5 Things I learned from Acting School

5 Things I learned from Acting School

Hello everyone,

I went to acting school when I was only nineteen years old, in a completely different country, and had to re-start my life over there. It was a great experience, first time alone, in a country with different language, different culture, no parents, nor anyone to solve my problems. Let’s say it was a crucial time to shape me into the woman I am today. I have come to discover who I really am, because I had the time and permission to do so.

So here they are, the five things I learned in acting school that I will take with me for life: Ready? ACTION!

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  1. Engage with people, and learn to listen.

When someone (the cashier at the grocery store for example) asks you “How are you?” Really take time to answer. We usually say, “I’m fine, and you?” And thats it. Engage them on conversation. After one of my teacher told me that, I started doing this all the time. Eventually everyone knew me at my local Grocery Store because I always engaged them in conversation. It’s so automatic now that sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Take time to really know people, it will make a difference, and really LISTEN.

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     2. Fail, fail again, but fail better. 

I believe is one of the most important things for me to remember. One of my teachers used to say that if we felt like we failed at the scene, we should do it again, but do it better. If you failed the scene again, you should keep going, because each try would only be better than the last, and we would always learn something. This is so important to use in our daily lives, when applying for a new job, working out, or trying something you are afraid of. Just take a chance, and keep fighting. Failure is just one step away from success.

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  3. Write your experiences.

They always encouraged us to keep journals. We should write our experiences, write what we see, write about people we see in the street, write about anything, actually. When we write, we are doing a study of the Human psych, and in acting we need to understand humans. We need to know how different people feel, react, their objectives in life, etc… So, I’m really trying to work on writing more what I see.

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  4. Respect each other’s background.

In my class we had people from all over the world, with different ages, cultures, colors, languages, and background. We had to share some pretty personal things in order to learn how to trust each other (which could only make a scene better), and to be vulnerable. I got to learn great stories, as well as sad ones from so many people, and that taught me we shouldn’t judge someone based on what we think we know. We don’t know each other’s past and struggle. We can only be supportive of one another.

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      5. Do not compare yourself with others.

This one is a biggie for me, because I am terrible at it. We learned that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others because everyone was different, with a different strength or talent. We could only compare ourselves with ourselves, because that was the only way we would see our true growth. If you compare where you are to where others are, you will end up frustrated. But if you stop to realize how much you improved, you will feel the fire to keep improving. That is a must for anything in life: health, body image, personal projects, work etc. Do not compare yourself with others. Only you can be the true measure of your growth. You will always be enough, because no one else can be a better you than you.

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What did you think of my 5 lessons from acting school? Make sure to leave a comment!

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A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

Hello everyone,

What do you see in the picture? Books, right? A book means someone (the author) is trying to give you a message. Trying to transport you to a different place, time, or simply to make you see your own world in a different point of view. The whole purpose of a book is simply to give you a message, to make you think critically, or to make you stop thinking about your daily life, and just drown within its pages. The same for a movie, play, music, painting, or any form of art that triggers something inside you.

But I was astonished to discover over the weekend, while I was taking a self-publishing course, that here in Brazil some books are not considered Literature, because they are more commercial or because their writing style isn’t as refined as others. I felt like these types of books were underestimated, as if they weren’t as good or valued as the others.

I always thought we had one Young-Adult genre, where all the sub-genres derived from, however, we have a Literary YA, and a commercial YA. (The names are different in Portuguese but won’t change the meaning of what I’m saying.) So where does this in-between commercial YA lies? Why Brazilians are not publishing Young-Adult novels that are not so refined (but still sends you a message clearly), and are more commercial? Most of the books we consume here are Young-Adult novels that come from english speaking countries, however, we ourselves are not writing them.

Doesn’t a book still have the same value even if it’s simply entertaining, and not didactic or refined, or stylistic more polished? I believe that books, no matter what genre, should all have the same value, because they are all trying to teach you something, entertain you, or make you feel something. The more rules we put on how books should look like, the less people will read it, because they will stay within one category. A book is supposed to make you feel fun, silly, courageous, strong, vulnerable, and intelligent. Just like we have different moods and tastes, so should books. Yes, some people think that YA books are silly or for teenagers, but they still make me feel good. Isn’t that the whole point of reading something? Having a good time?

