La La Land Costume Walk-Through


In honor of the Oscars this weekend, I thought I would share this costume walk-through.

After seeing La La Land on New Year’s Eve, I was enamored. Beautiful instrumentals, captivating cinematography, elaborate dance numbers, Emma Stone’s eyebrows, the list goes on. I was particularly drawn to the costumes; the contemporary take on old Hollywood glamour (the swishy skirts!) was magical.

The costume I liked the most?

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Ryan Gosling with a keytar. I immediately wanted to do a couple’s costume of Mia and Sebastian from this scene. With months and months ‘til Halloween, and no news of an iconic duos party coming up, my boyfriend and I decided to play dress-up at UPB’s semiformal instead.

————————–Costume Break DOWN————————–


Red button up? Check. White tank top? Check. Mustard pants? Khakis will have to do. Clothes for this costume were easy to find without needing modification. The hardest part of Sebastian’s costume was the keytar.

Mini keyboard from Amazon
Flat bat or old guitar hero guitar handle from Goodwill
Red tape
A sharp knife lol 

After I got the mini keyboard, I went to Goodwill to try and find an old guitar hero guitar that I could smash the handle off of. This was as close as I got.


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I think it’s for sports?!??!?!?!?!?
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I cut out one of the sides of the flat bat, leaving a little C shaped cradle. After a ridiculously long time, I gave up trying to make it even and set the keyboard into the cradle.

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I taped the keyboard into place using the red tape, then proceeded to cover the rest of the bat with the tape. I made a little angular handle out of the tape, too. Ta-daaa! This keytar is ready for playing.

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Yellow dress
Black fabric paint pen
Needle and thread
Tacky glue

This outfit required more. Much more. I hate yellow, but it was the outfit that she wore in the scene. So it goes.

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I thrifted this yellow dress at Goodwill for less than $5.00. I know it’s ugly! But I saw its potential in the color and length, and the way it swished! All it needed was a quick hemming, square neckline, chopped sleeves, and sketch-like, black flowers.

First, I put it on inside-out and had my roommate cut it at my knees, making sure to leave at least a quarter of an inch for hemming. I then drew a new square neckline with a crayon, and outlined the sleeves to be angular and short. I took it off, did the snipa-snip along the crayon lines, and tucked them under and secured it with tacky glue (since I was too impatient to sew it).

For the neckline, since the dress was a little big, I cinched it by sewing in and out sparsely and tied to secure.

After the cut was right, I got to work on the pattern. Using a black paint marker, I practiced the whimsical, sketchy flower design on Emma Stone’s dress. Once I had mastered it (enough), I started sparsely painting flowers on, making sure to stick a piece of cardboard to separate the layers of dress so that it didn’t bleed through to the back.

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All done dress!


Blue and white paint
Glitter ($0.98 at Walmart)

Since Emma Stone wore blue heels at the party scene, I decided to transform shoes I already owned instead of buying completely new ones. I got these shoes from Plato’s Closet in the summer because I thought they had character, but I never wore them because the green didn’t go with anything I owned #impulseshopper.

I didn’t take before pics, but I quickly googled “green shoes silver point” and they immediately popped up. To preserve the silver point, I put some painter’s tape over them, then painted the body of the shoes white so that the blue would pop instead of being dull.

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I covered the shoes with modge podge and coated it in glitter. After letting it dry overnight, I put a top coat of modge podge to seal them so glitter wouldn’t be all over the floor (because we can’t do that anymore!!).
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There you have it! What a waste of a lovely night.

La La Land will be coming to Grafton the last week of March. 3/29-4/1 Go. See. It. I know I’ll be at every showing. Follow us on social media to see what’s playing this week in Grafton! 

Send movie suggestions to @harmlette on twitter with the hashtag #moviethriftre if there is a costume you would like me to make a walk-through for!

Written by Leigh Taylor Harmer


8 Thoughts About This Month’s Weather

By: Maggie McGowan and Makayla Cornwell

  1. Why am I sweating in February????

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THE BACK SWEAT IS BAAAACK! I’m supposed to be wearing 5 layers in February… what is happening? All I wanted to do was show off my new sweater and jeans that I got for Christmas but nope that just won’t work in this heat.

  1. When are we supposed to have snow days if it’s 70 degrees?!

I had big plans for this year’s snow days. Am I really expected to wait until next year to go sledding? Because that’s just not okay.

