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Colton Ryan/Olivia Puckett DEH Review

Major Plot Spoilers ahead.

Wow. Honestly, just wow. I’m staring at the screen trying to write this and am still at a complete loss. For what it’s worth, this was my first time seeing the show. I’m seeing it four times while I’m in New York, but this was my first. I’ve been watching the video for as long as I can remember and haven’t gone a day without listening to the soundtrack. I’ve heard Colton’s audio as well as Michael Lee Brown’s and had no idea what to expect going in to this performance. With that being said, nothing could have prepared me for this. I have heard so many reviews regarding the two understudies the past few days and wasn’t sure what to expect out of Colton, but he stole my heart, crushed it to pieces, squeezed it into a mess, only to put it back together again in the finale. This boy is not getting enough credit for his talent. After seeing all of the MLB reviews and Colton reviews, I was left in awe of his performance. This guy deserves all the things, and I wish I could give them to him. He definitely deserves consideration for when November roles around. When he did Evan’s opening monologue, it was fast. Very fast. Almost faster than Ben’s and to the point where if you weren’t paying attention, you probably missed something. I felt right at home. This of course leads into AHAM and this is the first chance we have at seeing Olivia’s Zoe. (HOLY COW!!!!!) Her portrayal of Zoe was SO different from Laura’s. Mike Faist seemed to have more of a joking tone with her and their opening interaction seemed less hostile and more of a normal sibling dynamic.
This then leads into Evan asking Alana to sign his cast as she tells him about her summer. I thought that Colton looked very anxious and uncomfortable and you could see him fighting with himself as to what the right thing to say to her was. Will of course stole the show immediately when he came on stage and continued to do so throughout. His performance wow’d me and is so much stronger in person than any video could do justice.
Cutting to WTAW - and just wow. I was left speechless. I believe Colton was losing his voice (he seemed hoarse at the beginning of the show but once his vocals warmed up - he nailed it) but this just made the performance even better for me. You could hear the desperation in his voice as he sang and especially when asking “Is anybody waving, back at me?”. His interaction with Olivia was textbook perfect. He was so nervous even I was uncomfortable for him but Olivia was genuinely apologetic that Connor had shoved Evan and seemed upset at the fact Connor was like this. At one point in the song, Colton chased after her waving and she paid him no attention and his face was absolutely heartbroken (I started crying here and never stopped). Heading in to the WTAW reprise in the computer lab, Colton looked devastated when Heidi calls and says she can’t come pick him up and so pained when she asks how his day was. Even he was crying during the reprise and this is something I wasn’t expecting.
Olivia in For Forever showed a side of Zoe I had never seen. She looked so sad as Evan sang and I felt terrible that these happy memories of her brother were ones she didn’t have. (JLT’s performance and breakdown during this song - OMG!) Colton’s chemistry with the Murphy’s seemed natural and only grew as the show went on.
Sincerely, Me is one of my favorite numbers and seeing it in person was AMAZING. Because of Mike and Colton’s off stage friendship, this on stage performance was incredible. Colton mouthed the words he was typing in the emails as he was doing it and this just made the whole thing more realistic to me.
OLIVIA CAN FLAT SING. Requiem is not normally a song to leave me in tears, but the emotion in that song did me in. Zoe was so heartbroken and couldn’t even bring herself to read through all of the emails. I thought at one point she was going to break down trying to sing it but you could see the tears in her eyes. I loved how it seemed more painful and heartfelt.
Colton’s If I Could Tell Her normally gives me goosebumps but with Olivia on stage? I was speechless. They have natural chemistry and it looked so natural every time they were together. When Evan kisses her at the end, she didn’t seem angry, just shocked.
Disappear was wonderful as well and I felt like I got to see so much more of Jared’s character development when he tries to make an input to the Murphy’s and Evan shuts him down. This is something that doesn’t translate in the boot or audio versions for me.
You Will Be Found was where I lost it and didn’t recover. There was something so raw during the speech and watching him crumble on the floor. As Nic mentioned, Colton held on to Connor’s tie for dear life and was audibly crying before he could manage to look out at the crowd again and continue. Hearing Colton cry and look so broken made me want to jump the stage and give him a hug. Michael Park’s breakdown made my dad cry and I had to look away to control my sobs. He fell to his knees and JLT had to come help him up as he pulled her into a hug. When Zoe saw this, you could see her eyes tear up and when she sang and spoke to Evan at the end, she was crying about having her brother back. Once again, Colton and Olivia’s chemistry was off the charts. When they kissed, she wrapped both her arms tight around him and he her and they were both holding on for dear life.
Break in a Glove is a song I find necessary for the show but haven’t died to listen to on repeat. However, the dynamic between Evan and Larry here is SO good. They were both glad to have someone to share this with since they missed out on it when they were younger. Evan looks so hopeful and Larry looks so excited to share this and it was beautiful.
Only us - UGH!!! Olivia nailed this. She was so gentle with him and looked at him so lovingly and Evan looked so enthralled by her. She did indeed kiss him more than one time throughout the song and whenever they were close enough, she was touching him. In the end, Colton pushed her down onto the bed and it looked like the most natural thing in the world.
Good for you was just SO good. Jared’s heartbreak, Alana’s hurt, RBJ WAS CRYING and everyone else was too. Colton looked traumatized that he was going through this and the emotions on his face were painful.
Everyone talks about Colton singing words fail well and they aren’t wrong. This performance left me shaking with sobs and the girl beside me who had no idea about the performance going in, clutching on to my arm and crying. There was so much emotion on the stage at one time I didn’t even know how to handle it. Zoe was crying, Cynthia was sobbing, and Colton was just so so so broken. He kept pulling at his hands and at his chest like he was hurting and he would mouth i’m so sorry in between lines. I made eye contact with him during this song and felt sorry for him because I was sobbing harder than he was.
I didn’t even have time to recover before So Big/ So Small. Rachel Bay Jones was crying so hard and at the end of it, Colton threw himself into her lap and buried his face. He was completely off the couch and into the floor with his arms wrapped so tightly around her I don’t know how she could move. She held him so close and held his face in between her hands. When Evan finally pulls away, he looked like it was the last thing in the world he wanted to be doing.
And of course, I cried through the finale because it was over and it was the most beautiful performance I’ve ever seen.
Overall, I would say, after hearing so much of the OBC and the audios, Olivia blew me away. Completely. She was absolutely incredible and gave me so much more to Zoe that I never knew I needed. Colton stunned me and stole the show. His vocals were wonderful and in the parts where he struggled made it all the more real to me. It was these times where he seemed so desperate and broken the most. Nothing in the world could have prepared me for this and I’m so thankful. If you get the chance to see Olivia, TAKE IT and enjoy every second. If you get the chance to see Colton, please do not sell your tickets because Ben isn’t there. It is still worth it and I didn’t feel like I missed any part of the performance by having Colton. (He’s also beautiful and one of the sweetest people in the whole world. I love him to pieces) ❤️

