Friday, 29 November 2013

265 miles South.

So what is it like being a northerner living in London?

Different!

It is very different.

Where I come from, I look out of my window and see fields up on fields, cows and tractors. I wake up to the sounds of birds tweeting and when I want to buy some chocolate I have to walk to the little post office in the village.

In London, it’s all roads and buildings, I wake up to the sounds of sirens and there is always a Nisa or little supermarket in walking distance for my chocolate bar.

So where am I actually from?! I am from good old, sunny Teesside. To make it easier I tell people I am from near Middlesbrough, but I am actually from a smaller town called Stockton and within Stockton I live in a little village called Stillington, and no, I am NOT a Geordie. Geordies are from Newcastle. I am what we like to call, a smoggie.  

Up north you can jump on a bus, and you will most likely have a conversation with the person you are sharing a seat with. In London, try and speak to the person sat next to you and they look at you as if you have 3 eyes. We are a lot friendlier up North, or so I find. People in London have somewhere to be and that is that, no time for conversation.

Travelling in London is so different. Obviously we don’t have tubes but we do have busses, but they don’t run as often as the ones in London. You are also very rarely sat in traffic like you are down here. When I lived at home, we always drove places because it was easy too. I don’t know how much I would dare driving round London because the traffic is crazy. I think it would be far too stressful.

Everything is so much bigger down here!! Yeah we have big buildings, but not as big as the Shard or Canary Wharf. They are just your average big building, and we don’t have big double decker busses really either. I think there are a few but only a hand full. So it’s pretty overwhelming moving here.

One thing I miss that Teesside has, that nowhere else has is a parmo. What is a parmo I hear you ask? Well, it is a Teesside delicatessen, it’s greasy, cheesy and one of the best things you will ever eat, especially when you are drunk or hung-over. It’s a deep fried breaded chicken breast, smothered in béchamel sauce and cheese. Served with chips, salad and some often cover it in garlic sauce. MMM, YUM DELISH.


Another huge difference is the accent, obviously! When I first came down I used to have to ask people to repeat what they were saying sometimes, just things like towel and tail. When a southerner says them two words, they sound the same to me, but I found it pretty easy as I got used to it.

For me however, I wonder how long I will live down here and have people asking me to repeat words or have them repeating me. Yes, I speak differently, but sometimes I feel like a performing monkey. ‘Say that again Beth’, ‘sorry, what was that’. I do find it funny sometimes because I say things totally different and people get so confused. I like to think my accent hasn’t changed since I moved down here, but my family seem to disagree. When I go back home for a little while, they always say how I have softened my accent and I say a few words in a southern accent but after being home, I always come back with a broader northern accent and I feel better.

And last but not least, one of the biggest things I miss is HOME BARGAINS! Home bargains is a little shop, that sells big brand, bits and bobs and for really cheap. London doesn’t have a home bargains L they are starting to get them in some Essex areas, so I am really hoping they are going to branch out. Every time I go home I leave a little bit of space in my case to go to home bargains and stock up on cheap essentials.


So moving down south was a scary change, not just because I was miles from home, but because I felt a little lost and I have only met a few northerners down here. But you get used to it and it starts to feel more homely. Even though you can’t get a parmo, I suppose it makes it a little more special when I go home. 

Monday, 18 November 2013

BA Hons Drama


Most of my life I have been known as a little drama queen, so it only seemed right to study drama at University.  I think most of my teachers through school would have predicted that, that was the route I was going to take in life.

So here I am, studying a bachelor of the arts degree in drama at the University of Greenwich.  This is my third year so things are getting pretty full on and scary right now. The thought that in six months I will have finished my degree, makes me feel a little bit sick. I am excited, nervous, worried, panicked and absolutely buzzing, all at the same time. It’s a very weird feeling.
So this year we have to study four modules within our one course. Two of which are compulsory and two we chose ourselves from a huge list. We could have chosen from many different courses across the university such as, language course, English courses and of course, some drama courses. So I chose placement and drama production. For my placement I have to complete 100 hours at either one or more places. So I have chosen to do my placement at Lewisham Youth Theatre. So far I have managed to do nearly 40 hours which is quite good as I have six months to complete the rest.

The other course I chose was Drama production. In this course we have to put on a full production at the end of the year. So over the last few weeks we have picked the four plays were doing, auditioned for the plays we want to be in, been given the plays were in, auditioned for characters in the play and then been given our parts. I got the part I wanted :D wahhhhoooooo!! So now for that course we have to work right up until May, putting the production together and learning our lines. I am really excited about this course and I think it is the definitely the one that I am going to enjoy the most. The play I am in is called ‘Road’ by Jim Cartwright and I am playing the part of Carol.
One of the compulsory courses is called other stages. In first year we studied early stages and last year, modern stages. So other stages covers some of the topics that we never studied over the last two years. So, at the minute I am currently looking at Avant Garde. At first I wasn’t one hundred percent on this course however, as we approach the project for this term, I am really quite enjoying it. It is something totally different to anything that I have ever done before. I love learning new techniques that I might be able to use in the future. Next term I will be going on to study African theatre, which again I think sounds interesting, so let’s see what that brings.

