A Day in the Life of Kira Takei
03/07/23 01:00 PM Filed in: Personal
Hey everyone! In today’s post, I will be walking you through what a day in my life looks like! Of course, my schedule will vary based on the day, but here is a typical Monday, and I will explain some of the things I will prepare for the upcoming week!
When I wake up (around 7), the first thing I do is water my plants and give them a light mist. Then, after I get my coffee and light my candle, I'll sit down at my desk and start on some work. ‘Work’ means schoolwork first (I do online school), then I work through any music/dance work. Music work can range from writing a new blog post, figuring out a song artwork cover, writing up new concepts, listening to mixes, or figuring out scheduling. Dance work can mean scheduling, going over rehearsal schedules for the week, going over choreography for competitions or shows, choreographing combos, or sometimes choreographing pieces. As I come off of being creative with dance, I'll take a minute to let everything sit as I clean my room, wash my face, and make my bed. Once my favorite space to write is clean and clear (my room), I'll sit down on my bed and start working on the creative side of music. I’ll begin my creative process (which has its own blog post, if you want to check that out) and work through any other final touches to my music. Then I eat lunch and if i’m lucky watch an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race with my little sister while we eat. After lunch, I’ll do activities based on the day such as cleaning my car, deep cleaning my room, laundry, reading, journaling, any extra work, or helping around the house before I get ready for dance. I dance Mon-Wed, then Fri-Sun. Mon-Wed are company classes, typically from about 6-9pm, then every other Friday I assist/sometimes teach combos and phrases for PrePro Apprentice (a program at CC&CO Dance Complex). On Fridays I also go to the music studio, from about 11am-1pm, where my producer (Kevin McNoldy) and I track vocals, work on mixes, and work on anything we need to while together. Saturday and Sunday are blocked off for almost full day dance rehearsals, with PrePro (a program at CC&CO Dance Complex) every Saturday from 11am-3pm(ish). After coming home from dance, I'll take a shower, wash my face, eat some dinner, and head to bed.
And that’s a day in my life, with a little bit of what my week looks like!... I hope it made sense! Being a graduating senior, my schoolwork load is much lighter this year which allows for more time to be creative and work on what I love to do. I’m so excited for next year when all I do is be creative! I’ll be sure to write an updated day in my life so you can see what my gap year looks like!
Thank you for reading!
03/01/23 08:00 AM Filed in: Personal
As February comes to an end, I wanted to share some of my ‘favorites’ from this month! Ranging everywhere from choreographers to scents, here are some things I’ve been finding inspiration and joy from!
TV Show - Steven Universe: focused on a young boy living in ‘Beach City’ who is half human half ‘gem’, you follow his journey as he fights alongside the ‘Crystal Gems’ to protect the Earth from harm. This show does an amazing job in world building, and has such deep and personal characters each with their own complex history. While it is a children’s show, there are many lessons that can be learned from the themes throughout the program. My favorite character is a gem named ‘Peridot’, as she undergoes deep character development and questions everything she knows and everything she ‘should’ be. I’m re-watching this show now for about the 3rd time, and each time I understand it more and more.
Scent - Coffee: my mom recently gifted me a coffee-scented candle, and I must say It has helped me greatly in staying focused. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of a coffee shop where I study and get work done, or maybe because it encourages me to finish so I can get another cup of coffee. Coffee has been my favorite scent this month, but nothing will top my all-time favorite: lavender.
