Somone Pinch Me.

I need to wake up from this coma I am in. This void of reality. Is this really happening? Am I really flying to Los Angeles, California tomorrow...to go to the University of Southern California's Orientation session? Am I really living in a beautiful house in downtown Los Angeles with three fellow actors? Am I actually pursuing my dreams? Am I actually moving to Los Angeles, California to become the actor and individual I want to become? Is this all real? Even though I am occassionally reminded from my butterflies and nerves that it is clearly real, it still doesn't seem like it. It couldn't be happening to me could it? Either way it IS happening. And even though that comes with a bundle of conflicting emotions...I'm actually living it. Wow. Excuse me while I shit myself.

Well I am off to finish packing and go to bed...I have a flight to catch to Los Angeles tomorrow. Goodnight world. Wish me luck this week. :)



One week until I am in Los Angeles for Orientation. EEEEEEEEH. I am so nervous but so excited at the same time. I talked to one of my future housemates today on video chat and she is so sweet. It got me excited...even though I probably seemed nervous...I was so excited. It really is not that hard to meet people...especially if they are friendly. Apparently our house is "beautiful" and I cannot wait to see it in person...as well as my housemates. I am so excited to meet them in person. And to just jump start things. It is already crystal clear how many opportunities will be presented in Los Angeles. And it is now when I begin to realize it is ACTUALLY happening. I am not just dreaming it, I am not just imagining it. I am embarking on my dreams and doing something about it.


Scary. Truly Scary.

I could have found a bazillion videos like the following one but I got too angry. It is so incredibly frightening to know that people like this exist in this world.

I may not be God...and I may not be the Pope...but I know that being a Christian means opening your heart to others...LOVE. LOVE. These people promote hatred...and it terrifies me.


I don't care if this is real or if this was staged. The matter of the fact is that this is a damn good tantrum. One you might see from me one day if you don't watch it.



So it took a little bit longer for summer to spring upon Northern Colorado, but I think (knock on wood) it has sprung! How do I know this...between the hot weather, the bright sun and fun sleep-overs in tents, it is hard not to think it is summer! It is even warm enough to go skinny dipping (which I plan on doing very soon...sshhh, don't tell the authorities). Things are moving, that is for sure. It is already June 19th and just a moment ago I was flipping my calendar from May to June. Time does move fast when you are occupied or having fun. And sometimes, it goes by far too fast! But ever since I have begun focusing on the present, I have been very content and happy. I have come to terms with the fact that all of the exciting opportunities (as far as film, television, stage and acting work goes) will not be presented to me until the fall...but I have all of this time beforehand to enjoy my summer and friends and work. I cannot think about tomorrow or the next week or next month because they will come to me eventually...and I would have been worrying too much about the future that I missed out on all of the joy and beauty of the present. We do more in one day than we think we do...we call it being bored...but we are really actively participating in life...regardless of how "exciting" the activities in our lives are.

I must admit, I was a bit freaked out about housing for the fall...but now I am so happy. Housing is not guaranteed for transfers at USC (yeah I know) and so I wanted to try to find a back up in case I was not granted university housing. There were several options that were presented to me, but by a stroke of fate I found my future housemates and house. YES AN ACTUAL HOUSE...in LOS ANGELES! One of the housemates messaged me on Facebook and had seen that I was looking for potential housing...and said he had to go back to Norway because of something with his green card and offered me a spot in his house! I took him up on his offer right away. And it is supposedly really nice and cheap for a house in Los Angeles...AND I will have my own room in case I need to break away from reality and take a nap in privacy. I would be paying almost double the price to share a room with two others in USC housing...I am so unbelievably stoked. My housemates seem incredibly cool and are also all theatre majors. It will definitely help me make an easier transition into the social world. I am a very outgoing individual, don't get me wrong, but when I am moving to a new location and am put in front of hundreds...thousands of strangers...I go into wallflower mode...and don't act the way I truly do all the rest of the time...it is just bad. This way I can befriend my housemates and have an easier transition into meeting fellow theatre majors, etc instead of being paralyzed in nerves and anxiety.

