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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

On dreaming.

As an aside beforehand, this is the first post I've done from the Blogger app on my iPod Touch thingy. Hopefully it doesn't turn out weirdified. Guess we'll see.

Generally, I don't dream very much. At all. When I was younger, I would have said that I never did.

Of course, it's actually not that I don't dream, as I know - its actually that most of our dreams we have, we don't remember. Generally speaking, I won't remember a dream unless I wake up in the middle of it. And even then, I'll probably forget it fairly quickly.

I've got maybe a dozen dreams that I can remember, all up. All good ones. Don't seem to have nightmares much. But yeah, not too many. Interestingly, I've found it often the case that they seem to be somewhat mute dreams, as such...but anyway....

So yeah. I like it when I dream. I like it a lot. Probably relates into my love of the story and such, which probably means that I'm looking for some alternate life or something, I guess these psych dudes would say....who knows.

Probably some element of truth to that - I mean, I often think of putting myself inside of stories I read/hear/watch - but I usually come to the conclusion that I wouldn't give up the friends and experiences that I have had, do have and will have. Maybe that's a bit silly, maybe not. But you know, I suppose I hope that some day (ideally, soon - but as they say, God works to his own schedule) I'll be a better man, more of the person that I know I could be. Just need an opportunity, really.

And hopefully, somewhere in that mix of things, God has someone for me as well. *sigh* waiting is never fun. Though he's managed to at least make it reasonably busy for me. Which is something, I guess. But yeah. That would be.....oh, so many wonderful words....but, of course, come back to that which God chose: good.

And yes, I know. I seem to be always coming back to the same point, being repetitive, etc....
What can I say. This is what my mind always goes to when it doesn't have busyness to keep it distracted.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A small vent.


This is going to need a bit of backstory, so I'll start a bit earlier....

A while ago, I came across (I can't remember how) this acting thing. Basically, it was an acting opportunity. (I thought it was short films, it's actually short plays.) So you had to go for an audition. I was all pumped and ready for it, etc, and then I found out that I had a performance of The Unexpected Guest on the same day. So it wouldn't work.

Fast forward to about a week or so ago. I get contacted by them again asking if I'm still interested; they don't have enough guy actors. I say that'd be great, I meet up with the organiser. She shows me this play called in which this guy is basically teasing and tormenting these other three he's got imprisoned somehow. Casts me as Will, the teaser/tormentor (cause I can do a decent creepy voice).

Then we had our first practice/look at the scripts yesterday. Got to meet some of the other actors (fantastic bunch of guys, as an aside). It was immediately apparent that a couple of kinks needed to be ironed out in the script. They started changing up who Will was, into someone I wasn't quite so comfortable with. We finished up with that and I hung around, because they hadn't said if they would need me or not. I just watched the next one, but the one after it they asked me to read for it.

This one was a play based around the idea that there was only one cigarette left in the world. o_0 Seriously?! You could tell straight away that a young person had written it. The characters were underdeveloped and the plot was corny. But I read the part, like they asked me to. It was an easy part to do, so I was able to do it well straight up without any problems.

Fast forward to today. I thought I had better email them to check if they actually wanted me to play Carl, because they hadn't been explicit about that when I left (and they were short on guy actors, as I said). So I'd sent them that email last night. Today I get an email saying that they've gone over the first one, are changing it up a bit, and don't need me to play Will any more. ........ Then they tell me that I played Carl really well, and they want me to play him.


Yes, I'm a bit annoyed. Will was the part I was interested in. He was fun to play. Witty, smart, etc. Carl - is an idiot. He is easy to play. Ridiculously easy. As well as that, every third line or so of their dialogue has swear words in it. To be short, it's not a play that I'd be comfortable with either my friends or my family seeing me in, particularly some of my family - because I know some of them wouldn't be comfortable watching it!

