Lets have a real talk about public speaking

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TLDR: No matter how I prepare, I can’t help but want to curl into a tiny ball and pretend the earth doesn’t exsist.

full outfit

Blazer: Thrifted, Shirt: Thrifted, Skirt: Home Made, tights: Dangerfield, Shoes: Don’t remember. Belt: Thrifted.

I have a problem, and that problem is centered around not being able to give a presentation to more than 3 people who I don’t know without falling apart.

I had to give a presentation on flute basics at Uni for the year below me. Now it’s safe to say that I know quite a bit about basic flute stuff (at least you’d hope so considering it’s been my primary instrument for like 12 years (side note, my god that’s a long time. If my flute was a child, they would be in year 6 D:)). I’d been rehearsing what I was going to say, and felt fairly confident that this would be the day that I can confidently talk without feeling awful because this subject is my jam yo!

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I was quite wrong. I mean, I said everything I needed to, and I’m pretty sure I explained things fairly well, but I was feeling like a bit of a mess afterwards.

I think the weirdest thing is that this doesn’t extend to performing or rehearsing. Put me in front of a class full of kids with some instruments, sheet music and a baton, I can talk confidently for years. Take away that rehearsal environment, I have absolutely no hope.  Likewise, if I’m in a performance setting introducing a piece of music is the most nerve-wracking part of the exercise.

 

 

Taking off my tartan jacket

It’s funny, I never had this fear as a child, in fact I used to love giving presentations right up until my senior years of high school (my english teacher kind of ruined all of the english things I used to be good at/ love doing except reading books)

Twirling the pirate skirt

Such twirl much wow.

The fact that it takes me out of my comfort zone is the reason I do these things. The direction I’m looking at taking at the moment is centered around academic stuff, and part of doing all the academic stuff is doing both formal and informal presentations. I figure the only way to get over it is to keep on doing it despite the way I feel.

In other news I did the thing and made a facebook page for my blog! (It’d be super cool if you could go like it and stuff. Even cooler if you shared it!) As well as posting my blog posts there, I’ll also share other photograph type things I do, feminist stuffs, probably quite a bit of music and maybe the occasional unsexy selfie.

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The St Albans that wasn’t

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About a week and a half ago my band decided to do a YOLO, purchase some tickets to the St Albans folk festival and play all of the blackboard sessions to get our sound out there/meet new cool peeps. We ran into a slight spot of bother with the rain storm this week. The road to St Albans is not sealed and its right next to the river, meaning the folk festival was cancelled (it might be postponed, but I haven’t checked yet. Anyway, point is we didn’t end up at the festival) We decided to go camping anyway and jam/write some music at Wiseman’s ferry (which is pretty close to St Albans).

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There were quite a few people at the same campsite who’d travelled a long way for the festival and had the same plan as us, so we ended up having an impromptu “black board” style music day.

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This is Brodie from the Button collective. His outfit matched mine so well, I couldn’t help but pin him down for a photo. His band is pretty darn awesome. You should totes check them out.

We met so many awesome people and played so much awesome music. You can be sure we’ll be going to more folk festivals!

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The band being super cute

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The band feat. Guy and Josh pretending to be mountain goats.

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Achievement unlocked: Bokeh on a point and shoot!

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I did a cool exciting thing today. I finally was able to achieve a bokeh effect in some of my photos on purpose!

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See how in the picture above I’m all super sharp in the foreground, and the background is very blurry in a pretty way? That blur is know as bokeh, and is a pain in the neck to get on a point and shoot (which is what I use)

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Now, you may find yourself asking “Jen, how do I achieve this illusive effect?” The answer is simpler that you expect! Basically, you use focus and perspective to your advantage. When creating bokeh, basically you making it hard for the camera to keep the whole scene in focus, so It makes the best prominent bit sharp and clear, and the least prominent bit fuzzy. And now what you’ve all been waiting for, a step by step guide to doing this on your own camera!

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Step one: Zoom you camera in the whole way (but stopping once you reach digital zoom. You only want to use optical zoom for this effect)

Step 2: Frame your background. Because your zoomed in all the way, you’ll probably need to have your camera super far away from whatever it is that you want in the background.

