The Present and Future: What’s Next for 2016?

Wow! How long has it been since I wrote a post??? I guess I haven’t been paying much attention to my blog lately. (Naughty, Sez!) How was your Christmas?

Since Halloween, I’ve been busy with Drama school, YouTube and Christmas. Now with the New Year on the way, it feels like that time has whizzed by rather than flown by. And with New Year comes New Year’s Resolutions and Best Highlights.

For me, I believe that 2015 was the stepping stone; with surprises and smiles around every corner. I was overwhelmed by your generosity, kindness and huge support. I humbly thank you all and raise my glass to you, whither it you are a creative blogger or a brave vlogger.

I have many fond memories of each year; they remind me of roller coaster rides and/or paths, when you are choosing to take different routes in your life. Some include surprises and moments, where you ask yourself, “did that just happen?” And it all started, while I was getting over a spilt with someone (but, we never went far; we were never boyfriend or girlfriend. Just so you know).

actingmylife was mind-blowing, it was exciting and I don’t want to ever give my channel or blog up. It has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made; and I don’t regret it.

My highlights of this year (2015) are:

 

  • Celebrating my first anniversary of the actingmylife blog: It’s certainly hard to believe it’s been a year since I set up my blog, but little did I know that something else was coming my way.
  • Starting my own YouTube channel: I honestly never dreamt of setting a vlogging channel. And with nearly thirty subscribers in one year, that’s a achievement. I am so proud that I choose to do this because I enjoy every moment of it.
  • Christmas: Christmas (even though it’s the busiest) is one of my favourite times of the year. I love seeing family, watch television and performing. During the festive period, I perform Christmas shows with all my teachers, classmates and friends in front of an audience, including friends and family. Every year, we put on amazing shows; this year however, is my favourite because it is unique and magical. Every time I do a show and come out of the stage door, I see many huge smilies. My heart melts so much and I can’t help but smile back, because for me, Christmas is about giving something back in return. So with me and the cast performing, we’re giving back our experiences and great entertainment to all.

 

That’s all for the highlights, let’s move on to the resolutions and YouTube Aims for 2016:

 

New Year’s Resolutions

  • Try and stay on top everything, i.e. homework: it’s hard to keep up with everything – it’s a top resolution I put down every year
  • Set schedule dates for my YouTube channel: I really need to complete this resolution, otherwise I won’t know what days I’ll post videos
  • Do yoga once a week: I’ve done yoga many years go, as a child. But, I gave up. I want to start again, as I may need it as a de-stress booster
  • Do piano once a week: Again, I’ve practised years ago, but stopped because of Drama school. I want to start again, since I want to try and record videos of me singing. A little bit out of my comfort zone, though. Eek…
  • Plan and enjoy a long summer holiday: I graduate my Foundation Degree course in the summer and when I have a long summer, I get easily bored and want to explore (as many young people d0). So, I’m going look around and try to plan what I want to go and/or try. And who knows, I may go somewhere that I have never imagined going too.
  • Make 2016 an excellent year: just because. 😉

 

Aims

  • Do YouTube Collaborations: I’ve always wanted to do collaborations with many YouTuber’s. I dream for my collaboration videos to be inclusive and welcoming, because, I believe that it’s the way that the world should be.
  • Go to Summer in the City: I’m really hoping to go; I heard it’s tons of fun!
  • To Anywhere, with my Channel: whither it’s on a film set or a hosting a film première, I dream that actingmylife will travel, to undiscovered places and amazing adventures.

 

Well, that’s all for now. I hope everyone has amazing New Year.

Sez Xxx

 

Social Media

YouTube: actingmylife

Facebook: Sez Soutar

Twitter: actingmylife211

Instagram: SEZACTINGMYLIFE

 

The Meeting That No One Knew About – My Top Ten Elvis and Beatles Songs

Elvis Presley and The Beatles – two of the greatest musicians of all time. One’s a solo American singer, while the other was a British band, who composed and wrote their own songs. But what if they actually met in person? That’s really what happened.

Fifty years ago, on 27 August 1965, two of the world’s iconic musical stars, met for the first and only time. It was a big event in Music History, where The Beatles had a night off from their current U.S Tour. Elvis were the band’s inspiration for their music and I bet meeting the King of Rock and Roll was quite an honour. However, we never had a full, proper record of the meeting as Elvis decided to not to let any of the media enter his Beverly Hills mansion. But all was not lost.

Days after the 50th Anniversary, the English Radio station BBC Radio 2 hosted an event throughout the whole Bank Holiday Monday (31st August 2015). The programme was sharing Britain’s choice of their favourite Top Fifty Elvis and Beatles songs of all time, followed by a special programme called When Elvis Met the Beatles, to commemorate the occasion.

I listened to the programme on the day of it’s broadcast and I loved it; I even sang along to all the Elvis and Beatles songs (although The Beatles are my favourite; sorry Elvis fans). I really recommend having a listen to it, if you can.

To read the 2011 BBC News article about the event, click the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-15126945

To listen to When Elvis Met the Beatles online, click the link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06671z4

So, in honour of the meeting, I, myself will share my top five favourite Elvis and Beatles songs. For The Beatles, I have updated my list of favourite, since I’ve already published another post of my favourite Beatles songs.

Link to previous Beatles songs post: https://actingmylife.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/twist-shout-dream-and-sing-my-top-ten-beatles-songs/

So, without further ado, I give my top five favourite Elvis and Beatles songs. 🙂

Top Five Elvis Songs

5. Return to Sender

4. Can’t Help Falling in Love

3. Suspicious Minds

2. (You’re the) Devil in Disguise

1. Jailhouse Rock

Top Five Beatles Songs

5. Help

4. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

3. With A Little Help From My Friends

2. Hello, Goodbye

1. She Loves You

And now, it’s over to you; who is your favourite artists – Elvis or The Beatles. What’s your favourite song by them?

