Reflection: A-Z Blogging Challenge ’15

It’s reflection time again!

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First of all, I’m so thankful and satisfied because I survived another A-Z Blogging Challenge! Who would have thought that even with a theme (a person theme at that), I still managed to pull off the complicated letters? Haha!

Anyway, here are my thoughts. I realized that…

  • I could blog every day if I have make time.
  • Having a theme is so much fun than writing random posts— makes me more creative and gets my engine running better.
  • Scheduling posts still works wonders. Hahaha.
  • Throughout the challenge, I was constantly reminded of how big my love and admiration for Joan Crawford is, and how much I wanna share more information about her to the world.
  • I wanna do this again next year (and the next year, and the next year, and the next year…!)

To be honest, I was a bit hesitant to push through with the Joan theme because I know some people don’t know her (or only recognize her in Mommie Dearest). But I decided to go for it because, well aside from the fact that I enjoy any Joan-related activity, I wanna “educate” people about Joan— who she really was, things people don’t know yet (or refuse to believe because of MD)… everything about her. And even though only a handful of participants actually read every entry I posted till the end (especially Barbara – thank you soooooo much dear!), I’m glad to share knowledge about the real Joanie.

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(Me and my theme— and a letter from her 30+ years ago!)

Thank you so much to all who visited my blog and read my posts! I really appreciate it. I always look forward to your responses. And of course, to all the people behind this challenge— you guys rock! I admire your creativity and efforts to make this activity possible every year. 🙂

For easy navigation, here’s a list of my 2015 A-Z Blogging Challenge entries:

  1. A is for Amazing Beauty: Almost Perfect
  2. B is for Brows: Joan’s Eyebrow Evolution
  3. C is for Costumes Galore: Joan’s Memorable Film Costumes
  4. D is for the Divine Feud: Bette and Joan’s Famous Rivalry
  5. E is for Ex-Husbands: Joan’s Marriages
  6. F is for Friends: Joan and Her Fans
  7. G is for Gable: The King to Joan’s Queen
  8. H is for Hair Schmair: Joan’s Many Hairstyles
  9. I is for Impeccable Style: Fashionista Joan
  10. J is for Jazz Baby: Flapper Joan
  11. K is for Keane: Joan and the Famous Painter
  12. L is for Laughing Joan: When the Queen is Happy
  13. M is for Memorable Roles: Joan’s Unforgettable Characters
  14. N is for Name Game: From Lucille to Joan
  15. O is for Oscar: Joan and her Academy Award
  16. P is for Poetry: Joan and Words
  17. Q is for Quotable Quotes: In Joan’s Words
  18. R is for Reel Love: Joan’s Leading Men
  19. S is for Silents: Joan Before the Talkies
  20. T is for The Painter: Joan’s Painting
  21. U is for Underneath the Makeup: Joan’s Freckles
  22. V is for Voice: When Joan Sings
  23. W is for When She Dances: Joan Got Groove
  24. X is for X Factor: What Joan Had
  25. Y is for Youth: Joan’s Early Days
  26. Z is for Zeal: The Joan Crawford Drive

Again, thank you all so much! Other participants, we made it! Woohoo! :))

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Till the next year’s challenge!

Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

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Z is for Zeal: The Joan Crawford Drive

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I guess if you have any kind of ambition, you can’t help being intense about what you do.

– Joan Crawford

Joan had an incredible, youthful zeal that never vanished… well, maybe except that time when she decided to be a recluse in the 70s.

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Since the beginning of her career, she did what most hardworking girls did: strive, learn, and be eager. She lobbied for decent parts in good films, found ways to learn the ropes of acting, sought every opportunity to be noticed by people (and fellow contract players), and constantly reinvented herself— all because she was very determined to make it to the top.

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And, obviously, her hard work paid off. Big time.

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See, even if she’s already dancing up in heaven, Joan is still teaching us about the importance of fervor and dedication. Without zeal, no one can really achieve what they want in life. Sure, we all have dreams and goals, but just thinking about them won’t do us any good. We must be intense and passionate about it; because it’s one thing to like what you do, but it’s a whole new level to LOVE what you do.

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I’m sure you get what I mean. Joan’s dedication and eagerness sure took her to greater heights, and it’s inspiring to know that such zeal could do awesome things.

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Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best)

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P.S.: This is the last entry for the A-Z Blogging Challenge! Woohoo! Can’t wait to write my reflection and see fellow participants’ entries!

Y is for Youth: Joan’s Early Days

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Before Joan became the woman we all know and love, she was, first and foremost, Lucille Le Sueur— a simple girl with big dreams.

