Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about something that we all go through. Whether it involves a band, actor, book, or song, we are all fangirls (and fanboys…don’t think I’m leaving the guys out of this one). Whether you keep your fangirling to yourself, or you have a twitter account completely dedicated to the loves of your life, we all usually have one thing in common…eventually our ships sink. However, thanks to the internet one very lucky little 3 year old girl named Mila got to meet her celebrity crush face to face. Now I know that you have all heard about this one, but honestly this story was so sweet I just couldn’t resist sharing it with y’all (and you know you wanna watch it again).
In an interview a few days ago with Ellen DeGeneres, Mila’s mother explained that she told Mila about Adam getting married in a grocery store, and immediately changed the subject when Mila freaked out (didn’t we all), but then she decided to tell Mila again and film it (again I think we all would have done this). Ellen invited Mila on to her show so they could talk about love, Mila’s relationship with Adam, their wedding plans, etc., you know typical girl stuff. After receiving a really cool Adam themed outfit (yeah Ellen I’m gonna need to know where I can get one of those), Mila actually got to meet Adam. Unfortunately for Adam, Mila seemed to be over the relationship, but she did keep the rose he brought her (good girl!). It is such a cute video that y’all all have to check out. So now that Mila has successfully lived out every fangirl’s dream, what will she do next? Blockbuster Hollywood movie? Walk the runways at the next Fashion Week? MIla for president in 2016? Whatever she does, Mila will always be an inspirations to fangirls everywhere!
Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we are going to talk about director/music producer Kurt Hugo Schneider! Kurt is one of the AMAZING YouTube producers that has worked with so many of our fav musicians (both YouTubers and mainstream musicians). I guarantee that you’re VERY familiar with Kurt already, but just in case you’re new to his awesomeness, Ready? Ok let’s go!
Kurt began his online career in 2008, when he and his friend Sam Tsui released a cover of ‘Can I Have This Dance’ from the movie ‘High School Musical 3’ (this is the first video that is on their YouTube channel as of 3/31/2015). In this video, Kurt accompanies Sam on the piano, and also added cool effects on the video that make it look like multiple copies of Sam are singing at the same time. Kurt continued to post videos with Sam, with other people, and also solo, before he posted a cover that would begin to change his channel. On July 24th, 2009 Kurt uploaded a new cover with Sam Tsui, which was an a cappella Michael Jackson Medley, which features Kurt beatboxing (I included the video below so y’all can check it out). This video got a lot of media attention for Kurt & Sam, and is still one of their most popular videos with over 33 million total views. In 2009 & 2010, Kurt’s channel started growing so much that he & Sam were featured on: The Bonnie Hunt Show, Oprah, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Since then Kurt’s channel has definitely not slowed down, & he has worked with INCREDIBLE artists such as: Jason Derulo, Victoria Justice, Max Schneider (who we have already talked about, click here to read about him: ‘YouTube Wednesday’: Max Schneider, Hollywood’s longest kept secret | celindareyesblog), Alyson Stoner, Keke Palmer, Hunter Hayes, Jason Mraz, and so many more. Now that we know how Kurt built such an awesome channel, let’s move on to some of the bigger projects he has released.
Now let’s talk about some of the other amazing projects Kurt has been a part of (and remember guys that I’m just giving you a quick little highlight reel because honestly we could be here for days talking about why Kurt is so awesome). Kurt (along with Max Schneider) co-wrote the song ‘Standing In China’, which is on pop singer Cody Simpson’s album ‘Paradise’ (which was released in 2012). Another really awesome collaboration that Kurt did was a ‘Holiday Medley’ with Victoria Justice & Max Schneider which was uploaded on December 14th, 2012. This cool mash-up of popular Christmas songs features multiple videos that were played on multiple Sprint phones, that give the illusion that the vocalists in the videos are jumping from one phone to another phone (sorta hard to explain, but check out the video below to check out the greatness! In 2013, Kurt teamed up with Coca-Cola to create music videos (along with some really talented vocalists) where Kurt covered ‘Feel So Close’ by Calvin Harris & ‘Little Talks’ by Of Monsters and Men (this is the only cover that feature an instrument because the other artist in the video is a cellist) for their ‘The Sounds of AHH’ campaign. In the covers, Kurt is shown making the track playing only Coca-Cola bottles, glasses and cans. Like I said, this is only a small sample of the cool videos you’ll find on Kurt’s channel, so definitely add him to your “must watch” list!