I hope you enjoyed reading this special post; and don’t forget to enjoy rock and roll and pop, in it’s own creative and musical way. 😉

Blogging 101 Challenge – Why Do I Admire Photography? 

  
Is this quote true or is entirely fanaticised by myth? Whilst I’ll leave you to judge your opinions, I’ll leave you, in this instalment of the Blogging 101 month challenge, why photography has become one of my great hobbies. I’ll explain how this passion of mine began, what I’ve learned over the past few years about photography and what it may lead to in the future. 

My History of Photography

Photography is a big deal, especially with my family. In the past and present, I have three amazing family members who are skilful photographers, but both of them haven’t had careers in this area. They are my maternal grandfather, my father and Ann (my cousin from the Waiting For A Rainbow series). 

When I was growing up, I remember my mother saying to me that my grandfather adored photography. But he had an obsession of photographing buildings. Although he liked it, my mother, uncle and auntie didn’t. I never knew my grandfather or seen his pictures of the buildings he took; after his death, my mother, uncle and auntie dealt with them and they maybe lost forever. However, that didn’t me seeing the two other people in my life flashing away picture after picture in my lifetime.

My father, especially in my teen years, was always taking pictures of family gatherings, animals and recording footage of special moments. It’s like we had our own, modern photographer. While I was growing up, digital cameras and mobile phones were becoming fashionable. And watching him, switching from a large cannon to a handy lens on his Apple iPhone 4; it was like fashion models being transformed from old, ragged clothes in a charity shop to shining stars in the night sky. When I was older, my father gave me a chance to learn to photograph. Since then, I’ve been taking pictures, non-stop. I even to a photography class with him last summer at Paradise Wildlife Park, near North London where we learned how to take pictures of the animals. 

As for Ann, we are picture pals – every time we go out, the two of us wouldn’t stop taking pictures, especially selfies of each other. It’s wonderful to have a picture pal, not only because it’s fun, but you get to swap and keep each other’s photos. 

It’s exciting that photography can change for your lifestyle and it certainly did for me. 

What Have I Learned Over Photography In My Life So Far?

Since I was a child, I thought a camera was an unsual shape and pictures were magic, like the moving pictures in the Harry Potter film series. Growing up with photography has made me realise how much I wanted a turn to borrow one camera or get out my phone. Then, I would click and flash away. 

Photographic devices have changed over the last three decades. Camera lenses have become smaller, and cameras themselves have become smaller and smaller. The world is changing with more options and varieties of photographic art; this is certainly the case for me. I love the arts and participating in them; photography was one of them. In real life and classes like the zoological photograph day, I’ve learned that taking pictures isn’t for a career nor just for a hobby. It’s for a passion – a passion for sharing, like an author, finalising their novel. 

Life is beautiful and it only takes a second to capture Mother Nature and the wonders of her creations. 

  
                                                                                                                           Picasso by Cory Smith

What Will Photography Lead Into the Future?

Who knows? Maybe we’ll see new camera designs, new lens to capture further distances or have tiny devices with cameras that are the size of a finger nail. Only time will tell. For now, we can wait and enjoy what we’ve got. 
What do you think of photography? What’s your favourite picture you took? Or from someone else? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have Negative Comments on Your Blog or Blog Posts? Welcome to Cowboy Land…

Yesterday, I posted an article on animal rights and received a ‘cowboy’ message on my comments section. Personally, I wasn’t angry but hurt and pretty devastated that someone would do such a thing. So, I thought to myself, what should I do? 

What I ended up doing next surprised me, but it made me feel good. This was the comment made by the ‘cowboy’ and here is my response:

bahaha what a joke. Let’s look at this with some logic and common sense.“Take SeaWorld for example. Not only do they have keep their whales and dolphins in shallow tanks the size of bathtubs (which are forty feet deep), the keepers physically and emotionally abuse them. This includes covering the animals’ sunburns with black zinc oxide, training whales to float on their backs before artificially inseminating and masturbating them; which forces them to breed earlier than usual. In one case, SeaWorld allow one of their female killer whales to inbred – with her own sons! Because of these barbarian acts, SeaWorld have failed to recognise how much they care for their animals; even the whales know that they are being treated unfairly. And do you want to know the worst part? That SeaWorld kidnaps them! Yes, SeaWorld kidnaps Orcas from the wild, before sending them to captivity.

The signs are all there – the collapsed dorsal fins (which indicates an unhealthy and unhappy orca), the reported deaths of trainers. But it’s just Orcas that are getting bad treatment.”

First of all, how are 40 foot deep tanks shallow? How are 5,000,000-7,000,000 gallon stadium complexes bathtubs? I can’t swim in my bathtub (I wish I could!) Additionally, SeaWorld is planning to expand their tanks. It’s called the Blue World Project. Look it up.

The black zinc oxide story doesn’t have any proof either way (unless you count biased articles from websites like The Dodo or Awesome Ocean)

You know how many orcas were bred through artificial insemination at all marine parks? Here’s a list: http://orcapod.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Natural_Conception_Vs._Artificial_Insemination There have been 96 captive births, only 6 of the orcas were conceived through AI. That’s 6.25% – not even a quarter. Not even 10%.

“SeaWorld allow [sic] one of their female killer whales to inbred [sic] – with her own sons!” No. The whale, Katina, mated naturally with her son Taku – she was not intentionally inbred. SeaWorld could have SEPARATED (dun dun duuun) Katina from her son to prevent inbreeding. Here’s SeaWorld’s response to it: http://ask.seaworldcares.com/?p=851

“SeaWorld kidnaps them! Yes, SeaWorld kidnaps Orcas”. No. The last orcas that SeaWorld “kidnapped” were Katina and Kasatka in 1978 – 37 years ago. It’s not something that happens anymore, luckily.