Finally, the second compulsory course that I have to study is Contemporary British Theatre. This course consists of reading a play a week (eep), going to see some plays and then doing either a play analysis or a presentation on one of the plays. One of the good things about this course is that you actually get to read plays that you probably would never think of reading.  It just gives you an insight into many different plays with many different themes. Although we have a 3000 word essay at the end of the year, the rest of the course doesn’t seem too bad. So I am not going to think about that just yet, GULP!

I don’t know where it has gone, but these past ten weeks have gone mega fast, and Christmas is soon approaching, which means so is the end of term.  So I better go and get some of my work done.


Thanks for reading x

Friday, 15 November 2013

BRING IT ON!

‘HEY MERMAIDS’

‘Hey what?’

‘INTRODUCE YOURSELF’

‘No way’

‘INTRODUCE YOURSELF’
‘Ok!’

‘M-E-R-M-A-I-D,

Mermaids that’s who your see,

Were navy, white and gold,

U-G-M in bold.


We’ve got the bows in our hair,

Our cheers we love to share.’

‘AND GIRLS ARE YOU PROUD?’

‘Hell yeah we’ll shout it loud.’

‘AND ARE YOU GONNA FIGHT?’

‘Until the end, yeah, that’s right!’

So, if you haven’t already gathered from my other blogs, I talk A LOT about cheerleading. It isn’t because “it is my life”, it is just because, being a coach, I think about it all the time.
Even when I am sat on a train with my headphones in, you will catch me doing little arm movements, or bopping my head, choreographing new routines. Strange really, because when I come to choreograph properly my head goes blank. I should start writing it down as soon as I think of it. That way, my life would be sooo much easier!

So ‘The Mermaids’ now have 54 members, 20 of which are returning girls. That’s 34 new people!! 2 of which are male... woo! I love it when we have males because the stunts go so much higher.

Competitions:

Competitions are absolutely crazy. Imagining walking into one huge hall with music blasting, the aroma of hairspray and hundreds, possibly thousands of cheerleaders walking around, all wanting the number one position.  Although all the squads want that first place trophy, it really isn’t as bad as the movies make it out to be. When we have been in the past, we have met some really nice cheer squads. The one thing that I really love is that everyone is there for the same thing, their love for cheerleading. You find that it isn’t only your spectators that are cheering for you, other teams are too. You watch all the other teams compete and some of the stunts are just amazing and you cannot help but cheer for them. It is such a nice atmosphere to be in, and the adrenaline keeps you hyped all day.

The days are really long, even longer depending on where you are coming from. They tend to start the completion at 7:30 in the morning. This means you get to go on the practice mat at about 7am. Which therefore means you have to be at comp by at least half 6 to be prepared and find your seats. Which meant you had to be up and get ready in time to leave to get there for half 6. It is absolutely crazy, but you get enough time between your competitions to calm down and chill out with the squad.

Our next competition is on the 8th of December, Winter Wonderland at Crystal Palace. For this competition I am only going to take one level 2 squad and it just consists of my 20 returning girls. (We will also be taking a dance squad to compete in the jazz dance division). It wouldn’t have been fair to throw the new girls in at the deep end and get them to compete. They wouldn’t have been ready in time. I am however getting all of the new girls to come and spectate, so we have lots of people to cheer us on.

The pressure is well and truly on, but I am really excited. I love the adrenaline rush and I love the feeling after you have competed. Well, up until the point where they announce the winners, that bit is sickening. Everyone sits on the mat and waits nervously for their names to be called out, hearts pounding, and sweaty palms. Oh gosh I am getting nervous thinking about it.
I will have to let you know in December how it went.

Until then I think I will base my blogs on a bit about my course and I might even give you an insight on what it’s like to be a northerner living in London.


Choi for now J


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Tornado!

So I have only been at university a couple of weeks, but boyyyyy what a whirlwind. The day I moved back in to halls I was promoting ‘Cheer’, un-packing and planning my night out all at once. It was more hectic to say the least. But nevertheless, my first day was so good (despite the stress of having to move from my house into a flat), we all went out to our Student Union, and I got to see people that I hadn’t seen all summer. The next morning we all went for our first big greasy fry up of the year. FYI, Big Boyz café in New Eltham is just the best, and reasonably priced too.

So in the two weeks following that, it was fresher’s fortnight. The university really pulled it out of the bag this year. They had things happening every day and night. Even if some of it wasn’t to your taste, it felt like there was something else you could at the same time. I made sure that I made full use of this fresher’s week as it’s my last one. L  I got as many freebies from the fresher’s fairs as I could. Who is going to say no to free alcohol and Nandos vouchers...? NOT ME! I also went to Thorpe Park with Alex and Benji, (the boyfriend and the best friend). This again was with the university and cost £15 for out park ticket and travels… BARGAIN! I had never been to Thorpe Park before, and like to consider myself as quite the adrenaline junkie, so I absolutely loved going on all the rides. That was on a Wednesday, so it was only right to head back to campus, and get ready for Sparrows (the Student Union).

