Tale As Old As Time

Over the last couple of years, Afternoon Tea has become one of my top priorities along side working, trying to be healthy and attaining a Performing Career.

I had been reading all year about the Tale As Old As Time tea at The Town House in Kensington (http://townhousekensington.com/tale-as-old-as-time/) and guess what … I managed to get a very last minute booking for a week after my Birthday! Who else better to share this with that my rock, my momma!

We both arrived (me still dosed up on the penicillin) in our finest, and ready to “try the grey stuff” (pardon the pun) but it really really was delicious, and pull up a chair with Lumeriere and pals.

The tea room was exquisite. And the moment we stepped in, we could see the Red Rose in the glass jar, and a big Cosgworth awaiting to Be Our Guest (sorry I can’t help myself!)

They have put so much thought into the details of this experience, the menu is cleverly crafted so every thing you eat is tailored to the wonderful movie. “Beef Ragu, Cheese Souflee” Well it’s all there! It may look like tiny bites, but don’t let this fool you! We ended up taking half of the food home!

“Enough! I’m Done!”

WARNING: If you’re a scone lover, I must state: You will not devour a scrumptious fruit scone, but you will find a number of baguette designed brioche on your tier of delights.

“Marie! The Baguettes! Hurry Up!”

And of course, we couldn’t leave without snapping some photos!

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the movie, or just a good old fashioned Afternoon Tea!

Even though I felt like the Beast, I left feeling like Belle of the Ball!

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Keep it happy, keep it snappy, keep it gay!

July meant the following things; PRIDE, Shows, My Birthday, and a Holiday. Boy it was fun.

Celebrating Pride in Soho is truly a highlight every year. And this one was not as lengthy as they normally are, but I had a blast dancing the streets with bright pink hair, faceprint and of course my pals!

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Getting to sing back in my Hometown and London was a joy! I am so blessed to know some really really talented souls; we definitely put on a bloody good show. I really need to get around to uploading some videos … That’s on the to-do list!

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Celebrating another year of my life seems to feel stranger each time it passes. I feel no different to when I turned 18, yet the number is surely creeping up towards the big, dare I say it, Three Zero. ANYWAY… I never like to do anything too over the top, so a night of Bowling was in store. I can assure you, Bowling will never be something featured on a resume of mine … But loosing aside, I laughed so much that night and had so much fun.

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To end the month, I got to spend four days away with my oldest forever friend, Laura and her beautiful little family. I have know Laura since I was 6 years old, and it scares us both that her little girl is almost the same age that we both met?! Great Yarmouth may not be anywhere on your top places to visit this summer, but It felt so good to breath in the fresh sea air, and take life a slightly slower rate. Spending time with them literally cleanses my soul; I am so blessed to still have Laura in my life, and continue our friendship, and add to the memories.

(I’m trying to dig some photos out from when we were little! Stay tuned!)

Even though I ended the break with a horrific fever and my other good ol’ friend tonsillitis, I had such a lovely time. The only plus side of getting ill: THE NHS!!!!!!!

June Is Bustin’ Out All Over …

And with June, came my departure from Orlando back to London. I Landed in the Early hours of a Wednesday in June, to temperatures in the mid 20’s (for you Americans, somewhere in the 70’s!) Which I can tell you is unlike the grey skies that I am used to.

After 9 months apart, I was greeted by my mum awaiting for me with tears of happiness at the arrivals gate.

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I cannot express just how much my mother means to me. Obviously every child will unconditionally love their parents, but I can confidently say my mother is my inspiration, motivation and my rock! Getting to give her the biggest squeeze was such a overwhelming moment. Technology has been fantastic, but unfortunately FaceTime doesn’t have a ‘Give Hug’ feature… yet.

After worrying the past couple of weeks about where I would be residing during my time back in the UK, I got the chance to spend two weeks with two of my favorites! David and Evan, I cannot thank you enough for welcoming me into your beautiful home, and making me feel so comfortable and relaxed! Transitioning back to GMT and London Life was a bit of a shock, and having you both there was wonderful.

Oh … and I got to see a show I had been dying to see too, and made all of my American friends very jealous!

Yes, it lived up to every ounce of hype, and really is one of the best musicals I have seen on the West End in years! The Broadway energy and magic, that sadly the West End usually lacks was there with full pizazz! And Amber Riley … well, I can see why she was awarded the Olivier! What a great way to spend my first 24 hours back in the country.

By the end of the Month, I was right back into rehearsals with my girl group, The Buttercups (Instagram  Facebook Twitter) and performing in some of our favourite places across town. I had missed getting dolled up in our gorgeous matching outfits, and seeing all the pin curls back.

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June will filled with catch ups with my nearest and dearest at home. And wow It felt so good to have my crazies back on the same time zone, and only a TFL fail away!

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I got “Positoovity!”

