How to make a Dream Board: The Power of Visualisation

Recently I made myself a Dream board and so far its working wonders. Some people may think I’m stupid creating a board but really the jokes on them.

Dream boards do work and here’s why.

When you’re able to create a sacred space for your thoughts to manifest it actually starts to happen. This shrine of what you want and your hopes for the futures starts to come to life. What we focus on starts to expand. The key is to put your board in a place where you will see it everyday. This acts as a constant reminder for your daily visualisations.

Visualisation has worked for centuries but not everyone tunes in to their success. Visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do each day and it’s actually really simple to do. I first learnt about visualisation in a book my friend Phoebe borrowed me called ‘The Secret.’ The book teaches you the importance manifestation and how your output into the universe really determines what you get back from the universe. It says that your thoughts emit a powerful frequency so its important to train your thoughts to suit your ideal world and how you want to feel in it.

From my experience this does speak a lot of truth. Whenever I’m feeling down and I tell myself again and again how much of a bad day I’m having or when I’m feeling tired and tell myself I’m knackered the situation just gets worse. But when I’m in these situations and tell myself everything is ok or that I feel energised it starts to actually take effect on my body. As stupid as it sounds this tiny change in mind perspective really can help your day run more smoothly.

Feeling inspired yet?

Well here’s how you do in just 5 simple steps.

 

1. First you must decide on your boards purpose.

What is most important to you right now? Your Career? Your Relationships? Your Travel? Your Happiness? Or is it a combination of all those things? Whatever the verdict is, focus your board on what you want and how you want to feel.

 

2. Then you must purchase your board and accessories.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on this board. It’s actually really cheap to put together.

I bought my board from here. Jazz it up however you like.

What you’ll need is:

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • White-tac/Blue-tac
  • Card (Any colours you wish)
  • Trimmings (ribbons etc if you wish)
  • Pins


3. Now collect your sources of inspiration.

This is where the fun begins. It’s time for your very own treasure hunt of inspiration.

Collect all your favourite magazines that make you happy and rummage through them for images that say a lot about who you are, wo you want to become or just find things that you adore.

If magazines ain’t your thing search the web. Pinterest is great for finding those images that just speak so much resonance to you. Find your favourite quotes and print them out. Find your dream house or dream husband. Find anything and everything.

If there’s a certain smell you like or flower you like add it on there or if you have a favourite restaurant or coffee shop find cute trinkets from each place and incorporate them onto your board. They don’t have to be things you want in the future, your dream board can simply act to maintain your happiness and uplift your spirits when you’re not feeling so good.

But most importantly cater it to you. Remember that these are what your re going to be looking at every morning when you wake up so make sure they ave an effect on you and get you inspired to achieve those goals and make it all happen. The key to having it all is believing you have it all.

 

4. Next, arrange your board in a style that suits you.

This is where the magic happens. This is when your creativity levels go into overdrive. I like to give my sources of inspiration a bit more support so I glues them onto pieces of white card to make them stand out more and be a little bit more sturdy when placing on the board.

How you arrange your board totally depends on you. Some people like it cluttered whereas others can’t stand clutter and have to have it methodically spaced out. Whatever the case is, make it work for you. You want to keep looking at your board each day so if there is a section that is causing you eyesore or a bit of a headache rearrange it.

 

5. Put it somewhere you will see it everyday.

This last step is the most important. In order for this to work, first of all you have to believe in its power and second of all you need to see it for yourself. And that means everyday. The more you open your eyes to something the more it starts to happen for you in your life. So start putting it into action and make the choices that suit your goals and ideal world. Let go of all of your fears and just make things happen (even in your head, if you beleive it so will everybody else.)

I spend a lot of time at my desk and so I thought it would be a great location for my board.

I happen to like clutter. It resembles my life and my want for growth in all directions.

I wish you all the best possible chances in life. But always remember you have the power to change your life at any given moment.

Imagine it. Do it.

End of year one @ Trinity Laban

It’s finally time to say Adios to year one and hello to year 2. It has been one hell of a year – both good and bad. We started off as a bunch of strangers and now we’re a bunch of friends, family almost. We’ve been through it all and yet there is SO much more to come.

We entered the world of Laban back in September where our social lives took priority as we mingled our way through Freshers getting to know each other more and more. A few nights it ended up being just me and Beth partying with the other years which was great fun. We did an array of things like dressing up as pirates, glamming out at the boat party, gender-bendering musical theatre style and much, much more.

Is my Sandy giving you ALL the chills?

