Sunday, August 19, 2012

First Show!

The Final Song of the Show!
After nearly five weeks of intense practice we finally had our first show! I couldn't have been more excited for this opportunity, we had been working up to this day for awhile by now. For days now we had been running the whole show through; beginning to end one, two, or even three times a day to makes sure everything was perfect. Everyone had their parts down to a science, they were drilled into our heads. The day of the actual show we went through the show and changed some more things two hours before we put on the actual show! It was all worth it in the end.

The day started with Marguerite and I waking up early like usual but with extra excitement because it was finally 'the day'! You could feel the energy in the air when the cast met up in the morning for a day full of rehearsal and some last minute changes. Nothing could bring us down at this point we were so ready for things to get going! We broke off into groups and worked on some specific things, I got to work on some cast movement because none of the dances I was in needed to be practiced at this moment. It was exciting to practice with the cast and really get the energy going! We were all feeding off of one another and it was hard to get everyone to focus this day, but after a little bit we started to focus on the task at hand!

My dad, Me, Annie Conzemius and her dad
I was especially excited for the performance because my real family from Texas came in to see it. My mom, dad, brother and cousin Andrew all came into town to see the show. This meant so very much to me because I know they always support me in everything that I do, and this was just another time that they showed their love for me. I cannot thank my family enough for their love and support throughout the years!
My mom, Me, Annie Conzemius and her mom

Something that I found to be very exciting was that a lot of people that my parents knew from when they travelled in Up with People were there. It was like mini reunion for a lot of them, and I know it made my parents happy to see all of these people again. My production manager on the road is Paul Conzemius, my mother knew his parents back in the day and so it is pretty exciting that we are traveling together this year.

My parents, Me, and some of the UWP friends

I was so thrilled that I got to meet some of the people that my parents travelled with when they went through this same thing 25 years ago. It was a very nice experience to see all the faces of people that I have heard so much about over the years! I couldn't have had a better first UWP show experience! Everything went perfect for me. I got to do some special dances in the show and it was a wonderful experience to know that our show isn't just entertainment it also is making change at the same time. We send a message in our show to stand up for others, and make a change in the world, don't just sit down and watch, do things to make the world better. We can all do things to help in the world and now is our time to start! I cannot wait to put the show on the road and make an impact on the world! I know this cast has some great potential and we are ready to shine! It is the premiere of the new Up with People show Voices, and we are going to make a change.

Marguerite, Chad, Me, and Chris
The show was a huge success, everyone that saw it said it was very good and that we looked prepared and had a lot of energy. My host family over the past five weeks came to support us in this first show and it was such a joy to hear them tell us how awesome it looked and that we did good. We were surprised at the end of the show by our family who gave us beautiful bouquets of flowers! Chris and Chad were truly amazing people for hosting us for such a long time and supporting us through all the good and the bad times! They were my 'parents' for those five weeks and I can't tell them how much they mean to me and what an impact they made on my life by just opening up their home and hearts to us. They showed me the generosity of people! I love to see how much people are willing to give to others, it is a beautiful thing to witness. I am constantly humbled by what people have given to us while being in UWP.

Nirite and I
Last but not least I wanted to introduce you all to my best friend on the road her name is Nirite and I don't know what I would do without her! She is truly amazing and a lot like me, we get along so well and always have things to talk about... sometimes it't too much though. I enjoy every minute getting to know this wonderful young woman, and know that we will be friends for a lifetime. We have a whole year of traveling this wonderful world together! The friendships you make in UWP are a special kind of thing, they are something more remarkable and more powerful than any relationships I have had before. I couldn't have asked for better people in this cast! We work so well together and put on an amazing first show in Denver, Colorado!!!! The premiere of the show Voices was a huge success!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Host Family Weekend!

This weekend was so much fun! On saturday our wonderful host parents let us sleep in to catch up on our sleep. Man did that feel good. After we woke up we got ready and we went shopping, I don't really like to shop but I loved going to the mall and seeing what it was like. It was very nice I might add! That night Marguerite and I went to the movies, we went and saw Ted. For those of you that know what it is about, I did not think it was as good as they said it was. A grown man with a talking teddy bear I probably should have thought more about it before I went. But it was a fun night and we had a blast just hanging out by ourselves.

