Life, Writing

Why I Am Taking Acting Classes

Ever feel like you’re about to throw up when faced with a crowd watching you present something or other?

But do you want to be seen as a leader or influential person?

If you answered Yes to both of these characteristics, then have no fear: “for fear means you are pushing yourself past the comfortable norm”.

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At least that is what my acting teaching would say.

Well, I am sorry to be the one to say it but feeling this fear will never go away. Knowing how to conquer it is key. You need to be the master of the fear you feel when in front of other people or a camera. Find confidence in yourself.

“Trust yourself. Being scared means you are in the zone and exactly where you need to be,” my instructor says when speaking about how we take scenes or lines of dialogue.

We need to let go and be ready to be afraid and attack what we are afraid of even while we are sick to our stomachs. But the beauty of the class is, everyone is in the same boat.

Everyone is shaking and scared and I am just a face among them.

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Besides Stage Fright, What Else Would It Be Good For?

It’s knowing when to breathe during a sentence or phrase. Where to break the wording in a way that will have the most impact.

  • Grounding Yourself.

This means that it helps you find yourself in the space and moment you are in, in order to convince those who you are speaking with that you are entirely aware of them and the space. It proves you have confidence even if it isn’t true.

Eleven Benevolent Elephants. This and more phrases are said in the most dramatic way possible. Nonsensical phrases that force your mouth to bend and force you to take time and focus on facial movements. This is to be sure, that when said loudly, you will be understood no matter where they are in the room.

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What Could This Do for Writers?

Character development, actions, inner thoughts, dialogue, and confidence in being creative. That was why I took this class. I wanted to build my confidence and explore characters and personalities beyond what I would find in a book. I wanted to actually use my body to become someone else, to discover someone else’s “why” through movement and speech.

In Conclusion

I would encourage you to do an acting class. If anything, you will have another point-of-view in ways to see characters. Also, it’s really fun! Please keep your mind open in ways you can learn and become a better writer. Acting lessons are just an example.

Life

Disillusionment After Uni: Moving Forward

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Well, what can I say after a title like that, huh? Well first let me start by saying that this is in no way a negative sort of post, it is a self-recording of what I have been through since graduating college.

I have taught myself a lot since my education has fallen into my own hands. When attending college, I didn’t seek out much guidance because I was often told to take pricier classes, or more classes than what I needed. One time I was placed in a math far above my level, I’m not so good in the mathematic area, but ever since then I never sought out any guidance and took only what I needed. This meant I only worked in a library job for 2 years for fun, with no real intention on being a librarian.

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What have I learned?

Well, I guess I have learned that not planning what my next move might have made the transition from student to working adult a little more tedious. Now I only have vague credentials that are “all over the place” like most hiring jobs tell me. I come from a very small town in Ohio (in the United States for anyone reading who is unfamiliar with the states), this is a place where I see poverty every day. People struggle to make ends meet and are “stuck” in place by the questionable economy.

When I graduated, I started applying to every place I could. I sent my resume to blogging sites, magazines, and even libraries. But no one was hiring a fresh and possibly inexperienced grad.

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When I got my hundredth (or quite close to my hundredth) rejection letter, I wanted to give up. I would throw myself onto my bed and stare at the ceiling- I knew I’ve hit a roadblock.

What now? What now? What now?

I would repeat those words as I paced, unemployed for two months and running out of savings. I then caved and applied to any opening I saw online, jobs high schoolers usually had. That was when I got a job at a movie theater.

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Now I don’t want to be a pessimist and say that the world was awful for reducing me, a college grad, into such a position as a part-time cashier at a small theater in a dying mall. It was the opposite. I went into myself for the time, watching the world as an observer. I didn’t want to think about the direction my life would take next.

So now here’s the hard part- I got an idea. What if I teach myself what they would teach me in school for a lot less and find a job that would give me a chance? Well, I started to pay for courses online (making sure they were accredited) while I started to reapply for jobs like a mad woman.

That was when I got a phone call. One private business called up my house and was asking to see me for an interview. My heart nearly flew out when I heard her say “for the photography assistant position”. Holy crap!

I had taken two years of Photoshop, film, and media training in a career center during my high school years. Nothing to do with my college degree. I jumped on the opportunity and went to my interview with high hopes.

What I came to was blessing in disguise.