Even if they take the swear words out - it's not a great play, honestly. It's just - yeah, it's annoying. :P


Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Jan Diaries - June 23rd

A ran into a little roadblock when considering the characters of Angell and Mrs Warwick Snr; because neither of these characters interact with Jan in the play, I was unsure as to how best proceed with them. For a start, what would Jan even call the latter? Just Mrs Warwick? Step-mother? Richard's mum? Perhaps even her unknown first name? (Though I have little problem with fabricating one, as I already made up a middle name for Jan. I toyed with the idea of making Jan short for Jansen, as well, but I thought just Jan worked better.) I have decided, for now, to just refer to her as Mrs Warwick (Snr.). I may decide to change this at some point in the future, but will mention it if so.
Oh, and Angell is male in this one. Like the original script, and unlike our performance of it.

* * *

The diaries of Jan Albert Warwick;
On the date of June the Twenty-Third.

Angell (Richard's butler/servant/lapdog) managed to actually address me today without calling me "Young Master Jan". Now he's removed the "young" off it. I'm nineteen now, I won't be called young. Nineteen. I'm sure Richard must have put him up to it. He wouldn't think of it himself.
And he didn't pass me the salt at dinner today. Laura had to ask for me. And he seemed somewhat reluctant when he did. I don't think Angell understands that he serves the family, not just the adults of the family, and certainly not just Richard. I'm sure Richard has a leash and bowl somewhere with Angell's name on it. It's ridiculous.

Mrs Warwick (Snr.) just sat on the front porch most of today. She does that sometimes. Whenever I ask her why, it's always a different answer. Well, at least she's inventive, I'll give her that. Sometimes it's "to hear the birds better," or, "to feel the winter wind on my face," or, "the flowers are just blooming. Aren't they beautiful, Jan?" Today, she was watching the leaves. She's done that before, but usually in Autumn, when they've fallen down on to the ground and are dancing in the wind like fire. That's what she called it, anyway. "Fire dancing, Jan," she'd say. "And the more that are dancing, the bigger the fire." They don't all fall to the ground, of course; we have some evergreens too. It creates an interesting contrast in the winter months when you have some trees green, some yellow and some bare. But today she was just watching them still on the trees. It was a bit windy, so they were still dancing, in a way. But a different sort of dance, I guess. More organised, since the tree kept all the leaves on it together. More of a sway than a wild flit here and there.
I'm not much of a dnacer, though Laura tries to get me to, sometimes. When it's a bit later, and she's had some drink, and she puts the records on the gramophone. But I don't like it that much. It's not that fun, to me. But she seems to like it. And Richard doesn't like it either. She can't really dance with Benny or Angell. That would be a bit strange. Julian comes over and dances with her sometimes, and she likes that. They have fun. I like it when they have fun, and they're both smiling like that. That's the good smile.

* * *

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Jan Diaries - June 21st

Thought I'd start at a place I've gotten to know quite well - the last part I played, Jan Warwick, and the world of The Unexpected Guest. I think I'll do a few short ones on this line. All stories (unless otherwise noted) are written from the period before the events of the play, and written mainly from the perspective of Jan.

 * * *

The diaries of Jan Albert Warwick;
On the date of June the Twenty-First.

Benny was cross at me again today. She said it was the fourth time that she'd asked me not to leave my clothes on my bed. But I was just leaving them there ready to put away later. I had other things to do. Life isn't just about cleaning, and putting things away, and washing things. That's for the servants to do. She just didn't understand. She never would; how could she? She wasn't me.
She thinks that she takes care of me, but of course it's the other way around. I don't need to be taken care of. She, on the other hand, can't seem to live without me constantly doing whatever it is she come up with next. I suppose for now I shall have to put up with it. Perhaps Richard will nearly shoot someone again and we shall have to move. That might be better.

Richard was quite active today, what with him not being able to walk and all. But it was a warm day today, so he seemed to almost enjoy himself, if it can even be said that he does that. He was aiming the rifle at some squirrels; though he didn't hit them all this time, they seemed as active as he was today. But he didn't seem to mind. The "thrill of the chase", as those hunting things say. He got one eventually, of course. He always does. Well, that is when there is something there for him to shoot. Sometimes on some very cold winter days there hasn't been. Then he just shoots at some of the bushes. Topiary, he called it. You may as well perform heart surgery with a hammer and tongs.

