Remember my name”

“Mark my words”

“Watch me do me”

Are my attempts desperate?

or strategic?

Smart career moves?

Maybe just an invisibility complex.

Hate to be seen,

Angry when ignored,

Living paradox.

Grasping at moonbeams

Aiming arrows at constellations

I bathe myself in the illusion

Waltz between blurred lines

Big hair, bright colors

Dark makeup, black and white wardrobe

Preening for selfies, hiding from paparazzi

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Should I hide or take center stage?

Run away or run towards the spotlight?

The stage has been set and now it’s on me

Is it my job to step into the sun

Or–

Should I take my place backstage instead?

The script is locked

The roles are cast

Now, where do I belong?

I suppose I should know already, but I don’t

So I’ll try out some things

Belt out a solo

Bust out a dance routine

Try being the lead–

then try the role of the best friend

Trusting that eventually…

The director will tap me on the shoulder, hand me the script & say,

 

“This is the way,

walk in it”

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XOXO,

CMB

Photo credit: Meredith Bird, Bryce Simon and Nathan/Michelle Lewis

Tuesday Tunes: Cassondra Michelle

The inspiration for this week’s post comes from a cool interview I read last week from my new favorite band, The Girl and the Dreamcatcher! In the article, the band shared their 5 current favorites songs, which got me thinking…

I am one of those weird people who creates a Pinterest board and a playlist for basically every occasion ever. Recently I’ve been taking some of my free time to really narrow down what I want to stand for as a brand. This quest, of course, called for a soundtrack. Everyone could use a little extra inspiration and sonic pick me ups, so I thought I would share some of the awesome empowering songs on my playlist. Check out 5 of my favorites below & then check out the interview with The Girl and the Dreamcatcher here cuz their picks are great too!

 

The Girl and the Dreamcatcher – My Way

Speaking of my new favorite band… I’ve had this song on repeat since their EP “Negatives” dropped late last month. It is emblematic of where I am in life right now and I’m sure a lot of other people can relate as well. The song also happens to be super catchy and great to blast at high volume to cheer yourself up while driving to work in tears (…don’t ask).

 

Bea Miller – I  Dare You

The one is best played on repeat until it gets stuck in your head so that you can sing it to yourself anytime you feel self-doubt or are allowing other people to get to you. Such an empowering song!

 

Daya – Sit Still, Look Pretty

Yet another fantastic song from the girl who lead us all to wonder where the good boys go to hide away. The lyrics are my absolute favorite. We need more songs with messages like this! Makes my feminist heart happy 🙂

 

Olivia Holt – Phoenix

The ultimate pick-up song.  This song is a great reminder anytime you feel like shrinking away into the shadows instead of stepping into your power. Singing this along with the crowd at Olivia’s concert a few weeks ago brought me to tears. Such a powerful anthem!

 

Halsey – Castle

You can feel the power in the music of this tune. The energy of the song is so cinematic. Perfect to play as you’re getting ready for battle, be it against an evil magical army or your awful boss at work.

 

Got any go to pump-up songs or just great songs in general you’ve been listening to this week? Comment below!

 

Until next time,

XOXO, CMB

Make It Matter

Shots go off in the news

The words gets smaller—and scarier—yet

The same old drama floods the headlines 

And my cell phone

Nothing’s changed

Everyone’s still so petty & self-absorbed

Their world becomes THE world

And they can’t see that it’s all bigger

That all of this can be gone tomorrow

Taken

By a madman with a gun or a terrorist with little regard for his own life

The world keeps turning, great

But not with love & laughter & art & beauty

But with hate & anger & strife & angst

Will we never learn?

Will tragedy never change us until it hits home?

Do we have to lose mom, dad, friend, co-worker, brother, sister to stop fighting & start living?

Tomorrow’s never promised, but are we working towards a better one?

Time is precious so where is our drive, our purpose?

What are you doing today & why?

 

Make it matter.

 

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Girl Meets World live taping experience

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A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the set of the Disney Channel show GIRL MEETS WORLD for a live taping. It was truly one of the coolest things I’ve ever done and it helped cemented my desire to eventually go into television as a career. Thought it might be fun to share the experience with some of you who haven’t had that opportunity or might be considering it!

