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

Space, Science, and Captain Blonde Beard

Starting off a movie with an emergency take off and presumed dead character is always a good way to go. Gets the adrenaline pumping and the audience engaged. So starts The Martian starring Matt Damon and it continues for two and a half hours of space, science, and the dangers of living alone, well, as the only inhabitant of a foreign planet with a limited source of supplies.

The movie does a great job of keeping the audiences attention as it jumps back and forth from NASA back on Earth as they discover Mark Watney (Matt Damon’s character) is still alive and figure out ways to communicate with him, back to Mars where Watney is completely and utterly alone. To keep the Martian scenes from becoming boring and drawn out, much of them is spent with Watney making logs into cameras around the compound. This gives a more personal feel to the movie as he is in a sense breaking the fourth wall for much of it and staring straight into the screen as he confides the dangers, fears, and discoveries he has while trapped on Mars.

It is a well done movie, drawing to a close with a high suspense rescue attempt. Overall a very good movie, would recommend to a friend.

One Year Later

Exactly a year ago I was in an internship and was, with my fellow interns, flying off to Romania for a month. I was scared, and kinda excited but mostly scared, and was not enjoying being on the hottest (as in excruciatingly warm) flight I’ve ever been on in my life. (You can read my blog post from that first day here)

Today my fellow interns and I went out for Shawarma to reminisce about the good times we had and how we all wish we were going back with this years set of interns…

It’s not like we were catching up with each other really, we’re kind of inseperable so we know the ins and outs of each others lives sometimes better than our own, but its fun to formally hang out sometimes ;D

So we went out to Shawarma Khan for shawarma

A handy description of shwarma off the wall at Shwarma Kham

A handy description of shwarma off the wall at Shwarma Kham

Now why shawarma? Well we had shawarma in Romania, it was like a once a week thing at least… In fact I had shawarma for the first time in Romania! I felt like I should be initiated into the Avengers immediately.

I had Shawarma for the first time today – Romanian shawarma! Am I an Avenger now?

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After shawarma we had a need for dessert and wandered over to Cake-ology and had some sweets =D

A subtle I'm-slightly-ashamed-but-am-still-gonna-take-a-picture-for-my-blog photo in the tiny bakery of tasty things!

A subtle I’m-slightly-ashamed-but-am-still-gonna-take-a-picture-for-my-blog photo in the tiny bakery of tasty things!

After our dessert need was well and truely, deliciously satisfied we wandered into The Haberdashery which is a hat shop owned by a friend and Des bought some gloves as she was slowly freezing to death via frozen fingers (Winnipeg, I’m telling ya, it’s a thing.)

After a quick stop in at Toad Hall (and English toy shop) Beth and Jon then had to head off to respective prior engagements and Des and I slowly made our way through a used bookshop (it’s an addiction, I may need to seek help) and then down to the movie theatre where we proceeded to watch Kingsman. While it was probably one of the most innapriopriate movies I’ve ever seen and contained more violence and swearing than any movie I’ve ever seen, it was also one of the funniest and may or may not ahve made it onto my favourites list. We were very nearly falling out of our chairs laughing. It’s fantastic, but I didn’t recommend it to you.

Manners Maketh Man.

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A wonderful use of a reading week day!

-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.

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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

Jane Eyre: MTC

I like the story of Jane Eyre. I like it a lot. When I was around, ooh, probably about ten-twlevish I first read our abridged version of Jane Eyre and there began my love of the story. I watched the BBC mini series (1983) that my grandma owned. I like the moodiness and the emotions of Jane Eyre because while it is, yes, a rather sad story throughout, it has a nice ending and I love the character of Jane herself.

Well thanks to the best roommate ever and her generous parents my roommate Desi and I got to go to see the opening night of Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of “Jane Eyre” this evening.

