The Power of Intrinsic Motivation

“Don’t worry when you are not recognised, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”
– Abraham Lincoln

 

Intrinsic Motivation is when we perform an action without any obvious external reward. We do it because it naturally satisfies us within.

Why are you reading my blog right now? Is it because the subject interests you and you want to learn more about it? Well good on you! That’s intrinsic motivation! You’re getting no praise for reading it – if you were, that would be extrinsic motivation.

It is rare that you’ll find me sitting in front of the television for hours on end (unless I have a temporary Netflix boxset addiction – it’s Line of Duty at the moment by the way!). I would most likely be researching subjects online that I want to learn more about. I might be scrolling through the iTunes store looking for new artists in the ‘Listeners also bought…’ section to expand my musical knowledge. I might be watching International netball videos on YouTube looking for tips and strategies for my team. I may even be blogging! The point is, I don’t do any of these activities for praise or reward. When I’m doing them, I’m looking for that dopamine-inducing, powerful feeling of internal satisfaction I get when I challenge myself and act on curiosity. I feel proud when I’ve learned something new and often look forward to the day I get to use it. It’s a feeling of bettering oneself.

Imagine you were tasked with writing a bedtime story for your friend’s child. Your friend told you that her daughter loves unicorns and dragons, so make sure you include those. Oh, and she also likes stories that involve singing, not to mention how much she loves rhyming. By the way, you have two hours to write this story and if you get it done on time, she’ll pay for your pizza. Being a good friend, you write the story and get your free Hawaiian for doing so.

In this story, the pizza is the extrinsic motivator, along with praise from your friend and her daughter. You’ve got ‘the reward’ but you might not necessarily have enjoyed the process. You didn’t learn anything yourself and you certainly didn’t enjoy the subject matter of unicorns!

The sad fact is, not every real world behaviour or activity stems from intrinsic energy, as this scenario proves. It is for this reason that I personally seek out activities that interest and excite me, ones that boost my creativity and self-esteem. Ones that make me an all-round happier person.

I think back to when I was in school. I worked hard, revised for my exams and passed all my GCSEs and A Levels. Both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation was at play here. Yes, I wanted the praise off my parents and teachers and the pride of being a set one student, but I also wanted to feel good about the work I had put in to get there.  I was controlling my own learning and liking the result.

American and Australian Psychology Professors Edward Deci and Richard Ryan developed Self-Determination Theory (SDT) which talks about the three psychological needs of a human: to feel competent, related and autonomous. When we feel all three, we will actively seek out what interests us, thus we are intrinsically motivated. The bottom line here is that if you are simply uninterested in a particular activity then you are not intrinsically motivated.

Think about your job and the SDT. Are you good at it? Does it mean anything to you? Do you have freedom within in? I’m here to tell you that if the answer is no to any of these questions, then do not fret. I believe you can feel intrinsic motivation in a job you’re not 100% happy in.

You might be someone who loathes repetition but in your job, you have to speak and say the same messages over and over to people all day, every day. What you need to do is start integrating you actions into your sense of self. Try to get something out of it, any positive feeling at all. Some of those people you have to talk to might not have talked to anyone else all week because they live alone, have no family and rarely leave the house. Greeting them with a smile and asking them how you can help might be the highlight of their week. Sure, you won’t get praise from your manager every time you do this and you certainly won’t get a pay rise, but you feel good about it anyway.

All this is, is relating every activity you do to your own personal growth as a human. Think about it as up-skilling and bettering yourself. Don’t do it for others, do it for you.

Hobbies are considered intrinsically motivated. You do these hobbies with a passion you rarely exhibit at work. It is your hobby because you feel competent at it, connected to it and are free to do it how and when you want to do it. It’s that Self-Determination Theory again!

I’m writing about this subject tonight because of my interest in Engagement, whether it’s at work or at home. If you are reading this as a Manager and you want your staff to feel engaged, motivate them by empowering them and ensuring they have autonomy in their job. Train them up to feel more competent. Relate what they are doing to the company – make sure they see the bigger picture. Try to move away from those extrinsic motivators which only change employee behaviour temporarily instead of changing their beliefs and commitment to their job.

If you are the employee reading this, you have a responsibility too. Look at your daily objectives and start thinking outside the box. What can I get out of work today? Look at the skills you’re utilising and gaining each day and write them down in a LinkedIn profile – you might find people endorsing them which always makes one feel good! Are you the go-to person on a particular topic in the office? Write something about it for the Intranet and share you knowledge with others. Help that person on your floor that is struggling to get their work done on time. The actions that can be taken to improve life at work are endless.