So before I start on the summer, I guess I should catch you up with my on-goings from February! I moved rooms, became an RA at school, got to study under some truly incredible teachers and left completed my first year with an almost perfect GPA.

 

So where do I start? Well the new year came with it’s challenges, as they always do. I was questioning if I had made the right choice; the last part of the semester moved so slowly, I started to get bored… quickly. However I remained positive, and optimistic. Life always brings you to everyone and everywhere for a reason. Sure enough, Second Semester quite literally blasted off to the speed I was expecting, and I couldn’t have been happier.

Throughout Musical Theater, we focused on Musicals BEFORE 1960. As many of my close friends will be aware, a lot of my favourites fall into this category. I was star struck by the people I was working with, some whom I had pretty much followed their careers since a teenager. I felt like I had took a huge leap in the direction I have always meant to be going, and wanted more hours of school than were possible in one singular day.

 

I had the opportunity to spend a large chunk of the Semester working on ‘Carousel.’ I think this is up on my top 5 favourites… So getting to be Carrie Pipperidge 3 times a week was so exciting! I had some excellent partners that were a part of the Carousel journey, and It has to be a highlight of these few months!

 

Being an RA, brought me lots of fun memories. I had the chance to spread some British love and throw an all English, stiff upper lip style Afternoon Tea Party, and hosted an awesome (as cockey as it sounds, it really was) Murder Mystery night. On top of this, I met Kirby, who will be one of my close friends not only for my time at AMDA but I’m sure for a long time! We began to Broadway Binge (who knows if that even is a thing?!) We ended up seeing a large selection of what Broadway had to offer, and loving every minute of it. I am so smug, and happy to say I got to see the below shows, and most of them more than once!

Oh and I caught Broadway Queens Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole in ‘War Paint’ too. There’s still plenty I want to see … so I’ve got pennies dollars to earn so I can catch them on my return.

I would love to review too, so I’ve told myself I am going to write my thoughts on each of these over the next month, and continue to work on my writing skills…. Keep your eyes out for my take on the above shows.

The semester was disappearing before my eyes,  and sure enough, before I knew it we were heading into Final Demo time. AGAIN. This time however, it meant the countdown back to London…. So I wanted to make the most of my days left in this concrete jungle. Weekends included trips to my favourite spot in Dumbo for Pizza (Grimaldis Pizza) and experiencing my first EVER baseball game; GO YANKEES!

 

Demos were such a success! I was lucky enough to be chosen to perform my Acting Scene to the heads of the school, and Waltz the afternoon away with my favorite boy.

 

So the Positoovity paid off! Second Semester was something wonderful! I worked hard towards the end and treated myself to a few days in the most magical place in the World, meeting the Mouse!

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This Bird Is Singing

…. and dancing, and acting and everything else you could imagine.

Semester 1 is now complete! I am still in shock that I have now lived in Manhattan for 5 months and have finished a quarter of my life at AMDA. We came back from Christmas and it was all go go go (thankfully not go go go Joseph!) in preperation for final Demos.

Musical Theater has been so much fun! It has been quite a while since I have been able to prepare and perform songs as if they were in the show; with costume and set galore! I have to admit it is much more exciting than just audition prep. We have been blessed with the finest teachers AMDA has to offer, and I have been adding skills and tools to my belt.

As much as I have loved singing all my songs; I have to say I am ready to put Miss Byrd away for a little while. Bring on all the Gershwin, Porter and R&H!! I AM READY!

The last few weeks of our first semester really rocked our B1 family boat. Emotionally, Mentally and Physically our hearts were tugged and ache, but I have no doubt in my mind that we now have a guardian angel watching (and dancing) with us.

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Between exams and sleep, we have been exploring the city even more, catching movies and above everything else having so much fun!

And of course New York was blessed with more snow …. our final exam was even cancelled due to the amount of white stuff that hit the floor! So I couldn’t resist going out to play!

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With two more days before second semester commences, I am now in a much bigger room in dorms, and prepared to be an RA (Resident Advisor) throughout my second semester.

Let’s see what happens!

My Funny Valentine

Ah the fourteenth of February, how you always sneak up on me. Spending another one single, minus all the red envelopes and roses having quite a rough month anyway! I am pleased to say today was truly wonderful. –

I admit, I am a girl who wears her heart on her sleeve: a true Leo trait. I have so much love to give, and I adore making people I care about in my life feel like a million bucks! But recently I think I have been forgetting such an important quote… 


So, I have made a pact with myself. No more boys. Not before me. Not before my determination to succeed as a performer. Which means remaining strong, not falling for puppy dog eyes and restricting late nights to singing in studios and working on that Six Pack that I know is still in hibernation. This whole week I have been so lucky to have Tessa visiting from the UK. Having already had plenty of laughs, and very good food, we managed to hang out and just forget that V-Day was even a thing. 


