Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Baking Session- Coffee Cake and Peanut Butter Cookies!

So. Much. FOOD!

My friend, the wonderful Rena Freefall, came over to my house for the last time in... quite a few months. You see, she is going off to America for a few months and I will be shortly embarking upon my fourteen month long expedition of Germany and China (I say expedition, I will just be working and studying for the large majority of those fourteen months...)

So to celebrate our adventures? We made cake. Cakes. Cakes and Cookies.
Yeah... We went a little overboard....

We started with the cake, using a recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, we decided to make the coffee cake as recently I have formed a sort of addiction to coffee cake (ironic really, considering coffee itself I don't find to be hugely addictive...). The recipe involved about 8 eggs, lots of sugar, a surprising amount of baking powder (which lead to our cakes overflowing somewhat....) and tons of sugar! 

(Look at her! Being all cool with her one handed egg cracking skills!)

The peanut butter cookies were very simple to make. With only three ingredients, it was the perfect way to distract ourselves whilst waiting for the cakes to be made! 

The we got back to the task of the icing sugar!

Rena turned her talents to the decorating of the cake, which was simply sublime, whilst I sorted out the cookies! Soon we had a nice leaving feast prepared for ourselves (plus my family)!

Needless to say, it really was the perfect goodbye. A bit of chatter, a lot of sugar and even more fun.

Finally, I just wanted to say a huge WELL DONE to Rena for getting chosen to be part of Camp America and have a really great great great summer abroad in NY. Can't wait to hear all about it :)

Until next time everyone~

Friday, 27 June 2014

CityScape Planning!

I know I've already posted about actually filming the project which really does come after the planning section but hey. What's the fun in doing things in order, right...?

(My Project Book ;) )

As it turns out, planning a film is... hard. Planning a film by yourself? VERY STRESSFUL!
Because aside from writing a script and putting ideas onto a page (which my lovely writer, Rena Freefall, kindly did for me), a hell of a lot of through has to go into the actual making of a film. 

Finding actors is difficult - the fact that my lead actor dropped out in the last week leaving me actorless for a short while almost gave me a heart attack.
Sourcing props is very expensive.
Planning how long filming will take/what shots to use is nigh impossible given that there are a lot of external factors to take into account for an indie film as unlike big budget films, we don't have the luxury of telling the public to get out of the way. Which isn't usually a problem - except I was very determined to have my film take place in the midst of London's biggest and brightest, and therefore busiest spots.

However, all that aside, I loved it. Every stage of it. From telling my idea to a writer, to seeing it written on a page, to finding places to make the story come alive, to facebook stalking all my guy friends to finding a replacement actor. To drawing hilarious stick-men storyboards (which I really wish I had taken a photo of now to show you, because they really were appaaaaaaallingly drawn....) to doing time sheets and prop sheets and costuming. It was... amazing. To be completely in charge of my own project for the first time really was an amazing experience - and even more of a learning curve!

I am not expecting this film to be anything great, or to get anywhere or for anyone even to watch it (outside of myself at least 101 times to over analyse it of course...).
But that's okay. Because that's not what this project was about. 

This project was about me proving to myself that I could direct, produce and film a short film. That I am capable of doing all these things, even if it is going to be an extraordinarily amateur film. But that's okay. Baby steps right? 

All of this being said however, I do intend to make this the very best that I can, because a lot of work went in to it, not just by me, but also by my lovely actors, cameraman, writer and the music guy. 

So. Here's to another Indie Film :)

Until Next Time~

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Flutter By, Butterfly~

The Natural History Museum: Sensational Butterflies Exhibit

Whilst location scouting for the last film, my friend and I went to the Natural History Museum, as that is where one of the scenes is filmed. However, I quickly got distracted by the Sensational Butterflies Exhibit after having seen the posters plastered all over the tube lines!

A wonderful exhibit, you walk into the tent and there are just... butterflies EVERYWHERE! With the warmth and sunshine streaming through the tent, it is a lovely experience. I spent the entire time with my friend, dancing around like a child, gasping every few seconds when I spotted a new type of butterfly (some of which were HUGE!!!) before spending a good half hour standing very still to try and encourage one to land on my arm. Needless to say that didn't quite work... (so next time I will wear my flower garland ;) )

I don't really know what it is about butterflies that I have always loved.... Obviously they are very pretty and very delicate... But I really could watch them fluttering around for hours. It's just a happy thing to do, I suppose. If that makes sense? Maybe relaxing is the better term.

Not to mention the fact that there are not only a huge array of different breeds flying around you, but also you get to learn about the different types of butterfly, the stages of growth (they even have a section to see the different stages of the cocoon-ing process! And yes, I realise cocoon-ing is not a word...)

So yes. If you have a free afternoon or even just an hour or so, do go wonder around the Sensational Butterflies exhibit. It is really interesting and enlightening, but also relaxing. A chance to let out your inner child and just take some time to appreciate nature's wonders - something a lot of people believe to be difficult in the built-up capital city that is London. 

For more information about this exhibit, just click HERE.

And that's all folks~ 
Until next time :)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Punchdrunk: The Drowned Man

The Best Theatrical Experience.

The Drowned Man, by Punchdrunk has become somewhat of a legend among aspiring theater students as it is not only entirely unconventional, but is also an entirely interactive and immersive experience. 