Laura took me on a walk today. It's fun when we do that. Only on the grounds, of course, but they're so big it doesn't matter. Richard sometimes jokes that if it were any bigger, we could have a golf course. Haven't played golf before. But from what I've heard about it, it's not that much fun. Though it does sound like Richard's sort of game, with lots of birdies, eagles, albatrosses and putting a hole in one. Though I get the feeling that if it's Richard, there will be a hole in more than just one.
We went out past the hedges, the rose bushes and the flower beds. They don't look as good as they used to when Griffiths was around. I mean, we still had a gardener, but he wasn't as experienced. He did the job, but they didn't look nearly as good. Laura still liked it though, so that was alright.

And Julian came over as well! He's got the election happening in a month and a half, but he still comes over sometimes. Laura likes it when he comes over. I like it too. Sometimes we play cricket together in the garden. That's always fun. And then he always has a long talk with Richard after dinner, until after I get put to bed. Sometimes I get up and see if I can hear what they're talking about, but I can never hear very much. Just bits about the war sometimes.

* * *

A little idea....

Friend linked me to a blog that he and a few friends have started (which is here, if you're interested), which they've just started up. They seem to each be story writers and the like, and they mentioned some roleplay things happening as well. (Gaming, for any minds wandering into the sewers.)

Got me thinking that, since I've now finished uni (Yay!) for this semester, have finished up with my previous schedule (though I'll certainly come back to aspects at some points), and have some time on my hands, I could maybe try doing a bit of story on here a bit regularly too. Perhaps twice a week. I don't know. We'll have to see.

But I haven't written anything in much too long, so it would be good to get those juices flowing again. I'll probably start a bit slowly, but hopefully it'll be good when it gets going. So yeah, hopefully the first of those will be up soon. Ish.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Stories of old...

These days, it seems like musicians/artists/filmies/writers are almost just doing social commentary with what they make. Not that that's a bad thing in and of itself - but it can get a bit much. We already have the news to give us our daily helping of how bad the world's getting, yeah?

I mean, I'll be the first one to say that music is a fantastic way to get a message out. And that's often what I do with my music - it's what I did for my final performance this semester at uni. But when it becomes pretty much all you do - I think it gets a bit much.

You know what I'd like to see more of? Stories. About people. People sharing things about themselves when they be creative. That's what it's about. Putting a little bit of yourself into what you're making.

I wrote this song - maybe a year ago, I think. Certainly not more than a year. It builds on this idea of stories, really. I'll just put the sng down, then I'll continue with what I'm saying.

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, when I was only a few years old
I slept with my eyes open, or at least so I'm told
I liked the rollercoaster quite a bit more than my mother
And my little sister loved to annoy her older brother
Once upon a time

Once upon a time, a a few more years on
Accidentally pulled the middle finger, got in trouble, didn't realise it was wrong
I was in the year two reading class, though I was only in Kindy
Only year 2 thing I was ever in, I skipped it cause they thought I was a smarty
Once upon a time

Well all these things, they are true
They really happened to me, what I'm telling to you
But all these things, they are gone
Only memories left that carry on

Once upon a time, when I was in year 7
Like Harry Potter, that year I was eleven
I got bullied a fair bit, got called quite a few names
I just laughed with them, it confused them, how I didn't play by the rules of their games
Once upon a time

Once upon a time, when I was in year 9
I still had a soprano voice, hadn't quite yet crossed that line
Was one of the shortest in my class, hadn't had my growth spurt
But I quite liked it, being shorter it never hurt
Once upon a time


Things like this can be lost if we don't remember
They may be happy, silly or sad
But please don't forget them, pass them on to another
Share the life that you've had


That's the song. And the thing about each of the things I mention in it is this - if I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know them. You wouldn't know them to look at me. You might be able to guess one or two, but you wouldn't know.

Have a think. What are things about you that people wouldn't know, just by looking at you? What can you share with them that only you can tell? What's your chapter in this story, your version of this song?

It's your story, and it's amazing. Don't let it die.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Dance the night away...

Had that party last night. It was epic. :D

It was a bush dance party, so as such, we had a suitable band. Four piece, with guitars, mandolins, bottlecap-stick, violin, the works.
And I danced, and it was fun :D Long and short of it, I danced in all of the dances. One was with my little sister who didn't quite get it, but it was fun anyway. My feet are still a little sore from it.