At the fresher’s fairs, the cheerleaders had to do a lot of promotion work to get the squad bigger for this coming year. Over the two fairs, we managed to get a total of about 150 names…150!!!! Not all of them will come and most people we will never see again, but at least that is another 150 people that know we exist. Two years ago, no student at the university even knew we had a cheer squad, so getting our selves more known is key. We also got to have a nosey at the other sports teams and societies and see what was on offer this year.

Then following fresher’s fair was the come down. L Back to university and all the hard work or third year was about to begin. Not only university, but the cheerleaders have competition on the 8th of December, so I need to crack on with the routine. I have auditions for plays, reading every week for two courses and not to mention all the work that will come with it. So when I started this blog and said my first few weeks have been a whirlwind… I now think this whole year is going to be one big TORNADO!

Until next time J

Monday, 30 September 2013

THIRD YEAR IS COMING ARGHHHHHHH!!!

I study Drama here at the University of Greenwich and this year is my third and final year, so the work is going to be bigger and better! Well, I hope it’s going to be better; I just need to put the hours in. My weakness is concentration. A university student’s best talent is procrastination; it’s one of my many talents anyway. There is always something better to do, like catch up on Corrie, sort my clothes draw out or sleep! I always find a way to crawl under the duvet and justify having a three hour nap. If I actually sat in the library and wrote my essay weeks in advance, giving me time to check over it, I would be alright (I think). My will power sucks!

Anyway, studying drama is something that I always wanted to. Even though I have had thoughts of being a paramedic and a midwife, I think I am going to stick with drama now. The thought of leaving uni and going into teaching is too exciting. I would love love love to be an actress on the television or on the stage, but the industry is so tough. If I didn’t want to start earning real money as soon as I could, I may have gone down that route. Anyway, who knows, one day I might totally change my mind and change direction, and audition for roles in plays or on TV, but until then, teaching is what I want to do. So in order to do a PGCE, I need to ideally get a 2:1 or a first. (Gosh I would love a first) This year I am going to give everything I have got into getting a good grade. I got a 2:1 in my second year, so it is definitely do-able. I want to teach secondary, and unfortunately, Greenwich don’t do a secondary PGCE in drama, so I can’t stay here L booooo! I haven’t even started third year yet and I am already looking at what uni’s I can go to. You have to jump on courses like this because they can go so fast. So fingers crossed I find one I like and get it.

For one of my courses this year we have to do a drama production. So we all have to audition for different roles in plays and then our lecturer decides what role we are and then at the end of the year, we do a week of productions. This course is going to be by far the best one of the year. I haven’t been in a play since college. We have done little plays at uni in first and second year, but nothing like this. We don’t find out what the plays are until we go back either. I can’t wait, but I’m nervous at the same time. What if there isn’t a play I like, or know? What if I don’t get the part I want? It’s so scary!
I am also doing a placement this year as one of my course options. I haven’t found one yet but I have been on the lookout. I need to do 100 hours over the year. Hopefully I will find one before the term starts or I might struggle in fitting the hundred hours in. Oh there is so much do, so little time.

There is another two compulsory courses too, which I am sure you will hear about in my future blogs. They are going to be the ones with essays and lots of reading (my worst nightmare) but, you can’t expect to come to uni and it be a doddle now can you!
CHEER!!

Something you will hear A LOT about in my blogs is Cheerleading. I coach the University of Greenwich Cheerleading Squad and have the time of my life doing it. Every week, no matter how stressful it has been, you know you at least have three hours of down time, where you can do something you really enjoy. Although for me I am there to coach, I can still have a really fun time with all the girls. These girls are people who you meet at uni, and they become some of your best friends. We are like a family. Everyone is there for each other and you know when something is wrong, you can go to anyone. This year we are looking to be even bigger and better! Last year we won CLUB OF THE YEAR!

It was so exciting as we worked hard for it. Being a Mermaid is definitely one of my highlights of uni. It isn't all just being about walking around in my uniform with my fake blonde hair, haha!! We actually compete and work hard. Of course we have loads of fun on our socials but competing is what we are here for. We also cheer for the Mariners; the uni’s American football team. So we have all our chants at the ready and cheer them to victory (sometimes).

As well as uni and cheer I work a couple of jobs. My two main ones being, the student union and enquiry unit at university. Both of which are really good jobs. They are both flexible around your University hours and good pay. It means you get your weekends off and free entry into the SU. (Winner winner, chicken dinner!!!) Having a job whilst at university isn't for everyone, but I enjoy it (as well as needing the money). It is another chance to meet great people and another thing to add to your CV.

I actually cannot wait for September, Roll on fresher’s week, socials, cheerleading and THIRD YEAR OF UNI!

Who ever said all work, no play! They were wrong… I work and play!!


Until next time xx