Hannah Coffey: Naturally Funny

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Ontario, Canada, 2005 — Hannah Coffey and her cousins assemble during a family gathering. They are not playing video games nor watching television. They are filming another comedy sketch.

What Coffey lacks for in size she makes up for with bright eyes and a radiating on-screen energy. In one particular scene, Coffey becomes Lily, a character who is the director/producer of a new horror film featuring a killer bulldog. Coffey takes charge of the scene with a jet black wig, loud Southern drawl, and witty lines. All of this is improvisational.  Coffey is nine years old.

New York City, New York, 2018 — With eyes still bright, Coffey strolls the streets of Manhattan. She has lived in the city for three years.

Coffey suggests meeting at a small Turkish restaurant she has never been to but always passes on the way to her nanny job.

“I’ve slept on the streets 4 or 5 times now,” says Coffey, twirling her curly auburn hair between her fingers.

She reassures that this is not due to a lack of money but for a deep desire to see the show that fuels her dream to be an actress: Saturday Night Live.

Coffey grew up watching SNL in the small town of Kenilworth, Canada—a rural community Coffey refers to as a “village” when discussing its population. Due to its minuscule size, Kenilworth did not have theaters for Coffey to perform at, which is why she performed incessantly with her cousins at family functions before she attended high school.

“I knew she was good from early on,” says James O’Connor, a cousin Coffey oftentimes performed with.

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 3.43.47 PMA recorded comedy sketch still of Coffey (left) and O’Connor (right).

After graduating from high school, she moved to New York City where she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. There she met her best friend and scene partner, Kimmy Dunn.

Dunn has worked frequently with Coffey and says Coffey really does her research when it comes to nailing a role. “It’s nice to work with her because she educates herself in the play, the performance or the characters,” says Dunn.

Through working with Coffey, Dunn has been able to see the comedic, silly side to Coffey, one she did not notice at first glance. “She’s super funny but in the sneakiest and slightest way,” says Dunn, pegging her as the female version of Paul Rudd’s character in I Love You, Man: a little quirky and quiet, then randomly hilarious.

Because of Coffey’s strong passion for comedy and improvisational theater, Dunn says she has found a new love and appreciation for the genre.

Coffey has also dived into the genre of drama since moving to New York. Tribeca Film Institute Filmmaker Lola Kenet cast Coffey as the lead in her coming-of-age narrative short about a teenage girl living in New York City. “I found that she understood the character very well and put a lot of effort into the role,” Kenet says. “She was a pleasure to work with.”

Like the story of Kenet’s film, the story of Ladybird—a 2018 Oscar nominee for best picture—resonated with Coffey in a personal way, which made it easier for her to understand the protagonist, who also wanted to leave her quaint hometown for New York City in order to chase after a dream. Sitting in the movie theater, Coffey found herself wondering if Ladybird was actually written about her own life.

While Coffey has taken on more dramatic roles recently, she wants to ultimately focus more on comedy, including writing her own comedic material. Coffey has taken improvisational classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade—an improvisational and sketch training center—and hopes that taking more classes at the center will help her hone her writing skills.

According to Coffey, she can’t see herself doing anything else aside from acting. Acting gives her the flexibility to be anyone she wants to be.

“I get to live these different lives for just a brief moment of time and I can get a glimpse into different lifestyles…I think that’s what really attracted me to it,” Coffey says. “Just the idea that I don’t have to choose one thing that I have to be or want to be. I can go and become a completely different person, and the next day I’m back to being Hannah.”

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What is the South End?

 

 

Welcoming shop owners, happy residents, delicious food. Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself into the world of the South End. Now looking back, only one word comes to mind when I think of it: homely. Although the South End is a part of the city, it is an escape from the city as well.

But how is that possible? Its diverse and friendly people along with its hidden gems give it this aura.

While Boston has not received many blizzards this past winter, Frenchie restaurant owner Sandrine Rossi was prepared to help the community any way she could when one arrived. She offered mulled wine to customers and set up board games as well. The restaurant became a shelter from the bitter storm.

“We are a neighborhood spot, so our purpose is to serve the neighbors,” said Rossi. “We had planned some extras to help them go through that ‘dead’ day.”

