I went with my brother to the US Open Men’s Quarterfinals at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens. I watched Andy Murray vs. Stanislas Wawrinka. It was such an awesome vibe, even Sean Connery was in the crowd! They played James Bond music during one of the breaks, he was smiling, it was loads of fun 🙂 I was shocked with Murray’s performance, he looked like he just gave up half way through. I couldn’t believe he mangled yet another racket, but I would too if I was up against Wawrinka who was playing near-flawless tennis. He deserves his place in the semi finals!
Took some amazing images of quirky East Village
I’m currently helping a photography grad student at the school with his final thesis project …. portraits & body shots. Can’t wait to see the pictures when they’re done 🙂 We shot at a studio in SOHO, Manhattan, and I think we ended up shooting until midnight from being there in the afternoon! I did my own make-up for this. I used Rimmel ‘Special Eyes’ Black Eye Liner, Estee Lauder Double Wear Mascara, Clinique ‘Precious Posy’ Blush, Maybelline ‘Pink Quartz’ Lipstick and for my foundation I used Estee Lauder ‘Pale Almond’ Futurist.
So I was very stoked to hear that “The Starlit Path” was selected by Travel Start SA as one of the most underrated travel blogs of last month 🙂 I am personally a huge fan of www.travelstart.co.za , so I was absolutely delighted when I heard this news!
What’s also really exciting is that they’re currently running a competition for travel bloggers for 2 free flight tickets! Using only 300-1000 words to tell a story about a personal travel experience, here is my entry:
I really enjoyed my course at the New York Film Academy in Manhattan. They call it “NYFA” for short. I was impressed with all the school has to offer in every aspect of motion picture, film-making + showbiz in general. Aside from their acting courses, they also offer courses in film-making, producing, editing, photography, cinematography, 3D animation, game design, digital editing, screenwriting, broadcast journalism, documentary film-making, musical theatre, music video creation + so much more. We had class daily from 8:30am – 5pm, in which we studied:
- Text / script analysis
- Audition Technique
- Scene Study
- Monologue Techniques
- Acting for film
- Voice and Movement
- Branding & Marketing for the actor
We had these classes with various coaches every day at NYFA campuses across the city. One of our campuses was at a place called “Pearl Studios” + it’s where all the Broadway shows go to rehearse and hold auditions! We had “Jersey Boys”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Rock of Ages”, “Wicked”, “Newsies” rehearsing + holding auditions for the new season every day. Exciting stuff! What I loved about NYFA is that they coached us in every way possible … we would act, film ourselves acting, watch ourselves + critique ourselves / have our coaches critique us. We did monologues + scenes with scene partners where we got assigned a partner + a scene from an award-winning play or film. We practiced with each other during structured rehearsal blocks in the week. We then filmed it on location with professional equipment + crew. At the end of the course we had material for our showreels which was great. Another awesome part of the course was having industry professionals come in + talk to us. They’d give us coaching advice, which I found invaluable. All our teachers were actively involved in the industry themselves, working either in feature films, sitcoms, television shows or commercials. I loved getting taught by them, trained by them + I especially loved getting their advice. What amazed me most was all the avenues students in acting can branch into. Some of our teachers studied acting for screen + then went on to work on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) or “30 Rock” which is its own career. I would personally enjoy the experience of working on feature films. I loved the talk we had one evening from the Director of Photography for “World War Z”, Ben Seresin. Below is a picture of my class outside the Union Square campus.
