Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Top 3 Annoying Things About Disney TV Shows

Hey guys,

Haven't posted in a while, but watching some Disney Channel clips gave me some inspiration for a post. So, here are the top 10 most annoying things (to me) about Disney Channel shows.

1. Ethnic Insensitivity--Disney would never in a million years say "Jesus" or "Oh, god" on one of their shows, so why do they think it is OK to have Ravi, an Indian kid with a terrible Indian accent on Jessie, say "Great Ganesh, I'm a human samosa!" I admit, in Hinduism, saying the name of God is not a bad thing at all--at prayers, you repeat the name of God many, many times. It is good luck if you say it. But for Disney Channel to go right out there and say that like it's a big joke, is disrespectful.

2. Lack of Reality--None of these kids are kids that I would ever know. The kids in Jessie are rich and powerful, and why the heck are they not attending a private school? The kids in ANT Farm have crazily unnatural gifts, except Chyna. I know kids in my own school who play violin, guitar, piano, and sing much better than Chyna. I don't think playing fifteen instruments or whatever makes someone a prodigy.

3. Snarkiness--I would never be friends with any of the kids on any Disney Channel Show. From a distance, Teddy, Chyna, Emma, Rocky, and Avery may look nice, but if you really imagine you saying some of the snarky things these characters say, your face will probably heat up. I know if I said any of the things that those characters say to their parents or friends, I would lose parents and friends.


Well, those are my top three annoying things about Disney Channel shows!

Srujana



Monday, October 15, 2012

Colorblind Casting: Indians and Asians

One of the things, being Indian American as well as a participant in my school's theater program, that has made a significant impact on my views are the lack of Indian-American actresses in the American media and in stage productions--onstage particularly, but also on TV and in movies. Not only that, but I have only seen one play where an Asian American played a lead role, and no musicals in which this occurred. And that's saying a lot, because I have seen at least twenty plays in my fifteen years--we have gone to at least five a year within the past three or four years. And that one time? The actress had been Indian American, and she was playing Narrator 1 in "The Brother's Grimm Spectaculathon". After that, she never got a role again, and had to stick with being stage manager.

I have a few hypothesis on why this color based casting may occur, and how directors may unconsciously color base cast.

1) Ethnic minorities are often raised to an invisible double standard. I believe that most directors do not color-base actors and actresses on purpose--but let's face it--when faced with a white kid and an Asian-American kid with equal talent auditioning for the same role--whose going to be cast? The white kid. Realistically, the Asian American would have to be twice as good as the white kid in order to stand out past him. He'd never get the part unless he really was much better.

2) Ethnic minorities don't "fit in". When casting siblings, say in "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe", or "The Boxcar Children", the director won't put three white kids together with an Asian, or a black or Latino kid. It just doesn't "fit". The director notices this, whether being aware of his racial casting or unaware, it makes a difference ultimately in the choice.

Our next question is, is this wrong? I can see both sides of this issue. On one hand, our constitution guarantees the right to be hired and/or employed without decision on race, creed, color, gender, or disability. But some argue that in the theater, when race, gender, and ability do play a part in the result, this shouldn't matter. Many people also believe that historical realities should be preserved at all costs. But in a day when a quite a hefty number of plays and musicals are historically based in a western setting, it is difficult for ethnic minorities to get jobs in shows like these, particularly Asian-Americans.

Just my thoughts,
Srujana

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Newsies in India, and Broadway

Ever heard of the musical, Newsies, starring the legendary Jeremy Jordan, soon to be replaced by the young hopeful, Corey Cott? Well, let's just say that I'm a pretty big fan. OK, a huge fan. Though I would be lying if I said I was the biggest fan. If I was the biggest fan, I would have already seen it...so you may call me hypocritical for talking like this if I haven't even seen this musical, but here's the proof.

1. NEWSIES was nominated for 8 Tonys.
2. NEWSIES won two tonys.
3. NEWSIES is inspirational.

I love Newsies because the music is awesome, I love theater, the singers are authentic (I'm completely against autotune and voice coaters, because what's the point of being a singer if they are  no good really?) and mostly because the musical and lyrics are so inspirational.

