My blog is pants...

Random stuff from the Bronster... especially good to read if you happen to like me.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Just got back from watching Ross Noble! Oh my god that man is a comedy genius! It didn't make me laugh quite as much as when i saw him in Southport but I was stil peeing myself... the man is obsessed with monkeys and let's just say his obsession crossed the line tonight, and with the inclusion of Terry Nutkins and a Trilby... the mind boggles...
Plus got a text out o the blue from an old ex-boyfriend saying hi, so that was kind of nice, we're going to meet up over Xmas possibly... interesting... lol
Right I'm off to bed as I am knakkered... we were filming today again for the Richard and Judy competition!! ahaha only one day of filming left.deary me
Tonight my life got worse... I had a meeting with the Chairman of the theatre tonight, let's just say I gave as good as I got and it was just a huge bitching session. Basically they all think I'm an ungrateful spoiled child, and consequently Brian is now looking for a new YT Chair. All sounds so petty when you write it down - and of course it IS petty... but they started it! ;)
No seriosuly. I wrote my diretors report from Stags and Hens and fair enough it was mostly negative, but it was just the truth! I was hoping they'd take it on board and do something about it... ahh well what do I know, I've only been there 14 years! Well anyway - aparantly the whole committee have taken it the wrong way and think I was just moaning at them and so the Chair calls me in to have a go as well! Great stuff!
So... yeah... i feel a bit shit...
THIS is why I hate being happy/content.. things always come crashing down when you don't expect it! You're caught off guard!


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Hi, spent last night watching old videos that me and keya made when we were about 13... mental... my hair got so short and dark and keya got so quiet since then. Most of the tapes are her screaming! It was so funny to watch I am aching from laughing... who needs artificial suppliments when a healthy amount of embarrasment will do the trick?
I hope I can convince her to show Paul cos I think he'd find it funny, I always liked watching videos of my boyfriends when they were younger, in fact any of my friends, I love seeing history right there in front of me. I know my grandad has some footage of me and keya when we were about 5, I should ask him to show it me sometime, that would just be crazy.
Well, to bed

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Hi one and all... for those of you following my trail into the weird and wonderful life of Postgraduate studies... feel free to read below the feedback for I filled in for my course:


General Comments – Brainne Edge

1. Has the programme fulfilled your expectations?

Not at all. My proposal before entering the course was to produce a 30 minute comedy sketch show. Days into the course I was told this was inappropriate, and also told about 4 essays that I knew nothing about before accepting the place on the course. Once I had decided on a different idea to begin working on I found there was little specific help that was offered to me as there were no practical tutors that worked within television, only film. I feel future students should be made very aware of what is to be expected throughout the year before they accept the place.

2. How far has the programme helped you to focus, refine and achieve the ambitions you had for your MA year?

As above. What I aimed to do at the start I had to change. My main reason for embarking on an MA was to learn new techniques and hopefully new computer packages and even work with film. It became apparent early on in the course that none of this would be offered to me. As I was new at the Institute I found it very hard to know who I should even approach for these things, and when I asked for help I very rarely got the help I needed. By the time I had reached my final project in the summer of 2003 I had become so disillusioned with the Institute that I resorted back to how I worked within my BA in Salford, and strongly feel I learned nothing of what I wanted to achieve during my time in Surrey, except the computer package AVID DS.
I went there to learn – and wasn’t told that in order to do that I would have to teach myself.

3. How far has the programme provided the potential for engagement with the wider postgraduate community?

In my whole time within the Institute I felt out of place, maybe some of this was due to being the only northerner in the system, I would feel very uncomfortable trying to mix in those circles again therefore I will be avoiding it for the future.

4. Has the programme helped you to understand and find strategies for approaching your research?

Yes, I am a lot more interested in researching, which helps me while directing. A lot of the things I covered while working on my MA has helped me to further my studies into improvisation techniques. I have learned how to map out my studies and found more places to gain research from.

5. How far has the Surrey Institute succeeded in providing a creative and positive environment in which to study and exchange ideas?

Over the course of my time at the Institute my confidence dipped to previously unknown levels, so I would suggest it not only didn’t succeed but failed miserably. Throughout my time there the only responses I received for my work were critical, I cannot recall a time where anything positive was said – at least I never left a meeting or read feedback that made me feel like what I was doing was of any worth. Some of this would be my own self-deprication, but it is mainly fuelled by what I deemed as negative feedback. I did however value my practical tutor’s comments, especially during my final project. I didn’t feel that the Institute helped with the ‘exchange of ideas’ much as I was the only person pursuing the Film and Video Masters and none of the other students present in the seminars were that interested. The only seminar’s I felt I gained anything towards my project were the ones that I led myself.