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I didn’t want to get out of my car. It was a very warm May morning, but I wanted to just sit in my car and stare at the building before me. I couldn’t believe my one big breakthrough was in a dilapidated old house right beside a run-down bar. I set out an alert on my phone, knowing I’ve seen movies that ended badly after these situations before going in.

“No one really walks in the door when the see the place,” said one manager as we sat down for the interview. I told them my experience with photography and editing, and how I liked to create beautiful videos and pictures in my free time. Next thing I knew, I got a phone in the morning. I was hired!

Now I’m not saying it was the best gig, but it was an amazing experience to travel on the road and see new things and places. The girl I was assistant to was the sweetest person I could have been matched with. This job gave me confidence in myself and made me think ‘if I could find this job, I could find any job if I give it a chance’.

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That job didn’t last more than two months, the business went belly up and I was once again only working part-time at the theater. I knew I had to put my degree to good use one way or another and what better way than being a substitute teacher? I applied and got the job as fast as I could, traveling from school to school to teach new kids every day… I hated it.

I was desperate for money and I had two jobs that were not what I wanted to do. That was when my friend told me about the full-time position I am currently at now. It’s not what I had wanted, but seeing how far I’ve come and all the adventures I’ve already had, I know I won’t be lost for too long. After everything I went through this last year I found that my degree isn’t everything and it won’t give me the world. My determination and open mindedness got me every job I’ve had so far. They aren’t in my field of study, but they are helping me get to where I want to be.

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I am here to encourage anyone, degree or not, to keep your mind open and enjoy where you are because just one year out of college I found a huge group of friends, traveled for miles around as a photographer, met many different people, seen many strange places as a substitute teacher (while getting tips on a possible way to go if I wanted to pursue education), and found a job that gave me my own office (which oddly has been a dream of mine).

I can’t wait to see where this new year will take me! But I know I don’t have to stay in one place for too long if I don’t want to.

Life

You Are Never Too Old to Start a New Adventure!

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The Hobbit was an inspirational book to me in school for many reasons. Later in college it was nice to recall that Bilbo, a hobbit in his fifties, started his exciting adventure at a later age than what is typical in the popular opinion that only the young can under go journeys that allow us to grow as people. Inspired, I felt the world was open to many possibilities to all of us at any age and all walks of life. The older you get, the more people expect you to have “figured it out”, but life is not at all that simple and never goes entirely as planned. I am here to tell you that it is okay!

 

College acceptance of students of any age should be enough of an example of teaching people willing to learn at any age, and that new beginnings is not exclusive to those younger than thirty. You don’t have to figure out what life style or career will bring your true fulfillment by twenty-six. You can get your toes wet in fields you are interested in and try new things all you want. If you find it doesn’t meld with you- I implore you to keep looking for that sense of happiness and fulfillment. I have heard from so many sources that you must learn to just grin and bear the life of employment and it is typical to hate your job. But why must that be?

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It is possible to look forward to go to work every day and be happy. We hear about those who found the jobs that make them very excited. If you find that your interest and happiness is not in your current field, I would suggest starting at the bottom rung of the ladder of a new career you have interest in. Learn the trade and see if it is a right fit.

Life is full of new experiences. Try new things, dive in, and enjoy the journey we are endlessly trying to figure out.

Life

Minimum Wage Jobs: Why You Need At Least One On Your Resume

adult-business-commerce-375889 (1).jpgHappy Friday! This post I am going to be discussing the minimum wage job. So, you are fresh out high school/ college and currently looking for employment? Finding an immediate income is never a bad decision. A job is a job and it is something to be proud of. Employment gives you a sense of accomplishment and money.

I used to think I was above having a minimum wage job, that I deserved more than that slice of life. But I feel working a minimum job for a year or a life time is worth the journey. In order to be an effective worker anywhere you must humble yourself. Be proud that you have a job. Many people wish they were in your shoes.

Another part of minimum wage work is knowing that you don’t have to stay there. You can up and leave within whatever two weeks you choose. Finding a new job, no matter the wage, will bring new experiences and the ability to meet people.

The third thing is knowing that money doesn’t mean success. There are countless people who are miserable though they have more money than they can ever spend in their lives! Success is measured in your own happiness. If you are among people who understand you and make you happy, then you have accomplished what so many want to have.

