Why you should vote as a 20’something.

It’s an election year and if you some how missed the past 7 months that have whizzed by, the election is fast approaching. I am currently inside a cafe, headphones in trying to get some study done. I am surrounded by Pon(SONB)y middle aged folk all who have picked up the paper and are reading the headlines. Squinting at their phones and discussing under their breath how we might just end up with a female prime minister.

Why you should vote comes down to more than just you and I. Voting is about the plans for the next 4 years and longer. What we want and who you vote for will make the difference not only for the country but god dammit for your career, the prospect of buying a house and eventually your retirement.

Look I am just going to say that you should vote. Most of my readers on here are between the ages 17-32. Y’all are the ones who should be voting and I am just going to throw it out there but people who are over the age of 85 shouldn’t vote. I love old people. Especially those horrible men who remember where they were when there was racial integration at school. But our world is developing and moving so quickly that not even the CEO’s of big companies know what the hell is going to happen in the next 10 years. I mean guys, Donald Trump is in the White House. And there is some grumpy bastard who is complaining about a woman who might just get elected. Ya. This is 2017. And for some bullshit reason, I am still fighting for equality as a woman.

Please, you can get voting papers sent to your house, you can look at policies online and you can interesting conversations with adults that challenge you. Voting benefits more than just you and I. It takes two minutes. Literally, you tick a couple of boxes and get on with your day.

I am going to go back to studying now. And ignore all old people comments by drowning them out with music. But seriously think about voting. It’s going to a good year for it.

 

 

How to politely tell someone to F**K OFF.

So I had the unfortunate experience of having an interaction with a woman who really didn’t understand the mutual societal agreement of waiting for a Tank juice in silence. I was on a break from work, I headed around to Tank to pick up a jungle juice for my partner who was still working (hustling that chef life). It was somewhat busy but when is it not at Tank. I ordered and sat down waiting for my name to be called out.

Does anyone else give a different name because you know its way to hard for them to even try to pronounce it? 

Any way, I perched myself on a stool and pulled out my phone and jumped onto the news. I may be 22 but I like to keep up with the news. Then this woman walked in.

To begin with I didn’t notice her. I was looking at the latest plan for Auckland’s traffic plans. But I noticed her because of her booming voice. Not to be a hater because I have a loud voice. However, she was blabbing on about being dairy free. Not that she had an allergy but she wanted the yogurt that was dairy free because “milk hinders the immune system”. Now to give you some context we are in Ponsonby. Known for its white majority and money. House wives who drive 4WD porches and put their kids in private schools. This is when I peaked at her. Lifted my gaze and to identify the noise maker. She was now smiling also perched on a stool and looking around.

Then we locked eyes.

And somehow her smile got wider.

“You’ll get a text neck”

Was this woman talking to me?

“You can thank me in years to come because your whole generation will have spine problems. Its welcomed advice I am sure”

And I thought for a second if she was being serious or if she was talking on the phone or if she was literally ignoring the fact that all of us in Tank were standing in silence ignoring each other. Because we came here for the juice not the conversation.

But then she nodded at me. And said “I am talking to you.”

And I replied with “I didn’t realise I was asking for your opinion”.

“Its called freedom of speech” she replied as if we are in America or something.

Followed with “you just don’t want a neck problem”.

All I wanted to say to this white pant wearing, smiling, dairy intolerant liar was a few words because if we are playing the game of freedom of speech this woman must think someone will bark back right?

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“No actually that is exactly what I was going for whilst I sit here minding my own business.”

That statement  is what my mother calls being facetious.

Please spot the girl in the background wishing she could just disappear.

And then my named was called. By my name I mean Sarah because Seren is just too much for some people.

The guy who was also on his phone now was just smiling and nodding his head. Us young people band together, and she didn’t like that.

She walked up to the counter and snatched her diary free, mango smoothie full of lies and as she walked past me said “having an opinion means you have a brain”.

And just like a great game of tennis I hit back with… “well thank god for that”.

Tank in hand she walked the opposite direction to where I was heading.

Moral of this story is that you cannot tell someone to f**k off. Not straight out in a public setting. In private, sure. That is your business.  You can be outspoken and make it a difference of opinion. Its just sometimes you have to remind people that there are different opinions out there.

You can’t dislike someone for having a different opinion to you. Its a human thing to be different. You can’t hate someone for being human. I mean you can, but that is also a matter of opinion.

 

 

They ruined my career. Sort of.

Okay so the title is a bit over dramatic but its called click bait and I know you all understand that I have to reel you in to read these blog posts.