For those of you who don’t know, getting tickets to a live taping of a TV show is actually pretty easy. Not every television show films in front of a live audience. It is usually only comedies and then, only a select few opt for live laughter over a laugh track. Shows like “Baby Daddy,” “Young & Hungry,” “Fuller House” and “Girl Meets World” are among those few. For a complete list of shows, go to http://audiencesunlimited.com/. That site is also where you can order tickets FOR FREE (yes, none of those shows charge for the opportunity to watch them film). Just make sure you get on first thing in the morning 30 days before the show you want to go to. Most of them sell out really fast!

Anyway, that’s all I did to get my tickets. After weeks and months of planning plus a minor hiccup regarding a “Liv & Maddie” taping (I missed getting tickets to the last live taping ever… still crying), I finally secured four tickets to a “Girl Meets World” taping… and then had to wait a month.

There was drama up until the last minute. They always sell a few too many tickets to a live taping to ensure a full audience, but the show I had chosen was particularly over sold. We showed up two hours early and were on the edge of our seats till the last moment to see whether or not we would be allowed in. Luckily, there were just enough seats for us! I felt really bad for everyone who wasn’t allowed in…. If you’re lucky enough to get tickets to a taping, make sure to show up a few hours early!

Once we got inside the soundstage where they film, we got to see all of the amazing iconic sets. It was so surreal to see them outside of our television screens. The executive producer of the show came out and explained to us how they came up with the concept of the episode and a little bit about what happened in the previous episodes. I can’t give away any of the plot, but I will say that it was a really good episode, a little on the more serious side. I also think I’m okay to reveal that Danielle Fishel co-wrote the episode as well as directing and co-starring in it. It was pretty cool!  She is definitely my new #GirlBossGoals.

They had already filmed some of the episode that morning and the day before, but they still showed us those scenes to record our laughter/reactions as well as make sure we understood what was happening in the episode. I sat in front of the school section of set, so I was pretty bummed that the school scenes had been shot the day before. It was still cool to see the other scenes filmed of course, just harder to see them. They provided monitors, though, for us to see the scene the same way the camera did and even cut between angles in real time to show us a mock-up of how the final episode will look. I hope to go back to another taping eventually. Hopefully then I will be seated where I can see more of the actual filming.

It was still insanely cool, though. I was doubly freaking out, both as a film student who hopes to go into television and as a fan of the show. After years of being on student sets, it was beyond amazing to be on a professional one. It was so cool to be able to understand most of what was going on! In fact, the one annoying part of the taping is that there was an emcee who was constantly trying to keep everyone entertained in between takes. I would much rather have been able to pay attention to everything happening on set.

If anyone with any connection to the show is reading, I will gladly scrub floors and fetch coffee if it means working on that set! It seemed like such a cool environment. Everyone was extremely professional, but still had fun. Ben Savage (Cory) and August Maturo (Auggie) came over to say hi and answer some audience questions. Rowan Blanchard (Riley) danced with August in-between takes. It seemed like they all genuinely liked each other and their jobs.

At the end of the taping, they split the audience into two and set up two meet and greets: One with Rowan and Sabrina Carpenter (Maya), the other with Corey Fogelmanis (Farkle) and Peyton Meyer (Lucas). I was hoping to meet the girls, but my half of the audience was in the line for the boys. I was a little disappointed at first, but they were both so sweet and cute. I have no complaints! They checked to make sure my sister and I had a good time, asked if we wanted a picture (duh!) and then thanked us for coming.IMG_0164_e

I went with my mom and youngest brother and sister and we all had such a good time (although I’m sure my brother will deny it if you ask)! If you get a chance to visit a live taping, I would highly recommend it for fans of the show or fans of film/television in general. Also, if anyone reading this has any connection whatsoever to the show…  I meant what I said earlier about fetching coffee.

