Cannes, you have my heart.

I don’t even know where to begin when talking about this weekend. All I know is that it can be summed up in one word: Indescribable.

We arrived late Friday afternoon and the day was perfect for the beach. Funny thing is, we never really made it there. Friday just happened to be the Fête de la Musique throughout France. Basically it was a big music party.. which is actually what Fête de la Musique translates to. I’m so incredibly clever and witty. Anyway, we go to the hotel to check in and drop all of our luggage off (I say “all of our luggage” but I’m really referring to everyone else’s luggage and not mine. I was smart enough to take only a backpack and cross-body purse. I’m prepared for my two weeks of backpacking I have ahead of me at the end of the summer). So, we get ready in our swimsuits and get all pretty for the beach and then head out.

Walking down to the beach we get distracted (easily) and stop to eat. Afterwards, we’re out looking for drinks and discover an Italian appreciation festival thingy going on and see a sign for STRAWBERRY BEER. Naturally, we run to the sign and grab us some strawberry beer. Delicious. Then, a little closer to the beach, we try to get to it again. Fail. We discover the sidewalk with all of the handprints of the stars and of course we have to read each of them to find out who’s been there. Guess who I found? TIM BURTON. Gah, I was ecstatic. Seriously. I want to work with Tim Burton before I die, like that’s bucket list material. I love that guy. Right next to the sidewalk was the building where the Cannes Film Festival is held and I HAD to get a picture on the red carpet. Like I said, I’ll be there one day, so this was a dream.IMG_1038

One day...

One day…









After this, we try yet again to reach the beach. Double fail. We get distracted by cute, shirtless boys street dancing. It was a grand ole’ time. Theeeeen, since it’s the Fête de la Musique, there are outdoor concerts going on that we become enveloped in. It was such a great time. We found a little band playing on a street that we fell in love with. They played Hey Jude and Sweet Home Alabama. WHAT. So, being the loud Americans that we are, we sang and sang and sang at the top of our lungs with the band, while the rest of the crowd awkwardly stared at us as if we were aliens. Technically, I guess we were. It was such a great time. Buuuuut, we never made it to the beach. But we decided that that was quite alright with us because we’d had such a wonderful time TRYING to get to the beach. Well, I take it back that we never made it. We made it but only for about two minutes to look at it and step in the water for pictures. But by then the sun was starting to go down and it was too late to soak in the sunshine. We decided to try again on Saturday.

Saturday morning rolls around and we are ready for some beach time. It was the first thing we did. We actually made it to the beach. Oh man, it was beautiful. There was a huge rock island thingy that was a short swim off of the coast that Austin, Tessa and I adventured to and explored. The Mediterranean Sea is ridiculously salty. I could taste salt for the rest of the day. We stayed at the beach until almost 7pm and got some really good tans – at least I did. No burning. I was pretty happy about that. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to get pretty again and get ready for dinner.IMG_1036

Dinner rolls around and we find a nice, little place to eat. And man did I eat. I ate an entire pizza to myself. I’m a champ. And then I ate some crème brûlée on top of the entire pizza. I don’t know what came over me but it was awesome. I just kept hearing Jennifer Lawrence in my head talking about eating an entire pizza by herself and I felt invincible. It was liberating.

Then came Sunday. And Sunday meant coming back home to Lyon. And that was a sad thought. Two days at the beach is not nearly enough when you’re in Cannes. But, we had to come home and come back to the real world. Full of studying for quizzes and homework and other such nonsense..

Wait.. what am I talking about? I’m still in France. So the last statement I made about returning to the real world was irrelevant.

Life Decisions, Passionate Goals

With classes winding down and my second year in college coming to a close, I’ve made some life decisions. At the start of my college career, I had decided to be an editor at a big time entertainment magazine somewhere in L.A. or New York. I still want to live in L.A., but now I don’t want anything to do with magazines. After deciding not to become a writer for a magazine, I switched my journalism emphasis from Magazine Journalism to Strategic Communication because I’d rather actually know the people in entertainment, as opposed to just writing about them. This all sounds pretty normal, right? People switch their majors all the time in their first years of college. However, my story has a twist; I want nothing to do with Journalism.

For the majority of my life, I’ve loved movies. They are my passion and my love. I want to act. Ever since I was a young child, I’ve wanted to act in movies. I remember being about six years old and telling my parents in the car one day while driving across a bridge that I wanted to be in Matilda or Annie, a movie like that. Fourteen years later, that yearning has done nothing but increase to an overwhelming part of my life. I find myself sitting in classes and letting my mind wonder to places filled with cameras, red carpets and flashing lights. I literally get butterflies when I picture my life in movies.

Now, many will probably think that I only want to be in movies to be famous or something else shallow like that. That’s not the case at all. No, my passion is much deeper than that. Throughout high school I was involved in every play that was put on during the four year duration I was there. Whether I had a starring role, was the director or just an usher, I made sure that I had some part and responsibility in everything that was done in our theatre. I loved it – everything about it; being on stage, becoming a completely different person than in my actual life. I love getting to know the character I play and morphing into someone that is the exact opposite of me. I can’t even really describe it, the feeling I get while performing for audience members. I live for it. That’s why even though I’m majoring in Journalism, I want nothing to do with it. I know that there’s no other career path for me than that which includes acting. Absolutely no other career.

Throughout the years, I’ve come to admire many actors in the world. These people have paved the way for me to become like them. Not in every way, but these that I admire have a lifestyle separate those of the Hollywood gossip scene. These actors are phenomenal and well-known, yet keep to themselves and don’t let the fame reach their heads like so many others in the world. This is what I strive to do when I move to California after graduation to pursue my acting career; I want to keep a clear head, but also maintain a steady life of acting. Johnny Depp is the number one actor that I admire in the world. He’s managed to pick roles that he saw fit, not just roles that would shoot him to fame. He handpicked everything and doesn’t flaunt his fame. In fact, he hides from it. Hayden Panettiere and Jennifer Lawrence also rank high in my standards because both of them also pick roles suited to them and manage to keep their heads out of the clouds as opposed to being greedy for money and attention. Lawrence chose multiple independent film roles before choosing to take on the role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, and though Panettiere has grown up in the spotlight, she still wants to better the world through wildlife organizations. Stars like these are the ones I strive to be like.

I know it sounds silly and crazy but I’m a very determined person. I work hard at what I do and love. If I put my mind to it, I can accomplish anything. So, that’s why I know that I can do this and eventually make my living as an actor. The fame isn’t for me, I want to keep my normal life and privacy, which is why I’m not doing this for the fame itself. I’m doing this because I have a genuine love for the art of acting and strive to make my entire life out of it. So, after graduation in 2014, I’ll be moving to California to live out my dream. Wish me luck.

As Olive Madison, lead in the female version of "The Odd Couple," at Lawson High School, Lawson, Mo. Fall 2009