  1. So glad I wore shorts on this 30 degree day when I was told it would be in the upper 60s.
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I was not prepared for this. SOS where is the warmth?! How am I supposed to know when the weather app is going to lie to me?

  1. Is it spring break yet?

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Yes, I know I should be learning that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but all I can think about is laying in my bed at home watching Netflix without feeling guilty.


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Let’s be real, this is honestly a blessing. Usually we only get the last few weeks of the spring semester to enjoy this free dog therapy, so this is the greatest gift anyone could ask for.



Was it necessary to repeat this? YES. It’s that important.

  1. My summer body is still under construction so I can’t be dressing for the warmth like this??!!!


Everyday is leg day at JMU, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m confident enough to show them off yet in those shorts. I was hibernating for the winter, sue me.

  1. The Earth is literally dying.
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As wonderful as this weather has been, it’s hard to neglect the fact that climate change has caused this serious issue. We need to take care of our Mother Earth because once she’s gone, it’s over… THINK OF THE POLAR BEARS!!!


The Hidden Gem of Netflix

By: Jenny Lloyd and Claire Casalaspi



Are you bee enough to continue to read this blog post? The Bee Movie is one of those special films that allows us to connect with bees. Barry B. Benson proves to be not only our favorite bee of all time, but also the most relatable. We will  fly you through the 7  most relatable quotes that will have you “thinking bee”.

1. Are we koo-koo-kachoo kidding you? NO, we aren’t this is real, and you are reading this article.

2. When you like yellow and black but decide to wear black and yellow just to switch it up and so people don’t realize you’ve worn the same shirt that week already.


3. Trying to plan date night with bae like…


4. To those graduating this is probably the worst thing you have to do

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5. What you wish you could tell your parents at the end of the semester

6. When you confidently shout out the wrong answer in class and everyone stares




7. Last but not least, the best pick up line since 2007

Now that we have you “thinking bee” go watch the movie… or see Fantastic Beeasts in Grafton tonight & Saturday at 7p & 9:30p



Valentine Gift Guide: Potato Products

It’s that time of year again. “Love day” or whatever. You have no idea what to get your Valentine without spending too much money or getting boring heart-shaped chocolate-filled boxes. You can try to be much as a sweet potato as you can, but sometimes an actual gift is the way to go. UPB’s got your Valentine’s gift guide ready… POTATO EDITION.


This is for a valentine you’re not too crazy about but would rather have someone than be alone. Minimal effort required, low commitment. Maybe you should do some soul-searching…


Ever a fan of the classics, you can’t go wrong with the good ole’ shoestring. If your Valentine has been complaining about not knowing how to accessorize their chicken nuggets, then you’ve found the perfect gift for them.


Waffle fries
This is the potato equivalent of an engagement ring, so only provide these to the valentine you’re ready to get serious with. Try pairing them with something saucy.


Does your Valentine wake you up in the wee hours of the morning with the noise of rummaging through your personal belongings? Then this is a great potato choice for your early bird.


Curly fries
This is the perfect gift for your unique Aquarius*. Perfectly seasoned with a fun shape, the curly fry will satisfy your valentine’s need for adventure without leaving the drive-thru!

*or whatever star sign you’re buying for


Baked Potato
You piece this one together.


This is a flirtier version of hashbrowns. Want to find them for free? Bring your valentine to Fall in Love at Late Night Breakfast and cop those free tots. Thursday, February 16th in Festival.

Written by Leigh Harmer and Katie Miller


Roy Wood Jr. on Diving into Comedy, the Super Bowl, Writing, and More!

Today I combatted my phone anxiety and called Roy Wood Jr. for a brief interview. Listen to the uncut version above, or read excerpts from some of my favorite responses below!

How are you? 

I’m doing good! It’s just another action-packed day in the life, packed with smiles and fun.

What’s your favorite part [of the day]? 

For me, the favorite part of all of this is writing. Cause to be able to sit down and craft a joke or point of view and present it to someone and have it connect, there’s no better feeling, you know? Laughter’s the best medicine. Humor is the one thing that connects us all. Laughter is universal in all languages. So to be able to connect with complete strangers on a train of thought, you know is completely awesome? And I get some people from time to time that I definitely did not connect with, in fact I opposite with connect with, I disconnect with, and that’s good, too. Because good content evokes emotion. So even if someone doesn’t like something I said on the show, or disagrees with something, I’m okay with it.

