Sunday, December 28, 2014

Movie Magic

Us Arburns, we’re a movie kind of family.  On an otherwise uneventful evening, my Mom, Dad, little brother and I will find out what’s playing, pick a showtime, and see a movie.  It’s just what we do.  And growing up, I always remember watching the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and of course, the Oscars.  I was raised to appreciate the art of film.  And I still do.  A great deal. 

This holiday season, I’ve seen lots; The Hobbit, Exodus, The Interview (take that North Korea!), and just last night, the Imitation Game.  And frankly, I think this lot perfectly demonstrates why movies are truly magical things.  Movies can bring an epic novel to life, or retell a story that’s been told a thousand times over.  Movies can make you giggle and guffaw until your sides ache.  Movies can bring light to a person or a story or an event that deserves to be seen but hasn’t yet been given any such opportunity.  Movies can make your heart ache.  Movies can make your soul sing.  Movies can help us to see what we want from life, or what we don’t want.  Movies can change perspectives or solidify them. Movies can start thought provoking discussions, build friendships and fandoms, or create complete and total pandemonium.  Movies shape culture.  Movies captivate and inspire.  Movies creep their way into our everyday conversations without a second thought.  Ever shouted, “I’m king of the world!” when you felt extra psyched?  Ever muttered, “There’s no place like home,” after returning from a long absence?  Ever shown off a new toy or gadget with a “Say hello to my little friend?”  Ever used, “Houston, we have a problem,” to indicate a slight, or massive, error in judgment?  Ever wished someone luck with a, “May the force be with you?”  Movies are all around us. Movies are walking, talking, living, breathing art that seep into us and never quite leave.

I love the movies.  And I can tell you right now without a shred of doubt that film will be something I write about frequently.  After all, it was indeed a movie that brought Audrey Hepburn into my life.  My Fair Lady.  Age five.  And it was as she walked down a flight of stairs in a sparkling floor length gown, her hair elegantly pinned up and a dazzling choker clinging to her long slender neck, that I fell in love with her.  I wanted to be her.  I knew that I wanted to walk through life as gracefully and beautifully as she did gliding down those stairs.  So in that moment, in that scene, in that split second, an Audream was born.  MAGIC.  Movie Magic...

So next time you’re at a loss for what to do with your evening, consider making your way down to the nearest cinema.  Or curl up on your couch, find something on Netflix, or pop an old favorite into your DVD player.  Bring a little magic into your life. 

Much love, thanks for reading, and as always…

Sunday, December 21, 2014

To Walk Or Not To Walk?

September 23, 2014

Fear is powerful and intense and debilitating.  Fear is capable of completely consuming you to the point where you feel like you can't move or speak or breath. When I was given the opportunity to walk in VOX Magazine's runway show, I felt all of that and then some. I was completely and utterly overwhelmed by the tummy twisting, vomit inducing sensation that ensued shortly after I received the invitation.  My initial instinct was to say no.  I had never walked in a show before.  I didn't know how to walk a runway.  I didn't even know what I would be wearing.  Would they put me in insanely high heels that robbed me of my ability to walk and I would instead have to wobble awkwardly? Would I trip or stumble or, God forbid, fall? Would they laugh at me? Would the onlookers think to themselves, "What's she doing here?  She clearly doesn't know what she's doing?"  Would I disappoint the person who asked me to be a part of the show?  The person who owned and produced the magazine? Would I make a complete and utter fool of myself? So many jumbled thoughts flew through my brain and my stomach churned uncomfortably.  All I wanted was to make it all stop.   The paralyzing fear I felt made we want to run away and cry and scream for my mommy.  

And I did actually.  Perhaps not in such dramatic fashion, but I did excuse myself from my desk at work and call my mother.  I gave her a million reasons why I should decline the invitation.  That there was an event at work that day.  That I would surely be letting down my coworkers if I left early for the call time.  That I knew nothing about the magazine itself.  That I wasn't sure if my agency would buy into the idea or not.  And my patient, wonderful mother walked me through each and every one of those excuses until finally she asked me, "Amy, are you just not wanting to do this?  Are you scared to do it?"  My throat clenched and tears bubbled up and out of my eyes in seconds.  "Yes," I mumbled, "Yes I am"

Fear is a perfectly natural emotion to experience, and a useful one at that.  It's instinct, it's human nature, it's our body's way of telling us that something isn't right.  After spending a great deal of time browsing the internet (probably too much time), I came across a small passage on Psychology Today's website that really struck a cord.  

Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn't feel it, we couldn't protect ourselves from legitimate threats. 

A legitimate threat.  What legitimate threat could possibly present itself at a fashion show?  Would starved and rabid hyenas line the runway eagerly awaiting the first model to appear?  Probably not.  Would the clothes I was wearing cause me to break out into menacing hives that lit my skin on fire?  Again, probably not. In truth, there was no legitimate threat.  The danger I felt was entirely invented by my imagination.  Bitch.

In reality, this was a truly incredible opportunity.  At 5'7, I am itty bitty in the modeling world and runway was something I was quickly told would never happen.  But here it was, a chance to do just that.  Also, there was a good chance that lots of folks in the fashion industry of Salt Lake City would be there.  Therefore, this was a chance for exposure and networking.   And in truth, this was something that deep down I had always wanted to try.  I used to watch the women that graced the runways of New York and London Fashion Week, the angels that pranced along in Victoria Secret's annual televised show and think about how glamorous and powerful and beautiful they must have felt.  This was my chance to try it on for size.  

So to address my original question to walk or not to walk?  Was I going to let fear affect my decision making process?  No.  Actually, fuck no.  Sorry kids, but take note. When life presents you with an opportunity, you walk god dammit.  You walk with your head held high and your game face on.  You embrace the uncertainty along with the opportunity and put one foot in front of the other.  

Unless of course the runway is lined with ravenous hyenas...then you might wanna rethink things ;)


That's what I wrote three months ago, pre show. You'll all be happy to know that I was not in fact devoured by ravenous hyenas, nor did I spontaneously combust due to a severe rash.  None of those things happened.  I actually had a really wonderful time and met a lot of super fabulous people.  And after all was said and done I felt an immense amount of pride in knowing that I had put myself out there, overcome my fears, and allowed myself to have this really unique experience.  Here's a few pics that I was lucky enough to get my hands on.

I'll end by saying time a really great kinda scary opportunity presents itself to you, my little Audreamers, do yourself a big big favor and seize it.  Strut your stuff.  Walk that walk.  And don't let anyone, including yourself, tell you you can't.

A huge thank you again to VOX Magazine and Dani Braun for inviting me to be a part of all that magic.  Very grateful for the opportunity.

Much love, thanks for reading, and as always...

Friday, December 19, 2014

I'm No Computer Genius

Let’s just call this an Author’s Note.  I am many things.  Tech savvy is not one of them.  Here's a little clip that I'd say solidifies that claim.

Pretty convincing wouldn't you say? It gets better.  It took me three, count em, THREE days to figure out how to post that itty bitty thirty seconds worth of video footage.  It's sad really.  So considering that I am ill equipped to operate an iPhone camera and largely incapable of uploading a video, it will come as no surprise to you that designing this blog was like pulling teeth. I would often find myself spending twenty minutes just trying to figure out how to adjust post title colors. My twenty first minute would then be spent yelling profanities at my computer screen and resisting the urge to throw it off of my lap and into the nearest wall. It’s a miracle my cute little MacBook Air is still intact to be honest.  But I digress.  While struggling through the formatting of the blog itself, I continued writing.  It would remind me of why I wanted to start a blog.  It reminded me why I was spending all of this time doing something that made me want to rip out my hair out from the root.  It reminded me that I love to write and that I want to share my writing with all of you.  So here’s the moral of the story – some of my posts were written well before I launched the blog and often discuss things that didn’t happen all too recently.  But I’ll always date them and give you a little bit of a heads up to avoid any confusion.  Glad we cleared that all up.

Keep your eye out for one such post on Sunday where I'll share with you what went through my crazy brain back in September when I was asked to walk in my first ever runway show [insert scaredy face emoji here].

And now a word, or a face I should say, from our star that I think perfectly summarizes the theme of this particular piece.

Much love, thanks for reading, and as always...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What Is An Audream?

At its simplest, an Audream is two words squished together to make one.  An ‘Audrey’ plus a ‘dream’ equals an ‘Audream.’  Duh? 

