Monday, February 22, 2010

Auditions Woes and Fractured Plans


With my Spelling Bee audition coming up on sunday I am beginning to stress out a little bit about audition songs. Why am I finding it so hard to choose one? Even after an incredibly helpful chat to ice cream about it, I'm still yet to settle upon my 'uptempo' song. *sigh*
I'm finally having a bit of a relaxing day today after a lot happening in a short amount of time. I've done absolutely zilch today which makes me quite happy. I'm just about to write a couple of chapters of my book once this blog is updated (yes, I am using you, Mr. Blog, as a writing exercise this morning) and possibly read for a while after that. I'm really feeling at the moment that there simply are not enough days in the week. With ballet, singing, YABC, tap, work, random extra work, auditions, and trying to see people I'm struggling to find any time to breathe. Oh well. I can't say I don't like being busy, on the contrary, I love it really. If things aren't busy I don't know what to do with myself, so stop complaining Emily and enjoy it!
I'm also keeping my mind occupied with worries about future plans. I haven't explained what's going in with my ' baguette' section of this blog so here I go. My plan was to work in France for a couple of months this year as an au pair, but things are changing and I'm not sure whether I should still go. If I do, I won't be getting the full year of training in that I need. If I don't, I don't know when the opportunity will arise again. I suppose France isn't going anywhere...

I've been thinking a lot as well about the great friendships I have at the moment. I've spent a lot of my time throughout high school worrying about friendships with people who haven't made any effort to keep the friendship going, and with the people I am around now I realise how pointless is all is. Friendships aren't meant to be difficult: that's the whole point of them. They just work, you don't need to try hard or constantly be boosting the friendship further, it just goes on it's own accord. I'm lucky to have my three very best friends all the way from grade five still with me and still like family to me, and I'm even luckier now to be spending time with more people who make me feel appreciated and loved. These friendships just work. Of course, everyone still struggles to create relationships where maybe there shouldn't be one and I do too, but I'm stepping back now and simply acknowledging the futileness of it all, and just enjoying those people who are simply my friends to the deepest sense of the word.

Oh, I thought I'd mix things up a bit today and post a bit of a story for you all. I've been doing these writing exercises before delving into my book, where I find the word of the day in my iPhone dictionary (very handy app) and writing a page-length story based on that word. The point is to not self-edit at all, just to let whatever comes out onto the page come out. It frees up the mind really well, and helped me ditch that irritating writers' block I had for a while. So to you writers out there who are stuck a bit, try this, it really helps, and improves your vocabulary at the same time! It's a win win!!

So here you go. This story was based on the word pecuniary, which means 'relating to monetary matters".
Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to comment. If you like it, I'll post some more.

Pecuniary

Frederick was a man of pecuniary and numerical matters. He loved numbers. Anything with numbers, that was his penchant. Oddly enough, he didn’t do any maths subjects in school, nor in university. It was a sudden and insurgent interest that had only made itself clear in his older, more dignified years. When his previous hobbies had all become far too immature, Frederick had discovered the joy of trigonometry, Pythagoras’ theorem and probability.

He had his numerical and pecuniary schedule of course. Every morning he would start of by opening his puzzle book to the newest Sudoku puzzle. That would be finished in – on his worst day – ten minutes at most. His next challenge was the daily puzzles in the newspaper. He would skip the riddles, the word patterns and the scrambles and go straight to the numerical pyramid that could easily be solved in a few, well thought out minutes. He would then go about his day, feeling as if he had sated a portion – if a small portion at that – of his very nearly insatiable numerical hunger. When the day was out, and he had used maths as many times as possible to solve his daily problems, he would settle down with a cup of hot chocolate and his favourite cinnamon cookie and begin to settle his pecuniary matters. His daily budgeting was an important part of his life, and he had an extensive software program designed solely to keep his monetary affairs in order. He would record his expenses, input his earnings, balance his profits, manage debts (though there were very few), plan his daily budget, and finally put aside a few dollars in a ceramic blue mug on his desk for a treat. That mug would purchase him a special chocolate bar, or maybe a new pair of mittens.