My own experience with minimum wage jobs had gotten me out of my shell and released me into the world with greater understanding. I was made to communicate with so many people on a daily basis, increasing my working and problem-solving skills.

I wish everyone could take some time to work part-time at a restaurant, gas station, or any other job that deals with people from all walks of life. It is an experience of invaluable knowledge.

Please don’t tear yourself down only because of your paycheck. Look at the value in your temporary position and the memories an office job could never give you. And remember to always enjoy the ride.

 

 

Life

Schedule and Keep Moving Towards Your Goals!

Life is a busy hustle of work and sleep, but the true mystery is how can we find a balance between work and our goals while getting enough sleep. Time is the most valuable commodity a person can have no matter your background or financial status. Recognizing when you are wasting time instead of using it is the first step towards meeting your long-term goals.

The huge factor in reaching goals and working hard is a balance with work and pleasure. If you don’t take time to pause and enjoy life and enjoy the present, it is hard to continue without relaxation. So, take a day trip, go to the movies, find a part in your day you can relax and enjoy the simpler things like a good novel (I shoot for the evening hours after working all day).

In setting goals, many bloggers recommend following the SMART method. In doing this, you will track and conquer the small steps along the way of meeting your goals.

S stands for Specific. What is it you want to accomplish? Write out your plan to achieve it in great detail, setting small obstacles to overcome and climb up to your goal.

M stands for Meaning. A goal is nothing without passion or genuine reason behind why we are pursuing it. Understanding why you want something and being able to remind yourself about such a desire will keep you motivated to get it.

A stands for Achieve. This step is full of conquering and taking over the world by storm. As I stated above, setting small goals and over taking them will stoke the flames to your fire. Realistic goals you can achieve on a short term basis will bring you closer to the finish with each milestone you reach.

R stands for Relevant. Is the goal beneficial to you as an individual? If the goal is something you are not passionate about you will want to quit more often than not. So, before setting any goal ask yourself if it’s what you want and would benefit you and your happiness in the long run. You can’t live a life contradictory to your own nature for too long.

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Find an effective time management routine that sets the most important goals first. This will allow you to tackle the most grueling task of your goals when you’re the most motivated. Accomplishing the most urgent goals will make your feel ready to take on other goals. People have the most drive in the morning, so it might be best to conquer your daily lofty goals first thing- perhaps after a little coffee.

It is also a good idea to track how you are spending your time. Keep a log in how much time you spend watching the news, on social media, or maybe even napping throughout the day. Realizing where your time goes is the first step in knowing what to cut back or limit so they can’t keep you from achieving your set goals.

If you must be on YouTube at least once every day, schedule your time around your goals, maybe during a break and time the sessions. Breaks from work are recommended, but be careful to not spend too much time on them. Schedule breaks or other social media into time segments and don’t break from it!

Another practice I’ve done every day since childhood was making a to do list every night before bed. When you wake up, you will have an idea on where your day is going instead of wasting time in thinking about all you do that day.

Time management is crucial in daily success which can build up into a life filled with success and pay off! Keep striving for your lofty dreams one step at a time and don’t forget to enjoy the little things as you achieve your dreams! Good luck!

Life

How To Stay Motivated (Part I)

How to Stay Motivated: Become a Goal Setter or a Problem Solver!

 

We all have the lack of motivation, and some people feel that life is an endless crunch of the good ol’ 9-5. Today, that is not true. Life is so much more and we can manifest it into being what we want it to be if we- key word here- focus!

 

Setting goals, or naming problems, can tell us where we want to improve our life. That can go for fitness to financial or career. But where do you start? How can you manifest such a destiny that has been a fragmented dream with no pathway? Start with your ultimate destination! Start from the top, imagine you as a successful Whatever-You-Are and recall all the smaller steps you took to get there. Crazy, right? Well look at it this way instead: all that talent you want to possess or the knowledge you want to gain, the ability to gain what you want is already within you.

 

Set your goals by category. Whatever career you want to have you will then plan for what jobs or education you need to gain experience for your goal. What are your financial goals? How much do you make now? How much do you want to make a month from now? A year? Five years? What are skills you want to learn? Do you want to learn about programming, crafts, or how to play an instrument? Set a small goal like learning to play one chord a day then another the next day, and soon you will play entire music without looking at the sheet. Projects are tackled in segments.