But an Audream is so much more than a compilation of words.  It’s something to aspire to, it’s a hope for the future, it’s a dream of Audrey sized proportions.  Audrey, as we all know, was and continues to be a symbol of beauty, elegance, and class.  She has lived on as a style icon for generations.  She is timeless.  And, for those of you that haven’t picked up on this quite yet,  I have a small (okay, not so small) obsession with Ms. Hepburn.  In fact, a small (okay, again, not so small) corner of my room is entirely dedicated to her.  This shrine, if you will, is littered with hats and gloves, countless little collectibles with Audrey’s flawless face and figure, and a rather impressive collection of Tiffany boxes.  - Brief interjection… NEVER throw away a Tiffany box.  The packaging is half the fun ;) –

I’ve been told a few times before that I physically resemble Audrey.  You can be the judge of that.  

And very recently, I became aware of the similarities in our names.  Amy, Audrey.  Arburn, Hepburn.  Considering the fact that I’ve adored her for as long as I can remember, I found it strange that I’ve never noticed this before.  Beyond our supposed similarities in appearance and our obvious similarities in name, I’ve felt a strong connection to her in other ways.  She was a philanthropist.  A dedicated humanitarian.  A woman who understood that there was more to life than little black dresses and twinkling tiaras.  This, in my mind, is what makes Audrey so exceptional.  She was beautiful and stylish and glamorous.  But she was also a generous human being who worked fiercely and passionately to make the world a better place, and I admire her for that more than I can say.

I don’t claim to be the next Audrey.  That would just be silly, and untrue, and...well...stupid.  She’s a once in a many, many lifetimes kind of woman.  But I do aspire to live my life in a similar fashion.  She was beautiful, bold, talented, fashionable, charitable, humble, thoughtful, eloquent, and unselfish. 

This blog serves as the first step of a long journey.  A journey to follow and live out my Audreams.  So here I am, inviting you to be a part of it.  Maybe along the way, you’ll find a few Audreams of your own.   

Much love, thanks for reading, and as always...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Why Blog?

The idea of writing a blog is truly petrifying to me.  It feels like a rather narcissistic thing to do - to blab about my thoughts and feelings, throw it out into the world, and assume someone wants to listen.  It's strange and uncomfortable and I feel fidgety and restless just thinking about it.  But I think what's most terrifying is how vulnerable I feel. The world can be a crazy scary place, and people can be MEAN, especially when they have their computer screen to hide behind.  

But then, I have to take a step back and breathe for a moment and will myself to stop thinking those thoughts.  Because those are all fears associated with what other people will think, what other people will feel or say.  What about me?  For me, this blog is an opportunity for growth and for self-expression.  Writing is something I've always had a knack for.  And now that my time as a student has ended, I don't want to stop.   

I can’t tell you what I’ll write about because I don’t really know myself.  I’m a lover of pop culture, a TV addict, and a frequent moviegoer.  I read, but not as often as I used to.  Being a graduate student tends to suck all the fun out of it.  But I hope to start again soon, and remember what reading for pleasure is like again.  So if I post about the latest book I’ve picked up, please congratulate me.  I model, which is something that both excites and terrifies me.  I’m shy and self-conscious at times.  Who isn’t? But I also love to be creative.  I love being a blank canvas.  I love transforming into someone I am not or something that I would like to be.  I love working with other artists – hair and makeup artists, stylists, and photographers.  Working as a model is a constant battle between the bitch inside me who says I’m not good enough, and the part of me that loves the work and knows that I can do whatever I set my mind to.  I’ll likely share the struggles and the successes with you.  I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Community Leadership from Westminster College, a small liberal arts school in Salt Lake City.  I chose to pursue my degrees because I care about what’s happening in the world and in my community.  I’m not saying I’m gonna go all political on your ass every week, but I’ll share what I’m thinking if I feel particularly passionate about something.  I listen to music of all kinds.  I love to exercise and go to the gym religiously.  It’s therapeutic for me.  I see it as an opportunity to quiet my mind and let my body take the reigns for a bit.  I am a die-hard San Francisco 49ers fan. I’m a total Anglophile – OBSESSED with all things British.   And the list of potential topics goes on….

Really, what I plan to write about is my life, what it is, what I want it to be, and how I plan to get there.  I can’t say what will inspire me, but I do know that I see little Audreams in my life everyday in a variety of places and things.   This is where I plan to keep them.  You are who I plan to share them with.  This is me taking a giant leap into who knows what.  This is me tossing aside the fear for a moment and letting go.

Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman well ahead of her time as my mother likes to say, said that you should do something that scares you each and every day.  So here it goes Mrs. Roosevelt.  I'm scared shitless.

Much love, thanks for reading, and as always....