Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What You'll Need For National Fine Arts

Hey y'all! I've missed blogging on here, and I want to say I was too busy to blog, but if you've seen my Tumblr, you know that's not true. Now you know why I used to be so against Tumblr? It's addictive, and it's ruining everything--- my novel-writing, my songwriting, my blogging, my piano, my violin, my summer reading, my arts and crafts, my math (I'm kinda homeschooling myself right now to prepare myself for freshman year), my science, my SAT prep, my Olympic watching, my vocal solo--- everything. Why? Because I'm on freaking Tumblr all day!

I've had all kinds of post ideas, but... Tumblr is ruining everything. There's also an entire playlist of DIY things on my YouTube, so while I'm gone, I might schedule them to publish. But as of now...

National Fine Arts Festival is like, the Comic Con of the Assemblies of God (which, I've never been to Comic Con... and this year I really wanted to go)--- everybody goes. It's more than just competing for scholarships, bragging rights, callbacks, and eternal spots on the Top Ten board on the website. It brings us, the youth of the AG churches all over the nation, together as one big happy family. If you could just see us in the hallways.

Only at Fine Arts can you start to play Ninja with four kids from your church and end up playing with forty other kids that you don't even know. Only at Fine Arts can the entire city be full of Christian teenagers and pastors. Only at Fine Arts can you sing about God and no one look at you weirdly. It's just Fine Arts, and what makes it awesome.

Well, this year, we're hitting Louisville, Kentucky. In less than a week. Be prepared for a lot of T-shirts, nights on the town, and callbacks (if you've been practicing hard enough). And... it's taking forever to type this. Yes, I'm on Tumblr.

So, here's what you'll need to have on you:
A suitcase (not included in the picture, due to not being able to get a suitcase out of the closet without making a mess), a bag to carry to and from the convention center (the gym bag), an over-the-shoulder purse for the ladies, and a folder.

In your suitcase:
You might want to take your hairbrush to the convention center in your convention bag, but start out with putting this stuff in a suitcase. A lot of this you may want in your beach bag for when you swim. The olive oil is great for getting out chlorine, so in case you can't take a shower right away, it softens the chemical's effect on your hair. And make sure you comb when your hair is wet, using the wide teeth first, blow drying a little, small teeth, blow drying a little, Perfect Results oil-stuff, blow drying, paddle brush, air dry, bristle brush. And the sheen hairspray is great for heat styling protection once your hair has dried.
You gots to keep dat mouth CLEAN! This is especially important for you singers out there--- I've found that mint and a clean mouth helps my voice be more articulate and have better tone quality. Plus, who doesn't like fresh breath? You're gonna be sitting in a car or plane (maybe trian) with people all up on you, and you don't want to smell like last night's omelet. Trust me--- After Phoenix 2011, on my plane a kid had garlic breath, and it was miserable (we had to get up at three, so I didn't brush my teeth either). If time allows, throw in that extra step to eliminate odor.
Guys, you're bound to swim, and unless you're there for General Council, Kids Council, or National Youth Convention, you're bound to compete. And when I say guys, that means BOTH GENDERS. So, don't you wanna look cute, ladies? And guys, don't you wanna look put together for the band performance? What I love about straightening irons is you can curl, crimp, or straighten whereas with curling irons you can only curl. And they help you look like you never even wet your hair. And this iron specifically is great because it gets hot quick (like, two minutes kind of quick) and it doesn't get too hot. So all hair types can use it--- really. Remember, as white as I sound I am a black girl, and my hair is coarse and thick. And this works great on me. So: Get a cool-temperatured straightening iron.
Earrings are glamourous. If you're like me, your ear holes are beginning to close up because you never wear them! So, NFAF is a great opportunity to get back into it! With a lot of nights in the city, don't ya wanna look like you belong there and not like a fanny-pack tourist? That's what I thought.
These are shirts that show the city I'm from specifically. These are community service shirts, my home school (Wayne High) shirt, my gymnastics shirt, and my actual school shirt. The gym shirt isn't really relevant, considering I'm not doing a worship dance or human video. But it brings back memories (if only a few things happened differently and I'd weighed a little less and had been a little shorter, I would have a chance of representing the U.S. in Rio in four years. But whatever).
I gotta admit, some of these shirts are inappropriate--- I wear wife beaters, crop tops, shirts that are cut in crazy ways, shirts that reveal skin below the belly button, and shirts that would otherwise be see through without a tank top. So bring a few.
Maxi skirts and aztec-styles have totally been in this summer. So bring that bohemian vibe with you. These skirts are as comfortable as pajamas, but way cuter. And if you're gonna be living in T-shirts this week, why not wear something cute?
No kidding, it's gonna be hot. But those days inside the convention center or your hotel room are bound to be cold. So do yourself a favor. Get yourself some skinnys, boot cuts, and colored jeans.
HATS! They're so cute, and every hat has a story here. I need a green hat--- as you see, where normally the green Olympic ring would be, I have a light blue hat (come on... it was the closest shade to blue I had... I deserve some credit) and where the yellow ring should be, I have orange and yellow. So, the dark blue I got from my Aunt Rose (she was on the 1996 United States Olympic Commitee) and it is two years old, which I got it in Atlanta. The black one I bought myself, and it is my favorite so far. My pink one was my first and it is three years old. My light blue one was my second, I bought it at a thrift store in North Carolina, and it is two years old. The orange one I bought at Phoenix 2011 and it is almost one year old. This year I plan to buy another one. These come handy because I never wear sunblock (I don't want cancer, but I do want a tan, so I usually just cover up the skin that is most likely to burn), and they're like a tree that follows you.
I couldn't find my rainbow pajama pants, so here's an old sixteen-year-old polo from Atlanta 1996 that I wear to bed. My Aunt Rose gave me this. You know, she was on the Olympic Commitee so I kinda have an entire box of this kind of stuff.
I love doing my nails. If I want to spontaneously change up my colors or just have fun with the girls, it's nice to have my nail bag with me. Remember nail polish remover!
A nice outfit for when you just want to sit by the pool but not get in. Also nice for a laid back day around the city.
Everybody needs a pair of Converse, boy or girl. You're gonna be walking all day, every day for a week--- you need something comfortable that protects your feet. Graphic tees add that edgy feel, along with shorts and neon leggings. This outfit was inspired by this.
MORE SHOES! Heels, wedges, gladiators, flip-flops, Converse.
Socks are so important if you're gonna be wearing Converse or tennis shoes.
Most churches will want you wearing a one-piece bathing suit, but I could only find this tankini. And guys, I'm really not that fat--- it's supposed to flow like that.
It is so important to feel clean and smell fresh. It's summertime, and you're gonna sweat. Plus, I always feel shy and awkward when I feel less than fresh. "Are they cringing inside because of me?" "Do my armpits fill the room with sweat?" So it keeps me from doing what I want. So, deodorant is a must. That goes for you, seventh grade boys. And lotion is a great aftershave. A shimmer spray makes you look glamourous for your performance, and a normal perfume is great for the whole week.
This Neutrogena Acne Wash works so well! My skin is really clear because of it. And no, my skin isn't clear because I'm prepubescent---because I hit puberty a LONG time ago (I was nine when I started my period)---but probably because my mom didn't have acne growing up. My dad did, s I'm still rather acne prone. If you have time, use a peeling mask to help get rid of callback stress. A toner removes excess mask or face wash.
Don't forget your razors, guys and gals! Don't forget shaving cream or body wash, either!

