Dido In Concert 2019

Writing

Is it bad that I only know two of her songs? That’s right she’s a singer not a prehistoric bird (Dodo). Although at the age of 47 years old, I wonder is her voice as strong as it use to be? Not being ageist but if Sir Paul McCartney’s croaking at the London 2012 olympics was anything to go by then let’s just say pensioner care home choirs need not audition for the X Factor anytime soon. 

 

47 is certainly by no means old, and nor does it mean you should stop singing, I mean look at Cher! But forgive me for being somewhat skeptical ahead of the hitmaker’s concert last night at The Hammersmith Apollo. Will she deliver or will her support act outshine her?

If Eminem deemed her talented enough to be the chorus belter on ‘Stan’ then she must have talent, right?

*One Moment Later

So What’s The Verdict?:

Dido’s voice is flawless, still as ethereal and controlled as it was recorded in the 90’s. The strength of her voice in addition to it’s quality was sustained throughout the full 2 hour show, it didn’t waver once. I strain my voice shouting down a taxi nevermind belting out hit records for hours on end so she gets a massive thumbs up from me on that.

Her warmth onstage shined through also, with a good sense of humour in her anecdotes coupled with context on what encouraged her to create certain songs made for  engaging stage presence.

Dido proves that women in music don’t have to necessarily perform in their underwear to appeal to the masses, afterall she’s been on a hiatus from music for 15 years and still she can command a crowd across international cities.

The evening restored my faith in the music industry (apologies in advance for the terrible quality photos):

She’s not even in this one thanks to the man’s head in the middle! But I liked the flame effect.

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I told you the quality was bad!

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Odid? My sister et moi.

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Review: The Aeronaut

Writing

Not to be confused with ‘the astronaut’ this eccentric public house also doubles up as a theatrical extravaganza. From circus to stand up comedy and everything inbetween, why be on the moon when you could be poking somebody in the neck with a pickled frankfurter?

 

Atleast this is what I came to realise on my recent escapade to the Acton based watering house this Friday passed. Voted ‘best pub in west London’ by event ticketing website ‘design my night‘, I thought I’d pay it a visit to see if it really did stand up to this accolade.

 

Strolling up on that dark Friday evening with my lovely friend from university – Leo, we entered with great anticipation. Inside, it appeared to my eyes to be something similar to, if you know the scene, in Harry Potter when Professor Slughorn holds a glorious Christmas party in an outdoor tent. Well, this place, with arguably the same amount of magical enchantment donned a similar decor. With crimson and canary pinstripe material draped  throughout the walls of the main theatre area. And as if the outdoor beer garden wanted to adopt this lively pattern too, a continuation of the vividly coloured striping within each heated little cabin in the garden area took form also.

In the main bar section to the left of the theatre area was a spooktacular salute to all things Halloween. I could see clouds of cobwebs as thick as smog, so dense it put my own home’s to shame. I also spotted pumpkins carved into everything under the sun, from self-portraits to spinal cords. Stumbling further through the zany labyrinth I became aware of the volume of two mens’ voices, they were becoming distinctively louder, also equally alarming to the volume was the words they were saying with such conviction. Something like ‘shoot em’ again, shoot em’ again’ I almost froze in fear, if curiosity hadn’t got the better of me I probably would still be standing there now. With my beady eyes and increasing paranoia I turned the corner of the corridor of the pub expecting to see a crime scene infront of me, yet instead the real crime was done on my eyes as I seen before me the cumbersome movements of two grown men banging into the walls and eachother in such animated fashion. Turns out they were wearing VR (virtual reality) headsets playing what looked like some simulated version of Call of Duty.

With the investigation solved, Leo and I returned to the theatre. No sooner had we entered than were we greeted by a granny named Maggie, conversing with us in a thick brogue straight from the highlands of Scotland.. Little did I know soon Maggie would be taking to the stage to do her comedy act.

Before Maggie was to crack a few knock knock jokes, another lady came round to the table Leo and I claimed as our own for the 2 hour performance about to unfold. She asked us how exactly we were related to Maggie. At first her question bewildered me and then I realised oh it’s an interactive comedy, and that’s when the meatsweats started. Maggie the old bat, was part of the onstage comedy trio who would be performing a sketch inwhich the objective of the storyline was that some of the geriatrics would compete against eachother to be lead event organisers of their carehome, and it was our job their audience, soon to be mock family members , to take part in the ‘competition’ also on behalf of our elderly relative.