**Jane Eyre Plot spoilers and MTC Production fo Jane Eyre spoilers**
(consider yourself well-warned…)

It was so good! They had a cast of 8 including the child who played Adele, so 7 adults played all the roles. The actors for “Jane” and “Rochester” only played the one role (I say only, but they’re pretty much continually on stage so only doesn’t really seem to give enough credit…) while the other five played 6-9 roles each, playing every other role in the play. It was amazing. Girls played guys (example, the surgeon who comes to treat Mason after he’s attacked was played by one of the women) and guys played girls (one of the Lowood teachers was a man and the postmistress when Jane is advertising for a position was a man). It was amusing, it wasn’t really hidden at all, but the roles were also all well done. Other than the postmistress none of the roles were going for laughs, I’m sure it was just timing backstage with costumes etc, that a person of the opposite gender was needed to play those roles and it was done really well.

It was very minimal set-wise. Scaffolding across the backstage to serve at the battlements of Thornfield, or an upstairs hall or balcony. Beneath the scafolding served as a hallway or a garden walk. Chairs, tables, beds, potted plants were rolled in and out on wheels (by the actors themselves, often during the scene) and were kept to a minimum. A tea tray was carried in and out quite often and I couldn’t decide if “Rochester” was smoking a real cigarette or an electric one in some scenes. Candles, lanterns, sewing, books, billiard cues were carried about when needed but there were very few “main” or “big” props. The backdrop was mostly kept to solid black or grey, sometimes changing to blue or sunset colours depending on the scene.

Because of the minimal props however, things like carriages (driving to Lowood school) or horses (Mr Rochester’s horse falling in the lane) become difficult to portray. The carriage was created by standard kitchen chairs (in that era’s build though) that the actors would sit down in and then rise and carry while doing a bit of a gallop-hop across the stage. This caused much laughter in the audience, I wonder if they expected it to be seen as so funny (like people laughed to the point where I wonder if they’ll try to find a way to do it differently…). “Mr Rochester’s” horse, however, was not a kitchen chair. He sat on the shoulders of the two other male actors and they were the horse. It was hilarious, I’m sure they knew it would be hilarious and in the one scene that it was needed for, it somehow fit in a way that the “carriage” didn’t fit with the tone of it’s scene.

They adapted it in a very narrative style, the cast would be narrating their scenes in character. “Jane” would say something like, (regarding schoolmaster “Mr Brocklehurst”) “What a face he had, now that it was almost on a level with mine! what a great nose! and what a mouth! and what large, prominent teeth!” (a direct quote from the book use in the play I might add) while in front of him and then she will continue in regular dialogue with “Mr Brocklehurst”. It was fascinating seeing them do it, going back and forth throughout a scene narrating and dialoging but in character and acting all along.

We were in row three, which in a play with big sets and busy scenes would have been very difficult as its very close to the stage, but in a play such as this one, with such minimalism, it was perfect. We could see facial expressions and every last detail. A certain flounce in someone’s walk, the tremor of a lip, the tears in “Jane’s” eyes as she walks away from “Mr Rochester” after the explanation for the spoiled wedding. It was perfect. I’m so glad we had those seats! (Also, Des is using an older pair of glasses until her other ones are fixed so being closer made it easier to see in general! ;D)

Source (x)

Source (x)

The acting was great, “Jane” was perfect, tiny and spirited. “Rochester” was not (traditionally) handsome (I mean, come on he’s the hero, he has to look alright), he was very tall and broad and made the actress for “Jane” look even tinier! She must have been barely above 5′ and I’m sure he was well over 6′. The other five in the cast were amazing! Chameleons the lot of them, slipping from role to role in such a way that you’d assume they had a different person for each role if you didn’t read the program. Adele was adorable, but I did find it very difficult to hear her two main lines… One was something about strawberries but thats all I caught. I think the other was something about the tree getting spilt in the storm… not quite sure. I’m not sure I’d entirely blame that on the actress though, she’s skipping down a path through one line which makes delivering the line harder and during the other there are rain and storm sound effects happening at the same time. It could have also been her mike, or it could have been her, who knows! She was a cute Adele though.

