Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Random thought on my writing

I kind of want to go back on all the posts in my writing tag and delete some of them. A lot of them are terrible things I wrote in my preteen years, or poems that I had considered poems at the time, but looking back on it with my better understanding of what a poem is, I realize are not poems at all. Then again, I have made it a point to not delete anymore posts off of my blog, in spite of how terrible they are. I'd rather look back on all the awful things I've written and see how far I've come since then, than forget just how bad I was at writing stuff.

T4YP audition monologues

These are the monologues I recited for my T4YP audition. Yes, I wrote them down from memory - though admittedly I did compare them to the source to check if I got certain words right. The punctuation in the Shakespearean I also had to look up.

Shakespearean monologue
Source: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Character: Helena
Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 226-251

How happy some o'er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so.
He will not know what all but he do know.
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind.
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love of any judgment taste—
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy love is perjured everywhere.
For ere Demetrius looked on Hermia's eyne,
He hailed down oaths that he was only mine.
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight.
Then to the wood he will tomorrow night
Pursue her. And for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense.
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither and back again.

Contemporary monologue
Source: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Character: Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding (played by Morgan Freeman)

Rehabilitated?
Well now, let me see. Now I don't have any idea what that word means. I know what you think it means, sonny. To me it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so young fellas like you can wear a suit and tie, and have a job.
What do you really wanna know? Am I sorry for what I did? There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. I look back on the way I was then - a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I wanna talk to him. I wanna try and talk some sense into him. Tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone. This old man is all that's left. I gotta live with that.
Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your forms, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Cause to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Recent interests (2015) part 2

If you'll remember, about seven months ago (give or take a few days), I was terribly sick and didn't know what else to do, so I decided to make a list of my recent interests. Now I decided to make another list of the things that interested me the six months after that. And hey, I'm even sick again to commemorate the event! Lovely! Ok, here we go.

Outlast
This is one that I actually forgot to add in the first Recent Interests post, so here it is now. Outlast… I first got into Outlast by watching Teens React Gaming: Outlast on the REACT channel (gif source). If there is one thing I can say about Outlast, it is that it's legitimately terrifying. It's not just the jumpscares that get to me, though those are pretty well crafted, but the chase scenes. Oh gosh, those chase scenes have me so riled up. You can practically feel the enemies grabbing at your ankles as you climb into a vent to get away! The camera mechanic is really interesting, and I feel like the sound of the night vision activating should become a staple sound in horror games. The story is immersive enough, and you really start to connect with Miles Upshur, the journalist you play as. Your combined want to get out of there makes the ending of Outlast just that much upsetting. The DLC, Outlast Whistleblower also has an interesting story, though the gore factor is pushed to unbelievable heights… Your character, Waylon Park, is a very sympathetic person who you've just got admire for his strength, and just like with Miles you connect with his want get out, making the ending of the DLC just that much more satisfying after having finished the main game. The visuals are really impressive, and I am ESPECIALLY impressed with the fact that you can see the body of the character you play as (something that always impresses me in a FPS game). Now on that note, if there was something I didn't like about the game, that would be its disturbing visuals/gore factor. In Outlast alone I feel that they tried way too hard to make the inmates of the asylum look as disturbing as possible. I get that terrible things happen, but making them look terribly deformed doesn't creep me out or make me feel sorry for them. It's just kind of gross. As for Whistleblower, I'm not gonna talk too much on that. I saw the censored version on Teens React Gaming: Whistleblower, and I still feel it was over the top. Maybe it's just me, but I just don't like overly disturbing visuals or gratuitous amounts of gore. Focus more on the atmosphere! Like the scene in Whistleblower when you're being stalked by an inmate with multiple personality disorder. That was really well done! Other than that though, this is a really good horror game, and I'm interested to see what Outlast 2 will bring to the table.

