Identity

This painting is totally me right now…the wanderer above the sea of fog. 2015 is going to be one hell of a ride! Right now I am filled with immense joy, excitement, and a little bit of nervousness, but all the same, I know that something good is coming for me.

wanderer-above-the-sea-of-fog-by-caspar-david-friedrich

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  – Jeremiah 29:11

I Love Waffles…Happy New Year, Everyone!

Waffles! Who doesn’t like waffles!? I’ve only had waffles once in my lifetime. I was about 11 maybe? Can’t remember. All I can remember is that it would have been marvellous with ice cream and strawberries. I love them almost as much as I like crumpets. I saw on Pinterest once that you can make waffles out of chocolate cake mix and then get some chocolate ice cream and sandwich two waffles together. Now THAT is what I call a decent breakfast. I want to try it now. I’d probably have it with coffee because I like coffee. A lot.

waffles

Okay, Grammar-Nazify this as much as you want: it’s my day off, be polite and let me be a terrible writer, just for one day.

I had a plan last year: Enjoy Summer holidays while I sill can, help my sister move to another city for her to attend University to study Law, start going to a homegroup and learning to fit in, start school for the year, do school, do some drawing, get more driving lessons in, do more school, do more drawing, apply for my first job, finish studying, wait around two months before I can start my first job, finish ten-thousand-word research paper on the film industry, do more drawing,  start portrait commissions, start job, earn a teeny tiny bit of monies, learn to save, start tithing for church regularly, do Christmas shopping, do more work, have Christmas, do work over Boxing Day and New Years’ and continue into January and have fun on my days off.

I have a plan for this year: Get a better job that pays well, gain more work experience, build up my CV, get some great references, stop doing commissions (sounds selfish, but I think five or six is enough for now – sorry, guys!), save up for a camera to begin portrait photography, get a MacBook, get a haircut (never been to a hairdresser’s in my life), and get my restricted. Those things could possibly be achieved within a few months…saving up for stuff can be done while working or something. But if you ask me, I have no idea what I am going to be doing in the next six or so months.

There is a strong possibility for me to move to Wellington later this year. Don’t ask me why, as much as I love that city (my favourite NZ city), the people in it, the fact that it is the creative centre/ hub of the New Zealand film and arts industries, I need a reason for wanting to go. I could study. I might not study? I could work. Where would I work?

I’ve worked in retail for only about a month now, but to be honest, I’m craving creative collaboration, I want the opportunity to be in the centre of a large project that involves a lot of amazing and talented people to come together to make something worth sharing to the world.

Sorry, I’m waffling now.

God Likes It When You’re Dancing

My latest obsession is Cinderella.

“Follow your heart.” That’s what so many people have been saying to me. I’ve always been extremely cynical and suspicious of that phrase: it sounds like something out of a Disney film or some kind of daft self-help book aimed at little children. But it’s true. I’ve never intensely thought about that phrase because I’ve always thought it to be shallow and common. On top of that, I’ve always had the assumption that if you do “follow your heart,” then it’s not God’s plan. I don’t know why I used to think that. A lot of fellow-Christians have told me that ‘your passion is usually your calling.’ I’ve heard that mentioned several times this year in passing conversation, and every time it’s suck out at me in a major way.

In other words, I need to go and follow my dreams. Now, my dreams are fairly simple on the surface, but if I try to explain their depth and extent, I tend to get teary-eyed (in a good way) for no apparent reason. There’s a depth somewhere. Sometimes I get a strange burst of excitement, sometimes it’s not there. But when it does appear and make itself visible, I can feel it rising up inside my chest, and I burst into song like Mary Poppins (not true, it doesn’t quite happen like that). More like Cinderella. There’s a trailer for the 2015 live-action film on Youtube. I watched it. I cried. God likes it when you’re dancing.

 

Lily James and Richard Madden in Disney's 2015 film "Cinderella."

Lily James and Richard Madden in Disney’s 2015 film “Cinderella.”

I Could’ve Done That

I haven’t written a blog post in a while, so I thought I might make a quick update. I have officially finished my ten-thousand-word research paper, which I entitled The Film Industry: The History, The Method, and The Effect. It is complete with a lengthly endnotes page and a bibliography. I did so much reading and writing that I almost got out of the habit of writing in general because I was so darn sick of it. Now that I’m over that phase (hopefully), I’m looking ahead. I have a retail job on top of several (and counting) art commissions, which is fantastic because it means I can draw portraits and get paid for it.

I won’t babble on about my frustration about my lack of plans for next year right now, but I will tell you about this: “You could have done that.” The last few times of coming out of the cinema, I’ve had that thought pop into my head. It was a whirlpool of possibility that had somehow corkscrewed itself into my imagination, and it made me feel incredibly excited. I blame Peter Jackson. Childhood memories of The Lord Of The Rings often come back into my mind. The thing about being a kid going to the movies was really awesome back then, because you weren’t being constantly plagued with the thought that your peers might frown upon your obsessive fandom, your mum wouldn’t snigger when you said you “liked” a particular character, and your friends wouldn’t look at you sideways if you got emotional over a particular moment. Adults annoy me so much sometimes – which is kind of bad, because I AM one – because we never allow our child-like sides to come back and have a bit of fun. I did, however, experience that side of me when I took myself out to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I went with one of my best friends, who also brought a friend with her, and we laughed and we had such a blast. Every part of that film I found to be very beautiful and very entertaining: an incredible soundtrack, amazing CGI, and above all an unforgettable cast. I came away from that film feeling self-assured, thinking to myself: “Peter Jackson is a freaking genius.” Coming out of the second film, The Desolation Of Smaug, I emerged from that cinema full of hope, and thinking to myself, “I could have done that. I SO could have done that.” It was an odd thought, really. What a wacko. And that also happened while watching the lovely sequel to Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon. Thing is, I COULD do it, and I WANT to do it.

