Sunday, December 15, 2013

More Musical Theatre Do's and Don'ts

A few more songs for your auditioning playlist...
  • DO. "Manhattan Bridge" from Next Thing You Know. This song isn't too popular because it ran off-Broadway, so it isn't mainstream at all, really. Only the people casting will know what you're singing from, most likely.
  • DON'T. "If You Were Gay," "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist," "The Internet is For Porn," or "It Sucks to Be Me" from Avenue Q. As much as I love "It Sucks to Be Me" (and I even recommended the first part of it: "What Do You Do With a B.A. in English"), always avoid controversial, inappropriate, or uncomfortable show tunes.
  • DO. "The Way To Get a Girl" from Next Thing You Know. "The way to get a girl is to get a girl. When you're taken, they'll flock by the score! But then take it from me: the second that you're free, the girls you thought would want you don't want you anymore! It's a guaranteed get: grab a girl and you're set. They know, they know, they know. ... The way to get a girl is to get a girl. If you're spoken for, they'll line by the block. Oh yes, somehow they know, when you're somebody's beau, that's when they'll go to you sure as tick goes with tock! Although it sounds cool, it's approvable rule. I know, I know, I know!" Of course, you might want to make it obvious these aren't your actual opinions about women.
  • DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T. "No Good Deed" from Wicked. I'm singing the chant, "Eleka nahmen nahmen ah tum ah tum eleka nahmen" in my mind as I type this. This song is so difficult-- worse than "Defying Gravity," actually. If you can't show emotion well, this song will bring out that weakness. Besides, you know my opinions about Wicked. And there's no way to sing "No Good Deed" without shouting "Fiyero!" from the top of your lungs. And while you're at it, you have got to hear Willemijn Verkaik's performance here. I died at 1:03, 1:07, 1:36, 1:56 (I love the way she sweetly sings "Fiyero"), 3:03, 3:08, 3:10, and the way she says "Again" at the end. I also can't get over how she says "Let him never die!" I totally fell in love with her as Amneris, and now I'm obsessed. No fangirl goes unpunished. I only hope to one day be as good a singer as her, and maybe join the long line of Elphabas. But I can only dream of that-- each Elphie sets the bar higher and higher.
  • DON'T. "Seasons of Love" from Rent. Even my sister who hates musicals knows how many minutes there are in a year because of this song.
This is all I can think of right now. Who knows-- maybe a part three is coming?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Top Cartoon Theme Songs (Continued!)

6. Avatar: The Last Airbender

So... I can't find anything on YouTube for this one, so here's the ending credits for you.

7. The Fairly Odd Parents

"Odd parents, fairly odd parents!"

8. American Dragon: Jake Long

You don't understand how bad this makes me laugh, knowing that's friggin' Zuko's voice (Dante Basco) on Jake Long! Most actors have a certain type of character they like to play, but TWO firebenders?  A little much.

9. Rugrats (1990s theme)

I may or may not have been caught singing this in biology class once.

10. Cat Dog

"Just a feline-canine little cat dog!"

11. All Grown Up

"All grown up with you!" (Even though they're like, twelve...)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving: A Time to Reflect

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This time last year I was celebrating my fourteenth birthday (didn't land on Thanksgiving this year) and scanning my Facebook profile for notifications. Today, I am relaxing, having a Hey Arnold! marathon and working on creating a business plan. I can say I've changed a lot.

The past few Thanksgivings have been fairly busy for me, but this year, I really have a time to reflect on what I'm really thankful for. 

1. I'm thankful for my family

This one is probably a no-brainer. Anyone in their right mind would write that, right? A lot of people are thankful for their families without even knowing what to be thankful for specifically. I'm almost always complaining about sharing a room with my sister, sharing a bathroom with two sisters, and my clothes getting stolen. I think it's safe to say that 95% of the time I don't enjoy the company of the people that happen to live in my house. However, when I think about what my situation could be, I'm glad I have these folks for a family. My parents have been married for nearly twice my lifetime, none of which are deceased. Their love is still vibrant and well, kind of adorable. I look at their wedding photos just about every day (fun fact-- my mom made her own wedding dress, AND all like, eight of her bridesmaids dresses, AND the flower girl's dress. In case anyone wanted to know where I got my sewing skills from...). I have a good relationship with both of my parents-- my dad and I bond over music while my mother and I bond over dainty things. I also have good relationships with my sisters. Yeah, the steal my clothes and my food and my beauty products, but at the end of the day, I never had to change any of their diapers.

2. I'm thankful for my health

Very few people know how unhealthy I was as a baby. My mother was very ill during the pregnancy and I wasn't expected to make it. But, here I am! I was born with RSV (don't ask me what that stands for) and liver issues, and stayed in the hospital for most of the first year of my life, but now I am completely healthy. I don't even remember the last time I stayed overnight in a hospital, so... I would consider that a blessing!

3. I am thankful for animation

Last year, I would have never said this. But, really, without cartoons and Disney movies, I wouldn't know anything about what I want to do with my life. And you have no idea how much I can't stand not knowing what I want to do with my life. So, I'm thankful that people like Butch Hartman (creator of Danny Phantom), Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Koneitzo (creators of Avatar), and Glen Murakami (creator of animated Teen Titans) exist. I am also thankful for the voice-over artists that inspire me every day. I am thankful for the channels willing to pick up my favorite cartoons, from Nickelodeon to Cartoon Network. I am thankful for production companies like Disney and DreamWorks. Even more, I am thankful for the ways they've shaped me as a person, from The Lion King to The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Animation has brought so much joy to my life; I don't know what I'd do without it. I'm thankful for every single person who has had anything to do with any animated project, because they've helped make me who I am.

4. I am thankful for friends

Not many people know this about me, but there was a time in my life--most of my life, really--I was really anxious, lonely, and depressed. Whenever I was in public, I would try to avoid people as much as possible. I could not handle social situations I hadn't been in before... it was debilitating. I didn't want to talk to anyone, but I was tired of being alone. I always had this feeling that everyone hated me, and honestly, sometimes I still feel that way (but much less often, and I know it isn't true). I only had... maybe two or three friends (not including the ones that moved away) up until fourth grade. In fourth grade, one Wednesday, I showed up to a Wednesday night service and only one other girl showed up in my class. I knew her well enough-- she had just moved back from Georgia and I had lived in Ohio for maybe three years now. But we weren't really friends, up until tonight when she'd been super hyper and didn't really leave me with the choice to be alone. I joined in on the fun. I highly doubt she remembers that January night, but I remember clearly. That was the night I realized I didn't have to be alone. I didn't have to spend my days on my bed, reading novels. There were people I could lean on. Now, she and I aren't close anymore, but I am thankful for the friendship that was.

5. I am thankful for different races

This might be weird, but I am so proud to be black, you don't even know. I am so glad we have different colors, different languages, and different cultures. I can speak Chinese, which I love because it's the only advanced class I'm in. I love watching anime (especially Free!)-- can you imagine life without anime? I didn't think so.

