Jessica Laun graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University in 2005, with degrees in Music Theory and Composition and International Comparative Studies. During her time at Duke, she was heavily involved in the campus music scene, being a member of the Duke Chorale and music director of Rhythm & Blue, Duke’s oldest co-ed a capella group.
After graduating from Duke and spending some time at home in San Diego, she decided to move to New York City to follow her passion in the music industry. Thanks to her relationships with Professors of music Stephen Jaffe and Anthony Kelley, Jessicca was able to enter the industry through a year-long internship at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In 2006, she began working at Boosey & Hawkes as a publications and marketing coordinator. During her time at Boosey & Hawkes, Jessica moved on from being the publications coordinator for the company’s choral series into music licensing for tv, film, and advertising. As part of the Synchronized Licensing Department of the company, she was responsible for pitching and licensing music for such tv shows and movies as The Simpsons, The Truman Show, and the Spiderman series.
After working at Boosey & Hawkes for approximately 3 years, Jessica was hired by Warner/Chappell Music, where she currently works as a Senior Manager of Strategic Marketing. Besides her current occupation, Jessica is also the Secretary on the board of directors for The Young New Yorkers’ Chorus, where she helps program concerts to encourage young musicians in the field of choral music.
Jessica has stated that she is very happy to have found her dream job, commenting on the subject; “You just can’t be afraid to try and really go after what you want. If there’s anytime to do it, to take a risk, it’s as a college graduate.”
As this is my first time in an extended stay in New York, one thing that my
friends have said through the ages is that New York Shopping is second to none.
I have been to Hong Kong and Tokyo many times and those are also considered to
be top tier shopping cities. Though I am not a ?high fashion? or ?edgy?
or whatever description that may make it seem that I wear anything more
?cooler? than a straight solid-color polo shirt with khaki shorts or pants
depending on the weather, I was interested in having a unique ?shopping
experience? in New York City. Naturally, I was drawn to the Upper East Side,
particularly 5th Ave and Madison Ave due to their International appeal through
their well known names such as Prada, Dior, Intermix, etc? However, I was
actually into more of the Department Stores than these boutiques. As I was
looking to buy a friend a birthday present, I finally had an excuse to wander
the aisles and floors of stores like Bloomingdales, Macys, Barneys, and
Bergdorf Goodman. Yes, I did feel extremely awkward about 95% of the time
because I was looking for a present for a girl so I was looking at everything
from perfume to handbags to scarves. I did not have any preparation for the
type of terms the saleswomen were throwing at me like, ?What?s her
style?? To, I suppose, an average shopper who knows what he or she is doing,
that seems to be a very simple question. To me, however, it might have been in
Martian. As to that question, I replied jokingly, ?The looking good style??
Thankfully, she knew I was out of my element and proceeded to ask me questions
about her personality and what she had wore in the past. It was also a great
thing that I have been friends with her since I was 5 and remembered a lot of
what she had wore in the past. We went through everything, identifying shoes
like ?ballerina flats, chandelier earrings, to Miu Miu boots that were
?in? for the fall. We had then proceeded to pick out a handbag that was
?perfect.? This experience not only showed me the shopping culture of New
York, but it also opened a complete fashion-idiot like me to the intricacies of
An experience like watching a professional baseball game in Yankee Stadium is one of the most exciting for a baseball fan as myself. But to watch the Yankees AND the Red Sox, my team of allegiance, in Yankee Stadium in the middle of a pennant race in early September, is something I will remember forever. As we sit now and wait for Game 4 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and
the Colorado Rockies, reflecting on that experience in "The House that Ruth Built", I could relate the experience those fans feel in Colorado with my own sitting in that game on that warm September
night. As expected, game itself was emotionally intense and fun, nothing out of the ordinary between these rivals, considered to be the best rival in sports along with Duke-North Carolina, Colts-Patriots, and Ohio State-Michigan.
Though the baseball aspect of it was great, since baseball is my favorite sport and the Red Sox are my favorite team, the seats that I was able to get was ever better. Sitting about a dozen
rows behind home plate, compliments of a friend, I was able to sit two rows behind Tiger Woods and three seats to the left of Cameron Diaz.
Though seeing celebrities in Yankee Stadium is not an anomaly, much like it is in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, I could not help but to be a little star struck seeing the greatest golfer in the history of its sport and an A-list movie star who has starred in one of the funniest movies, ?There?s something about Mary.? All in all, watching a Red Sox-Yankees game in New York as a Red Sox fan, meeting celebrities like Tiger Woods and Cameron Diaz, and watching the Red Sox win gave an ideal start to the DiNY program for me for the Fall of 2007.
I kinda saw this musical three times. While this may make me slightly insane, in my defense, I
did not plan to
see it three times. It is just that
people (i.e. my parents,
visiting friends, and the class) kept wanting to go to it, and I almost never
turn down a Broadway musical.
I must admit that I do have an unusually high tolerance for re-watching things,
I feel that this is a particularly good show and highly recommend it. Based on the play of the same name by Frank
Wedekind, Spring Awakening tells the story of a sexual awakening of a
group of young adolescents in 1890’s provincial Germany which leads to tragic
consequences. While the musical retains
the same setting, it incorporates modern rock-like show tunes, which oddly work
wonderfully into the story. (In
addition, there are some major plot changes between the play and the
music is by Duncan Sheik who is known for the hit-song “Barely Breathing.” I enjoyed the songs so much that I downloaded
the entire album from iTunes. (I also
downloaded “Barely Breathing” which I used to like but had completely forgotten
about). My favorite song is probably
“Totally F****d” which is a high-energy full-cast or nearly full-cast
number. And honestly, any song that ends
with the cast flipping off the audience is going to make me smile. Also, if in addition to swearing, you like
partial nudity and somewhat graphic sex scenes, then this is the musical for
don’t, however, want to give the idea that this piece is just about swearing
and nudity. It is honestly a really good
and well-done serious work. If you don’t
want to believe me then trust the Tony Awards—it won eight including best
musical. The original leads are still
performing, and this is definitely a musical worth checking out.