I honestly don’t know why I’m like this. I think it’s because I don’t go to the cinema on a regular basis, so it’s all a bit of fun for me, and I find it childishly-exciting. People think I’m totally bonkers for saying stuff like that, and I think I’m totally bonkers for writing about it. I think I’m just a bit high-strung because there’s nothing else to talk about, but you never know, there might be something in it.

Thorin Oakenshield in the final trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

Thorin Oakenshield in the final trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

Though I have to say that I’m very much anticipating the third and last Hobbit film, which is due out in almost one month – the final Middle Earth film. It’s a bit sad. It’s childhood memories mixed with my futuristic obsession. If my predictions are right – which is why I’m going to see it with a girl friend – then there will be tears. My joke at the moment is “if this is to end in fire, then we shall both cry together.”

It’s only a film. But then again, what about the people who made it, the people who are IN it? I could take a childhood obsession and create something magical. I could do that, I could SO do that.

Things I Love – Part The Second

Here’s part two of the list of things that I am thankful for.

1) Books. Hardcopy books, whether brand new or second-hand, I love books. There’s something about sitting in the corner of your room curled up inside a duvet reading a really decent story. A close friend of mine suggested I read “North & South” by Elizabeth Gaskill – which was made into a wonderfull-acted TV serial – and have since been obsessed with finding some classics to delve into.

2) Green tea. I don’t drink it every single day, but when it comes to writing, I can’t let myself fly until I’ve sat down with a cup of the marvellous stuff.

3) Shakespeare. As much as I love reading it, I also love to watch it being performed. I love that British theatre is heavily rooted in Shakespeare…those people really know what they’re doing.

4) Theatre. If I lived in the West End or Broadway, I’d be out every night. There’s something about live productions that really get to me: I think it is because theatre and stage do not lie, there is a sense of truthfulness that emerges from it. The camera, on the other hand, as much as I love filmmaking, can have the tendency to lie, the performance is somewhat masked.

5) Cake. Any sort of cake – I am not fussed! I love chocolate cake, but I’m also a huge fan of carrot cake and a really decent Victoria sponge.

6) When the sun shines while it’s raining. It happens every spring…*runs out side*…I love it.

7) Designer fashion. Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Alberta Feretti…those five brands make up what I call “Stuff for posh people.” Which is awesome, because I’ve been given Chanel No.5 for my birthday…me feels special.

8) Candles. Candles at night, candles in people’s living rooms, candles in people’s bathrooms next to their bathtubs, candles floating on water…

9) Travel. One day I’ll fly away to Europe and do a leisurely holiday in Ireland, then go to places like Paris and Venice, and Amsterdam, and London, go take a lot of photos, visit cute dinky little cafes on side streets, go see some plays, and visit some art galleries and museums, and on the way home do it all again in New York City…that would be flipping awesome!

10) Going to the cinema. For me, it’s the same as going to the airport: it feels exhilarating and exciting and breathtaking, and, and, and…yeah.

So that’s my list. I may do a “Part The Third” some day when I think of more things to add.

Relevance

It’s late, and I don’t have time to write much,  but I do want to say this: I’ve finally figured out why people entertain themselves with something that is relevant to their times. It is so that they can try and learn to understand what is going on. It might be escapism, it might not. There is an appetite for war dramas because war is an imminent threat at this present time and people need to learn how to get a handle on it. There is an appetite for the supernatural because people know it’s real and they want to try and figure it out for themselves. There is an appetite for the chaotic because people’s lives are chaotic and they are trying to hard to control it. That’s why film and theatre and other vessels of escapism are important. People run to them to escape, taking it in and try to piece everything together, even if it’s only for a few hours. Take Arthur Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’ for example. Recently, a modern production of the play finished showing at the Old Vic Theatre in London. It conveyed the story of an innocent man (John Proctor, played by Richard Armitage – and yes, he is one of my all-time favourite actors) in the midst of chaotic false accusation during the Salem Witch Trials in the 1600s, who risks everything in order to keep his name and family intact. It met with five-star critical acclaim. But the common thread that has appeared from this play is the relevance of it. Throw aside the superstition, and you’re met with a reflection of humanity.

2014-07-16-TheCrucible1

[Photo courtesy of The Old Vic]

“It’s ultimately a timeless play, I think,” says Armitage. “It has lines that feel relevant in 1692, relevant in the Fifties (the decade the play was written), relevant today and relevant tomorrow, in 10 years, in 20 years, while we’re still destroying each other in the way that we do, in that insidious human way.”Armitage is a noticeably calm presence but he talks with passion. I ask him how it feels to be facing The Crucible’s agonising climax over and over for the next couple of months. “It’s a big mountain to climb every night,” he says. “There’s a shattering of the character, and almost a reassembling of him towards the end.”  – The Telegraph.

What we experience affects us, though I still don’t understand how we  can just sit there and be entertained by someone else’s pain…but I do understand that film and dramatic arts effect us in interesting ways, and through this, I think we can use it for good, whether it be film or theatre, a painting or some other project – there’s always a place for it.