The Powerpoint....didn't quite work. They were different versions, so it didn't port in properly - it went faster, and so my music that I had lined up came on too slowly. So it didn't match up nicely :( Watched it today properly, it matched up pretty well. Particularly considering I never checked it. I was happy with it :)

Most importantly, Dad and my sister had a good time. So that's good :)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

I Feel....Good!

I am currently grinning like a Cheshire cat. Why? Because something I did worked, and it worked really well.

My Dad and my sister are having their combined parties tomorrow (50th and 18th), and Mum was doing a Powerpoint for them. So I said I'd do the music for it, because I've got a program that I can do that in really easily. Dad just wanted two CD tracks, and that was it. *yawn* But that was what he wanted, so I did that.

But my sister's...I went to town on, I think is the appropriate expression. Each of the slideshows are almost exactly the same length, at about 7:15 each. Dad's has 2 songs, and one doesn't finish. My sister's....has 16 different tracks, all coming in at specific points, mostly related to specific slides. Fading in, fading out, the whole kit and kaboodle. I thought it was pretty cool. I mean, it wasn't quite as good as a professional job, sure. Some of the fades could have been a touch better, and I had one bit that repeated that was a bit obvious (had to fill a small gap, and stretching it sounded....blergh), but it was fairly good for one afternoon's work. Synced it up to the Powerpoint, didn't watch it though, didn't have the time. Mentioned to Mum that I'd done it, said I hadn't checked it, so she might want to do that.

She came in ten minutes back and was raving about it. She said it was amazing, it made her laugh, made her cry - and she made the Powerpoint, so she's had to watch it a million times already! So yeah. Hence why I'm grinning like a Cheshire cat.

They're going to love it tomorrow :D

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Where have the laughs gone?

*sigh* It seems that you can't make a little joke of a religious nature any more without people immediately having an argument about it.

I posted up a photo of Brad Stine half an hour agoish on FB, with his quote: "Who's more irrational; the guy who believes in a God he doesn't see, or the guy who gets offended by the God he doesn't believe in? What else is freaking you guys out, unicorns?" I found it amusing, so I had reposted it.

It didn't take too long before I had a defensive statement from an atheist, with two further clarifications added. I was attempting to redirect the attention and be nice, when another friend of mine jumped in and said, "Atheists trying to force themselves on christians. Hypocrisy at its finest." Needless to say, the other guy wasn't too happy about that. I grabbed out the hose and tried to get them calmed down, thankfully, it didn't escalate.

But to me, it's a bit sad that people weren't just able to have a laugh at that, and move on. OK, perhaps, in hindsight, it wasn't the best one to post. It could pretty much be taken as saying that atheists beliefs are ridiculous and childish. But it certainly wasn't meant that way, and the guys that know me well enough know I would never say that.

Perhaps I should follow up with a comic from TB having fun at Soapbox Evangelist Guy to even it out a little...

Edit: I did indeed do that, and it got a positive response. :)

Further Edit: Though that didn't stop others from chipping in their 5c on the first...

Monday, 4 June 2012

Spying 101

This is the talk I planned to give if there was ever another SWORD Boot Camp. As the possibility of that seems to be ever dwindling, thought I'd at least write it up here. For some context; at the inaugural SWORD Boot Camp, we basically played a beach version of the game Team Fortress 2, with some modifications. And I (and this dude here: were ze spies. (If you're not at all familiar with Team Fortress 2... gives you a general idea.)

Now, the thing you've got to realise is this. Each person has a different part to play. The soldiers are the cannon fodder, the scout runs and grabs the flag, the heavy mows him down before he gets there, and the medic patches you up if you get too darn soggy. And the captain is the one that will lead you all to victory! Or utter and total failure, one of the two. But then...there's the spy.

The spy is the one who finds out the other team's plans and sabotages them. Reports that team's movements to the other team. And, at a crucial time, uncloaks and takes as many with him as he can. The spy is the wolf in sheep's clothing, the snake in hiding. Their job is to cause confusion, disruption and chaos amongst the other team, while strengthening their own. As such, each of you must realise what to do about the spy. Both the enemy spy, and your own.