Leo naturally piped up saying with great conviction that we were to be Maggie’s grandmother, which is obviously a realistic family member to be to an 80 year old. So no sooner had we taken our seats than had the show began with the aim of the game being Maggie’s family would compete with Arthur’s family (the other old guy) in a range of interactive tasks in a bid to help their elderly relative win the coveted role of event planner.

The interactive activities included seeing who could wrap their partner up in a full roll of cellotape the fastest, guessing whether sausage or a finger poked you in the back of the neck (I had the pleasure of taking part in this one,  getting poked by some stranger’s sausage), putting tights on your partner without them using their hands the fastest and then consequently seeing how many objects you can stuff down those tights on your partner (someone got a chair leg in and suspended the chair in mid air, that must’ve hurt the crotch).

The winning team at the end got a bottle of Prosecco, and the fact that we went away empty handed is evidence that Arthur’s team won.

Would I go back again for a rematch? Definitely!

 

The only thing is, which is both good and bad about The Aeronaut is that their lineup of performance acts can vary so you may not see the same act twice. I guess what they give is a taster, an exhibition of quality talent, that if it impresses you enough you’ll go see them again wherever they perform.

I’ve booked my tickets for their upcoming comedy night, called ‘sketch n scratch’. Reminds of another saying involving scratching……

If you’re ever in Acton give them a chance to make a fool out of you, I’ve no doubt you’ll thank them for it!

 

I’m Done….

Writing

If sweating out of every orifice in your entire being is your cup of tea then you should’ve joined me in my gallivanting across the city of London with what could’ve only been described as the weight of a life-sized 10 year old on my back in the form of a gym bag and a suitcase-come bodybag with actual human weight included! Yes stunting my growth wasn’t just a choice I made in the 30 degree heat over the weekend, it was an experience which almost had me in a vegetative state by midday. Having your skeleton permanently positioned into the shape of the letter ‘C’ I’m sure has its advantages but why did this past weekend have to be my moment of awakening to this?

 

If I can momentarily pause from speaking in cryptic code (I’ve been watching alot of Sherlock Holmes these passed to days, thanks to my bed-ridden state), and indulge you in as to why I have found myself in such a mess. The reason behind my misfortune was thanks to ‘moving homes’. I move more than nomads. 4 times in 2 years, is that alot? I get bored easily.

 

If you’ve been following any of my perils this past month you will have found yourself on my bandwagon with a one stop tour of poppycock, peasantry and pettiness just as August comes to  close. From living on £30 over two weeks here in the UK’s capital, to despising the whole world and its dog on public transport, you can really tell that I want you to come to this city and have as fulfilling a time as I.

 

So just before I roll out of bed to crawl to the pissy pot in the corner of my darkened cluttered room I thought I’d keep you updated on my ‘goings ons’. 

 

Hope your life isn’t as shite as mine. 

 

 

I Hate Public Transport With A Passion

Writing

If you’ve happened to be following my journey on the misery train so far, you’ll know that my belief firmly holds – trying to live in London for two weeks on £30 will make climbing Mt. Everest look like a walk in the park in comparison.

 

My hands are already physically shaking as I type due to my inner yearning for anything sucrose, glucose or dextrose based before I become comatosed by the end of this post.

 

So before I’m induced into a diabetic coma, I just thought I’d update you on day 3 as I don’t know if they’ll still let me write from my prison cell once I’m taken in for stealing a loaf of wholemeal from my local Saino’s. Either that or I’ll be lying under a park bench looking like the voldemort baby I presented to you in the other post. So with that being said, I better pull my fingerS out and start typing just that little bit faster.

 

Ayway, where was I? Oh, yes, I was about to break into a song and dance about how much I deteste everything and anything to do with public transport. Speciifally the red buses here in London, as I’m too poor to use the tube I’m forced to sit reluctantly on the slow-coach bus. With the simple learning lesson being ‘money really can buy you happiness’. If the last 3 days have shown me anything, it’s shown me that my level of hatred is a bottomless pit. Yes, just when I thought I couldn’t despise something anymore, I come to the stark realisation that my hatred has a basement.