6. I am thankful for religious freedom

I'm so grateful that I don't have to risk my life for my faith (not saying I wouldn't, but...) and can live in peace. Really, I'm glad that I have the freedom to believe what I want, even if it isn't always the popular opinion. I don't have to hide being a Christian, being pro-life, being (slightly) Afro-centric, or being a feminist. I am what I am and people just learn to accept it.

No matter what you have or don't have, there's always something to be thankful for (even if it's something you'd rather not have... like having to go to school even though that gives me an education). So, this holiday season, take time to reflect.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Top 5 Cartoon Theme Songs

...In no order whatsoever, here are my top five cartoon theme songs/credits. If none of these songs bring back memories or make you smile, well... I can't help you, dear.

1. Danny Phantom
"He's gonna catch 'em all 'cause he's Danny Phantom!"

2. Kim Possible
"It doesn't matter where or when there's trouble, if you just call my name!"

3. The Legend of Korra
"Earth. Fire. Air. Water."

4. Hey Arnold!

5. Teen Titans
"When the world is losing all control, Teen Titans GO!"
I can't believe I can't think of any more than this. Maybe I'm not as big a cartoon fan as I thought. Hmm. I guess I'll update this... someday. Maybe. Hopefully. No promises.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Effective Ways to Study

This school year is already 25% over, and for the most part, I am very, very proud of my grades. Some grades haven't been put in for first quarter yet, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm bound to have six As and one B. And that B is in math, so I'm happy.

My grades have improved GREATLY-- my best grades last school year were all As and one B and that was in one quarter. I think I feel a 4.0 GPA for this year coming on if I focus hard on math these next three quarters.

How did I do it? Let me explain how I got my grades up.

I know how I learn best.

I learned that I am a visual learner at the beginning of the year through a quiz my biology teacher made us take. I also looked deep inside myself as Mufasa instructed, and that helped me find ways to help me learn.

Favorite art: Music
Hobbies: Singing, guitar, quoting, studying animation, acting, poetry, songwriting, ballet-style dance, translating
Favorite subject: Chinese
Best subject: World History
Least favorite subject: Fitness
Worst subject: Geometry

I learned to use this information to my advantage. I love music, so I made several personalized playlists to use when studying; fast-paced music for fitness, instrumental music for math, motivational music for biology, music from around the world in World history and Chinese, and songs that include our vocabulary words for language arts.

Sometimes, if I really can't bring myself to remember something, I sing a little jingle about it. I just make my own melody, even if it isn't one I've heard before. Yeah, my songs are cheesy, but they help me remember. There are songs I made as long ago as first grade that I still remember!

I used quotes as ways to motivate me and help me remember things. For example, the stem BENE (which means "good") is one of our vocabulary words. I remembered the "Brotherhood of Man" lyric, "There is a brotherhood of man! A benevolent brotherhood of man!" I know this works for me because in all the vocab tests we've had this year (like, one every week... we've done 125+ stems), I haven't lost a single point. Not even one-tenth. Straight one hundred percents. Unfortunately, my way of studying doesn't work very well for a lot of the kids in my grade who could care less about showtunes, so I've only tutored maybe one kid. But for the most part, we all do well anyway.

I even used my cartoon obsession to my advantage. Do you know how relevant the series Avatar: The Last Airbender is to real life? Well, it is very, very relevant. We just read a memoir about a boy soldier in English, and the whole time I was constantly reminded about the show. How war changes people. How it forces children to turn into adults earlier. How it affects morals. One of the military officers in the memoir was talking about how anyone who wasn't on their side basically deserved death. He kept reminding the boys, "these are the men who killed your parents." The whole time, I was thinking, "That's Jet. He's like, a non-fictional Jet." There were a lot of other resemblances. I was able to use my  fangirling during essays and got one hundred percents on all of them. I would think of an Avatar character they reminded me of and really get into detail about it.

I also learned from myself. My best subjects were history and English because of the ways I studied in those classes. I took note of this to help with others. I ended up with a 99.42% in history. Can I get a boo-yah?

I timed myself.

I know from experience that cramming doesn't work very well for me. I mean, I did get a 98% last week on a test I didn't have time to study for so I waited until the night before to study. But that's not my point.

I learned that I needed a system. So, I made myself a plan.

50 minutes hard work in one subject
10 minutes break to eat/use the bathroom
50 minutes hard work in another subject
10 minutes break to do a stress relieving activity (like guitar)

That way, I get my work done in time to go to bed before midnight (but I can't help being a night owl... sometimes I'm up at 1 and 2 a.m.) and everyone's happy, including my "YOU NEED TO GO TO BED EARLY SO YOU'LL BE THE AMAZING STUDENT WE KNOW YOU ARE" parents.

Flash cards

You probably have already tried this.

On my flashcards, on one side I have a little reminder to help me out. With this Chinese card, what I normally do is start with the Pinyin side and then writing the character on paper. If I don't remember what the English is, I look at the other side and think, "Oh! This word reminds me of Sokka!" or "Oh! This makes me think of that one song." And that helps me remember.

I take the test... BEFORE I take the test.

I always ask myself, "Hmm. If I were a teacher, what would I ask? If I were a teacher, how hard would I make it? If I were a teacher, what kinds of questions would I give? Multiple choice? Long response?" So far, this approach has never failed. Every time I've made a study guide, at least 50% of what I put there ends up on the test. This study guide you're looking at? She asked everything on there-- even a little less-- but at least I was prepared (got a 100%). I've never gotten below an 83% using this approach. This works best combined with other ways of studying, and using this as a night-before reference.

So, what I found got me As more often, was when I used the text, flash cards, and games all throughout the week. Then, the night before, I would give myself the quiz I prepared when I was reading the book. Afterwards I grade it, and then review whatever I missed. And 90% of the time, I make my study guides ten times harder than the actual test ends up being, so I have no reason to be stressed. How do you know your study guide is effective?

It includes:
  • Long response answers
  • Definitions
  • Specific wording
  • Labeling diagrams
This works best for visual learners.

Have the day planned.

Another way to make sure you're getting your homework in on time is keeping two agendas and a calendar. Throughout the day, I take notes of the homework I have in my classes on the left agenda. Yes, my school does have an online system, but I am always prepared, just in case internet is down. Plus, some of my teachers aren't exactly the fastest to update their site. That's why I make sure I have absolutely no excuse to not get my homework done. Then, my second agenda is a plan laid out for how I will tackle the day. An example:
  1. Bring spare clothes for fitness class
  2. Talk to geometry teacher during lunch
  3. Study Chinese and vocab during advisory
  4. Bring homework to Wendy's (basically the Nasty Burger for our school because we have a Wendy's in our parking lot... so I guess I kinda love my school)
  5. Study voiceover and acting on the ride home
  6. Finish homework
  7. E-mail biology teacher
  8. Finish portfolio (I'm launching a business in summer 2014)
  9. Take a shower
  10. Be in bed before midnight
Then, when the day is done, anything coming up that has a due date any later than the next day I transfer to the calendar. 