I recently walked into my work only discover a film crew, two white people holding a glass of wine each, smiling as bright LED lights which hit their faces as they smiled and the director said ‘CUT’. A chef turned to me and told me to be quiet (like the Italian dude never listened to me once when I ramble about what I do outside of hospitality). All 4 of the chefs were all standing around. Unable to do work because of that ole nugget of being quiet on set. The restaurant was being used as a set for a commercial that was going to air in China. The showstopper of this little number was New Zealand beef. Cooked, steaming on a white plate being served by one of the staff members from the restaurant. You need to remember that this company has money, they are not cheap.

I walked back outside on the hunt for a coffee because you can’t steam milk with a film crew in your way. FFS. Latte in hand I was wondering back to the restaurant when I saw Thomas, the ‘server’ from the film shoot outside having a cigarette, a great french guy who actually works with me. I sat myself down next to him and asked if he was being paid for this work. He said no. Just being paid by the company we work for (I can’t name where I work on here because thats asking for trouble, but if you are smart you can just go look at my Facebook. #LoopHoles). I asked him if he had been asked to sign a media realise form? No. If he had seen a contract? No.

And thats when I started to get a bit shitty. Not at him, but at the industry.

Then the head chef walks outside. He had also been featured in the commercial. I asked him the same questions. He gave the same answers. And then I began to get really shitty.

You may be asking yourself why Seren are you getting cranky?

Are you jealous? No.

So what is it then?

You know of that thing called the butterfly effect? Ripple effect? One thing leads to another? That chain reaction?

Let us start at the beginning of an imaginary (or not) situation.

  1. You get asked to be on commercial/video/film/show and your role isn’t integral to the ‘thing’. Your there just to fill in the gap or your face is never shown.
  2. Your asked to turn up at the location or maybe you are even there.
  3. You walk in and are quite intimidated because of the people, the crew and everything that is going on around you.
  4. Someone asks you to get changed or to wait or to listen to instructions as to what you are expected to do.
  5. You listen and are asked to jump onto the set.
  6. The director lets you know what is going to happen.
  7. You listen and follow instructions. (p.s you are doing great)
  8. Time just slips by and the director calls cut and you are allowed to go.
  9. You ask if your needed at all. And its a no so you go home.
  10. You tell your friends of what you did.
  11. Then you tell me. (I am assuming we are friends here guys)
  12. And then I ask you if you were paid.
  13. You say no.
  14. I ask you if you signed a media realise form.
  15. You say no.
  16. Then I curse and walk away.
  17. You are now confused as what just happened and why I am now angry at you.

Well my lovely you just ruined my sustainable career because you took an unpaid job. How you might ask. Seems like a huge jump? Not really because you were just scammed.

What you need to realise is that at step 1 you should of had step 1.a, 1.b, 1.c all asking questions. Those questions help me and all others in the creative industry have a sustainable career. I am sure you would be shocked to think that some artists work for over 20 hours a week for free. With the expectation to keep working for free with no pay.

Remember I did not rack up a student loan to work for free for the rest of my life. As I am sure you can agree.

Questions like:

  • is this job paid?
  • if so how much? hourly, contract, casual?
  • where and when do you need me?
  • do i have a confidentially agreement?
  • do i have to have my hair and make up done? will I be paid for that time?
  • is travel included in my contract rate?
  • what are your expectations of me?
  • will i need to sign a media form?

What you need to realise is that this should all be transparent.  Because if this was your normal job (because this is my normal job) that you would ask all these questions, but sometimes due to the excitement and advantage taking of the fact that you might not know to ask these questions you end up doing it for free. Which means I might have to do it for free.

NOW HERE COMES THE RANT SO IF YOU WANT TO SKIP THIS THEN PLEASE HEAD TOWARDS THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.

What you need to know is we can’t strike. We don’t have a union to turn to. We do not have the law always on our side. We deal in mess, all day. We work outside of the law, all the time. We do not take breaks, we do not stop and look at the time for a break when everything is finally ready. In reality that does not happen. And I know you are not dumb. You know this but time and time again I get told we bring all these challenges on ourselves. When in reality you taking that free gig meant when I asked if I would be getting paid for this I seemed greedy.

When its not. I am not greedy. I do work for free and I when I do it is because I WANT TO. Not because I have to. I turn down jobs not because I don’t want them. But because my time costs. My house costs. My food costs. But this ideology of working for experience is utter bull shit. Yes for some time as an artist you might have to do the odd job for free however artist are expected to work for free after they have qualifications, awards, reputations.

END OF RANT: THIS IS WHERE IT IS OVER. 

My favourite part of this whole story is when I was on my way out of the restaurant in search of coffee and the director asked me if I knew how to turn the light on. I said “yes” and then he asked me if I would like to turn it on. I said “no sorry, I don’t work for you”.

I walked out and didn’t give a flying fuck.