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I am going to go get busy taking on the world! Until next time-

xoxo, CMB

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Love Where You Are

I’m 22 and single. Even typing that makes me laugh inside. I haven’t graduated from college, still live with my parents and haven’t chosen a career yet, but the thing I feel that defines me is my relationship status. Now I recognize that, considering I don’t want to get married until my late 20s and I barely have enough time these days for myself, my family and a few select close friends, a romantic relationship should be the furthest thing from my mind, practically speaking. But strangely enough, I feel incredible pressure to be dating someone right now. I feel the weight in my grandmother’s question as she confirms that I am indeed still single and simultaneously reflect on how relieved she sounded two years ago when I told her I <<finally>> had a boyfriend. I watch classmates on Facebook get engaged, go “Facebook official” with their significant other or post picture of their husband/wife and kids and feel that somehow being single at 22 means that I’ll be single forever. I watch television and realize the seventh graders on Girl Meets World have more of a love life than I do. Heck, the five year old on GMW has more of a love life than I do.

I remember a year after my breakup I felt so incredibly strong and confident. I had finally discovered self love and I vowed to never turn back. Somewhere along the way, I unconsciously bought into the notion that I was less of a person without a boyfriend.

I’ve found myself daydreaming about my future relationship a lot lately. Not the healthy kind of daydreaming I had been doing the last few months, figuring out the traits I was looking for, the warning flags to look out for and the dealbreakers I wasn’t gonna stand for. No, I had started thinking in terms of what my life would look like when I was in a relationship again. You know, getting dressed up, eating out, feeling special, feeling pretty. I began to think about my current season as a season of waiting, as if my life was on pause until I got another boyfriend. How ridiculous is that?! How ridiculous is it to think that another person, much less a boy, could or should define my life? My life is not on pause!

I recently heard an interview with actress Jessica Marie Garcia (check out the podcast here: http://hollywoodparentsguide.com/jessica-marie-garcia-actress/) where she was talking about happiness and success. She explained that the idea that you will be happy when “x” happens is bogus. You have to find ways to be happy now or you won’t be happy when you reach whatever it is that you think will make you happy. I think that is so true. You have to be willing to love where you are, despite how far off it is from where you wanna be.

I am currently running on two cups of coffee and a can of Coke because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to keep my eyes open. I am that tired. My alarm went off this morning at 5am and I am currently sitting in my dad’s office in Pasadena because that was the only way to get a car to drive to my internship. I haven’t hung out with friends in weeks. I go to bed later than I should because I’d hate to disappoint my siblings by not watching our nightly episode of Once Upon a Time. I am not asking for your pity or for you to feel bad for me. I just want you to understand where I’m coming from as I write this. I’m not where I wanna be. But every morning when my alarm goes off, I thank God for where I am. I find ways to be so appreciative of this season in life because I know that I’m blessed and I know it will always be easier to find things to hate about my current situation than to be thankful.

I recently realized that I was placing a lot of my unhappiness on the fact that I didn’t have someone to come home to. No one was going to have my favorite meal waiting for me or cuddle with me on the couch while we watched what I wanted or pour me a glass of wine. I was telling myself that life would be so much easier if I had a boyfriend to walk through this tough season with me. Then one day I drove past the Citadel Outlets on my way home from internship, saw the billboard advertising La Mirada Theatre’s performance of The Little Mermaid musical and realized that is what would make me happy: Getting dressed up and going to see a musical I’d obsessed over for years (all of my favorite Little Mermaid songs are from the Broadway soundtrack). I didn’t need a boy to take me or even, anyone else to go with me. I (and only I) had the power to make me happy.

I wish I could tell you I went straight home and bought those tickets, but I didn’t. I waited and put it off and made excuses and forgot. Until I found myself hiding in my room on Father’s Day watching Youtube because I didn’t have the energy to spend time with my extended family. I couldn’t keep living like this. So I marched into the kitchen, asked to use the car, bought the ticket and promised myself that in a week for a few hours, I was going to focus on me.

It honestly turned my whole week around. Now I had something to look forward to. No matter how crazy the week got, I knew I had a few hours carved out to relax and take care of me. When Sunday came around, I made sure I had enough time to get ready, made sure that my family knew this was my time and you know what? I had the most fun I’ve had in a really long time getting ready for an event. I didn’t have to worry about dressing up or down to meet my date somewhere in the middle. I didn’t think about how tall he was when I decided to wear heels. I wasn’t hoping for compliments when I did my makeup because I was going to go hang out with a bunch of strangers. I felt like a princess because I felt like a princess, not because some boy (or well meaning friends) told me I looked like one.