Sadly party time eventually came to an end and it was time for us to get straight into our training. I remember in those first few weeks my legs were so sore I could barely walk. Training had killed me off. But as the weeks went on, the pain got easier and I was soon flourishing in what life was really like at Trinity Laban.

In our first term we began working on Naturalism in Acting with Helen Evans, a woman who has broke me but in the best possible way. She’s been a huge support for all of us this year. I worked on a scene from Love and Money by Dennis Kelly. In Dance we were introduced to Dollie Henry and her regime of work – a bit daunting at first but once you get accustomed to it you realise it’s preparing you for the future and its like she always says “it comes from a place of love.” We also worked on technique and performance with our programme leader Vicki Stretton who also took our tap lessons – a skill I am slowly but surely getting comfortable with. She’s been amazing support throughout this year for me. We also had Shannon Hudson, teaching us jazz and style taking us back on a tour of history through her lessons. In the first term we focussed on the time period of black face and other forms of jazz origins. I’ve learnt so much from her and respect her completely for all her work, love and support. In ballet we were working on technique with both Liesel Dowsett and Kim Amundsen. Both have very different approaches towards their teaching. Kim incorporates barre à terre technique in his lessons which has been fun to put into practice. In singing we very much focussed on pre 1900’s Legit styles of voice with Bryan Husband, Tony Castro and my singing teacher Peter Knapp. It’s been a challenge but I got through the early years even if it killed me.

Our second term consisted of Colab and Shakespeare as far as acting was concerned. My Colab was called The Tempest and we created a contemporary dance piece based on Shakespeare’s tale. It was such a good week and I met so many new friendly faces in the process. Then it was into the wonderful world of Shakespeare in which I starred as Silvius in As You Like It.  We worked on Shakespeare with Nina Zendejas our voice coach. I love Nina! In Dance we continued enhancing our technique with all of our teachers and were taught by two lovely gentlemen Jason Pennycooke and Omar Okai. Both of whom have had a vast career in the industry. We workshopped West Side Story and Cats with Jason and had heaps of fun learning technique and performance with Omar. I respect him a lot! In Shannon’s classes we progressed along the history timeline into the world of Charleston and Fosse which was really fun to do. In singing we also progressed through time bringing us more into the early 1900’s. This was a bit more easier for me to grasp.

Next came our final term – show term. Our end of year show was The Dreaming. A show I grew to love in the end. It was an interesting 5 weeks but I’ve learnt a lot about myself from it and about my classmates. In my experience, everyone has been so supportive of each other and it’s honestly so nice to see and be a part of. I don’t think I’d be able to wake up in the morning with a smile on my face knowing people are out to get each other. It would honestly be dreadful. We’ve all had so much fun, even if a few of us injured ourselves along the way. Jenny Coates I’m looking at you. She survived and was a trooper throughout – kudos to you and thankyou for being my amazing waltz partner, what a ball we had.

It’s the little things that happen everyday that really count. From Jake always holding the door for me in the corridor like the true northern gent he is to Alessia cheering me up with her sarcastic/sassy comebacks and her beautiful heart. I adore her completely. Truly an amazing friend. Just like Jenny who is always there to have absurd conversations with me about Sondheim being her dad and how we role-play together creating magic in the making. And Barney taking my abuse everyday (I adore him) and rolling with it. It’s all so much fun. And then there’s BFF NIKKI KELLY putting up with me day in day out (thankyou) and having our cute weekly sleepovers and Qureshi, Mac and Amy for giving me abuse back and being the gal group I need and love. Qureshi is the cutest she’s always there to brighten my day except when we bully each other. Mac is adorable, even when we wind each other up we can’t help but love each other. Our chill out sessions in her room are amazing and so is her music taste. Amy you’re just fabulous and whacky and fearless all wrapped into one. You’re beautiful to be around. Moving on to Brendan who is the best person to go to when you’re feeling your worst as he’ll snap you right back out of it with his one-liners that can make the whole room go silent. I’m talking about the boat. If you know, you know. I love you and respect you so much. Then there’s flat 5, each very different – Fran is crazy and I love it, she’s a beautiful human being and has the most amazing eyes. Florence exuberates sophistication even when she has a cigarette in her hand and walks in in pyjamas and then there’s Emily, I only have to listen to the sound of her voice and I’m instantly cheered up. She’s such a laugh especially when she gets angry. I love angry Emily!!! Let’s not forget Ciara, YouTube sensation from Essex ish. I’ve had some right old laughs with her and she keeps me up to date with the Kardashian Kingdom. Speaking of social media let’s all meet Ellie – the girl to document EVERYTHING. From signature poses for venue to singing videos of her insane vocals. She’s got a great heart and soul! Then there’s Kate. Kate’s always one for the take me out jokes and if she’s not on that show one day I will protest. Chats with Kate give me life. Amy Hayes’ fashion sense also gives me life and she’s always smiling! Also don’t ever lose the bun!!! Bobby is a sweetheart. He’s my go to for help and he super talented, especially on the keys! Our banter is becoming more and more amazing!  Speaking of banter, Becca comes out with some of the most ridiculously great tales I think I’ve ever heard. I’m always the one to catch every word she says and I’m so glad I do! Michael aka gossip girl literally knows everything about everyone and I’m so glad I got to know him more and more! On the topic of insider information meet Tom Ball we’re convinced he’s a secret spy with all the gadgets he’s got. He’s such a lovely boy and has a heart of gold. Then there’s the lads. Callum and Harry. It’d be wrong not to pair them together as they’re practically discusssing wedding vows as we speak. They’re a great duo and they’re another two I’m glad I’ve gotten to know a bit more. Both extremely talented and I’m glad they got to showcase that in our show – you both worked hard in that and the results were profound.