Book - ‘The Second Nature of Indigo’ by Aubin Elise: I have a degree of dyslexia, so reading can sometimes become very frustrating and take long periods of time, pushing me away from reading books. However, when my wonderful, talented, and kind friend I met years ago in Driver’s Ed published a mystery novel, I knew I had to read it. I find her process fascinating, and I can see all the years of work that have gone into creating her book - I LOVE learning, seeing, and experiencing ‘the process’. I am so happy (and proud) to say although it’s taken me a couple months, I am now on Chapter 6 of this wonderful book, and cannot wait to see where it takes me! I am already so hooked, and I am excited to see how the story evolves. Thank you Aubin for sharing your beautiful work to the world. Here is a link to her website with more information on her book, as well as the author herself! https://aubinelise.com/
Choreographer - Emiliano Jimenez: CLI Conservatory alumni, Emiliano is pushing the boundary between modern art and dance. His pieces of work are so unique to his mind, and it is captivating to think of his process. His vocabulary for dance is so vast, and it is pure magic to see it being used so precisely. Here are a couple Instagram links to different pieces:
‘Base.’ - https://www.instagram.com/p/CbVj_CHjJD4/
‘abcdEfg’ - https://www.instagram.com/p/Cn8BzwLj3oO/
Mind = Blown
All Time Favorite thing this month: I have been so, so, so obsessed with the Ocean. Most of my artistic inspiration from this month has been drawn from the Ocean, and I have learned many lessons in letting go but not forgetting. From the tides to the deep sea creatures, my heart has resonated with the water. I recently made a day trip to an Aquarium and beach with my boyfriend, and as we walked on the sand and heard the subtle waves crash, my heart felt so full. There’s a healing property to the Ocean, and all it has to offer. I’m beyond thankful to live on this planet with our waters, and the life it inhabits. Here are some ‘sub’ favorites relating to our Oceans:
Movie - Children Of The Sea: girl this movie will mess you up… in the best way. Not only is it visually stunning, but the story of purpose is one I’m still processing. There are many words spoken in that film that I am still dissecting, but I know resonate. I highly suggest watching this movie at some point - I also suggest watching with an open mind, with no expectations. It is stunning, existential, beautiful, and crazy.
Animal - Female Fanfin Sea Devil: I was watching a deep-sea documentary with my Mom one day, and this strange, powerful, and intricate animal was highlighted. How is it that these rare animals exist on this Earth? The Biology and Anatomy of this Fish astounds me. And, her movements inspire me. Here are a couple links to Youtube videos exploring the Female Fanfin Sea Devil!
The Facts - Check out this video to fully understand how deep and vast our oceans are… INCREDIBLE!!
These are my favorites from this month! Thank you for reading, and thank you for your ongoing love and support! I cannot wait to share my favorites from the upcoming months! :)
Self Care And The Creative Mind
02/22/23 08:00 AM Filed in: songwriting
Self care is something I find essential in my life. I know, that sounds cheesy and obvious, but it has really assisted in the growth of who I am, as a person and as an artist. Self care can look many ways; from a shower, watching a movie, journaling, spending time with friends, or taking a nap, self care is making intentional choices to give back to your heart and mind. And what your heart and mind will need will most likely change every day - self care is also self-awareness, and is a practice I use to listen, and be patient with myself.
Valuing self care has deepened my relationship to myself - I am able to recognize more easily how I feel, and what I could do to help me work through those feelings. They can be feelings of sadness, anxiety, and anger, or happiness, joy, and celebration. Being able to take care of myself and know I have healthy ways to cope with however I feel makes being vulnerable and open much easier. I know I’m there for myself, and I’ll be okay.
Music and songwriting is a form of self care, not only in listening or reading it, but in writing and creating as well. I typically turn to songwriting and creating music for self care when I am in a heavy space - I feel like it allows me to experience, and helps me sort out how to identify what I feel. From paying attention to what chords I use to the tone of my voice, creating music is a raw, authentic experience, and there is so much being communicated. Figuring out lyrics that feel right, or that I relate to pushes me to ask myself many questions - questions with answers that help me understand how I feel, why I feel, and what I feel. The process of creation is self care in itself.
Recently, I’ve found self care in being outside and going on adventures, sleep, makeup artistry, journaling, writing letters, and spending time with my loved ones.
What does your heart need today?
The Synesthetic Process Behind Each Song
02/15/23 08:00 AM Filed in: songwriting
As some of you may or may not know, I experience a neurological condition known as ‘Synesthesia’. In short, it is a condition in which your brain associates colors to sounds, days of the week to colors, numbers to textures, and much more. With Synesthesia, something is always linked to something else. In this post, I would like to share how Synesthesia assists me in creating music!