 

Let me tell you for why:

 

 

1) Buses are magnets for the people you cross the street (3 times) to avoid

 

Just when I thought the tube had the biggest share of the wannabee murders, rapists and tax evaders, the red buses of the city of London quash this idea in a heartbeat. Honestly I  would quite willingly hang off of the roof of the double decker by my hair than sit next to another person simultaneously, grinding their teeth and frothing at the mouth from their morning dose of listerine all while indulging in a sing-along of the old favourite ‘Kumbayah My Lord’ whilst rocking back and forth hugging their knees to their chest. (And there’s me thinking men can’t multitask).

 

2) The Loudly Obnoxious & The Obnoxiously Loud Phone Callers

I don’t care what you’re having for tea, that your boyfriend dumped you for your sister, that your gerbil croaked it (ok maybe this one). I don’t care, and neither does any of the other psycho passengers on  the bus. So why then do you feel the need to tell us all about your boring life at the top of your wheezy lungs? And while you’re doing that at the front of the bus we have your second cousin in the back trying to shout above your shouting on the phone, yelling to us all ‘thank Jesus that I’m a good person, no one else matters only me’. Seriously the amount of people I hear gloating and boasting about their delusioned sense of self is truly sickening. I thought this country had a problem with depression not self obsession?! Perhaps the 2 really are linked. I don’t care if you think you’re God’s gift, you certainly aren’t mine so clear off!

 

3) Petty Thieves

Why should I work my ass off all day in a 9 to 5 for some thug to hop on the bus without swiping his oyster, contactless or donating a kidney at the very least? Point being, time and time again I see these thieves jumping on the bus not paying, instead heading straight up to the top deck and not being stopped or questioned by the bus driver once? Seriously why should I pay for them to have a seat on the bus? They aren’t paying my rent, bills or travel, so why should I cough up on theirs? If I still have the moral decency to pay when I have literally nothing left at this stage, why can they not pay the fare when they are almost certainly not in as dire a place as I at this moment in time?

 

Ok,  I need to stop now, I’m getting heart palpitations. Let the story continue another night.

The Most Anticipated Movies Of 2019

Writing

We’ve already had Aladdin, X-Men and Rocketman set the bar high for this years siverscreen scenes, but wait, the year is by no means over, just check out the movie heavyweights to come:

 

Joker  (October 2019)

I just caught a glimpse of the upcoming Joker movie and it definitely gave me something to smile about. Noone could replace Heath Ledger, yet I’m pretty sure Joaquin Phoenix will give us his own equally engaging take on this superhero supervillain.

 

The Lion King (July 2019)

Truly nostalgic, I personally can’t wait to experience this one on the big screen. Something tells me I won’t be critiquing the CGI too harshly, although the cartoon original version will always hold a special place in my heart. WIth an allstar line-up including Beyonce, Donald Glover and Seth Rogan, you’ll be playing the game of guess the voice actor instead of admiring how cute baby Simba looks in the opening scenes!

 

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (August 2019)

Margot Robbie, Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt……Is this a move or model casting? Whether the film is good or not is secondary, all I want to do is stare at their perfectly formed faces. I know Tarantino is a bit of a marmite director,  I personally find him rather interesting and I’m a fan of his work so really looking forward to seeing his latest piece.

 

Frozen 2 (November 2019)

We just can’t seem to let go of this winter wonderland fantasy by Disney. I wonder how many more infectious songs will come from this sequel?

 

The Irishman (month tbc, year 2019)

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci. Did someone say mob ties? Directed by Scorsese. Did someone say Oscar? Rumoured to have cost $125million and containing 300 scenes, this epic gangster film will definitely be a highlight in Netflix’s catalogue this year.

 

 

Music To Your Ears

Writing

Although I can’t sing a note in key to save myself, the bottom line is – I.LOVE.MUSIC

From dancing to writing about it in magazines, I just can’t seem to get enough of it!

 

My favourite genres are Hip-Hop and Reggaeton but I do dabble in the odd bit of trance and classics every once in a blue moon. Here are some of the tracks I just can’t stop singing in my head. Hopefully you’ll like them too:

 

Freya Ridings – Unconditional

 

The looks of an angel and the voice to match, Freya Ridings first blew me away when I saw her perform at a music publishing company I use to work at here in London. So hauntingly beautiful was her performance then that I thought she must’ve been miming! But no way, her gorgeous tone and aura shone through then just as much live as it does in this scenic video shot in St Pancras Old Church. Definitely check out her songs, I also really like ‘Lost Without You’.