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What do you do when a joke doesn’t go well?
Write another joke! A joke doesn’t go good, that’s fine, I write another joke. If a joke goes well, you still gotta write another joke. No matter what, the one constant is writing. It’s the most important part of the process. If you look at your favorite sitcom… and you look at the actors. Look at the actors, and look at the writers of your shows that were on TV sitcom 20 years ago. And I promise you that there are more writers than actors still working. If you’re a writer, and youdo it well, you will be for a very long time.

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At what moment did you realize your comedy career took off? Like when did you decide “This is what I’m doing”. 

I probably, see I started at 19. So… it’s kinda one of those… I was naive enough to not know better about what I was doing. I just started doing stand-up. This is what I want to do, so I do it.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into comedy? 

Do it. Go to an open mic and watch. Comedy is not a swimming pool, you can’t tip-toe in. You just gotta run and canon ball.


Roy Wood Jr. will be performing in Wilson Hall on Friday, February 10th at 8p (doors open at 7p!).

Tickets for Roy Wood Jr. are available now HERE.

Photo by M. Kelly Wilt

Written by Leigh Taylor Harmer


9 Reasons Beyoncé is Not Coming to Convo

You’ve been wondering, so here it is! The abridged list of why we can’t bring Beyoncé to JMU.


  1. Queen Bey is a busy woman. From headlining Coachella, photo shoots, making best dressed lists on the regular and juggling her own family life. Speaking of family life…raw
  2. She’s pregnant!
  3. With twins! There are two babies in that stomach, let’s let the woman take some time off. giphy
  4. She’ll be at Coachella during JMU’s spring concert season. Sure we could try to drag her away, but those who’ve already purchased their Coachella tickets would NOT be pleased.
  5. Tickets would be crazy expensive. Some of her FormationTour tickets sold for 450 dollars. If you’re anything like me, you blew any chance of saving 450 dollars when you discovered Dunkin’ Donuts.
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  6. Convo couldn’t handle the amount of people. Because let’s face it, if Beyoncé is coming to town, everyone and their mother is coming to that concert.
  7. JMU couldn’t afford it 😦 Beyoncé is in high demand, so her artist fee is outrageous. The University Program Board gets a certain budget, and once that budget is divided up among the various UPB committees, there is not enough to pay for a Beyoncé concert. Well, even if we cancelled UPB for a year, we still couldn’t afford a Beyoncé concert. We need more money!
  8. Convo doesn’t have and probably will never have fire cannons. Which seem pretty much standard for Bey’s concerts.
  9. I had Beyoncé’s phone number, but it was written on a sticky note and I lost it when I was doing my laundry. I tried calling Jay-Z and Solange but they haven’t responded to my voicemails.

So, those of you who are ride or die members of the BeyHive, we are sincerely sorry that Beyoncé won’t be coming to JMU anytime soon. All we can do is hope she keeps us in our thoughts as she takes America by storm. single-ladies-GIF-beyonce-38590601-500-215.gif

Written by Taylor Sarlo 


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5 Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Voice Actors

  1. Anna Kendrick – Trolls 


Did you recognize her pitch perfect voice when you went to the Grafton showing of this movie? Even with the pink hair, crazy dance moves, and obsession with hugs, nobody can be trolled by Anna Kendrick as Princess Poppy.

2. Morgan Freeman – The Lego Moviescreen-shot-2017-02-02-at-9-54-55-am 

We’ve always been in love with Morgan Freeman’s soothing voice. *Spoiler Alert* Even though his character dies, you can still use your imagination on how lovely his voice sounds in this awesome movie!

3. Fergie – Peanuts screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-9-55-05-am

We didn’t expect this one either! Fergie voiced Sally in the original Peanut movies: “It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown” (1984), “Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown” (1985), and “The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show” (1985). Watch those again and be just as shocked as we are!

4. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – Moana 


Both of these fine gentlemen could be twins by the way they act, look, and… they even have the same voice?!? Moana couldn’t have gotten a better Maui than The Rock. If you haven’t seen this movie, it is playing in Grafton this week! Wednesday- Saturday at 7p and 9:30p. You’re welcome.

5. Francisco Ramos – Rio 


Francisco was the lead thieving marmoset in this movie. Even though his character only attempted to capture the two lovebirds, his comedy is sure to capture your attention this Friday in TDU at 8p with FREE campus cookies! He help you laugh your way into the weekend!

Written by Katie Miller and Rachel Gregor

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