Saturday, 24 October 2015

PAY IT FORWARD: Devon Goosen Ice Hockey Fundraiser


Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Our son is 7 years old and his name is Devon.  He is a smart and well behaved boy who has never given us any problems whatsoever. He was on the Honor Roll in school for 1st grade. He never got anything lower than a B. He loves to read and study spelling words :-) He won the 1st grade spelling bee! We are really proud!

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He has a passion that started in an afterschool program at his school. From the pic you saw, you guessed it! HOCKEY! His school had an afterschool field hockey program. He fell in love the minute he touched the stick! He started to practice at home (we bought him a starting set - stick and puck). He showed so much interest! He eats, sleeps and dreams HOCKEY! we slowly got him things to help him practice, roller blades (roller hockey), sticks and pucks, knee pads and more. He practiced outside all the time and gained more and more friends at the hockey rink in the park. 
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    For his 7th birthday, we had his party at the ice skating rink! He immediately loved the ice! Everything came so natural to him! He was fast and ready to learn. We started him in learn to skate classes which he advanced in really fast! One minute he was in the first class and the next in Hockey 101. We got him pads and all and he was ready to go.  He also spent all his birthday money to buy his own ice skates! He started practicing everything he could, off ice, on his roller blades. We don't live close to the ice skating rink so when we cant go, he practices off ice. He showed great improvement and the coaches moved him up fast and said he had true talent for it. He loves it so much. So much that he wakes up for his saturday class at 7a.m. ready to go!

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   As you all might know, hockey is an expensive sport. We have been getting by becuase I have been doing my best to give him a shot at doing what he loves. His hocey 201 classes can be paid per class at $32 per class/week. I also try to take him to open ice skate in order for him to practice which also costs a bit. He has advanced so quickly and after the current class he is in now (Hockey 201) they get to be in a real recreational team! He has been waiting for this the whole time! He has a friend that he practices with all the time! They both love it! Well we found out that the team which is called MITES is $900 (if you pay early in August 2015) or $1,000 (if you pay a little later in August) . We really want this for our son because he has shown true dedication and passion for this sport. We are so proud of him! I will post a link with videos soon!

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   We are asking for help with his dream. Anything you can give will help him. We really want to get him on this team. If they move him up out of this class (hockey 201) we have to be ready to pay that cost. We will really appreciate this so much! My son will be so happy.  He will also be extra happy when he see's how many people are supporting him in his dream! Thank you so much for the help! Thank you for your time as well :-)

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The Mite Maple Leafs have won most of their games, they are 2nd in standings out of 6 teams.

Devon is really enjoying it, please tell your friends and share this gofundme page.

We need help.

From monthly payments for being on the team, to maybe starting some private lessons.

Thanks so much :)

- Cynthia, Riaan and of course our hockey boy DEVON!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

MUSIC: Newtown Noise Original By Sandy Bigara

Here is a little song I wrote back in 2010... when I fell in love with the Newtown Precinct on a windy night...

Buy the track HERE

And play along if you like! Lyrics and chords are above :) 

Friday, 16 October 2015

PUBLISHING: Halloween Book: Unsettling Short Stories

This week I published the Halloween edition of my short story ebook - in paperback, pocketbook size. If you would like to have an unsettling read this Halloween then have a look at this new collection of short stories HERE. Wear a nappy. Don't read alone

After experiencing years of disturbing dreams, I was encouraged to write them down as soon as I woke up. These are the dreams that I managed to remember entirely. 

There are nine stories in the book, ranging from two to four pages long each and they range from sweetly sour to unsettling. Each story is preceded by a black and white photograph that I feel captures the spirit of the story... 

After having these dreams, most times I spent the day with a feeling of dread, but i'll continue to write them down as the happen (which is about twice a year) 

The book retails for $7 plus shipping and is available online HERE

Thursday, 8 October 2015

VOCAL COACHING: Sandy Bigara Vocal Coaching at The Rhythm Hut Gosford



Sandy Bigara Vocal Coaching

Bel Canto Method - Suits all styles! 
Monday 19th October - Monday 7th December
SHOWCASE Saturday 12th December 
$30p/p per week
Lectures and Vocal Workshops each week
@ The Rhythm Hut - 135 Faunce street, Gosford
Parking available. 
Bring pen and writing pad / note book or tablet. 

Sandy Bigara (34) a performing artist newly moved to the Central Coast - has been an active vocal coach since 1999, she was the Artistic Director and Conductor of multiple choirs (High School, Senior Primary and Junior Primary, as well as being assistant Conductor for the KZN National Choir on their international tour in 1999) and was Music & Drama teacher at two schools in South Africa before launching her Arts company full time.
Sandy incorporates stand up comedy and humour in her own musical performances, and so classes are usually filled with a lot of laughter and positive encouragement.
Sandy teaches the Bel Canto method of singing, which serves as a platform for multiple genres of performance. Sandy has trained Pop singers, Idols contestants, Jazz singers, Afro-Pop singers, a performer for The Phantom of the Opera (Raoul and the Phantom) as well as Starlight Express and South Africa’s “Troy” in the High School Musical national touring show. Sandy has even trained a grunge rock singer with one working ear drum…

She was chosen as the Vivacious Voice singing coach for Durban (other centres were in Johannesburg and Capetown) and enjoyed success and good relationship with her singing students there.