 

Cardi B – Press

 

This song makes me wanna see a text and leave it on read. Definitely a song for the gym or the club. It’s too short though, she needs a longer version of this song, it’s so good I don’t want it to end! Does Cardi B need more press? Loving the cover art, I want her body (on my body)!

 

Anuel AA – Na’Nuevo

 

I wish I knew what he was saying, but then again the beat is so hard I don’t need to! Anuel makes me love Reggaeton and Reggaeton makes me love the Spanish language evenmore. I’ve listened to this track specifically easily 10 times already today. I think I need help. Are you a fan? Do you need to know what the artist is saying to enjoy a song, what’s more important the lyrics or the beat?

 

Murlo – Ferment

 

This song makes me think of the word ‘cute’ for some reason. Not sure if Murlo was going for this adjective exactly but that’s what it evokes in me. Like if I were chasing Bambi through a little pine forest this would be our backing track. Great song to have on in the background if you’re trying to study or drown out the noisy neighbours.

 

Music says alot about your personality I believe.What type of music are you into? Are any of the above your cup of tea?

 

 

 

Disclaimer – I don not own any of the video content or music shown in this post. Full copyright belongs to the copyright owners.

Silent Disco?

Writing

Always keen to try something atleast once, I thought I’d lend my supple body to a bit of shape throwing in a silent room full of strangers. Yes, the Natural History Museum in South Kensington is home to the type of event suitable for just about anybody, from dancing dads to tameful clubbers, the event I assure you, will enthuse us all.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘silent disco’, as I was weeks prior to the event, in summary it’s like a ‘one man party’ but not in the sad kind of way. On Friday night the set up was that there were 3 DJs, each playing a different genre of music: Hip-Hop, EDM and Cheesy Classics. Every person had their own headphones provided, which had special switches you used to change the song, so for example if you were sick of listening to Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ (as if), then you just flick a switch and suddenly you’re listening to Abba’s ‘Take A Chance On Me’.

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So it really was like your own personalised party. But what made it even better was actually when you momentarily removed your headphones, it was such a bizarre experience but basically it was like some weird clashing choir. All I could hear was a mix up of three songs being sung out loud mainly by middle-aged men going gloriously off-key. Plus people were ‘dancing’ to what appeared to be no music.Weirdly enough, more people were dancing at the event than I’ve seen drunk in a club.  Yes, it looked very strange indeed. To say it was entertaining would be an understatement.

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At one stage the DJ’s had us doing the macarena followed by a massive conga line before finishing foff the night with a good ol’ rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. What a fun night out.

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To check out other fun things you could try in London or even in a city near you have a look at my other post.

Robots Are The New Songwriters – Is This Morally Right?

Writing

Warner Music Group’s newest addition to their ‘artist’ roster is that of an algorithm addict destined to make your newest jam, pretty much an alexa with an insatiable interest in generating sound while simultaneously reading your heart rate and circadian rhythm. Designed with the aim in mind to produce 20 albums this year, each containing frequencies which will help you in an array of areas of your life, from being more productive in work to reducing your anxiety:

It’s called ‘Endel’, it’s a sound app, it’s ‘Artificial Intelligence’.

Am I the only one who feels slightly uncomfortable with this? With the overall concept being that a robot will be making an album which makes us jump for joy in one track before crying ourselves to sleep with another. Not by using genuine experience, or raw emotion but instead through big data compilation and machine learning.

It’s one thing having electronics play a part in the music making process, we all know that wizkid producers with state of the art technology  open the doors to having the capability to produce unearthly sounds, afterall autotune is such a common element of music currently. With image taking precedence over singing talent (but I’ll save that topic for a rainy day). Back to the point. It’s one thing having a human use machines to assist the music making process but if you remove the human completely can we really call music art then? Will it not fall under ‘engineering’ or ‘technology’? And if so, would you find an issue with that?

If a robot is evoking certain emotions in us when we listen to the sound frequencies it generates as a response to data based off of my internal functioning (heart rate, movements, temperature), it makes me question how will it be able to manipulate us emotionally further down the line? As the late Stephen Hawking highlighted that although AI may host beneficial impacts to us humans, the theoretical physicist also raised the point that artificial intelligence may also pose the threat of kickstarting the beginning of the the end of the human race if used incautiously.