No social media in this house!

Oh, you read that right. Maybe I stretched the truth a little; I mean I do have a Facebook button on this very blog. And a link to my Tumblr. But those are weekend hobbies. I'm currently working on limiting the time I spend watching television (something I wouldn't have needed to worry about before I started re-watching Nickelodeon cartoons-- they're so addictive!), but I've mastered internet rehab. I actually have to push myself to use my Tumblr now, so that I won't lose followers. It used to be that I would spend hours reblogging. But not anymore. During the school week, it's all off. And boy, is it worth it!

Read, highlight, annotate

I would never make someone use Cornell notes if I were to become a teacher (I'd kind of like to be a professor) because heaven knows those did not, I repeat, DID NOT work for me. We had to take notes in language arts last year over an e-book that we mainly listened to during class. Hope couldn't use a print book. Hope could not focus without holding the book. Then, my teacher gave quizzes over tiny details and you wanna know something? I passed one of those tests. One. And that was with a C. But I was so proud of that C, you don't even know.

So, what actually does work for me? Annotating. I can feel the groaning of my classmates right now. I just might be the only student to walk through the doors of my school who actually enjoys annotating. It helps me retain information because first of all, I'm re-writing what I see in my own words (and not just a dumbed down version), and I can go back to what I wrote instead of scanning the entire passage. Highlighting and annotating for the win!

These are only a few of the ways I study. I may update when I think of more!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

32-Bars for Musical Theatre

If you look up what songs to audition and what not to audition in theatre, the lists completely contradict each other. One website will say it's alright to use "Defying Gravity" and the other considers "Wicked" a taboo word. So, of course it's up to me to write down a list of some under-rated songs to use, and some that people may not warn you that you shouldn't use.
  1. DON'T use "Defying Gravity," just to get that one out of the way. Really, using anything from Wicked is a no. I know of one judge that as soon as they heard ANYTHING from that musical, they won't even consider you. But I also read an article by one person that said that the reason many judges don't like it when people sing it is because they've heard it done badly. What's my opinion? What do you know Idina Menzel for? Yes, she is going to play a Disney queen. Yes, she was in Enchanted. But mainly, her Elphaba is the most popular Elphie there is. So, with "Defying Gravity" being a popular song among non-acting people as well, this song is kinda like, HER song. You'll constantly be compared to her. And it's not original at all. I'm sure by the end of the day, the accompanist will want to throw away your sheet music after seeing the word "Leap."
  2. DO. "What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?" from Avenue Q. This song has a particular kind of performer it suits best, though. If you are a man who is in college or fresh out of college, then it'll fit you. The original singer sounds young and naïve, just like a lot of kids your age are. What do you do with a B.A. in English? / What is my life going to be? / Four years of college / and plenty of knowledge / have earned me this useless degree / I can't pay the bills yet / 'Cause I have no skills yet / The world is a big scary place / But somehow I can't shake / the feeling I might make / a difference to the human race.
  3. DO. "Every Story is a Love Story (Reprise)" from Aida. This song suits a woman in the 20-30 age range who still has a fairly youthful voice (say it's obvious that you're older but you still sound like you're eighteen). From deep within the tomb, a gentle light still shone / showing me my path as I ascended to the throne / certain in my heart that ancient wars must cease / The lovers' deaths gave birth to a reign of peace / and their story / and my journey / and the lesson they provide / drew their strength and inspiration from a love that never died.
  4. DO. "Sure As Sun Turns to Moon" from Tarzan. This song especially works because it is an under-rated musical (I didn't know it was ever even on Broadway until this year) and it is no longer on Broadway. You will rarely find someone else use this piece to audition. This song works best if you are of marrying age, preferably at least in your late twenties.
  5. DON'T. "My Strongest Suit (Reprise)" from Aida. As much as it pains me to never be able to audition this (I actually sound pretty good when I sing this song), this song is somewhat sad. It is also a duet, and being only a minute long, shortening this would take it below 32-bars (though it could work if you were asked to audition an 8-bar). But the point is, this is not a neutral song or a happy one. Avoid sad and angry songs.
  6. DO. "Two Worlds" from Tarzan. This song might be slightly over-rated, but it is gender-neutral, neither happy or sad, can be cut in several ways, and has different variations from singing loudly to quietly to sweetly. This is my audition song. Unless you live near me, you're free to do it. Hope Ezell won't be playing Amneris or Rafiki anytime soon.
  7. DON'T. "Easy As Life" from Aida. This is... in a way, a somewhat angry song ("This is how the gods reward the faithful through the ages") and we want to avoid that kind of chemistry. This was going to be audition song, but then I thought, mm, maybe not.
  8. DON'T. "Shadowland" from The Lion King. I can't express how I feel about this song and its original Zulu version (the live version from Hans Zimmer's album is probably my favorite though). I know just about every word from "Fahtse leso, lea halalela" through "Giza buyabo." So why wouldn't I audition this piece? It's in my vocal range, it's the song that got me into theatre, everyone who hears it falls in love with it, it can touch the coldest heart, and let's face it: It's friggin' perfect. I wouldn't audition this because it is one of the few songs that has made me tear up. Which means it's a sad song. I mean, come on. "Pride land, my land, tear-stained dry land, take this with you, fahtse leso..."
  9. DON'T. "Circle of Life" from you-know-where. Even if you're auditioning to play Rafiki, you won't even be considered if you shout, "Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba" and they will NOT respond with "Sithi uhm ingonyama."
  10. DON'T. "I'm Not That Girl" from Wicked. Like I said, "Wicked" is a taboo word on some websites, and this is one of them. Remember, no one mourns the wicked, and when you audition with a song from that musical, you'll be left only on your own. Wow, that was a really corny reference. This song is amazing. I could probably work this song. Heck, I could probably play Elphaba really well in this moment because, well, I know how it feels to feel that way (like, literally, the other girl had "gold hair with a gentle curl"). However, this is a sad song so it is a no-no.
  11. And numerous others... can't think of them at the moment.
I should probably make a part 2 but you know me... it'll take forever IF I even remember, so no promises.

Love you, chicos!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Whole New... Semester?

"...What I wouldn't give to have a new life. One thing I have learned as I go through life; nothing is for free along the way." -Jekyll & Hyde

It's a new school year! For those of you who didn't know, I had a very, VERY upsetting freshman year of high school, both academically, emotionally, physically, and mentally.

Academically: I didn't reach the GPA I had wanted to achieve (I wanted a 4.0... didn't happen).
Emotionally: I hated EVERYONE for absolutely no reason at all (for the most part). If you caught me on a bad day that year, I probably loathed you for a month. I'm dead serious.
Physically: I got a bald spot during my first semester engineering class. Must I explain why I want to be a performer and not an engineer?
Mentally: One word. AEROSPACE. Maybe when it's not such a sore subject I'll be able to explain how mentally unstable I was and what we even did.