2nd YouTube Channel: Kurt
Website: Kurt Hugo Schneider
Facebook: Kurt Schneider | Facebook
Hello people of the internet on ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss a YouTube video that as of 9/27/2014 has over 500,000 views (and it was uploaded on 9/8/2014, so that’s pretty impressive. This video was uploaded by a man named Prince EA, and is entitled ‘Why I Think This World Should End’ (here’s a link to the video Why I Think This World Should End – YouTube). Now before you jump to any conclusions, this is an inspiring, NOT DEPRESSING video (because honestly we go on the internet to get away from the depression life or situations can cause). If you’ve seen this video then you know why we have to talk about it, if you haven’t then please stay with me here, because you WILL want to know all about this video. And yes I know that YouTube videos are usually reserved for Wednesdays, but this blog goes beyond just talking about the video. Trust me you’ll love it (oh and if any of my former teachers see this post, I promise that I know that you aren’t suppose to start a sentence with and…just putting that out there in the universe). Ok on to the blog!!!
In this video Prince EA speaks about how the world has turned into a cruel, intolerant place, that just seems to be getting meaner and more negative as we become more technologically advanced. He included a really cool Robert Kennedy quote, that would be too long to include here, but basically says that even though not everyone will necessarily change the world on their own, if we all do small things to make a positive difference, then we can change the world together. When I saw this video I was instantly blown away because of how powerful and relatable this video is to our everyday lives. Honestly everyday people are bullied for the things that make them special and unique. Whether it’s how you act, what you enjoy doing, what you believe in, etc., you should and go have the right to be you. Unfortunately as technology and human curiosity has made the world a smaller and smaller place, meanness has also advanced. In the past few years, bullying and other tragedies in the world has gotten a lot of media attention. But if we stop and think about why, the answer is really sad. It seems that as more and more celebrities, young adults, teens, and get ready for it KIDS struggle with eating disorders, self-harm, suicide, and even murdering others, the topics of bullying, and the growth of unkindness in general begin to become more present in our lives. Now when I say “bullying” I don’t just mean hitting someone, or being mean to them in person or online every day. Even if you’re not targeting someone, you can still be a bully. How you ask? We’ll have you ever been mean or lashed out at someone because YOU were having a bad day? Well that mean word from you may be the 100th mean thing that person has heard that week or even that day. Eventually all this can make a person crack. Now even though having bad days or just being in a bad mood is natural, the best thing to do is talk to someone about it, because taking it out on someone else (whether you mean to or not) can just cause someone to hurt themselves, other people, or even you (I know I sound like a digital billboards d or something, but this is all true and VERY important). Recently Disney Channel has announced its’ ‘Choose Kindness’ campaign, where they will try to raise awareness of the effects of bullying through topics discussed on its’ shows, and most likely PSAs (which means public service announcements by its stars). The first two shows to take the lead in this campaign are the popular Disney shows ‘Girl Meets World’ and ‘Austin & Ally’ (which will show episodes where popular characters are bullied for being themselves, and their friends must help them deal work through it). I think that this is definitely a step in the right direction, because if we learn to be kind and positive at a young age, then maybe bullying will disappear or at least not be as bad and common as it is now.
As y’all can see, kindness is a little thing that can really make a big difference in the world (ok now I sound like a PBS special, but you get the point). If we could all just remember these world, “be kind to one another”, then I think that the world would be a happier place for everyone. BTW do you know what great philosopher said those words? Yes the one and only Ellen Degeneres (who said TV wasn’t educational!?!). So since we are a generation that loves challenges and tags, I challenge/tag all of you to share this video (and if you want to share the blog too, that would be awesome…just sayin’), and to also be kind to 1 person a day. Whether that’s a giving them a compliment, calling/texting a friend/family member just to see how they are doing, or just smiling at a random stranger. I promise doing something small for someone everyday may just make you day a little better ( I mean it can’t hurt right?). Just think about something real quick, some of our favorite YouTubers were bullied in school and turned to the internet for support. Now, they’re able to use their popularity and skills to help inspire others, and help them have a place to turn to when life gets just a little too hard. So if they can use kindness and positivity to help others, then why can’t you? I would like to thank Erica(aka Beautybabe149), for mentioning this video on her latest YouTube video about kindness. Without that video I don’t know if I would have found this AMAZING video, so please go check out her channel, subscribe, and if you want to learn more about her, I have a link to a blog post I featured her in here: YouTube Wednesday: Beautybabe149, the next YouTube beauty/fashion queen has arrived | celindareyesblog.