From before you even enter the studios where the piece is set, you feel the buzz and excitement all around you from the other audience members, all apprehensive, nervous and yet strangely excited. You have to queue to get in and they require you to leave all bags in their bag storage area, for reasons which become obvious once you enter the main stage performance space.

The studio is built up of four different floors. You enter the performance via the elevator after being given a mask which you are to wear for the duration of the performance. The Gatekeeper gives you a bit of an idea of what you are about to experience whilst encouraging you to stay away from friends and experience this performance by yourself. This may seem daunting, given the creepy music and dark hallways, however I found it to be highly beneficial to split up from my friends as this helped add to the realistic feel of the performance. 

The first floor, from what I could see was only props which you were allowed to touch and examine as you liked. The belonged to the characters of the play and every detail was absolute perfection. You could spend hours trawling through the different rooms, exploring the lives of the characters through their possessions.

However the main action happened on the upper floors. Characters were scattered around the building in different rooms and each of them had their own, highly detailed story. There were two 'main' storylines, the William and Mary story, and the Marshal and Wendy story, one of which was an inversion of the other. 

The characters all interacted with each other at one point or another, using a mixture of dialogue and contemporary dance to convey the emotions and aims of each scene before they would split off. The wonderful thing about this was that you could follow any characters you liked!

After examining the first floor for a length of time, I then found William and Mary and decided to follow their story line for a while, swapping between following William and Mary and some other of the main characters until that storyline was finished (each story looped 3 times). After that, I followed random characters, which turned out to be highly confusing at first, as I had no idea who they were in relation to anyone else, but somehow found Marshal, entirely by accident, and managed to catch the end of his story with Wendy before everyone was gathered together for a truly haunting ending.

The experience was entirely amazing. Props, set, costume, performance... everything was done in so much detail that the world and stories truly came alive in that space. I would say that it is not only one of the best performances, but also one of the best experiences I have ever had and has also given me an idea for a new project I would like to do! (When I eventually get money that is...)

Anyway, The Drowned Man is only on for another few performances, so if I were you, I'd get down there straight away!
Tickets can be found HERE.

Other than that, that's all from me for today. Catch you soon :)


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Soho's Secret Teashop!

Because I haven't done a cafe blog in about a week a while...?

So this is really just a little side snippet of a much larger post (which is coming soon) where I show some friends around the biggest and best spots of London. 

Now, I've been giving relatives and friends tours of London for years now, yet I still never get bored of it. Those sights definitely aren't just for tourists to enjoy! However, having been a tourist myself, I can definitely say that whilst experiencing all the big spots is a must-do and an absolutely amazing experience, I feel that one of the ways to truly experience a city is by doing a handful of events that only Londoners do. The less traditional sights, the more obscure locations and the quirkier experiences is what truly makes a city. In my opinion anyway.

So, bearing that in mind, as well as the fact that I had only a weekend to show all of London's wonders off, I decided that Soho's Secret Tea Room would be the perfect way to make this experience for my friends that little bit more personal for them. After all, is there anything more quintessentially British than a Victorian styled tea shop with jazz music playing in the background in the middle of Soho?

However even I wasn't expecting the cafe to be as wonderful as it was! Tucked away behind the Palace Theater, above a random pub, you can truly appreciate why it's a 'secret'! 

With an array of delicious cakes and selection of loose leafed tea, we took an hour or so out of our London Tour to just rest our feet and recuperate for a while, with the knowledge that we were part of the few who knew about this wonderful place! 

And for all of those curious as to where it is, click here to be transported to the website :)

And that's it from me today, so I hope you enjoyed reading this and until next time!


Monday, 23 June 2014

'CityScape' Filming!

From behind the camera...

[Messing around backstage!]

Acting is a passion of mine, as you might have gleaned from my blog. In fact, creative endeavors in general seem to dominate the majority of my life, whether it be acting, drawing/painting, writing, singing, piano playing and, as of recently, also directing. 

[Roses, in a flask!]

One of the great things about having been part of more experimental theatre companies from a young age with a focus on devised work is that, whilst you develop important acting skills, there are many opportunities to develop one's ideas and experience some directing. 

[On location - can you guess where? ;)]

So last January, I set myself five resolutions. One of which was to make my very own short film, which as of yesterday I have finally managed! (Well kind of... I still have all the post-production to do, which is obviously a massive ordeal!). But for me this has been a great learning curve so far, from all the ordeals of the last post, through all the unexpected problems during filming. However I am really happy with the footage so far and can't wait to start putting it all together. But first... About Filming!

Introducing the Actors:

[Lead Actress: Anoushka Probyn]

[Lead Actor: Thomas Kirby]

The premise of the film is that it is essentially a love chase round London's brightest sights. It will be a short artsy/fashion film which I intend to be only a few minutes long (five at maximum). 

[Best. Steak. Baguettes. Ever. #Camden]

[Food Break!]

[Tea Break]



It was a very fun experience for me and I feel that I have learnt a lot from this! And whilst I found cinematography to be a fun experience, I felt that being behind camera and focusing on footage distracted from my ability to direct. Next time I will definitely find a cameraman/woman to help! Also someone to properly do cinematography as that is definitely not where my talents lie!. I would also bear in mind that sometimes, the general public just get in the way... 

However in whole, I'd say it filming was a success! Now onto postproduction! :D