As is quite clear from Fredericks schedule, numbers and money are among the top priorities in his life, the next few being punctuality, and general if not excessive politeness. He had no patience for other things, least of all relationships. He had no friends to speak of, unless you counted your puzzle book a friend. His family had moved to Switzerland out of the blue, quite unbeknown to Frederick who had prepared the turkey for the family Christmas only to find that no one was home. But he didn’t mind too much. Families were too noisy, and far too ignorant of the importance of budgeting and maths. A wife would be too eager to splurge on a holiday, or perhaps a new dress. The children would always be wanting new things, and his little treat mug would be gone in an instant, snatched up by their greedy little hands for tuckshop money or a new yoyo that would break after two days. Clearly, Frederick had his life sorted out quite well, thank you very much, and needed no family or friends to make him happy. All he needed were his numbers, his hot chocolate and his budget software. Oh and his job. He wouldn’t know what to do if he didn’t work. He was an accountant (of course) although he hadn’t been his whole life. But he tried not to dwell on his past, rather embarrassing obsession with professional trombone playing. Accounting was all that mattered now. And numbers. And budgeting. And his hot chocolate.

At the end of his day, Frederick would close his budgeting software, clean his mug, dust the crumbs off his nightshirt and slip into bed. The light would be switched off and Frederick would let his mind drift off on a cloud of prime numbers and nearest decimal points. After all, Frederick was a man of numeric and pecuniary matters.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's turkey lurkey time.

As requested by a specific someone whose code name is officially ice cream, here is my next post.

So I started back at YABC last night. It felt good to be back but I can tell already that it will be different. Changes are occuring, the group is getting bigger and unfortunantly the songs aren't great, although we're doing Spelling Bee which should be great fun. Funnily enough I'm also auditioning for Spelling Bee with PLOS productions, an amateur theatre group near my house, so fingers crossed I'll get in! But more on that later.
Aside from the changes, it was fantastic to see be with some friends again. Saw other half, polka, douser and dan which was great. Also got to sleep at preston's with manford whcih was great fun. And I recieved a lovely call from ice cream, spot, dan, and giggles which made me feel incredibly loved.
SO, that's quite a lot of codenames, right? Lets see if I can remember them all!
Other than that, YABC was actually quite beneficial. We had a great chat to one of the staff members whose leaving all about the business and really how INCREDIBLY difficult musical theatre is. But does it deter me? No. It scares me a bit, but it's a scary industry. But I love it too much to run away from it. I just hope I'm making the right choices.

I'm home now, just waiting for work to start at 3:30. Work has actually really picked up. I got offered two shifts with CPCA and I'm probably doing some English tuturing at my old school. So I'm starting to earn and save, but I'm still not sure if this money will go towards France. But wait - I haven't done a post about travelling yet have I? Well, I'd better make that the next one.


So long for now

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy birthday to you!

Hi there folks.
Today is my little sisters 14th birthday (am I the only one to be in shock that a little sibling is not really little anymore? When did she get so much older!) I didn't see her before school but we showered her in presents and a homemade cheesecake by my older sister, which made her very happy. We spent most of yesterday scrapbooking her a little mini album of her favourite things (including Charlie McDonald, Skander Keenes, and Jason Mraz) with plenty of buttons and ribbons added on for general attractiveness. She loved it. She also got the full collection of the show Extras, which, if you haven't seen some of it already, is quite hilarious. Favourites have to be the Orlando Bloom episode and the Daniel Radcliffe episode. If you haven't seen them, youtube them, they are quite hilarious.
Another one of her presents was that new wii game Just Dance which is an absolute laugh and terribly embarrassing to play but a lot of fun. Although it always manages to leave me yelling at the TV for not picking up my totally correct and stylish movements.
So happy birthday to my dear little sis!
On an unrelated note, I've been pondering the use of code names. To code or not to code, that is the question. It would be quite fun to assign some code names to my friends, so just for the sheer entertainment value...
Anyways, just a short post this time. Hope everyone's having a splendiferous day, and if you share a birthday with my sister as many people I'm sure do, Happy Birthday to you too! It's birthday wishes all around :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ballet Slippers: Creative ambitions

To start off with, let me just apologise for the unnecessarily large font of the last post. I'm still getting the hang of the website, after all :)

