week 27 RECAP

To keep it simple, there is not much to report for this week. In class, I only did industrial designing and timed sketches which was the same as usual. It wasn’t really challenging and didn’t really help toward my goal so it was ok. On Sunday, I was able to start my project for Japan and get in a couple hours of drawing. After Sonora, we were touching up our Madagascar set while the rest of the team was at Swap Meet. While I helped monitor the team’s progress since I knew the set best visually with my co-artist, I got permission from my director to do it and with that, the project was underway, starting with the typical and common Japanese cartoon characters you’d find everywhere: Hello Kitty, Chococat, Rilakkuma, etc. etc. With that much done, I didn’t really work on it after throughout the week that made my schedule tighter and pushed my deadline closer.

My sleeping schedule was actually really good this week because I slept before midnight for the majority of the week and not having much homework to do. It was probably one of my best weeks of rest before competition that weekend but toward the end, I stayed awake until 1-2 in the morning for whatever reasons. It was probably because of this weekend with my first competition back after sitting out for a week and a half. Glendale Games is one of the most hyped competitions and I don’t know how I am going to do. I am not where I need or want to be and on Tuesday was the worst practice ever in terms of run-throughs. I forgot my All-Male routine and it was a great disappointment. Thursday was ok since we didn’t really do much but it did get me more scared for this weekend. We’ll see how it goes.

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week 26 RECAP

I shall make this quick because I am on a time crunch so I can continue on my Flatland Project due next Thursday. Also, there isn’t much to report besides the same thing that happened last week. Unfortunately, I still sat out of practice all week on Sunday, Tuesday, and last night as the coaches and I came to the conclusion that I will not be competing this weekend at Sonora. I will be attending to support and whatnot but I shall not be dancing until Sunday at the earliest, Monday at the latest. Last night, I was just upset by how impactful my absence is on the routines I’m in. Our All-Male team is reduced to a trio, there’s no Giraffe in our Novelty set, and holes in our Co-Ed set where even though those are the only three routines I’m in, I was thinking about it and was overwhelmed. I didn’t feel like the team needed me as well as thinking that the team was suffering because of me. With that in mind, I was vulnerable and shed a few tears in front of the team which was not supposed to happen. Whenever my coach approaches me and asks what’s wrong, I don’t want to talk about it but the more I thought about it, the more disappointed I was in myself and the harder I was on myself for not being able to make it and be there with them. I am still using Friday night and Saturday night for the competition like the rest of them but the difference is, I will be in the stands the entire time. My coaches said it was just Sonora, meaning that it wasn’t a crucial competition but it still was a competition and I am missing it because I don’t feel ready with everything I’ve been dealing with. I should be back in by Glendale and if so, I have to work harder than ever to catch up and be on par with the rest of the team.

Sleep-wise, I had a pretty good week as I slept no later than 12:30 the majority of the week and on Wednesday night, napped from 8 PM – 1 AM and stayed up until 3:30 the next morning to finish my Psych assignment and watch a little of another movie but woke up at 7:30 instead of 6:30. It was tragic because I felt that I had enough energy to wake up on time and go to school on time but I forgot to reset my alarms as it was still on Wednesday schedule when I would have an extra hour. Thursday in general was bad, but I got out of the house at 7:35 and ran all the way to school with my backpack, stopping only at the cross-walks. And the result of my hard run was…I was a minute late. A minute. A single minute. I was at the front gate when the bell rang at 7:45 and that just killed me. On top of that, I was super sweaty so I had to endure 1st period covering myself up with my jacket and not let my body odor escape into the classroom air. I feel that my body odor would be more embarrassing than being sweaty but overall, for the most part, it was pretty good. It felt pretty natural to do the bare minimum of homework instead of getting ahead and sleep on time as I hope this habit continues.