Keep in touch with Prince EA:
YouTube: Prince Ea – YouTube
Facebook: Prince Ea | Facebook
SoundCloud: Prince Ea’s profile – Hear the world’s sounds
ITunes: iTunes – Music – Prince Ea
Google+: Prince Ea – Google+
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss an up and coming YouTube star that you might already be familiar with. This amazing vocalist found fame at a very young age, and was able to captivate audiences with is talent, charisma, and natural star power. Does the name Stevie Brock ring a bell? If you were a fan of Disney Channel/Radio Disney in the early 2000s then be prepared for some major déjà vu, and learn why Stevie is on the verge of a major career upswing. So sit down, read the blog, and prepare to witness musically greatness (trust me if you don’t already, you’re going to love him after reading this post).
Stevie Brock was born on October 23rd, 1990 in Centerville, OH (I found conflicting sources on this, so it could have been Centerville or Dayton, OH). Stevie began singing at a very young age, and at the ripe old age of 11, was discovered in Dayton, Ohio, and signed to WIRE Records (which was an Orlando, FL based record company owned by veteran manager Johnny Wright, who has managed successful groups and artists such as: New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, the Jonas Brothers, Menudo, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Ciara). In 2002, Stevie was a guest vocalist on the group Triple Image’s single ‘Boy Next Door’ (Triple Image, Stevie Brock – Boy Next Door). In 2003 Stevie released his debut self-titled album, which included a cover of the hit track ‘All for Love’ (Stevie Brock – All For Love) originally by the group Color Me Badd. ‘All for Love’ became a hit single for Stevie as well, and received a lot of rotation on radio stations such as Radio Disney, and was also included on the ‘Radio Disney Jams, Vol. 6’ CD. He later released a corresponding music video for the track. Also in 2003, Stevie toured with fellow pop sensation Aaron Carter on his ‘Aaron’s Jukebox World Tour’, and later toured on Radio Disney tours such as: the ‘Jingle Jam’ Tour with Greg Raposo and Jesse McCartney, and Jump 5’s 2004 ‘Spring Thing’ Tour. Stevie’s career continued to soar in 2004, when he was asked to record the track ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah’ (Stevie Brock – Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, which was originally on the 1940s Disney movie ‘Song of the South’) for the ‘DisneyMania 2’ album, ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ for the ‘Radio Disney Jingle Jams’ CD, and ‘Three Is A Magic Number’ for the soundtrack to Disney’s animated feature Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (Three is a Magic Number -Greg Raposo, Matt Ballinger and Stevie Brock – YouTube, along with former members of the boy band ‘Dream Street’, Greg Raposo and Matt Ballinger). After some time, Stevie was no longer under contract with WIRE records, and moved back home to Centerville, OH, where he graduated high school in 2009. Stevie moved to Los Angeles, CA upon completing high school, and continued to perform in numerous venues, while continuing to build a very loyal fan base. Stevie released his first new single (since his 2003 debut album) on April 26th, 2012, entitled ‘Final Offer’ (Stevie Brock – “Final Offer” (Official Video)). This music video for the track is a very artistically cool piece, which shows multiple shot transitions, and is entirely in black and white. The video really focuses on Stevie’s voice, and is a very cool change from your typical music video.
