Careers Advice at 33: Success

What does success mean to you? In the last blog post of my Careers Advice section I discussed how you need to be determined to get a creative career. Just under two imagemonths a go I finally obtained a role which fingers crossed will be the first steps towards my dream job (I want to a run a theatre, I love the buzz and diversity of the entertainment business). So you may have seen from my social media channels I am now working as a Digital Marketing Officer for the Grand Opera House. I have wanted to work in a theatre since I was 18 and I’m chuffed.

 

 

 

You may have also seen I was asked by BBC music to speak on a panel at the Biggest Weekend Fringe talking to a group of 18-24 year olds about turning passions into careers. This was an eye opening event, I was amazed at how these young people knew exactly what they wanted to do and how they are going to do it. I hope myself and fellow panellists gave them a dose of reality but also the confidence to move forward, get involved and make it happen. So all these events over the post few weeks got me thinking what would you define as success?

I think success is something very personal to the individual. Some strive to obtain awards, titles and public acknowledgement. I won’t lie it was a pleasure to receive my DANI Award last year and to be shortlisted this year. I was also over the moon when I finally received my degree and postgrads. After years of working for my qualifications and on my blog it’s nice to be acknowledged. But I also think success has a lot to do with being happy and personal development. I loved to see my siblings get married and have kids. That’s something I’m still striving for.

I also think you change/develop your wants/needs and definitions of success as you grow. It’s coming up to exam time for school kids and university students; I always like to repeat to students what my mum said to me you can only do your best. Exam success is just that, your best academic you. Give it some importance but it’s not everything. Some people like me just aren’t fantastic at maths or spelling but I’m doing my best and making my mark in the world. I am super proud of my new career but I’m still finding my feet and settling into a new team. I’m also super proud of this blog but I know the website needs an update and I’ve been concentrating on my social media channels instead of content on here something I will be addressing over the next few weeks but I still think it’s still a success by all of you lovely people who still read these posts.

Anyway the point of this blog is to give you hope and confidence to move forward. To challenge your perception of success and ultimately to remind you that your life is for living and do what makes you happy and that truly will be a success!!

Have a great Sunday guys

Emer D xx

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Something for the Weekend: Pizza Lovers rejoice Pizza Punks have come to Belfast

It’s almost the weekend the sun looks like it’s finally going to make an appearance so why not get out be sociable, grab some friends, get some drinks and what about tasting some of the best pizza in town.

Pizza Punks opened officially to the public last week and they haven’t been shy about being heard. In the bustling Cathedral Quarter of Belfast it’s hard to stand out amongst the art centres, pubs and clubs but Pizza Punks are no shrinking violets.

Think a restaraunt with an interior full of leather and neon lights. Fantastic street art on the walls by renowned Belfast Artist, Visual waste and staff who have that street punk look about them i.e tattoos, coloured hair and an air of arrogance but only an air (no Johnny Rottens too be found.) Pizza Punks staff are friendly, reliable and knowledgeable they beckon you to try this, order this, ohh and what about this. My kinda place!

And the food…delicious and rebellious. You think of something you want to put on a pizza and they’ll do it.They have every cheese, every meat, every pizza veg possible they even have toppings you would never have dreamed off. Think  Franks Red Hot Buffalo Chicken,Iron Bru pulled pork and vegetarian haggis (keeping to their Scottish roots.) The catch? There isn’t one they charge the same price for any size of pizza and its freshly baked in there roasting hot pizza oven.Are you salivating already?

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How about a few hidden other treats like they are very environmentally friendly they don’t provide straws and if you must have one (for their famous punked up cocktails) they are recycled and bio degradable. Bubbles and wine come straight from Italy in the barrel and then poured into your glass! Amazing and if you seen my social media posts from the night you know it all tasted fab!!

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What more can I say get yourself punked up for the taste sensation and stay for the cocktails!! I may have to pop back in over the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival week and maybe again this weekend, just to make sure their keeping up standards.

Emer D xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theatre Preview: The Winslow Boy coming to The Grand Opera House Belfast

The play is set at the start of the 20th century and England is poised to go to war, but the general public is obsessed with whether a 13-year-old boy stole a 5 shilling postal order. The production opens to an opulent Victorian living room, think a beautiful dolls house perfectly lit and ready for its players. The set and Victorian costumes have the wow factor in this production.

'The Winslow Boy' Play performed at Chichester Festival Theatre before National Tour, UK

Enter said players we are first introduced to Catherine Winslow played by Dorothea Myer-Bennett and her father Arthur played by Aden Gillett.  Both perform roles of passion, they are forced to defend their family member and make sure that the little man (and women in the case of suffragette Catherine) has a voice.

