UCLA:Our Favorite Guest Star

UCLA:Our Favorite Guest Star

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If you've ever been on a UCLA tour then you've heard stories of all the movies and TV shows that've been filmed here. "UCLA has been Harvard in movies more times than Harvard has!" said every tour guide ever. But let's be honest, the fact that How I Met Your Mother had a scene filmed in Royce Quad was more than enough to get you to sign your SIR. 

Since my first UCLA tour (which was obviously also when I decided that UCLA would be the school for me) I've taken great joy in watching TV and pointing out to anyone who will listen when UCLA pops up. Seeing Royce, Janss Steps, and the Sculpture Garden on my screen makes my heart happy. Here are some of the stand out productions.

1. Legally Blonde: She didn't go to Harvard. Our favorite fashionista/attorney arrives at Harvard Law School, Bruiser Woods in hand, and looks up to see Kerckhoff Hall. This beautiful building just off of Bruin Walk serves at the backdrop for Elle's registration and first interactions with her fellow law students. Not only is UCLA involved in the film by acting as the set, it is also the inspiration for Elle's undergraduate school "CULA." 

2. Greek: We all watched it in high school and know that we needed to go to college and find out if Greek life is as amazing as this show makes it out to be (SPOILER: it is). We were so invested in the Casey/Even/Cappie love triangle and all the CRU drama that we almost didn't notice that the cast was at UCLA all along. There is even rumors that the events of the show were partly based on the UCLA Greek system. 

3. Chuck: Before Zachary Levi stole the hearts of every teenage girl in the world as Flynn Ryder (an animated character from Tangled) he was a Geeky, spy named Chuck. In this show his brother-in-law was a UCLA alum and a doctor sarcastically referred to by Chuck and his friends as "Captain Awesome." And yes, he was awesome- just as any Bruin is. Aside from constant references, UCLA itself makes an appearance in one episode, but it is said to be the Stanford Campus. Chuck is running through the Sunken Gardens and finds himself in a lecture hall in the Physics and Astronomy Building.  

4. Jobs: This recently released film shows the life of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. Jobs famously dropped out of Reed College, however, in the movie they are actually right in front of Royce Hall and Powell Library.  

Other pictures filmed at UCLA include: Angels & Demons, The House Bunny, Old School, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and more. 

UCLA has appeared in dozens of films and movies and will continue to be featured. Not only is it in the perfect location and always has perfect wether, but it's incredibly beautiful and can add an amazing backdrop to any film. While, it's only a guest star in these films, it will always be the leading lady in our hearts. 

Cover Image Credit: http://grockit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/campus1.jpg
Cover Image Credit: http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/spencer-grammer-greek.jpg

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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