Child labor makes me really sad. I know that if you are reading this, you probably have never witnessed child labor. I haven't. In America at least. In India, where I was just a few days ago, it's everywhere. And you see it. Everywhere. In fact, I bought a paper from a newsie in India just last week. For three rupees, the equivalent of about six cents. Perhaps the same cost that the newsies back in 1899 were payed for a paper. Perhaps the old American newsies were payed less.

Indians have a strangely sensible idea of how to stop child labor, but I don't believe it actually works. Indians believe that if they ignore child laborers and do not buy their papers or products, the child laborers will not make any money, and will go to school, and the government will pay for the education. The truth is, if they can't make money, they'll starve. And I'm pretty sure that these kids would rather eat and be uneducated than be educated and hungry. And who can study on an empty stomach? I know I can't.

All in all, I think Newsies is an inspirational story. And it is applicable today. For even if perhaps child labor is diminishing in the USA, it is still growing, flourishing even, in many developing countries. Perhaps, Newsies can be an inspiration to these countries too.

Srujana

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thoughts About a Play

 

My sister is doing a great job performing in a play, "Robin Hood".  So many people come and congratulate her! I'm stage crew with some other kids. It's pretty awesome, but I haven't acted in a play in about a year, and I'm excited to get back onstage. In the fall my school is putting on "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe". I don't really care what part I get, though I would like to be Susan or Lucy.


 I'm wondering what version of LWW my school is doing. I've looked at some. I really like when there is good historical background in plays, and one thing that bothers me about all the play versions is that very few include the whole bit about the blitz. Anyone who's read the Narnia series or watched the movies knows that the blitz plays a rather important part in the character development of all the Pevensies, particularly Edmund, since he goes without his father during the war and experiences trauma he tries to hide. This makes him irritable and annoying, but there is a reason why. Without the blitz, there isn't a whole lot of reason for the kids to be at the professor's house, and Edmund just seems like a jerk.

 One version, I think by Robinette, said that the children were "taking a trip to the countryside for a while" or something along the lines of that. What kind of parents would send their kids to a random professor's house in the country for just a weekend? Another version talked about the professor doing country visit trips for city children. This seemed a bit more feasible, but I feel like the blitz is the true background and is better for the story.

Just some musings,

Srujana

Monday, July 9, 2012

Absolutely American Girl Changes It's Meaning

OK, so I haven't posted here in a while...a long while...but it doesn't mean I can't come back! I started another blog called Srujana's Musings, but it didn't seem to get a lot of views...this blog was originally about American Girl Dolls, but I'm kind of over that. Now, this blog is about an absolute American girl--me! Srujana!

 Anyone and everyone with any thoughts on what I have to say or anything are welcome to post them on comments, with some rules of course. If you have any ideas for topics or posts for this blog, please share too!

1. We're all nice people here, I hope. Please be kind and do not put insulting remarks. Anything with swear words would be considered insulting and will be deleted immediately.

2. Please read the post before you comment.

Here are some things I thought I might tell you about myself:


  •  I have played violin for eight years, and I'm good, but not great. I'm no expert, but I know a lot about music. I like it a whole lot!
  • I'm Telugu, but I don't speak it.
  •   I love drama/theater a lot!! 
  • I like to write (that's why I'm writing this blog...???)
I hope lots of people may read this blog and be inspired to write something back. 

Thanks for reading!
Srujana

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sevick

Today, I practiced some Sevick violin exercises, and went to school. We are illustrating children's books. It's pretty fun. But Beckie was absent today. I wonder why.
Ruthie

Monday, March 28, 2011

Things You Should Know About Me-Sonali

Name-Sonali Mythri Matthews

Favorite Subject-English

State-Oregon, but I'm a Minnesota girl through and through!

School-Currently attending Daisy Harris Doll Academy for the Arts.

Hobby-Swimming and making leis.

This will be AAG's last post for a while, since we are very busy these days. I hope you don't mind and keep checking back every once in a while!
Sonali