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She was born on March 23, 1906 (the most accepted birth year) in San Antonio, Texas, to Thomas Le Sueur and Anna Bell Johnson, who separated shortly after little Lucille was born. She had an older brother, who will later be known as the troubled Hal.

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As a child, Joan didn’t feel enough love and appreciation from her mother. She felt that Anna favored Hal more, and because of that, she felt ignored. School wasn’t big of a help at all. She was bullied, looked down, and mistreated because she was poor and had to work for her schooling. She attended St. Agnes Academy, Rockingham Academy, and Stephens College, but didn’t finish school at all.

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It was said that her obsession with cleanliness stemmed from her unhappy childhood, which mainly consisted of dirt and cleaning them.

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In her teens, she worked in department stores. That was before she became a dancer in travelling shows and clubs. And that was before she got discovered by J.J. Shubert, who gave her a job as a chorus girl in his production, Innocent Eyes. Aaaand that was before she was spotted by MGM talent scout Al Altman.

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And the rest, as they say, is history.

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May we never forget that little girl who dreamed of leaving her miserable childhood behind and making it big in Hollywood, because, indeed, she made it.

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Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best and Legendary Joan Crawford)

X is for X Factor: What Joan Had

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Have you ever looked at someone so deeply and wonder why you’re so amazed by him/her?

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Yeah, that’s how I feel about Joan. All. The. Time.

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I know what her awesome qualities are that made me love her very much, but still, there is this certain thing that ALWAYS makes me in awe of her.

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Maybe it’s because… Joan. Had. IT.

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Yes, I know what “it” stands, especially back in the good ol’ days. Haha. But in this post, that “it” means x-factor. It may be Joan’s ethereal beauty, admirable strength and determination, grand expression of gratitude to her fans, or the fact that she held on to her Hollywood stature for almost 50 years. I don’t really know… I guess no one will ever know.

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But I’ll tell you what I know: no one can look at Joan and not be mesmerized every time. That’s the way it is. 😉

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Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best)

W is for When She Dances: Joan Got Groove

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Dancing was the only area of my life in which I was superior.

– Joan Crawford

Most Old Hollywood fans already know that Joan was a recognized dancer during her time.

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Aside from being a legendary actress, she also became famous for her tap dancing, Charleston, jitterbugging, and other dancing skills.

And she had lots of trophies to prove it.

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Joan actually started her career as a dancer, not as an actress. She was a chorus girl for J.J. Shubert’s plays before she became the star of the screen.

To those saying she can’t dance, I suggest having your eyes fixed. Lol. A better option is to watch this video and see for yourself:

(Gotta thank the genius who made this super awesome video!!!)

Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best and Parachutes Away, video from Youtube, gifs from Pinterest and Fuck Yeah Joan Crawford)

V is for Voice: When Joan Sings

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Joan is mostly known as a bonafide actress and dancer, but I think only few people know that she could sing, too.

Yes, Joan was a triple threat!

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I’ve come across comments attacking Joan’s voice, but it wasn’t really that bad. It’s rather good, in fact. She wasn’t trained to be a singer, but she had a truly unique and enchanting voice.

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The world heard her sing for the very first time in the all-star, all-talking picture, The Hollywood Revue of 1929:

In her later movies, she was dubbed by singers like India Adams, but in her late 20s and 30s pictures, her own singing voice could be heard.

(Untamed, 1929)

(Possessed, 1931)

(The Bride Wore Red, 1937)

Here, listen to her. We may have mixed opinions, but for me, she had the voice of an angel— natural, soothing, and real. Contrary to those who say she can’t carry a tune, well I think you need to adjust your earphones:

(Montana Moon, 1930)

(Mannequin, 1937)

(Private recording of I See Your Face Before Me, 1938)

(Something’s Gotta Happen Soon, from The Ice Follies of 1939)

(Flamingo Road, 1949)

(Torch Song, 1953)

Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best, videos from Youtube)

U is for Underneath the Makeup: Joan’s Freckles

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I think it shocks people to see how many freckles I have. I’ve never counted them. I tried, but I lost count.

– Joan Crawford

Joan’s beauty is incredible… and I’m not even exaggerating. Haha. When you look at her photos, it’s impossible not to be mesmerized and enchanted under an ineffable spell.

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But, underneath all that cosmetics on her face, lies an even more beautiful truth: Joan had freckles.

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Lots of them.

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But to us (her fans), her freckles only made her more angelic and gorgeous.

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What’s more, these tiny spots on her face constantly remind us that she was a human being, too, who possessed perfect imperfections.

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Her freckles are there to remind us that she was real… she existed.

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To us, Joan is a queen. She is above there, not only literally, but also figuratively. We look up to her as if she had been wearing a sparkling crown all along. But when we see her freckles, we feel like her feet is still on the ground. They are an indication of her being real, her existence, and her similarities in all of us.