Ib
I got into this thanks to Markiplier's Let's Play of it. Another horror game, but this one is much more low key compared to Outlast. I don't even really think of Ib as a horror game really. The whole story and atmosphere is something like… Alice in Wonderland meets Coraline. As an RPG game, the visuals of Ib aren't all that stunning, but the world that's created with these visuals more than makes up for it. The puzzles that you have to get through in this game are rather clever, and sometimes legitimately terrifying. (That freakin' doll room). What really makes this game for me though, is the story and characters. Ib, the character you play as throughout most of the game, is a silently stoic little girl who you can't help but admire and root for. Garry (my personal favorite, so sue me) comes off as a bit of a wimp at first, but you grow to admire his courage and selflessness. Mary is a truly tragic character whom you usually end up pitying in the end. It's kind of sad to know that there is no happy ending for ALL of the characters. Mary All Alone has got to be the saddest and most terrifying out of all the endings (of which there are many). My personal favorite ending is Welcome to the World of Guertena, a slightly unnerving ending and ironically the only one where the characters stay together. I don't know, I guess there's something appealing story wise, the idea that these characters will stay forever in this mad world, the playthings of a tragic little girl. I am definitely going to get this game sometime… [Gif source: this epic video]

We Happy Few
Yes, yet another game, but I actually got into this one do to research, as opposed to watching Markiplier or Jacksepticeye play the alpha version. Which I did, but that doesn't matter. When I first saw We Happy Few, it mainly had me interested because of how similar it was to Bioshock in the artstyle and gameplay. So I did a little more research, and the concept of We Happy Few had me hooked immediately. A dystopian 1960s England where everyone is a drugged out into a state of perpetual and unnerving happiness? Yes please! From what I can tell from research, the idea of the game is that during WWII, something terrible happened between the British army and the Germans. In an effort to forget this event, a drug, aptly named Joy, was invented by the British. It causes one to be in a state of perpetual happiness, literally unable to see the bad things in the world, and causes one to forget everything bad that has happened. It has now become a requirement for all people to take Joy, or else be beaten to death by a happy mob. You play as a downer (someone who has deliberately stopped taking Joy) named Arthur Hastings, who is trying to escape from the drugged out town of Wellington Wells. Along the way of course, you uncover more and more secrets concerning what exactly happened during WWII. This whole idea and story had me sold. I love history, I love English culture, I love conspiracies, and I can't wait for the full game to come out. Who knows, I may actually buy it and play it myself for once. We Happy Few is an indie game by Compulsion Games, and you can check out their Kickstarter page here.

To The Moon
Another game! Another RPG game! But not a horror game. No, this is the first game that I legitimately cried at while watching Markiplier play it. Hey, he was tearing up too! But seriously, I was close to sobbing by the end of it. The gameplay isn't something the laud, but it isn't the gameplay that makes this game. It's the story. You play as Dr. Eva Rosaline and Dr. Neil Watts, who work for Sigmund Corp., a corperation that helps people on their deathbeds achieve their dying dream/wish. By using futuristic technology, the doctors go through the client's memories until they get to their childhood, where they plant an irrepressible urge to achieve their dream, thus altering their entire lifetime of memories. Eva and Neil's client in the game is an old man named Johnny, who's dying wish is to go to the moon. The story in this is just too good, and I just can't spoil the ending here. You grow to love characters, especially Johnny and his deceased wife River. Dr. Rosaline and Dr. Watts are also quite the fun characters, and there seems to be a hidden story for the kinda jerky, always nerdy referencing Dr. Neil Watts that may or may not be uncovered in a sequel. Yes, Freebird Games has confirmed that they are making a sequel, which will be released late 2016 or early 2017. I hope that the story is just as impactful as this one.

Hetalia [a faint "noooo…" can be heard in the background]
I am not an anime person. I have nothing against anime or anime lovers, but it's just not something I care to get into. Unlike my sister, who gushed about this particular anime. After months of denial and claims that I WOULD NOT get into this anime, I grudgingly admitted that I was into this anime. 'This anime' is of course Hetalia, and yes, my sister is freakin' proud of herself. About my state as a Hetalia fan: I do not actively read the manga, I've only ever seen the English dub, and I DO NOT ship 99.9% of the ships - popular or unpopular/obscure - rampant in this fandom. That said… gosh dang, I love this anime. I mean, countries personified as an entertaining bunch of stereotypes and watching them truck through the insanity that is world history? Awesome! This show creates some really enjoyable characters, from enthusiastically oblivious America, to stuffy composer Austria, to the romantic and admittedly perverted France, these characters are so fun to watch. The anime serves to paint history in an interesting and fun way - like France and England fighting over who gets to be the big brother of a little colony named America - comment on the strange events that have happened in history - like the overpopulation of baby sea turtles in Spain around the 2000s - as well as make fun of the cultural differences between countries - like the different styles of horror movies, or the extreme difference in meal sizes between Japan and America. As an American citizen who grew up in Asia, I can declare the previously mentioned stereotype as true. While the show does sometimes show the sadder aspects of history - the American Revolutionary War is the first thing that comes to mind - it's generally lighthearted, if PG-13. It's an anime, what do you expect? In spite of this, I usually enjoy the humor in this anime, and I commend it for having the best English dub I have ever heard - seriously, the accents, the enthusiasm of the voice actors, it's all brilliant - for rejuvenating my childhood love of history, and for making me proud to be an America citizen. I am not kidding about that last one. Overall, even if I often feel discouraged as one of the only platonic shippers in the fandom, I really enjoy this anime. Check it out if you love history and don't mind some dirty jokes.

