Thursday, 31 December 2015

HAVE YOU INVESTED?

When certain folks hear the word "investment" they automatically think of money however, to invest in anything starts with a state of mind and if you're one who's blessed with a sound mentality, you know that to use your mind doesn't cost a penny.


What did you hope to achieve in 2015?
What steps did you take to succeed in 2015?
What things, or people did you focus on and give your time and energy to in 2015?
What value did you place on yourself, your life, dreams and those true to you in 2015?
What did you tweet in the run up to New Years Eve 2015?


It can be "so hard" to get up every day and move with consistency yet we know 
that consistency pays.
It can be "so hard" to get up every day and go forward with enthusiasm yet we know that enthusiasm pays.
It can be "so hard" to stay motivated by the desire to achieve our goals yet we know that motivation pays.
It can be "so, so hard" to cut from our circle those who are not of a similar mindset, yet we know that to surround ourselves with go-getter's can pay very well.

Have you invested in your 2016?
Have you cleared the cobwebs from the closet that is your life?
Have you taken time to reflect, to assess who you are and the choices you've made?
Have you noted the lessons given during the last 12 months, or will you ignore them?
Have you decided that you will finally work on removing those ill traits and habits?
Have you allowed room for a significant amount of change?


If you have spent the last 5 years of your life being involved with all that continues to keep you in the same spot, or hold you back, now is The Time to get the realest you have ever been with yourself! Get rid of all that you know does not serve you well so you can see the success which belongs to you.

You are unique
You are skilled
You are capable
You are talented
You are deserving
You are so worth it
You CAN do and be better!

If you haven't already done so, GO AND INVEST IN YOUR 2016, I dare you!!
Before you know it, it'll be January 2017...

Images above: Google
Image below: Shining Concept, edited by C Jai
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post! x
CHECK OUT my previous post: Robin's Sexual Hood
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

ROBIN'S SEXUAL HOOD!

If the Stratford East version of Robin Hood is anything to go by, modern day panto is no longer for, nor all about the children. Unnecessarily oversaturated with suggestive references such as, "enter my back passage" and "you're such a tease" {the latter directly aimed at a young audience member, no less}, with suggestive body language {sometimes using relatable instruments} to further encourage the said terms, I sat and watched 2 hours of adults in bright yet fairly plain and simple costumes, against the backdrop of an okay set design, spouting more lewd one liners than actually telling any sort of story much less that of the classic it claimed for its title.


With incest also a feature {a would-be King wanting to marry his niece}, sexuality, intimate descriptives and the alike continued to be the distasteful themes, if you will, that ran throughout the slightly odd farce, with one female cast member being directed to {very obviously} measure the inside leg of a fellow {male} actor, giving the audience a 'knowing' look following a glance at his groin area. Like the rest of these moments in the pantomime, there was no need for it! None at all - unless perhaps performing to a sex obsessed ADULTS ONLY audience!

The character of Robin Hood was played by Oliver Wellington who delivered quite a forgettable yet forceful performance. In an outfit more fitting for an actor cast in a supporting role, Oliver appeared to not know if he was cast as himself, or the Robin Hood... Likewise, Nadia Albina who played Marion was cute, adorable and sang her heart out however, she was so over the top with everything... I literally wanted to step on stage, hug her and whisper, "darling, it's okay, take a breath and chill". Performing alongside such balanced; seasoned actors, who each delivered a fab performance, such as Derek Elroy and Ashley Joseph, Oliver and Nadia stood out, albeit with great energy, for all of the wrong reasons.


While many of you might say, "backside, Char, it's a flipping panto, relax!", it is a production primarily for children and so I do not understand why it was of such a blatant sexual nature and in some areas so slack - people seen moving about in the wings, an obvious and randomly planted man in a green jumpsuit pressed hard against a green {set design} tree, {supposedly camouflaged} only to suddenly pop an arm out with a squirrel on his hand which didn't seem to be of any relevance to the scene in which this was happening, plus he looked so awkward. Although that particular randomness had nothing on the changing of set once out of the black lighting state - the most mind boggling thing {to me}. Good grief!! I just think, overall, it was a little too slapdash because, even though, to a degree, panto is usually camp, laid back and lots of fun - the mystery of it all should still be upheld; it should feel as though you have been transported into another world. The 'puppet strings', so to speak, should not be seen and you should feel entirely comfortable watching.

The youth of today, INCLUDING those under the age of 13, are so clued up and if not they will most likely ask questions, in which case YOU, the so-called grown up, will have to explain. How do you tell a child what was meant by the man in a woman's dress who bent over and referenced his back passage, more than once, to the other man who was creeping up behind him? How do you explain the significance; the reason for it and why it might be funny to some adults? How do you explain why it seems to be that the King can marry his niece? Answers need not be sent in...


What was good?
Our seats - stalls C13-15
Collectively, a strong cast
Clapping and singing along
All of the {upbeat} music and songs
The non sex related comedy moments

What was amazing?
Ashley Campbell is a beautifully skilled talent who I thoroughly enjoy watching. He is mesmerising as an actor with a ridiculously awesome vocal range and ability, his dance skills are so on point and his presence on stage as King Richard {and other roles in the panto} calls for all eyes to be on him. The sensational legend that is Michael Bertenshaw, no matter how vulgar he was at times, is such a formidable talent! The man is unquestionably one of the most brilliant performers I've seen and, bar the obvious within this particular production, I cannot fault him in his role as Prince John.