Individual Modules
I would also like to receive specific response to your experience of individual modules in terms of:

· the quality of teaching, tutorial support, supervision and guidance offered

I felt that the amount of time offered to me by tutors was insufficient, I think mainly due to the small amount of time they were at the Institute during the week. Also my tutors seemed to not talk to each other. For one piece of work I received, from two separate tutors, a 2:1 grade and a Fail. Also during the writing of my script the main tutors that were advising me on it contradicted each other, which stopped me from asking their opinions. This caused me to re write my first episode (I was planning a series of 4-6) 14 times, and caused me not to complete the amount of work I wanted to in this area. Finally, the tutors that were coaching me in this area were not Television writers but film writers… consequently I feel this is why my project became a little film, and not the ‘pilot episode’ I wanted it to be.

· the facilities provided

The Institutes facilities are superb, the only problem is the red tape surrounding them. It wasn’t until the middle of Semester Two when I was finally told how to gain access to the equipment, and when I was, I was left to my own devices. My main problem was that I was not a previous student of the Institute, therefore the other students knew the system, how it worked, and who to go to. It was just assumed that I would know the same. My main gripe about the facilities is that the technician’s looking after them (specifically AVID DS) weren’t aware of how to maintain them. My final project was uncompleted due to a fault on the computer I was on. I was told I would have to ‘put up with it’ which caused me a great amount of distress.

· specific issues relating to 1 to 5 above.

See above.

The Practical Project Module strands in

· MA38

It seemed to me that unless we were in the same field as each other (ie: Film and Video in my case) we could not really help each other. Tenuous links were the closest thing I got to anything that even touched upon my project.

· MA40

See above

· Final Project Module, MA42.

The fact that there was absolutely no tutorial support during the summer 3rd Semester I found to be ridiculous. I had paid for a full year, and I expected that we would be able to get some help during that time. The Design students seemed to be meeting with their tutors at least fortnightly, the last time I saw the co-ordinator was in July, 2 months before the hand in. This was also the last time I met with my dissertation tutor, who missed the appointment we scheduled for mid August. My practical tutor was very helpful during my editing process, especially as she could see how distressed the entire year had made me.

The Supporting Studies strand of taught seminars

· MA38, Theoretical Approaches to the Visual Arts and Media

I can’t remember this strand right now.

· MA40, Institutions in the Arts and Media

I found this module the most useless out of them all. There were no talks on anything television related at all. The BBC would have been the most obvious choice.

Work in Progress seminars

These were some of the few seminars that I felt actually helped me with my project, however I felt I was useless to the other students as I knew very little about art and art history and it wasn’t something I was interested in.

Advanced Research Methods I and II

These I found utterly useless and could have been reduced into ‘Read this book, and check the internet’. I also found being lumped in with the PhD students to be very intimidating, I was mostly blanked for any comments I made and in the end stopped contributing, and finally just stopped attending.

If you have any suggestions for how the programme might be improved I would welcome these, together with any other comments you might like to add.

This would take me far too long at present to write. I will get back to you on that.

I am aware of how negative this feedback is but I feel firstly I should not have been allowed on this course when it was extremely apparent that the Institute could not accommodate me, nor I them. The whole experience led me to be diagnosed with anxiety caused by the intense pressure to produce things I had not been made aware of, I wasn’t able to leave the course due to the life altering changes I had made to go there in the first place, and the expense (that I am STILL paying off) – not to mention the fact that I had turned down a place at Salford University to do an MA also. I am still bitter about the whole experience and feel I came out of it all with a sub standard piece of work that I was unable to concentrate on because of the intensity of the academic work I also had to produce. I have not been able to use my final project to help me advance in my field, and probably wont ever be able to as it was never completed to my own standards, let alone the Institute, mainly due to lack of time (both to do with the amount of time I had to concentrate on other aspects of the MA, and the technician’s incompetence during my editing), and faulty equipment.
The only positives I have gained from this experience is how to research and how to live in a new place on my own, that and the friends I made while staying there.

I am still awaiting word as to whether I have actually passed this Masters.

Brainne Edge

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Realised there's a few things I haven't reitterated about from previous posts....

The guy who was arrested played Eddy in the play, that's all you're getting, maybe he couldn't quite break out of his thuggish character after the run cos he assaulted a copper and was thrown in jail for the night. They let him off in the end.

The Murder Mystery was fun. I really was sooo nervous! I hate being unprepared for anything, but when I'm going to be in charge, the one they all look to if something goes wrong, then I'm even more nervous! It went fairly smoothly ... one table was giving me a load of shit, but I seemed to handle them ok... then another table got really angry that there was no blood and described to me how there would be blood spatters if someone had been hit on the head with a bottle... this disturbed me to be honest, he was really angry about it! I was this far from saying 'well, would you have wanted to clean that up seeing as we have no budget, are not getting paid, and were using a hotel room on the sly?' but didn't... just assured him that the blood was underneath all the fake hair! See if Welchie would have played the part we wouldn't have had to use an awful wig! Cos she's got big curly Michael Jackson hair you see.