In the 1960s, the South End was a place for the gay population to flock to in order to escape the general homophobia of the rest of the city. The segregation was prevalent. Steven Lyons, a bartender at Cathedral Station, doesn’t see it that way anymore. “It’s not so much gay or straight it’s just whatever you want to be,” said Lyons.

Joanne Seay, a South End resident, has lived in the St. Botolph Street area her entire life. The Boston Landmarks Commission accepted the St. Botolph Street area as an Architectural Conservation District in 1981in order to recognize and protect the historical and architectural characteristics which make an area unique. Although the area is constantly under reconstruction because of its age, Seay said she enjoys living there and could never see herself moving.

“They’ll take me out of this place when I’m dead,” said Seay.

 

Final Thoughts: Boston.com

All in all, I think boston.com did an adequate job at doing its proclaimed job: keeping Bostonians informed.  But that’s the problem: it’s adequate (click here to see my blog post on my initial thoughts of the website).

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A few things:

  • It’s apparent that there is a distinct difference between the amount of professionalism that goes into the online boston.com and it’s n
    IMG_1163ewspaper sister, The Boston Globe. Sure, The Boston Globe isn’t filled with interactive polls or flashy videos either, but what the Globe lacks in multimedia, it makes up for
    with craftsmanship writing and reputation. I think the website is definitely taking a backseat, and the focus is more on The Boston Globe, which is probably why boston.com is not as up to par as it should be. 
  • After attending a talk given by Charles Sennott (@CMSennott) last week, the message was made clear that  boston.com does not have a very good reputation among news outlets, at least in the Boston are. He almost smirked when he heaIMG_1165.PNGrd the name. 
  • Pros: easy to navigate, straightforward, basic organization
  • Cons: boring, outdated-looking, no breaking news section, lacks multimedia
  • The site’s format does not look like it has been updated at all, and it does not seem like it will be updated any time soon.
  • They do provide the most popular news articles, so you can technically see what’s trending among readers.

All in all, I would like to see the website updated. It definitely looks like it needs to be. I want to explore by seeing how many BU students actually use it. Do the younger generations gravitate to it at all? If the younger generations don’t, is it a sign that changes need to be made? I will most likely keep visiting this site because I live in Boston and the site keeps me informed. And for me, that’s all I need.

 

 

Live Event Assignment

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Charles Sennott’s interesting talk about the importance of international reporting. The main question being, why is it dying?

I was happy to catch a glimpse at the kind of man Sennott was as well. He shared many delightful anecdotes with the audience and strongly encouraged active participation along with questions.

To conclude, he advised us to take a look at the opportunities The GroundTruth Project gives to young reporters and how we can sign up to join the team…that is…if we’ve got what it takes.

ICYMI: here is the link to my twitter timeline.

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Newstrack: Is Snapchat News of the Future?

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It appears boston.com has not caught up with the times of snapchat, although it can connect readers to the website’s Twitter and Facebook. The goal of the website is simple — keep readers updated with the latest Boston news.

Boston.com does not have its own snapchat, but it has plenty of articles showing the consequences that take place when people misuse it.

For example, a few weeks ago boston.com posted an article about a teen appearing in juvenile court because he admitted to sharing a sexual assault on snapchat.

However, the website also has posted articles showing how snapchat has helped combat crime.

I guess the moral of the story is that Snapchat comes with great responsibility.

I believe Snapchat can be used as a great news tool. I feel that it is the quickest way to share news. Snapchat is all about being on-the-spot action and is perfect for today’s hunger for news that informs us as quickly as possible. However, if it’s just about snapping videos from a phone, couldn’t anyone be a reporter?

How to Make Movie Theater Popcorn at Home

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Okay, ladies and gentlemen. The time has arrived. We now know the secret to making your own hot, buttery popcorn right in the comfort of your own home.

I don’t know about you, but I think this is revolutionary. I know I can speak for a lot of people when I say that eating popcorn is one of the best parts about going to the movie theater. Now, I can kick back at home, watch Netflix, save money, and enjoy my popcorn too.

I know the name sounds a little intimidating, but it’s worth the tablespoon.

Check out the tutorial on how to make the popcorn by clicking on this link.