Sunday, 27 December 2009

Abu Dhabi Bound

Hi. How was your holiday season? Mine was nice. It is odd to think that it is already 2010. How do we not have hover boards already? False advertising Doc Brown, what a the midst of a disappointing lack of anti-gravity technology for the masses, I am ridiculously positive about next year - I just found out that Naturi Naughton (Star of the MGM movie "Fame") will be singing TWO of my songs on her album, due out early next year. She has an incredible voice, I can't wait to hear the finished versions. Not a bad way to ring in the next decade.
I am on an airplane right now that has free wireless internet. How can we have free wireless and not turn on our cell phones? I am headed first to New York, for a brief layover, and then onward to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is just outside of Dubai, and is also full of oil billionaires and their friends. We have been trying to play a show there for quite a while, so I am glad to finally be going. I hear it is quite pleasant.
SPEAKING of New Year's Eve, while in New York City last week, we taped an outdoor concert for Carson Daly's New Year's Eve Special. Now, when I say outdoors, I mean outside, at night, in the middle of a blizzard. The snow may as well have been falling sideways, that's how hard the wind was blowing! I have never been so cold in my life. I have to hand it to all the fans who were standing out in that for over 3 hours! Troopers, I tell you! If you want to laugh at us all pretending not to be on the verge of frostbite, watch NBC on New Year's Eve. I assume it will play maybe at 10pm on the west coast? I am not sure, check yo' TiVos.



Thursday, 24 December 2009

I. Love. Paris.

I wrote this while in Paris....I was going to add to it, but I think I will just post it as is and write another one soon....

The city is completely lit up for the holidays, and it is SO beautiful! There are literally hundreds of trees lining the Champs Elysee, each one covered in white sparkling lights. The area in which we are staying, Vendome Plaza, has lighted chandeliers over the streets. Beautifully adorned Christmas trees everywhere, decked out shop windows, SNOW...absolutely amazing. I am addicted to French onion soup (though here I suppose it would just be onion soup) and macaroons. Someone once brought me macaroons from Paris and I remember thinking they weren't very good. Since everyone here loves them, I decided to give them a second chance. I walked into a macaroon shop (like a chocolate shop, but with tons of macaroons and fruit cakes in all different flavors) and had one on a whim. To my surprise and delight, it was DELICIOUS. Soft, sweet, chocolate-y melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The shop lady said you have to eat them within about 4 days and keep them refrigerated - the ones I'd had were stale. I've been made a believer. I want to open a macaroon shop like that one in NY. People actually eat there.

I have been here maybe 6 or 7 times now, but this trip is the first I have actually had several days off in a row. A friend, acting as tour guide and French tutor, took me all around the city on foot during the day. I've met a few lovely new friends whom I will definitely get together with next time. How fun to have friends all over the world!

Talk Soon,


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

London, Zee Big Apple, and back.

Today is wednesday. I think.

I flew overnight to London after spending an UH-MAY-ZING week in NY (and, since last we met, 3 sick days in London.)
The first few days I had off, which was great. I was able to go to some yoga classes, catch up with good friends, and even had a few writing sessions (SO excited about the outcome of those, by the way!!!). There were a few NY firsts - seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center, dining in Brooklyn, checking out Union Square holiday markets...there was something else too...ah yes - Saturday Night Live.
SNL was so much fun. Probably one of my favorite TV shows we have ever done. It was so cool to be at rehearsal and then dress rehearsal, and finally the live show, and see how the skits evolved throughout the week. I met the cast, and after the broadcast, we all went out to the after party. It was at a bar/restaurant in the meat packing district, with the most incredible food! That whole day was disorienting. We started very early, but it was so much fun that time passed quickly. Since it is a live show, we weren't finished working until 1am, and by the time everyone finished dinner it was about 3:30! I suppose it always happens this way for those zany SNL folks but wowzer, that is pretty late for me. Then everyone went over to a secret after-after-party, which required a password at the door. I felt ridiculous walking up to the doorman and saying "XOXO" but the notion quickly disappeared as my friends and I were lead through a dark restaurant and down a flight of stairs to a room full of people, complete with open bar, pool tables, and merriment. It was there where I proceeded to kick some arse in a few games of pool. Thanks mom, for the pool table in the garage growing up. :-) Underestimating fools! I'm a shark.
Another thing: if you are in NYC between now and next April, GO GO GOOO to the Museum of Modern Art and check out the Tim Burton exhibit! wow. It boasts an accumulation of over 700 pieces dating back to his high school musings, through his first stop animation projects, sketches, story boards, water colors, sculptures, etc. They had a full size edward scissorhands costume! Pretty pretty good.
Today has been a blur. I woke up on the plane this morning with 20 minutes left of my flight. Once we landed, we were able to go to the hotel for 1 hour to shower and change, and then went straight to work. We are going to be on a new show...I heard that it was a secret, so I cannot divulge the name right now. The set is gorgeous and involves a lot of fire.
The week ahead will be a whirlwind: tonight we fly via private jet to Germany (even though I am exhausted I kind of want to stay up so I don't miss it!), where we will have a show tomorrow night, and then go to Paris for another show. Immediately following, we will take a train to London for a TV show, and then head BACK to Paris for yet another. From Paris, it is back to NY, and I can't wait...