Stevie uploaded his first YouTube cover on September 3rd, 2010. The video was an acoustic cover of Taio Cruz’s hit track ‘Dynamite’ (Stevie Brock Covers – Taio Cruz “Dynamite” Acoustic). I felt like this was the perfect song for Stevie to cover, because it left a lasting impact that would draw in new fans, and allow old fans to see just how much Stevie has grown as an entertainer. This rendition allows fans to see just how hard Stevie has been working over the past few years. His vocals are extremely well controlled, and his ease and charisma just leaps off screen. Although Stevie was always an incredible entertainer, he now appears to have an ease and confidence that truly allows his talent and passion for music to shine through. The video that we’re going to discuss is Stevie Brock’s cover of the Stevie Wonder classic ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)(‘Stevie Brock Live – Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” at The Roxy – 05.09.12) which was uploaded on April 3rd, 2011. The video shows Stevie Brock performing the hit song live, and once again proves the he has blossomed into a true entertainer. First of all, this is an extremely difficult song to sing due to the track’s insane vocal runs, and difficult notes. Secondly Stevie Wonder’s original rendition of the song is so flawless that it is almost impossible for any artist to cover. With all this said, I really loved Stevie Brock’s rendition, and I think that watching this video definitely proves what a powerhouse vocalist Stevie Brock is. The final cover video that we are going to discuss in right now (even through honestly we could discuss all of his videos in great detail), is Stevie’s cover of Mario’s hit track ‘Let Me Love You’ Stevie Brock Live – Mario’s “Let Me Love You” at The Roxy 05.09.12), which was uploaded May 25th, 2012. I really love that Stevie covered this song, because it allowed us to see that he has the artistry to take on an emotionally driven track. He proved that not only can he perform a song that makes us want to get up and dance, but he can also make us feel the emotion behind the lyrics of a song.
In 2013, Stevie and 3 of his high school friends (Dan Cox, Bill Reilich, and Dan Burtenshaw) reformed a Hip-Hop parody singing group called The Cream Pies that they had originally formed on high school. On January 9th, 2014 (The Cream Pies – We Love You, Ellen (Official Music Video)), The Cream Pies uploaded a tribute video to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, which she featured on her show on January 15th, 2014. The video featured a hilarious Hip-Hop/R&B track, in which the various members of The Cream Pies took turns explaining why they loved Ellen. The video included some of Ellen’s famous games, catchphrases, and even ended with her famous ending phrase “anyway…” (C’mon you’ve seen the show; you know what I’m talking about). She invited The Cream Pies to be guests on the show, and they made their debut appearance on January 22nd, 2014 (The Cream Pies Are Here!). Ellen interviewed the group, and then they performed their Ellen tribute song love on the show (they even also received new ‘Ellen’ shirts to wear while they performed). Once the performance was over, Ellen gave the group a free trip to Las Vegas.
At the age of 23, Stevie has already had over a decade of experience in the music industry, and has proven time and time again that he has what it take to captivate an audience and turn them into lifelong fans. Over the years, Stevie has transformed from a teen heartthrob, into a mature adult vocalist, a task that is not always easy to succeed at. Due to his unique yet natural “it” factor, Stevie has been able to perfectly cultivate his growing image, while also staying true to the artist that his original fans grew to love. I can definitely see big things ahead for Stevie, and it is obvious that this talented guy will succeed with his solo career, The Cream Pies, and any other endeavor that he take on. It will certainly not be long before we are all fortunate enough to hear more music from this rising star, after all, he does it all for love.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to discuss a very special YouTuber. It has been exactly 1 year since the tragic passing of 13 year old beauty guru Talia Castellano. I personally was a huge fan of Talia’s because she seemed to have a very kind spirit, and a beautiful soul. Despite the fact that she was suffering from a very painful disease, she still produced videos that made her viewers smile. Talia always promoted the powerful message of self-acceptance in her videos, and that is a message that is too often lost in modern society. We spend so much time, effort, and money attempting to achieve a standard of “perfection”, without even realizing what true beauty means. The fact that Talia was able to realize this at such a young age should serve as an inspiration to us all, (because let’s admit it, most people are EXTREMELY insecure at 13). So, please read on to learn all about this amazing young girl, and see what you can do to help her legacy live on.