Writing all of this takes me back to a moment in Term 2. We all entered the space with a pen in our hands. Laid out in front of us where pieces of paper with each persons name on it. It was our job to fill these papers with things we love about that person. I came out crying, which is a rarity because I don’t like crying in front of people. It was such an amazing moment for us all and it made me love my cohort even more.

Am I really that sassy?

I have the best people in my year, they’re all honestly amazing. We are a year who constantly put ourselves down despite the good work we do. We don’t always know how much of a good job we’re doing until it’s over which I kind of like and think is actually quite humble of us. What’s important is that we’re real. We’ve all walked a way of life different to each other prior to this and over the past year we’ve managed to merge paths. It’s been a rocky road to say the least but we made it in the end. I’m so glad I got to know all of you guys (I hope you’re reading this) and it’s honestly been an honour watching you all blossom and fly along the way. We’ve lost 2 comrades – Alana I will remember you forever – what a sweetheart! Thankyou for everything. Beth it was great getting to know your fun soul for the time you were here. I’ll always remember our down to earth chats! Stay happy! Good luck for the future I’m sure you will both grab it with all you’ve got!

On that note, 3rd years I wish you all the luck and success in the world. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know you over this year. You made my transition here a lot easier than I first anticipated with your warmth and kindness and truthful talks. So thankyou and break a leg in your run of Made in Dagenham!

This year I’ve learnt that I do indeed have a little bit of anxiety in certain situations, even if it is in minor form, it is still present. This is something I’m working on. This year I have been graced with plenty of opportunities and amazing new friends. This year has been a whirlwind but I guess you could say I’m attracted to the storm.

Year 2 I’m coming for you!

Radiate.  (1 minute read)

Today is glowing. I am glowing. Everything about today is radiating warmth. The sun is shining and so is the inferno from within. My flames are dancing in the wind – they are joyous. I emulate everything that is great to be alive right now. I am happy. I am warm. I am me.

Life is a journey, a never ending road and as cliché as it sounds I’m ready for the adventure. Who knows where it might lead but the mystery awaits. Live for right now because right now is great!

My struggle with Acting.

Yesterday I reached breaking point.

I completely broke down. If there’s one thing I hate doing its crying in front of people. It’s a problem I’ve been learning to deal with ever since my Dad passed away. I built up this foundation of strength in saying everything was ok when it really wasnt.

This has stuck with me.

It’s not that I’m shut off emotionally, it’s just that I have a resilience in showing my more sensitive emotions to others. I’m completely open about this and those who know me know I’m the most emotional person they know in isolation. I’m very much in tune with my emotions and similarly know when its my time of the month so to speak despite the genitalia differences.

But yesterday was different.

Yesterday took me by complete surprise. I was feeling absolutely fine within myself and was having quite a good day. Show week was over and it was time for 2 weeks of relaxing lessons.

Or so I thought.

So we were given a task to bring to life this externalised/heightened character and this is the type of stuff that freaks me out because I always believe I do a bad job doing it. Which is a normal for me in acting anyway, I never believe in myself and its been like this for about 3 years now. Deep down I know I’m good enough but I always have this internal conflict that’s tells me I’m not nor never will be any good.

I’m a mess I know.