Generator Rex
This is another rather interesting one. Like Invader Zim, I really wanted to get into this but never felt the urge to. Finally though, I up and started watched it. And I LOVED it. I don't usually watch action cartoons outside of super hero cartoons and Transformers, but this one is absolutely prime. The premis is really interesting - microscopic bots called nanites are spread throughout the earth into the air due to an explosion of nuclear proportions. While the nanites are typically dormant and this harmless, when they activate inside a person, plant, or animal, they deform said person plant or animal into a freak of nature that is usually animalistically violent. These are called EVOs. The main character, Rex, is one of the few people in the world who remains relatively unchanged by his active EVOs, able to control and make awesome weapons out of them. He works for an agency called Providence, which works to stifle EVO threats. Aside from being able to fight EVOs with his nanite weapons, Rex also has the unique ability to cure EVOs, turning them back into whatever they were before. The characters in this cartoon are super cool, from Agent Six - a former mercenary Providence agent and Rex's default caretaker - to the villainous Van Kliess - an EVO man who can control nanites. Rex is also an interesting character, having amnesia and unable to remember anything before the nanite explosion (several years before the cartoon starts), he has a vague backstory that we don't find too much of. He has a personality that goes beyond the rebellious punk he instantly asserts himself as, and I don't know why, but the fact that he's Hispanic makes me super happy. The fact that he enjoys Spanish soap operas is hilarious as well. I could gush about this cartoon for a long time, but of course I have to crash it with this: the show was CANCLED… WHY ARE ALL THE AWESOME CARTOONS CANCLED!?

Coraline
I mentioned Coraline in my Ib section, and I would not have mentioned this movie if I hadn't watched it. When Coraline was first advertised and I saw the posters, my only thought was, "Aw, HECK no." Creepy people with button eyes? There was no way I was gonna touch that. That is until a few years later, when I started to really get into stop-motion movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Paranorman. I reconsidered my position when I saw some amazing clips from Coraline, and finally decided to check it out. And I LOVED it. It was very charming in its characters and ESPECIALLY in its visuals, which is the thing that made me decide to check it out in the first place. The story was engaging, interesting, and sometimes fairly disturbing. The stop motion animation was amazingly well done, as was the voice acting. Was the movie creepy? Yes, kind of. But the creepiness was just a part of what made this movie so good. Yeah, it may be a little intense for some little kids, but I would definitely recommend it to most everyone else if only for the amazing visuals and animation.

Undertale
The last minute addition to my 2015 interests list, one that was introduced to me via babycharmanderkeckleon on tumblr. I first watched Undertale through Markiplier, and went through the entire series thanks to Jacksepticeye and his entire playthrough. If you're a gamer, then I'm not sure what I can say about this game that hasn't been said already. The music is amazing and tons of fun, the world is interesting, and the CHARACTERS - holy crap, the characters are awesome. And of course, the story. It's hard to explain how great the story is without spoiling the whole thing, and honestly, I'm just way too tired to start typing everything I care to talk about when it comes to Undertale. The game is great, the music is great, the characters are great, the story is great, and this Recent Interests list is long, long overdue.

Other Things I Became Interested in Last Year, But Won't Talk About Because GOOD GOSH This List is WAY Overdue
Invader Zim
Batman Beyond
The Flash

How do I wrap this up smoothly? By again saying that an unnecessary amount of time was put into getting all those gifs I suppose. Have a lovely day.