Find yourself that intrinsic motivation and start getting more out of life.

I work hard because I WANT to, not HAVE to.

Learn to go Lucid: Hacking Your Dreams

Dreams – the doorway to to the subconscious. I have always found the world of dreams interesting, ever since I was little. It’s a place where you can do things you cannot do in real life. I’m not going to blog today about regular dreaming everybody can do that, I’m going to write about LUCID dreaming (controlling your dreams). I’ve chosen this topic because it’s one of my favourite abilities and happened, most recently, just two nights ago. The best thing about having a lucid dream is that when you wake up, you feel more in control of your life than you have ever felt – because the night before you somehow controlled that petulant child that is your subconscious. It is the most powerful feeling!

Most people over the age of ten have four to six dreams every night. Those numbers, times 365 days in a year makes between 1460 and 2190 dreams every year! We dream during REM periods (rapid eye movement), which can range anywhere from five minutes to half an hour long. In the course of one night, this happens many times. It might seem hard to believe, but this is because we forget between 95% and 99% of our dreams!

Now, I put it to you. What if you could enter a world within your own mind? A world where you could do anything your heart desires? No limits, no consequences. If you can imagine it, you can do it, and all whilst sleeping peacefully. I am of course referring to LUCID DREAMING. Lucid dreaming is a fantastic psychological phenomenon that happens when we sleep. It is a state where you realise you are inside of a dream. This isn’t a naturally occurring thing, only about 20% of the world’s population have had lucid dreams and I’m writing about it to help you get into that 20% with me! It’s a dream where YOU are the writer, YOU are the director.

I know there are probably people reading this thinking, ‘yeah, right-o Stace,’ but it isn’t just a theory, it’s factually proven in science! Using cat scans, scientists can see which lobes in the brain activate when you ‘go lucid.’

Lucid dreaming is a learnable skill that can be used for living out fantasies, practising creative problem-solving, role-playing important life situations, stopping nightmares, creative or artistic inspiration, and even personal or spiritual exploration.

Two nights ago, in my dream, I was sat in my old work’s office in Llangennech. My colleague and I were terrified as we could see spaceships flying round the sky, shooting lasers at buildings and destroying everything. I suppose you could say it was more of a nightmare. My boyfriend was working his shift at the time and I couldn’t get hold of him so I rushed to the office car park ready to drive to see if my parents were okay. Strangely, everyone else’s car was there but mine.

This is the moment I went lucid. Initially I didn’t realise I was dreaming until my car (which is the only way I ever used to get to that office) had disappeared. It was then I realised that what I was experiencing, the aliens, the spaceships, the destruction, the missing car, it was all a dream and I knew it! I turned to my colleague and told him not to worry because this wasn’t real and it was all happening in my head. He asked me to prove it, and rightly so, bless him, he was terrified.

“Watch this!” I said with a satisfied grin on my face, knowing full well I’d conquered my nightmare and was in full control of what was to happen next. I went to the parking space where my car would have been, sat down on the concrete and pretended to put my key in the ignition. “I want my car to be here so if I really concentrate, it will appear around me and I can drive home” I said out loud. All my work colleagues had surrounded me at this point, looking at me in confusion. Sure enough, a few seconds later after wishing hard that I had my car, it appeared. “Ha! See? Told you I was dreaming!” I shouted to them. I told them they didn’t need to worry about the aliens destroying Earth anymore because I would will it to stop.

How did I do this? How did I stop my nightmare? Simple – I just recognised I was dreaming. Once you are aware you’re dreaming, you can alter your dreams and dictate what happens. Learning to dream like this often requires you to know your dreams well enough to find any differences between your dream and waking life – in this instance it was my car not being where it was supposed to be. For example, if you dream about a certain person, place or thing that you never see in your waking life, you can use that as a cue to aid you in becoming lucid. This is called a dream-cue or dream-sign. More often than not, these dream-signs take the form of things or events that you wouldn’t see or wouldn’t happen in the real world. Some examples of dream signs are:

  • Breathing underwater
  • Flying or taking unusually long jumps
  • Oversized/undersized objects or people
  • Lilac skies and pink cats… just generally weird stuff1

Beware though, dream signs can be more subtle, perhaps in the form of suddenly returning to an old job, losing the ability to scream, inability to run, arriving somewhere naked or your teeth falling out.

