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

We Must Stand Together

Everywhere I look I am reminded of the barbaric event that happened yesterday in Manchester. For those who aren’t up to speed, 22 people attending Ariana Grande’s concert in the Manchester Arena were killed by a fatal suicide bomb attack containing shrapnel injuring at least 59 others towards the end of the concert last night. Fans heard a loud explosion and rushed to safety out of the arena.

It has sickened me. I am disgusted and shaken by the ordeal. One thing I dont understand is WHY? 

Why did this happen? How could a human being do this to so many people? So many young people? But with everything that’s going on in the world, with the Westminster attacks still raw in our minds, we are left asking – when will it happen next?

It is crazy to think, how growing up as a child I wasn’t ever aware of terrorism but now it plays such a huge role in my life – especially since the recent attacks on Westminster where I was working 10 minutes away with the possibility of going on lockdown. We are now more aware of the happenings throughout the wider world whether you choose to believe it is actually happening or not. Manchester is a city on edge. We are a global nation on edge. It shouldn’t be this way.

This is how terrorism wins.

What’s beautiful to see out of this is the community spirit within Manchester after the horrific attack. I’ve viewed countless posts on social media of people offering help and aid to the victims of the attacks from transportation to hospitality. Police officers off duty came out to help the city and the emergency services did an amazing job in helping the victims and continue to do so on the ongoing investigation.

There has been many vigils taking place across the country to show support and give love to the victims, their family and their friends. My love and support reach out to all affected by this horrific event. Upon hearing the news I contacted the many friends I have living in Manchester including my twin brother urging them to stay safe in the city. This is a topic so close to home for me and being away from home has highlighted the need for community spirit.

But one thing we mustn’t do, not only in the UK but around the world, is stop living our lives. We have to carry on and stop the ongoing fear we all have. This is how terrorism wins. They want to divide us as a nation and we cannot allow this to happen. Our communities must remain cohesive and strong – just like how we’ve seen demonstrated at the different vigils taking place today. All communities from all backgrounds whether that be gender, age, race and religion came together to unite.

We Must Stand Together.

The attacker has been identified and already I’ve seen racist and Islamophobic comments about the event all across social media. To me this is just as barbaric as the actual attack. The evil in their words disgust me. Know that is is not Islam or Muslims that caused this attack. It was one of extremism. Evil exists in every community – the world should recognise this. But the world must also live harmoniously together. Through faith and strength we can achieve this goal.

With ISIS claiming victory on Manchester, another militant group, known as Maute, linked to the terrorist group have strikes attack on the Phillipene Marawi City. Civilians have been urged to stay indoors. ISIS flags have been raised in several areas in the city including hospitals, government establishments and police cars. Women not wearing a Hijab are being taken away and several are injured. Whilst we send our support to Manchester we must also reach out and send it to the Phillipeanes at this terrible time.

The world needs you.

If you’re reading this, grab yourself a cup of tea and get a good night’s sleep. Know that tomorrow everything will be a tiny bit better. You must carry on and you have to put on a brave face and smile. Hug your friends and your family – hug a stranger.

Fight back with love and stand united together. 

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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