Collapsed dorsal fins do not indicate an unhealthy and unhappy orca. Even Dr. Naomi Rose, a prominent anti-captivity activists, admitted that it does not mean the animals are unhealthy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkVj_lZkp0c

As for it meaning that the animals are unhappy, the animals can’t move their dorsal fins around. There are no muscles or bones in dorsal fins. It’s not an indicator of their happiness.

Most scientists on both sides of the debate think collapsed dorsals are caused by gravity. Captive orcas spend more time near the surface. It’s not an indicator of welfare. The animals probably don’t even know their fins are collapsed.

Might want to do more research next time!

Thank you for your honesty and the link you sent me. I appreciate it so much; however, I would like to point five reasons why I wrote information about SeaWorld in this article:

Pointer #1: I’ve heard stories of SeaWorld through loved ones, as we all animal lovers. I even went to a SeaWorld attraction in Canada, where we saw, face-to-face, how Orcas were being cruelly treated. In small show tanks.

Pointer #2: I’ve signed a petition (which the description link is at the bottom) and once a month, I’ve been receiving emails from the campaigner that gives regular updates of the campaign. Not all the news is good though. 

Pointer #3: I’ve done a fair amount of research, just like all of my articles. In all honesty, I would never write ‘make believe’ or conspiracy theories. Never in my life because writing them is a complete waste of time.

Pointer #4: The websites I’ve researched are valid and honest. I even checked the small print myself. It’s a better way to go than using Wikipedia all the time because most of the information is better bogus. On another point, I don’t really buy SeaWorld’s decision on getting new sea tanks for the Ocras. Do they have the money for it? Are they going to keep their promises – to treat their animals fairly and stop all the negativity happening behind the scenes and while their performing? Those are important questions to keep in mind because I don’t think that’s actually going to happen. Even television has pointed SeaWorld’s negativity out in a TV documentary called ‘Blackfish’. This focuses all of this after one the keepers died, being eaten by one of the Ocras. 

Pointer #5: The humans. Now, let’s think on this one. How many humans would process greed over love? How many would choose cruelty to animals rather than caring for them? How many would choose harming animals for life by following the example of others? There are so many humans who are choosing it right now, even ones who aren’t poachers, or locking animals in small, cramped cages in zoo’s and amusement parks. 

Once again, thank you for commenting on actingmylife and we will be looking to you company very soon. 😉😊


So, if you have been affected by a ‘cowboy’ situation, you can remember these points:

1. You can delete them (if you feel that you want to; if not, please continue reading).

2. Always be polite; even if you are apologising to admit that you are wrong. No one likes a negative response, otherwise the argument continues. 

3. Make you facts and opinions very clear. This is the important one. 

4. Remember to breathe and count to ten before responding when you are losing your temper. 

5. Be the Elle Woods inside you. Just remember to leave a positive vibe at the end. 
Hopefully, I’ve explained this situation well and helped you with this. If not, comment back and you’ll get a response. 😊

Gigi Xxx

My Top Ten Unofficial Disney Princesses

On December 21st, it will be seventy-eight years since the realise of the company’s first full length animation film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Throughout this time, the studios has seen many up’s and down’s with its theatrical realises, and direct-to-video films and sequels. Currently, Disney is at its highest peak since their realise of Frozen in Christmas 2013. Through some of these films, there have been some iconic female characters who have been created princesses of their own right. Princesses like Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora and their latest princesses Anna and Elsa. But what about those who aren’t princesses? Don’t they deserve to be princesses too?

So in honour of the women who didn’t make the cut, I’ll be posting my first top ten countdown of my favourite unofficial Disney princesses. This countdown is based on only female Disney characters who didn’t make to the official princesses lists because of box office flops, non-humans, didn’t make a lot of money on theatrical realise or because they haven’t starred in their own main feature films.

So here they are; my top ten:

  1. Maid Marian (from the 1973 film, Robin Hood)

0001wj

A relative to the English Royal family (niece to King Richard as matter of fact), best friend to her lady-in-waiting, Lady Kluck and the love interest of England’s greatest hero, Robin Hood, it seems to me that Maid Marian is the perfect candidate to be ranked as a Disney Princess. The only problem? She’s a vixen! Now, how can Disney disregard Maid Marian as a “princess” if she’s a member of the dog family, as is Robin Hood? Also, Robin Hood did well at the time of it’s realise; however, the film received mixed reviews decades after. Is that the reason why she is not classified as a princess in the Disney genre?

What puts Maid Marian in the number ten spot is her spirit, dreams of finding love, and making things right with her Robin and is very kind. So, do Disney need to re-think twice or do the critics need to change their minds about Robin and his Maid Marian?

  1. Giselle (from the 2007 film, Enchanted)

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She’s the second transformative, modern Disney character since Mulan to change her ways – from being a damsel in distress to become a true heroine. Giselle is also a beautiful, happy, kind and (in my opinion) adorable. So why isn’t Giselle an official Disney princess?

Well, Giselle was really, really close to becoming one; that is until she was dissed by Disney lawyers that the studios said they had to pay Amy Adam royalties for using her likeness in the film. So what resulted in this was disapproval and Giselle being taken off the princess list. However, Giselle is still a fan favourite and at this moment, a squeal is in its early stages of development! So it looks like we’ll being seen Giselle sometime soon.