If you don’t intently look for these signs in dreams during sleep, you will accept everything, no matter how strange it is and lucid dreaming just won’t happen to you. Some people keep dream journals where they can record all their dream signs. I just don’t have time for that, so I talk about my dreams. I tell the content to whoever will listen. We chat about how weird they are generally and it sticks in my head, thus helping me recognise my dream signs.

In lucid dreams, you can do things like transport yourself to a new place if you’re not happy where you are, become invisible if you are being chased, fly around if the ground is filling up with water or lava or find money on the ground if you’re feeling poor. The dreams can make you feel so good when you wake, trust me, I’ve had them all!

So how do you go lucid in a dream? In order to be successful at changing things in your dream, you have to believe it is possible – if you don’t, then you won’t be successful. Just think about what you would like to change and picture making it happen (like me picturing I was sitting in my car). For instance, you could imagine a bolt of electricity flying out of your hand pr even something much simpler like a can of coke appearing if you are thirsty – this usually happens when after alcohol!

Dream spinning can also help you control a dream and change your dream setting – I’ve only done this a couple of times as it’s quite advanced and I generally don’t really think about doing it when I’m asleep. Verbal commands are a good way to gain control as well. If you want a shark to disappear, just say it. Repeat it over and over and picture it gone in your head. This is easier to remember than dream spinning! Remember though, if you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in a dream, trying blinking really fast, it will often jolt you awake.

If none of the above works for you and you’d like to train yourself to go lucid in dreams, I recommend the ‘Wake-Induced Lucid dreaming’ approach:

  1. Start making a note of your dreams – the more you write them down, the quicker you learn the differences between dreams and reality in your mind. Alternatively just talk about them every morning like I do.
  2. Find a way to remind yourself what is real and what isn’t – a bit like the movie ‘Inception!’ Leonardo DiCaprio has what’s called a ‘totem’ which is a spinning top that spins indefinitely when he is in a dream world. Instead of this, you could just simply practise something you can do in the real world that you might struggle with in your dream, such as your nine times table. inception-spinning-top-totem-replica-3
  3. Remind yourself once, every hour of the day, that you are awake – you can chant ‘I am awake, I am awake, I am awake…’ ten times out loud and recite the nine times table. This way, when you fall asleep and you subconsciously feel like you want to keep doing it, you can’t. Why? Because you are asleep and dreaming!
  4. Set your alarm clock 4-5 hours after you fall asleep. When that alarm goes off, don’t get up out of bed, don’t freak out, don’t get excited or anything, just turn it off. Don’t go back to sleep however!
  5. Relax, close your eyes, breathe deeply – focus on ‘I’m going to dream, I’m going to go lucid’ – keep reaffirming this. Fight any urges you have to move and fidget. you may want to roll over, scratch things etc. but don’t! If you need to distract yourself from your body fidgets, focus on what’s called your third eye, which is directly in front of you. You may see squiggly lines and patterns, lots of activity behind your eyelids, but this is simply your brain confirming that that you are about to go to sleep, but DON’T fall asleep yet, you have to keep conscious throughout this whole process – this is the hardest part of it!
  6. Right now, your body is realising that you’re ready to go to sleep and is starting to shut down but you are NOT going to sleep yet. You are still conscious and focussed on the fact that you are awake and this is reality.
  7. At this point, you start to see a load of colours and images flash before you, but don’t focus on any of them, do not pay attention, don’t attach yourself to any themes you may see. This is your brain trying to get back into the REM cycle.
  8. If you keep doing this for as long as you can, eventually, you will attach yourself to a theme you really like and you will realise that you are in a dream. You are not choosing to have that dream, but you are becoming lucid within it and the power is now yours.

 

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When you wake from a lucid dream, you feel so powerful and that nothing can stop you from having a great day. Good luck to all those attempting to go lucid tonight, please do let me know if or when you do – I’d love to hear about your experiences and know that there are others out there that can do this too

Be the Light in Someone’s Dark

In the words of a wise, old man:

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This is one of my favourite movie quotes because it is something I’ve always believed in. In a world full of questionable decisions made by even more questionable leaders, we need to do what good we can whenever we are able to – how else can we keep faith in humanity?

Last Friday’s staff meeting was a special one for me because it focussed on just this. A rather inspiring chap called Matt Callanan came in for a chat. My description of what he is about would not do his work as much justice as is deserved, so here is a little screen shot from his organisation’s website, www.wemakegoodhappen.com

 

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Inspired by his story and all the good Matt and his team have done so far, we split into groups and roamed the streets of Cardiff, each group equipped with a £10 note from Management. This idea came from Matt’s #tenner4good initiative which saw him hiding £10 notes round Cardiff in the hope of inspiring those who found one to spend it on someone in need.