In our lives we all have weaknesses or things you believe to be your weaknesses and you view them completely different to your strengths. They give you the most anxiety and fears and they can either break you or make you depending on how you utilise this feeling.

I didn’t exactly use the 10 minutes we had to prep very well. I spent the time fighting myself and taking constant blows to my self-confidence. Steve Peters would say my chimp had won. I think he would be right on this occasion. After the ten minutes was up, we each had to perform back our material to the class. I happened to be last.

Big mistake.

The whole time I sat there in a state of panic. My palms were sweating I was not ok. But, I got up there and I proceeded with the task. I ran into a web of failure. Everything was going wrong and the more I told myself this, the more it got worse. I felt everyone’s eyes on me and I suddenly felt like the smallest person in the biggest room. My acting teacher persisted and kept me going in the attempt to grasp at this task. It just wasnt working and I felt myself getting more and more worked up. I was unable to produce the work.

This all stemmed from my own self-doubt. 

Yesterday it completely got in my way and clouded my outlook and emotions for that matter. After being pushed and pushed and then pushed some more (all out of love) I was unfortunately swallowed by it all. I guess I was just extremely disappointed with myself. What seemed like a simple task proved to be so difficult to me. But everyone else in the room was feeling the exact same, they were just better at managing their mind on this occasion. Whereas I succumbed to defeat so to speak.

But I don’t exactly see this as failure. I see it as progress. I needed this. It was a reminder, that there are things I need to be working on and it has given me a much clearer vision on things relating to myself and my training here at Trinity Laban. It was also nice to feel secure enough to be allowed to have my breakdown in front of my friends in such a warm and open environment. Everyone there was rooting for me and was there to pick me back up again and I really felt that and appreciated it at the time even if I was drowning in my own tears.

No matter how many people you have in your life believing in you its never going to make a difference until you start to believe in yourself and thats exactly what we all need to do.

And fast.

Maya Angelou paints it perfectly “But still, like air, I’ll rise.” 

And rise from it I will. In the future, when faced with difficulties I’ll look back on this moment and I’ll know I never want to feel like that EVER again.

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Woyzeck @ The Old Vic 27/05/17

Woyzeck by Georg Büchner remains one of the most performed and influential plays in German theatre. I studied the play during my A-Level Drama course last year, it’s a fantastic play with so much room for interpretation. Going into the theatre I had somewhat of an idea of what it was going to be like.

Boy was I wrong.

Jack Thorne’s adaptation exhaled a breath of fresh air into the play. I had expected something completely different to what was shown before me and I really enjoyed the fact it wasn’t what I had first I magined. This furthered the mystery of the play to me in some ways and made me fall in love with it all over again. Büchner died before his play was ever finished leaving the order of the play a mystery waiting to be solved.

Nick, my companion for the performance said this “I don’t think you can think of it as ‘Woyzeck’ as it was written.” 

I think he’s quite right.

In order for me to watch this performance I had to completely abandon my existing knowledge of the play and my own ideas of how I would transform the play. This made me so much more aware to new things within the storyline and new possibilities.

It was eye-opening.

Jack Thorne based his version in 1980’s Berlin on the border between the East and West during The Cold War. The world is torn between Capitalism and Communism. Meanwhile the young soldier Woyzeck tries to make a life for himself, his girlfriend Marie and their child. In the play the East is painted as an area controlled by the Soviets, with its citizens in an oppressed and controlled state with the West idealised and controlled by the British to be the complete opposite. But what is interesting to see is that through the characters we soon begin to question whether or not they are actually free within the midst of poverty and social status.

Steffan Rhodri as Captain Thompson.

The play followed a linear structure in terms of storytelling which contrasts to the original play, with Büchner’s play feeling quite disjointed in its smaller scenes. Thorne recreates the language that is used and turns Woyzeck into a much more conversational and lengthened out production which worked extremely in his favour in terms of relevance to today’s audience. I was a bit skeptical at first but warmed to it 3/4 way into Act 1. Büchners intentions were evident and there were references to his themes throughout the play.

John Boyega takes the lead in this production, commanding the stage showing his power from the get go alongside his down to earth Irish girlfriend Marie (Sarah Greene). They compliment each other nicely in their roles. There was a moment in Act 1 when Woyzeck took Marie to look out at the East’s skyline in the evening. The stage dimmed and a warm orange light illuminated the pair downstage as they sat on the edge of it creating a magical moment for the two.

Boyega as Woyzeck with Greene as Marie.

Act 2 had me questioning everything.

In a good way.