  1. Melody (from the 2000 sequel, The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea)

Know-a-teenager

Melody is a daughter of an official princess, Ariel, and a royal prince, Eric and the granddaughter of King Triton; this means that her claim as a princess is really strong as she is related to both royal families of the land and seas. If she was an official Disney princess, Melody would have been the youngest princess on the list. If only there weren’t three problems.

  • The Little Mermaid 2 didn’t do really well and received negative reviews from critics
  • The second was the film, being a direct-to-video squeal
  • This is a possible one – Melody’s age. In the film, Melody is twelve years old while all the Disney princesses are between sixteen and twenty-one years old. Could this be an issue since Disney thought Melody was too young to be a princess?
  1. Wendy Darling (from the 1953 film, Peter Pan)

Peterpan-disneyscreencaps-8617_-_Copy

She’s not a royal, but she is a major character in Peter Pan. So why is Wendy not an official princess?

Is it because of the reviews? No. Peter Pan did well on its theatrical realise and gained positive reviews.

Is it her physical appearance? No. Wendy is prefect as she is; young or not.

Was she involved in radical stereotypes? No. Although Tiger Lily was due to the film’s mocking of Native Americans at the time.

So why is Wendy not a Disney princess? You can blame Tinkerbell for this one.

Upon the films realise, Tinkerbell overshadowed Wendy by taking her spotlight as a favourite female lead. So I guess that makes Wendy the completely forgotten Disney princess. Too bad; Wendy could have been a sensation but she still is in my eyes. 😉

  1. Nala (from the 1994 film, The Lion King)

nala

Upon The Lion King’s realise, it became one of the highest grossing animated films of all time before it was knocked to third place by Frozen and Toy Story 3! L

So why isn’t Nala on the list? Like Marian, she’s not a human; she’s a lioness.

But I love Nala because of her kindness, fun attitude and her loyalty to Simba. Who can argue with that?

  1. Kida Nedakh (from the 2001 film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire)

tumblr_inline_mq2n7ncMAx1qz4rgp

She is a princess by birth (like Princess Aurora) and expectably beautiful.

However, Kida isn’t an official princess because she becomes Queen after the death of her father (towards the end of the movie) and Atlantis was a flop at the box office. Still, she had a squeal but that didn’t do too well either…

  1. Lilo Pelekai (from the 2002 film, Lilo and Stitch)

LiloPelekai

Lilo is an adventurous, free-spirited, dysfunctional girl who always gets into trouble. She’s also an outsider because she doesn’t fit in with other girls. Lilo is a unique and inspirational character who is well loved because we can all relate to her.

I’m not entirely sure why Lilo isn’t a Disney princess but I believe it maybe because of her age, like Melody and Wendy. Or is there another reason? Who knows…

  1. Kiara (from the 1998 sequel, The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride)

8256436_orig

Like Melody and Kida, Kiara is a princess by birth and has a strong calm. Kiara isn’t an official princess for a couple of reasons:

  • She’s a lioness (like her mother, Nala)
  • The second Lion King movie is a direct-to-video squeal
  • The movie didn’t so well, as it received negative reviews from critics.

I guess, mother and daughter aren’t having too much luck with popularity, or success either.

But in my opinion, Kiara is beautiful and strong willing; just the prefect princess, and an inspiration to young girls and women everywhere. 🙂

  1. Ting-Ting, Su and Mei (from the 2005 sequel, Mulan 2)

tms

Okay, Disney have made a very weird choice on this one. While the first Mulan film was a huge success and Mulan was declared an official princess (even though she isn’t a princess by right or by marriage; she’s a princess because of her heroism and bravery – I see no problem with Mulan being a princess because she’s a real inspiration ), Mulan 2, and Ting-Ting, Su and Mei were not.

Ting-Ting, Su and Mei are princesses by birth because they are daughters to the Emperor. However, these three beautiful women haven’t made it to the list for two reasons:

  • The film was a direct-to-video (and DVD) sequel)
  • Mulan 2 was a flop and it received negative reviews

It’s a real shame because I really love these three princesses, especially Mei who is a sweet character in my eyes. 🙂

  1. Jane Porter (from the 1999 film Tarzan)

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Ever since I can remember, I had a huge thing for Jane; I really love her; I look up to her as my inspiration and I wish she was my big sister. I also had a huge crush on Tarzan because, come on, he’s super cute and boiling hot. He just makes me want to drool…

Anyway, back to Jane. Why isn’t she a Disney princess?

The film did really well at the box office; in fact it was a massive success, like The Lion King, there were no battles between female characters and the film was very clean (in reference to stereotypes). So, what’s the real reason Jane isn’t a princess?

Like Giselle, Jane was so close to become a Disney princess; she even appeared on the front cover of the official Disney princess magazine in the UK!

dp

Issue #18 of “Disney’s Princess” magazine, where Jane Porter is on the front cover

The other reasons that Jane isn’t a Disney princess is because that her dress is the same as Belle’s dress (which was really confusing), because Tarzan is the King of the Jungle and due to a lawsuit by Burroughs’ family estate, Disney isn’t allowed to make any further Tarzan movie series and television shows (sorry Legend of Tarzan fans), following the direct-to-video squeal, Tarzan 2.

But another reason for Jane not being a Disney princess is Tarzan’s family.

When Tarzan was a baby, his real parents were murdered by a leopard and was adopted into the clan by Kala, the alpha female. When he grows up, he becomes the alpha male and leader of his clan.

So does Tarzan’s adoption have anything to do with Jane, as an unofficial princess? I’m not too sure on this one.

But, what if Burroughs’ family estate was okay with Disney, marketing Jane as an official Disney princess? Should Disney re-official Jane as a princess, even though she’s a Queen. Just like they did with Elsa from Frozen?!