My colleagues and I decided to take ourselves out of our comfort zones and take a carol-singing approach, right outside the Apple store in the busy St. David’s Two Shopping Centre, Cardiff – an idea which horrified the three of us but when challenged to think of others, it’s surprising how quickly inhibitions get lost. My colleague’s father is a Director of a charity in Pontypridd that is struggling with funding, which will have a massive affect on its service users. Viva! began in the early nineties, providing leisure and training opportunities to children and young people between the ages of 11-30 with and without a disability. Working for a youth charity myself, hearing my colleagues story about what could happen if it all stopped really affected me, so we decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to raise some awareness of such a great charity and the need for more funding.

With our £10, we bought some pens and paper for posters to display what we were doing. We also bought lots of Christmas chocolates to give out to the public while singing along to any Christmas Carol karaoke videos we could find on YouTube. It was a massive gamble for us because although the footfall in the shopping centre was huge, you could see that with only ten days until Christmas, shoppers probably wouldn’t want to know.

 

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After an hour of spreading festive cheer and talking to strangers about our concerns for Viva!, my faith in humanity was strengthened. Busy shoppers took the time to stop, listen and give to the cause. From the happy-go-lucky businessman who gave £5, to the Cancer Charity elderly driver who gave £3 and to the gorgeous little girl in the penguin Christmas jumper who gave 13p, we thank you all. Our #tenner4good had quickly turned  from £10.00 into £56.45. Of course this isn’t enough money to save a charity, but it sure is a start. I returned home that night with an enormous sense of wellbeing – my team and I had done a good deed with a single tenner.

I’m writing this blog, not for praise for what was achieved, but to plant the seed in your mind that you too can really help someone – and you don’t even have to be rich to do it! We Make Good Happen is aiming to collectively achieve 1 million good deeds – why not be a part of it?

With 2018 looming, and a brand new year just around the corner, I, Stacey Louise Harris am going to make a conscious effort to do more good deeds for others. There are so many benefits to this attitude I implore you to try the same. ‘Good deeds’ or ‘acts of kindness’ can improve confidence, control, optimism and overall happiness. You never know, they can even encourage others to repeat the kindness that’s been bestowed upon them.

 

The World Mental Health Foundation says, “When you help others, it promotes positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness.” it also says, “Helping others in need, especially those who are less fortunate than yourself, can provide a real sense of perspective and make you realise how lucky you are, enabling you to stop focusing on what you feel you are missing – helping you to achieve a more positive outlook on the things that may be causing you stress.” Working for a youth charity and helping youngsters overcome barriers every day, I can already promise you that this completely true – you really are reminded how truly blessed you are.

So whether it’s short-term like paying for the shopping of the person in front of you or giving up a seat for an elderly lady on a bus, or long-term like volunteering for a charity or mentoring a person in need, give it a shot and be the light in someone’s dark.

Do YOU Want to be Heard?

This is a shout out to anyone who fancies “borrowing my website” for one of their own blogs. I love to chat and talk about my own opinions as you all know, but I’m also a really good listener and love to give other’s a chance at the limelight.

If you have a topic you want to write about, an interesting opinion you’d like to share, a review, an idea, a short story, in fact anything at all, please send it to me. I’ll keep the submissions and publish sporadically, listing who wrote it, for all to know. Feel free to send any pictures too to go with it.

I love writing and have done all my life, ever since I was a little girl and my parents bought me my big, bright orange sentence constructor (see my little doodle below!)

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So if you love writing and fancy your voice being heard, please, please send me a submission. You might want to use it as a platform to show others your written skills for job/interview/college purposes. Perhaps you are thinking of starting your own blog in future and would like to test the water first to see how your work is received. Maybe Facebook doesn’t reach enough people for your liking and 280 characters just isn’t enough on Twitter.

Either way, give it a go. Write something, send it in, see it online and capitalise on my sharing mood while it lasts!

In Defence of the Snowflake

When I’m having a ‘tough day,’ or a ‘mental week’ and express a negative opinion on what’s happening to me, on occasion I hear something along the lines of “Man up!” or “It was ten times harder in my day!” Basically, opinionated statements thrown in my face by people older than me to make me feel that I have no right to feel the way I do. This is something that I’m sure ALL of the people reading this blog have heard before. Thankfully, I don’t really get offended by these statements as these people don’t KNOW me or really anything about what I’m going through – they just want to make the moment about them for a few minutes. Whatevs Trevs, crack on!