If we want to stop complaining that the new generation doesn’t read that many books, why don’t we stop discriminating books in the first place? If it makes you feel happy, whole, and overall satisfied that is all that matters.

Don’t give up reading,

Fefe.

Poem Moment

Poem Moment

I was going through my journal and found an old poem I wrote two years ago. It made me realize how some things might seem that will destroy you, as if you wouldn’t be able to pass through it. But then, time passes and you are okay, and whole again. We need to remember that we don’t need to put our faith or happiness on people. They should be part of it, and grow from it, but they shouldn’t be the source of it. We need to learn how to be complete on our own, so people will come and share their “complete” with you, and more and more will be added to who you are.

With that being said, I am sharing the poem I wrote, because even if it’s not a part of who I am anymore, it was a part of me for quite some time. Some people might see themselves in the poem, or recognize feelings they are having. So, for those who do I say, “It’s okay, you will get through whatever is haunting your soul, and it won’t kill you. It will make you stronger.”

Unnamed Poem:

To say okay, when you are not okay

To smile, when you want to cry

To pretend you don’t care, when you do

It’s all a mask, it’s all a lie

It’s a cry for help that you are failing to see

I’m hurting inside, how can it be?

That you neglect me when I’m near

Don’t try to find me when I disappear

But if I do, would you miss me?

Or shed a tear and move on quickly

When I would break if you ever left me. 

 

I didn’t break. I’m still here, and so are all of you.

Love,

Fefe

1/4 of a Century

1/4 of a Century

Hello guys,

So on April 18th I turned 25, which means I’m one quarter of a century old. That’s right, I’m not on my early twenties anymore.

But, I’m glad I’m aging because I have been learning and growing so much, and like I always say, change is good.

For this special age, I’ve decided to create a bucket list of 25 things I must do on the year of my 25th birthday.

I’ve written down a wide range of things, from doing hang-gliding, to learning how to drive stick shift, to getting a tattoo. So far I have seven things completed, but I still have many more to finish.

It’s been fun so far, and the best part is that I’ve shared my list with my friends, so not only they help me complete my list, but also I have a commitment of finishing it because other people beside me know about my challenge.

I’ve been reading a book called The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey, and he discusses how in order to be trusted we need to trust ourselves. And sometimes we mine our own trust by setting up goals and not accomplishing them, like for example when we set the alarm earlier to go workout but we wake up, turn it off, and just go back to sleep. This small act is making ourselves less trustworthy, and even worse, is making us stop trusting ourselves.

So, I encourage you to try doing the same thing. You know those things you always wanted to do but was always too lazy, too busy, or just forgot to do it? Write them down now and challenge yourself to complete them. See it as a mission and set a date for you to complete your list.

I bet you will feel more accomplished and empowered just like I have been feeling.

Peace always,

Fe.

Why Being in Love Means Being a Fool?

Why Being in Love Means Being a Fool?

I’ve been thinking about love lately, not just love but feelings in general. How many times I’ve seen friends being in love and hearing that they are a fool for it? And the more I think about it, the more terrified I become with the conclusion that people are so afraid of feeling something that they rather hurt someone else instead of being vulnerable and be hurt. Even worse: people are so self-centered that they can’t see outside their range.

I’m not talking about guys being jerks, or girls being shallow, or none of those typical things you might hear. I’m talking about people in general. About how one person will try everything to grab your attention, while you are after someone else, and that person is after someone else, so we never find an end to that circle.

In a world where girls fight the standards to scream their independency, guys have to learn more and more how to live and share the duties of a home, where people are so “connected” instantly and language barriers are broken, still we seem to drift more and more apart from one another. Why is that?

I feel like people are scared of wanting something. Even if they say “that’s how I want someone”, they might run away when that person comes popping in their lives, because they might not be ready for that. Or better yet, they might not  be ready to have someone who will have so much power over them, because knowing someone may hurt you is extremely scary. So we close ourselves up in our own world, gathering a list of lovers one right after the other, always having someone to massage our ego, so we don’t have to face the truth that one person might make you feel more than all those others.