I have already met an abundant amount of theatre majors and USC students in general on Facebook...they have all been so gracious in offering me help, advice and invites to parties when I come to LA. Which will be sooner than I thought it would be initially. Technically the lease starts August 1st, but I am going to try to find some grace period of a week or so to wait to move out there. I am excited, but at the same time I do not want to cut my summer short by any means. But right now that is too far ahead in the future to think about. Orientation is less than two weeks away...oh my goodness. Right now I am going to take a little nap before work and just chill. Because it is the summer...and I can nap whenever I want (kind of).



A weekend up in the mountains can do wonders for the head. Windex for the worries...completely cleansing the body of stress. Euphoria. Every time I go up to the mountains or immerse myself in nature I am completely astonished at how easy going I become. Going up to the cabin has its effect on me...that is certain. It also has the ability to bring upon revelations--emotionally and mentally. While lounging on a rather large rock on "Lake Davis", also known as "Lake Sunshine", I had many mini epiphanies. All of them seem like common sense...but for just a moment I actually felt content with my findings.

1. I worry too much. I am the happiest when I am completely unaware of my flaws or imperfections, or embrace them.

2. There is a fine line between obsessing/worrying too much and wanting to stay on top of things/be motivated.

3. I need to find the excitement in the fear. The pleasure in the failure. I often am worried about things which should be exciting and not horrifying or bad for my mental/physical health.

4. These should be the best years of my life. I need to stop over-analyzing everything and have fun. Throw the inhibitions to the wind and take advantage of my youth. Find something that scares me everyday and act on it...whether it is on a large or small scale. Work towards being fearless...

There were many other points that I came across in my time up in the mountains this weekend. But above all the one that really is a life changing one and sounds so simple is:

5. Live in the present, the now. DO NOT think about tomorrow, or the next week...because you may not be alive for the next week...but you are alive now and that is beautiful.



I saw the Broadway touring company of "Rent" tonight. I had never seen the show live...only had listened to the soundtrack 198273839938389 times since I was 13. It was magical. Truly magical...seeing the show live, and with some of the original cast members (Pascal and Rapp). There was so much depth and energy presented on stage. Yes, there were some weak moments with acting (Mimi's understudy at points) but overall it was a complete throwback to why I fell in love with musical theatre. I so clearly remember blasting the "Rent" soundtrack in my bedroom freshman year in high school (even before then). I remember borrowing it from the library and I remember blasting it as I drove down Mountain when I first got my license. "Rent" was HUGE in my life...the influence and impact it made was immense. I can thank "Rent" for helping me think outside of the box. Growing up in an extremely conservative and Catholic environment is hard as it is. "Rent" was my portal to another world of art and bohemia. I became open minded because of "Rent". Honestly. I don't think I knew what a drag queen was until I was introduced to Angel. I fell in love with all of the characters and their stories. But even more...I fell in love with the music.

I have lost track at how many times I have rocked out to songs from "Rent" before a show or after a show or a cast party or just in the middle of class. It ushered a new era and generation into the world and the world of musical theater. "Rent" made musical theatre cool and accepted. I was never so obsessed that I could be called a "renthead"...like some people in the audience tonight, but I loved the show for what it was and how revolutionary it was. It changed and is changing so many lives. As I sat with Cassie before the show and during intermission, I asked her how many people would walk out and not come back...surprisingly when the lights went dark again there were only (roughly) five empty seats. Colorado is usually fairly conservative, so I was proud that so many people stayed and had open minds. Another thing that fueled the goosebumps...was the amount of energy in the audience. As soon as the lights dimmed and Adam Pascal walked across the stage I felt like I was at a football game...everyone was cheering so insanely loud. And the same for Anthony Rapp and the others...everyone was there for them...the cast. To know you are in a show that has impacted so many people...an entire generation...generations...that is just unbelievable to think about. I hope I make an accomplishment like that at some point in my career as an actor, singer and performer.

Ooohhhh....and I also got some autographs from Anthony Rapp and the ladies who played Maureen and Mimi...it was so drowsy and rainy that most of the actors just went to their hotel rooms after. It was just nice to see the actors in the flesh. It always is.