Talia Joy Castellano was born on August 18th, 1999 in Goldenrod, FL. Talia’s infectious optimism, honesty, and fun-loving attitude quickly helped her become a YouTube celebrity in the beauty community. Along with her beauty videos, Talia was also well known for her vlogs about her battle with cancer. Talia was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 7 years old, when she was x-rayed and showed unusual anatomical displacements in her chest. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (which is a cancer normally found in young children 10 and under, and infants. This type of cancer is divided into 3 levels of severity: low, intermediate, and high risk groups). Talia underwent various types of therapies and treatments, and was said to be cancer free numerous times, however relapsed each time during her 6 year battle. Talia was later diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (which is a disease that was previously known as pre-leukemia). She quickly began gaining a loyal fanbase on YouTube, and in September 2012 was a special guest on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ (this is only a portion of Talia’s guest spot on the show, Talia Gets an Amazing Surprise) and was announced as an honorary face for ‘CoverGirl’ cosmetics. Her ‘CoverGirl’ campaigns included the slogans “Makeup is my wig”, and “Just keep swimming”. She also collaborated with the Orlando, FL based organization ‘BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation’, and launched a fundraising campaign called ‘Bring Hope Home’ (which is a program that helps provide support to children battling cancer in the central Florida area and their families). Sadly, Talia passed away in Orlando, Florida, on July 16, 2013 at the ‘Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children’, after spending the last three months of her life hospitalized for palliative care (which is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses that focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness in order to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family). An announcement was made soon after Talia’s death at 11:22 a.m., on her ‘Angels For Talia’ Facebook page. At the time of Talia’s death, her channel had more than 750,000 subscribers and 45 million total views. As of July 16, 2014 her channel has 1,358,924 subscribers, and 83,648,296 views.
Talia’s first video was uploaded on August 27th, 2011, and was entitled ‘Crazy Eyeliner’ (you can find the link here Crazy eyeliner). This was a really fun first video because it really showed off Talia’s fun personality, and creative nature. The video consisted of Talia using black eyeliner and eye shadow to create a “Halloween/Goth” look. It was actually a really cool look, because the design included a lot of really interesting curved lines, and some color and glitter here and there, which I thought was a much better option than putting on a mask. The next video that we are going to discuss is Talia’s 2011 Foundation Routine (Foundation Routine!!!! 2011 – YouTube), which was uploaded on November 19th, 2011. I really loved this foundation routine, because Talia used a lot of moisturizers, and tinted moisturizers, which made it the perfect summer foundation routine. Tinted moisturizers are great products to use during the summertime, because they provide coverage, but are also lightweight on your skin, so your pores won’t become clogged so easily (which is very easy to do during the summer because it’s hot and your sweating a lot more…it can just be a bad season skin wise). I thought that Talia’s foundation routine is great for a causal dinner or party because you are able to achieve a very natural look, that perfect for those days when you want to have the effects of a good makeup routine, without having to put in a lot of work to achieve the look. The final video that we are going to talk about in this blog post is Talia’s ‘Dramatic Fall Smokey Eye’ tutorial Dramatic Fall Smokey eye 🙂) which was uploaded on September 27th, 2012. I personally loved this tutorial because I am very unskilled at achieving a smokey eye (usually my attempts make me look like I lost a boxing match), so I admire anyone who can achieve this look, and I definitely took notes from this tutorial. This video really showed how skilled Talia was with makeup, and proved that she could have had a great future in the field. I really loved this look for a special occasion, or fancy party, and just felt that it looked very mature and elegant. I really wish that I could talk to y’all about every video on Talia’s channel, because they were all so good. I HIGHLY suggest you check out her other videos, because trust me, your makeup skills will improve A LOT.
Along with her beauty videos, Talia also uploaded vlogs, where she spoke about cancer, and gave advice to other kids in similar situations. One of Talia’s vlogs that I wanted to speak about was her ‘Coping With Cancer’ (Talia’s Life: Coping with Cancer!) vlog, which was uploaded on November 26th, 2011. In this blog, Talia spoke honestly about how she juggled school and her treatments, as well as how she became confident enough to go out in public without a wig. She stated that she had to miss school regularly because she received treatment in another state; however her teachers were very accommodating. I really loved that Talia mentioned that school was a #1 priority for her, because I’m sure it was not an easy thing to keep up with due to her disease. She also explained how she used to feel insecure when people starred at her, but after dealing with cancer for so many years, became more confident in herself, and was able to use makeup as a way to accentuate her natural beauty. I definitely thought that this video is an excellent resource for anyone with cancer to watch, due to how honest and detailed Talia is.The next vlog that we are going to discuss is Talia’s dance video to Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song ‘Call Me Maybe’ Calll mmmeee …). I really enjoyed this video, because it really showed that Talia was a fun-loving, regular middle school girl, who seemed to really enjoy dancing around and acting silly. It was nice to get this small glimpse into her life, and actually feel as if you knew her. I really like it when YouTubers allow their fans to get to know them at a personal level, because it makes you feel as if they are your friends. On July 16, 2013, Talia’s older sister Mattia uploaded a video (Talia left her handprints and footprints on the world) explaining that Talia had passed away. She explained how she planned to one day create a makeup and clothing line for Talia. On December 11, 2013, the ‘YouTube Rewind’ YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say? (which is a big video that several popular YouTubers participate in to recap the past year’s events) of 2013 was dedicated to Talia.