The method that is taught is a well-structured mash-up of lessons and courses that Sandy has experienced in her twenty year professional singing career. Having trained and worked alongside some of the Southern Hemispheres greatest talents – 6 years performing under the baton of Gerard’d DuToit, musical ambassador to the Northern Hemisphere – World Choir Games, Operatic training with Marc Poupard (UKZN Music Coach) and Coleen Philp (UKZN Opera School) and master class with Emma Renzi, Sandy has many anecdotes and life experiences that make her classes both educational and interesting. 

Classes start at 6:45pm on the 19th October 2015, until December 7th 2015, the Showcase will be on the 12th December. Space is limited – to book your place there is a non-refundable deposit of $20, to book email sandy via the contact form on her website - you can hear Sandy perform HERE or visit her website HERE for her full working history. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

DIARY: Michelle Obama Wants No Scrubs

Posted by Shaun King

"Levels on levels on levels of bullshit being said in this photo - which has been shared 6,000+ times.

1. Michelle Obama is badass. For almost their entire adult lives, she made more money than he did. In her last role as a VP at the University of Chicago hospital she was making over $300,000 per year, and that was in 2005.

2. Michelle Obama has a BA from Princeton and a law degree from Harvard. Nobody, her husband, or anybody else GAVE HER THE WORLD. Even being the first lady in general doesn't equate that, but it sure as hell doesn't mean that for her. They are equal partners in life.

3. The caption in this photo implies that Michelle found a scrub, she stuck with him, and he eventually became a king. That's a damn lie too. She was already working at a law firm and they met AT A LAW FIRM while Barack was a summer associate there completing his education at Harvard Law School. He was the opposite of a scrub - he was the ambitious Editor of the Harvard Law Review and was already serving the community in meaningful ways.

That's all."

Well said. We are all equal and should all be pulling our weight in any relationship.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

MUSIC: The Strongest One by Sandy Bigara

This is the first song on my Fountain of Youth anthology of songs CD - written when I was a teenager and young adult between 1995 and 2004.

The idea was to record the songs "As I remember them" so the guitar is a little dreamy and distorted (as it sounds in my recollections when I sit and remember a time in the far distance) and the vocals are exact copies of the harmonies that my friends would sing with me. I was blessed to have very talented and musical friends in high school, we would sit and sing together, perform my songs in competitions and assemblies. Recording their harmonies was surreal. So many memories and laughter. So many beautiful voices inside my head - of young women who are now spread out around the globe. 

The History of the Song
I wrote this song when I was 16 or so. My family was being torn apart by mental illness (my Father RIP suffered severe head trauma that irreparably altered his personality and caused the ultimate break up of our family unit) and divorce. My sister and I would sit and sing while I played the guitar - if I had not had my guitar there is a very strong chance that I would have ended my life. The harmonies you hear are the ones that she made up (sung by me in studio) This song got us through some very tough times and put into words how my sister and I felt at the time. 

Remember that being strong doesn't mean shouldering the entire burden, being strong is knowing when to ask for help. When to share the load. 

Hope you enjoy it. 

The Lyrics
You can hear the song HERE 

Feels like I'm spinning. 
Out of control. 
My life is so full of emotion. 

I need some support. 
Someone who cares. 
I need you right here, 
Beside me...

I need to feel your love...
Pushing me on into the light. 
I need to hear your voice... 
Telling me to be stronger. 

My cup runneth over, 
I can't take that much more. 
I need understanding and devotion. 

Give me the strength, 
Not to stand all alone. 
I need to be the strongest one, 
Around here... 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

DIARY: Seize The Moment

Seize the moment... and by moment, I mean cupcakes.

So today I had a breakthrough.

So often in my lifetime of seeing wasted lives and wasted gifts (my creative, musical and talented Dad) and people crushed by the decisions that they have made. I have asked myself for as long as I can remember: What is our purpose. Why do we wake up every day, sleep every night, make dinner after breakfast after lunch repeat repeat... Why do we raise our children generation after generation through time, why do we grieve, only for our loved ones to be forgotten with the passing of time... and today it hit me between the eyes.

We do it for the moments. The 'MOMENTS' - you know them? When you are talking to your children and suddenly notice how beautiful the colours of their eyes are... you see those tiny flecks and spots of colour and amazing detail... when you see the sun setting and you have to stop and really take it in. When you sink into your bed at night. When you meet an elderly stranger over in the veggie aisle and they say kind words, drop a word of wisdom into your lap - leaving you wondering.

Life is about the million moments that we can either notice and appreciate, or gloss over and lose... For me I asked myself, why do I do it? Why do I sing, practice, spend money on sound etc Why do I make things? paint, sew? why? It's all meaningless really. But, when I had my realisation, I can have so many 'moments' during each creative process, celebrate each new step achieved, each new little creation, each new song. I can seek out the moments within each new client or audience, make friends, laugh - connect. It isn't about the destination, it's about the journey. We can be broke, we can be flush, we can be sick and tired and broken inside - but we can make the choice to seek out the moments.

I cried in the car outside a store in West Gosford, I made the choice today, to take each moment. Draw the essence out of each moment. Will you join me?