My favorite fear project had to be Amber Vanderpohl’s.

She set up the class to be nervous. Her presentation had a lot to do with trust, and she made this clear right after saying that she was fearful of social interactions. Which is funny, because she seems like she’s really bright and witty. Maybe a little introspective too.
So Amber talks about her fears for a little, and then tells the class she’ll be stepping outside to put something in cups that we will all partake of. No one at this point is sure what exactly we’ll be eating since there is no indication through sound or sight. She tells us all to close our eyes, and we do it. She steps outside, and we really can’t hear anything, and then we all start cracking nervous jokes.
Amber comes back in, and we can hear rattling in the cups. She goes around the room, but not in a circle – she goes to one person, then across the room to the person opposite them, and then does this back and forth. So it seems like we’re being given different things.
Amber then says we can eat it now. It ends up being Pop Rocks, which Tommy guessed accurately.

The reason I loved this experiment was because it was an actual experiment, one in which the whole class was involved. I didn’t think Amber was going to give us anything nasty but it was still interesting to feel the fear that it might be something unpleasant.

Compared to Amber’s my project was very egocentric. I only really talked about my own fears and then put up a slide stating what other people were afraid of – didn’t really get the class involved, or had any definitive proof that anyone besides myself was involved at all (which there was, but you couldn’t really tell).
There was a togetherness in this project – everyone was in on it, yet no one knew what was going on, so we were all alone, together, if that makes sense. Plus, Amber has never seemed like a power-hungry dictator type where she would purposefully put someone in this situation, so it was interesting to see this side of her and how we all reacted.

Also, my second favorite deserves a shout-out – Tommy Conway had the brilliant idea to focus on why we were brave instead of fearful, and so we went around the room sharing why we were brave. That guy is so cool, just something really strikes me about him as always being sincere and modest.

Good times!

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When I showed my presentation, I kind of… talked a lot. I talk a lot when I get nervous, but I heard laughter as I was presenting so that kept me going. No one really commented on the water thing, but the fact that I was afraid of strange, unpredictable, almost cartoonish violence seemed to be understood by people.

There wasn’t a whole lot of discussion like I thought there might be. Normally as a class we’re prepared to talk with people about their fears, but it’s possible mine didn’t seem deep enough or weren’t personal. I don’t really have a huge fear in the back of my mind; I think in that way I’m lucky. So maybe deep water and weird stalk figures aren’t strong enough topics, I dunno.

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What is fear?
I have a hard time deciding exactly what scares me, but I did come up with a few things.

My hypotheses:
– The class will think I’m flat-out insane, or has no idea what I’m talking about. Paranoia runs high with this one.
– I do believe about 75% of the class will react through lively discussion. That’s generally how our time period is spent together; talking about shit gets us through the day easier and people find that they can be open with each other.
– If I don’t appear justified, or my fears are irrational, I might come across as sort of flaky, or as having maybe a rampant imagination that won’t quit.
– My fears ARE irrational. I don’t fear life. Obstacles are meant to be overcome. I fear what possibly lies out there that could take my life.

When I first watched this film, I didn’t full understand it. I watched the whole thing, then watched it immediately a second time. The one thing that I really took away from it was that thinking affects everything, no matter what. It really changed my way of life. I also studied the law of attraction shortly after watching the film, because it correlates to what’s being said: Put out good energy and it’ll come back to you.
There are definitely days when I don’t like the way I look, or I don’t like what life is dealing me. But more often than not, I’m a really happy, positive person, with a lot to look forward to in life. This movie kind of reassures me that if you think happy thoughts and envision a brighter tomorrow, your life will be pretty amazeballs. And mine is – I put a lot of hard work into what I do, but I also wake up refreshed and wondering what the day will bring.
The scene that affected me the most is when our protagonist Amanda is looking at herself in the mirror and saying really nasty things about her own body. From then on I try to look at myself in a positive light because I’d rather not kill off any important good cells that I’m housing.

So I need to focus a little more on the positive and less on the roadblocks.
One of my biggest is homework right now – specifically, things that I don’t think I’ll ever need. I know there’s that huge issue with “Oh, one day you’ll fucking need to know the algebraic formula to deduce 200 ft. from that stop sign” or “Oh, one day, as an audio person, you’ll suddenly wake up and want to go the opposite direction and start working entirely in Maya”. But it’s not true! Screw random people who think I’ll need this bullshit one day. Like, what the fuck, I have said multiple times to everybody that I work with audio, not 3D, and somehow I ended up taking this class that I hate. It’s almost as bad as that one photography class with the woman who called herself “Gray” but was probably really named “Tiffany” and was just butthurt that she didn’t get a name she liked.
And this 3D class has been a major block to any source of creativity because I know, like some creepy uncle standing behind my back as I try to record, that he’s just going to be there when I turn around and I have to acknowledge him and I have to somehow get this uncle out of my room just so I can say I did. That’s all it is – JUST SO I CAN SAY I DID. I will forget it all. Hell, I forgot how to do half of it already and the semester’s not even over. That is how little I care about the subject. But I care about my grades, so I stay up late into the night staring at my creepy uncle, watching him watch me, as I figure out the quickest and easiest way to somehow usher him out of my apartment without making the bomb attached to him go off.

But here’s my dream board. I want to do voice acting for games.

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It was nice. I think we went over what we accomplished for our Bliss assignments which overall wasn’t that much – mostly people said they had trouble finding their happy places and weren’t sure what to do when given a task to actually just let go. I sat there and listened. Then I talked a shitload about my creative space and went into a tangent about what I want to do in life.

I know I’m happiest composing music or working on video game voices or playing a game. There was a lively discussion about each person and who they are and why they chose to do THAT one thing specifically with their time. Some people finished other projects they had, and others just relaxed.

I liked this particular assignment. It felt good not to really do much of anything.

We were given three hours (or two hours and forty minutes – I rounded it out :D) to do exactly what we wanted, whatever made us feel the best, or gave us creative flow and energy.

HOUR ONE

Took a small nap. Then I woke up and I made this. Spoke into a mic. Shouted a lot. Edited it on a completely different day (a couple days ago), but I recorded it in the first hour. It took a while to do, because I want to actually somehow get an agent through a demo reel. So I wanted to make this one really stand out.
https://soundcloud.com/elspetheastman/voice-demo-reel-november-2013

HOUR TWO

I played Bioshock Infinite. One of my favorite games ever. It is beautifully written, the gameplay is excellent, and the voice acting is stellar. Laid on my wooden floor because it was warm. Drank a lot of coffee. Ran out of creamer. Took a hot shower. Opened my window, listened to the sound of trees talking to each other. Played some more Bioshock Infinite, died a lot, had fun. This is one of my favorite parts, where the game takes a sudden twist and you’re landed in a factory worker’s town run by an egomaniacal bigot. One of the more powerful men in the game, albeit a corrupt asshole and extremely racist. I think that’s the point, though.

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“History was built on the backs of men like you!” 

HOUR THREE

Called up my family and shot the shit with my sister who I don’t talk to as much anymore. Took a walk with crunchy leaves underfoot. Came back and made chili with cheese and sour cream, then ate it while I watched game commentary. Wrote three managers about possibly representing me. Contacted one of my role models, Jennifer Hale. Talked to a lot of people through social networking. Learned how to fully utilize my Twitter account. 
http://www.twitter.com/elspetheastman

After all this I went back to doing homework and audio mixing, but it was a lovely reprieve from the every day grind. Thank you for allowing us to do this, Beth!