I must stress, I’m not against AI, but I am cautious of it’s capability. My curiosity for its role to play in sound is sparked by my love for music. And perhaps, my disdain for it’s potential domination through the music industry stems from my subliminal believe that music is something innately human, it acted as a glue, binding our ancestors together as they danced at rituals and socials, it bonds us together today, whether sharing a feeling for heartbreak or one of pure ecstasy, music seems to be a vector to share what at its core makes us human – emotions. Do I really want to press a button on an app to release a frequency to calm my nerves or do I want to talk to a human face to face and get something off my chest?

 

Enough about my opinions, whether I agree with its motives or not, it sure is interesting, if you want to learn more about Endel, check it out here.

Raves: Are They More About The Visuals Than The Music?

Writing

Step over the threshold of any sketchy dilapidated warehouse these days and you find yourself either having the time of your life, or fighting for it. If it’s not the epilepsy inducing strobe lighting making your childhood disco look like a piece of trash then it’s the pounding synths from the Deadmau5 wannabee on the decks giving you tinnitus before your 30th birthday. Welcome to the rave.

 

Do you believe raves are more about the visuals, the audio or an equal combination of both? If you’re answer is C please leave now for noone likes a fence-sitter. I believe it’s A and here’s why:

 

When’s the last time you’ve been to a club and not had to do the matrix under a passing fluorescent green lazer beam? Point proven. Adding further to this, do you think raves would be half as popular if they didn’t sport the latest lava lamps. fresnel lanterns or giant mechanic spiders (think Arcadia Spectaular)?

 

Would you really start throwing shapes down on a dancefloor lit with just your common old tungsten bulb? Ofcourse not! It’s the equivalent of sitting in your edgy friend’s bedroom as the two of you become entranced with their efforts to scratch the complete sh*t out of the mixer discs. Fun to watch but not exactly a ‘big night out’, right? Now, add a few disco balls and the odd fibre optic light and you’ve got yourself one hell of a club night no doubt.

 

Let me be clear, I’m not trying to take the credit away from the DJ in creating a great rave, pressing play on the laptop isn’t an easy feat to master (kidding :p). I’m just putting the question out there, would you feel like you had the same night out if clubs/ festivals didn’t put on quite as a magnificent  lighting display?

 

 

Truth is I’m just jealous I can’t be a DJ or lighting technician. Full props to both of these talented types of people. Clubs need both of you just as much, you are eachother’s  yin and yang and the reason why clubs/festivals are so popular as you both provide great entertainment!

6 Holiday Movies You Need To Watch

Writing

Yes, Christmas is over for yet another year, but there’s no better way to keep the spirit alive than being glued to the TV for 8 hours straight. Below are some festive films I’d highly recommend:

1. Deck The Halls

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Contrary to popular belief, I’m quite a fan of the pure foolery and outrageousness of this festive film. Each of us have that neighbour who tries to outdo the whole community with their eye-wateringly expensive electricity bill lighting extravaganza. Therefore, the relatability of the comedy makes it highly engaging.  Sure. It’s no Inception, you don’t have to think hard while watching, and why should you want to?

 

2. The Polar Express

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Not to be confused with Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, which is definitely worth the watch also, but maybe not with the kids. This 2004 frostbitten animation sees the embarking of a young boy on a journey to the North Pole. You’ll never look at train rides the same way again as an air of magic, mystery and festive spirit fill the storyline from start to finish. In addition to wonderful visuals, with voiceplay from the likes of Tom Hanks, you know you’re in for a real festive treat.

 

3. The Duchess

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Christmas is a magical time of year, matching this magic is the majestic feeling evoked when watching Keira Knightly curtsy in a rather ‘to tight to trot in’ corset.   The 2008 British drama offers a biographical re-telling of the life of Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. Affairs, pregnancies and everything in between are set against the beautiful backdrop of the British countryside, what’s no to love?

 

4. How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

Jim Carrey is sensational as Dr Seuss’ green-eyed egotistical Whoville resident. Comedic, heart-warming and oh so Christmassy, this film is guaranteed to get you knocking back the mulled wine and singing jingle bells in no time (even though is it indeed Boxing Day today)..

