"Believe you can and you're halfway there"

For those of you who don’t know who said this quote it was Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Theodore served as the 26th president of the United States of America in the years 1901-1909. Scholars rank him as one of the greatest presidents the country has ever had.

But lets not make this into a history lesson now shall we.

Instead lets focus on the words used in this quote and the relevance it has to me and the impact I feel it has on many. Now, belief is such a wide area of topic to focus on and can come in many forms whether that be religious or not. In my case, belief has a lot to do with one’s state of mind and spirit. Believing in something can give you the utmost rush of joy whilst at the same time fill you with thoughts of doubt and worry. When you want something so badly you cant help but be blindsided to the things that matter the most. You’re not always level-headed. I’m sure all of us at some point in our beautiful lives have put so much effort into something all at one time but in reflection, when looking back we realise it wasn’t worth it after all. However in regards to the quote, belief means a whole different thing altogether. Something we all, at some point, have struggled with. And that is believing in oneself.

This is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Sometimes just the inability to progress and move forward puts you in a place where you’re left asking Why? What more can I do? Why isn’t this working for me? Why can’t I just let go? Am I good enough? These are all questions I’ve asked myself and I think every performer has their own set of questions they ask themselves in every class. I feel as though these questions daunt on me mostly in my acting classes. I have always said that this is the discipline I have the least confidence in and this is the one I try my hardest in, in order to get better. Despite the grades I’ve received in the past there’s just something inside of me that knows or rather tells me I’m the worst at this discipline. I guess knowing this is detrimental to my learning as if I keep acknowledging these thoughts and telling myself ‘yeah it is my worst one’ then these feelings aren’t ever going to go away. All I can do is try to flip them around or turn them off. But this is a lot easier said than done. I honestly don’t know why I have these thoughts because I know that I can act. That was meant in the least arrogant way possible, I promise. But for some reason I’m stuck on this cruel cycle that just keeps repeating itself over and over. When you lack self-confidence in anything you do you’re left knowing you could have done more or better. Over time I know this will get easier to manage but, with 3 more years to go I’m ready to keep on fighting and come out on top. A whole load of people experience performance anxiety and sometimes it can be the scariest thing in the world. It stops you from going out there and getting that job you want or experiencing different things and trying something new. You get comfortable, when really you should be throwing yourself out there. It happens in everyday life. We all suffer.

What I will say is that this has gotten a lot easier to manage now that I’m in higher education. Before coming here I said to myself ‘Right. Leave your old worries behind you and step up your game. They’re only going to get in the way in the long run so its best leaving them behind now.’ This is something I have to remind myself on the odd occasion. It’s usually when working towards acting monologues and so forth. Don’t get me wrong I do love acting but I’ve always found myself taking more of a lean towards the theoretical side to the craft. I like to sit out, watch, and give my suggestions. However when I do get these moments of doubt I like to close my eyes, conjure up my ball of stress and worry and panic in my hands and then throw them away. A technique my acting teacher, Abbie Rippon, showed me before starting improvisation lessons back at college. This has stuck with me and I’ve found it really helps. But when I can’t do that, in fear of looking like a psycho in front of my peers around me, I similarly close my eyes, inhale and say to myself in my head ‘Fuck it’ (pardon my french) and get on with doing what I’m doing. This always leads to me doing my best work and its a trick that’s helped me thus far. This sensation makes me feel like I’m flying, soaring across the air. I just forget about looking like a loon and I’m totally in the moment of just doing and creating without really putting too much thought into it. I find that when I over think and over analyse my work starts to plummet. I get myself worked up and it’s not healthy.

Last term we were working on duologues and this was the perfect boxing match for myself and my doubt. But like everything in life, I overcome it. I remember one of my last few rehearsals at Laurie Grove, a few days before my actual assessment. Helen was pushing and pushing and pushing me to find more of a sense of my character. At the time I was confused and lacking in confidence shall I say, but I’m glad she kept at it. She took me by the hands and spiralled with me around the room telling me to close my eyes, it was just me and her; everyone else disappeared, all the while asking me to find my character through my breath – something that was relatively new to me in an acting sense. There was something so magical about this moment that I’m really grateful for. Whilst spiralling there were, for a brief moment, glimpses of me just letting go and being free almost. It felt like I was teleported to a room where everything was white and serene. It was like being in a meadow full of daisies and greenery being 5-years-old again playing without a care in the world. I was lost but in a good way and when she finally let go of my hands allowing me to find my feet and embody the character through my senses, text and physicality I found it really helped me get to know this person and become him. This was another of those ‘fuck it’ moments but without my mantra so to speak. My mind was calm and at peace and I just went with it. It was beautiful. To me anyways. Whilst this may not work for you, it certainly worked for me.

You’re probably thinking I’m a nutter right?