We say we want something, but when we find it, we build walls up against it. Doesn’t make sense, right? I’m not saying that we should live like the romance books, where all is perfect and love is stronger than anything else. Those things are beautiful for the stories, but they are not real. Those people are not real, and no matter how many flaws a writer can give them, you can’t flush them out of the page.

No. I’m talking about people who will make you happy and laugh, who will disappoint you because you create certain expectations in your head, who will support you and fail you, who will fight you, and, sometimes, who will just be there, with none of these extreme feelings that you encounter in the pages of a novel.

Perhaps you will meet someone who will make you feel differently, and I pray that you have the courage to tell that person how you feel–which most of us lack to do. We just keep pretending that we don’t care until that person walks out of our life.

If not, you might just keep living life like a ghost, just bumping into the next person and the next, to keep pretending that you are strong or wanted.

I’m not saying that we are incomplete without someone else, not by far. I believe we all come to this life as a whole, and we can live, breathe, build a career, follow our dreams all on our own. What I’m saying is, maybe someone could be there with you, cheering you, challenging you, or helping you put your feet on the ground sometimes.

So my wish for you is to be weak and be a fool. But don’t be a fool with shut eyes and closed heart, because you might miss something or someone.

 

Re-learning How to be Creative.

Re-learning How to be Creative.

Ok, so let me ask you something. Creativity is a talent, right?

Nope.

I used to think that too, until recently I’ve stumbled upon a course taught here in Brazil by a comedian Entrepreneur, Murilo Gun, who decided it was time to break the traditional thought that some people are creative while others aren’t.

His whole course is based upon the idea that everyone is born creative, but as we grow up, we start getting blocked from the way society makes us behave. We lose that childlike innocent creativity where every thing we see is considered an input for creative thoughts.

I have been suffering with creative block since I started working in a more traditional logical job, and haven’t been my normal self since then. So, I decided to take a shot at the course to see if it would help me re-learn how to be creative.

The course hasn’t started yet, however, all the “students” already created a group on facebook and on Whatsapp, so we could start getting to know each other and share our experiences of the course as we move forward.

For me, just that experience is already worthy enough. Imagine about a hundred people, from different cities, backgrounds, ages, jobs, hobbies, personalities, but all with one goal of re-learning how to be creative? It’s the most incredible experience ever!

Everyone is so funny, and interactive, and they all have something different to offer or to teach you that sometimes it’s even hard to keep up. I’ve been having a blast just by knowing all these crazy people just like me, and sort of felt back on first day of college where everyone was friends with each other and we were all so united. Some of those people are still my friends, and I can only hope to come out with more friends from this new experience.

I have a feeling that they will help me towards my creative path, and that we will all have a great experience together.

So if you are feeling like you need a change, why don’t you try starting a new class somewhere? Something different and unique, with people who have the same goal as you? Get out of your shell and try meeting new people! If you are open minded and respectful of everyone’s differences, you can only come out with more knowledge about human beings and perhaps you can even change your mind about pre-conceived ideas.

Happy Creative thoughts,

Fernanda.

 

 

The power of writing

The power of writing

Writing for me is more than a form of expression. It is also a form of release.

Once I really started writing, developed my own stories and got attached to my characters, I realized how some of my own feelings, desires, fears and frustrations became real on the page.

I was going through a really tough time, and somehow by putting my own characters in my situation, I could see things from a whole new perspective. Writing helped me accept and understand certain events and people of my life.

Kiera Cass, writer of The Selection Series, once said the same thing, about how putting her characters in her own situations, helped her deal with her problems.

Somehow you are able to detach youserlf from the whole picture, and take a look at things from a different point of view. By doing that you release yourself from those feelings that chain you down. You get the sensation that you lock your inner demons on those pages, instead of battling them inside yourself.

If you get people to read your work, you might even help them deal with their own demons. I let a friend read one of my works, and she said that what happened to my character hit her right in her wound. She saw herself in my character, and she felt real relief when my character said out loud everything she always wanted to say.

For me seeing how much my work impacted someone made all the effort, all the pain and all the joy I went through that inspired my story, to somehow be worth it. That’s what telling stories is all about. It’s about sharing experiences, taking people to other places, helping each other, healing old wounds, and giving courage to those who need it.

I write to understand the world, and better yet, to understand myself.

Writing is a journey, and reading is a escape.