Right, well you've probably guessed I'm in avoidance mode for my room so I'm going to get cracking... some eggs for my breakfast, but then I'm going to start... a race that I am the starter for.. after that I'm going to move... my bowels... err.. Ok I'm off

like some milk

I'm going to make like a baby and head out, make like a tree and leave etc

Well this week HAS been a busy one. I have been in a murder mystery, judged a high school talent contest, AND finished painting my front room. It's now two shades of... oooh nearly said the colour there (mum's not allowed to know - muahahaaaa). The next few weeks are going to get more and more busy as ComedySportz workshops will start kicking off.
Things are hotting up CYT wise too with Welchie writing us our very own play to perform based on characters we make up - it's all rather exciting.
Next week I'll be off to see ROss Noble and then a few weeks after, Eddie Izzard... it's all fun and frollicks. Maybe one day I too will be able to move in those circles ;)

Today is dedicated to my room... I've been staying in my parents room for the last year and I'm getting fed up with it... there are too many memories floating around my room so I just wanted to ignore it... but today I'm taking the plunge and going to tidy it up! Phew!


Saturday, November 08, 2003

Well, it's been a little while again. Howdy ho!
Spent most of today at the theatre organising this year and sorting out our next show with the Youth Theatre. Am still beaming about these new CSz shirts!! I'm so proud ofthem! Proper soccer shirts!! Oh yes baby!
Keya and I redecorated the front room the other day it looks nice and warm now - I can't tell you the colour as we are surprising our parents when they visit this year, and one parent has a habit of looking on here ;)
On a personal note - my mental state is a little more stable at the moment again - I think it's cos I'm more busy again - I am in a murder mystery next week, but this time I'm the detective!! Which is making me brick!
ComedySportz I can ref and be in charge off cos I know my rules and boundaries... but this is a whole new ball game... I'll be sure to let you know how it all goes.
Right well I'm off now to tidy some more I think, we are going to have a Stags and Hens party before my parents arrive for Xmas :D

Monday, November 03, 2003

shit! I just woke up! I fell asleep at 6pm and just woke up now at about midnight! Great... now my body clock is going to be out of whack.
Spent today watching the Coen brothers new film which was OK, and stripping the set from the show. Discovered one of my cast was arrested after the party! (that I didn't stay too long at).
Balls... now I've forgotten what I came on here to write about... damn it all.
I am going to audition for the new Channel 4 show Musicality! lol... it's like Operatunity only the person who wins is given the chance to be in a west end musical for one night! haha....
I'm sad the show's over but I'm also randomly complacent about the whole thing... I didn't really feel a lot with this play... I can't get out of this slump of shite that seems to be holding over my head... even the thing I love most in the world - theatre and directing etc - isn't enough to make me happy. I can't seem to discover how to be happy... it's driving me mad.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Right.. the story of Wednesday's show...
Firstly i arrived early as usual and began tidying up and setting the speakers and music etc (as I have to do so I don't stress out), then once the audience began arriving I got word that Joanne (playing one of the main characters in the play) wasn't too good. Turns out she fell down some steps leaving work and badly hurt her leg. I got her some ice and we waited for the St Johns to get there. They wanted to take her to Casualty right away but she wouldnt' go. So she went on with a limp and a lot of sitting down.
Second crisis.... Micahel, the lighting guy, couldn't come. His Gran got sent to hospital that night and he needed to go, so he did. wasn't until 7.25pm when the new lighting team arrived, so I briefed them and we began.
The show went fine, Joanne hobbled a bit, but it was fine. Until the end of the second half when Rachel Wareing decided she wanted some of the sympathy and went arse first down the stairs at the side of the stage!!
She was Ok though.
However to top the whole evening off straight after the show, even as the audience were there, Brian Clarke (theatre Chariman) legs it across the stage and pulls all the cast back on in costume for a photo!!!!!!! I was going MENTAL!! Believe me, those of you who know me know I dont' tend to get mad at people but once the aud had cleared I stormed down there and gave him a piece of my mind very loudly and left.
THEN I had to take Joanne to the hospital where I met my dad's friend George.... so it was an interesting day.
Tonight went well, the NODA man seemed to enjoy it and was heard saying to someone 'it's the most I've laughed in ages'... so that was good... and Wyn Tootell (old theatre stalwart who doesn't like me that much) was heard to say 'it was fucking brilliant'.. haha
Had a shit time in the Hyatt afterwards though...
Things seem to be looking up - but whenever I start to get happy I stop myself cos things have a nasty habit of crashing down around me