The much-loved Tessa Peake-Jones, also stars playing Grace Winslow (mother of The Winslow Boy). Tessa has achieved a long standing acting career in some of the UK’s biggest television shows and is best known as ‘Raquel’ in Only Fools and Horses. She is almost unrecognisable in this role with her period dress and manner. She frets should they be spending so much money on the case is this making her family happy?

 

Misha Butler is currently making a splash on the small screen in E4 production Kiss Me First a programme highlighting the dangers and escapism of living in a Virtual Reality world. However Misha has left his VR googles behind in his latest role as he makes his professional stage debut as Ronnie Winslow in The Winslow Boy. He plays the meek, down trodden son.'The Winslow Boy' Play performed at Chichester Festival Theatre before National Tour, UK

But I feel the star of the show is Timothy Watson who plays Sir Robert Morton, he brings the character to life with authority. He is inquisitive and makes the audience stop and think did this child actually carry out the crime or is this one big fib.

Inspired by a true story, The Winslow Boy arrives in the Grand Opera House this May. I recommend it if you are interested in period drama, history and the rights of the individual.

Emer D xx

 

 

 

 

 

Something For the Bank Holiday Weekend: Indoor Skydiving with We are Vertigo

Fancy something different for this Easter Bank Holiday how about jumping out of a plane at 24,000 ft. Not for you?  Me either I don’t think my Easter Eggs would stay in my stomach for long. BUT What if I told you you didn’t actually have to physically jump out of a plane, but you would get to tick skydiving off your bucketlist without flying anywhere.

PLUS It’s the biggest adrenaline rush I’ve had all year and I’m dying to get back. Want to know more read on and find out why I highly recommend Indoor Skydiving with We are Vertigo!

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Ok I’ll be honest I have a really big fear of heights and it’s more that I don’t want to loose control, than where I stand  or how high up I am so when Jeff from Belfast Times asked me to come along to We are Vertigo as his plus one,  he almost had to dare me to take up the challenge and I almost chickened out. But I am so glad I didn’t so here’s how I got on and how the experience goes.

We sign in,  get our helmets and sign away our life’s (well a health and safety form to say we know what we are getting into) all very quick and easy with  very friendly staff but my nerves are growing.

Our instructor for the day welcomes us and brings the group into the training school. Here we watch a very funny but informative short video on the signs we need to use and the shapes we need to pull. I’m still extremely nervous and my anxiety levels are building. With nervous shaking hands we jump into our boiler suits put in our ear plugs and fit our helmets.

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We walk into what can only be described as a large plane hanger with on oversized hairdryer. I am still incredibly nervous. When asked who’s going first there is no chance my arm is going in the air. So I let a few kids go ahead and then it’s my turn. No turning back now it’s like being at the top of a BIG slide you can’t chicken out you have to go with it (you can of course turn around and the guys don’t push) but for me it was now or never.

I walked out onto the bouncy castle material surrounding what looks like a big safety net. I stumble on the way out, yes I’m that clumsy and nervous but I had absolutely nothing to fear. I get myself into position facing the wind and my instructor helps me launch myself into the air and from this point on I am weightless.

I feel like Peter Pan and I am loving every single moment. My instructor is by my side keeping me right and moving me into positions to make the most of the experience. I’m just happy to be flying every nerve is gone and there is a massive smile on my face. If this is the rush you get from jumping off the edge and facing my fears why have I not done this before. I’m disappointed when my times is up but I will definitely be back for another go very soon.

So if you fancy something different for you,  the kids or how about recommending it  as a fantastic hen/stag do or Birthday celebration don’t delay. Give it ago this bank holiday I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Emer D xx

For further details check out http://www.wearevertigo.com

Theatre Review: Legally Blonde at the Grand Opera House

Elle Woods has her name in lights, her own pink parade and a Greek chorus line to support her everywhere she goes but love is what she seeks as she embarks on a Harvard law degree. Seen the film,loved the 90s fashion and the dance routines you ain’t seen a thing until you’ve see the musical.

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Legally Blonde the musical is loud, proud and very pink. It gives its all and is a cheerleader to breaking down a few stereotypes but in a very tongue in cheek with streamers and glitter kind of way. We see a blonde who couldn’t possibly be intelligent, an Irishman who can Irish dance like Michael Flatley (queue the largest tricolour I’ve ever seen on stage in Belfast) because all Irish men can obviously dance and don’t get me started on the tanned, waxed, rainbow flag waving men who we question are they gay or merely European. No offence is meant to be caused but being PC is thrown right out the window.