That night when we got home and sat on the couch we watched movies and just talked. We then got on the computers and talked to our friends on Facebook. This was very fun, because we got a chance to learn more about one another's friends. The next day "today" we left at 10 to go to Vail here in Colorado. Wow...

On the road to vail

Through the car window!

Colorado is a truly amazing place. These mountains are awe inspiring. When I look at them I know there has to be something more in this world. I cannot believe there are creations like these in the world. Most of my mountain pictures were taken through the car window on our way there. I thought they turned out pretty well! The trip there took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. It was pretty easy but when we first started out I started feeling the elevation and my body took it pretty hard. I felt really dizzy and had a headache, after awhile it adjusted and I felt a lot better. When we got to Vail it was amazing, there was a whole town just stuck into the mountains. 

Chris and I 

We had a nice walk around the village for a long time, we took so many pictures and joked around a lot. Chris, my host mom always knows how and when to crack a joke, we never get bored with her. We ate at a little German restaurant on the side of one of the streets. I had something called Chicken in a Pot it was pretty much broth with chicken, vegetables, and matzo balls in it. It was pretty good it had a nice flavor! We brought their dog Maddie with us so we had to sit outside while eating! The weather was amazing though so it was a perfect day to visit Vail!

Chris and Marguerite acting weird!

Vail is very beautiful, I can understand why people love going there. I have always wanted to go to be able to say I have been to Vail and now I finally have! This is going to be a trip of a lot of firsts for me! I cannot wait! Chris and Marguerite are hilarious. I couldn't have asked for a better roommate we keep each other entertained all the time! You can see that in the picture here where she looks like she is in pain. We love to make faces, we get along very well. She has taught me how to say one through ten in French. I am not good at all though haha! :) oh well I tried!

On our way home we ran into some traffic. By traffic I mean our trip that was supposed to take 1 hour and 45 minutes took 4 hours and 15 minutes! I feel so bad for my host dad Chad who had to do all the driving while the girls slept! We lasted about one hour and then we all crashed, even though we didn't have a long day we were all tired. It was an amazing day and I saw some of the most beautiful sights of my life. What an amazing way to end my weekend! We even had homemade lasagna for dinner! Week number two here you come. I am ready for it! another long week but it will be another great one! Have a great week everyone!! :) 

First Week!

The first week was a success! It definitely had its ups and downs but overall it was a wonderful experience! I cannot wait to get on the actual road and begin to start helping out in other communities! I do love it here in Colorado though. This year is going to be a blast for sure! I have already met so many people that I know will be my friends for the rest of my life. I am truly blessed that I get the opportunity to do something like this! The whole week was pretty much the same, everyday we had a dancing segment, a singing segment, and educational segments. We have learned a lot of the songs for our show already, they are truly beautiful, and I cannot wait to share them with the world. I know this show will be one of the best yet!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Today was module day... We went through a series of modules to see where we excelled and where we struggled. There were 5 different ones we went through: tech, dance, costumes, speaking, and vocals. the whole cast was split into groups of smaller groups of people. My group was all girls and there were ten of us! :) In each of these modules we did various things.

In tech we were taught about our stage and saw how much work goes into making the show come to life. We learned about the lights and sound, both of which I don't understand at all... guess I won't be a tech girl. In dance we learned different steps and had to repeat them. We learned a little bit of choreography and also had to show them that we were capable of the moves. I really enjoyed it, but this Colorado elevation is killer, I definitely struggled with stamina for awhile. Costumes was basically where we put on our full show costume and they told us if they approved of them or not, or if they wanted us to add something to our costumes. I was lucky enough to have had my entire outfit accepted! THANK YOU MOM!!! (she did all the shopping, I couldn't do it without her!) In speaking we pretty much got to talk for a whole 50 minutes! I LOVE to talk just so you know, but I was a little nervous for this. I think it was mainly because we had to go to vocals after. But we had to project our voices and read some different stuff. Sooo... what can I say about the vocal module... scariest moment of my life.. haha. Kidding but I was really scared. We had to first sing as a group then we each had to sing individually. If you don't know me very well you need to know that I REALLY can rock it out in my car with the radio. But I'm not a technically trained singer. Once I finally got through the hardest part my day flew by!