First thing is this: your captain is not the spy. The leaders make sure of that before they appoint the captains, so you can count them out. Secondly: don't try and just have random guesses, or ask people if they are the spy. That promotes division and disruption, which is what a spy wants. You need to stay alert,  and unified. It's quite probable that before the war, you won't know who the spy for your team is. That's how it should be. They don't need people passing remarks at them and blowing their cover. But as soon as your spy reveals themselves, you need to protect them. Because, like as not, they are about to get everyone on the other team gunning for them. That's what happened to me, that's for sure. Oh, and as soon as the spy against your team reveals themselves, pelt them. XD

Captains. In relation to the spy that is FOR your team. Be discrete. That's their watchword, so when dealing with them, make it yours. Let them come to you, not the other way around, unless it's ridiculously urgent. By going to them, you can blow their cover much too easily. It's their job to report to you, not yours to tell them what to do. Guide them a bit, for sure. But they will basically try to get any and all information they can, and get it to you. You just make sure that you don't blow their cover. If possible, don't even tell the other people on your team who the spy for your team is, except perhaps your VC.

In relation to the spy that is AGAINST your team. One of your top priorities is to find out who that is. Do NOT approach your team members and ask them if they are the spy; while this may give you your answer (if you're good at that sort of thing), again, it promotes division and mistrust in the team. A better way to do this is to watch out for who in your team seems to be having conversations with the captain of the other team. Once or twice (particularly if over a meal) might be OK, but if it's happening a lot, you might be on to something. Again, don't go up and accuse them of being the spy. Perhaps just make sure you don't tell them too much about your war plans; or, if you want to take that route, feed them false information. One important thing to do is to tell your team that if any other member of the team asks them about the war plans, to just tell them that they should already know.

And lastly, to the spies: as I said, discrete is your watchword. Covert is your middle name. Don't let people see you talking to the other team's captain, and don't go asking your team for information. These are obvious giveaways. Be subtle. Find ways to get information to the other team that means you don't have to be near them. Be clever. And find out as much as you can. Your team is depending on you. They have a spy working against them. You have to work well enough so that what the other spy does to your team is overshadowed by what you do to the other team. Oh, and when you do reveal yourself, make it good. And get moving!

Friday, 1 June 2012

A Courageous Venture...

Yes, again, lack of posting. Thought I'd do this one, though.

Tonight (at my insistence) me, my sister, and Mum + Dad watched Courageous together, which I'd bought for Dad's 50th recently. I mentioned in a previous post that I thought it was pretty darn good, and thought this would be a good spot to expound upon that.

Watching it a second time didn't diminish it at all for me, which was really good. In fact, it actually made me appreciate it more in some respects; both my Mum and my sister were reacting to some aspects of it a lot (it has a family losing their young daughter in it, so yeah, can be a tear-jerker at points), so it really gave me more of an appreciation of the impact of some sections. I mean, they'd impacted me, for sure, but I'm not much of a crier. Not so much by choice; I can be ridiculously sad, and dry as a bone. I try and force tears out, I get a drop or two if I'm lucky. Which actually isn't something I'm too fond of. But anyway, moving on.

The basic story of Courageous follows an American police unit of four men, as well as another man who comes in to their lives. Specifically, it focusses on each of them and their roles as fathers and husbands, and the trials and difficulties that they go through. Some rise to the occasion, sometimes with consequences that are difficult; others fail to meet the standard, and fall. Each are men of God, seeking to do his will for their families.

This film, being a Christian film, evidently seeks to promote a specific message; and it doesn't do so in a light matter. As I mentioned, the daughter of one of the characters dies. (Spoiler alert, sorry guys.) But they handle this plot element really well, particularly by placing humour at crucial points following these darker points - not too close as to seem insensitive, but close enough so that people are not in tears for the rest of the movie. (And they're pretty darn good comic bits, too. If you're interested, look up "courageous snake king" on Youtube. Gold! XD) As well as this, since it follows a police unit, there are elements of action very much present; and so there are a variety of different elements that are together here, weaved in such a way as to form a beautiful whole.

Courageous is a fantastic, great movie. Pure and simple. Probably one of the best movies I've ever seen, if you're talking about ones that are actually meaningful (and not just a good story, though they're great too). Definitely a 10/10 from me, and I don't do many of those.

Watch it. Just do. You won't regret it.