Step 3: Frame your person (I’m assuming your shooting a portrait) I think I was about 5 or 6 meters away from the camera.

All that’s left is for your to press the trigger and take your shot!

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Shirt: Lady petrova, Belt: Alannah Hill, Skirt: Home Made, Socks: Ebay, Shoes: Thrifted. Necklace: Hand Made.

Sorry for nerding out about this. It’s just really exciting to be able to use such a “professional looking” technique on a very unprofessional camera.

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I pushed a tree over with my gargantuan strength

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If you read yesterdays post (or live on the East Coast of Australia) You’ll know that we’ve been having a spot of bother with our weather. (read: the weather has been a category 2 cyclone and has destroyed all the things) One of the things that has suffered is the tree I discovered.

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There was just something so magical about the way the light was hitting this particular topsy turvy tree, not to mention the way the grass sort of just folded to accommodate the new space the roots occupied. I couldn’t help but climb all over it. It’ll probably be cleared up in a few days for safety reasons (it kind of fell on a pathway) but I’m glad I got to document its unusual beauty.

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Shirt: Thrifted, Belt: Alannah Hill, Skirt: Kitten D’amour, Tights: Myer, Shoes: Thrifted

I had a revelation last week about getting your stuff seen on the internet. You have to interact with all the people on all the social media in a constructive way (ie not spamming and actually trying to have a conversation). This is something I’ve always struggled with. When it comes to internet things I would rather lurk and observe than actively participate (If I had a dollar for every time I had written a comment on something then deleted it I would be a very rich woman).

I find it very interesting that my introverted nature has transferred over into my digital life. As I mentioned yesterday, I watch a lot of youtube, and something commonly mentioned by the various vloggers I watch is how introverted they are in real life. So even though they are IRL introverts they are (cue wanky internet terminology) digital extroverts.

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I was not as casually balanced on the tree as I appear to be. My legs were shaking like no tomorrow! Partially because of my shoes and partially because I’m completely terrified of heights.

Up until starting my blog my status as a digital introvert had never been an issue (all of the stuff I was doing was not on the internet, so it didn’t matter if I never wanted to be active on anything.) but now I have to actively make an effort to be outgoing on social media and try to (for want of a better term) “build an audience”.

I learnt a rule recently to help (somewhat) overcome this problem. I have to interact with at least 3 new people a day across the social web. It’s a slow process, but definitely worth it! (sorry for all of the techno-babble. It’s just a thing that’s been playing a lot on my mind recently, and if I can’t share it here then I can’t share it anywhere!)

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Bright oranges and pastely goodness feat. Jens top 10 underrated Youtubers

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If you don’t live along the East Coast of NSW, you may not know about the hellish weather we’ve had the past couple of days. There’s been flash flooding, heavy rain and cyclonic winds so severe that education institutions across the Hunter and down to the Illawarra region have been closed (including my Uni, which means I haven’t been at work, nor have I been at uni). My house has fared fairly well. We’ve been lucky enough to retain our power and phone lines, and as far as water damage is concerned, we’ve only had minor damage done to our fence.

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Coat: Sports girl, Shirt: Thrifted, Belt: Alannah Hill, Skirt: Home Made, Tights: Sports girl, Shoes: Dr Martens

Being so cooped up (and living in my pj’s) for a day and a half had me itching to wear proper/ bright clothes, so that’s exactly what I did. I decided to wear a slight varition of an outfit I wore last week for 2 reasons: 1) I couldn’t photograph it properly because lighting and 2) the colours are a mixture of super bright and pastel, solving my hankering for bright colours caused by the weather, and solving my hankering for pastel goodness caused by CupCakesClothes, Mermaidens, Kate Gabrielle, and a whole host of new people I’m following on Instagram.

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Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while is create a top 10 list of underrated people on Youtube. Not many people know this, but I’m an avid watcher of Youtube, and have been since like 2008. I watch so.many.people. many of which don’t have many subscribers/who are much less popular than a similar youtuber who does what they do less well. Seeing as I’m on a real “support all the artists I can” kick, I thought I would bring you my current “Top 10 youtubers I think are terribly underrated and who you should totally check out if you like youtube” (for the purposes of this list, I will be calling “underrated” any youtuber with less than 100,000 subscribers) So, in no particular order:

1) Meow It’s Lucy: Is an English vlogger who vlogs about stuff. Sometimes it’s life stuff, sometimes it’s learning stuff, but no matter what the topic, she’s always delightful and conversational. I also have a touch of fringe envy because her fringe is amazingly thick and always neat/evenly cut (and never in her eyes!)