What I’m really trying to get at is, just have the faith to say ‘yes I can do this’ and go with it. Let go of all inhibitions prior to that moment and leave them at the door. Having someone who believes in you even when you don’t always believe in yourself shouldn’t ever be disregarded. Thank that person. So Helen, if you’re ever reading this thank you. But when you do finally believe in yourself, like I did 5 minutes before my call, you’re already halfway there. What is left is the trust in yourself to know that the hard work and commitment you’ve put into this piece for weeks pays off. Like with anything in life, you have the power to shape your future, if you don’t take the risks and you don’t believe in what you can do, you’ll never get the chance to fly. It has to come from within. Its inside of us all. You can do it.

 Yes, that is me and yes I am flying..

Orbs.. is this really happening??

WARNING: This post is not for the faint hearted. 

Jokes.

But seriously what I’m about to tell you is on another level of FREAKY.

This is a topic I’ve openly talked about to both my friends and family. Some looked at me like I was crazy and some didn’t. Thanks to those who didn’t. It all started about 3 years ago. I lost my dad through suicide a year earlier. Before my dad took his own life, we were having our 2nd extension done on the house. It was only  after his death that it was completed and one of the rooms being built was my current room. A few months after his passing the house was finished and I could finally move in. During my healing process I liked to stay up late and talk to my dad, call me crazy but it helped me grieve. During the first few months it mainly consisted of questions of WHY? I didn’t understand why he did what he did. To this day I still don’t really know and I don’t think I ever will. But as time has moved on I find myself asking that question less and focusing more on the years we had and the memories I now hold close to my heart. So yeah little old crazy me talked to ghosts. Basically. It wasn’t much of a conversation considering there was no one on the receiving end.

Or so I thought.

About a month into conversing with the spirits I noticed a slight change in presence. It was eerie and weird. Scary at times too. I’m naturally a night owl so my sleep pattern is not the best. I often fall asleep around 3am and wake up at 7:30/8 AM. As the clock ticked away I was trying my best to get to sleep. With my head on my pillow I felt restricted, almost as if someone was pinning me down. I couldn’t move. My breath shortened and my head was suffocating in towards the pillow. Eventually this stopped. Not knowing what the hell had just happened, I turned to Google for some help.

Sleep paralysis.

Sleep paralysis is a temporary inability to move or speak that occurs when you’re waking up or falling asleep. 

I thought I was mad. Was my imagination fooling me? If this had happened only once I would completely say it was my mind just playing tricks on me but ever since that day I often experience the same sensation at night. Now, I’m a big fan of horror movies. I’m the type of person who can watch a scary movie on my own at 2AM and be totally fine so this was on some next level shit.

My most recent experience was horrific. Over the years I’ve managed to get quite good at deflecting the ‘bad spirits’ as I like to call them. But this time was proving more difficult to do. It was around about 2AM and I’d just finished watching a movie and decided to hit the pillow. Not a success. 4AM – still awake. As I closed my eyes I felt someone’s breath above me. I kept my eyes closed hoping that it would go away. It didn’t. I could see black shadows flying all across my room some had faces. I often see an old woman aka ‘The Witch.’ Don’t get me wrong, she might be a nice lady but she doesn’t half terrify the living day out of me. I guess that’s her job though right?

Do you think I’m crazy yet?

Honestly I’m not. Statistics say that sleep paralysis is very common in young adults. Until you’ve actually experienced it I can’t begin to explain how frightened you feel in that moment. Anyways back to the tale. The shadows kept getting closer and closer towards me so I opened my eyes. The room was silent. Phew. I was alone. Returning to my slumber I was immediately attacked. I felt choked. I couldn’t speak. I was lost for words. Literally. About 15 seconds had past and I slowly manage to say ‘Leave me alone!!!’ This was physically impossible to say and took me a long, long, longgg time. It had a stutter like quality to it. But after saying that the spirit/s vanished. Freedom at last.

If any of you readers out there have watched any horror movies, you’ve most probably watched the Insidious films. Elise often says that once you open the door for one spirit they all start to come on in. The good and the bad. This is a thought I’ve held onto ever since it started happening. This all started when I started reaching out to my Dad and I’m left wondering is there any truth to what Elise said or is my imagination tricking me? Fearing the worst, one day I lit up some incense and some candles and cleansed my room asking the spirits to leave me in peace. I didn’t mean them any harm and I’m sure they didn’t mean me any. Who knows maybe they’re just lost souls hoping to find their light?

Which brings me on to my next experience. With the darkness comes the light. Personally I’m a bigger fan of the light in this instance. I was home for Christmas break and like many nights I was up really late. For some reason or another I couldn’t get to sleep and the clock was nearing 4AM. But my tired eyes needed their rest and in a split second my vision was hazy. After closing my eyes I saw a green light illuminating my pupils. I opened them. The light was still there. I couldn’t believe it. I stared some more and there it stayed. It quickly started to multiply this time with red dots of light. It was all happening above my head. I sat up and tried to grab the light. It disappeared. About five seconds passed and it made it’s comeback. Instead of aggressively grabbing it I proceeded to gently reach out and touch it. There was a field of energy radiating around us and it was getting stronger. After about 30 seconds the energy was overwhelming and then I felt it. It felt like touching another persons hand, almost like a high-five. I latched onto it for a few seconds and held this so-called ‘hand.’ I can’t explain how this happened or why this happened, I can only guess what this magical experience was.