So long story short, that's a year I would like to erase from my life. Too bad it's everywhere-- on my high school transcript, on my scalp (my hair is still growing back), in my mind.

I can't erase the events of last year, but I can make this one better, right? I can make sure others don't make my mistakes, aye?

Here is a list of "Do's" and "Don't you dares" to make this school year the best year yet, even if you have a while to go before National Honor Society and AP courses are an option.

  1. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr-- they all stop on Sunday. You heard me. I ain't having none of that! My sister who is a senior this year has a policy of waiting until her homework is done to get on Facebook and Twitter. That's cool, too, but I need to be more strict with myself to be productive, so I banned non-academic computer use for the entire school week. It works wonders! I'm not distracted and I can focus on the things that matter more to me. Art, of course! Plus I study more often now.
  2. Make sure you ask questions. One thing I've noticed about my classmates this year is that the ones that seem to be high achievers ask A LOT of questions for clarification purposes. Of course, I, being the wannabe-good-student that I am, I'm thinking, "Please. You could totally flunk this and still ace this class." But the thing is, the whole reason they excel is because they get help. They make sure they don't do it wrong. They take every opportunity to do it the exact way the teacher likes. This is also why they are set to be in the race for valedictorian; because they make sure they understand, their grades soar!
  3. Don't make a habit out of being absent. The students who suffer the most are the ones who are either late for school or they skip for dumb reasons. I've known people who have skipped for reasons such as a sore throat that they totally could have survived being at school with. Lezbehonest, I've skipped for reasons like that before and I regret it. Last year I was absent around seven times. Most of the time I was sick. One of the times I was traveling. I always quiz myself before deciding if I want to go to school or not. Am I avoiding a quiz I didn't study or homework I didn't do? Could I get through the day without throwing up, crying, passing out, or losing my mind? Am I completely miserable or just being lazy? If the answers are "I'm not avoiding homework/quiz/tests, I'm actually feeling terrible; I feel like I'm about to puke/die/get diarrhea (I have a diarrhea phobia, okay?)/faint; I am just so miserable," then go on and skip.
  4. Participate in class. Answer questions you know the answer to. Volunteer to read (even if you hate your voice, it's the least you can do). Write on the board. Share your ideas with the class. This shows true effort! I participate in geometry even though people who live on the other side of the world know I can't do math to save the life of a dying puppy (seriously... I had a friend subtract 1.75 from 5 for me). However, my teacher knows I actually care and he often helps me and inquires about my ideas. Do I still do poorly on quizzes? Yes I do. But I'm improving.
  5. Whatever you do, talk. Socratic seminars, debates, speeches. You're gonna have to do it, whether you like it or not. So just... just talk, okay? Participate.
  6. Read something. Reading for pleasure helps with the vocabulary section on the SAT, so just do it. A lot. Adult level books are probably the best. Theology, law, medicine, etc. I personally prefer to read about psychology, manga, comics, romance, and poetry. Plus, reading is fun! I was a total bookworm up until I was nine or ten, and then I absolutely didn't like reading. I just wasn't reading the right stuff. So find the right stuff.
  7. Find a study buddy! Today in biology, the guy I sit next to asked me if I wanted to study with him for a quiz we were taking in like, five minutes. Of course, I said yes. I quizzed him, he quizzed me. The questions I asked were things he hadn't thought of, and he asked me things that were challenging. We got our papers, and what do you know? Our method worked! So, always have a buddy! It can be the difference between an A and an F.
  8. Get enough sleep. If you see me when I am having an insomnia flare-up or whatever it's called, I'm not able to speak well, react quickly, and I definitely don't like people which somehow ties into my scores and social life, so just get nine hours of sleep. If you're an insomniac, there are drinks to knock you out, whether it's triggered by depression, anxiety, or just plain insomnia.
  9. Don't skip breakfast. You see, I don't eat breakfast which I should probably start doing. I'm hungry up until 12:15 and I can't concentrate without meat. If you're like me, eat breakfast.
  10. Get involved in extracurricular activities. It's okay if you aren't athletic; there are other things to do. I'm on one of my school's JCOWA teams with three other girls. We all get along and could easily work together (I live near one of the team members as I volunteer at the library she goes to) and I believe "together we'll be the greatest team there's ever been." This might be fun.
  11. Find something that makes you unique. I'm starting a wedding cake business soon and I am a voice actress who isn't in any shows yet (I have a portfolio and that's it. I'm kind of a model, but I'm not counting that). These are things that most teenage girls don't do. Being the director of the school play or being the president of the student body is cool, but... admissions officers have seen it all before. Be unique.
  12. Give back to the community. The library has brought so much to me that it only made sense that I applied to volunteer there in ninth grade. I love it! I like being able to keep it running.
  13. Set goals for each semester. I have my goal sheet separated in five sections: Academics, Theater, Culinary art, Music, and College prep. I have the list on my wall next to my bed so I have constant reminder that each day I get closer to achieving my goal!
  14. Keep an eye open for possible majors and careers. If you don't know what you wanna do, this is very important. If you already know, it helps to find a backup plan. Also, look at universities and colleges! I highly recommend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. 
  15. Never settle for less. If you can do better, do better. If you have an amazing idea, use it. You can only go through high school once; make it count! And, always study. Remember that if you did poorly in the past, that doesn't have to make this a bad year. You can do it, chumbanut!
"Each day is a brand new life."
-Deborah Cox, Jekyll & Hyde

Friday, August 23, 2013


Grey DeLisle. Do you recognize this woman?
No? I can guarantee one thing. If you had a childhood like the average child born in 1995-2013, you know her voice. I will write a few lines, and I bet you'll know who it is.

"You want to be Fire Lord? Fine, let's settle this. Just you and me, brother. AGNI KAI!"
"I'm Sam Manson, and my Happy Princess talent is goth haiku."

So here we see Azula from "Avatar" and Sam from "Danny Phantom." But, she has a lot of other roles.

  • Emily Elizabeth, Clifford the Big Red Dog (PBS)
  • Femme Fatale, Powerpuff Girls (Boomerang)
  • Mandy, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (Cartoon Network... maybe)
  • Current voice of Daphne Blake and we all should know who she is
  • Current voice of Esmeralda, Kingdom Hearts (originally voiced by Demi Moore in Hunchback of Notre Dame)
  • Greenley, Tarzan and Jane
  • Aquatta and Arista, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning
  • Vicky, The Fairly Odd Parents (Nickelodeon)
  • Lor, The Weekenders (Disney Channel, late '90s and early 2000s)
  • So many other roles... if you can think of it, she's probably done it... she's even done Timon and Pumbaa and you guys know how I feel about The Lion King.
So, why am I fangirling about this? Because if I talk about it in public, no one will care and I need to talk about this!

I think Grey is an inspiration to many young actors and vocalists out there, me included. I think everyone should experience fangreying and here are the reasons why.