 

 

21 Ways To Deal With Stress.

It is almost the end of the year for me. I graduate next May. October for the past two years has been a nightmare waiting to happen. You see I don’t have exams. I just have cute 30% assignments all through the year, but in October my assignments means show, essays, videos and a never ending battle with university. Soon it will be over, thats all that keeps me going.

This year I have been an adult more than previous years and honestly I’m tired and mostly stressed. I got an apartment, took on an internship, upped my work hours and committed to more things than ever before and if anyone wants to take me on a vacation for my 21st which is in 10 days I am all yours.

You know when your becoming an adult when birthdays are just a pain in the bum. Im turning 21 and feel 82. Black little pits I have for my eyes. Help.

So with all this going on how do I deal with stress?

  1. Lie down and cry.
  2. Make food, what ever you want. No one can judge you. It is a hard time right now.
  3. Sleep.
  4. Take a few deep breaths.
  5. Go for a walk.
  6. Make a very specific to do list.
  7. Clean your room.
  8. Lie down and cry.
  9. Text your best friend.
  10. Hide in a cafe and pretend your okay.
  11. Disappear into the internet.
  12. Get really angry.
  13. Make a cup of tea.
  14. Have a dance.
  15. Just do the thing.
  16. Try do some yoga.
  17. Have a cider.
  18. Eat some cheese.
  19. Make yourself pretty.
  20. Online shop.
  21. Lie down and cry.

Honestly dealing with stress isn’t easy. Hence why Hidden Under The Covers has been so quiet. Sorry.

I may or may not be lying on my couch in my underwear thinking about all the things I need to do. Whilst I write this.

This list is:

  • Find time for choreography
  • Plan an ending for said piece.
  • Email development notes for Cell by Cell
  • Production form for “all the lies I have ever been told” (ATLIHEBT)
  • Description for programe for said piece.
  • Choreographer statement for the same piece.
  • Hand in LUMINA final essay.
  • Pack kitchenware and bedding in apartment.
  • Email landlord about bond form.
  • Clean house.
  • Buy milk, toothpaste, bread, other items.
  • Sort watches out, replace batteries.
  • Pack rest of bedroom.
  • Clean house this weekend.
  • Move house this weekend.
  • Organise clothes for front of house work. Saturday.
  • Make some sort of plan for my birthday.
  • Redirect mail.
  • Give date for shutting off power.
  • START assessments for fine arts paper.
  • Attend meeting for stage management for postgrad show.
  • Email Molly.
  • Lighting design for Cell by Cell, ATLIHEBT, Peace Keeper.
  • Develop Peace Keeper.
  • Do another blog post.
  • Sign up for summer school.
  • Sign up for postgraduate studies.
  • SORT OUT BOND.
  • Do the video assessment.
  • Not die.

3 weeks till freedom.

You are being silently killed, sweetie.

So it was late at night and I had just finished another long shift at work when the regular debate of “if we watch a movie; what should we watch” comes up. Jamie a sucker for a horror and me who can’t get enough of documentaries compromised and we settled on. FED UP. A documentary about te obesity epidemic in America. I know what you are thinking. Here we go Seren we know why they are over weight and sick: bad food and no excerise. You and I friend are both wrong. So so wrong.

I must tell you now I fell asleep before the end of the film and am currently writing this not knowing the end of the film. But what they present to you is so compelling I can fault them. Sure two sides to every story but mate this is a crazy story.

Here’s the kicker you are being slowly killed by your food. Just one ingredient. Sugar.

Though this film is based in the USA. It does present statistics from NZ. Ding dong we are not excluded.

So I knew sugar was something our bodies don’t actually need. It’s not like salt which we do need and minerals, sugar is the natural cocaine that we gourge ourselves on.  That it’s bad for your teeth and it’s in our soft drinks. That it should be a treat like substance and that we are lucky to have it. Boy, was I wrong. I don’t meant to be crude but blunt because SUGAR IS THE DEVIL.
There I said it. Done. Wow. Shit that feels great.  Fun fact in America tomato paste is classed as a vegetable. Don’t believe me then look it up!

So after a quick chat ad a soild thought about the whole topic of sugar I have decided to go sugar free for 10 days and see how I go. It’s currently days two and I’m feeling good. Coffee is strong.

What I am also excited to announce is my 3 month transformation thanks up Ruby! A person trainer and a babe from waaaaaaaay back. I have offered my body/soul to her. 5 days of training and clean eating. I will do a proper mol post later on, so hold on to your hats.

My advice/opinion is to check out the film and come to your own thoughts. Your health cannot be bought by money and you only have one body. But 10/10 would recommend. Sugar companies are crazy as f**k. Scratch the surface and you will be surprised. I am super excited about the next 10 days!

P.s I’m scared too and coming out of a horrible cold.

P.p.s I really want a holiday.

