Failure, the Monster of Fear

I want to design things.

I keep seeing videos or projects or posters or fonts that make me want to make stuff. I listen to songs that make me want to make things and everything is just beautiful and so well done and I want to be able to do that too, but I can’t.

I hate the learning process. Let me unpack that a bit… I like learning new things, but I like to learn them and be able to be good at them right away. Maybe I like to discover things. Discovering things usually means they’re ready to go, like discovering a talent for something! Learning things means having to not be very good at them at first. It means being able to see something I want to be able to make so perfectly in my minds eye, and not being able to recreate it.

Learning is frustrating, it’s hard, it’s discouraging, it’s frightening. What if what I desire to create is something I will never achieve? What if no matter how hard I work and study and learn, I’ll never develop the ability to truly do to the extent I desire?

This week I feel like I’ve seen so many things that spark that desire to create, but I haven’t created a thing because I’m scared to try and sure I’ll fail. People tell me otherwise and they say I’ll be great, or they say, that’s part of learning! but that doesn’t actually lessen the sting of failure. I’ve built up failure as a monster of a fear in my mind’s eye, I might only be looking at the shadow, failure could be a mouse in front of a candle’s flame, but that shadow on the wall is big and scary and I’m not sure I can face it just yet. I begin to wonder if I’ll ever be ready to face it.

 

These are some things that I loved the look and sound and feel of lately:

Tessa’s music video for her song “Dream”

Dodie’s song “Sick of Losing Soulmates” (heads up, contains swear words)

Episode 1 of Emily’s webseries “Cold” (everything Emily touches is so beautifully made, her Letters to July series are amazing)

 

I turn 23 at the end of this week. It sounds too grown up.

-B

Why Vlog?

I close the door to my bedroom, set up my tripod and take out my camera. I sit at the foot of my bed and focus it on my face. The lighting needs adjusting, I turn on a desk lamp kept in a random corner of the room for this exact purpose. Ahh much better. I begin to tune my guitar. I am a video blogger.

Video blogging is a movement that came into play with the upstart of Youtube and its sharp rise in popularity around early 2007. In theory it is a “blog post” spoken to a camera and publicly posted on a video sharing website where it is then watched by, well, whoever wants to watch it.

Video blogging is an outlet for people much in the same way as traditional blogging, however video blogging has the added aspect of audio and film creativity. It opens up the option to create short films, music videos, song covers, tutorials, and so much more. People sit in their bedrooms, talking to cameras, not worrying if the world hears or cares to watch, because this is their expression, their outlet, their fun, their life.

Yoga, Blocking, and Making Music

Today in rehearsal for the play (school thing) we did some yoga stretches to warm up.

So remember that time I went skating twice in one weekend? Sore. Very sore. Yoga was not as relaxing as it was cut out to be.

However we did get to block the scene that involves me getting dipped so that was fun. Haven’t been dipped before, had to be “taught” how to be dipped (basically, balance on your heels to make the pivot easier and keep your body straight as though you’re planking, trust your partner to hold you). This play is going to be great, so much over-drama, I love it =D

I’ve never seen White Christmas (I know, I’m horrible) but this scene, especially the first minute, should give you a good idea of the over dramamtic levels we’re aiming for:

 

Very overdramatic.

Then I came home and had lots of homework to do and decided to practicve guitar and piano for like an hour each instead of doing it so that was fun. I hadn’t practiced in a while but I’ve been fiddling whenever I find a guitar or piano lately and I think I’m kinda getting back into making music. It’s a good time, very relaxing (unlike YOGA, sheesh… ;P)

Tomorrow I’ll dislike past me for not doing homework before the full work day, but for now, I’m pretty happy 😉
-B

The Actor In Me

And now for your weekly The-Actor-In-Me update!

Today was a drama filled day (pun completely and utterly meant). The afternoon was our memory test for the play that I’m in. Now having only ever been in a drama club, we never had a memory test before we started blocking, we always were blocking as we memorized. I see benefits to both for sure, but this being a new experience I was a little nervous. I may have definitely sacrificed my midterm grade in another class focusing on memorizing scripts instead of studying enough but I think I can pull the grade back up in the rest of the term.