New York Times Review
I coupled my Fall for Dance experience with a trip to Long Island to see the So You Think You Can Dance Tour featuring the top ten dancers from season 3 of the summer’s number one show. More then the show itself I was excited to get out of Manhattan and see a different part of the city. (I’m not sure if Long Island is e
ven still considered part of the city.) I took the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) which is more like the Amtrak trains than New York City’s metro. You have to purchase tickets before you get on the train and then conductors walk through the train and punch holes in your ticket to show that it’s been used. Note: Leave some time for you to get to the station and buy tickets because buying tickets on the train is waaaayyyy to expensive! I learned this the hard way. On the way I paid $13 while on the train, but paid only $6 on the way back because my brother held the train’s doors while I bought us both one way tickets back to Penn station.
The concert was amazing though. I don’t know if it was more exciting that I finally was able to see some of my favorite routines that I had seen on television or that there were new routines that had never been created solely for the tour. I love the show mostly because it’s been a great way to bring dance to middle America and get more people interested in lots of different styles of dance from hip hop to the Viennese waltz. Also, the show has made choreographers and some dancers
house hold names, which would never have happened without repeatedly seeing and voting on pieces created or danced by these artists. Well I could talk about SYTYCD forever, but if you haven’t watched. There are lots of reruns of all three of the past seasons on MTV soon. probably now.
Bruce Springsteen Concert
Last night I went to the Bruce Springsteen concert at Continental Airlines Arena (out by Giant Stadium in Jersey). I have been hearing about the legendary Bruce concerts from my dad ever since I was little, so I was excited to see what it was actually like in person. We ended up getting there about an hour & a half early, and we walked around the parking lot where people were grilling, throwing footballs and blasting Springsteen songs. (The only bad part was that there was only one PortaPotty, so the lines were really long. It was bad enough to have to use a PortaPotty so the wait did not make me very happy).
The culture at the concert was so distinct, everyone seemed to know when to sing, what to do, etc. My dad told me that pretty much everyone there has already seen him one million other times, so it was a little intimidating because I dont know many of his songs, especially the newer ones. Dave and I were also significantly younger than most people in the crowd. Despite that, it was a lot of fun anyway. I have never been to something where the crowd was so excited and so into a show, and that made the atmosphere absolutely amazing. Springsteen is actually from New Jersey so that fact that it was a hometown crowd definitely added to the craziness. All in all, it was an awesome night and I’m really glad I got to experience one of his concerts, as the tickets are nearly impossible to get.
In addition to seeing the Bruce concert, Dylan and I happened to stumble on a
really great street fair that was taking place down by NYU. We went down to
that area to go shopping for Halloween costumes (which we did eventually find
in a rather questionable shop across the street). Anyways, the fair was great! The weather outside was perfect, a typical fall day the way it should be (and by that I mean not 80 degrees!). We were really excited by the idea of getting fresh squeezed lemonade and we eventually got taken in by the experience and walked the entire 2 block stretch of vendors. There were people selling everything from $1 Thai Food to 2 for $10 scarves to American Apparel clothing to handmade jewelry. Dylan bought two great scarves (which I?m sure I will borrow by the end of the semester) and we both bought dresses from this awesome Indian shop. They are essentially just long pieces of material that can be wrapped, twisted or tied in a variety of ways to create really cool dresses or skirts. I won?t bore you with the details of these outfits but trust me, they are pretty cool. Finding this street fair randomly actually reminded me of E.B. White?s piece we read at the beginning of the semester. We would never have known this was g oing on unless we had accidentally stumbled on it the way we did. It is really crazy to think about what other types of things I must be missing out on, if I have already found so many cool surprises!
Thoughts for the Day on the Stylish E. B. White
For our first assignment, pairs of people fanned out into New York neighborhoods and wrote up the results. Our inspirations were an essay about Chinatown and E.B. White’s Here is New York. The Chinatown essay was terrific in seeing Chinatown both as the historic residence of male workers and, today, as one center of global Chinese commercial interests and identity. But, in this blog, and on this particular day in September, I wanted to say a few words about E.B. White.
First, you have heard of him before, even if you didn’t realize it. He’s the
same E.B. White who wrote Charlotte’s Web, a book you may have read as a child and that may even have been the first time you cried over a book, when Charlotte dies. He’s also the E.B. White who wrote Elements of Style, a writer’s handbook used for decades in college courses and still one of the absolute best guides to writing that I know. Finally, he was – like you –someone who loves New York and came here from somewhere else to spend some time and hone his skills.
Some parts of Here is New York that I love really stand out for me. First, the idea that there are at least three kinds of New Yorkers mingling on city streets at any given moment – commuters, those who have come to the city to live, and natives. People like you, who have come to the city to live, may actually get to know the city more than commuters and even natives who stick to their neighborhoods, often defined as a few square blocks. Second, the idea that, “The citizens of New York are tolerant not only from disposition but from necessity” (p. 47). And, third, the evocation of the threat to the city, that “for the first time in its long history, is destructible” (54).
Writing just after World War II, White refers to nuclear weapons. But his words echoed in 2001 when a photo exhibit called Here is New York opened in Soho and is being recreated this Fall at The New York Historical Society. My last book, The War Complex (Chicago, 2005), had an evocation of the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Fall. I’m attaching typescript since I’ll always remember the Duke in NY Arts and Media students who spent that Fall with me.