Writer’s Block, CH7

Originally posted by suspend

Here it is! Thanks @litlifelover for the gif suggestion! I’m going to use it because there is a stay moment here. Thanks also to everyone that gave their gif opinion! I think we can all agree we just like Everlark together, however we can get them there. So here’s a little ‘togetherness’ for you. Read on AO3 or FFnet if you like. And happy continued bday to @katnissdoesnotfollowback. It’s almost time again! Lol. I’m slow….


I open one eye and stare at Peeta, sitting cross-legged next to me on my bed with his computer in his lap. The bright glow of the screen is the only lighting in the room. It’s two in the morning and our project is due in 6 hours. He’s been re-reading and editing here and there while I fell asleep. I don’t know how he’s still awake.

“Really?” My voice is raspy from sleep and my eye closes, too heavy to care that it’s finally finished. But my body feels weightless at the news.

“Really.” I listen to the click of the laptop closing, the sliding of it onto my nightstand before he says softly, “It’s late. I should go.” He stands from the bed but doesn’t get far before my hand is around his wrist. I let my fingers slide down, tangling with his.


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14 tips to get through finals with anxiety:

Let me be clear, I am not a medical professional. I’m actually kind of a giant idiot. A giant, anxiety-ridden idiot. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression while going to school for almost 5 years now. Through my many successes, and many more failures, I’ve put together some tips on how I’ve been getting through school while managing my mental health.

I find, for me, that anxiety is something that  can be helped by environmental factors, which is why I’ve chosen to include the somewhat cliche sleep, eat, exercise tips! I’ve also kind of tailored this list to my own anxiety, and the preventative measures I take. That being said, I hope this can help people with whatever kind of mental health issues they’re going through, to some extent!

Obviously if you’re going through something, don’t just take this list and be done with it. Please find someone to talk to, and take care of yourself. Whether that means going on medication, seeing a counsellor, or asking for extensions, accommodations, even dropping out, you have to put yourself first.

1. Sleep. I know everyone says this. But they say it for a reason! Not only is there some proof that memories of things we learn throughout the day are consolidated while we sleep, but not sleeping will seriously fuck with your head. And things that fuck with your head will do your mental state no favours. And you see where I’m going with this.

2. Exercise. AGAIN, I know everyone says shit like this. But it’s one of those things that people say for a reason. Whether it’s going for a run, doing a yoga class, having a dance party, or killing a man, you gotta get that blood pumping, and those endorphins going. It’ll make you a whole lot less anxious, you’ll sleep 742% better, and you’ll find that you learn things way more quickly and easily.