So we did the memory test. I think I did pretty well, I definitely need to polish it a lot more, but I have most of it down pretty well. After the memory test we got into blocking. In past plays I’ve been in the director has always just told us where they want us to be, what motions they want us to do, how they want us to stand. In this play we have much more creative licsense. I’m feeling a bit like a bird who grew up locked in a cage and now isn’t sure how to leave the cage even though the door is open. I get to have a major say in how my character acts! I get to choose (to then be director-approved of course) how my character is moving and behaving. It’s a creative freedom I’ve never had so I’m a little shy in acting on it… I think I’ll be able to get bolder as I get used to the idea. It’s gonna be a really fun play though, in blocking today I was loudly and rather shrilly yelling/talking/something right in someones face. Like literally inches from face so that was rather new, kinda fun!

Then this evening in my actual acting class we performed our autodramas. We had to write the five minute autodramas ourselves (of course, hense the auto-) and then perform them for the class using whatever props and stuff we needed. Mine was about how the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” has effected my public speaking/performance abilities. I like to think it was a bit amusing… I may make a video of it in the semi-near future as I haven’t made a video in over a month and I already have it memorized. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll wait til I get my mark back ;D

It was really fun to see everyone else’s autodramas too though, some people were super personal about heavier stuff and some people got more into light-hearted fun stuff, but everyone’s was super good! I like this class.

Talk to you tomorrow!
-B

Memory Ties

Emotional connection to music fascinates me. I sometimes like to go through my iTunes library looking at songs I haven’t heard in a while and finding myself back to where I last was when I heard them.

For example, Tessa Violet’s album Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled takes me back to driving through Bulgaria on the way to Turkey from Romania. We were on a winding mountain road that we were beginning to wonder might be the wrong road or “not a short-cut” but it was beautiful, such glorious scenery…
The song “Maybe Someday” by The Runaway State takes me back to my trip to England with my grandparents. I was sitting on my bed in my little room in our cottage up north, looking out the window past my balcony to the fields and hills beyond as I listened to the song for the first time and sheep bleated outside in the field next door.

Today I refound an artist that I haven’t listened to since I was in a very different headspace. I wasn’t exactly depressed but I certainly wasn’t happy and the music wasn’t sad, but it was moody. And I’m torn now, because I still enjoy the music, but I don’t want to go back to the headspace I was last in when listening to it and I don’t know if I can bring the music to my current headspace or if it will bring me back to the old one.
I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m feeling nostalgic for days I hated.

-B

The Heart of Robin Hood

It’s been 24 hours and I’m still not sure I have the words. I have never enjoyed a production as much as I did “The Heart of Robin Hood”. I worried that I’d be disappointed – my hopes were so high heading in – but I see that Disappointment is not in the vocabulary of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre…

First of all I need to tell you about Rush tickets, are you an under 25 year old theatre lover wanting to sit in A+ seating to $15, have I got a solution for you! Yes, it’s true! You too can watch fantastic plays from row 8 for a grand total of $20.75 with tax.

“How?! Tell me how?” You might ask. Well hold your horses mate, I’m getting there.
On the day of the production, at noon precisely, rush tickets become available for the evenings performance and any available seat could now be yours for $15. Sure this means keeping your evening open and possibly not getting a seat but the chance of that are slim! My friend Des and I have used rush tickets twice now, first this past October when we went to go see “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily”, and yesterday, when we went to go see “The Heart of Robin Hood”. We had seats together both times, first in row 7, then in row 8. After I turn 26 I may be spoiled for theatre seating…
If you would like to know more about rush tickets, check out the MTC website because I’m moving onto the Production!

When we were at “Sherlock Holmes” Des and I saw the set for Robin Hood being built. We had already been planning on going but after seeing the partially-made set, it became unmissable. It’s a ramp? a slide? a jump? It’s a 36 foot stage that heads up into the rafters at a 52 degree angle. The actors come sliding down it onto the main stage, go clambering up it “into the trees”, they “sleep” on it, there are doors in it that open up and suddenly it becomes a castle – It is such a cool set!

It might be snowing outside, but our Mainstage has been turned into Sherwood Forest for #HeartofRobinHood.

A post shared by Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (@mtcwinnipeg) on

There was a live band performing their own original music for the production, Parsonsfield, and as they played a rowdy overture as audience members took their seats Des and I agreed that if the play never began and was really just a concert by Parsonsfield, we’d be okay with that. (We bought both of their CDs during intermission) The band members were in costume and as much a part of the play as any of the cast, they interacted, played all sorts of strange and wonderful sounding instruments (maybe I’m just living under a rock but who knew a Saw could sound so nice!). They were the perfect complimentary act to run alongside the play.