So I thought I'd give you all a little bit of insight into the Ballet Slippers part of my life. In essence, it is the most important part, really. I absolutely adore musical theatre with every theatrical bone in my body. The Liza Minelli's, Judy Garlands, Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly's inspire me to leap onto the stage and launch into a song and dance routine with a couple of tap steps thrown in. I only really started being interested in musical theatre after my Dad showed me our old VHS of Jesus Christ Superstar. After that I was hooked, and Jesus Christ Superstar has remained my all time favourite musical: thank you sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
At the moment, my life is about preparing for a career in musical theatre. I know how difficult it is to get into the industry (with performing parents I've grown up being warned about it) and I know that you can't rest on what skills you already have, you have to constantly be developing and growing and learning every day of your life. So, I've started Ballet, Tap and singing lessons, as well as continuing with my dance group YABC and hopefully doing some amateur theatre... well that's the plan anyway. Then, at the end of the year, I'll audition for WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) and will hopefully get in to the three year musical theatre course.
*sigh*. It's a bit of a mouthful really. Every time someone asks me what I'm doing this year, I launch into this explanation. Maybe I should just write a pamphlet and hand it out...

Anyway, back to the topic. I had my second ballet class yesterday. The first one doesn't really count as I had to leave after fifteen minutes for work and didn't even finish barre, but yesterday I got the full deal, and boy was it a workout. Ballet must have once been a medieval form of torture, judging from the way I can barely stand today. Too many pas de chat's and ronds de jambes can probably kill a person. But it's obviously incredibly good for my leg strength.
Also started singing yesterday. I've never actually had formal lessons in singing, just YABC and constant singing everywhere I go, so it was good to settle down into some technique. I already did my practice today, being the vigilant girl I am, but I think I'll forgo my routine daily stretches today.

So I'm giving my first question to any readers out there. (Although first I should probably check that I even have readers, but what's the use of a blog if you don't throw yourself out into the void that is the internet once in a while?) To any of you musical theatre ambitionees out there, what are you doing to prepare for your career? I mean, really, this industry doesn't need prerequisites like others do, it's the talent that gets you through, but everyone starts somewhere and I'm curious to know where you all start. So leave a comment, if you have something to say. I can talk about it a little bit in my next Ballet Slippers blog. I hope to hear from you!
Until next time...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Books the First

So here's the dealio: I've been working on a novel for a couple of years now. It's a fantasy children's novel called The Twelve that I begun at the end of 2006 (when I was in year nine). I'm in the process of editing the fourth draft (I'm up to chapter ten! Only twenty three more to go!) and hopefully I'll be starting to look at getting it published in a few months time.
So if you're wondering why it took me so long to actually get the book to this stage, it's because I could only really write it during the school holidays. It started out, I suppose, as a sort of way to pass the holidays on days where I wasn't doing much. One day, before christmas, I grabbed a notebook and pen and walked up to the coffee shop on the corner. With a milkshake in hand, I just started to write, and from then on, the story just took control and wrote itself.
For people who don't write fiction, it's easy to doubt that a story writes itself. It sounds a bit clich├ęd really, but I swear on all of my most treasured notebooks that the story really did have a life of it's own. I basically figured out the story as I went along, and a lot of the time the story would suggest plot-twists and dramatic situations to me with a few well-placed set-ups that just fit perfectly.
So here I am, three years later, still working on it. I already have plans for my next writing project which will be a children's series.
Anyway, I though I'd give you a little sample of my book, just a glimpse at the story. If you like it, give me a comment, if you don't, then that's that.

This is an extract from Chapter One of The Twelve...

"Arein let himself think about the day he met Aurius and tried to smile in response. The expression felt odd on his face and he soon dropped it. He wondered, dimly, how long it would be till he smiled again. Never, he thought. Probably never again.