Love you,

here's a quote that I love; by George Bernard Shaw

This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as I live it is my privilege - my *privilege* to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I love. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I've got a hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

Welp, I think thats about it for now...

Saturday, 28 November 2009

A. Rant, Esq.

Find conviction in something. How does one go though life - no, through one single day - without passion? What reason does one have to wake up and go, if there is nothing driving the action? Sorry to be depressing, but honestly, this is a serious issue, and I believe a monstrous road block to all things good. Love, Happiness, Contentment, (not complacency) and a deep understanding of and connection to something higher.

I believe God gives every person the capacity to live a passionate life. As the saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it. It has become human nature to want everything right now, to have pleasures immediately. I think that part of what makes those things so wonderful is the amount of work and sweat and heart that goes into "achieving" or "obtaining" those things. Obviously, anything truly worthwhile cannot be had instantaneously; people become so frustrated and focused on what they do not have, that they forget the joy of the journey. Life is about the work, it is not about the result. We humans could not possibly predict the future. All we can do is the work, and the rest is out of our hands. When I say work, I mean labour of love.

Yes, be realistic, because we all need to have our place in the throngs modern society, however, do not allow your fears to paralyze you. It makes me so sad to see that happen. Everywhere. It is heartbreaking. sometimes I just want to shock people to life. Wake up! Your time here is limited, so why waste a single second perpetuating a passionless life, just to get by? If you have a family, friends children: realize that what you are doing for work is done in order to maintain the wonderful life you have, and choose to appreciate it for that. If you are constantly worrying about something else, you are missing what is happening right now. And what is happening right now - IS your life. And now. And now. And now...

Thanks for reading this Thanksgiving-inspired rant. Mine was wonderful (my holiday), and I am SO thankful to have been able to spend it with so many lovely people. My life is so rich because of these relationships, it is such a blessing to be able to share a great meal with one another. I feel all warm and fuzzy. and really, really full. :-)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

bluer skies ahead

This week was a very difficult one for me. I know God does not throw anything at me that he doesn't think I can handle - and I can, of course - but GOL-LY. I am praying that this week is better...and actually, it already is. :-)
I arrived in New York City yesterday very early in the morning. After sleeping half the day away, I had quite an enjoyable day off!
We performed in the middle of Times Square this morning on Good Morning America. It was FREEZING, but really fun. Tons of fans came out to support! Now we are all squeezed into one small dressing room at the David Letterman studio, chatting, eating, sweating, until it is time to go down for rehearsal....

Just found out I get to go home for Thanksgiving. Thank you, God.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Hi there. 

I have decided to re-vamp, re-up, re-work, re-do (recycle, reduce, reuse, and close the loop... anyone remember that environmentally conscious slogan beat into our brains as elementary schoolers? Anyway...) this little blog of mine... I'm gonna let it shine.

I am sitting in my window seat towards the front of the last third of the plane, and we are London bound. The seat in front of me has been pushed back as far as it can go, forcing me to push my own seat back in an effort to reclaim some semblance of comfortable space. The vicious cycle continues all the way back to the bathrooms, row by row. It's like traffic. 

The little flight map tells me there are 4 hours and 23 minutes until we land, and hopefully I will sleep through a little bit of that time! 

It has been a while since I have been to London, about this time last year, I believe it was, actually. So much has happened since then, I feel like a different person.  A whole new career path I couldn't see before has been expanding rapidly in front of me, and it is very, very exciting - I have been writing song after song for a bunch of different artists, and have had a few of my own songs placed in films. I have always loved to write music for myself, but recently have really put thought and time into projects for other artists. It seems to be going well! The wonderful thing about it is that I can do it while I am traveling. I can have an idea (as I did about an hour ago in this very chair, on this very airplane), record it into my computer, type up any lyric ideas, and send them to my writing partner, who can take a listen, and in this way we can crank 'em out. Technology is so amazing. 

Things have changed and things have stayed the same in the Rihanna camp - lots of new band members, a whole new touring crew, new songs, new show. They have decided not to take dancers for this run, so Kim and I (the other background vocalist) do a little more running around, which is really fun. I will miss having more girls around though. 

While in London, we will perform at the Nokia Theater, for Rihanna's "world wide album release party".  It is supposedly being taped, for what I am not certain. I will find out the details and let you know. This will be our first real show since the Pepsi Smash Super Bowl event in Florida in February. We have a lot of exciting things coming up, including a few firsts for me - SNL and Conan to be specific! Conan is Dec. 1st, and SNL will be Dec. 5th. 

Ok I am falling asleep, finally, so I'm going to go with it. 

With Love, 

Ashleigh Haney :)

Be thankful, gracious, and kind.