This girl doesn't ignore her fans. Just because she's the queen/Fire Lord doesn't make her stuck up at all. I wrote her a letter from my dog's point of view on Tumblr, and not only did she (greydelisle) "like" it, but she followed me. Yes. The queen of voiceover actually has my blog on her dash. And she's liked other posts. And the funny thing is, I'm not Tumblr famous, I'm just a hardcore fan of cartoons. She loves her fans. She follows a lot of us. She also follows back on Instagram (I don't have it), so go follow her!

She's a stellar singer! I think her and Kiersten Holine need to collaborate sometime. I am singing "Wrapped in My Sweet Savior's Arms" for Fine Arts next year and I am totally in love with "Joanna," "The Bloody Bucket," "Home Wrecker," and "Showgirl." (and did I mention she listens to the Dave Matthews Band?)

Grey and my man Dante Basco are still involved in "Avatar" and sometimes they even read their characters' lines in the graphic novels. Dante wrote on his Tumblr (rufiozuko) something like "Next time I hang out with Grey maybe we can do some Zuko/Azula scenes" and I'm over here crying because he talks about it so casually! Like, they could just meet at Starbucks or something and I live on the other side of the country! Ugh. My point, though. They're so dedicated to their roles!

She is hilarious. Some Facebook and Twitter posts may say "I walked my dog" or "Someone text me plz," but Grey takes it up a notch.

  • "Careful, buddy!" -Me, at the park... pretending to be a good mom
  • My Disney Princess name is "Taco Belle."
  • I'm naming my Ford Explorer "Dora."
  • First I had to worry about Zuzu stealing my throne... and now it's that filthy royal brat! (This was posted when the royal baby was born)
  • "T.HANKS" -Thank You card from Tom Hanks
  • I thought Pitbull's first name was featuring.
  • Not getting invited to a party sucks almost as getting invited to a party.
  • Remember the weird kid that your mom forced you to invite to parties? Thank her for me!
  • The line of clothes Beyonce did for H & M will probably beyonsale soon.
  • It's pretty dangerous to be on the road with me when I'm trying to get to McDonald's before they stop serving breakfast.
Need I quote more? I love this girl! Follow her! She's like that person that you totally adore and they just get cooler and cooler the more you learn about them. At least that's true for me.

I never say that I'm someone's biggest fan, and you know, Grey DeLisle has A LOT of fans. "We are all connected to each other in a circle, in a hoop that never ends" because we all love Grey, we all love animation, and most of us want to become voice actors. Whether we know her because she is Azula, because she is Daphne, because she is Lor, or because she is Sam, we all can relate to each other. Most of my Tumblr followers know me because we both love Grey and her work. We're a big family (fun fact: "Everybody" directly translates to "big family" in Mandarin), how would I know if I'm her biggest fan? I'm not saying I'm her biggest fan or anything...

But I'm at least in the top ten. Look through her tag on Tumblr and peoples' reactions to her following them?
"I can't breathe!"
"Erm... can I get you something?"

My reaction was knocking down a table and nearly having to purchase a new keyboard. I celebrated her birthday week (I wore A LOT of grey this week, did the Azula and Sam Manson hairstyles, and will send her a photo of a cake I'm decorating for her). I can directly quote her Wikipedia page. Type in the letter "E" on my URL box and it will take you straight to her Wiki. Type "G" and you go straight to her blog. Sometimes, I watch cartoons so much that my voice begins to morph into a character's voice (the last time it happened it was a character voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessy, Jasmine "Jazz" Fenton from Danny Phantom). Name a show she's in and I can tell you what role she had. I can detect her voice from a mile away. If she were to post that she's landing in Ohio in... say, twenty minutes, I would drive to the airport. Keep in mind I can't drive yet. Not even with a parent.

I wish she would come to Ohio! I wanna meet her! Pfft, if she were in Kentucky I'd drive down! I'm serious, guys. This girl is amazing. I mean, watch this. For some reason, it won't let me embed.

Look at her face when she realizes she messed it up! Still fabulous, Grey. Still fabulous.

She also had an Agni Kai with the California Highway Patrol. It's a long story, really. I'll let her tell it.

See? Isn't it hard to not fall in love with Grey? I'm sorry if you are now addicted because if so, I strongly advise you not to look up Jim Cummings, Jennifer Hale or Tara Strong if this is overwhelming.

Happy birthday, Grey (and happy six-year anniversary of "Phantom Planet")! Here's to several years of more animation and laughter!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I am waves on the water
Not still in any way.
If you think you can see through me
You haven't swam beneath the surface
Because I know
I am not who you think I am.
I know
Because there is a whole lot of everything
That you know nothing about
And I have never told you.
I can't trust
Not when I've been judged
I can't trust
Too much has gone sour
I can't trust
Don't let me get hurt again
I won't trust
I will never trust.

-Hope A. Ezell (an excerpt from my journal)

(Just so you know, I am in a much better place than I was when I wrote this poem. I don't even remember what I was upset about.)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How to Flirt With: An Avatard

I decided since I've been blogging about animation lately (I promise, that animated role models post IS coming... I'm just lazy), I decided I would have a flirt post! It's half-serious, I guess.

This post is on ways to flirt with those in the Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra fandoms.

