Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Musical Madness

In the life of Eve, I got a C in History, have just finished my controlled assessment in English, which was only 4 pages long, compared to other people's 7 or 11, and I have a cold the day before a trip to the freaking coast, which is colder, and windier than inland! Go Eve
But that's not what this post is about, so I'll shut up about that!
*WARNING* This post is extremely long because of pictures, so expect a lot of scrolling *WARNING*
Following my trip to see the Lion King at Sunderland Empire a couple of weeks ago, I realised something that's slightly sad, slightly enlightening - I'm a musical theatre nut.
Whether it's performing or watching, I'm thrilled by the amount of work it takes to present this feats of music, dance and acting.

Let's start with Music
Music in musicals are so much different to just listening to something on you iPod or even in a film. You get the raw energy of the performer in their voice. You can hear the emotions, and it's beautiful. Not going to lie, I got chills a few times whilst they were singing, because the sheer power in the songs was phenomenal.
And it's not just the singing that fascinates me, it's the instrumental as well. I was on row B and from where I sat, I could see the two drummers on the balcony, and the drum sets they had were massive and so varied, but the sound was incredible!
I actually had a slight bit of trouble sitting with a straight face through Circle of Life knowing that the first lyrics translate to 'Here comes a lion'

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba
[Here comes a lion, Father]

Sithi uhm ingonyama
[Oh yes, it's a lion]

In no way am I a dancer, but I do know how to appreciate it (says the girl who blatantly ignores Strictly) but the dancing in the Lion King was exceptional.
Do you see all this? Do you see the majesty?
The time it takes for this stuff to be learnt is amazing, and I cannot describe watching it live, seriously, it was so ... just so!

I will probably not be the first nor the last to say that the costumes in the Lion King are bloody incredible!
If I were wearing a hat, it would have been off to the designer (Julie Taymor, also the director and person responsible for the masks, puppets and additional lyrics!). It says so much about the characters, and the mechanics of the lion masks had me baffled. I reckon the masks had some sort of mechanism connected to their spines,because their masks were only ever down when they were bent over, and raised when they stood.

I love that you can have the freedom to stick to the character as they are written, or you can add your own spin to it. For example, Zazu was Glaswegian, but he was played by a Welshman. And you know that part in the film where Zazu is in Scar's little cage and he has to sing for him? The Zazu at Sunderland started singing the Proclaimers 500 miles in the strongest Scottish accent.
Also, Timon, I loved how he was improvised. He literally started singing Let it Go at one point!

In the Lion King, there were only a few actual set pieces that weren't acted out by extras - they were astounding - but I love how the actual cast, not just the extras, learn how to move the set pieces and put them in place. It was the same when we saw Fame in July, there were only two pieces of set that could be turned around to portray different classrooms, and the main cast knew exactly how to release the hydraulics and lock them in place.

So yeah, I'm really appreciative of musical theatre, and I'm very happy to announce that in our school's 2015 production of Joseph, I have today been cast as ... Dan! He's the fifth son, and I can't get over the fact that you've got cool, old time names like Reuben, Simeon, Levi (Mikasaaaaaaa), Judah, and then you've got Dan! How do you get from Reuben to Dan? Anyway, I'm quite happy with the role, as after finding out I wasn't in the running for narrator, I was slightly worried that many of the Joseph characters are one-hit wonders, with only one or two songs to themselves, but the brothers feature quite a few times, so I'm happy :)

I actually go on holiday a week tomorrow, so I think I will post once more before then (I was thinking maybe a what's in my carry-on sort of post) but I may have changed phones by then, so I may have the type of phone that I can blog from! You never know :)

Bye, Eve

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Hobbies and Obsessions ~ Part 1 ~ Badminton

So, I thought I'd start this series that is just, a kind of 'getting to know Eve' thingy-mah-bobby. So, every so often I'll write about my hobbies/obsessions, of which there are ... many.

So, this week's hobby is ... Badminton!!!

I've been playing for 6-7 years now, I forget, but it has been forever, the only people who've been there the same amount of time as me are the old lads who rent the back court and the instructors (who, according to my mum have been there less time than me, oh well!)

So what got you into badminton?
 It was actually through my best friend of the time, Gi (no, she was not actually called Gi, but I'm obviously not revealing her name). She called me up one Tuesday night when we were about 8, asking if I wanted to go with her to a club that her grandmother ran. So I started attending, when the cost of the sessions was only around 75p (oh, the good old days). I remember I was wearing a pair of my sister's trousers, and I think one of my sister's old tops, neither of which were meant for sports, but oh well.

Anything interesting happen over the years?
At first, it was just me and Gi, then when we were ten, our friends A and C joined up, and we had a load of fun the four of us. Then, Gi's grandma sprained her ankle, and had to leave the club to one of the instructors, who's kept it going for the last 4 years or so.
Gi and A left a while afterwards, about halfway through year 6, C hung around for longer, but she left too, and returned last year for a time, but I don't mind.

Any perks?
Free t-shirts!
Over the years I have had 3 shirts from the club. 
- The first was an over-sized red t-shirt, with a tiny logo on the chest. Kinda crappy.

- The second was a black polo shirt with red detailing and the club's name written on the back. I had that for 4 years or so, and it had only started getting small 6 months or so before they got a new shirt in

- The third I'm not particularly fond of, it's kind of a polo shirt, but it's loose, and I can't name what the material is, but it's kinda clingy, kinda baggy (according to the label it's polyester, ugh). It has purple detailing, and the same club name on the back, but the letters are already peeling off, and I've only had it a few months.
Of the three, I definitely prefer #2

Perk number two is the fact that you get to meet so many different people you've maybe seen around school but never actually spoken to. I've met several year nine boys (I'm year 10) and they're usually the lads I hang around with simply out of laziness, they usually play winner stays on first to five, so you don't play for that long. I've also played badminton alongside people half my age, twice my age and quite a few ages inbetween.

What equipment have you used?
Over the years, I've only had two rackets, both of which were from the brand Carlton.
My first racket I dinged up to high hell, it's shape resembles more of a polygon than the egg shape it's supposed to look like. 
What a PowerBlade Sword should look like
What mine looks like
 The second is a Carlton Isoblade 450 in pink and purple, which was a Christmas gift off of my grandparents a few years back. It's served me pretty well so far, is quite light, smashes shuttles well (a must with me) and is pretty minus the dings in the handle.

My current racket

Learnt anything?
- Back tramlines are in for singles, out for doubles
- Side tramlines are out for singles, in for doubles
- If you're serving, you're on the offensive, so you play front and back (applies to doubles)
- If you're receiving, you're on the defensive, so you play sides (applies to doubles)
- If you're serving an even number, serve on the right, odds on the left

Any tips?
- If in doubt, just smash the freaking shuttle
- Don't be scared to mess up, I've found that sometimes when you mess up, you end up winning a point anyway.
- Try not to act hostile towards your doubles partner, they're the ones watching your back (or your front/side). You are a team, act like it, even if it is just for the 21 points you're playing.
- I advise against trick shots. I've never been keen on them, and I personally feel that they aren't all that effective.

Hopefully this is interesting (sorry if it isn't) and maybe helpful to people like +Maya Gibson, who is joining my club next week to pass the Physical section of Duke of Edinburgh, which I will be talking about later :)