 

All these goals should build up to the lager time span goals. Update your smallest goals every day by setting times and dates you want them completed. Do not run yourself down by setting all the goals equal in priority. Focus on the one you want most right now whether it be to buy a new phone, get a new car, or to pay a bill. Work on them a little at a time. Chip away at that mountainous climb to the finish line.

 

The point of all this is to be easy on yourself. Don’t write the goals like you expect yourself to screw it up by saying “don’t sleep in anymore”, instead you should say “wake up before 8am”. Goals should be a challenge, though sometimes you should set easier goals when you are feeling like you need to slow down for after taking on the world like a champ. Achieving most of your goals, means you can make them more challenging to make your accomplishments more rewarding. Finding a goal too difficult to achieve in the time you’ve set, then give yourself a little more time (this is a common result for all goal setters). If you find you no longer want to follow your current goal, then pursue your current passion.

 

And always remember to enjoy each step of the journey!

Life

Stop Feeling Guilty For Pursuing What You Love! (My First Blog Post!)

Hello! And welcome to my very first blog post! I had been planning to make this post an introduction about me, but I currently feel that there is something much more crucial at hand to talk about.  I am writing this post from my own experience and struggle with depression. This depression, I think, is directly linked to the fact that I never let myself play or dream. I just put all of my energy and blood into work that does not feed my soul or mind. For my entire life, the things I love to do have always been placed on the back burner until I had some time set aside from work. This life-style depressed me. By the time I got the opportunity to work on what I was passionate about, I was too tired to put much effort into my drawings, creative writing, or whatever I wanted to do.

Someone asked me a few weeks ago: “What do YOU want to do, Cassandra?” Posed with this question, my programmed mind came up with a practical answer: find a job, get an  apartment, and start a normal life. But now I understand the question much more clearly and it is quite literally a question of: ‘What I want’.

I must work for money in order to pursue my interests, of course (at least for now), but that should never be the main focus. What is it that you want in life? What is a passion of yours? I have been crying so much these past six months because I made no time for that part of me, none. I would make myself feel horrible if I ever wrote one creative page for my novel instead of focusing on work.

While in my final semester of school, I drew a picture of one of my novel’s characters. I remember having such a hard time finishing it because of the guilt I had for not working on assignments. I actually stopped drawing the picture for a week, and the creative side of me wanted to get back to it. I remember negotiating with myself that I would finish the painting and leave off the rest of my creative projects until I graduated. The matter seemed settled, and I worked on the picture a little more. But the anxiety of not doing a project or studying for an exam came clawing back into my mind. Out of a pure panic, I summed up the drawing in a matter of 30 minutes. I stepped back and looked at it. The picture was not at all what I had wanted. It had so many careless mistakes because I wasn’t focused on what it needed while I thought of other things.

I feel like that picture reflects my life. It took myself 24 years to finally realize that I am only doing what others expect out of me. I am killing my own internal creativity and my own self. The anxiety and the depression I had for years was that part of me slowly being snuffed out but fighting to live. I had almost smothered it.

I think it is time to realize that we all need to express that part of us, to do what makes us truly feel like we are living. If your passion is sports then pursue it, even while working full-time; if you like racing, then nothing is stopping you from climbing that ladder; or if it is just surrounding yourself with business driven people, then find those circles (the internet is a great tool to find like-minded people). Do what you want to do more than anything in the world. I know, I know. It sounds cliché to say “no one is stopping you, but yourself”,  but it is kinda true. I have written this to warn you with my own experience and lesson in life. And if you do find yourself crying all the time like I have been recently, then know you aren’t the only one facing the anxiety the world puts on us.

You are not alone.

Please reach out to others and ask for them to just sit and listen to you. If there is no one in your personal life to find support from, then hop online and find groups that support those with depression and anxiety. I have found a few groups for myself and have found people who are going through the same kind of struggle and who are willing to offer their support with so much understanding.

Be gentle on yourself. If you need someone to talk to, some outlet to go to, then you must seek it out.

My closing message is this: Pursue your passion no matter what anyone says. If someone says you aren’t good enough and you’ll never make it, most times it is done out of jealousy. If you work really hard in what you love, then there should be nothing that is stopping you from making it to your goal.

Keep Learning. Keep Growing. And Always Strive For A Better You.