Edtech and pedagogy – is tech helping or hindering?
Originally published on the Mobile Guardian blog
Putting your Home up for Sale in Spring
Originally published on the HOMEMAKERSonline blog
Originally published 11 November 2013 on a personal blog (not currently online)
This weekend I tried something new – improv.
If you know me, you know that I love acting. It’s the one thing I feel 100% certain about, without a shadow of a doubt.
The only element of acting that I do not have a love affair with is improv. This form of acting, well, it scares the crap out of me!
I watch those shows where people make everything up on the spot and I’m in complete awe of those guys! The stuff that they come up with is genius and they look like they’re having so much fun. I’ve always been jealous of actors who are good at improv – it’s such an incredibly wonderful talent to have.
So how did I get involved? Especially if it terrifies me so much?
A couple of weeks ago I signed with a great agency and my new agent (love saying that) recommended some classes that I should consider taking. One of the classes she recommended was an intensive longform improv workshop.
As I’ve said, improv scares the pants off me, but this class was in my budget and at a time that didn’t clash with rehearsals for Private Lives. So I though ‘why not?’
I can’t tell you how glad I am that I signed up for the class! I had an absolute blast this weekend and learnt so much about myself as an actor and as a person.
And it turns out – I don’t completely suck at improv 😀
This class taught me how to listen and to give ideas without fear. It also taught me about trying – an idea might not work in it’s entirety, but there may be a spark of genius buried in there somewhere and it’s worth looking for it. I also learnt about trusting my instincts – if you wait for the right moment in improv, it’ll pass you by and you’ll never get that chance again.
Improv is amazing! Everyone should do it – really, even if you’re scared of acting, improv can teach you about so much.
I genuinely can’t wait to do another improv class – Long Shots, I’ll see you at drop in 🙂
Fun Fearless Female
Originally published 10 May 2010 on a personal blog (not currently online)
Yes you, I’m calling you gorgeous! Don’t be ashamed to think nice thoughts about yourself at least twice a day. Can’t do it? Well then you and I need to have a little chat.
We all beat ourselves up because we aren’t perfect all the time. Well I’ve got news for you, I’ve met Miss Perfect and she ain’t really all that and a bag of chips. She was blessed with skinny legs and being photogenic. In real life, her face was just like any other person’s, her legs looked like swizzle sticks and her boobs weren’t actually hers, if you know what I mean. The person who hired her didn’t even realise that she was the professional model booked to tell us plebs how to pose for the camera.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain where I am and what happened…
This weekend I attended a workshop run by Cosmopolitan Magazine. For the most part I had an absolute blast! There is nothing like women getting together, getting their hair and make-up done and telling each other how gorgeous they look. I recommend everyone do it at least once.
The day started off with a welcome and then we split into two groups. My group went off to hair and make-up first. Here we got treated like celebs. I got my nails done, my hair was styled in a 1920s pin up look and my make-up was done by the lovely ladies of Revlon. I felt really glam, and even though I am kind of used to having hair and make-up done by professionals. The atmosphere was very giggly (that happens when women get pampered).
After hair and makeup my group got the fashion talk. This was great! We had people from the industry speak to us about current trends and how to make them work for you. What I really liked about this was the how to make it work for you part. It’s no good telling me that the celebrities are all wearing something and therefore I must go out and get it immediately if not sooner. All that will happen is I will end up getting a cheaper version that doesn’t fit me the way it fits them and I will be unhappy. The whole concept was about empowering women to take control of their fashion and style and wearing it their own way. This is the Cosmopolitan motto “Fun Fearless Female”.
Next came the cover shoot. This was the moment we were all waiting for. We got styled, our hair and make up touched up and then one by one we went in front of the camera. Here, Miss Perfect who is also known as the professional model who has actually graced the real cover of Cosmopolitan, told us how to stand. She told me to put my weight on one leg so my hip bounced out playfully, put my hand on my hip sticking out and my other hand resting on my thigh. I must be careful that hand doesn’t slide down and draw attention to the crotch… Cosmo doesn’t like that! Then she said keep my head up, boobs out, back arched and think of David Beckham (not a huge fan of his but he does have a gorgeous body… so Miss Perfect has a point there).
The photos happened so quickly, I wasn’t sure they even had anything good. I didn’t see the photo until it was printed out and stuck onto the cover of the magazine. That’s right, we each got the latest issue of Cosmo with our photo printed on the cover in full colour with the headlines all round us and everything.
I got my magazine and was crushed… I didn’t look anything like Miss Perfect looks on the cover of magazines. My freckles and creases (I’m not calling them wrinkles yet!) hadn’t been edited out… and my butt and thighs were there in full glory! I didn’t know what to do! It really isn’t the most flattering picture of me ever taken, but that wasn’t what bothered me. I have always prided myself on embracing my curves and my real human being figure and here I was devastated that I didn’t look like the models and celebrities that usually grace the covers of magazines.
I took the magazine home and showed family and friends and they all commented on how gorgeous I looked… After a while I had to admit I looked pretty good… Maybe not perfect, but good. Slowly I started to realise what had happened: I had been posed the way a skinny little twig would pose to give herself a figure, when I don’t need to try and make it look like I have hips. Baby, I have hips! They are there for the whole world to see and I shouldn’t be ashamed or upset that they are right there on the cover of a magazine. Perhaps what they should do next year is have someone teaching the new models a few different poses and then chose the best one for each body type. We aren’t all identical after all, and thank goodness for that.
At first I didn’t want to put the picture of the cover up anywhere or show anyone. I was scared people were going to see me as large and not pretty. I then thought about cropping the image, but then no one would see the full cover… So I’ve bitten the bullet and here it is…
It may be a fake cover and not for sale to the public, but it is a real woman on the cover of a magazine. I will not allow myself to be ashamed of my figure because I don’t look like Miss Perfect.
Don’t you dare be ashamed either! Let’s all try and be Fun Fearless Females!