I think a lot of what happened that night was due to me returning back home. I like to think that this particular experience was my Dad. That it was his way of reaching back out to me after all those years of me trying and failing. It was to show me, he is always with me and always will be and that I can depend on him whenever I need to. It was the best welcome I’ve ever received. Even if it was a bit crazy. Having 4 years to deal with my grief I’m finally at a stage in my life where I can say I’m ok with it. I’m over it. Yes I still cry occasionally and yes I miss and love him more than anyone can imagine but I now choose to think of when I will see him next. And that’ll be a long time, I’ve got to get old first. Him reaching out to me kind of consolidated this and my Nan always says ‘They won’t visit you if you’re not ready.’ She’s seen a lot of her passed family members when she’s walking around the house. She always tells me ‘You have more to be afraid of from the living than the dead.’ My younger sister, Tilly, was less than 2 years old at the time of his death however she still remembers a lot about him. She’s always been a clever girl for her age and initially when my mum found my dad she was in the car in direct view of it all. That night when we were all living at my Nan’s trying to make sense of it all, he visited her in her dreams. The next day she woke up and the first thing she said is – ‘It’s ok Daddy is in the sky.’ This is why I think there’s some truth into my experiences. They’re weird as hell but they happened.

I kid you not though. This happened to me again. Only this time it was after I arrived back to London. On my third night here I saw the same dots of light. It was special and I cried a lot that night. But my tears were ones of happiness. I needed the reminder that my dad is with me in everything I do. It was my beacon of hope. I’m a very independent person however I do miss home from time to time and as annoying as I am, I know they miss me. I guess this is his way of looking out for me. I’m truly blessed to have him as my guardian angel. I just hope he fights the baddies if they ever visit me again. I’m yet to experience the trauma here in London. Thank god for that.

But on that refreshing note I will leave you to enjoy the rest of your day, wherever in the world you may be.

PS. I’m not crazy I swear.

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Fresh start.

Being almost a month into 2017 I figured it would be a great time to write about the new year and what I hope to gain from it. Whilst 2016 had its flaws, it was rather kind to me and a lot of unexpected things panned out. For example, seeing Judi Dench arrive onset in role playing Queen Victoria. That, I was never expecting to see in a million years. I filmed as an extra on an upcoming film ‘On Chesil Beach’ in London where Dominic Cooke will be making his film directorial debut and I also posed for my first Naked Calendar for the charity BAPAM (British Association For Performing Arts Medicine.) This was all new to me. However as I sit here with my hot bowl of oatmeal and my cup of tea my mind takes a turn towards the future.

So whats in store for me this year? Hopefully a lot. With two trips planned already for this year, it’s looking promising. Expect a lot of posts on Amsterdam, Cambodia and Vietnam this year. I’ve got an awesome project I’m going to be working on in CoLab week – The Tempest. And of course there is our end of year show. But for now though, I want to talk about what I’m wanting to focus on this year. For the most part of last year I was a person who had dreams. Dreams that I worked endlessly to achieve. Dreams that I’m now living. Yes there were setbacks and yes it was a waiting game but I got there in the end. Some dreams are still yet to be accomplished. When you get to drama school, nobody actually tells you how hard it is going to be. Yes we all fought for our places here but the fight didn’t end there. It’s still ever much apparent now. The fight is inside of you. It’s a fight of commitment and hard work. one that you’re reminded of every single day. You can’t just sit back and go along for the ride, you have to want it. It’s a drive that has to come from within you. I think my family and a lot of people out there that are unknown in the field of work I do think that I just prance around all day, and whilst to some extent that is true, the process and journey behind it all is much more broad.

Now, one thing I am guilty of not doing so much last year is giving thanks for what I already have. After a late night angel card reading in my second home, Nikki’s flat aka OUR flat, telling me to be grateful for what I have; I have therefore decided that I’m going to make it a concerted effort to do just that. Funnily enough in the same reading it told me to start writing more. A thought I had been pondering for a while. 

Coincidence?

To start off with I’d like to give thanks to the amazing family I have who offer me endless support no matter what the situation. Each and every one of you hold a special spot in my heart. Even when I’m at my darkest hour I know you will always be there and I for you. Next I’d like to give thanks to my beautiful friends both old and new. It’s in the little moments of life that I look back on and smile with glee. You’ve all put joy in my heart and we’ve picked each other up and put that bounce back in each other’s steps. We are there for each other even if the road ahead looks foggy and we start to question whether we’ll actually pull through. It’s in you that my trust and faith lies, for I know we’ll just keep rolling on taking one step at a time. Together. I’d like to give thanks to the people who believed in me. The people who put confidence in you are the best sort of people. They give you hope and let you know that you CAN do it. Sometimes we all need a little bit of a push and a reminder of why we do what we love. A lot of this love has come from my teachers over the years. I think knowing that someone has your back and is rooting for you is endearing and needed. We all need that one person that helps you in your path. I happen to have many and this can come from anything. Take my acting classes for example. Acting is the one area I have the least confidence in and sometimes it gives me low-key anxiety and I never understand why but I persevere and its in them moments I am most thankful. This happened to me when rehearsing for my duologue last term. I just so happened to do the best out of my disciplines in acting last term, so I guess you could say I’m improving. 