The reason I bring this up today though is following a conversation I was having with a friend last week. Albeit for different organisations, in our job roles we both have the privilege of working with and coaching what some people like to call ‘Millennials.’

Millennial (noun) – a person born in the 1980s or 1990s, especially in the U.S; a member of Generation Y (Definition courtesy of www.dictionary.com)

I myself am a Millennial but I am not of the age group of the type of Millennial I’m going to talk about in this article. I am referring to the group that have become more commonly known as “Generation Snowflake.” This is the term given to young adults of the 2010s who ‘apparently’ have very little resilience when it comes to tackling problems and working hard. They are also accused of often taking offence when receiving feedback, whether in work or by the older generation. These supposed Snowflakes are considered too emotionally vulnerable for the ‘real world’ and deemed incapable of coping with views which rival their own.

The term Generation Snowflake was once considered slang, however in 2016 it was observed as one of Collins Dictionary’s words of the year. The Financial Times also recognised it exactly the same way.

An article in The Independent back in September this year brought to light a controversial view on Snowflakes by sharing the views of Connecticut Businessman, Kyle Reyes, who has devised a “Snowflake Test” in his company’s interview process, asking curveball questions such as when applicants last cried and why.

What winds me up however is the fact that there is a vicious label such as this for this generation of young people. I have worked for a youth charity for the last six years and before that as an Adviser to 18-24 year-olds. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I’ve met and got to know thousands upon thousands of this generation. I have watched some overcome barriers that I was lucky enough not to have in front of me growing up.

I have seen someone balance work experience in the hope of employment all whilst being a carer for two family members.

I have seen someone experience loss of parents at a young age and still turn up to an employment programme with a smile on their face and ready to help customers.

I have seen someone constantly rejected by employers for the way they looked, work insanely hard on a training course and then gain full-time, permanent employment.

I have seen someone supporting a work colleague through bereavement whilst suffering their own personal battles to financially support their child.

I have seen someone rejected by their family because of sexual preference turn up to a training course to better themselves every day as if nothing was wrong.

I have seen someone work hard in their GCSE exams the same week they spent every night in a theatre performing in a show and perfecting their work-life balance.

I have seen someone try their hardest to learn a new job whilst slowly losing their sight.

I have seen hundreds battling depression, anxiety and personal demons in the hope of improving their lives whether that be getting a job, going back to education or just leaving the house every day and meeting new people.

I am inspired every day of my life by someone new from this so-called Generation Snowflake. Can the small-minded people who label them this really hand on heart say that they were never emotionally affected by their environment whilst growing up? I really doubt it. Just because their issues might not necessarily be like yours now, trying to financially recover from a messy divorce or struggling to pay the University fees for your 18-year-old son, doesn’t mean they are not as emotionally devastating.

Finally, to draw attention to the statement of how Snowflakes are unable to deal with views which rival their own or how they talk about their feelings too much. I can answer this with just two words: Social Media. These days we have a wide range of platforms on which we can express our opinions. These opinions differentiate us as a race from more basic life forms and through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram etc, we can share them with the world and whoever else wants to listen. If you don’t want to hear what this generation have to say, then Unfollow them. Unsubscribe to them. Unfriend them. Log out of the Matrix, whatever you need to do to avoid these views which irk you so much. Just don’t for one second believe that you wouldn’t have been as opinionated so freely if social media was available to you when you were young.

If we must insist on using this term, then why not recognise that maybe we all as race come under this umbrella. We are all unique with different issues, feelings, opinions, values and emotional pain thresholds, regardless of our age.

So stop labelling them, cut them some slack and consider that we might all be Snowflakes.

Don’t Villainize the Good Guys

Let me set the scene. Today, my other half and I were happily walking round Trostre retail park in Llanelli, singing along in harmony to any Christmas music we could hear being played (apart from that annoying Christmas Wrapping song by The Waitresses, which seemed to follow us round from shop to shop)  – a standard Saturday afternoon for us. As a side note, I really wish shops in retail parks would talk to each other and devise a plan where they all play the same Christmas song at the same time so you don’t end up hearing your most hated song in Outfit, Next, River Island and Debenhams!