It featured a bed scene with Andrews having sex upstage with Maggie, the Mother and Marie simultaneously with an unstable Woyzeck parading around the stage with his mind deteriorating. Maggie/Mother (Nancy Carroll) was incredible. Her performance was exquisite making her a delight to watch. Thorne’s spin on the original script made her character have much more importance within the plot and it was a nice touch on his part. Mixing Andrews with Andres and the Drum Major was also another clever move by Jack Thorne. I enjoyed this concoction of characters as it made the play much more interesting to watch. Andrews does bare all, in every sense of the phrase, bringing that spark of fun and like-ability to his character.

Boyega completely transformed in Act 2 and we saw a real sense of journey within his character from the man that is coping to the man who is in despair. His performance was electrifying and fully committed. Much like his other half Greene who was consistently believable in her performance as Marie.

Tom Scutt’s set consisted of movable walls that were lifted and lowered and moved across the stage. These created fantastic scene changes with the aid of lighting and music. The walls themselves were made out of insulation and this added to the idea of the play getting hotter and hotter in line with Woyzeck’s mental state. I thought the idea of them living in a flat above a halal butchers to be really clever as the further into the play we got the more the set revealed gory insides from these insulation walls. It reflected the demise of Woyzeck.

Overall, whilst it wasnt the ‘original’ Woyzeck it was still Woyzeck. It was a Woyzeck that is accessible for today in terms of real psychology and backstory for a contemporary audience. It’s linear structure was a narrative and held the essence of what Woyzeck is. It was a credible production, one Thorne should be extremely proud of.

Greene shows a delicate strength to Marie that compels the audience.

Woyzeck runs at The Old Vic Theatre until Saturday 24th June 2017.

Photos by Manuel Harlan.

Rehearsals: Week 4

It’s the weekend and after over a month of not drinking, it’s finally time to crack open the bottle and get swigging. The main reasons I was partaking in a Dry May was because a) I wanted to save money and b) I wanted my skin to clear up.

In recent weeks, my skin has indeed felt a lot smoother – which is more than I can say about my finances. All the budgeting I’ve mastered by cutting out alcohol has basically been for nothing after a midnight splurge on new clothes and a new pair of trainers – they are beautiful though. But I figured its been a long time since I treated myself and after the last few weeks I was in need of some materialistic loving.

To say this process has all gone smooth and dandy would be an inaccurate lie; one I wouldn’t be able to say with truth.

I think that’s quite normal though with any production when you’re putting things on its feet. For the most part it has been enjoyable but on the whole, I haven’t exactly loved the process and I don’t quite know why. This is unusual for me because I usually love putting on a show and being creative.

There have been times where I’ve absolutely hated it and myself for that matter, often having to make the most of my lunchtime by getting out of the building and into the fresh air for a bit of normalisation and reassurance before going back in and trying again. This time round with a more positive outlook in my bounce. 

It has been a strange journey, I think a lot of my peers would agree with me on that one.

BUT 

There have been times where I’ve loved every second of it. So I guess you could say I’ve been going back and forth from one extreme to the other. What has helped me ‘pull through’ is the support from my friends. We’ve all had our bad days and we’ve all been there to pick each other back up again and laugh at ourselves. Meditation has also been my saviour during rehearsals. It has cleared my mind and helped me remain focussed on the task ahead.

This week has been a week of cleaning things up and glueing everything together to make the piece work. It’s also had a further 2 choreography days in which we completed more numbers and improved those that were already existent. On Friday we also had our first dress rehearsal and this went quite smoothly – obviously there are still sections that need changing but on the whole it went quite well. We now have Monday as a spare day to perfect our work before heading into a whirlwind of tech and dress runs starting at 9:30am and finishing 12 hours later.

Next week will kill me. Emotionally, physically and mentally. But that’s what show week is like.

As a class we’ve all decided to pick a person to look after during the show to keep their spirits up. I’m a big fan of quotes – they always brighten my day. I think a lesson to be learnt from this experience would have to be that in life, what you give power to has power over you. Whilst at times its been a struggle to escape the spiralling negativity that has been quite prevalent in both myself and the outside exterior it has been a reminder for me not to succumb to this and let it cloud my vision for what is to come.

It has been a rollercoaster. But I’m determined to make the highs outlive the lows. In a weeks time this will all be over and I will have to say goodbye to my ‘woodlandish’ roots and mechanical madness. In months to come I’ll look back on this experience and begin to miss the fun I’ve had creating the roles.

Adios for now but be sure to check out my earlier posts on our production.

The DreamingRehearsals: Week 2Rehearsals: Week 3