Re think this one, Disney; with all of your unofficial princesses. Please, for the sake of your fans. 🙂

So, there you have it. Those are my top ten unofficial princesses.

Who are your favourite unofficial Disney Princesses? Also, do you think Disney should re think, change their minds about re-officiating their unofficial princesses and treat them as equals by letting these ladies becoming princesses in their own right?

That’s all for now; I’ll try and upload more poetry and favourite quotes tonight, but I have to up early again tomorrow.

Hopefully, I’ll see you soon.

Gigi. Xxx

Girl Power – My Top Women Who Changed History

Have you ever thought that women leading the country would continue to grow in the twenty-first century? Well yesterday, history has done it again; the Church of England consecrated their first female bishop at Canterbury Cathedral.

Rachel Treweek, 52, (formally the Archdeacon of Hackney) became the new Bishop of Gloucester and is now the first woman to run a diocese.

So to celebrate, I am going to counting down my top five inspirational women who’ve made history from each category, from politics to religion. These are based on my own opinion and nothing more. So without further ado, here are my top five.

Nancy, Viscountess Astor (1879 – 1964)

220px-Nancy_Viscountess_Astor_by_John_Singer_Sargent

Viscountess Astor was the first to have a seat in the British Parliament. However, she wasn’t English; she was American. Born in Virginia, Viscountess Astor moved to England after divorcing her first husband, Robert Gould Shaw II. Following her marriage to Waldorf Astor, she succeeded to the peerage and was elected in her husband’s stead. Waldorf Astor was already serving Parliament and was an MP for Plymouth Sutton at the time of the election (which was in 1919). Both of the Astors’ stood for the Conservative Party. Viscountess Astor held her seat until her retirement in 1945, one month after the end of the Second World War.

Matilda (1102 – 1167)

220px-Empress_Mathilda

If you think the Tudors were the first Royal family who gave England their first female monarch, then you are wrong! Matilda was the first female monarch. The daughter of Henry I, Matilda succeeded to the English throne during a Civil War, where she overthrew England’s previous successor, King Stephen (who was her cousin). However, her reign as Queen didn’t last long. On her coronation day, she was never crowned. The reason was that the city of London rose up against Matilda and her followers. Luckily, one was hurt and everyone (Matilda and her followers) retreated back to Oxford. Her reign lasted a few months and because Matilda never effectively ruled politically and legally, she had been and still is excluded from the list of ruling monarchs in England.

Margaret Hughes (1630 – 1719)

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Thought to be the first professional actress in England, Margaret Hughes started her career during the Restoration. Hughes’ first performance was recorded on 8 December 1660; the production was Shakespeare’s Othello, which was performed by Thomas Killigrew’s New King’s Company. Hughes played the role of Desdemona.

Hughes is also famous for her charms. She had many lovers, including Sir Charles Sedley (according to Samuel Pepys), Charles II and Prince Rupert, Duke of Cumberland. It’s also believed that Hughes had two illegitimate children: Arthur and Ruperta, who married Emanuel Scrope Howe.

Amelia Earhart (1897 – ? Reported Missing in 1937)

Earhart

Amelia Earhart was an American aviation pioneer, author and the first female aviator to fly solo around the Atlantic Ocean.

Earhart decided to learn to fly after she rode a plane at an air show and hasn’t stopped since. However when embarking on a flight around the world, Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean and was never again.

Aemilia (c. 300 – c. 363)

Born in the Roman Empire (now Moselle, France), Aemilia rejected of settling down and marriage so she could start a career as a Gallo-Roman physician. Aemilia practised medicine, and she wrote books on gynecology, and obstetrics and assisted her brother in his own studies.

So there we are – these were my top five women who changed history. Who are you favourites?

That’s all for tonight as I have to wake up really early tomorrow. I hope you all have good evening and don’t forget to celebrate the power of sisterhood. Power to the women!

Gigi Xxx

It All Started With A Small Tank Engine – Happy 70th Anniversary, Thomas and Friends

“There was no doubt in my mind that steam engines all had definite personalities. I would hear them snorting up the grade and little imagination was needed to hear in the puffings and pantings of the two engines the conversation they were having with one another: ‘I can’t do it! I can’t do it! I can’t do it!’ ‘Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!'”

Those were the words of the late Reverend Wilbert Awdry, whose memory of hearing trains, travelling past his house in the night (while listening in his bed) later became the inspiration for Edward and Gordon, one of the first stories in the Railway Series books. Now, seventy years later, it’s hard to imagine children not seeing their favourite number one tank engine. But today, Thomas and Friends haven’t just won the hearts of children.

It seems that Thomas’ fans are children and adults on the autism spectrum. So why is Thomas so popular? For so many, Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends play an important role for helping their social and creative skills, such as human emotions, imagination and communication. Through these experiences, both children and adults begin to have strong relationships with Thomas, when they have a few or no friends of their own. Thomas can also give comfort, and make children and vulnerable adults safe in their world, when they are frightened and/or upset. Because of this, Thomas’ relationships with the children and adults last longer than their siblings.

As a child with autism, I used to love Thomas; I would watch my old videos of every early episodes (between 1984 and 2000) and Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Watching them made me feel safe and secure whenever I had a bad day. I loved Thomas, as much I loved watching my other favourite children’s shows including Fireman Sam and Postman Pat. Like so many children with autism, I was fascinated with the scenery, background, colours, the stories, storylines and the imaginative play. Looking back on certain episodes as an adult, nothing has changed. I guess I can say I’m young at heart.

I wonder what Awdry will think of Thomas and the small blue engine changed the world? All it took was pure imagination, and amazing creativity to make Thomas and his friends a reality. It’s hard to believe that seven generations of children and adult alike still remember Thomas the Tank Engine. Along with eighteen series’, two hundred and forty-one episodes and eleven films, I can see that Thomas and his friends will continue to live on forever and possibility the next seventy years.