Friday, March 18, 2016

T4YP update

So, I got a callback for T4YP, which is absolutely awesome. I was told to be at KLPac Sunday 6th in the evening. When I got there, however, I was one person among about twenty-eight. The teachers only needed fifteen people. To top it off, I was one of the only teenagers among a bunch of twenty year olds. Yeah, I was nervous. At some point we were each asked why we thought we should be in T4YP. I was the first person made to answer this question, and as a result I was confused and unprepared. I said something about how I didn't want to tell the teachers what they SHOULD do because I was in no position to tell them why they SHOULD let me in T4YP, and that I wanted to be in T4YP because I wanted to hone my acting skills. Once I was finished, every other person after me gave short, heartfelt speeches as to why they should be in T4YP.
To say I was discouraged would be about right.
We were told that we would receive a text telling us whether or not we would be in T4YP, and we were also given the schedule list so we could be prepared. It was a JAM PACKED schedule, and it kinda scared my mother and myself. Regardless, I waited tensely for my text. I did not have high hopes, but I reasoned that if I didn't get in, at least I wouldn't be stressed out by the schedule. And besides, I could try again next year.
The text didn't come until almost a week later (Saturday 12th), but I was clued into my position several hours before I received the text. That day, after drama class was wrapped up, myself and another one of my classmates, Ian, were pulled aside by our teachers. Ian was one of the only peers in my class that also auditioned for T4YP, and while he hadn't received a callback, he had apparently done pretty good (though he was also cut off in both monologues). Our teachers told us that we had both very well in the the auditions, but due to our significantly younger age compared to everyone else who had auditioned, they wanted us to wait until we were slightly older and our acting skills had improved, so that we could fully benefit from T4YP. It was a once in a lifetime kind of thing after all. Not only that, a bunch of the people who had auditioned were twenty-five, and so this was their last chance to try out for T4YP before they got too old. Ian and I on the other hand had a couple years to go. Regardless of whether or not we got in, our teachers thought we both had some really good potential and encouraged us to try again next year.
Both of us understood and agreed, and when I received the 'sorry, no, you didn't get in' text, I didn't feel at all discouraged. It was quite the experience though, auditioning and actually having impressed the judges enough to get a callback! I'll go for it again next year.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

T4YP

Today, March 5 2016, I just went for my first audition. I auditioned for a drama program called Theater For Young People (T4YP), which accepts people from sixteen to twenty-five. The only way to join is if you pass the audition, and as I just said, I auditioned.
Probably haven't mentioned it before, but for the past two years I've been a part of a drama class at KLPac. This year is my third year, and since I was old enough to audition, I did. The audition required that I present two two minute monologues, something from Shakespeare and something from a contemporary source, like a modern playwright or movie screenplay. With this in mind, I memorized something from A Midsummer Night's Dream and planned to memorize something from one of the Lord of the Ring's movies. The problem is, for the past two weeks, I spent my time memorizing a dialogue (two people conversing), not a monologue from A Midsummer Night's Dream, having misunderstood what a 'monologue' is (one person giving something akin to a speech). It wasn't until I started searching for contemporary monologues (just in case an LoTR one didn't work out) that I found this out. That was yesterday, the day before the audition.
In a very last minute effort, my dad and I surfed through YouTube, looking for both contemporary monologues and Shakespearean monologues. We finally settled on an actual monologue from A Midsummer Night's Dream by the character Helena, and on a monologue from the movie Shawshank Redemption. I spent most of last night memorizing the latter, and much of this morning memorizing the former. Yes, I was SERIOUSLY cutting it close.
When I was waiting for my turn at the audition today, I was super nervous. I had spent a half hour with my parents this morning, reviewing how I ought to act out the Shawshank Redemption monologue. That left little time to actually work out my Shakespearean monologue, which I was seriously having trouble remembering. It was largely due to the latter that I was so anxious - so anxious in fact, I legitimately felt like I was going to throw up.
So as I waited for my audition, I paced up and down a hallway, constantly muttering Shakespeare under my breath. By the time I was called up, I was confident that I had remembered everything. That didn't stop me from being nervous of course…
I was actually cut off in the middle of both monologues. Since that had happened to a few other people, I assumed that the teachers/judges were simply running short on time. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was rather disappointed though. I had worked really hard to memorize the Shakespearean monologue, and I had worked super hard to figure out how I was going to act out the Shawshank Redemption monologue… I just wish I could have performed both in their fullness.
Regardless, I'm happy that I made it through. One of the teachers said that I seemed like a good girl, and it was clear that I had learned a fair bit by being in drama class. I was told that tomorrow morning, at around seven, I would receive a text or call saying whether or not I was in the drama program.
So, yeah… Because of that, I am still super nervous. I mean, I can bear it if I don't get in, but I'll still be pretty disappointed if I don't. Regardless, my mum and dad say they are proud of me for getting through my first audition. Pray for me, guys!
This is Nadi, SIGNING OUT.