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5. Home Alone 1 (&2 but not the rest)

Macaulay Culkin was the cutest kid ever starring as the protagonist in two of the entitled 90’s Christmas comedies. Who would have ever thought that getting left behind by your family and begin burgled would put such a smile on millions of viewers faces? Upon release, Home Alone 1 became the highest grossing live action comedy film of all time in the U.S., taken over by The Hangover Pt ll in 2011.  In my opinion Home Alone with Culkin is priceless anyway, FU Bradley Cooper and your beautiful eyes!

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6. A Christmas Carol

Disney’s 2009 adaptation of the Dickens’ classic brought with it mixed reviews, but to me the dark undertone of the storyline juxtaposes perfectly with the full-action animations.  Despite their being several remakes of the historical author’s story, this has to be one my favourites. Jim Carrey proves not only can he act in person but also can do it solely through voice also, as exemplified perfectly in this marvellous production. Forget Santa, Carrey is the man of Christmas for me!

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Sorry if you’re offended that Die Hard never made the cut!

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ASMR – Does It Work On You?

Writing

Sometimes I have out-of-body body moments and starkly  realise that I’ve just been entranced by some sorcerer on YouTube swishing saliva about in her mouth, repeating the word ‘stipple’ about a million times and making weird butterfly motions with her fingers. Please help me!

Is anyone else grossly engrossed by this phenomenon?

Some of my favourite videos include:

 

Why do we like ASMR so much?

‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response’ or as The Guardian so eloquently puts it, these ‘head orgasms’ are a result of our senses being stimulated, specifically by an external source known as a ‘trigger’ which creates a tingling-like sensation normally starting at the scalp and evolving down the spine.

The human reaction to the stimuli varies from person to person, with some people not even reacting to the triggers at all (poor people). Science is yet to quite understand why this characteristic has came to be, what purpose does it serve?

Whether we know this answer scientifically, I myself find it useful in combating stress, others have reported the beneficial effects ASMR also, including  lowering levels of depression and increasing relaxation. So surely it serves some purpose, and morseo, a positive one.

Some popular triggers include:

  • Mouth smacking
  • Whispering
  • Nail Tapping
  • Crinkling

Why doesn’t ASMR work on everyone?

It may be that different people have different thresholds to biological stimuli, as The List states. Going further it may infact BE on a physiological scale. With the focus being on how endorphins are produced in each of our bodies. It may be that people who produce endorphins more easily or have sensitive endorphin receptors  will react to an ASMR stimulus more easily than someone with a lower or slower endorphin rate of release.

Who knows, maybe it’s just one of these quirks of nature? Let’s see what science says  in the coming years. As something tells me ASMR is staying around long enough to have a few lab tests ran on it!

 

**I don’t own any copyright to the videos**

 

 

Career Switch Like These 7 Celebrities

Writing

One trick ponies aren’t present in the stables today judging by the 7 celebrities below:

Donald Trump – whether you love him or loathe him you can’t deny he’s had the career jump worthy of a pat on the back so big it partially exorcises his demonic spirit from his body (only temporarily though). Not that he was doing that badly before as a multi-millionaire businessman but obviously the title of President of the United States has a better ring to it.

Drake – Who would’ve thought this cute Canadian teen who made squeaky clean TV would become one of the biggest music artists of the charts. Too sweet to be a hardcore gang banger, yet can still crack out multiple expletives with such finesse. Drizzy Drake take a bow.

Martha Stewart – Stewart hasn’t had a bad run of career options in her life, modelling for fashion houses such as Chanel in her early 20’s and as one would naturally do, she jumped right into the world stock brokerage aged 25 at some little known named location – Wall Street. And because making lots of money from money can become lack lustre, Martha re-invented how we watch TV by offering a smorgasbord of her television personalities in various shapeshifting forms ranging from food to gardening.

Christopher Walkin – Lion tamer turned Hollywood actor. Not bad for the resume. Describing one lion affectionately named Sheba as ‘very sweet, like a dog.’ What kind of dogs has he been around? Inbetween his circus life, Walkin trained as a dancer before moving on to Broadway and film.

Ellen DeGeneres – Having experienced a range of roles before stand up comedy took her to stardom, including waitressing at TGI Fridays, paralegal clerical duties and oyster shucking. It’s therefore safe to say she’s done it all (except make me laugh(kidding))!

Pope Francis – Bouncer turned preacher. Any shape throwing sinners would have surely felt his wrath on the backdoor’s of the bouncing Buenos Aires clubs in his early days.