The sights of Manhattan never grow old. I look up to the sky, and the buildings still take my breath away. Even though the sun was shining, it was safe to say … I should have brought my hat and scarf!


After a wander through Central Park, how could we resist dropping by our local….

In the words of Miss Monroe herself Diamonds and Tiffany are a girl’s best friend.  

We managed to get rush tickets for Chekhovs The Present. I was so excited to witness Cate Blanchett do her thing in the flesh, and boy she did not disappoint. The first act was rather slow moving, but Miss Blanchett has a way to still engage and captivate you though little action was taking place on the stage. By the second act, before intermission the pace really picked up and we went from 0 to 100 within seconds. Intermission came, and apart from the fact I felt as If I were watching the play in an outdoor theater (my hands had even begun turning blue) we were intrigued to find out what would happen in the final two acts. 


The lights dimmed, and now sat in a much warmer area of the theater the remainder of the show played out. I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of the script/story, but the performances on the stage were full of depth, truth and craft. I could hear the words of my wonderful acting teacher Serena pop into my head throughout. 

With only days to go before second semester commences…. I feel ready to give my all to the Musicals pre-60’s and whatever challenges I may face over the next fourteen weeks. 
I guess I should share some stories since new year too …. More blogs to come. 


After a fun-filled day, I guess you can “Stay little valentine, stay.” 

To me, from me xo.

On a Sunday

…by the blue, purple, yellow, red water. On the green, purple, yellow, red grass. Let us pass through our perfect park. Pausing on a Sunday…

Wait a second! As beautiful as Sondheim’s lyrics are, this is not how my first Sunday back seemed to pan out. 

The first week back at AMDA has commenced and Sunday was spent with a day full of classes. There is truly no rest for the wicked!

However, I cannot complain. I am so happy to have my favourite people back, as selfish as that sounds. The last few days of break included a very fun trip to the Natural History Museum (which is in fact only 8 blocks away from our dorm!) 

It’s such a beautiful museum but I quickly learnt whales are actually pretty scary. In fact anything that was relatively bigger than me, I wasn’t really enjoying being too close to.

The next day brought Manhattan SNOW. Now when I mention the white stuff, I mean inches and inches. Not just an icing sugar sprinkle that would have brought the entire UK to a halt!

So what’s the best thing for a group of American students to do… Well of course build a snowman, but one step further. Snowball fights! 


The first week back has been intense. With only three weeks away from our final demos, it’s all rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal. I am so grateful to be surrounded by super talented and supportive people at school. The friends I have made mean so much to me, and make every day hilariously fun and memorable! 

I cannot believe I’ve been living in New York for the best part of 4 months and I am almost in my second semester. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. 

So after a very long 6 day week; here’s to….

SUNDAYS! Never take them for granted. 

xo 

It’s gonna be a Happy New Year

Considering the first three days of my 2016 weren’t the most enjoyable (I spent the first two recovering from a terrible hangover, and then had a facial resulting in my eye swelling so badly I ended up in hospital.) Besides the drama, 2016 has been an incredible year.

My dreams have literally become a reality. I am now living where my mind, body and soul feel at peace and at home. Every day I thank everyone for helping me get here.

I feel like I have regained MY self. It’s been a tough time to emotionally nagivate and find me again, but I feel like its happened.

Now I’m getting to see the new year in with some of my closest people in my new home, and I think about what this next year holds for me….

  • Another 6 months of bliss in my favourite city.
  • Returning to London to reuinte with my family, and friends. Working my socks off before coming back home in the fall.
  • Learn and grow further as a performing from my incredible teachers at AMDA
  • The chance to visit more of America
  • Continue working on that Broadway Bod
  • Build on the fantastic friendships that have started to blossom
  • Remind myself I am living the dream.
  • BLOG MORE!

So here’s to 2017; lets all find the positive things to look toward.

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Once upon a December

I realise the blogging hasn’t been very regular over the past couple of months.  But I can justify the lack of posting due to the whirlwind of life that is AMDA.

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Where do I begin? October brought some challenges within school; pushing myself out of my comfort area, and on reflection has made me grow that bit more.  I keep spreading the ‘Levain’ joy with my friends. If you are unsure of what Levain is … be sure to check out their website. Their cookies literally melt in your mouth and fill you up for the rest of the day. Needless to say this isn’t a snack, it’s a 6oz meal! [If you try these out, my favourite is the dark chocolate peanut butter chip. It’s heaven!]

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November blew some strong winds into New York, and gone were the jackets, and out came the thermals, hats, scarfs, gloves and anything else I could wrap myself up with. My wisdom teeth decided to pay a visit. My gums and lips had a lovely swollen couple of weeks. HOWEVER, November brought my first official American Thanksgiving. And boy was it everything and more I had hoped for. Getting only a couple of hours sleep, we braved the cold at 4am to get a good spot. After going back for a nap and returning at sunrise, there were also hundreds of people eyeing up a good spot! Once we had gotten over our diva disappointment… we managed to actually get onto thimg_3486e bleechers!