2) Abb3rz07: Is an American vlogger who (again) vlogs about stuff. She tends to mostly vlog about music (she’s highly involved as an audience member/photographer/critic in the Seattle music scene, which is so totally cool) , feminism, makeup/beauty/fashion with a touch of life stuff as well.

3) A Con Mann: Aka Conner Manning is someone who I’ve only just started watching. When I found him I may have binge watched most of the video’s on his channel. He tends to vlog about serious stuff in an almost stand up way (his tone is usually a bit more serious, but he seems to take delivery cues from that particular performance technique). It is always a delight to be able to delight in his progressive views on life/gender/sexuality/mental disorders, and his videos are always incredibly well researched.

4) Choncey Boddington: Is a booktuber by description, but does not only vlog about books. She’s highly intelligent and has a brilliant conversational tone surrounding her videos. She’s recently be vlogging less about books and more about life stuff, but books have always (and will probably always) be the center of her focus.

5) It’s A Me, Myleo: Is what I’ll call a comedic life vlogger. His filming and topics mostly come from stuff that’s happened, and are always talked about in a hilariously sarcastic way. Some of my favourite videos are from when he and Old Hot Radio hang out/collaborate as they share the same sarcastic comedy tone.

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Close up of the fabric details!

6) Elmify: Has that sort of big sistery type thing going on. I started watching her when I was in year 11, and am always excited when one of her sporadic videos land in my sub box (She’s also a host on How To Adult, and as much as I love those video, they’re just not the same). She’s also a comedic life vlogger, with her approach being an almost sketch like take on the medium.

7) Marina Shut up:is my favourite sarcastic, Daria-esque feminist vlogger. She’s recently started doing a series called “feminist fridays” (which I’ve shared across social media on several occasions). I love her videos. They’re always really well researched and informative, and really great if you’re only just getting into feminism.

8) Mr Nee Naw: is a great all rounder. He does sketches and vlogs and is really great at whatever medium he chooses. He doesn’t post as much as he used to, but is still brilliant regardless.

9) Sam Chaplinify: Is basically a more serious Conner Manning with a non fixed camera angle. I love his conversational vlogging style, and he is always sincere and well informed.

10) Ophellia Dagger: Aka Old Hot Radio is an English Vlogger (I’d even go so far as to say commedian) who is hilarious and brilliant. (I may have said in no particular order at the top of my list, but I have definitely saved the best for last). She tends to have a sarcastic style of comedy, and is just so very captivating.

BONUS LIST: These channels have over 100000 Subs, but I still think they should be way more popular than they are:

11) Mike Falzone: Is a stand up comedian come vlogger, who has quite an original take on a “standard” format. He somehow manages to capture everything i love about standup, and apply it to the vlog format without loosing what I love so much about the typical “vlog”.  He also performs live regularly (which is brilliant, but makes me a tad sad, seeing as he only performs in not Australia)

12) Sexplanations: is my favourite education channel on Youtube. It’s basically everything you should have been taught in sex ed in an indepth and supportive manner. Dr Doe has this brilliant way of taking the gross and the shame out of sex ed, instead replacing it with support and understanding. She also answers viewer questions on a semi regular basis.

13) Agent XPQ: Aka Tales of Mere Exsistance is a cartoonist who presents his videos in an incredibly unique fashion. I’d call his style Narrated live comic strip, as he draws part of each cell on a translucent piece of paper, and narrates his videos in post production. There was a point in year 12 where I had all of this videos downloaded to my laptop so I could watch/show them to people at my leisure. (This was before 3g and wifi were completely abundent)

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I also made a new choker, because I needed more unicorns in my life!

I hope you check out these youtubers. They’re all kind of sort of completely amazing, and it would be lovely to see them get more support :)

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The Day after.