3. Don’t eat too badly. Another thing that you’ve heard 8 million times before! I know it’s tempting to live on vending machine food and coffee, but try to make an effort to keep the food thing on track. For me, a lot of my anxiety is rooted in my body image, and when I start to eat shitty, I start to freak out about that more than the millions of things I have to do for school. Keeping the food and fitness thing on lock down just takes that source of stress out of the equation for me. On top of that, the sugars and bad things in junk food will not help with your mental state. Obviously, a 2AM McDonalds run is very necessary sometimes, but try to keep it to a minimum.

4. Try to avoid over-caffeinating. I know this seems counter-productive, but I speak from experience here (again), when I say that it’s better to be a little more tired, but a lot more chill. If you drink too much coffee, you could get more anxious, and that’s not going to lend itself well to productivity. I’ve had many a panic attack caused by too much caffeine, and it’s no fun, and no good for getting any work done. You also don’t want to be laying in bed hours after you’re done studying, still feeling like the energizer bunny (referring to #1).

5. Keep up with readings and coursework throughout the term. I’m going to make this mean two things. The first being, don’t try to learn a whole semester in a night. That’s a guaranteed way to have a mental breakdown, and get a shitty mark. Number two, is to keep up with your regular readings even while studying for midterms or exams in other classes. Don’t throw everything else to the wayside just because you have one assessment coming up. That will just leave you with 3-4 classes to catch up on after, when you probably would rather just relax for a few days after all of the hard work you put in studying!

6. Make sure you’re not seeing anything for the first time when you start studying. This is kind of an add on to the previous one. Keep up with your readings, try to make sure you understand the concepts as you learn them in class. It makes for a way easier time studying when it come time. Also, if you’re an anxious mess by the end of the semester like I usually am, learning things with an anxious brain is much more difficult to say the least, sometimes impossible. This will help to take some of that out of the equation.

7. Start studying earlier than you think you need to. Waaaaay earlier. Give yourself time for bad days. I’ve started studying for my physiology final 2 weeks before, and have already had 3 shitty, unproductive days this week. Starting stupidly early is a lifesaver, because having a bad day is less of a big deal. You’ve got tons of time to get back on track and not be rushing at the last minute.

8. Don’t take the bad days personally. You’ve probably been working your butt off all semester, and your brain is probably more susceptible to the crappy effects of anxiety and depression than it was at the beginning of the year, speaking from experience. This ties in really well with the previous tip! Give yourself tons of time, and then a bad day is no big deal, and nothing to feel bad about.

9. Alternate late and early nights when studying. Don’t try and pull 5 all nighters in a row. Just don’t. Why would you do that. Love yourself. I’ve found that alternating between late and early nights is a nice mix of banging out a good 8 hours of studying and really getting through a big chunk of my work, and then getting to spend a day recovering, and letting all of the knowledge you’re acquired the night before sink in a bit more.

10. Alternate light and heavy study days. This goes hand in hand with the above tip! It’s the same idea, spend one day working your butt off, and the next day doing some cooking or cleaning, go to the gym, getting some sleep. Obviously you’re still going to get a few hours of work in, but this way you’ll be ready for another intense-slash-late night tomorrow.

11. Don’t try to study 24/7. I have friends who do this, and I also used to do this. It’s an A+ way to burn yourself out way too quickly. I’ve found it’s better to use smaller amounts of time more effectively than just overloading your brain and burning yourself out. If I don’t have class until 1 on a given day, I don’t just study al morning, go to class and then keep studying for the rest of the night. I usually spend the morning working out, doing some cooking, anything not school related. For me, stuff like that is a huge stress reliever, and I find that when I go to study after class, I feel way more rested, and way more ready to sit down and power through whatever I’m working on. It’s one of the more tempting things, and I know the feeling very well, but try to resist.

12. Put in your late nights and all-nighters before your final. As in not the night before. I’ve got a final next friday, and I’m going to be aiming to be in bed by 10  wednesday and thursday. Try to study so that you can almost have a work-load that winds down the closer you get to exams. If you’ve gotta pull the all nighter, pull it with a few days to spare before your exam so you can catch up on sleep and not show up to write it like a zombie.

13. Set aside extra time for things you know you have trouble with. I fucking suck at many of the things I’m learning in many of my classes. Don’t try and learn those things in one go, review them as you study the rest of your material, and then make time to come back to them later. I’ve found that repeated exposure is a biiiig help in understanding and remembering things, and it’s just one more way to give that anxious brain of yours one more advantage.

14. Accept that you’re not going to know everything. Crazy, right? I’ve gone into exams straight up having not studied parts, and still coming out with an average 20 points higher than the class. That is absolutely not something you should do, it is just me humblebragging. Knowing how to do multiple choice tests, knowing what the course expects of you, and being a generally well prepared student will help you more than trying to cram every last fact into your head.