**Which I may add, you can only sit there, if you have a ticket. And to attain a ticket, you have to know someone in the parade. Thank you to whoever was watching over my friends and I that day; I had a blast!

 

 

 

 


We hung out in a mid-town apartment that night, and felt like proper grown ups in the city. Cooking a feast, and drinking the night away, this Thanksgiving is one I am sure never to forget.img_3642

My time at AMDA gets more jam packed every day, and before I knew it… I had been at school for 8 weeks and mid-terms were upon us. I felt challenged within every class but, ready! I felt so proud to be part of my talented class after our Musical Theater exams; everyone was AWESOME!

img_3741And … before you could sing Dancing Bears, Painted Wings… December was upon us. Manhattan is such a beautiful city, but it really outdid itself with Christmas and overall
holiday spirit. Seeing the Rockefeller tree in it’s full glory, Ice Skating in Central Park (and doing a terrible job) and present shopping were just some of the joys December brought.

 

 

 

I saw some pretty fabulous shows too ….. Waitress, In Transit, Something Rotten, Holiday Inn, AND December 12th brought me back to my favourite show of 2016, and maybe EVER….

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For those of you who know me well, you will understand how much this concert meant to me. After falling in love with the show back in April, and feeling very fortunate to see it in it’s full glory on Broadway. Getting to re-live the music, with the whole team was truly sensational. And of course I have got many of my American Friends hooked on the show too. My two best girls in NY got to share the evening with me.

Needless to say this was a blissful highlight of the month.

img_3956Secret Santa arrived, put smiles on our classes faces and then it was time to say goodbye to our friends for the first time in two months. Christmas break was here. It might sound dramatic, but my heart sunk a tad watching all my new friends, and second family depart our little home in the Upper West Side to go back to their own families…. Who was going to keep me entertained every evening? Thankfully my twin, and fellow Samantha was sticking around. Which meant she had to stick with me.

 

 

 

Christmas has been slightly unconventional for the past 7 years, so this one didn’t feel too dissimilar.

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Boxing day took me out of the city and a new adventure to Massachusetts.I got to see snow that went up to my knees, and spend a few days in the most enjoyable and kind company. I even hiked up a mountain…. If I had known hiking was on the agenda, converse wouldn’t have been my go-to choice of shoes.

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So 2016 is wrapping up. I’m back in Manhattan, excited for the celebration of the new year, and what it will hold.

Wow. Two months has FLOWN by.

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Hard Work!

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So my first two weeks at AMDA are complete. I can confidently say, this is going to be the best experience of my life, to date. The quality of training is outstanding, and my teachers range from Rockettes to Creatives opening shows on BROADWAY.

After recieving our schedules, I knew it would be a while before I had time to breathe and sleep let alone keep you all updated with my journey. Generally my days consist of waking up at 6am, starting classes at 8am, finishing around 6pm and then onto rehearsals and practising in the evening.

Even though I feel like I am entering this course with some knowlege already; I am ready to train the American way. And boy, am I learning! The first week including learning poems, songs, warm ups, combinations and how to sight sing/conduct whilst using solfege. I feel like a sponge, ready to soak up all this new information, and keep improving my skills.

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There is no room for lateness, not learning things DLP (Dead Letter Perfect) or turning up to a dance class without looking stage ready. And I LOVE IT! 

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My class are riduclously talented, and such kind, generous and FUNNY people. I am blessed to be surrounded by them every day. We area already so close.

At the end of my first week, we were offered a free performance from British duo Ferris and Milnes. (By the way, if you haven’t heard of them… you should definitely check them out: http://www.ferrisandmilnes.com) So I went to check it out. I ended up getting the chance to volunteer to photograph their show at The Metropolitan Room the next day. Already excited at this opportunity, I ended up brushing shoulders with Broadway Legends, Producers, Agents and have become friends with a very popular Lady who impersonates too. Needless to say, this city is about taking risks and and establishing yourself. I feel like I have now achieved that milestone!

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The second week began with meeting my singing tutor. What a STAR! He filled me with a extra spout of excitment and eagerness to succeed. He also told me I reminded him of Megan Hilty, which also didn’t hurt!

 

Learning more songs, refining combinations and preparing us for the outside world, the second week is drawing to a close.

Even though I haven’t seen any other shows yet, I feel like I am currently living in one. I am physically and mentally exhausted… But hey, they don’t Performing Arts hard work for nothing?!

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This weekend I have another 6 hours of classes, an audition, and a couple of extra little surprises. In between all my home-work and rehearsal time, I am going to try and find an hour or two to sleep.
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