Walking past our favourite coffee shop, we overheard a father tell his little boy to behave otherwise the security guard who was walking behind them would ‘take him to jail.’ I mean, WHAT?! To make matters worse, the security guard overheard this silly threat and echoed the father’s statement! There is SO much wrong with this on SO many levels, it actually makes my blood boil just writing about it! The little boy looked about six years old – the exact age they say children are in a time of important social advances that establish their sense of identity. The bottom line? Six year olds are impressionable, so be careful what you are teaching them. In this case it was a father villainizing a person of authority to control his son’s bad behaviour.

I ask you this, what if that child was to lose sight of his father amongst the shopping frenzy and end up on his own, completely lost? I’d like to think he would have the sense to approach a security guard who could then get on the radio and organise reuniting him with his father, but I doubt this would happen. Why would he seek help from a man who would ‘punish him’ for behaving badly, getting lost and potentially ‘send him to jail with all the naughty people?’

policemanv2This is not the child’s fault, this is the parent’s. Do you want your child to approach the right people in a time of crisis? It’s the same with Police Officers. Too often have I overheard parents in the streets threatening their children with the Police Officer that just happens to be in sight. Children should be looking to them as good people who can help you if you need it – in simple terms, as the good guy, maybe even a hero. This mindset is hard to achieve however when they have the parent in their ear using them as a stick to beat them with.

Today’s incident was extra shocking however because the security guard laughed and agreed with the father. He villainized himself. I really hope that by some miracle he reads this blog, thinks about how that little meeting today has negatively influenced that poor little boy’s mind and thinks twice about what to say next time.

I am not a parent yet, nor do I claim to know everything about what parents should and shouldn’t teach their children, but surely this is something most can agree with? Let’s get things right first time and avoid the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that poor teachers will have to try and do in school to combat the negative attitudes towards these authority figures!

Parents, I implore you, DO NOT villainise the good guys!

Getting Ready to Rock the Jukebox!

In February 2016, I joined New Directions – a local theatrical society full of talented and welcoming people – and resumed my musical theatre life that I had only briefly flirted with back in my school days. Now, a year after playing Sherrie in Rock of Ages, I’m on my third show with them and loving every moment, not to mention the fact I’ve gained so much confidence in the process. That’s what you get though when you find ‘your people.’

Like most, I was quite different as a teenager. I would cry at any negative comment towards me and I’d be too shy to sing louder than to the front row. What if they think I’m terrible? – I’d ask myself every time I had to perform. It took getting into my 30s and many years of teaching and presenting to realise SO WHATI’d always be well prepared, I’d be practised and know my subject. SO WHAT if people disagreed? I felt good, and that’s how I feel now. I’m no Samantha Barks, I’m no Sierra Boggess, but I AM Stacey Harris and I will always bring my best self.

I’ve never told them, and probably never would to their faces (not out of pride but more not to embarrass them) but I should really thank my buddies in my company. Whether it’s helping me learn song lyrics I’m struggling to grasp, going over complex dance moves with me over and over, talking me out of my own head when I’m struggling with a solo or even just complimenting me on one of my belting high notes, they are there for me.

September 2017 saw us perform an Autumn revue show called Comedy, Disaster and Happily Ever After. I sang Your Daddy’s Son from the musical, Ragtime and faced my biggest acting challenge yet having to sing to a grave.

 

 

I also got to have my ‘Vengeful Jailbird’ moment singing and dancing the Cell Block Tango from Chicago – something to tick off my performance bucket list! I think the biggest highlight for me during the show was getting to duet with my other half, singing Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors. I remember my old school performing that musical and I so wanted to be in it. I couldn’t compete with the stars there so contributed by quietly playing my flute in the band instead. I had watched the film over and over again, and not just because of my love for Rick Moranis in the 90s. The harmonies, the storyline, the characters, the everything… It all captured me, and to be given that moment nearly 20 years later – it’s a moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life. ❤️ Starring in that musical one day is certainly another on my performance bucket list!

 

 

Not sure how it’s gone so quickly, but a week tonight, our Winter revue show, Rock the Jukebox opens at Stiwdio Stepni in Llanelli for three nights and I cannot wait. The last two and a half months have been spent listening to Queen and Abba songs over and over, understanding how to twist and jive, learning to love disco (famously my least favourite music genre!) and living the dream performing Lady Marmalade as Christina Aguilera. There are so many great moments in this upcoming show and some fantastic solos from my ever so talented company.

 

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If anyone is interested in coming along to support us, you can get tickets for £10 from the website but hurry, they’re selling out fast! You can also follow us on Twitter @NewDirectionsTS  for updates.