As you can see, Talia made a HUGE impact during her time on this earth. She not only inspired fans worldwide, but was also a very accomplished and knowledgeable beauty guru. Although she was taken much too soon, her legacy has lived on in the hearts of her fans, who have taken it upon themselves to much too early, her fans have honored her by accomplishing goals that Talia put on her bucket list before she passed away. Her family has also been able to use Talia’s story as a vehicle to spread awareness of childhood cancer, and to raise funds to find cures, and help the families affected by the disease. I think that the best way that we can all keep Talia’s legacy alive, is to help raise awareness and to find a cure for the various forms of cancer, and by remembering what Talia taught the world about hope, positivity and true beauty, Talia truly proved that a smile is the best accessory of all.
Ok, last night (March 2, 2014) the Oscars aired, and it was a night full of fun, jokes, exciting musical performances, and A LOT of amazing film stars. Due to the amazing films that were nominated, the musical performances that were booked, and the humor and wit that always follows Ellen Degeneres (the host this year), it was easy to predict that the show would be amazing! So if you missed the show last night, or just want to review all of the amazing moments, then keep reading! Ready? Let’s get started!
This year’s Oscars were hosted by actress/comedian/talk show host Ellen Degeneres. Ellen emerged on stage in a really cool black velvet suit, which instantly made her stand out from the rest of the celebrities. She began her opening monologue by stated that “it’s been a tough time for us [in California]…it’s been raining…thank you for your prayers”. She then spoke about how movies inspire important things like, “love, family, and friends…and if you don’t have these things, then you end up in this [show] business”. Ellen then compared the Oscars to the film the ‘Hunger Games’ by stating that, “everyone’s hungry…and Jennifer Lawrence wins everything”. She then made fun of Jennifer Lawrence’s infamous falls at the Oscars last year and this year and stated, “If Jennifer Lawrence wins again, we will bring her hers [award]…” Ellen certainly brought numerous other hilariously memorable moments throughout the night. One such moment was Ellen’s now famous group selfie with numerous stars such as: Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, among others. This picture instantly went viral, and actually shut down the social networking site Twitter for several minutes, making it a true historical event. At point Ellen continued the selfie mania by taking a photo of her reaction to how large the crowd was, and then jokingly placing emphasis on stating that she would be tagging the photo, “#selfie, #blessed”. At one point in the show, Ellen came out dressed in an all white suit, then looked at herself and stated, “oh new clothes!”. Another one of Ellen’s funniest moments came when she appeared on stage as ‘Glinda the Good Witch’, after P!nk’s rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as part of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ tribute. Upon “realizing” that she “missed” the tribute, Ellen said, “Guys that’s not cool!”, “you always had the power…oh never mind…”. However, the finniest moment of the night had to be when Ellen brought a pizza delivery man on stage, and stared handing our pizza to numerous celebrities (honestly what could be better than a pizza party with Ellen!…oh by the way Ellen I’m still waiting for my piece of pizza…just so you know… Ellen later took Pharrell Williams’ infamous brown hat, and went around to the various celebrities present and asked for a tip, she even “scolded” Brad Pitt for not donating “enough”. Due to all of these hilarious moments, and her natural charisma and lightheartedness, Ellen certainly further proved that she is truly a hilarious comedian, and a great entertainer. As always she didn’t disappoint, and proved that this is the “age of Ellen Degeneres”. I look forward to the next show Ellen hosts, because you know that if Ellen leads, then hilarity will follow.
*This is only a partial list of the winners, for a full list please visit Oscars.com
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Even though it was not my pick, I can certainly see why ’12 Years a Slave’ took home this coveted award. The acting in the film was superb (especially the performances of lead actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o). The actors were really able to translate the emotional depth of the script to the screen, and thus made the audience feel the correct emotions at precisely the right time. The ability to have great dramatic timing is not an easy task to perform however, the actors in this film were able to do this with ease. This film also had an amazing script, which contained thought provoking themes, and dialogue such as “I don’t wanna survive, I want to live”. The dialogue had audiences clinging to the film’s every word, and helped the film strengthen its grip on all those watching it. I also loved the meticulous detail that the costume department and other crew members obviously used in order to make every aspect of this film perfect and this further invoking our attention.
Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Now this was truly a very difficult category to judge because all of these actors gave superb performances in their respective roles however, I do see why Matthew won this category. Matthew has the uncanny ability to perfectly embody any character he is given, and use his performance to transport an audience to where they need to be. His performance in Dallas Buyers Club was certainly no exception. In this film Matthew was able to make us feel every moment that his character Ron faced when he was diagnosed with AIDS. The fact this film is inspired by actual people and events (it has been noted that some characters and situations have been changed and/or created in the film), adds a great amount of credit to Matthew’s performance because it is very difficult to accurately translate a person’s life in screen (and selfishly I did want Matthew to win for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ because he’s from Texas, and I’m from Texas, so I have to root for my fellow Texans!).
Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
With stellar performances in films such as: ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, ‘The Aviator’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, etc. etc., it should come as no surprise that Cate had a great shot at winning this award. The competition for this category was stiff due to the appearances of veteran A-List actresses such as: Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, and of course Meryl Streep (yeah “the” Meryl Streep). But despite the other amazing actresses in this category, Cate Blanchett’s performance in ‘Blue Jasmine’ was too amazing to ignore. Cate’s portrayal of a woman who goes from being extremely wealthy to losing it all ( including her mind) is perhaps some of Cate’s finest work. She is able to portray the process of a woman’s unraveling , without making it seem over dramatized or unnatural.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
This was another extremely tough category to participate in, but Jared Leto was able to rise above the rest. Although he has given several other good performances in various other films, I really think that Jared Leto was breathtakingly good in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’. He was not only believable as the unique character of Rayon ( a young HIV Positive transgender woman who Matthew McConaughey’s character meets during one of his hospital stays, and later goes into business with when he begins the Dallas Buyers Club). In the role, Jared is able to accurately portray all of Rayon’s emotional highs and lows. Through this performance, Jared further cemented his place as a phenomenal musician and actor. Although he has said that he will focus on his band’s music ( 30 seconds to Mars), I think that Jared has proven that he has the talent to portray any character, and we will certainly see him in another Oscar caliber role soon.
Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
Although there were many deserving films in this category ( the minions in Despicable Me are soooo cute!) you just can’t beat a Disney animated movie. With talented actors such as: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, etc. etc. there was no way for this film to fail. Another thing that this movie had in its’ favor was a heartwarming story, amazing music (we’ll talk about ‘Let it Go’ later, but another favorite I mine was ‘In Summer’ performed but Josh Gad, which was a hilarious and adorable song that told the story of a snowman’s desire to experience summertime), and unforgettable moments and characters. These elements are what have made several other Disney films such as: ‘The Lion King’, ‘The Little Mermaid’ , ‘Mulan’, ‘Snow White’, and various other films classics among children and adults. Since its release, ‘Frozen’ has received praise from critics and has also grossed over $1 billion ( That’s unbelievably impressive isn’t it!?!). I definitely think that this film will enter the elite club of Disney classics, and I will definitely be first in line when they make ‘Frozen’ 2 ( hint hint Disney ).
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Once again we face a category that had many amazing contestants however, I have to say that I do agree that Lupita’s performance in ’12 Years a Slave’ was fantastic. I recently did some research on the actress, and I was baffled to learn that ’12 Years a Slave’ was Lupita’s first major film! Her delivery of the emotionally charged script was riveting, and left the audience completely entranced by the story. Obviously this was an amazing film for to help Lupita get her name out there, and I think that we will certainly see more amazing films from this talented new star. I can’t wait to see where her career takes her, and how many unforgettable moments and characters she will create.