The process for writing a song is different each time - different songs call for different things. Some need to be journaled, some need to be written in pen, and others need to be typed; however, Synesthesia is a part of the process that is the same across the board. Inspiration can come from anywhere - a friend’s voice, a picture, a feeling, the ocean, a word… and after I have that inspiration and build a concept onto it, words, colors, shapes and textures flood my mind. Here is an example of one way I write music that really highlights Synesthesia;
Once I have maybe a line or two written for the concept, let’s say for this example it’s ‘heavily gold drapes over your eyes’ I’ll start lists of words that pull me into that world, and have similar tastes, colors, textures and sounds;
‘Heavily gold drapes over your eyes’
Once I have a building list, I’ll use the words I wrote for inspiration, and to connect and continue a story.
Another example of where Synesthesia comes into play is recording and listening in the studio. There have been many times I've tried to explain how certain instruments or vocals should sound with words like ‘the light on a lighthouse’, ‘darker’, or ‘more blue’. Thankfully, my producer, Kevin McNoldy sees the beauty in those types of connections, and works with me to get it exactly where it needs to be. While the Synesthetic process opens many doors, it can also lead to feeling overwhelmed by how big the playground really is. It can be frustrating trying to write a song that fits all of those categories of connection, and having it feel just right. I’m a perfectionist by nature, however, with the added trait of Synesthesia, if something isn’t 100% right, it feels so painfully obvious. This can make the writing process last longer, and make recording difficult at times.
Although it has its pros and cons, I would never change my Synesthetic understanding of life. I’m so happy to have been able to share this part of me with you all, and maybe help you understand more and more about this condition! Thank you for your continuing love and support.
(If you’re interested in an in-depth explanation/exploration of Synesthesia, here is a link to an MLA essay I wrote titled “Understanding Synesthesia”!)
CC&CO Dance Complex at Adrenaline 2023
02/08/23 09:00 AM Filed in: dance
Hello! In this blog post, I wanted to share a big part of my dance world that happened… This past weekend my dance studio attended Adrenaline as our first competition of the season, and the class of 2023’s last first dance competition. I feel so fortunate to be a part of the 2023 class at CC&CO Dance Complex, and I wanted to share a bit about the process of this piece.
It is tradition at CC&CO that the graduating seniors choreograph a piece dedicated to their time at the studio, and are given the opportunity to perform it. The creation of this piece was fun, surreal, and emotional, and was filled with love. I remember to begin, we sat down at a coffee shop and began to brainstorm songs that felt right. There were many suggestions, however, we landed on ‘There Will Be Time’ by Mumford & Sons - we felt it best captured all that a ‘class of’ dance is. Once we had our song, we began the choreography process. We wrote down time marks from where we needed to cut the music, which sections would be where, who has what counts, and how it would all come together. This process went by fairly quickly, as we had a clear vision of what we wanted, so after the planning, we came up with some moves. This part of the process either went by fast when we were all focused, or was trailing along when we couldn’t stop making jokes or funny suggestions. Eventually, we finished the choreography, and then we cleaned and selected costumes. Before we knew it, our last first dance competition was here. There was a lot of emotion going into this competition from a lot of different angles, however, there was also an overall feeling of love, connection, and joy. Even in the tears, we came together and supported one another. I remember waiting in the wings for our music start, and hearing our CC&CO family screaming and cheering. I couldn’t help but cry. This piece not only signifies our last first, but honors all that we have done up until our last competition season. As we performed, there were a good amount of ‘mistakes’ made, but it really did not matter - what mattered was that we were there together, dancing together. I cannot explain the joy, pride, and love I felt for the class of 2023 in that moment. We have cried together, celebrated together, supported each other, and loved each other - we really are a family.
None of this would have been possible without our CC&CO family - from parents, peers, to teachers, thank you. Thank you.
Attached is a video of ‘Class of 2023’, and I hope you enjoy watching as much as we enjoyed performing. We still have 3 competitions left, so be on the lookout for more dance related content coming out over the next couple months! Thank you all for your love and support.