I loved every part of the day, the good and the bad, the easy and hard, the exciting and boring. Even though it was tough it was Up With People at it's best, preparing for the future and making everyone feel good about themselves no matter what. I AM SO EXCITED FOR STAGING!!!



Sunday, July 8, 2012

First Host Family Day!

Today we had a host family day where we got to spend it with our new host families. It was very relaxing, we got to sleep in and relax during the morning. Then we drove to the airport where we picked up the iPad. After that Chad and I met Chris and Marguerite at the grocery store, where they let us pick out tons of snacks and our favorite foods! I was in heaven! :) We went out to lunch with their daughter Jessica, and it was fabulous! Later we came back to the house and just hung out all day! I read and we watched TV and right now we are watching a 7th Heaven marathon! I love that I can just relax and hang out with them. It's going to be a fun ride I can tell you that now!

I can't wait to get this adventure started!! :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

First Day!

Up With People Cast B 2012

Today I arrived in Denver, Colorado at about 12:00 in the afternoon. I was met by a staff member holding up an Up With People sign. They told me where to meet everyone so I went and got my luggage and found the group. I was so nervous to talk to everyone because they had all been there for awhile before me. But as usual 'Up With People' style I was brought into the group very quickly and made friends easily. After chatting for awhile at the airport we had to take a bus to our daily meeting spot where we will be staging everyday.

When we arrived we all got to sit around and chat with each other. Making friends and talking to people was easy. We played different (sometimes awkward) games and got to know one another. I was on the first bus that arrived at the school, so we had the whole day to hang out and wait for the others to come. By the end of the day about 3 buses made drop offs. Around 8 o'clock that night we all moved into a music room while our host families started arriving. We were told about expectations for us and what to expect for the next few days.

Then we finally got to meet our host families. I have a roommate Marguerite from Belgium who is very sweet. We live with two host parents Chad and Chris. They are so sweet and take great care of us. They made us feel comfortable immediately. They have 3 dogs and 4 cats, so I'm in heaven right now! I couldn't have asked for a better family and better pets! :) It helps me so that I am not so homesick. Although I do miss my family tons!!

The only bad thing about yesterday is that I found out I left my iPad on the plane. I was so sad and embarrassed that I lost it. But good news my WONDERFUL father tracked it down for me and my awesome host dad brought me 35 minutes to the airport to get it back. I just love my family!

Everything is going right, and I am so excited to really get into this!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Packing Day!

Skip and Scooter in my luggage...

Today was packing day! It was super exciting but sad at the same time. I was trying to pack Skip and Scooter with my stuff but it didn't work out so well... I hate having only one suitcase for a whole year, it's kind of hard to think of everything but also limit yourself to just one bag. I'm still very excited to go though, even with my luggage issues. :) I haven't checked the weight yet so we will see if it is light enough, and maybe I will have room for the puppies after all. Tomorrow is my last day to get everything in order! Here we go! :) Denver I'll see you soon!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Buying my journals...

I plan to keep a journal on the road during my year with UWP. Today I had a chance to go to the bookstore with Mom. We found some great choices... Check one more thing off the 'to-do' list...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Favorite Restaurants...

Mom and me at "Babes" in TX

Hitting all of my favorite eating places as I prepare to leave home for the next year!  Today was Babe's, a famous Fried Chicken restaurant.  Also on the list are Johnny Carino's and Mi Cocina.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Found my luggage!

My new luggage!

Yeah, after doing a lot of research, I finally picked out the luggage that I will use for the year. I went with TravelPro because it has one of the most best 'durability' ratings... Let's hope it's as good as they say.

Of course I went with the largest size that UWP allows to ensure I have room for everything... Still finding it hard to believe I'm going to live out of a suitcase for a year!

Now, I just have to start getting all of the clothes I'm going to take with me in order... so much to do!