Art-wise, we were design sketching these past few days because the technician didn’t come to fix Mr. Cepeda’s computer so he didn’t want to be inactive and gave us something random. I’ve gotten my first two compliments of the year from him yesterday and the day before because of how decent it looked as he said that I would be great at engineering. I mean, I draw as a h0bby a couple of years ago so of course I know the basics. I can take a picture and copy it but I can’t like make my own drawings. I can do certain mediums like posters, paintings, a drawing on paper that involve a certain image to be on it that I can get from Google. I admit I am not creative enough to create my own ideas but for the most part, I can do sketches of Disney characters or anime or whatever two-dimensional drawing there is. Three-dimensional is more abstract, realistic art when I am more on the animation side. This leads to my next and probably biggest art project yet that will be for Japan DDT that is coming in a week and 6 days from now as they will have a performance at snack and our team will meet and greet theirs. By the time they walk into fourth period in the gym, I want to hang it up and welcome them with a personalized poster filled with different characters such as the classic, typical anime hot-shots: Naruto, Luffy from One Piece, Hunter x Hunter. There would be Disney like Big Hero 6, taken place in San Fransokyo that has Tokyo in it, and Hello Kitty. There would be characters from Hayao Miyazaki’s famous works like Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, Secret of Arietty, and if time permits or if it isn’t too difficult, my favorite non-Miyazaki film, Kimi No Na Wa or “Your Name”. It’s an interesting film and I can definitely see why it was rated so high with its storyline and character development to provide meaning to the work as a whole. I don’t know but that’s what’s coming up as this will probably be the last project before closing off my 20-Time Project at the end of March and give myself time to prepare for my presentation of it all in May. I’ve done the basics so far but now it’s time to expand on it all. Stay tuned to hear about my progress next week.

week 25 RECAP

This week was pretty bad. I got injured, I got sick, I sat out of practice, and I rarely had an efficient week of sleep once again. Let me tell you. After West comp, our coaches were super upset about our team’s performance and sportsmanship. According to one of them, who was a judge, the team was not doing their best as she said that our run-through was god-awful and beyond. Even though we scored pretty high in placements and scoring, we felt strange earning our awards against the other teams. While we felt that as a whole we did decently, we apparently didn’t deserve our awards. On top of that, we weren’t cheering loudly enough for both other teams and our own. However, when you hear the videos, you can hear us cheering but I guess not all of us were. In addition to that, most of us were late to the meet time and did not let her know when we would be there which irritated them even more. As a result, we ran 30 laps around the gym, did wall sits, planks, splits, variations of push-ups, ab workouts, leg workouts, arm workouts, you name it. On Sunday, we basically took an hour and a half to do insane a P90X cross-fit program until the entire team was interviewed the questions, “What were you thinking of when you were running?” and “Why are you still here?” Since that day, we were all even more sore than  when we woke up earlier that morning and Monday was a bit worse as I regrettably started rolling and practicing tricks in my own house without properly stretching and minorly sprained my neck. After Tuesday, when we learned how to do safe partner flips (it’s hard to explain), I guess I exhausted myself even more because I got the cold that night. My body was aching, I had a fever, a sore throat, and I was cold despite wearing so many layers. It was not a good night for me as I still pushed to do my part of the Lit project. Even though everyone said to stay at home, I went to school the next day, suffered, came back home to recover all Wednesday, slept 12 hours without do anything, but still had a stiffness in my neck and that sore throat. My fever went away and I can move alright, but my neck was killing me. And I would get yelled at by my leaders if I didn’t practice during 4th period because they think I’m faking it or weak or both so I did it and got injured even more practicing the flip when I said I wouldn’t do it. So basically, I did it until I got even more hurt and then they shut up about pushing me to do the stunt. With the sudden spike of pain, I went to the doctors to get it checked and the doctor thinks that the injury and the sickness I had previously was linked and considered it viral as he prescribed me anti-inflammatory drugs to take for the next week and took me out of DDT until March 13th. In that case, I would be missing Sonora competition next Saturday and out of the next three practices up until then. It’s unfortunate to miss so many practices but I’m trying to not miss so many practices. Last night, my parents didn’t let me go so I was at home finishing my FAFSA and did nothing until today. My health is slowly improving but it’ll take a long while. We’ll see how I do where in art, Multimedia class, I did nothing really but sleep. On the other hand, I think I will be able to showcase my drawing abilities again as I help make posters for the other teams so we can make the coaches think we’re not too shabby in sportsmanship and for my next project, a poster filled with anything and everything Japanese when Japan DDT comes to Cerritos in a couple of weeks. I am excited to see what they have in store for us and I just want to meet them already. To be able to connect with a Japanese DDT team is a dream come true and I would say this was one of the reasons that made me like getting this far as a part of this team. I’m planning to start later this week so I will keep you updated later on.