I’m trying to find different ways of saying ‘I’d like to give thanks to..’ but I am failing. 

Nonetheless I will move onto my next thought of appreciation. I’m thankful for the little things in life from the cup of tea I sip before leaving for uni each morning to my education – something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Here in the UK you have so many opportunities and possibilities available to you that’s not necessarily available to you in other countries, but you don’t always appreciate it. I’m thankful for the literature in all forms that I happen to own for continuously adding wisdom into my life and allowing me to visit places of my imagination like a 5-year-old again. I’m thankful for its ability to relate our realms of reality into one through its characters and story-lines. I’m thankful for the laughter in life – there’s nothing I love more than just having a big old laugh. It’s what life is all about. I, like many people out there, get too focused on the future and what it should bring that I sometimes forget to just live my life. 

Which is quite controversial seeing as though I started this blog post wanting to talk about my aspirations for the new year… awks. how cliché of me I hear you roar.

Moving swiftly on, I’d like to give thanks for the kindness of strangers who can brighten up anyone’s day just when you least expect it. Its little things like holding the door open or moving to let you sit down on the tube that can really make the difference to what was a miserable day. Upon returning to London I had lost my key for my flat. The receptionist let me in that night. Coming down in the morning another member of staff was there. I explained the situation and he decided to help me out. I think his exact words were ‘Because its a miserable Monday morning I’ll borrow you this temporary key for a week so you have time to find your old key and if not come back and I’ll replace it for you.’ 

I didn’t actually end up finding it in the end though. I’m a total klutz what can I say. 

Right now I’m thankful for life and all it brings. For the experiences I’m experiencing right this moment and those in time to come. I’m thankful for its challenges which enable me to grow and learn. Life has already predetermined my fate but it’s up to me to carve my path to get to that endpoint. Yes I will make mistakes and yes there will be tears but that’s the beauty of it. Its special and its mine.sunshine-300


With that in mind I’m hopeful for my future. Yes I’ll have a plan but what I wont be doing is making everything fit it. I’m open to new things and opportunities and I’m trying to stick to my ‘If you’re presented with offers, take them’ idea this year as sometimes the best decisions in life are those that come from spontaneity. January has been welcoming thus far and I hope the rest of 2017 will be as warm as this present month. In just 2 nights sleep there will be a new month with new opportunities. I implore you all to relish in what it brings and most of all, find happiness in everything you do. 

Stay positive you never know whats waiting for you just around the corner.

After reading this back, my gratitude section sounds a lot like my Oscar winning speech. Hey at least I’m prepared..

For more like this click here.

 Christmas break.

Christmas. My favourite time of year. A time for family. A time for friends. A time for food and a time for alcohol. Or in my case, a lot of it.

I decided to stay a little while longer after my course had finished to get some hours in at work before heading home. But the day had finally came and I was up for 7am. With my suitcase fully packed and my flask of tea in my hand I made my way to the station. I boarded the train to London Victoria and from there I headed towards the Coach station. Unfortunately my suitcase decided that it wasn’t going to be my friend that day and made a special effort to embarrass me in public. The wheel had broken. Luckily I still had 3 left to transit with. However, every time I walked 10 yards it would make this hauntingly dreadful screech that had on-goers looking at me as if to say ‘Can you not?!‘  With a ‘fuck you all‘ attitude I proceeded on my journey to the coach station. I had made it.

My coach on the other hand hadn’t.

Instead of departing at 10:30 am, I eventually departed at 11:11am. Yes I made my wish. Leaving the magical moment in the past, the megabus set off and I now made my way out of London. The bus was several hours long but for the price of £3.50 I couldn’t complain. It gave me a chance to self reflect and get a few bits of my work completed. Also a spot of reading never goes a miss – read more kids, it’s a joy.

I eventually ended up back in Runcorn waiting for my ride home. My mum came to pick me up. Shoving my suitcase into the boot, I hopped right on in and we made our way back to my home of 19 years. Driving through the lovely town that is Runcorn, I looked out of my window seeing all it has to offer. For the record, not that much. First we drove past Chambers, a bar I’d be spending a couple of nights in over the Christmas break. Driving a little further, we stumbled across ‘The Royal’ a pub I love. They regularly play the oldies and Whitney. That pub brings out dance moves I didn’t even know existed inside of me. It’s great. Waving it goodbye, we made our way home.

Whilst my bedroom had been turned into a part-time laundry room, my room was pretty much still the same. The living room was still as cosy as ever with the fireplace lit and the warm orange tones of the furnishings giving off autumnal vibes. I took a seat on the couch and took a sip of my cup of tea. It was good to be home.