Overall I loved it lots! The people beside us seemed to leave during intermission so I guess it wasn’t a unanimous hit but I thought it was a very good adaption, well done, true to the story. Because of the narration style they didn’t need a lot of “filler-dialogue” such as Jane-Adele classes, The Rivers-Jane getting-to-know-one-another-chats, and because that wasn’t there they could cover the vast majority of the plot. The two things that I would have liked were more of Lowood (but I understand that with such a small cast, girls-only school scenes would have been difficult to do) and the scene at the party in which Mr Rochester dresses up as a gypsy and tells people’s fortunes. I love that scene and it seems its rarely included in adaptions. I suppose its obviously not crucial, but I like it…
Overall, very good. Would certainly go see it again (anyone want to buy me some tickets?!) and would recommend it to others.

I love going to the theatre =)
(While waiting for a ride we saw some of the cast members come upstairs and I flailed inwardly and tried not to creeper-stare from a distance. I totally creeper-stared from a distance. I was to intimidated to actually go up and talk to them though… We saw them though!)

Talk to you tomorrow!
-Becky

2014: Shamless indoor sunglass-wearing selfie in a theatre

I call this, 2014: Shameless indoor sunglass-wearing selfie in a theatre

Flights, Layover, and Delays

Today was the first day of 2014. I spent most of it in airports which I think is an interesting way to start the year: going somewhere, or to be more exact, going home… There’s so many ways I could read into this =D

We were at the airport on time, were ahead of the line through security, found our gate in the one-gate-airport no problem and then we sat and waited. and then the plane was delayed (but only by like ten minutes) because, well, the plane wasn’t there yet…

no plane...

no plane…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once on the plane I went back to reading Allegiant (I made it through almost exactly half on the flights to BC so I wanted to finished it through the flights on the way back).

IMG_3451

We had a three hour layover through Calgary so we landed and went on a quest for food. Amy waylayed our mission in a gift shop buying a gift consisting of (G-rated quote) “crap” (seriously we found, like, the strangest things in the shop…) and then the food mission continued. It was completed (for me) in the food court where I bought some (kind of crappy) pizza and a salad (with unedible croutons) but Amy couldn’t decide what she wanted. In the end we went to the in-airport pub and she ordered a poutine and a beer.

Poutine candid

Poutine candid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The poutine ended up being a HUGE plate of poutine, like a teenage boy couldn’t have eaten the whole thing on his own (okay, well maybe he could, if he was really hungry) but due to the HUGENESS I got to help eat it. I ate all the fries that didn’t touch the nasty ol’ cheese curds. I actually don’t like poutine. I do like fries…
So I picked through for the cheeseless fries sipping from my fastfood cup of root beer feeling slightly out of place in an airport sports bar… and then we migrated to our gate area to settle down and watch Chuck because I’m smart and packed season one in my carryon luggage!

Our flight ended up being delayed about forty minutes which meant I went on a search for junk food. I returned with a mini bag of skittles, airport prices hit you hard man…

I finished Allegiant on the flight home, we arrived at the airport and mum and dad weren’t even there yet because the roads were so awful because Winnipeg’s weather is the same temperature as Mars and there’s snow piles nearing/towering above my shoulder already (and we still have a solid three to four months to go! but hey, I’m not bitter about it all… *twitch*) When she found out mum and dad weren’t there yet, Amy, who was amusingly flustered at no one being there to meet us (I briefly tried to convince her we were at the wrong airport) said (jokingly), and I quote, “My life is ruined!”

Twas amusing… Mum and Dad arrived. Our luggage arrived. we drove home to our igloo through the ice terrain in our sledge pulled by mighty reindeer and were met at the door by our frantically excited tame house-wolf.

Then I finally watched the Doctor Who Christmas episode and wept (all though in general I didn’t enjoy the episode at all, Matt did such a great job, Matt’s great, I love Matt, I cried because now Matt’s gone)
I was excited about Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, I thought it was time for a more visibly “mature” (read old) Doctor, but I didn’t like his few line and now I’m not sure I’ll like his doctor… Why doesn’t he know how to fly his own TARDIS? She’s his, his baby, she’s been with him through time and space since he ran away centuries upon centuries ago, she’s his one friend who’s always been there and now he’s asking Clara “how to fly this thing“? Not pleased Moffat… (I pretty much 100% agree with this article my dad found so if you care to read more not-pleased-with-Moffat type stuff, dig in)

Talk to you tomorrow!
-B