  1. Approach gorgeous guy. DO NOT say hello. Before introducing yourself, BE SURE to say, "Flamio, Hotman!"
  2. Once a conversation with him/her has begun to die down and he/she begins to walk away or talk to someone else, say, "That's a sharp outfit, (insert name). Careful! You could puncture the hull of an empire class fire nation battleship, leaving thousands to drown at sea (put emphasis on "thousands"). Because," point to their shoulder or location of sharpness of outfit, "It's so sharp!" Azula used this pick-up line and is still single. Strange.
  3. It is very important for a potential partner to see you in action, doing something you love.  After winning a game of volleyball or some other sport, set the net on fire and shout, "YES! We have defeated you for all time! You will never rise from the ashes of your shame and humiliation!" Seriously, how is Azula single?
  4. Now, as of breaking up with an Avatard, make sure they're throwing an illegal party. Show up (after you've already been there as a guest... there might be some good food there) unexpectedly in the middle of the night and bring some friends with you. Then say, "We've got some bad news for you. Party's over." And that's when you and your buddies destroy his house. His parents will kill him. BEST break-up EVER.
  5. When showing him/her your fancy ride, be it a bison or a car, just before starting it up, say in a really seductive voice, "Yip... yip."
  6. If he has a tree house, and you happen to see him in it, say, "Nothing's braver than a guy in a treehouse." If he's big enough of an Avatard, he'll know you're referring to Jet.
  7. Right after he/she asks you to be his/her girl/boyfriend, say, "Together, you and I will be the strongest couple in the entire world! WE WILL DOMINATE THE EARTH!" It's beginning to seem clear to me why Azula is single. And here's a note: This works best if you can firebend.
  8. Instead of saying "I love you" or "I think I have a crush on you" or something like that, say, "I don't hate you." If they respond "I don't hate you, too," then give them the engagement ring.
  9. Once you become a couple, call them "Twinkle Toes."
  10. Get your Zuko-impersonating-Azula on and say, "Listen. You can date me or I can do something unspeakably horrible to you and your friends. Your choice." Make sure to pop out your hip, whether you're a guy or girl.
  11. At homecoming or prom, cry, "[insert name here], get over here! I want you to dance with me!"
  12. When he proposes or when you two get married, say, "I guess this means we'll always be together! Always."
  13. If you're feeling bold, go on and kiss the girl. Then proclaim, "Baby, you're my forever girl!" She will marry you.
  14. Whatever and however you do, say the word "Honor". I cannot stress this enough. Avatards love honor. Anything from the musical number in Mulan "Honor to Us All" to cheap puns ("I am so honored to be with you"). 
  15. A way to ask an Avatard out is to say, "I'm thinking maybe we could do an activity together?" Now, for Sokka, that activity ended up being him trying to keep his girl from giving her life to the moon spirit. So, make sure this activity doesn't involve death or guilt.
  16. Sing "Secret Tunnel" for them. It will make them smile. In case you don't know the lyrics: Two lovers forbidden from one another / A war divides their people and a mountain divides them apart / Their dark path to be together / Yeah I forget the next couple lines but then it goes, SECRET TUNNEL / SECRET TUNNEL / THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS / A secret, secret, secret, secret, tunnel! Or, you can sing the line "If you're lost, you can't lose the love because it's in your heart." It made Katara blush and she ain't even white.
  17. If you approach your crush alone, say, "Look at us. You and me. Two alone people." Funny, Bolin is single, too.
  18. Ride a dragon into battle and then jump into a volcano. Maybe I shouldn't take advice from Jinora. You'll literally need ice for that burn.
  19. You could always escape to a dangerous forest after trying to find your ex boo thang (or, according to "The Search," full-on thang). You'll probably become a spirit but Jinora would find it romantic.
  20. Give her flowers. Make sure you don't walk in on her kissing your brother. Hashtag, awkward.
  21. Eskimo kisses are always cute. Or, should I say, ESKAmo kisses?
  22. Your reasoning for dating her? "She's strong; I'm strong. She's fun; I'm fun. She's beautiful; I'm gorgeous!"
  23. After a mutual break-up, or a relationship that ends on good terms, smile at them and say, "Stay flamin'". You might be crying but it will lighten the mood.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how to flirt, date, and break up with an Avatard. Also, we like fire flakes. Lots of fire flakes.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What to Do When You Have Nothing to Do

Summer can be pretty boring, and I probably didn't even need to say that. In fact, I know I didn't. But it seems pretty upsetting to wait ten months for summer to come and then summer ends up being a complete waste of time, aye? That's why I decided to use this time for independent projects.

Here are some examples of what to do when you have nothing to do.
  • In 2009, I took up blogging and creative writing. I was a terrible writer in fifth and sixth grade, but I wanted to do it and well, I guess it semi-got-me-somewhere. I also started decorating cakes back then, and now I can make wedding cakes (but I just can't master those stinkin' roses!).
  • In 2010, I began collaging and became a collector. Remember how I loved the 2010 Winter Olympics? Honestly, I still prefer the Winter Games over the Summer Games. You can see some of the stuff I collaged in middle school here. It's a good way to use up time and not waste old magazines! Also, it's fun to find a cute little hobby you can always go back to without having to re-learn how to bend all four elements and run a marathon. By being a collector and collager, I can always look back at the things I have and smile. Plus, you can always add more.
  • In 2011, I taught myself guitar. Well... started to teach myself guitar. I didn't really start playing well until 2012. Even now, I've only played in front of six people, excluding eighth grade talent show. Still, though, I started. All because of a simple sexist comment: Girls can't play guitar nearly as well as men can. That's literally why I picked up my six-year-old guitar and started playing it. I don't regret a minute of finger pain, because I love playing now! Find an instrument to play or sport to learn.
  • In 2012, I learned basic piano and sheet music. I also purchased a violin and autoharp. This knowledge helped me with my career of choice, musical theatre! So, learn something new! Always wanted to be a biker but when you were little you were attached to your training wheels at the hip? Learn how! There's a reason the desire is in your heart and there's a reason you want to do it.
  • This year, I'm taking classes in modeling for an agency, went to a musical theatre camp, and I'm learning to draw! These are things I've always wanted to do for nearly my whole life now, and I love it! Also, as a result of decorating cakes in 2009, it paid off by placing very high in my Air Force Base's county! I think I placed first, actually. And I haven't placed first in anything (other than homecoming court) since first grade. But, I got an award and moved up to State Fair level. Believe in yourselves, you little nuggets! Something you may have started because of boredom could come back around and reward you! I highly doubt I'll become an animator, but why not try?
Does that give you any ideas? And though I don't know how many people actually read my posts (well, I kinda do... but it's not a completely accurate way of knowing), it would be kinda nice to see what you guys are doing this summer!

I love y'all!

("Animated Guys" post to come soon... the posts take a long time to prepare, so I thought I'd put something in between.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Animated Role Models (Girls!)

So, I have been going through an animation craze lately. I've always liked it, but it wasn't until I got older that I really started to appreciate it. Some say that animated characters aren't good role models for this reason and that, but "don't worry, I'm determined to succeed! Follow my lead and yes, indeed" the haters will be proven wrong.

Here's to the animated characters that get the most hate: the girls. My next post will go over the guys, too. But for some reason, people tend to hate on girls like Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, and even Belle. They're just never satisfied (I don't like Belle all that much, though...). But even girls like them are good role models. Here are a few of the reasons to love animated girls!

1. Elastigirl (Helen Parr) from The Incredibles (Disney, film).
"Girls, come on! Leave the saving of the world to men? I don't think so."

Now, seriously. This girl can save the city with a teenage daughter (we're a lot of work), a pre-teen son, and a baby. And I've always admired her flexibility... I could use it for all these dance moves in musical theatre. But what I love most about her is probably her relationship with Mr. Incredible. She won't just stand on the sidelines like some random damsel in distress. She'll stand with him for better and for worse, with every definition of it. That, my dear, is someone who took their wedding vows very seriously. The kind of wife I want to be one day.

2. Suki from Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon, TV).
"That's some girl." -Hakoda, speaking of Suki to Sokka (her love interest who is also a protagonist)

Suki is just amazing. I mean, she's a literal warrior. What song describes her?
This girl had her entire village burned down. Keep in mind, guys, that she's like, fifteen... at the oldest, maybe seventeen. Not only was her village burned down, but it was burned down by Zuko. The funny thing is she is friends with Zuko by the end of the series. That really says something about her character--- that she can just  forgive someone like that and include them in her little gang. Plus: she eventually trusted him. I know I wouldn't. If I were in her position, I would want nothing to do with him. Another thing about her character? She was in prison for a very long time. When Azula tells Sokka "she was convinced you would come and save her," (not a direct quote), my heart just broke. Especially when she told him that Suki gave up on him. Because Suki was his weak spot, and she knew it (but I'll talk about him later). But when Suki tells Sokka, "I knew you would come," it's just like, "AWWWWWWWWHHHHH!!!!" She never lost faith in him. She believed in him, Aang, trusted Zuko--- she's a true friend and will never, ever give up. That's what makes her a survivor.