And with that, I leave you with this final sentence:

Thank you, Thomas

For making our childhood,

And for being there when we needed you.

So, Happy Birthday Thomas

And many happy returns to you,

On the year of your seventy birthday.   

Sigmund Freud – The Man behind the Theories

Please note: This is independent research and I have taken great care to not copy from other websites (which I have used for this report). I know that I might be graded for this, since it’s for Drama school but I thought I would share this with you guys too. Please let me know what you think in the comments section below. 🙂

Last week, I had a lesson at Drama school, where I learnt about Sigmund Freud. Alongside my peers, we gathered together, researched a few facts about him and shared them amongst each other. Afterwards, my teacher asked us about what we would like to find on Freud; I said that I want to focus on Freud’s books and how his work continues on into the twenty-first century.

After my lesson, I decided to do some independent research and send it, as an assignment to my teachers; when I finished, I found that my research on Sigmund Freud was more interesting than I thought it was going to be. During my time, I began to feel as though I was Sherlock Holmes and I was uncovering Freud’s life and work. This is what I found about Freud; his life, work, discoveries on his most famous study cases and how they still intrigue us today.

Facts

  • Sigismund Schlomo Freud was born in Freiberg, Moravia, the Austrian Empire (now Pribor in the Czech Republic) on 6 May 1856.
  • Little is known about Freud’s early life; that’s because he destroyed his personal papers twice – in 1885 and 1907. However, Freud’s later papers are guarded in the Sigmund Freud Archives. These papers aren’t available to the public as they can only been seen by Freud’s official biographer, Ernest Jones and a few psychoanalysis members.
  • In 1877, Freud changed his name to Sigmund Freud.
  • Freud studied medicine at the University of Vienna. After graduation, he began to work at the Vienna General Hospital.
  • In 1885, Freud went to Paris as a student of the neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-93). On his return to Vienna the following year, Freud set up in private practice, specialising in nervous and brain disorders.
  • Freud married Martha Bernays; the marriage produced six children. Freud’s daughter, Anna Freud is a distinguished psychologist too. Her particular field is child and developmental psychology.
  • Freud’s grandchildren are painter Lucian Freud, and comedian and write Clement Freud. His great-grandchildren are journalist Emma Freud, fashion designer Bella Freud and PR man Matthew Freud.
  • In 1902, Freud was appointed Professor of Neuropathology at the University of Vienna. He held that post until 1938.
  • After the First World War, Freud decided to spend less time in clinical observation and began consecrating on the application of his theories into History, Art, Anthropology and Literature.
  • On 10 May 1933, the Nazis publicly burnt a number of books, including Freud’s in Berlin. Freud’s books were burnt because his theories, ideas and opinions were “UnGerman”.
  • After the Nazis annexed Austria, Freud with Martha and Anna left Vienna and headed to London for safety.
  • In 1923, Freud was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw; he underwent more than thirty operations.
  • Freud died on 23rd September 1939 of cancer.
  • On New Year’s Eve 2013, “callous” thieves tried an attempt to steal an urn, which contained Freud and Martha’s ashes in a raid. This happened at the Hoop Lane Cemetery in Golders Green, North London. The plan was to take the urn (which was 2,300 years old at the time of burglary) from the cemetery during the night. As a result, the thieves “severely damaged” the urn. Since then, the urn has been moved to a secure location.

Works

Freud is the twentieth century’s most famous figures; as well as writing three-hundred books, essays, and articles, he also drafted up theories of human psychology and became a prolific writer.  These works include:

  • Studies on Hysteria (1895)

 

  • The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

 

  • The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901)

 

  • Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905)

 

  • Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905)

 

  • Totem and Taboo (1913)

 

  • On Narcissism (1914)

 

  • Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1917)

 

  • Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920)

 

  • The Future of an Illusion (1927)

 

  • Civilization and Its Discontents (1930)
  • Moses and Monotheism (1939)

Theories

Through his work, Freud became an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis. He had made revolutionary ideas that have changed the world, and the way we believe of the human body, mind and today. Here are, I believe, three important key discoveries, through pure interests Freud found during his lifetime:

  • Freud had an interest in hypnotism and he believed that it could help those who are mentally ill. An example of this theory comes from his time at the Vienna General Hospital, when he worked with Josef Breuer (1842 – 1925) to treat hysteria by recalling patients’ painful experiences under hypnosis.

Freud would later abandon hypnotism; he replaced this interest with free association and dream analysis in what we now know as “the talking cure.” These became the basic elements for psychoanalysis.

  • When he began to take an interest in dreams, Freud analysed his theories in The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud did this to understand the aspect of personality, in order to the relation of pathology. Freud believed that dreams happen when unconsciousness motivates actions and thoughts. He believed that to live in a civilized society, a person has to hold back on the urges and repress of their impulses. The urges and impulses are released as they have a way of nearing the surface in disguised forms; one way to realise them is through dreaming.

Freud also believes that the unconscious reveals itself in a symbolic language since its contents could be disturbing or harmful. This aspects of the mind categorized into three parts:

  • Id – This element is centred on primal impulses, pleasures, desires, unchecked urges and wish fulfilment. *
  • Ego – Consecrating with the conscious, the rational, the moral and the self-aware detail of the mind. *
  • Superego – the censor for the id; this is also responsible for enforcing the moral codes of the ego. *

*     All three aspects of the mind were published Freud’s 1923 novel, ‘The Ego and the Id’.