week 24 RECAP

Mistakes have been made this week and this morning was a common and crucial one that I’ve been having: waking up late. Last night, I decided to have a Skype call with my friends for two hours after practice and in that time, I ate but did not shower. I sat there on the computer just doing whatever and the only homework I really did was correcting my openers for today’s Multivariable class. When the call ended, it was about 1 AM and I was watching a Kpop live-stream show on YouTube and socializing instead of showering and sleeping earlier than I did. I managed to just drop everything and go to shower by 2 but afterwards, I realized that since I rebooted my phone for all of its wifi and data problems I’ve been having this week, I needed to add music. As I have competition today after school and all day tomorrow, I needed to at least add my music for the ride there and listen to it. Therefore, I went back on the computer for another hour just to do so, adding my competition music and other recent Kpop songs. For this entire time, I thought I wasn’t able to listen to music but when I pressed on the Google Play Music app, it was all there so problem solved. Afterwards, it was about 3 AM and when I finally got myself to sleep, I set my alarms a bit earlier than usual, at 6:15 to 6:20 instead of 6:45 to 6:50 so I can prepare food for today’s competition. According to the schedule, we leave at 3:30 PM and I won’t be back at school until 10 PM so that means, when school gets out at 2:45 today, I will not be going home until some miraculous opportunity allows me to get my stuff really quick and prepare ramen and sandwiches at least. As of now, all I have to eat is graham crackers and cereal with a ton of water. I hope I can rush home and they can pick me up as the last thing. I was told that they want to meet up after school, go eat, then go to competition but since I am a broke boy with no money to spend, might as well go make something at home for later. That’s what I hope but I don’t know what will happen. One of my friends will spot me and pay for my meal??? We shall see. But that’s the reason why I didn’t sleep early enough to wake up on time for school and had to be brought over here yet again. To be specific, I woke up at 7:25 AM and finished getting ready and rushing by 7:35 AM and I was not going to make it if I walked so my sister dropped me off and I made it, but there was announcement that because of traffic issues, tardies would not be counted. I could’ve been late and made something but I guess the fear of missing 1st period yet again got me to be desperate. The rest of the week was a bit okay, I was able to get an efficient amount at the wrong time of the night but I managed. I ended up sleeping in class but for the most part I managed. I need to just be better at my decision making at night. I would just chill and do homework, finish it, and chill for a longer time instead of doing what I need to do and more importantly, SLEEP! I would’ve been fine honestly if I went to sleep after the Skype call and download music throughout the call, but I did not and that was my consequence.

DDT is okay I guess, I am just stressed out that I am not getting my routine as fast as I should be and we perform it Saturday night. Last night was a bit of a bad practice because I wasn’t getting my moves like I usually do and my mentality slipped. I didn’t want to be the reason why we had to run the routine so many times but it felt like I was. Tonight, I just have to get my head in the game and deep clean myself when I get home but also sleep EXTRA early. When we have to meet up by 5:15 AM, I have no choice honestly. I already am losing a couple hours of sleep by the time I get home so I have to eat, shower, sleep right away. I’m nervous for West competition since everyone that we know will be there but we will see how it goes.

In Multimedia, we were searching up tutorials for Photoshop as an assignment and taking the week to do it. It’s not much and didn’t escalate my skills or improve them after the backdrop in my opinion. The backdrop was my first and biggest project yet and I hope in a month, I will be able to take on more opportunities and learn a couple of things in the meantime as the rest of the class is finishing up their 20-Time Project. I just need to be proactive about my goal starting now and as an artist, both in digital/paper and pencil art with dance art, I need to start BEING THE CHANGE and change something in my behavior that will help me in the future.