That night I slept like a baby. The best sleep I’ve had in ages. The next day my Nan and Grandad came round to the house. It was so nice to finally see their faces after so long: after a few hours passed I decided to go the pub with them both. The night was filled with many vodka lemonades and chats about the past and how the good old days were. I spent quite a few nights in The Grapes with my grandparents over the Christmas break. It was cute. I especially enjoyed my visits to their home and days out with them both.

Over the next few weeks I spent my time seeing my family and seeing friends. I also spent a lot of it working at my old job. I missed Burger King and my favourite shift was when myself, Sophie and Lucy were working together again after being away at uni across the country. It was good to finally be back together again.

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I decided to be nice this year and buy gifts for my family. Some sentimental and some not. I took my sister to go and see ‘Sweet Charity’ at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. This was just a good show. The cast were phenomenal!!! Every year I help my Nan out with her gift wrapping, she always has everything ready for each person. She’s good like that. I love being in their home; it’s just something about the pair of them, they bicker and moan but they love each other and it’s funny to watch. They both wind each other up and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve almost spat my cup of tea out when they’re telling me a story or a joke. Eggheads is a must when watching the tv with them, my Grandad always says ‘I’ll beat the lot of them.’ I swear if they had their own little sketch/sitcom they’d be brilliant.

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Christmas dinner was at our house for the first time in years. I was in charge of making the mulled wine; it went down well. The evening was filled with laughter and love. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Whilst I didn’t get to spend New Year’s Eve with my friends, due to the fact I was babysitting my sister Tilly, I did see them numerous times over the holidays. Although it felt like I hadn’t seen them at all. But the time we did spend together was special! From the drunken nights out to the chilled out drives, it was all amazing. Even if I did get wasted a few times. At least we were wasted together! There was a time when I feared for my life and that was in the front passenger seat of Beth’s car. We were making our way towards the Trafford Centre. Everything was going fine until about half an hour in. Beth took the wrong exit 3 times and it felt like we were driving to nowhere and back again. Changing lanes on a motorway has got to be the scariest thing I’ve ever witnessed especially in Beth’s car. Fortunately we never crashed, though my heart still felt like we had. Pulling up into the parking space I quickly undone my seatbelt and rushed out of the car for fresh air. I hope our next journey there is less problematic.

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I did however finally get to see Kloe and Becky! I hadn’t seen them the last time I was down and I was looking forward to seeing them like crazy. We all met up for Nick’s birthday at a cute Italian restaurant where we sipped endlessly on the fresh wine whilst eating our main meal. It reminded me of being in New York’s Hard Rock Cafe. An experience only the four of us can begin to explain. It was eventful and it was hilarious. It was good to be back in their presence. We then met up in Manchester, to play mini golf – Nick’s idea! I was late as usual, delayed trains are not my friends. Klo Klo came to my rescue and saved me from getting lost. Junkyard Golf Club was giving me jungle vibes and in the end I won the tournament. I guess you could call me a jock. We decided to celebrate the victory in Nandos. During the 20 minute wait for a table Nandos, on this particular evening, were playing some funky melodies. One couldn’t help but freestyle to it. I think the four of us would agree that that moment was special. We rounded off the night by checking out a few of the student bars and heading back to Klo’s flat where pizza and Harry Potter awaited us. Of course we didn’t actually get to finish the film, because Grandad Nick gave a running commentary throughout the whole duration of the movie.

I was in charge of the alarms. Big mistake. We were supposed to get up at 10am. But I Snoozed the alarm..

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Failing to make our booked train, we boarded the next one and made our way back to Priestley College. We wanted to pop in and say our hello’s and goodbyes before heading off back to Uni. It was so nice to be back there – a place where we became friends and a family all in one. Sarah invited us into the staff room for tea AND biscuits. Cute I know. I could have stayed there all day, its like a second home to me.

But eventually, I had to return back to London. Due to the fact of my suitcase being broken I had to haul everything I brought down with me back in my back pack. I could barely walk in it, it was that heavy. NEVER AGAIN. I wont over pack next time. Consider it a lesson learnt.

Whilst my friends from back home may not be here with me everyday, I know they’ll always be there when I need them and I the same for them. It’s little things like seeing their tweets or late night facetimes to messaging them every now and then that consolidates this. I may be far away, but if any of you are reading this, know that I’m always with you in your hearts.

And every single one of you has just majorly cringed at that ending but hey ho that’s just who I am. This Christmas was a blessing and I intend to make this year one too.

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It’s supposed to say “4 Musketeers”

 

 

Flat mates.

Moving to London in the beginning was turning out to be quite stressful. I had secured my accommodation but the move in date was 10/9/16 6 days after I was due to leave for the big smoke. Luckily I managed to bag myself a cheap deal on Airbnb.com. In the end I was sharing with two young travellers who just so happened to be brother and sister.

Arriving at the Cutty Sark I had a small suitcase with me, a ginormous hold-all bag and 2 other bags. Yes that’s right, I looked like the biggest nob to grace this planet. And to top it all off I was lost. I did a complete circle around the area and ended up having to be picked up by the home’s host. Not my finest moment I can tell you that. 

I’ve never been that good at orienteering to be honest.