Whoopi Goldberg – Funeral makeup artist. How can you go from powder puffer on the face of a corpse to singing nun in Sister Act? The Pope needs to have words with you Whoopi! (Whoopi’s getting an ass whoopin’ (sorry bit far)) Did I mentioned she was also a garbage collector before turning to stand – up comedy and acting? Her transition into the world of entertainment has definitely been an interesting one.

person wearing red lipstick biting film Blue yeti microphone being discussed in relation to podcast recording

The Woes Of Recording Your Own Voice.

Writing

So, here I am, staring down the barrel of a gun, otherwise known as my Blue Yeti USB microphone. My lip starts to quiver then an absolute torrent of inaudible words start spewing out of my mouth uncontrollably. I’m supposed to be doing my intro to my very first podcast but instead I’m building up a sweat and the odd heart palpitation.

Should I make a script or just ad lib it? Well, as I’ve just mentioned above, the ‘off the bat’ approach just wasn’t cutting the mustard so I decided to jot down a few bullet points. You know, just things like not forgetting to mention ‘hello’, or my name, or why I’m even doing the damn podcast, pretty much every word I would most likely forget had I not clamped the post-it note down to the desk right infront of me.

So with the  script in place and microphone at the ready I start talking gibberish. I stutter, I mumble, I do everything in my power to seem absolutely powerless to my nerves. But why am I so nervous, it’s just me in the room (I hope)? But microphones are intimidating objects, like uncorked wine bottles, just begging you to drink their insides. As I stare down at my mic it glares back up at me and begins to whisper about how groggy my voice will sound on the recording, how everyone listening will laugh at me, how I need a lozenge asap. I silence my mic by suffocating it with my hand, I slam the switch off and I begin the cry into my hands. Will this podcast ever come to be I ask myself?

Days go by, and each time I walk passed my mic it hisses at me with spite. I lock it in the cupboard fearing that I’ll never get to record my thoughts on the taste of water or whether Veganism is just a fad. Holding on to the rough recordings I made before my mic mouthed off at me, I decided to have a moment of insanity and play them back on my laptop.

All I can say is, well…….nothing at all really. I was floored, speechless, by the sound of my own slurred words. To say it sounded like nails on a chalk board would be an understatement. My microphone was right! I sounded like sh*t!

I haven’t used my mic or opened my mouth since, this was weeks ago, will I ever speak again and even more importantly than that, will me and Mikey ever rekindle our friendship?? TBC

5 Extraordinary Jobs That I Never Knew Existed

Writing

If you thought working 9 to 5 was all about number crunching and pencil pushing think again:

  1. Certified Seat Filler

Empty seats at some of the biggest events in TV are an absolute no no so random people may actually be paid to make up the numbers. My question is – how the hell can there be gaps in the audience at these events, surely you’d donate a kidney just to be a row away from Sir Elton John, right?  Anyhow, if you fancy sitting pretty at an awards show near you perhaps check out some companies online where you can register. (See how I didn’t mention any names – noone pays me on here :p )!

  1. Swan Upping

Did you know the Queen exercises her ownership rights on all unmarked swans along parts of the River Thames and its Tributaries. Stocktake of The Crown’s swans is conducted by livery companies – Vintner’s and The Dyers. This practice dates back to the 12th century when swan-meat was deemed a little too precious!

  1. Professional Bed Warmer

You really can’t make this stuff up, supposedly there are hotels (Holiday Inn to be more exact) who hire people donning hygienic sleep suits to jump into your bed and make it all toasty for your arrival. What happened to a good old fashion water bottle? Or have they not heard of electric blankets?

  1. Panda Cuddler

Cuteness overload! This would melt even the coldest of hearts! Aimed to actually help the little bundles of fur adjust to life minus humans and hence give them a chance to habituate to life in the wilderness, this role plays a vital part in the rehabilitation of Pandas into their natural environment.

  1. Professional Mourner

So, I thought I’d end on a high note here, obviously. This is infact a paying job. Originating in Egyptian, Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures, the role is to help comfort and entertain the grieving family. The paid mourner may be asked to deliver a eulogy or  lament for the passing of the individual. Thus, their attendance holds a high level of significance for the families and not just as a means  to nick the last few remaining cucumber sandwiches at the wake.

Have any of the above made you want to give up the day job then?