Currently watching: 21 Jump Street (+ popularity)

The trailer for American Pie: The Reunion that preceded this movie had its audience spot on: this is for kids who grew up on nineties and noughties high school dramas.

The joy in 21 Jump Street is that it’s the first teen movie not to be a ‘teen movie’ of old.  It doesn’t parody but makes (scarily) subtle comparisons between the high school culture of yore and the attitude of school kids in the past few years.  In one stomach-clenchingly funny ‘we have our audience down to a T’ line, Channing Tatum’s character remarks ‘I blame Glee’.  The one strap / two strap backpack issue also comes up.  So simple, so genious.

Speaking of Channing Tatum, he is still inexplicably handsome in his gruff young Daniel Craig way.

And, much as I’m loathe to enjoy Jonah Hill after some crass remarks he made in an interview (at the expense of the adorable Michael Cera), the boy can write and I couldn’t help but warm to him in his skater jeans.

It’s crude but you’ll laugh out loud.  I hate slapstick but I couldn’t help myself.  If the idea of Eminem opening the soundtrack to a film makes you a little fuzzy inside, watch this movie.


What I loved most though was it touched on the whole ‘popular’ label in school in a way no on really has.  The 90s films had the dumb jocks and cheerleaders with the underdog triumphing in the end, then Glee took it to an extreme.  In 21 Jump Street, Tatum who used to be the popular kid, doesn’t understand how the cool crowd in 2012 are the guys who care about the environment and their education. But they’re still a little bit arrogant and a little bit judgey.  I guess the message that seems to get fed out that ‘it doesn’t matter if you’re popular’ never sat too comfortably with me.  Because being popular means people like you, and that’s usually because you a decent person who people like spending time with.  You won’t be perfect but you must be doing something right.  Some stereotypes will exist to a limited extent – there will be people who ‘buy’ friends, but I think most people have always, and will always see through that.

Basically you can be clever, and be a dick and you can be stupid and be a dick. I don’t think being ‘popular’ has anything to do with what kind of person you are.

(And if anything, it has more to do with the people around you).


Featured image credit: Sony Pictures

Opera for Generation Y

I came to opera via musical theatre and singing lessons which ultimately steered me into classical singing and Preston Opera. Because of this sidestep, I don’t really have many opera-ey friends, so I when I sent out an open invitation to people I know to come watch one of my performances I was surprised at how many took me up on it.  Okay, so it may have been mainly to support me, but still I was intrigued to hear their take on their first taste of opera:


 Opera for Generation Y by mayadibley


So what if you want to try a bit of opera yourself? Russian Soprano, Anna Netrebko suggests on her video blog starting with more melodic operas from Puccini, Verdi and Mozart…


Many cinemas now screen performances of operas live via satellite, meaning you can see one without paying the price of seeing it live (and thus not risking as much if you do ultimately hate it!).  Keep an eye out on opera companies such as Glyndebourne and Opera de Paris, and independent cinemas like my local The Dukes, for upcoming live via satellite performances.

If you’re even younger than generation Y or want to get your littlies involved, you can always try Glyndebourne’s Opera Land for children 🙂

And if you’d like a review of the concert which played host to first ever opera performance, look no further.

I left my job today…

I hadn’t planned to write anything about this (yet) but while I’m in the emotion of the moment, here are a few things my first real job taught me…

  1. People are the most important thing in just, well, anything… be it work or play, everything revolves around people and I think that maybe the most important thing you can ever do is surround yourself with people who make you feel alive whatever you need to feel.
  2. Do what you love. Not in some distant future; NOW… when I was looking for part time jobs as an 18 year old fresher, I obstinately had no time for just any old job.  I wanted to do something I was at least mildly interested in, found it, pestered and pestered and eventually got a job tearing tickets in a theatre.  4 years including 15 months of a full time job later, I’ve had the time of my life 🙂
  3. Be curious, be persistent, be confident, be excited… not because it will get you far in life (though it probably will) but because it makes every experience you have so, so much brighter.
  4. People, no matter what they want out of life, are incredible…  I tend to get so ahead of myself;  in this job I have moments where I’ve had the chance to slow down and really understand people.  And the most beautiful thing I’ve found is how people can want incredibly different things from their lives and yet deep down it’s all just the same desire to be… content I guess? Something like that 🙂 To be whatever they want to be.
  5. People are rarely, deep down, driven by money.  Things money represents perhaps, but rarely money.  Most people are better than that (!!) even if it is only deep down.
  6. A head on your shoulders is A MILLION times more valuable than a grade, a degree, anything measured by a fixed system created by a fixed group of people.  If those things help give you that head, great; if not, you are screwed. (Generally).
  7. There is some serious crap out there in the art world, but there are also some of  the most magical, inspiring, awakening little moments, lines, stagings… moments that take your breath away and can change you forever.  This is why ‘the arts’ and ‘culture’ matter.  Because amongst all the crap, are the little inspirations that make you see the world in that beautiful light that makes this life worth living.
  8. Finally… I learnt that being lost and confused and embarrassed and sad and frustrated and exasperated is all completely and totally and utterly worth it as long as you play on through all that… because eventually you start finding your feet and making things happen and finding your way.
I do believe that the harder you work the luckier you get.  I also want to acknowledge that the above is all just in my limited experience; none of it do I believe to be fact.  That said I hope as many people as possible can find their way like I did (and am still doing), and I know that it isn’t always easy, which is why I will spend the rest of my life helping as many people as possible to find their own way.
M xx

London Adventure Part 1!

On May 28th I took my lovely little car allll the way down to Surrey, to start an internship in London the next day. I was staying with my aunty in Surrey and would be commuting into London every morning. It was lovely to see my aunt, since she and her 2 children and 4 grandchildren had all moved down there from the North!
The internship was for a month, at a social media marketing agency. The marketing didn’t interest me so much as the way social media is starting to be used in businesses. And I think I managed to learn a lot in that respect! It was also great just to experience working in an office for the first time properly ever, and to work in the centre of London.
London is magical, it really is, I think I was able to appreciate it far more than Paris since it was my country; I belonged to all its cultural quirks and its politics and it’s people. It had all the buzz of a city but all the Englishness that I crave too.
It was so fab being at my aunt’s, and living out in the countryside in Surrey. I’d learnt from Paris that I’m just not good in cities for long periods of time. I LOVE them I really do, but getting out into the freedom of the country every evening was heaven. I have 4 little (what would you call them?) cousins once removed (my cousins’ babies), between 18 months and 6 who have been so much fun to spend time with!
I managed spending some days at the weekend exploring Surrey, though bizarrely I never even had time to explore London much. That was one of the biggest shocks; that working 9.30 til 6 with an hour commute each way left me exhausted every evening with about an hour’s free time before bed! Which is either an argument for making sure you do a job you love, as it will take over your life, or for working from home, or for something like that, I don’t know!
I DID get to go and see WICKED! At the Apollo Theatre which was beyond incredible. On the one hand I just missed musicals beyond belief, on the other, it was for certain one of the best musicals I’ve heard or seen. Totally old school, and really written for an orchestra. The West End is definitely the top reason I’d want to live in London :p
On the final Wednesday I got a call from a publishing house I had applied to for work experience with offering me two weeks! So that weekend I had to go home and finish up and essay for uni and then came BACK to London for another two weeks!