In Flight Entertainment

In Flight Entertainment

After being on a total of 60 flights in less than 6 months, you could say I’ve logged a good number of hours on airplanes this year so far. In fact that may be the understatement of the century. So what do I do with my time in the sky?

Well, during the school year I do homework. Honestly, I save most of my schoolwork for the plane because I can get so much done. Most of my treks are back and forth from LA to Atlanta, a flight time of around 4 hours and 30 minutes heading East and 3 hours and 40 minutes heading West. That gives me lots of time to read textbooks, type essays, and write discussion posts.

Think about it- on the plane, there’s nothing to distract you. No friends to talk to, no cell service, no WiFi (unless you pay for it which I don’t); just you and yourself for however long the flight lasts. I am so focused on my work that I actually do a better job of it when I am flying versus when I’m sitting in my room in LA. Doing it at home is so last year, I may as well change the phrase to “planework”.

But I don’t just save this time for little assignments- I have done major projects, papers, and even exams on the airplane before (for this one I did indeed buy WiFi). One of my best stories is when I wrote a 10-page final essay from the business class cabin of an airplane heading to Paris. It was my final and biggest grade for the semester, a paper that I had yet to do so I saved it for the 8-hour plane ride. After finishing it about 3 hours into the flight, I bought WiFi for 30 minutes and turned that puppy in from 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

So folks, the lesson here is: don’t ever give any excuses for late work, cause where there’s a will there’s a way.

Actually that’s not the point I was going for… really what I wanted to say was that you would be surprised how much you can accomplish from 30,000 feet if you put your mind to it.

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Now that spring semester is over and summer break has begun, I can truly enjoy all of the entertainment that airplanes have to offer. There are a plethora of movie selections that rotate in, with new releases coming in at the first of every new month.

I have always felt guilty about using my time to watch TV or movies because it doesn’t feel productive to me. So in the summertime, I always try to watch classic movies on the airplane, movies that everyone and their mother has seen except me and it’s about darn time I do. This year I finally got to watching Titanic, Gone With The Wind, Citizen Kane, To Kill A Mockingbird, Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, and The Usual Suspects- all thanks to the in-flight entertainment systems.

You know you fly a lot when you look through a page of 100 movie selections and can’t find a single one that you want to watch because you’ve seen most of them, have no desire to see the others, and about ¼ are foreign films. Whenever a new month comes along, I get extremely excited because I will finally be able to watch a movie that I actually have a desire in seeing and never had the chance to see in theatres. June is known as the month of weddings, so this month the planes have a slew of Rom-Coms about weddings: Bride Wars, Something Borrowed, 27 Dresses, and a new movie called Table 19 are just some of the options. It’s been hard to pace myself, let me tell you.

But alas, as we are now more than halfway through the month, I have watched about every new selection that appeals to me. I’ve watched Collateral Beauty, Before I Fall, Pretty in Pink, It’s Complicated, and La La Land.

What do you do when you have no desire to engage in a mindless activity but have about 2 hours left on the plane? You read.

I absolutely love reading. Yes, for enjoyment. I am so thankful that my mom raised me as a reader. Getting lost in a good book is one of the best feelings ever! Sadly, I don’t get to read for fun as often anymore because I am so busy with school and acting, but whenever I have free time, I’m so in.

I recently read Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed from cover to cover in less than 24 hours. I started the book whilst laying out on the beach, and then I read it non-stop on a 5 am flight from LAX to ATL, finishing the book as soon as I got home. It was glorious.

But if you aren’t a book person, magazines are great too! I love flipping through Vogue or People Style Watch. Just a warning though, magazine prices soar in airports. Last month I bought the June issue of Vogue at JFK for $6.50. Now that’s just robbery.

Another way to pass the time is simply to sleep it all away. However, for most people that’s actually not very simple at all because “sleeping on planes is so hard”. Not for this Fly Girl! (Check out my blog post titled “Let Me Sleep Among The Clouds” for more details)

But if you still don’t know how to pass your time in the sky, talk to the person next to you. Journal your thoughts. Go through old photos on your phone (and maybe even delete some to gain storage space!). Listen to music, maybe even go through your old playlists and gawk at how much your music taste has changed. Make friendship bracelets (that’s what my sister and I used to do when we were little. Imagine a 12 year old and a 7 year old taping threads of string to the tray table and braiding ankle bracelets together- so cute). Make a point to learn something new while you’re sitting there. Heck I learned how to tie my shoe on an airplane when I was in Kindergarten!

Whatever you decide to do, make the most of your time. Because you have a couple hours to let somebody else be the Pilot for a while. You can sit back and do anything you want! Maybe that’s simply getting a couple of hours for yourself to relax and enjoy a movie for once. Or to catch up on your sleep. Or to make a bucket list. Whatever it is, use your time wisely. Because not only are there many people in the world who would kill to have some spare time, but there’s a lot of people who have never even flown on a plane before.

Make the most of your time.

Enjoy the In Flight Entertainment.

-The Fly Girl

 

A New York Day

New York City is the concrete jungle where dreams are made, the greatest city in the world, the city that never sleeps. It’s a city full of dreamers who hustle and make their opportunities happen with hard work and passion.

I love New York. I’ve always felt like I can be my complete, full self in the City. The fashion, the independence, the community; there are countless aspects of the New York City lifestyle that I feel best fit my overall personality and aesthetic.