I'm in my room. It is almost midnight. The fan is swiftly blowing and Tracy Champan's "Fast Car" is playing in the background. I love that song. I love music in general. For the past two days I have been belting out "Hair" and songs from "Next to Normal". I usually sing when I am inspired, excited, jumpy or bored. I'm seeing "Rent" with a great friend of mine tomorrow night, I am very excited! "Rent" was a major influence on me and my love for musical theatre. I remember renting the cast album from the library when I was 13. SO weird to think that was seven years ago...really? So much has changed since then...but then again, a lot hasn't. I am still me. Still the Braden who loves singing show tunes and re-enacting scenes from movies. I am and have always been an actor and performer. I look back at baby albums and can see the lust for performing even at the innocent age of 2. There is a sparkle in my eye...a little bit of jazz hands. My parents remind me that they used to watch "Star Search" with me when I was a baby and I was enthralled. They tell me I danced to Oprah's theme song whenever the show came on. I have always been eccentric and a bit crazy. Not crazy, just lively. Which is why this semester was very hard for me because I began to see the liveliness die a little bit. The passion was still there, but was extinguished by certain things. Now I am better...I am working towards something. TRAINING...I am TRAINING again...with my art! I am so unbelievably excited to start again (anxious) but SO excited. As the lovely Alice Ripley said at her Tony's acceptance speech (something along the lines of), "In College I trained and worked to get a BFA...a Bachelor's of Fine Arts. This is an art...it takes time and training".

I am excited to get back to making something. Collaborating. Making a performance. Challenging myself. Pushing the boundaries in acting and singing and in life. I wrote in my journal a couple weeks ago...I want to work towards becoming fearless. Of course it is IMPOSSIBLE to be completely fearless but to be fearless once or twice in a day or perform an act you would not normally do. Acting is the best when you are fearless, no hold ups. It is the same in life. Relationships and friendships last longer when you aren't judging everything or being insecure all of the time. It is good to be fearless. It is something I am working on. Ever so surely I become a little more confident in my abilities and potential...every day. Yes it helps to hear people say positive things about your talent and future, but that is not what you should rely on. Thank God I am driven. Actors (douchey sometimes) like Matthew Morrison say that his advice to future actors is to stop doing it because it is too hard...that is because he is scared of someone showing him up. Yes a lot of actors will crumble under the pressure. But thank God I love doing this so much. To stop doing it would be like to stop living and breathing. Yes, I'm sure a lot of young performers say the same exact thing...but sometimes they are not actually merited with talent. No one is exactly positive of their capabilities, but all I know is that there are a lot of people supporting my choice because of what they see in me. I have a lot to share with the world.


Ugh Twilight.

I am shamelessly stealing this link from my friend Jordan. This proves how absurd Twilight has become. Sad that the only thing these people know sexually...is a vampire and werewolf.

The Tony's.

It is 1:22 AM on what is now a Tuesday morning. I have been inspired once again. Firstly, I had a nice lengthy conversation with my friend Erica over the phone. Not only was it nice to hear her voice and to hear she is doing well but we discussed life and the mysteries of it...like usual. Then when I came home I could not stop watching YouTube videos of The Tony's. Everytime I watch an award show like The Tony's I become instantly inspired again. I could not imagine doing anything else but playing fascinating characters and singing on stage or behind the camera. I love it...so very much. I am so excited to get back to work in the fall and continue to fine tune my talents. The downfall of watching The Tony's is the fact that I want to be doing that NOW. But everything takes time...and to be honest I don't think I am completely prepared. I am just going to let things play out...I know how driven I am and I know of the exciting opportunities that will be present in Los Angeles and etc. Time. Patience. The best lesson to be learned.