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A few other twists and surprises including some adorable pooches onstage (Beauty queen Gemma Garrett’s Buddy making his acting debut and stealing the show) and a gorgeous set complete with pink Barbie/sorority house make for a fun nights entertainment.

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The cast are tanned toned and beautiful; there secret this show is one hell of a workout. They dance they sing,they skip,parade,they cheer and twirl. The had there Weetabix for breakfast. I was particularly in awe of Helen Petrovna who plays fitness guru Brooke Wyndham. Talking about the cast we have an array of stars and an array of talent.

Lucie Jones (from Eurovision fame) fills the pink stilettos in the lead role, her vocals are strong and her quick changes are mesmerising. Jones is no shrinking violet she treads the boards with confidence and attitude. Matched perfectly by David Barrett who plays Elle’s love interest Emmett. Barrett transforms his character on stage from an oversized suit to the perfect adoring caring man.

Legally Blonde The Musical 2017-18 Hair Affair 2 Rita Simons (Paulette) Ben Harlow (Kyle)(1)Photo Robert Workman.jpg

Rita Simons (from Eastenders fame) was unrecognisable on stage it took me a moment to realise it was actually her as she plays big haired lovelorn Paulette Bonafonte and she brings even more fun and laughter to this over the top character.

And we all love a good baddie Bill Ward (from Emmerdale fame) presents the charming,smarmy unprofessional Professor Callahan but his character wouldn’t be a miss in the rat pack.

The production is flawless upbeat routines, colourful costumes and show tunes that just got stuck in your head. If you’re a fan of Legally Blonde or even if your not this is a production not to be missed.

Emer D xx

Legally Blonde runs until Saturday 3rd March at the Grand Opera House Belfast. Further details and tickets available at http://www.goh.co.uk.

Theatre Review: May the Road Rise Up at the Lyric Theatre Belfast

c21 Theatre Company are back with another punchy production this time exploring the issue of homelessness through Rosemary Jenkins new write May the Road Rise Up. Peppered with Belfast slang and some fantastic choreography and a great use of the space. May the Road Rise up is produced only with cardboard boxes, projection and a very skilled actress. A production which takes the audience on a ride of highs and lows with powerful blows to the heart inbetween, it shows all too easily showing just how easy it is to become homeless.

Mia played by the talented Christine Clare is a fun loving party girl who lives for the weekend and the open road in her delivery truck. She recalls stories of some stereotypical customers with humour but it’s when her life starts to unravel that Jenkins starts to take a few swipes and jabs at the system. It is fast paced and full of witty remarks, although how Clare learnt such a vast script I will not never know. Direction by Stephen Kelly is emotive and restrained, the character of Mia could become bigger than the issues discussed but Kelly makes poignant moments to make you reflect.

An enjoyable and thought provoking production. Get tickets now as the production runs until the 24th Feb in the Lyric and then goes on tour throughout NI.

Emer D xx

http://www.c21theatrecompany.com

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Theatre Review: The Importance of Being Earnest at the Grand Opera House Belfast

The Original Theatre companies production of The Importance of Being Earnest is witty,charming and hilarious. Being one of my favourite Oscar Wilde productions I waited with bated breathe to see what direction this production would take last night and I was not disappointed.

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My last viewing of this play was with an all male cast which added to the hilarious absurdity of the piece but this time I was transported back to the original Victorian era and no gender swaps (neither direction being a bad thing but I’m always interested to see how far the director is willing to change/challenge the characters/actors.) I was transported to a luscious decadent set complete with chandeliers and hanging baskets. The cast emerged in the most amazing large and outrageous costumes full of feathers and detail I was especially enamoured with the bustle on the back of Lady Bracknell’s dress which made this larger than life character physically larger and a much more formidable force to be reckoned with and the character played with aplomb by national treasure Gwen Taylor, was certainly that.

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The genius of Wilde’s script with its perfect one liners and punch lines kept the audience giggling throughout the three act production. The actors at first a little meek and quiet on stage (audience members remarked they were hard to hear) soon relaxed into their roles and the pace and delivery of the lines came up to speed.Special mention should go out to the humorous facial reactions by Susan Penhaligon who played the down beaten, accident prone but love struck Miss Prism.

A thoroughly enjoyable production with a well-versed and talented cast I would highly recommend checking this one out  before the end of its very short run this Saturday 24th February.

Emer D xx

Limited tickets available at http://www.goh.co.uk