However, so many times when I travel there I’m on a tight schedule, heading to an audition or to Ripley Grier Studios to work. I love what I do, and I love the community of people I have found, but there haven’t been many days where I get to enjoy the City for all that it has to offer.

But there are rare occasions, and those are the best days. New York City truly is a magical place, and every once in a while the stars align to reveal its true power.

On my most recent escapade in Manhattan, I met up with an old friend from Atlanta, a fellow actor who moved to NYC about two years ago.

Sitting in Union Square Park with a box of Ben’s Cookies (the absolute best cookies you will ever put in your mouth), we swapped stories of our favorite days we’ve had in The City. Jeremy labels such days as “New York Days” and can be described as follows:

You wake up on a normal day, hitting the “Stop” button on your iPhone’s alarm even though you’re so tempted to snooze instead. But you gotta go to work (or dance class, an audition… insert whatever you want here), so you get up and continue with your morning routine.

You have no plans for the day ahead of you after your scheduled obligation, so you figure it will be a relaxing day of rest.

But then, something happens. A friend texts you with free tickets to a concert. You get invited to attend a premiere at the last minute. You turn a street corner and discover your new favorite spot. You run into an old friend and spend the rest of the day with them.

You barely look at your phone the rest of the night. Because you’re truly so happy and enthralled with The City. An ordinary day turns out to be one of the best ones of your life. Because NYC pulled through for you when you least expected it to.

For Jeremy, it was a day when he met a couple of dancers in a coffee shop he worked in. After they all discovered their common interests and mutual friends, the girls revealed they were back-up dancers for a well known electronica band and were performing that night at one of the biggest music festivals in New York City- and they gave Jeremy a free VIP pass.

Earlier that day Jeremy headed into work with no plans ahead of him, little known to him that he would end up heading to a music festival full of his favorite bands wearing an Artist’s Pass entry wristband. Free music, free food, free booze, and celebrity treatment? New York City definitely pulled through.

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This past Friday, I didn’t have many plans for my day ahead. I was tentatively going to meet with a photographer friend in Brooklyn- we connected over Instagram and were going to meet for the first time in person and just get to know each other, maybe even shoot a little.

The plan had been to meet at 1 pm, a time that wouldn’t allow me to do much with my morning since Brooklyn is an hour away from my apartment and I needed to sleep in late.

But my phone vibrated and Sam changed the time to 5pm. A better time… but what was I to do beforehand?

I went online and noticed that my favorite dance studio, Broadway Dance Center, had a 12pm Street Jazz/Hip-Hop class. I love taking dance classes- it’s the perfect workout and a chance for me to train in my craft. The only problem with this particular class was that it was 11 am when I found out it was scheduled. I needed to pack up a small backpack for the rest of my day, get ready for the class, and be in Midtown within an hour- a task that seemed near to impossible.

But somehow I made it to class on time, even though I missed the first Downtown train at my stop. I hopped on the next and caught the express at 96th Street in perfect time; like it was waiting for me. Smoothing out my trip and shaving off lots of time, I briskly walked to the studio, and breathed heavily to the woman at the front desk while trying to tell her I wanted to sign up for the class. I made it with a minute to spare.

Afterwards I felt incredible, powerful, confident, and overall happy. It was gonna be a good day, I could feel it.

And just on cue, my roommate texted me and invited me to come to the rooftop pool at an incredible apartment building on the cusp of The West Village and Chelsea. She is a nanny for a sweet family in the building, and was to take the kids swimming for a couple hours.

It was a perfect post-workout dip, with spectacular views right on the Hudson River and good company. I was able to spend my spare time eating pizza, swimming in the nicest, private rooftop pool, and getting ready for the photoshoot.

I then headed to Brooklyn for the first time. In all of my travels to the City, I had never ventured there. And boy had I been missing out.

I met up with Sam and we shot for about in hour in front of graffiti walls and vintage cars. We then wandered to a park on the bank of the Hudson, sitting and gawking at the view of Manhattan.

Exploring a new part of New York was magic in it of itself. We walked all over Williamsburg, ate some great food, and watched the sunset as lights twinkled on across the skyline.

And then my brother messaged me exclaiming that there was a surprise DJ set at a club in Brooklyn that night- and the DJ happened to be the front man of our favorite band, Tame Impala.

I had to go. I needed to go. But advanced tickets were sold out and the venue was likely to sell out at the door.

Except they didn’t, or at least not until after I got there, miraculously. I contacted an old family friend and she and I, along with her roommate danced the night away in a club in Brooklyn. It was an incredible show, and one of the best nights of my 20’s so far. We managed to push our way to the front, and there I was, dancing 5 feet away from one of my favorite artists Dj-ing it up in a random Brooklyn club. It was unreal. The energy of the crowd was electric and I truly felt the magic of what its like to be young and single in New York City.

As I hopped into bed at 5am, I couldn’t help but laugh at the crazy day I had ended up experiencing. I never thought my ordinary Friday would turn into a day like it had. I took a dance class, enjoyed a sweet rooftop pool, had a photo shoot, explored Brooklyn with a new friend, and danced the night away to my favorite music with more. New York had pulled through.

A New York Day indeed.

-The Fly Girl