 

Lessons Death Has Taught Me

It is the end of the line and one of the few things we are never taught to deal with. It takes those around us, quickly like a cold wind or slowly like a flower blooming without the same affect on our heart. It is the conversation of death and how we should approach it.

I have to apologize for my lack of entries as the real world has taken over. A busy end of semester, a full on internship and the news that my partners grandfather had taken a fall. But I come to you with vibes of positivity.

I have never really had to deal with the brunt of death. The idea of losing someone so close. Yet I have always been one person away. My last nana passed away when I was young but I do remember watching my dad break and cry because we lived on the other side of the world and he had never felt so isolated in his life. He showed me that parents do have a threshold and that was too much to bear. My other and close passing with death was when a friend committed suicide. This was heart wrenching. I still to this day do not understand why he did what he did. He was the best friend of the gentleman I was seeing. We weren’t together. I had meet his mother once. The second day I ever met her she was crying over a stove and she was broken. He was silent and crying into his hands surrounded by men who had fallen against walls staring off into the abyss.

So what does happen when you are dealt the card of death? What do you do? What do you talk about?

Jamie’s grandfather passes away on Friday and I was once again left to deal with what was left. What I can tell you as I write this at Jamie’s mum’s house is that men and women do often deal with death differently.

Here is what I have observed in my brief encounters

  • Both sexes do either one of these things: become extremely practical, remain the same, emotional.
  • At some point you will have to talk about what is going on.
  • Tea can do a lot of healing but so can whisky.
  • Saying you are sorry can make people angry. Say you are here if you need anything.
  • Give everyone time. Time to sit and reflect and time to sit in silence for the process of healing to begin.
  • Death takes the filter off many things in life and reveals what is important.
  • Men do cry, shake and sob. The do sometimes need a shoulder to nestle into.
  • A warm place with friends is a good place to talk about how everyone is feeling.
  • Even a year later it still hurts.
  • Funerals are also places to celebrate, laugh and smile.
  • You will at some point cry.
  • Some people cook everything is sight.
  • Others will sit and cry.
  • People are stronger than they think.
  • Sleep. Is. Needed. Always.
  • Your memories of the person are your treasure to keep.
  • What ever happened they are now at peace.

I will wear a black dress tomorrow and offer my shoulder to those who need it. All suits are ironed and all the details have been made clear.

I write this to tell people that death will have some sort of relationship with you and you will have to deal with it at some point. You are human, strong and you will get through this. I write this saying that each and every death is different. I write this because tomorrow I will watch as we lay to rest a man who I only met once but didn’t give up till the very end. It is without saying that if you ever need to talk I am here. We must be there for one another, death is just a sober reminder of that.

The 5 Sex Lessons They Don’t Teach You In High School.

So the saga continues.

Lets get in it balls deep. (My jokes are in no way ever going to be funny. We already know this but I will write them out any way cause I am a sassy gal)

Picture theses situations:

  1. Talking with a boy about sex. He says “so are you on the pill?” you say “no” and then there is this awkward tension because he hasn’t put two dots together and assumes that the pill is the only contraception. I HAVE HAD THIS SITUATION. Also had the awkward explaining that it (an IUD) looks like a fish hook but is inside me. IN NO TONE CAN YOU MAKE THIS SOUND APPEALING. If your man doesn’t know that there is other contraception out there other than the pill and a condom you should just highlight this moment. Possibly move him along.
  2. If you are about to have sex and your man say “do I have to” in regards to wearing a condom. GET UP. Do not say a word and leave. Close the door and delete his number. Yall think I am joking really Im not. Also on this same point you should not have to ask for him to wear a condom. Because the situation of you staring at him and then his dick whilst he takes his 45 second break to do the one thing he HAS to do. Real romantic. There is no if’s or but’s round this one. Goes for both girls and guys.
  3. You should be getting an STI check after every sexual partner. BOTH OF YOU. You should have a conversation about when you had one last and it should not be judgemental. It also gives you both peace of mind. If they have never had one, you should highly recommend that they do.
  4. You should also have a conversation about what is okay and what isn’t in terms of in the bedroom or outside. You don’t know. This can be as straight forward as a checklist. (There is lots online) Or a game of 40 questions. Know your boundaries and others. You might discover that you both like something but are a little too shy to say.
  5. Your sex life should also be private. No one wants to walk in on their significant other talking about your intimate details to other people you don’t know. “She loves it from behind.” *walks in, opens front door* “you can let yourself out.”

These are some of the situations in which you should take action or act upon. What I am trying to say is teach each other many things, maybe it is how to talk about sex or that their behaviour is unacceptable.

Next week we will continue on talking about this stunning topic of sex. Let me know if there is anything you really want me to address and write about. Short and sweet on your Friday night.