Upon getting into my home for the next 2 nights I threw my stuff down giving my back and shoulders a solid rest. This felt awesome. But as they say ‘no rest for the wicked’ I quickly neatened myself up and made my way to the first freshers event. Everything was going smoothly. 

That is, until I returned home.

Me being me, in my not so sober state of mind, couldn’t for the life of me open the door to the flat. This meant I had to awake my flatmates. Bearing in mind I hadn’t even met them yet and it was 3am in the morning. Whilst they said it wasn’t a problem and that the door was difficult to open due to a fault I still felt extremely embarrassed and guilty. But they were really nice people and they were moving on, on their journey the next day. Meaning I had the house to myself. 

My first real slice of independence.

I, too, was moving on, on my journey. To save me some costs, my lovely friends and lifesavers, Christy and Danni, opened up their home to help me out. They were the best and made the transition to London a lot easier. It really does help having someone you know down here.

September 10th arrived and my Mum and my Gramps travelled down with all of my moving in stuff to take to my new home for the year. Carting everything from the car up to the 7th floor did prove to be quite strenuous and tiring but we did it in the end. They had to get back though and I tried my best to organise my room as much as possible before getting ready to go out for my birthday. Lets drink to Venue and the amazing yet embarrassing night that I’ve talked about in one of my earlier posts.

I can’t really complain about my accommodation at chapter, there’s an onsite gym, I have my own en suite and a nice open plan kitchen. I have the best housemates. It’s quite nice to be living with non musical theatre people, it opens up possibilities to try new things you may not get to experience in a more ‘stagey’ household.

Living next door to me there’s the wonderful woman that is Temi. Temi is Korea obsessed and it just so happens that one of our housemates is from South Korea 🇰🇷 Stella or Sujin in her Korean name! She’s studying at Goldsmiths in the media department whereas Temi is studying Fashion Journalism at UCA Epsom. I guess you can say we’re on the more creative courses in the household. Then there’s Miranda who lives the next room down from Temi and she’s doing a financial masters degree. Next door to her is Stef who’s doing a business degree at Kings. 

I guess I’ve became the closest to Temi and Stef as they’re both my age and first years. They’re my gym buddies and we do a lot of stuff together. Shopping for groceries together is always fun; Stef has now cut out sugar in her diet so it’s hard picking a desert when eating together. We cooked Thanksgiving  dinner together – that turned out well even if we did undercook it and risk possible food poisoning. Fortunately though, we all turned out just fine. We also had Christmas dinner together prepping everything from scratch, I even marinated and seasoned the chicken. Someone, god knows who, decided it was a good idea to cook the chicken on the top shelf in the oven. 

BIG mistake.

This video sums up the experience.

In the end it turned out amazingly well and it was a good old laugh in the process. In the first few weeks Miranda cooked us all a traditional Chinese meal – which was such a nice treat. However I must say my favourite by far has to be the sample Stella let me try. All I know was that it was porkbelly and a whole lot of other stuff wrapped in a lettuce leaf. It was like heaven in my mouth. So many flavours exploded – it was delicious!

It’s going to be quite sad when we depart after this year, but I know I’ll definitely keep in touch. But for now though, here’s to making amazing memories and getting fit together in this new year. 

I love you all.

My trip to the farm.

After my last few posts having a hint of melancholy in its material, I’ve decided to write about a happy time near the end of 2016. After a long day of work, I came home and made myself a well deserved cup of tea. I was joined in the kitchen, this particular night, by Stef who was making oats – she lives, breathes and sleeps oats, I swear. We told each other about our day, like we do on several occasions, and she mentioned the idea of visiting a farm. At first I was like a farm? In the city? Yeah right?

It’s hard to believe I know.

But I was intrigued and was left wanting to know more. I had nothing else planned the next day and I figured a bit of animal loving was just what I needed to keep my spirits high. We awoke bright and early and made our way to the bus station to catch our bus to Vauxhall. Stef proceeded to tell me the WORST joke in the world, she’s good at that. Her bubbly persona makes up for it though and it’s a trait we all love about her. So if you’re reading this Stef maybe a career in stand up comedy isn’t quite for you 😉 The bus journey lasted a little over an hour but it was nice to get out of our neighbourhood and explore the city together. A vow myself, Stef and Temi have decided to make more of this year – Three Musketeers and all. The journey was over in no time and we were making our way towards the farm to meet some of Stef’s classmates from Kings. Shout out to Sangeeta and Sonja, you were both lovely.

The entrance was the most adorable thing ever. It had a childlike feel to it, splashing bursts of colour onto a white canvas. It was extremely inviting and of course I stepped right on in. With it being the Christmas season there was a special set created that resembled that of a Nativity. Ahead of me in the pen was a donkey and children’s nativity costumes ready to be used. It took me back to playing a shepherd and the Angel Gabriel back in my younger years. My inner 6-year-old was dying to hop over the fence and squeeze into the tunic.

After rationalising with this idea for a moment or so I decided to navigate my way to the alpaca’s. This was one of Stef’s main reasons for coming. Each alpaca was very different in character. Like with all families there is always the greedy goblin of the bunch. In this instance that would be Stef. Stef’s alter ego was there that day, in true alpaca form.