However, the one who completely stole the show, for me, was a remarkable talent I had not witnessed before - Geraint Rhys Edwards. This young man is a dream to watch. In the role of Tuck and others he demonstrated the world of versatility. A strong vocalist, smooth dancer, trumpet player and with such detailed facial expressions, mannerisms etc he was a force to be reckoned with in each of his scenes. Geraint is flawless and therefore captivating. From start to finish, he remained consistent, maintained his energy, was sharp and engaging. I honestly hope to see this man across my TV screen, in films and then some in the not too distant future. He is an absolute gem of a talent.


Minus the sexual innuendos and being able to see the stage hands, some of the set changes etc which, quite frankly, spoils the 'magic' of it all, this was a funny, charming and enjoyable panto at Theatre Royal; Stratford East!


Robin Hood
www.stratordeast.com | 020 8534 0310
Matinee and evening performances until 23rd January 2016



Photo credits: Robert Day, TRSE
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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

THE FESTIVE MONSTER!

It's a wrap, quite literally! A blink ago it was April 2015 and I was living the most amazing week of my life in Malta with my good friend Caroline Odogwu and now the 1st of January 2016 is but a breath away... Honestly, how and why does it seem to be that once you reach your mid 20s the years race by without a beat? Or, is that just me?



Once Halloween is in full swing almost everyone, wherever they may be in the world, is bang on the festive season. Shops quickly stock their shelves with all things sparkly and brightly coloured, any man with a beer belly, a scruffy beard and a bit of grit in their voice suddenly wants to don a santa costume and assume the role of Mr Claus in a bid to make some extra cash and the majority of the rest start running around to prepare for that 'all important' date - Christmas Day, 25th December!



Far from being a Scrooge, at the time of writing this post, I'm one of those who takes no part in the festivities; I am not one to celebrate any seasonal fad although I fully appreciate and respect the choice of others. I'm just not about any of it, to the point where I just about celebrate my birthday! I'm so done with trying to organise, at my own expense, what is often a hugely embarrassing fail instead of a cheery function where I celebrate being blessed to see another year... *sigh*



Despite my religious upbringing and beliefs, I honestly have no idea what Christmas is representative of anymore. I once believed it was the day Jesus was born {there is no mention of the specific date of his birthday in any bible that I have read}, I then thought that it was to be a time of spiritual focus and thanks for our blessings from God/Jesus {however, there are one too many who indulge that openly state they do not believe in Christ} and so, I now feel that perhaps it's simply a reason to get the whole family together and, if only once every year, enjoy one another's company over a ridiculously large feast, drinks and the exchange of several gifts which is where my confusion sparks up again....

If for the birth of Jesus, if for having a religious belief, or if just a time to be with loved ones, why do some people spend so much money on the whole thing? Especially when, between January and October, near enough every year, lots of people are seen ranting about being broke across various social media platforms?

The Christmas break/holiday, to me, is for children. It's a time to really engage them in all things family; to bond with them and spend a significant amount of time connecting with them, enjoying their little company and having them gain a real understanding of just how loved and valued they are. Such doesn't cost a penny for real love cannot be bought, right?



I'm not a parent however, if I was, I'd not teach/show my child/children that Christmas is all about going broke for no good reason which then leads to stress! How is that something to be celebrated? From the decorations to the gifts, all of the food and drinks, I firmly believe it's money wasted for one day {nobody actually celebrates the entire 12 days in the same way they do the first} which could be any day of the week that families {choose to} spend together. All of the above said, I might one day be all about the month of December! Who knows?

'Family Sunday' {which is now 'Family Any Day That Our Schedules Do Not Clash'} has been a thing with my own family since forever. We have a hearty home cooked meal, music in the background, a few board games played and then a couple of movies to finish the evening/night. No unnecessarily expensive gifts exchanged, no horrid looking decorations flung about the house and nobody talking about how much money they've spent for the one day of 'celebration' which has now left them with holes in their pockets.



If love is not boastful, or proud why do so many look for physical symbols to represent what is felt in their heart? Memories shared are the best gifts you can ever give to someone. Think about that... When all's said and done, it's the memory that will bring you the most joy, comfort, strength and peace. Such is the way for me when I think of my loved ones who are no longer alive - Jenna, Sherelle, Uncle Fabian, Joe, Gran-Boy and several others....

Again, I'm no Scrooge, ha-ha, I'm really not. I just don't understand frivolous spending especially when it seems to be more about following the crowd as opposed to actually being about the supposed meaning; the original reason for a certain occasion. That said, in this day and age, we'd do well to save as much of our pennies as possible, real talk!

A gift can be anything and, in any case, it need not be so expensive... Give your time, call someone and offer them comfort during their difficulties, give that special person in your life a long and loving hug and pamper them for the day; cater to their needs, invite someone round for a cuppa and a few card games, make someone a CD of their fave music, put together a montage of some pictures from 'back in the day' and frame it.... Think outside the {money} box.



I genuinely wish every person in the world the happiest month of December {2015} and hope, very much, that you each have a wonderful New Year. Always start {from where you are right now} as you mean to go. Never become a sheep, the role of Shepherd is yours for the taking.




However you choose to spend the 25th of December, 
may you have the absolute time of your life, folks! x



Images taken from Google, except for the Malta photo
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