3. Princess Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon, TV).
"My own mother... thought I was a monster. She was right of course, but it still hurt."

I think Azula is one of the most well-developed characters of all time. She really shows that even the most evil people have a story behind it all.

The thing about Azula is that she is terrifyingly creepy... yet I can't help but sympathize with her. I started watching Avatar the summer before I turned seven, and around the time she started appearing in the show I was seven or eight. My thoughts about her then? She's evil, she needs to be brought down, I don't understand how it is possible to be that evil. She just seemed like an evil prodigy, really. But around the time I started learning more about her upbringing, it made my heart hurt a little. My heart just broke altogether after that last agni kai when she throws that tantrum after she's gone crazy. But let's talk about this girl for a minute.

She's the fire princess. She has everything she could have ever wanted... almost. Heck, she's her father's favorite child! She is crazy good at fire bending and even bends blue fire (which might have a little bit to do with her name... "Azul" means "blue" in some kind of language)! She probably was an outstanding student. She didn't even have to do her own hair. But that's the thing. The one thing a child needs most she didn't have.

Her mother. Her mom disappeared when she was pretty young, and though she acted unphased and almost joyful after, it isn't until she is fourteen that we learn more about her feelings toward her mom. "I don't have sob stories like all of you," she says in Book Three, "I could complain about how my mother liked Zuko more than me, but I don't really care. My own mother," eyes watering, "thought I was a monster. She was right of course, but it still hurts," she says, quickly regaining composure. She refuses to let people see her in her most vulnerable state. Eventually, though, we all know she kinda cracked and was put in a mental hospital.

How is she a good role model? She shows that 1) don't use fear to control people; sometimes it's okay to trust. 2) To get what you want, you really gotta chase it with all that you have. 3) Never think you're unbreakable, because even the strongest of people aren't.

4. Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon, TV).
"I will never, ever turn my back on people who need me."

Katara is known for being very maternal and controlling. I think, like Suki, she is a true survivor. 
This girl had her mother killed at a young age, such a young age in fact, her older brother doesn't even remember what their mother looked like. What gets me is when Sokka admits to Toph that when he tries to imagine his mother's face, Katara's is the only one he can see. She's his mother figure, even though she is his baby sister. She's only fourteen! Though sometimes she is overly motherly, like she said, she will never turn her back on those who need her. Even when Azula tried to kill her (basically), she looked at her with sympathy (...and horror) when Azula was literally spitting fire. She healed Zuko when he was on the brink of death. She healed Aang when he was nearly killed by the same person (so... how can one really have sympathy for Azula, still?). She doesn't always know when to shut her mouth, but she does know when to protect the ones she loves. 

5. Lilo from Lilo and Stitch (Disney, film).
"I remember everyone that leaves."

Lilo's story is another one that is very sad. She's bullied by girls who she still considers her friends, both of her parents are dead, and she's that freak no one wants to hang out with. Her mother may not have thought she was a monster but she lost both her parents and everyone seemed to convince her of that--- they all avoided her like the plague! However, the experience taught her to never leave anyone behind no matter how different or intolerable they are. So of course the child ends up depressed with only Elvis Presley, Stitch, David and Nani. Speaking of Nani...

6. Nani from Lilo and Stitch (Disney, film).
"I'm gonna stuff you in the blender."

Nani is another strong character, like Suki and Katara. She is faced with a large amount of responsibility from a very young age.
In the movie, Nani is shown as a stressed-out young adult who appears to be eighteen or nineteen years old. What is with animation and parents always being dead? Well, her parents are basically dead. Instead of putting Lilo in foster care, she takes care of her. Most likely she volunteered or begged to raise Lilo instead of putting her in foster care. Not only does she have to face losing her parents at a young age, but she also faces raising her first-grade-aged sister. It'd be one thing if Lilo was like, twelve. But no. Nani is basically a mom now. I would have lost my cool early on, but instead she kept marching on.

7. Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon (DreamWorks, film).
"It's only fun if you get a scar out of it."

Astrid is like, my spirit animal. She's smart, she's quick, she's a dragon slayer in training... or was. And beneath her VERY strong outer shell, she's like a turtle. Caring and nice (but not at all soft). Like, when Hiccup said, "I was a coward, I was weak... I'm the first viking who wouldn't kill a dragon," she responded with, "[You're the] first to ride one, though." She can see the best in others. She also will do anything to get what she wants, like Azula. Keep in mind this girl dropped the bottom of her ax on Hiccup, punched him numerous times, basically threatened him, and well, still got him. She wanted to slay a night fury (or something like that) and was gonna do anything to keep Hiccup from getting in her way. Instead, they fell in love. Well, Astrid. That's for helping Hiccup restore peace with dragons, and this... (getting to be mentioned in my post) is for everything else.

8. Mai from Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon, TV).
"I don't hate you."
"I don't hate you, too." -Mai and Zuko

Mai is probably one of the most misunderstood characters in her series. She's also really good at making sure a guy pays for breaking up with her.
I thought that Beyonce music was appropriate. What I love about Mai is well, like Megara (who I should probably mention soon), she is completely realistic and not too... happy. As happy as I can be (I have my Ty Lee moments), I actually normally can't really stand overly happy people. I also find it hilarious how much Mai hates the world. But she does care about one thing (at least): Zuko. Even more than she fears Azula, which must be a lot. Have I mentioned how talented she is at knife-throwing? She proves that she can take care of herself without bending, she needs no man, and she ain't gon' let fear get the best of her.

9. Esmeralda from Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney, film).
"I thought we all were the children of God."

Esmeralda is big on one thing: Equality.
She is one of the only people to show the slightest sign of affection toward Quasimodo, which led to him being friendzoned but we're not talking about that right now. She understood what being an outcast was like; gypsies were considered evil, gypsies were considered filthy-- the list goes on. Quasi was considered deformed (well, he actually is, but still), he was considered ugly, a freak of nature, a monster. She was quick to get her message across: "You speak of justice, yet you are cruel to those most in need of your help." This girl almost got herself killed because of standing for what she believes is right. Justice!

10. Pocahontas from Pocahontas (Disney, film).
"Why do all my dreams extend just around the riverbend?"

I know, I know. I'm jealous of her wind-painting skills, too. She, like Esmeralda, is also big on equality. However, her power to end injustice is... well, different. She fell in love with her tribe's enemy. Which all that kissing really wasn't smart because we all know what went down after that... Smallpox, of course. But she was willing to save John's life (even if he does have the plainest name on earth-- exactly how many credit cards and e-mail addresses in his name?) AND put war on pause. So, what's around the riverbend now?

11. Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon, TV).
"I don't care what I look like. I'm not looking for anyone's approval. I know who I am."