Meet Stef…

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The other two could barely stand a chance next to that powerhouse however they loved being petted. FUN FACT: An alpaca’s wool is much softer than its often mistakenly identified species – Llamas; whose fur is much more rough and coarse.

There was one in particular alpaca who reminded me a lot like all the DIVAS I know. He really was channelling his inner vogue. YASSSSS!

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Being on the farm for those few hours I was, enabled me to truly love life and all it has to offer. It’s little spontaneous trips like these that count. It was a really cute day. I felt like this was our secret magical place. I got to pet so many farm animals and relax at the same time. A lot of universities are now using this as a tool to help relieve students from exam stress, Bath Spa University being one of them. This is a really effective way to reduce stress levels. It helps you forget about your worries for an hour or two. I’d highly recommend, its cheap, its fun and you can snap some really great photos! The staff there at Vauxhall City Farm were all wonderful and helped out a lot, answering any queries we had. You can even volunteer at the farm and help with it’s daily duties. I found myself not wanting to leave, there was something nostalgic about the whole day that stuck with me since. It took me to a place in my childhood exploring the forests and going to Walton Gardens to visit the animals. It was special. I encourage all you animal lovers out there to visit this magical place. You’re never too old to be a 6-year-old again.

Feelings of uncertainty: where is my closure?

Not knowing where you stand with people can sometimes be the hardest thing to wrap your head around. Especially when you’re giving 100% and they’re giving 75%. This topic is quite a personal one to me as I don’t feel as though I gained any closure from this situation, I’m still quite confused and questioning what exactly was it that I did wrong? But hopefully by the end of this post I’ll gain some sort of closure as I believe when you write your feelings down or say them out loud, you’re making yourself very vulnerable by laying it all out on the table. It’s out of your body. And from this I can now utilise it and do what I wish with this material. That’s how I like to deal with things and it works for me so I’m sticking by it.

Do fairy tales even exist?

Like with many stories of heartache, this involves a boy. For these purposes let’s refer to him as R.

So R and I had been speaking for a solid two months ish near enough every day and then it kind of went down hill from there. I’m just warning you, you’re probably going to think of me as naive after you read this article but I don’t regret any of my feelings that I felt during the time. Whilst they were part of the reason I was feeling a bit low towards the end of 2016, I think every person has to go through it in order to spot out your Princes’ from your frogs. And yes two months is a very short time, however it felt like forever when we spoke everyday, near enough.

I was quite drawn to this guy, he seemed exciting and fun whilst at the same time being sincere and charming. We’d have endless conversations finding out about each others lives and what interests us the most. Yes the conversations got saucy. That was inevitable but I felt like I was actually getting to know this guy on a serious level. So I asked him how he’d feel about me taking him on a date. He was into it and so was I. With him working and me studying and working it was proving difficult to find a time we were both free. So we played it cool for a little while. We were getting to know each other more and more. I wanted to meet him and so a few weeks later we discussed the matter again. He sort of gave me a blunt answer and in hindsight I should have saw it as a red light, but I being both foolish and smitten was clinging onto the idea that maybe, just maybe I’ll get my happy ending.

DISCLAIMER: For the record I was by no means in love. I was just in love with the idea of him and wanted to go with the natural flow of life and see where it took me. I sound crazy haha, but hey aren’t we all?

This is when I started noticing he was being a bit standoffish with me and I couldn’t pin point why. He’d already told me he couldn’t make the date for various reasons and I was simply like “Ok no that’s fine. I totally get it. You want to focus on work. Just let me know when you’re free and we’ll sort something out if you want” or something along those lines and he agreed. So after asking a few times and him coming up with excuses, I decided that I wasn’t going to do the chasing anymore, If he wanted to hit me up cool, if not also cool. I wasn’t that fussed either way. So, the conversations drew shorter and by that point, I was nearing my end in London before heading home for Christmas. Then as with all my mistakes, I got drunk one night whilst home and messaged him basically saying “So whats happening then?”. I didn’t really get an answer. Then New years Eve came and I wished him a happy new year only to find out he’d blocked me. Even now I don’t get why he didn’t just give me an explanation as to why he’d strung me along for the months he did, or so it seems looking back in reflection.

This is probably around about the time you’re thinking – wow what a dumb fuck. But what you have to understand is that when you start speaking to someone new its fun, its daring and its exhilarating. I felt emotionally and mentally drained. The more you spend getting to know a person the more they fit into your perfect little bubble or not in some cases. Well that’s how I see it anyway. I guess you could call me a hopeless romantic but I think deep down we all are at one point or another in our human lives. We’re all searching for that fairy tale ending and I thought I was on the right track with this guy. And yes you can judge me, its natural we all do it. But I don’t for one second regret any of my feelings or writing this post. It’s how I felt at the time and it’s a true and honest reflection on my behalf. And as I have always said – Everything happens for a reason. It’s now about moving forward and maybe not putting a taste of my heart on the line as much.