week 23 RECAP

Let’s see. The remainder of last week was a bit more stressful than I thought I would be because of that art project. I used all of Friday night to finish the backdrop to use at the competition the next morning, spending 12 hours on it with help from my cousin who came for the weekend in the last few hours. After cleaning up the paint and packing my costumes, it was about 5 AM and I laid on the couch, thinking I wasn’t going to sleep, as I waited until the alarm went off to officially get up. However, I must’ve been exhausted because the next thing I knew, my dad woke me up at 6:30 when I was supposed to meet at school by 6 AM, I missed eight consecutive calls by Bill, and the backdrop was still drying. Therefore, the start of my third comp was not that great but overall, USA Regionals was pretty okay. Besides getting fifth place in CoEd and placing in the Open Division instead of Championship, we scored pretty well as a team. However, I was not proud of my CoEd performance. My facials were lacking, my moves weren’t consistently strong, my mentality wasn’t right, I don’t know but it was one of my worst to be honest. I would blame the song change and my inability to adapt to such a song in a week, but now that that’s over, our original mix changed for the better. Like last year that used “Damn Daniel!”, we have the “Cash Me Outside! How about dah!” in ours, leading into a transition song, Break Ya Neck by Busta Rhymes. While there was mild schoolwork that kept me up as usual, I started to invest more time to DDT to get down the changes in All-Male and CoEd. With new choreography, my interest to push harder to get it down as fast as possible and develop musicality with the song spiked as that has been most of my week alone with practice on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and last night Thursday. Of the seven days, we had four days of practice with competition that Saturday and at least this week we don’t have anything but Sunday and Monday practice to prepare for our midpoint competition at West High. The coaches say that it’s an exciting competition because so many schools go there and something good or bad happens and I just need to worry about putting on a good performance in both routines. With a new interest to learn and get better, DDT has gotten better for me as I for once, actually look forward to seeing what’s in store. In addition, it’s the first time I’ve been told that my growth as a dancer is evident and noticeable so I feel great at how far I’ve come so far and can’t wait to see how I grow in the rest of the competitions.

For Multimedia, after turning in our Campus Clean-up Poster, Mr. Cepeda started to lecture again with his life lessons, his words of wisdom to become the best we can be. In terms of art-related things, we didn’t do much of the sort this week as always as he gave us an assignment to look up a tutorial and apply it to one of our own pictures that we choose and not the original. While that is happening, nothing really is happening now that the backdrop project is over. It was a nice experience to make a backdrop for DDT-related things and see how your hard work is displayed, but I am glad that I am getting a break and not constantly working on something. The backdrop was quite the achievement and in a little bit, I’m sure there will be bigger and better ones waiting for me.

week 22 RECAP

I honestly think that this week was not stressful but at the same time, it was stressful. While I didn’t  really have a heavy workload from school, but I had extra things to worry about like DDT things because of competition this weekend. I wasn’t able to get the best amount of sleep but it wasn’t too bad of a week, functioning off of three to five hours. If it wasn’t for practice and YouTube and AP Lit work, I could’ve slept by 11 PM or midnight at the latest. Oh well. As this 20-Time project continues, I’ve become less motivated to sleep early and more motivated to chill at night or chill until I get myself to finish the rest of my work. Other than that, my week has been alright and normal with practice. Nothing much has been going on but at least this week made me progress even more in my goal to become a better artist.

Instead of talking about DDT and art separately like every other post before this, I shall talk about them together for once because one of the biggest things that happened this week was the fact that I took on an art-related project for DDT. As a part of one of our routines, we made backdrops of the zoo and jungle to associate with our Madagascar theme. While we had an entire set-up made, our director and coach told us that there needs to be changes in the song length and the routine itself. With all of the changes, our director and coach needed somebody to make another backdrop since the mascots would be in the back instead of the front like before. By that I mean the four mascots would be hidden in the back behind the other backdrops and we need a backdrop of the boat with the crates on them to show why they are there. It also fits with the story-line better since before, the lemurs came to the mascots in Africa instead of the mascots going to the lemurs. So, with that request in mind, I raised my hand and volunteered to do it. I was going to look around to see who else volunteered but knowing the team and their artistic talent, I was going to end up doing it anyway. From there, I took on the project and while the leaders helped me a bit, I decided to take the rest of it home to finish on my own, painting, redrawing, details and whatnot. I drew the basic sketch when I worked on it with the leaders but when I saw them paint, they went over the lines which frustrated me. I couldn’t see anything of the picture and when I wanted to add the details BEFORE painting, they painted it already to “get it done”. Now that I have the entire project, with the backdrop and all of the paint cans at home, it may be a lot of work to finish on my own but at least it’ll look like what I want it to be. Although we used a lot of paint to make it what it is now, I am going to need to redo it and make it proper, like how our coach and director wants it. By the time we’re done with competition and don’t need the backdrops anymore, I plan to make this one the best one so I can take it home. With that being said, I’m not applying any new skills in this art project besides improvement in painting but at least it’s allowing me to showcase my skills and make myself useful. Regarding Multimedia, we started doing something as well with our first mini project, making a “Keep Our Campus Clean!” poster that promotes environmental awareness which turned out easy and fast. Overall, this week was a big step forward toward my goal and I hope I can do more than just sit and chill, drawing nothing.