I have also been thinking a lot about leaving my family again in the fall. It saddens me and consumes a lot of my thoughts. I love them so very much...and while I know I have to leave Colorado to do the things I want to do at the level I want to do them...it still saddens me to know I will not be within walking distance. Yes, I know I can't change these things...and yes I can't think about morbid things...they will happen wherever I am. Life is cruel this way. We live with our family for so long, we love them, we hate them but really we just love them...and then...you are catapulted away from them. On your own. I like being independent but I also love the comfort my parents give me. The constant support, the hugs, the conversations. I have grown closer with them throughout this past semester. I love them so very much. And my family and pets in general. But I am living on the fact that they are so proud of me and what I am doing...they know I am actively pursuing my dreams and while it slightly terrifies them...they know that I am very diligent and persistent. The only thing I can ask for is that they will be there when I make it.

I have provided a couple of my favorite performances from the Tony's this year. I have become really addicted to "Hair" again...I would love to play anyone in that show. I have the soundtrack on shuffle and have been listening to it non-stop. And I have a man crush on Gavin Creel. And as far as "Billy Elliot" goes...I am jealous of those little boys...who gets to star on Broadway at that age? And where did you get those dance skills?


Nap Time.

I don't want to go to work today. I just wanna lie on my bed, turn on some TV on DVD and nap. Just surrender to some shut eye. Stop worrying and just nap. I have been thinking a lot lately but right now I have to go get ready for work. Bloggie to come later tonight or tomorrow! Oooh the Tony's are on tonight! But I will be at work so I gots to record them...well no more time to talk. Off to be an ice cream wizard. :p


It's Beginning to Hit Me.

It hit me. Again. Just this very minute. I am going to be living in Los Angeles. Yes...I am scared shitless. But the nerves are equally met with a feeling of relief and excitement. It is enough to know that I will be attending one of the best Universities and Theatre programs in the United States...but what really gets me going is the location. Los Angeles...Hollywood. THE BIG LEAGUES. Yes, I will land in LAX and probably start shaking in my boots. I will probably begin to doubt my abilities, my strength and my courage. But then I will remind myself that I am PHYSICALLY pursuing my dreams. For so long I have talked to people about moving out to L.A. to pursue my acting career. How I was going to continue my studies at USC while auditioning and starting my career...and I am sure many of those people just rolled their eyes and thought, "How cute...how naive of him". But then it happened. IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED! Twas a dark and rainy evening when I ran out to the mailbox and saw that beautiful package. It was physical proof of a big success of mine. I hope to have many more in the future.

Not going to lie, a majority of the time people look at me like I am crazy when I tell them I want to be in movies and on big stages. Not that they doubt me or my talents...they just don't think I am strong enough or have the will power. But lately these thoughts have shifted. The other day my mom said, "Wow...whatever Braden puts his mind to...he achieves". She calls up family and friends constantly and tells them the good news about the fall...how she wants to come out and visit me all the time with the family. It feels good to hear sentiments like this again. Truly. For a while there I began to panic...foolishly. I was in a rut. But now, I am happy to report...I am beginning to see the other side of this rut, this tunnel. And it looks promising. I have a lot of support...from family, friends, professors and co-workers. I feel a little shaky (the nerves of starting a new life basically) but I know that things happen for a reason. This happened for a reason. I am already meeting a lot of really kind people from USC and they are pumping me up! Yes there is the occasional distant individual but it IS Facebook. It seems to me that I am one of the only Theatre transfers this year that was accepted...I don't know whether to feel flattered or scared. I have to prove myself to these talented performers and faculty!

I feel a little rusty in theatre, singing and acting...but when it comes down to it, it is just like riding a bike...you always go back to it easily. SO yes...my mind is occupied with thoughts of the future. I have my occasional anxiety...but I think it is the combination of excitement for the fall and my present happiness with how the summer is going that makes me feel content. I love my family...my friends...and work. I don't want to jinx ANYTHING...but I feel that things are moving (ever so slowly) in a good direction. I have to remember why I became an actor and fall in love with this art every day...whether I am in a show or not. Whether I am auditioning or not. This is a huge part of my life. I can't wait to get back into action. When it comes down to it I have a feeling the nerves and anxiety will disappear and I will kick some booty...I have a lot of pent up emotions just waiting to explode!