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With writing this post I am by no means wanting to present him in a negative light, I simply wrote this because as I said earlier, it was one of the reasons I was feeling discontent as I mentioned in my previous post. Maybe one day he will read this and give me an explanation but for now I’m left with just two options. So maybe he just wasn’t that interested or maybe he found someone else. But if you are reading this, I wish you all the happiness you can get. Even if you were a bit of a dick in the end. If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation in the past, comment/like on this post or message me with how you felt. It’s important to be open on matters that impact your life – the good, the bad and the ugly. Embrace it all, our flaws are what make us human.

Job-Hunting.

Coming to London being the small town boy that I am has definitely opened my eyes up in regards to the outer world. There’s so much more to life than just that of your inner circles. Whilst still being employed at my old job for temp/holiday work I was now on the job hunt in London. I didn’t exactly know what I was getting myself into when I was applying for these jobs, I just knew it was event work and it should be fun. Or not, in some cases.

So after a few weeks of searching for the right company I bagged myself an interview for a hospitality and events company. The interview/training process was fairly straightforward and easy to complete. Upon getting the job immediately I was asked to work at a film premiere, I missed my opportunity with that one because I had plans later on in the evening. Nonetheless, shifts were available at the ready for whenever I wanted to work. I’ve worked in all sorts of places ranging from sit down dinners at The Roundhouse in Camden to Drinks and Canapés at the National Gallery to working private parties in beautiful homes and a few sports stadiums across the area.  Each were very, very different and over time my skills at clearing plates have become a lot more efficient. Safe to say I started knowing next to nothing, and whilst I still know next to nothing I feel like I’m a bit more equipped in party etiquette and fine dining. Hear, hear!

I think what is most important is how easy it is to actually get a job here. I’m the first to admit it’s not the best job in the world but it’s pretty handy working for an agency especially when you’re a musical theatre student because you can pick and choose when you want to work. I’ve met some really cool people working at the different places I have and quite a lot of them have been aspiring actors/students themselves. Which is another thing about living in the city, you will never be alone. Whilst some people hate the noise, I find it quite soothing knowing I’m surrounded by it. The ambience can be rather relaxing when you’re winding down, book in hand and a cup of tea on your bedside cabinet. You get lost in the moment and for me that moment is simply beautiful.

Coming to London I didn’t want to just live off my student loan, I guess I’ve just always wanted to earn my own money. That’s going back to the tender age of 13 when I had my first job. Drum roll please… A Newspaper Boy. This job lasted me until college (4 years) so I must have liked it for some reason or another. Every Wednesday the newspaper would be delivered to my house and I’d aim to have them distributed by the Friday but in most cases I’d leave them until Saturday. Shoot me. Every single Wednesday night I’d spend at least an hour pushing leaflets inside them and folding them up into my bright fluorescent yellow bag that sat nicely on a dark blue trolley. Tragic. Try traipsing it around dodging people you might know in the streets, so much fun I assure you. About a year into delivering I took on another round making a grand total of 325 houses. My mum was often called upon to help with the folding, and sometimes delivering, which she hated. I recall one summer I practically took on the round of the whole of my town, Runcorn. Myself and my twin brother, Jason, must have taken on at least 9 round between us both, all with varying house totals of 100 and above. It earned me a lot of cash though, at least at that age it seemed. I was glad when that summer was over. One time I just had had it with delivering newspapers, so I left my house saying goodbye to my parents and trotted off on my rounds. Or so they thought. What I had actually done was sneak off into my garden and chucked the newspapers over the fence. I thought I was a genius. Little did I know that my mum was watching me the whole time. Ashamed of being caught in the act, I was forced to retrieve them and follow through with my rounds. I returned home with feelings of despair, annoyance and guilt. But what was awaiting me was much worse. The dreaded two words. YOU’RE GROUNDED.

Ok, cut me some slack I was 14. I’m allowed to be dramatic.

Moving onto college; I decided to take a more pro active job approach. This was only temporarily though. I decided to combine my acting skills and put them to good use. It was October half term and I was now spending my nights in a field filled with scares and terrors. SpookyWorld. I’d go to work each night prepared to spook things up. It was my home for the next few weeks. CarnEvil was a dysfunctional household filled with creepy clowns, a ringmaster and crying spinsters. It was our job to ensure the guests had the fright of their lives. This was a really fun experience and I got to work with some old friends and some new friends. Shout out to you crazy people, it was a blast! However I do not miss the endless nights I spent afterwards sipping lemsip because of the loss of my voice from screaming all night.

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Which brings me onto my next job; a job that I’ve grown to love and equally grown to hate. The joy that is fast food – Burger King to be exact. A job that I’ve kept for nearly 2 years now. With it being a new build I was with it from the beginning and so the warmth and family elements of the staff there is very much apparent and more importantly irreplaceable. I was sad to depart when leaving for uni, however returning there during the breaks and seeing my friends and coworkers (some old and some new) it was delightful. Kind of like I had never left.

But for now it’s back to my current job. After all my two trips this year aren’t going to fund themselves. Amsterdam, Cambodia and Vietnam here I come.

Until next time.