Now, I’m by no means bashing being in a relationship. I consider myself a relationship person and cannot wait to be in my next one. But for now and until God decides otherwise, I am single. I am simply enjoying being single the same way I plan to enjoy being in a relationship. I’m choosing to love where I am instead of waiting anxiously for what’s next because that is the only way I know how to be happy. Also, being single is awesome! Just like being in a relationship is awesome. There is a season for everything.

If your current situation is less than ideal, do what you can to improve it then sit back and learn to love where you’re at. No one else is gonna do it for you.

xo, CMB

Some photos from my Little Mermaid solo date adventure:

Selfie
Is it ridiculous that I was relieved to be able to take/post a selfie without a boy making fun of me?
Nails
Under the Sea nails, courtesy of my little sister
Red carpet
Felt like a Disney princess
Outfit Collage
Went for an Ariel meets Ursula vibe
TLM sign
Fun Fact: The La Mirada Theatre was where I, as a little girl, first discovered stage outside of church plays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Collage

Truly a magical night & a magical show

 

Your Art Matters

“Your art matters.” One of my favorite mantras, the quote originates from my most favorite television show of all time, One Tree Hill. It is typed onto the background of my phone where I can see it every day, several times a day if needed. It is a cute piece of artwork sketched into my pocket notebook. I repeat it to myself on days like today when my schedule is full and I wonder if spending the extra time and energy on my “art” is worth it.

Lately those three little words haven’t been enough to keep me motivated, so I thought I would break it down a little… Why does my art matter??

  1. My art matters because it gives me purpose and personal fulfillment: There is something magical for me about creating art whether that be with a sketchbook, notebook or a camera. It satisfies an inner part of my being that cannot be touched any other way. It makes me feel fulfilled and whole in a way nothing else does. When I abandon art, it is only a matter of time before I lose the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. My art matters because it gives me purpose.
  2. My art matters because it gives me a voice: I may have been quieter when I was younger, but I still struggle with how exactly to put into words what is going on in my mind. Communicating with people can be challenging for me. I still suffer from a bit of social anxiety from time to time and there are few things I hate more than having to talk on the phone . However, when I have a pencil between my fingers, keyboard keys under my fingertips or a camera in my hand, I am better able to hone exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. It helps me figure out who I am and what I have to say to the world then gives me the tools to say it in a way that words alone have never been able to for me.

Those are both great reasons but they are also terribly selfish reasons. When Lucas told Peyton in One Tree Hill that her art mattered and later, Peyton told Lucas the same four seasons later, they meant that the other person’s art mattered to other people. In that first season episode, Peyton confessed, “I wanna draw something that means something to someone.” She wanted to create art that gave people something to believe in again. A favorite professor of mine says that art is not art without an audience. So…

3. My art matters because art matters: Whenever I am wondering whether or not my art is worth pursuing, I almost always turn to some form of art to find solace and validation: music, television, movies, books, magazine. These things have the power to speak to me in a unique way nothing else can, pull emotions out of me I did not even realize I was feeling and soothe my soul in the most deeply personal yet universal way. The quote itself, “Your art matters,” comes from a television show I will always credit for helping me not to feel alone during a very lonely time in my life.

This video was built around the art matters quote from the show (which was used twice, once in season one and then again in season 5) and brought me to tears when I watched it. If you have an extra few minutes, I’d definitely recommend it!