If anyone knows how to stay true to themself, it's Toph.
In all honesty, sometimes I forget that Toph is blind and apparently I'm not the only one. Sokka forgot at least once (when he forged a letter from Toph to give to Katara, Katara quickly figuring out it was him as Toph cannot write). This kinda reminds me of a Social Studies unit from freshman year about people with disabilities. Though I used Quasimodo as an example on the test (my teacher apparently really liked that reference and gave me a 100% or something close to it), had I been thinking I would have used Toph, too. She not only overcame her disability, but it was barely even there. She wouldn't dare let her handicap define her. People tried to hold her down, but they just couldn't. Toph is strong. Toph is smart. Most importantly, she knows who she is and wouldn't change for the world. And despite her tomboy-ish demeanor, she is VERY cuddly. Here is an entire photoset of Toph cutesyness.

12. Princess Jasmine from Aladdin (Disney, film).
"I am NOT a prize to be won!"

Would you be surprised if I told you people don't understand why Jasmine is my favorite Disney princess?
Jasmine being rich doesn't really have anything to do with it, but you know, she IS rich, so I felt the song was appropriate. Most people credit Belle for being smart, but well... in HER movie I spend more time picking out the dumb things she does than actually enjoying it. She may be a bookworm but she is not very smart at all if you ask me. Jasmine, however, is VERY smart. Aside from the fact that she didn't bring any money with her when she ran away... that's the first thing you'd grab... no idea what was running through her mind. But what I love about her is even though Aladdin lied to her face more than once, she still loved him, flaws and all. She looked beyond class and status. She could care less that he was a riff-raff. Street rat. Scoundrel. She found out there's so much more to him (did you get my reference there?).

13. Mulan from Mulan (Disney, film).
"I don't wanna kick the other kid's butt."

Of course, when people talk about the awesomest Disney princesses she is always at the top of the list (that is, when she makes the list). It's not every day someone saves China. Like Prince Zuko (Azula's brother... I'll mention him later), all that she does is for the honor of her family. She is someone who has their priorities pretty much straight.

14. Jane Porter from Tarzan (Disney, film).
"Every gesture, every move that she makes makes me feel like never before. Why do I have this growing need to be beside her?" -Phil Collins, through Tarzan's eyes

Jane is much more than an artist. She is adventurous, she's funny, and well... half of my Disney OTP.
Jane is a pretty cool girl for her time and age (Tiana is, too, but... I've never seen her movie). She loves science (science gives me migraines, but whatever floats your boat, Jane), she's an amazing artist, and overall she's just really smart and a good role model for little girls and women alike. She's completely open to learning new things and leaving everything she's ever known all because of love. That was a giant leap of faith. Imagine if things didn't work out-- poor Jane would be stuck in Africa forever with a man she doesn't love! She's also on my list of will-be-great-mothers. What I love most about her character is that she shows affection through her eyes. It was very hard to find a quote because everything is expressed with eyes in this movie! Not once in this movie does anyone say, "I love you." The professor says, "...But you love him," but she never says it herself. We see it in giggles, blushes, smiles, and eye shimmering. And that is ten times cuter that she shows her affection rather than it strictly being words. Men, do not stop searching until you find your Jane Porter.

15. Ty Lee from Avatar: The Last Airbender (oh my gosh... yes, it's Nickelodeon again).
"My aura has never been pinker!"

Ty Lee, like one of her best friends, Mai, is also very misunderstood.
I feel like Ty Lee and I really connect on a non-animated level. I've calmed down a little since a certain time in eighth grade, but ever since... I'd say fourth grade, the time I actually started talking to people (I've always had some kind of anxiety around people but I've gotten better. Now I just don't really like them), I've been known as crazy, stupid, boy-crazy, giggly, the one of my friends with the more out-there dream. Now I'm not ashamed to admit I am not nearly as pretty as Ty Lee, but otherwise we are similar. She's more of an airhead (no pun intended at all), finds every boy cute (but then again, so do I), she's a circus freak and probably the youngest (she just kinda... acts like it. She's animated to look more baby-face-like, too).

She's the person who was closest to Azula and honestly, probably the only person who actually loved her (Ozai is hardly capable of love, Chan probably just liked Azula because she's pretty, Ursa seemed to be terrified of her and although Azula hallucinated that she told her she loved her, there's no telling that was true) with like, two exceptions. I don't believe Ty Lee and Azula's friendship was strictly based on fear. I think there was some trust and real friendship there (what may have made the end of the friendship so hard on Azula). If there hadn't been, Azula wouldn't have cared. Sure, she would have been mad, but not to the point of crying. You may be thinking, when did she cry about Ty Lee and Mai? Even though she never actually cried in the series until Ursa told her "I love you," her lip began to quiver when Ursa mentioned "You've used fear to control people, like your friends Mai and Ty Lee." She did care about them. I can tell.

Oh, look at me. Once again I've turned this into three paragraphs analyzing Azula. Point is, while Ty Lee is innocent, she is not ignorant. Especially when she chi-blocked Azula to protect Mai. People underestimate her, but if she weren't strong and independent, do you really think Azula would have picked her for the mission? She chases her dreams no matter what people think ("circus freak"), and she's not afraid to defend herself. And now, she's a Kyoshi Warrior, too!

16. Megara from Hercules (Disney, film).
"I'm a big, tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything."

Little Nutmeg is a lot like Mai. Pessimistic but hilarious at the same time. Plus, both girls have bad guy experiences but ended up getting with a Fire Lord and a Greek God (which is better?). However, Meg has a slightly bigger problem.
Most people, when they talk about their demons, they aren't literal demons. Well, our Nutmeg kinda sold her soul to the devil to save her boyfriend's life (and then he dumped her? I'm not gonna call this one smart). That didn't end well and now she's stuck being Hades' little puppet. She becomes Hercules' only weakness. Which I find adorable. Plus she takes liking to Pegasus. But what I love most about her and Hercules? "A life without Meg, even an immortal life, would be empty." The guy gave up his god status for her. Now THAT'S a girl worth fighting for!

17. Ursa from Avatar: The Last Airbender
"Everything I've done, I've done to protect you. Remember this, Zuko. No matter how things may seem to change, never forget who you are."

Do you know which Disney character Ursa reminds me of?
KALA! They're both married to some rather... controlling men. Yet they both keep a kind and gentleness about them that makes them great mothers who uplift their children to see what their kids may not see in themselves. She also reminds me of Mufasa ("Remember who you are"). But the impact that both Kala and Ursa (not gonna put Kala in this because she isn't human and I've been writing this post for like, three weeks) had on their children is very strong (and both relationships had some serious tear-jerkers involved). Zuko saw himself as a failure because he couldn't firebend nearly as well as Azula. Tarzan saw himself as too different to ever be useful to his family. Both were taught to overcome their struggles and both kids grew up to be leaders. Ursa was always there for Zuko, long after her departure.

"Just look over your shoulder. I'll be there, always." -Phil Collins

(Might make a Part 2 after I finish the Animated Role Models {Guys} section)