My Newfound Love of Combat

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Last week I did a 7 day stage combat intensive. It was awesome. We learnt a whole lot of things from sword fighting to guns and how to die accurately.

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On our last day, we finished up with some pirate swashbuckling! And in that spirit, allow me to present another loop pedal improvisation:

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It Might Take Me A Thousand Years…

acting, doctor who, Music

I’ve been thinking about dreams lately and the power of goals. With the beginning of a new year comes a sense of refreshing and a clean slate. Of course, in reality every second is a clean slate, but it does help to have an exact date to put another year behind me.

You may know my particular dream goal by now, but I’ll reiterate:

I want to play a female Doctor in the BBC Doctor Who series, possibly the first ever if I’m clever about it.

I was expecting a chorus of negativity and disbelief when I first swallowed my fears and began telling the world what my dream was, but the result was quite surprising. People were encouraging. The most common response I receive is “that’s a fantastic goal, you’d make a great female Doctor!” In fact, people tend to believe passionately in my dream more than I do!

And the great thing about now having my crazy ambitions in the open and actively following them, is that I feel so at peace with myself. The challenges are still challenges, but they feel more like opportunities to step closer to my dream and strengthen my resolve, whereas before there was that uncomfortable burning feeling in my gut that I wasn’t being true to my deepest passion and putting myself through hell regardless.

Now, I know precisely how ambitious a goal this is. For one thing, I’ve read the mass of uproar against the possibility of a female Doctor. People were furious that there was even, most recently, a female regeneration of a previously male Time Lord, leaving the possibility for the shows title character to do the same. I’m also only too aware that, living in Australia, it is far more difficult for me to infiltrate the UK television industry and the BBC. But that won’t stop me. I’m in this for the long haul, and the beginning of every new year is another chance for me to look back and see how far I’ve come, regardless of whether I’m shaking hands with Steven Moffat or not.

Speaking of years, here’s another cello loop pedal cover I’ve been playing with:

A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

 

The Medallion Calls – Cello Loop Pedal Improvisation

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I realised that if I took the chord progression from the main theme, I could loop it and create another Pirates of the Caribbean cello loop video! I also remembered that I own a Jack Sparrow costume of sorts and couldn’t resist dressing up, because why would you not dress up as Captain Jack Sparrow whilst playing cello? Unfortunately, I didn’t foresee the slight issue of my beads tapping against the side of my cello, but in my opinion it was worth it.

Know That – why I do what I do

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Know That – why I do what I do

I’m one of those people who on certain topics is very erudite and articulate and on others is at a complete loss at what to say. The former is true of music, philosophy, Doctor Who, elements of pop culture and the performing arts; the latter is true of pretty much everything else. In particular, I struggle with wanting to say something in a time of stress and being unable to open my mouth because I’m petrified I’ll mangle it and just make things worse.

That’s where music and drama come in. When I write or perform music, lyrics, poetry and scripts I suddenly find myself able to express things that are otherwise trapped in my heart like caged birds. This was especially true throughout high school: I lost several people dear to me within a short space of time in tragic circumstances, but I simply couldn’t talk about it. So, I wrote poetry and played my feelings on my cello or the school piano. 

When it comes to relationships, I’ve written songs for people which say the words I could never find the appropriate moment to say. That’s the category this latest song comes under. When someone close to you is struggling emotionally, sometimes the worst thing you can do is try to cheer them up with harmful cliches such as “suck it up”, “look happy” or “it could be worse”. Sometimes you have to let your heart break silently to avoid making things worse for both of you and find another way to soothe the wounds. That’s where this song comes in. It says everything I can’t think of in the moment when I want to say it, in a form which can be turned on or off as needed and doesn’t come with any awkwardness or unintended false impressions; it can speak not only to its intended subject, but to many others who hear it and find something poignant within it. It can remind me of what I was feeling at the time and how important the sentiments expressed in it are to me.

This version is just one take at home with minimal editing. I like it that way because, despite the inevitable little technical cringe moments, it’s raw and present. It will be with me forever as a source of encouragement. I hope it says something to you, too.