In your convention bag:
Gotta accesorize your hair!
Make sure you have a Bible and notebook. You're gonna want to remember the sermons you've heard. And when you're sitting around your hotel room, why not read your Bible a little?
Make sure you have some books with you. I included "Sixteenth Summer" because I'm almost done with it and "Just Listen" by Sarah Dessen because it is a huge book to keep me occupied on the road. And every youth group has that one kid that is either crazy or annoying. You need something to keep you occupied.
Music feeds the soul. Some songs I downloaded for Louisville are: "Begin Again" by Measure, "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry (don't laugh), "Wonderwall" covered by Landon Austin and Chad Sugg, "I'll Make a Man Out of You" covered by Donny Osmond, "Echo" by Jason Walker, "I Am the Doctor" by Murray Gold, "Follow Your Heart" by The Good Mad, "Anywhere Place" by Katie Costello, "Lay Your Head" by Athlete, "Superhuman Touch" by Athlete, "Over My Head (Cable Car)" by The Fray, "Happily Ever After" by He Is We, and "With You I Never Lose" by Athlete.
If you forget to bring this, you are DOOMED. If you're a dancer, BRING YOUR LEOTARD (yes, it's a gymnastics leotard, but hey, I was a gymnast, not a dancer). If you're a solo musician, BRING YOUR DRESS OR SUIT. If you're doing a sermon, BRING A BUSINESS CASUAL OUTFIT. If you're in a band, wear something epic (it really depends on the genre you choose). If you're in a human video, WEAR YOUR UNIFORM WITH A UNITARD UNDERNEATH.

And if you have room, put your purse in this bag so you don't lose it.

In your purse:
Keep the colors natural. Put on just enough to feel decent, moisturized, and glowing. You don't need to attract any hot guys at a Christian convention.
You might need to blot your lips every once in a while, so make sure you have a pack of tissues with you. Plus, what if your nose starts running?
The fun thing about AG youth activities is that, even if you never go back to camp, you will always run into your friends from camps, conventions, retreats, and DFAF. Therefore, you want your hands to be germ-free! No one wants to come down with a fever in the summertime.
Keep dem eyes protected! Seriously. You don't want to hurt your retinas.
You should see yourself in the mirror. You'll have one in your room, but it's nice to have one on-the-go.

In your folder:
Everything I could have possibly missed is on this list. make one for yourself, according to what church you go to, what events you do, and how long you're staying.
Yes, those are the chords to "Excuses" by Deas Vail. Remember to bring your lyrics if you are a songwriter, in a Christian Band, or on the Worship Team. It's not worth losing two points over a sheet of paper.
If you're in a drama, you might want to study your script a few hundred more times to make sure it's flawless!
The previous year's schedule gives you an idea of how many people might be up against you and what workshops might be offered.
ONCOURSE is always conected to the schedule, but bring an old one just for the memories (:.
BRING YOUR SCORESHEETS and make sure to bring a paper from a self-evaluation! The best critique you can get is from yourself (because YOU are the most critical judge), so a self-evaluation paper is necessary. And your official score sheets are reminders fo what you should have worked on, and good tips for when you're about to get going.
Bring a list of the things you want to do to prepare for next year and little words of encouragement for yourself (don't ask why I wrote "Jesus, I love you").

So! This is what we'll need! Are YOU going to Fine Arts? Let me know so I can see your performance!

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