The memories came flooding through as if taking their cue from that one small thought. Arein flinched inwardly, clamping his eyes shut and willing the memories away. But maybe he could deal with them now. Maybe he wouldn’t hurt so much if he allowed just one memory to leak through. He carefully gripped his heart with his mind, holding it as tightly as he could so that no pain could possibly filter through his fingers. The grip felt too tight, as if he was squeezing his whole stomach, but it was better than what he would feel without it. Hesitantly, Arein drew on a memory, pulling it from his mind as if it were made of glass. It was a harmless memory. It was the morning of the competition, before he had gotten involved in the mess he was now in, before he had seen…

The memory was whisked away and a new image filled his mind; his home, the kitchen wall smeared with red, the broken glass from the windows dusting the floor, the dark smudge on the counter…

Arein only felt one deep stab of pain before he blocked it out. He was getting better at it – practice makes perfect after all. The wall he was constructing in his mind was stronger now, strong enough to be tested. So he hadn’t been prepared for what the memory could trigger, but now he knew and his wall was ready.

For the second time, Arein drew the memory out. He kept the wall up as he closed his eyes and remembered. He could almost smell the bread his mother had been baking when he had woken. His favorite bread, with sesame seeds on top and pumpkin seeds inside, was sitting on a plate waiting for him. His mother looked so excited for him; she always liked to make a big event out of anything. He was so brave to be entering the competition, she would say, he needs all his favorite foods to give him good luck. Breony, her name was. The image of her standing at the kitchen bench, kneading a massive wad of bread dough, her curls springing from a messy bun, was still so vivid in his mind. Her tall slender figure, the small nose and olive-coloured skin that Dedea had inherited. Arein looked quite different to his mother but people always commented on the angled brown eyes that they both shared. Arein, they always said, looked like his father, but if you wanted to see a younger version of Breony you would look no further then little Dedea. His little sister loved being compared to Breony and would beg their mother to pin her curls up in the same way and buy her the same clothes. On occasion Breony had done just that, purchasing two white blouses and two maroon tunics, one pair a miniature of the other. Arein remembered how much Breony had laughed when Dedea, in her brand new outfit, had imitated their mother to near perfection. She had floated around the room humming Breony’s favourite song – a haunting melody that never seemed to have been given words – and puffing in mock anger when a curl came loose.

Arein tried to lock that image in his mind. The smiling face, the laughter, the little lines that would appear at the corner of Breony’s eyes that would betray her mirth even when she was trying so hard to be serious. His father Miran used to tease her, always making her laugh no matter how cross she had been. That smile, that image was exactly how he wanted to remember her.

So far so good, Arein thought dimly as he retreated from the vivid memories. If he could remember his mother without feeling the pain than the wall was working. His mind lingered on her face for a second more before he moved on. He remembered how after breakfast that day Dedea had begged him to take her to the traders’ stalls. He could see her face – hopeful and yet mischievous – gazing up at him. How she had always managed to look as if she was up to no good was beyond Arein. Even when she was on her best behavior she would smile, her big brown eyes lighting up, as though she knew something no one else did. Arein had smiled down at her and shook his head.

“Not today, Deds,” he said. “I’m busy.”

She had frowned and marched away, looking sulkily at their mother. She never liked being told that she couldn’t be with Arein. His little sister was only five years old, but she adored Arein and followed him everywhere. His mum often had to distract her, braiding her thick, curly brown hair while Arein slipped out the door with a grateful smile.

Arein quickly checked the mental barrier once more before turning his mind to the rest of the memory, to the rest of that day that had started it all."

Monday, February 15, 2010

We'll begin with a spin travelling in a world of my creation...

So here I am. Starting off on my very first blog, and most certainly following the lead of a few of my dearest friends. I had to really think for a while if I would be able to come up with interesting enough topics for people to read but eventually I found my theme: Books, Baguettes and Ballet Slippers.
Quite self explanatory? If not, let me explain.
I have three passions in life:
Books = writing and, of course, reading.
Baguettes = La france et la langue (France and the language) and travel, an experience I am soon to have.
Ballet Slippers = Quite simply, performance. Ballet is not my forte, I'll admit, but I needed something that started with B... Therefore the Ballet Slippers stand symbolic of my love for the stage, and most importantly, my love of Musical Theatre.

So there you have it. That's the true nature of this blog: to tell you all about these three passions of mine.
This is just a start off post, not really focusing on anything in particular, other than the fact that I am diving into the deep dark and seemingly endless world of internet blogging.
Gosh.