week 21 – It’s ALMOST the END

Although we are heading toward the end of our 20-Time Project, I NEED MORE TIME to get where I want to be in my main goal of becoming a better artist. I know I included all of the other components of my posts such as DDT, sleeping early, and learning Korean, those were to help me see my growth in different areas. DDT helped me measure my growth as a dancer, sleeping early helped me measure what time I have been going to bed and practice sleeping earlier, and learning Korean was always a goal that I’ve always wanted to achieve but it was unsuccessful.

In the next few weeks that I have left before I officially end this project, I want to grow more drastically. I mean, in DDT, I guess I’ve demonstrated insane growth in a short amount of time since there is only four boys on the team. According to the coaches, Alex, the other new All-Male member, and I have become even better than what they expected. To become the dancers we are, they say that it would take at least a year or two but with our backgrounds, it allowed us to expand on our skill and potentially be on our leaders’ level if we keep working hard and fight for our goal. While we are in competition season, it should be like our peak and to me, it feels like I’ve gotten better at picking up choreography in a short amount of time to be honest, but still a hot mess. I just need to take class more often and practice my pick up, but for a 30 second choreography with intricate combos and moves, I think I did sort of well when I was learning it, but when I performed it, YIKES! I completely blanked out but I am sure that sleeping on it helps, but still I want to be able to perform the piece with the right textures, head looks, angles, all of it near-perfect at the end of practice. That is my ultimate goal and I hope by the real end of 20-Time, I will get there which will be when we are heading towards Nationals. I might even achieve my goal after the project ends, but it will be nice if I can get it before Spectacular season.

For sleeping early, it has been an on and off sort of goal. There are times when I have been able to go to bed before midnight and manage to do well and there are times I would sleep at my “normal” 2-3 AM and be barely living and walk like a zombie at school or unfortunately not make it to 1st period which is disappointing t0 myself and my teacher. Throughout these past few months, it demonstrates how I am capable to sleep if I really wanted to. I realized that I waste my time at home at night doing whatever when I could be sleeping and it’s still a recurring issue. I usually don’t do anything past 9 PM and explore YouTube and Facebook instead of getting ahead and doing what I have to do. With that in mind, I should be sleeping at 10:30 or 11 PM at most and make it to school ON TIME even with practice. But what can I do when all of those tardies and absences already happened. I want to go back and change my attendance record but now it’s a matter of improving myself for next time. In the next weeks, starting today, I will not waste time and sleep the moment I am no longer in the mood to do any homework or study. That would estimate to be about 2-3 more hours than normal, 10-15 more hours that could be saved from gaming or watching videos. It’s gotten to the point it is sort of better since I at least have some days when I sleep early, but it should be every day.

For art, I was always good at looking at a picture and sketching what I’m looking at which was what we started with in Multimedia. We got used to the pencil and paper mediums and somehow, we transitioned into Illustrator and Photoshop respectively. In comparison to the usual pencil and paper, I am glad that we actually got to learn something new. Well, not new but something I didn’t know how to do before. It was challenging but this allowed me to expand my skills so I can finally say that I can do more than sketching. I wish in this class that we did more than what we’ve been doing, which is very minimal, but that means, I probably have to finish my goal outside of my art class. Maybe I should have enrolled in Art I or Ceramics to do more complex art-related activities, but I like how relaxing this class is in a sense.

There’s only a little time left and I guess it’s crunch time. I just need to pull through and do everything I need to. With that being said, tune in to next week.