Best Original Song: ‘Let it Go’ (from Frozen)
Frozen strikes again!!! I was so excited that ‘Let it Go’ won for two reasons: 1) It is an amazing and inspiring song about shedding what others think and expect of you, and living your own life ( this is a classic Disney theme, and one of the things they makes Disney music so epic!), 2) Idina Menzel performs the song!!! Now many people may recognize her from the hit Fox show ‘Glee’ however, my fellow theater nerds will recognize Idina from her various roles on Broadway (probably the most famous is ‘Wicked’, but seriously this woman is like the queen of Broadway…ok I’ll stop fangirling now…wait…ok I’m done now for real). With the combination of an amazing vocalist like Idina Menzel performing the song, and the talented writers at Disney, there was no way for ‘Let it Go’ to lose! This and all of the other music in Frozen definitely left me wishing for a sequel ( and Disney has now announced that ‘Frozen’ will be adapted into a Broadway musical…so maybe Idina will reprise her role??? Probably not but we can dream, can’t we?!).
First up was Pharrell with his track ‘Happy’ from the animated film ‘Despicable Me 2’. It was obvious that he used the fun loving, carefree tone of the song to inspire his performance. When the performance began, he appeared on stage in jeans, red sneakers, a T-shirt, track jacket, and a black hat reminiscent of his infamous Grammy hat. As the song progressed, back-up dancers appeared and danced around joyfully. Pharrell then walked off stage and went to the front row, where he preceded to dance with several of the actresses that were seated there. All of the backup dancers were dressed in fun, everyday clothing. The back screen had the lyrics of the song, and at one point of the song, a dance circle was formed and several backup dancers did break dancing in the middle. The song then ended with a back screen full of minions (small, yellow creatures that are characters in the film). The overall feel of the performance was fun, and it left you “happy”.
Karen O (most widely known as the lead vocalist of the rock band the ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ), performed the song ‘Moon Song’ (from the film ‘Her’), with Ezra Koenig ( guitarist for the band ‘Vampire Weekend’). The execution of the performance was very simple (which perfectly complemented the acoustic elements of the song). The staging consisted of a single spotlight on Karen and Ezra, with a bright moon in the background. Karen had on a beautiful, sparkly red dress, and sat on a set of steps with Ezra. The overall presentation of the performance was very serene and was dominated by Karen’s strikingly unique vocals.
Next up was the iconic rock band U2, who performed their song ’Ordinary Love’ from the film ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’. As always, U2 was phenomenal, and truly had the crowd mesmerized from their talent. This band has had numerous hits that have become rock staples , so it is no surprise that their experience and overall phenomenal charisma was able to keep the audience engaged . They certainly showed through this performance like wine, this band only gets better with time.
Wizard of Oz Tribute:
Next up was P!nk who performed ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as part of the show’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ tribute. The back screen played scenes from the ‘Wizard of Oz’ throughout the performance, and the lights and staging were kept very simple in order to place emphasis on P!nk’s performance. P!nk looked every bit the classic Hollywood star, with a lovely sparkly red dress, and perfectly placed hair and makeup (she is a Covergirl, so you know she’s going to look awesome!). Her performance was simply breathtaking, and showed that P!nk is truly one of the most vocally gifted artists in music today. Her technique was flawless, and her execution appeared effortless. She was also able to translate the emotional depth that the lyrics of the song contain, and left the audience feeling every emotion that the lyrics depict (I honestly had to work hard at not crying…ok maybe I cried a little, but don’t tell anyone ok ). At the end of her performance she received a well earned standing ovation.
When Bette Meddler performed, all hope of not crying was eliminated. Bette came on stage (after the Oscars honored those in the film industry who passed away this past year), and performed her iconic track ‘Wind Beneath my Wings’. Bette did a phenomenal job performing this moving track, and truly entranced her audience. Her performance ended with a standing ovation, and further cemented that fact that she is truly a star vocalist and entertainer that is able to continue to move a crowd to her bidding even after all these years.
Last but most certainly not least, Actress/Vocalist Idina Menzel performed ‘Let it Go’, the winner of the Oscar for ‘Best Original Song’. Idina wore a gorgeous dress, and the stage had blue and silver sparkly chains. When the chorus of the song kicked in the stage was lit up with gorgeous blue lights that perfectly complemented the rest of the staging. As always Idina’s vocals were nothing short of spectacular, and she was truly able to express the deep emotions that the award-winning song conveys through its lyrical content. She left the audience stunned and amazed, and definitely proved why she has always been considered one of Broadways’ brightest stars. She also received a standing ovation at the end of her performance, further adding acclaim to a golden night for ‘Frozen’.