Last, but not least:

4. I know my art matters because I’ve already gotten positive feedback: It has been almost a year since I wrapped filming on my first independent short, but I am still floored on a regular basis from the continuous feedback. Through my vision and passion to create my own space to make art, I was able to bring together a special group of artists who were validated in what they love and in at least one case, brought to realize that art is something they want to pursue. That is the best feeling in the world. On the one hand, art is so selfish because it is literally forcing–uh, asking–people to look at what you created for personal fulfillment. But art also has this amazing way of bringing people together. Artists have been given this incredible gift so that they can use each of their unique talents and viewpoints to illustrate and articulate experiences and emotions everyone is going through. There is no greater feeling for me than to know a blog post of mine was able to put into words what someone else is experiencing or that a short film 0f mine was able to capture an experience or emotion of theirs. To know that my art could possibly be cathartic to other people in the same way other people’s art has been to me is one of the greatest feelings in the world. That feeling is probably only rivaled by the swelling pride I feel when someone changes their profile picture to something I took, to know that I was able to capture them in a way that they felt truly expressed who they are in a flattering light.

Let me encourage you in this: Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, know that you were created for a purpose and it is only in that purpose that you will feel fully fulfilled as a person. Do not let anyone else tell you that you are following the wrong path if it is what you feel called to do. Never stop believing in that tiny fire instead of you driving you toward greatness.

Your work matters.

Your art matters.

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Photo Journal: Meeting LC in Laguna Beach

If I told you I was obsessed with Kohls, the beach, florals & dresses and once dreamed of being a fashion designer/attending FIDM, would that remind you of a famous Orange County girl? How bout if I add that one of my life goals is to run my own lifestyle site and brand?

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I may be late to the Lauren Conrad party (I started watching “Laguna Beach” in 2012), but I’ve never left. Lauren is such an inspiration to me in so many ways, especially also being from Orange County. Once I was bitten by the LC bug, I was jealous of all the girls in my high school who had gone to book signings and met her.

When I heard she was doing a signing for “Celebrate,” her new book guide to entertaining, I jumped at the chance to buy a ticket.

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Where better to meet LC than in the city that made her famous? Several hundred of her dedicated fans turned out in the blazing OC sun on a Sunday afternoon to celebrate the release of her latest book. Before the event, I re-read the instructions and directions roughly a million times. I must have checked the date five times in the week leading up to the signing. I was so terrified that I was going to miss it. In retrospect, I probably should have focused more on making sure I brought water to balance out all the coffee I drank and battle against that intense sun. It probably would have helped the stomach ache I got but live and learn, right?

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I waited in line for almost two hours in the heat, which was definitely not fun. I made the time pass by taking pictures of basically everything and, of course, people watching.

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When it was finally my turn to take my place in the short line inside the store to meet Lauren, I was freaking out. I always say that there’s something about television stars that cause people to feel like they know them. When someone’s in your living room week after week, you begin to feel a personal connection to them. That only gets worse when someone is a reality TV star.

This was LC from “Laguna Beach” who fought with Kristen over Stephen. This was Lauren from “The Hills” who interned at Teen Vogue and lost Heidi to Spencer. This was Lauren whose face adorned one of my favorite fashion guides and was on the back cover of two of my favorite young adult books series. Seeing her in real life was so completely surreal.

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Now I know what you all are wondering. Has all that fame gone to LC’s head? Is she really as sweet as she seems on TV?

Well, I can tell you this: She did have a diva moment when I was in the store. Yep. A woman held her phone up to Lauren’s face instead of handing it to the store attendant as instructed. Did Lauren yell or freak out or refuse to sign the woman’s book? Nope. She calmly held up her hand and got the attendant’s attention, who then took the phone. Lauren apologetically explained that she has had a cell phone flash go off in her face one too many times, hence the rule about the attendant taking the pictures. That was it. No temper tantrum. No display of anger. No high-strung diva moment, just a little bit of insistence on the rules.

When it was my turn to talk to Lauren, I thanked her for teaching me that I didn’t have to sacrifice my girliness in order to be a girl boss. She thought that was so cool. I then added that it was extra cool for me because I was also from Orange County. We chatted about that a bit. She asked if I still lived in the OC and when I explained I mostly come down on weekends, she said she does the same. All in all a really great experience and the book was great too! Cannot wait to throw my very own LC-style brunch this summer.

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So for any of you Lauren Conrad fans out there, if you ever have an opportunity to visit a book tour in the future, do it! It’s a great experience and will help you appreciate the LC brand just a little bit more.

Until next time…

XO, CB