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God, I love her freckles so much. How I wish she didn’t cover them up with makeup, but she had to because of her job. According to her, she didn’t want to be photographed under light as much as possible because of her freckles. Maybe she kinda hated her freckles. Oh well, we don’t!

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Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best, Classic Film Scans and We All Had Faces Then)

T is for The Painter: Joan’s Painting

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Did you know that Joan could actually paint? I betcha didn’t (just like the fact that she could write poems). Haha.

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Joan, along with other Hollywood stars, willingly painted and participated in a cause to benefit the Urban League. All of the pictures documenting Joan’s struggle with the paintbrush (hehe) were captured by then-photographer for LOOK magazine, director Stanley Kubrick.

Here’s the finished output:

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Marvelous, isn’t it? It didn’t even cross my mind that Joan could paint! Haha. I’m truly amazed… I couldn’t even do a decent shadowing or blending of colors.

Any thoughts?

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Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best)

S is for Silents: Joan Before The Talkies

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Before she was the Dancing Lady of the 30s, Mildred Pierce of the 40s, Queen Bee of the 50s, and Della of the 60s, Joan Crawford was The Taxi Dancer of the 20s.

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People sometimes forget that Joan was a flapper and a silent actress before anything else. Some people only know her for her roles in the 40s, 50s and 60s, but what they usually miss out on is the fact that Joan was one of those few who successfully transitioned from silents to talkies.

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In fact, Joan was one of 1920’s most bankable stars. In the last parts of the decade, she even surpassed the ranks of Norma Shearer, Anita Page, Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson and Marion Davies— who were considered as the silent era’s big stars.

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She made a total of 29 silent pictures from 1925-1929, including one where she played Norma’s double (Lady of the Night), five uncredited parts (Proud Flesh, A Slave of Fashion, The Merry Widow, The Midshipman, and The Only Thing), and one where she was credited as Lucille Le Sueur (Pretty Ladies). These mentioned films were all released in 1925.

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She made three silent pictures in 1926 (Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, The Boob, and Paris), seven in 1927 (Winners of the Wildreness, The Taxi Dancer, The Understanding Heart, The Unknown, Twelve Miles Out, Spring Fever, and West Point), six in 1928 (The Law of the Range, Rose-Marie, Across to Singapore, Four Walls, Our Dancing Daughters, and Dream of Love), and two in 1929 (The Duke Steps Out, and Our Modern Maidens).

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After talkies fully dominated Hollywood, Joan continued working on the screen— thanks to her undeniable talent, sound-worthy voice, and unbreakable determination to succeed. Fortunately, she wasn’t forgotten in the years that came, unlike most of her colleagues in the silent era. In fact, Joan’s star shone brighter in the 30s and 40s.

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Here are some of Joan’s early videos… if you want to see her act without sound. 😉

(Joan’s first screen appearance as Norma Shearer’s double in Lady of the Night)

(The Taxi Dancer (1927))

(With Billy Haines in West Point (1927))
(Joan and Ramon Novarro in Across to Singapore (1928))

(In her smash-hit, Our Dancing Daughters (1928))

Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos and videos from Joan Crawford Best and Youtube)

R is for Reel Love: Joan’s Leading Men

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Movies are usually flocked by audiences because of the “love team” acting in it (admit it, guys!). Yes, people see films because of their stories, but actors and actresses who portray lovers are very important in the success— or failure— of a picture.

Joan Crawford, as one of Hollywood’s long-standing stars, definitely had her share of various leading men. From the studios’ top actors to not-so-famous ones, Joan has hugged, kissed, made love with (at least on-screen), and teamed up with them all.

Take a short trip down memory lane and discover some of Joan’s most memorable (and notable) leading men:

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(Harry Langdon)

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(Norman Kerry)

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(Lon Chaney)

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(William Haines)

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(John Gilbert)

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(Ramon Novarro)

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(Johnny Mack Brown)

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(Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.)

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(Robert Montgomery)

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(Of course, the Gable)

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(Nils Asther)

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(William Powell)

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(Franchot Tone)

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(Spencer Tracy)

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(James Stewart)

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(Melvyn Douglas)

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(John Wayne)

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(Fred MacMurray)

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(Zachary Scott)

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(John Garfield)

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(Van Heflin)

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(Henry Fonda)

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(Dana Andrews)

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(Jack Palance)

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(Sterling Hayden)

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(Jeff Chandler)

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(John Ireland)

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(Cliff Robertson)

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(Rossano Brazzi)

That’s not all! Haha. There are still a few who I left out… I’ll try to put them here if I have more time.

Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best)