Whilst dreaming, dreamers are able to see into their unconsciousness or id; when the body guards aren’t operating, they give dreamers opportunities to act out and express the id’s hidden desires whilst they are in a dream state. However, the strong feelings of id could be disturbing and psychologically harmful, like a censor coming to play and translate the id’s disturbing content into an acceptable symbolic form. This helps to conserve sleep and prevent the dreamer from waking up, shocked with the images that’ll go through the mind. This leads up to confusing and cryptic dream images.

When a person awakes from sleep, that the urge and desires of id are conquered by the superego. And while the superego is working, it protects the mind from disturbing images we see in our nightmares and desires.

Also, Freud had a passionate interest in hysteria, which since then has been renamed as conversion syndrome. Conversion Syndrome (or Conversion Disorder) is a mental disorder were patients suffer from psychological distress, due to neurological symptoms. These include fits, blindness and numbness. One case study of Conversion Disorder (which was to be Freud’s well recognised theories) involved a young woman. This study became known as Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (published 1905); it centres on “Dora”, whose real name is Ida Bauer, who had limb pains and aphonia (or loss of voice). In it, Freud digs into “Dora’s” life and inner thoughts so he could see what was going through her mind. At home, “Dora” lived with her parents and through them, her and her family were close to another couple, Herr and Frau K. This relationship worries “Dora’s” father, as he believes that Herr K properly had inappropriate sexual conduct with his daughter while Herr K was still married. Whatever the outcome was (whither Herr K may have or haven’t had sexual intercourse, sexually assaulted or had any sexual activity with “Dora”), Herr K had denied any guilt towards “Dora” which her father didn’t believe. However, “Dora” also told Freud that her father had a relationship with Frau K; during this time, “Dora” confessed that her father was making, then tricking her to have an affair with Herr K because he believed it was correct for a daughter to become a mistress to a friend. According to “Dora” (which is also believed by Freud), Herr K started the sexual advance when she was fourteen 14 years old.

Once he found information on “Dora”, Freud proceeded to treat her, through research and experience; this was completed with eleven weeks (because “Dora” left her therapy sessions, much to Freud’s disappointment). In another case, Dreams and Hysteria, Freud also conducts a dream analysis for “Dora”, in which she recounted two dreams to Freud:

Dream #1

[a] house was on fire. My father was standing beside my bed and woke me up. I dressed quickly. Mother wanted to stop and save her jewel-case; but Father said: ‘I refuse to let myself and my two children be burnt for the sake of your jewel-case.’ We hurried downstairs, and as soon as I was outside I woke up.

Dream #2

I was walking about in a town which I did not know. I saw streets and squares which were strange to me. Then I came into a house where I lived, went to my room, and found a letter from Mother lying there. She wrote saying that as I had left home without my parents’ knowledge she had not wished to write to me to say Father was ill. “Now he is dead, and if you like you can come.” I then went to the station and asked about a hundred times: “Where is the station?” I always got the answer: “Five minutes.” I then saw a thick wood before me which I went into, and there I asked a man whom I met. He said to me: “Two and a half hours more.” He offered to accompany me. But I refused and went alone. I saw the station in front of me and could not reach it. At the same time, I had the unusual feeling of anxiety that one has in dreams when one cannot move forward. Then I was at home. I must have been travelling in the meantime, but I knew nothing about that. I walked into the porter’s lodge, and enquired for our flat. The maidservant opened the door to me and replied that Mother and the others were already at the cemetery.

 

Reading both dreams, Freud can easily refer to “Dora’s” life, based on the events that have been occurred or waiting to happen. Examples include:

  • The jewel case (representing as “Dora’s” virginity), being at risk because of the misuse of trust from the one person who is responsible for the safety of “Dora”, i.e., her father. This shows that “Dora’s” father wants nothing to do with his daughter’s interests at heart, by protecting her from Herr K.
  • The railway station: this presents “Dora’s” authority over herself. The person who wished to accompany her to the station represented her anxiety over Herr K; the fear to say ‘no’ when he wants sexual attention towards “Dora”, the fear of him being around/near her, or his name being mentioned and the fear of herself in this situation.

Through these symptoms, Freud was able to identify “Dora’s” jealously of Frau K’s relationship with her father, the mixed feelings towards Herr K, her sexual feelings and memories of the abuse.

But although Freud’s case studies have been questioned, studied, modified and fictionalised through stories and novellas, no one really knows of the happenings between Freud and his patients, which is still high debated to this day.

How Freud’s Theories Continue to live on in the Twenty-First Century?

Psychoanalytic theory has changed over the years. During his lifetime, Freud’s ideas are discussed and analysed as works of literature. However, his theories and treatment of his patients are still debated today, since no one really knows what happened during this process.

Despite this, Freud (through his work) had changed how we recognise human behaviour. He was the first to insight the inner selves of human beings, and though this, he opened new doors towards ways we study and think of our inner and outer selves; Freud’s psychoanalytic theories and special importance on the unconscious gave ways to shape years of pain staking research. Even his work helped traumatised soldiers during the First World War.

Today, Freud’s studies are covered in most categories/careers we know and do including sociology, heath, and care, literature and drama. His theories have also inspired literacy critics alike including:

  • French theorists Claude Levi-Strauss, and Jacques Derrida (who have studied Postmodernism, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism, supporting Freud’s own theories as pure evidence).
  • Freud’s work with the soldiers during WWI and his theories in Beyond the Pleasure Principle inspired the character, Septimus Smith in Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs Dalloway.
  • Peter Brooks unearthed Freud’s work on his dream theories, for proof as to how story plots in novels are made in his 1992 novel, Reading for the Plot.
  • And that’s not all; Freud had also taken his own research for his work, using characters from theatrical performances, and the written language by poets, and novelists so he could understand and outline the behaviours, figures of speech and actions of dreams while unconscious. These include the likes of Sophocles, Goethe’s Faust and Shakespeare (especially Hamlet, King Lear and Macbeth).