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I am somewhat recovered from my adventure last night. (If you missed it, a friend and I travelled to Campbelltown arts center for pixel sounds, which is an annual chip tune gig. It was an amazing night, although, we had a long way to travel (our travel had nothing on the artists though, who’d mostly come from Melbourne and Perth))

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That lens spot!

Speaking of artists, I’m going make a list for your listening pleasure. They were all phenomenal, and deserve their music to be listened to by as many people as possible. I must also mention that chiptune is best listened to live. It’s amazing what brilliant sound systems, stunning (and sometimes hilarious) visuals, multiple gadgets with all sorts of brightly lit screens and colourful wires, and the artist themselves grooving away to their sweet sweet bleep bloops adds to this style of music making.

Calavera: Is what I’d describe as good wholesome chip tune. His melodies are beautiful, and his wave channel is crunchy. Basically his chiptunes encompass everything I love about music made on a gameboy. I also love his charismatic performance style, which is so overwhelmingly happy.

Maddest Kings Alive: Maddest Kings Alive take on chiptune is what I’d call chilled out and minimal. His live set was created with a bunch of snazzy gadgets which I failed to identify, but it seemed as though he was constructing his sound live on stage, in a similar manner to how one performs an acoustic instrument. It was amazing to watch, and even more amazing to listen to.

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Cropped Jumper: Thrifted, Belt: Alannah Hill, Shorts: Home Made, Tights: Coles yo, Shoes: Thrifted.

DF0:BAD: Part of the charm of live chip tune is when the technology fails. Most of the time the artist is using technology which is 20+ years old, and sometimes it dies. DFo:BAD’s technology was not immune to the curse of failing technology, with some songs dieing halfway though. Despite this, his set was skillfully composed, and very well performed.

cTrix: I must say, cTrix is one of my favourite chiptune artists. He makes music on a bunch of different systems including (but not limited to) an Atari (which he’s turned into a guitari) a SNES, a Mega Drive, an Amega, a gameboy and a pocket thingy with lots of wires on knobby bits which I can’t remember the name of. Something I love about his performance style is that he always takes a little time to educate the audience by explaining what he’s using (and if you’re lucky) how he’s using it. He also had technology fail last night (although, it was the modern tech as opposed to the ancient tech) and handled it skillfully, entertaining the audience with some impromptu Beat Boxing)

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Atomsmasha: Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Atomsmasha play (it was a choice between catching a slightly earlier train, or waiting 3 hours for the super sketchy one), but I can verify that his music is completely marvelous. He makes melodic and hard 8 bit techno, and does it really really well.

So yeah, check all these mad boys out yo! Also, I will mention for all my music friends who don’t do the chip tune thing, if you know how to use Sibelius, there’s not much of a learning curve to being able to use the LSDJ tracker on a gameboy (I’ll post a tutorial link here) Basically, I think y’all should make chip tune so NSW can have a scene (as much as I love the Melbourne scene, YOU’RE ALL SO FAR AWAY :( )

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Pom pom skirt: Round 2

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Sometimes when I make something new, I can’t help but wear it several times in one week. That’s kind of happened with my pom pom skirt. It’s so much fun to wear/ play with the pom poms I just want to live in it. (I think I’m going to have to buy more pompoms and fabric so I can make one in every colour!)

I also have a ton of things that “go” with this skirt, so it’s fairly easy to style in a variety of ways.

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This actually isn’t the outfit I wore today (I wore old comfy clothing during the day because I had house work to do/couldn’t be bothered getting dressed properly twice). This is the outfit I’m wearing tonight to a concert called Pixel sounds which is on at the Campbell town art gallery. Pixel sounds is basically a celebration of chip music (which at its most basic definition is people making cool music on super old technology)  A bunch of musicians I know (and chip music I love!) are playing there tonight, and I thought it would be fun to go to, so I’m going :3. (I’m also dragging my band mate Josh with me, because he like the old chip tune too!)

 

 

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Shirt: Shop 55, Belt: Alannah Hill, Skirt: home made, Tights: Top shop, Shoes: Thrifted.

 

I’ll link to everybody that played tomorrow when I have more time to write/ am not using mobile internet! :)

 

 

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