Parsonsfield in The Heart of Robin Hood. ©2014, Joan Marcus

And then the play itself, the casting was amazing, these were actors. Everyone was perfect for their roles. The costuming was beautiful, not your stereotypical green stockinged Robin Hood costumes (well, except for Marion…but, no spoilers!) but it was all earthly browns and worn leather, jewelled gowns and flowing robes.

Gabriel Ebert in The Heart of Robin Hood. ©2014, Joan Marcus

The scripting, fight choreography, and areal choreography (Yup, they were climbing up and down and twirling round on ropes…!) were fantastic. Marion is the hero of this tale, calling up Robin to become the man we know from legends, the man who steals from the rich, not for himself, but to give to the poor. And Marion is no damsel in distress, the heroine that Izzie Steele brings to life can hold her own against anyone, including Robin Hood himself…

Izzie Steele, Gabriel Ebert (foreground), Jeremy Crawford and Stephen Michael Spencer in The Heart of Robin Hood. ©2014, Joan Marcus

The humour of the show, the character development, the production quality, honestly it’s no wonder that this show has been getting 5 star ratings, I’m only surprised no one has tried to give it 6!

The show is running at the Manitoba Theatre Centre until December 6 so buy your tickets now (Yes it is well-worth a full-priced ticket if you’re over 25 – well it still is even if you’re under 25!). Check out The Heart of Robin Hood facebook photo album on the MTC website here and if that doesn’t convince you, well, this is me, a non professional theatre loving young adult giving “The Heart of Robin Hood” 6 out of 5 stars.

-B

Dreaming Dreams…

Dreams fascinate me, they always have – the idea of our brains making up stories for us to live out as we’re unconscious, think of all the imagination that is unlocked! My problem is for some reason I very rarely remember my dreams. The first two dreams that I can remember were both very different:

The first, my siblings and I were at some kind of sea-side port with my mum. My mum went into a store and my siblings and I were taken onboard a ship (kidnapped? also, we’re talking traditional pirate ship here). That’s it. That’s all I remember.

The second wasn’t exactly a dream in the traditional sense. It was music, and it was a reoccurring nightmare. It would start slowly one note beating rhythmically and then it would ever so slowly speed up. It was agonizing. I would begin to feel nauseous and an overwhelming urge to scream. Just as I was sure I was about to go crazy, it would stop.

It seems a bit strange to me that with these two examples as my most prominently remembered dreams, I would continue to think about dreams in such a romanticized way. I would love to remember my dreams!

*Warning, things might get weird here, or hit triggers -proceed with caution. Also, remember this is a dream, not actually me…*

 

Last night I remembered my dream, and once again, it wasn’t very nice but I’ll clean it up for the retelling. I had arrived at a place and come across a person (I assume police) was investigating a murder, he’d found a dead body. (Nightmare? you suggest, but it wasn’t. Nightmares have a very different feel, this was all too cold) In the dream I was trying to help suggest what might have happened but I knew, deep inside, I was the murderer. In fact, like it had happened in a previous dream, I could remember murdering the person.

I won’t tell anymore than that, but the thing is, this “me” in the dream, was nothing like me! For one thing, she’d MURDERED someone! For another, she was far too calm around a murder scene – I’m a fainter who can’t stand any blood! And she was flat-out (and convincingly too) lying to this cop. I like to think I would never lie to a cop, I tend to be a pretty right-or-wrong-no-middle person and cheating the system is not okay with me. I can’t think of any good reason to murder, like legitimately, I can’t. There’s always a better way to deal with an issue (and trust me, I’m great at coming up with alternatives).

Mum jokingly asked me what kind of shows I’d been watching before I went to bed! Didn’t watch any last night but I’ll blame it on the piece of dark chocolate!**

All that to say, I’d love to remember my dreams but whenever I do they seem to be rather dark so maybe it’s better that I don’t. Also, I promise that neither I, nor my dream alter-ego will ever cause harm to anyone! (I don’t know if I could hurt someone on purpose… a, I’m weak. b, well, I just, I don’t think I could!)

So uhh, yeah… Sweet Dreams ;D

-B

 
**Actually, looking through my computer history it occurred to me what last night’s blog post was about, the murder of a Canadian soldier. So that may have started up my subconscious…