Conclusion

In conclusion, I feel that Sigmund Freud and his works inspired the next generation of theorists, performers, nurses and sociologists alike. Freud has proved to show that there’s more to a people than we think. Without the findings, stories of his patients, and Freud’s own accounts, we would have never known the spirituality, emotions and inner feelings of the human body. As a student in a performing arts school and a passionate writer, Freud’s findings prove to be extremely useful for developing characters for the stage, screen, stories and poems. It shows that not all characters, story lines and poems can share the same inner feelings (for example, Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons, is sad all the time because she feels utterly miserable for no reason).

Reading Freud’s theories, especially “Dora’s” case, has taught me that every person (in the real and fictional words through novels, television, stage, etc.) desires to want they wish for, what holds them back and how they could achieve them. I believe Freud is the master of dreams and inner feelings towards his patients; he has used clever meanings of dreams to describe their lives and situations, like he was a living dream dictionary.

Now, I will treasure Freud’s findings; not only for research, but for personal issues too such as anxiety and dreams. I applauded this great man for his hard work and I hope he’ll be remembered for generations to come.

A Woman, or Not a Woman? – My Review on Hamlet, starring Maxine Peake

Today, I went on an outing to the cinema. Earlier in the week, my cousin suggested that we should see William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Having some information but never seen the play before, I agreed to come. What the audience would normally see is a traditional Shakespearean show, set in the seventeenth century with actors, dressed in Stuart costumes and belting out Shakespeare’s wonderful, yet sometimes confusing, dialogue. However, this wasn’t the case.

Indeed, this production of the show, live from the Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre did stick to the lines. However, there have been a lot of changes. For instance, the setting for the play is in 21st century Denmark, all the actors have different British accents; Scottish, cockney, etc. The massive difference however is some of the characters are portrayed by women. These include Polonius (renamed as Polonia), Rosencrantz and Hamlet, who is played by the wonderful Maxine Peake.

Peake delivered a gripping, intense and funny portrayal of Hamlet. I was hooked into her character; I was unsure if the director and/or producers were trying to show the main character as a young adolescent. If they did, then Peake was right person for the role. As the Prince of Denmark, I could easily see her emotions and feelings, being brought to life on her own and with the cast. Also, I give her top marks for the famous To Be or Not to Be monologue; it was spoken to true perfection.

I also give credit for Gillian Bevan and Katie West for their wonderful portrayals’ as Polonia and Ophelia. Both women were equally wonderful. One, who gave out the most comical laughs. The other, who gave me tears when it came to the important bits in the play. They, like Peake, had me on the edge of my seat. One minute, I’ll be laughing, the next crying. I must confess, I had more heart for Ophelia, with all the trouble she had to go through Hamlet’s ordeal.

The set is incredible – they had light bulbs, which lit up when the Ghost is contacting Hamlet from the dead and they had a graveyard, full of clothes. They even had Ophelia’s dress (which West wears in the show) buried in the pile, representing the character and had a few jumper’s crafted into skulls. This is genius; you would never expect any of this in a Shakespeare play. The music gives me the chills in my spine. It’s kind of like composing a detective story; you hairs get spiked up and it makes your body freeze, like you are outside on a cold, December evening. They are instrumental pieces done right.

Overall, this modern re-telling of Hamlet is excellent. If it comes out in cinemas again or on stage, I would recommend it. Although it’s one of the world’s most filmed story, I guarantee that you’ll never look at Shakespeare’s play the same way again.

Beauty Is In The Eye of The Beholder – Should Difference Be The New Height of Fashion?

Living in the twenty-first century isn’t easy these days; despite the technology and the magazines, it’s not had to imagine that a lot children, teenagers and young adults are being excluded because they want to follow fashion. But is that the way to go? When fashion will dominate the entire world? What happen if bullying and isolation will rule the roost?

stop-bullying   Bullying is taking control over society.

We all know that bullying can change a person’s life, physically and emotionally. People bully others because they have been victims themselves and they think it is “cool” as a way to get attention. But, there are those who choose not to go down that road. These people are just completely isolated because they are act, think and life differently. But modern times, somehow, catches up to them.

I know a lot of people who are into magazines; they regularly read them and judge on celebrity’s body appearances and the clothes they wear. And because of this, there have been consequences; one person attempted to slim down and became dangerously anorexic. Last week, I was on my break and travelling on public transport when I saw a young mother. She had a toddler, who wore small gold hoop earrings and stylish clothes. Although she was having a blast while looking around the bus, I felt sad for her. It seems that children are growing up too fast these days. What happened to “enjoying being a kid”? I didn’t have my ear pierced until I was eighteen. When you read or even hear experiences like mine, it’s just an overreaction.

However, my worries about stories from strangers, friends and stories coming from yourself or mine are that they may become world issues. Will we no longer see inclusion again? What will happen to equality for all?

I’ve been a victim of bullying and I shamelessly read magazines. I’ve been ashamed of my appearance, including my body but now, I am not afraid any more. There was a story that I was told, years ago and remember today about something my grandmother said:

If you don’t like about the way you look, think about how lucky you are to have what you got because not many people do.

I heard that my grandmother was strict but, I think she was fair.

There are many people who have a disability, are deaf, blind, etc who wish to be “normal”, but, that word is so cliché. There’s no such thing as being a normal person because we’re all equal in different ways. You don’t need to wear make-up, just for the sake of it or have plastic surgery to attract younger people. You just need to be yourself because it will get you far in this world and who knows, one day you can make a change.

]PJO   Everyone is a rainbow.

Difference and inner beauty is the new trend and height of fashion. 🙂