Now that I made the deposit, am amidst a housing hunt and have signed up for orientation on July 1st...things seems real. Or are at least beginning to form into reality in my head. In other news Emily and I had a little Salsa making gathering at mi casa tonight! It involved many easy going activities...one which included blankets. :) Pictures are attached. Well...goodnight world...you are so fascinating. I hope tomorrow will bring another day of beauty.


I LOVE Allison Harvard!

I know I said this when she lost the competition on this cycle of ANTM...but I love Allison Harvard. I want to meet her one day...if she takes her L.A. modeling jobs maybe I will see her around! This video is one of the many reasons why I LOVE HER!


A New Anthem...

I don't know about you all but I LOVE the Black Eyed Peas...I know you either love them or hate them but I have been listening to them since I was in junior high. I have been a die hard BEP fan and even defended them during the "My Humps" period...anyhoo...they have just released their new single, "I Gotta Feeling". And it is going to be the sure fired anthem for weekend nights and the summer...and L.A. You have heard it here first! Not to mention if you look really carefully you can see Ruthie's and mine darling Ongina...look for her carefully...she is dancing fabulously in the right corner in a section and jumping into pools...it is quite fantastic. I have provided the video for your visual and audio enjoyment. The anthem of the summer and this fall...it makes me think of L.A. and it gets me supppper exciteeeddd. Not to mention...Fergie in ASSLESS chaps! ;)

In other news...I just saw "Up!" tonight with my lil' brother Colin. That movie is SAD! Yes it has its laughs and its adventure but damn did that movie make me cry. In fact I have never heard so many audible sniffles in the audience since "The Notebook". Throughout the movie I had to remind myself that I was watching a PIXAR/Disney film! Don't get me wrong...it was wonderful...realistic even...showing the truth in grief and the loss of a loved one...but just be warned...UP! is not what it is advertised as!

P.S. I just congratulated Ongina on the cameo in the music video and we had a little chat...it was fantastic. Basically...she is aware of the fact that I am coming to L.A. in the fall...invited me to a show...and said, "Best of luck. I will be seeing you around". Oh I am totally fan girling this out. It hit me again that I am moving to L.A. in the fall! I am actually doing it! Pursuing my dreams. I am scared shitless...but SO happy.


3 AM

The rain is dripping on my ceiling...and then onto my window. It is extremely therapeutic. Because it is 3 AM I will keep this bloggie short...especially since I am having lunch with Chelsey tomorrow! I began the USC process today...well technically I began it on Saturday when I payed the deposit. Today I applied for housing with my dad and looked into Orientation information. I also recieved some preliminary financial aid. I am hoping it is PRELIMINARY because there was not much of it. Which sucks balls. I received some loans (and not that much either). Which means that unless they do not award me any additional scholarships or grants I will have to apply my little booty off for outside scholarships. I didn't even get work study...but I rarely do. It is baffling to me that more than half of the people who are attending in the fall did not even apply for financial aid. Who has that much money to shell out instantly?! Good for you...I am truly jealous.

Anyhoo...between all the preliminary steps for the fall I got excited again. I finally feel a little bit like it is actually happening. I also feel partly guilty for the cost...and a little nervous for the housing. In the view book they attach in the beautiful acceptance packet it says, "Housing is not guaranteed for transfers." This makes me super nervous. So I'm putting out my good vibes because I don't want to live on a bench this year. I looked into non-USC living in the area and it is hella expensive...so needless to say I NEED to get into one of the living spaces. Regardless, all of this stressing is still exciting. I will be extremely relieved when I find out I have a place to live. Besides that I just have to continue to work my little booty off, pick up as many hours as possible and save all of the money for school. This is an exciting opportunity I would be crazy not to follow through with! IT is f-ing University of Southern California...the alum list is ridiculous! The connections are even better. I also discovered that Jason Robert Brown...yes THE Jason Robert Brown is a faculty member...wtf. I am so stoked. Well I'm tiiirrrreeeddd. The rain is coming down even harder. My right eye has been blood shot for two days...perhaps it is because of lack of sleep. Well nighty. Peace.