See more articles about my time in New York:
People have been asking me how expensive it is here in New York. I’ve taken the liberty to snap shots around the shopping isles in supermarkets and general stores here, to show you the prices we are talking! For my South African readers, the exchange rate right now is that R10 will get you 1 Dollar. So working on this, here are some interesting prices I noted:
- A small bottle of water here is around $1.99 which equates to R19.60
- Rice Krispies = $4.99 = R49.14
- Pringles = $2.99 = R29.44
- Toblerone (original) = $3.49 = R34.37
- A slab of Herschey’s = $2.79 = R27.47
- Marie Claire = $4.19 = R41.26
- Women’s Health = $5.29 = R52.09
- 2L milk = $2.59 = R25.50
- Loaf of bread = $3.99 = R39.29
- Packet of Lays (small) = $1.49 = R14.67
- 6 Pack of beer = between $11.99 and $13.99 = between R118.07 and R137.76
- 500g mince = $3.98 = R39.19
- 500g pork = $4.29 = R42.24
- 200g beef round steak = $2.10 = R20.68
- 500g beef steak bone-in = $12.59 = R123.97
- Bottle of Bacardi Rum = $18.99 = R186.99
- Bottle of Malibu = $22.99 = R226.38
- Bottle of Absolut Vodka = $26.99 = R265.77
- Bunch of flowers = $25 = R246.17
- OK! Gossip magazine = $3.99 = R39.29
- In Touch Gossip magazine = $2.99 = R29.44
- Slice of pizza = roughly around $2.75 = R27.08. But there are places in some parts of the city where a slice will be around $1 = R9.85
- Take-away coffee = around $1.75 = R17.23. But you can get a hot coffee for $1 at a vendor on the street = R9.85
- Can of coke = $1.50 = R14.77
- 500ml Coke = $2.19 = R21.56
- Nectarine = $2.99 = R29.44
- Apple = $1.99 = R19.60
- Banana = $1.29 = R12.70
- Watermelon = $5.91 = R58.20
- Metro (subway) ticket = $2.50 = R24.62
Out at the clubs, a glass of white wine can be around $9 which is R88.62 ! Drinks like vodka cranberry are $7 which is R68.93 ! The other night I ordered a Malibu and Coke which came to $13 which is R128.01 !! Never in my life would I have imagined paying R130 for a Malibu and Coke. I must say, the restaurants and bars here do have drinks specials daily. Nearly every single licensed restaurant and bar will have a “Happy Hour” every day between 5pm and 6pm which offers drinks specials for cocktails. Cocktails are usually anywhere from $9 – $11 (R88.62 – R108.32), and during Happy Hour they become roughly $5 (R50). Cocktails this includes are ones like Frozen Margaritas, Sangria’s, Bloody Mary’s and classic Mojito’s. The most expensive I have seen for cocktails was at a rooftop bar I went to the other night called “Press Lounge” as part of 48 Ink Hotel on 48th and 11th avenue. Cocktails were $16. That is R157.50 per cocktail! What I must say is cheap, is clothing at “H&M“. Beautiful easy sun dresses are $13 which is R128 ! If I think in Cape Town in popular and trendy boutiques that me and my friends like to get sexy cute clothes at, such as “The Lot” or “Wardrobe” or “Traffic Clothing”, the T-shirts and blouses alone can easily start at R250. Nevermind shorts or blazers or dresses! Whereas at H&M, a beautiful patterned blouse can be only $14.95 which is R147.21. And a nice sexy pair of denim shorts is around R196.45 ($19.95). I better get shopping! 😛
The weather in New York has been so hot! The ‘coldest’ I’ve experienced so far has been 26°C. I’ve been shopping for easy summer dresses and cool blouses to wear to class. I must say, one thing I do miss about Cape Town is the beach! What better way to put the summer rays to good use than by getting a nice tan and showing off your favourite swimwear 😛 Here are some other awesome destinations which, contrary to here in New York, are off the beaten track and still provide near-perfect summer weather and miles of sandy beaches .. plus they don’t have the suffocating crowds!
Barbuda, Eastern Caribbean
Part of the tiny nation of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbuda is a great alternative to the Bahamas. Whilst the island’s beaches stretch for miles, its most well-known spot is the Pink Beach, so named because of its rose-hued sands. Barbuda has only one paved road that runs outside the main population centre of Codrington and it’s possible to while away hours without encountering a single tourist.
Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
A tiny island off the Caribbean coastline of the nation of Nicaragua, Little Corn Island can only be accessed by ferries. As such, this laid-back island is relatively free of tourists. It has very little infrastructure and heaps of untouched tropical beaches. And, though you may encounter a handful of locals working or playing soccer, the beaches are usually deserted.
Great Lakes, Michigan
With plenty of quiet beaches, gentle waves and a rustic, woodsy setting, the sandy beaches of the Great Lakes are secluded enough to make you feel like you have your own private seafront. Try the Lake Huron and Lake Michigan shorelines for the best coasts and take a walk into the friendly towns that dot the area, if you actually end up needing more company!
Soak up some culture along with some sun on the beaches of Cartagena in Colombia. You can admire its well-preserved 17th-century architecture while you fill your belly with the local cuisine, particularly the Colombian delicacies of Bandeja Paisa and Fritanga.
Cabo Polonia, Uruguay
Uruguayans recommend this laid-back peninsula village for a private beach experience. 4-wheel drive trucks or horses will take you over the dunes to a hidden beach, where you can get settled in a rustic motel or vacation bungalow, before strolling into the rugged and undeveloped areas that surround the beach.
I discovered a gorgeous organic food market at Union Square this weekend… what a feast for the eyes! However, be prepared to fork out a bit… a single chocolate croissant will knock you back $3.50. For my South African readers, that’s R34,5O! And an average apple pie will be anywhere between $10 and $15 … that’s roughly between R100 and R150!