Half Light – A serious issue told through a fantastical story

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Half Light – Bombinate Theatre

As part of 2016’s Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival, a group of college friends led by Mollie Molumby brought Half Light to the New Theatre in Dublin’s Temple Bar, for a very successful run.

Half Light tells the tale of Robin, a 10 year old boy, whose father has been growing distant over the past days & weeks. One night, when Robin should have been fast asleep, he decides to sneak out to his father working in his office, but doesn’t find what he was expecting. This is where Robin’s adventure begins, when he is swallowed up by his father’s storybook.

Half Light Lost in the woods

Half Light – Bombinate Theatre

On the surface, Half Light is a 10 year old boy’s fantasy journey through the woods to find his father one night. Beneath the surface, it is the story about a man’s struggle with depression and how his 10 year old son reacts to his father’s struggle. Despite it’s serious message, Half Light is a funny & heart-warming story accompanied by original music and songs, plus some very convincing sounds by the cast.

I really enjoyed Half Light, it keeps you interested throughout with the great songs, audience inclusion and a well paced story, that expertly mixes the humour & music with the heavier message.

Half Light is directed by Mollie Molumby and was written as a collaborative effort by Molumby and the majority of the cast. The characters are portrayed by Fionn Foley (Robin), Martha Grant, Richard Durning, Kerill Kelly (various) and Juliette Crosby (Crow). Fionn Foley also composed the original songs for the play, with additional songs and score by Durning.

Depression is a serious issue, especially in Ireland. One of the major issues is people feeling embarrassed to open up about it, or feeling like they’re the only one in this situation. Hopefully, shows like this will help feel comfortable enough to come clean and seek help.

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Half Light – Bombinate Theatre

Half Light had a great initial run during the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival and is about to start a 5 night run in Smock Alley Theatre as part of the 2017 First Fortnight Festival. There will be one performance every night at 7:30 pm, with an additional matinee performance on Saturday 14th at 2:30pm. There will also be a post performance discussion on Wednesday 11th. Tickets are available through Smock Alley or through the First Fortnight website.

 

Sources:
(1) fundit.ie/project/half-light
(2) tn2magazine.ie/interview-with-mollie-molumby-director-of-half-light/
Images:
(1) gaietyschool.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Half-Light-Web.jpg
(2) fundit.ie/profiles/1465138559halflight_sm.jpg
(3) i1.irishmirror.ie/whats-on/article8841430.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/Half-Light.jpg

Bram Stoker Festival & Macnas Parade stalking the Dublin Streets 28-31st October 2016

It’s almost that ghoulin’ time of the year again and as has now become customary, Bram Stoker Festival is descending upon the streets of Dublin. As part of the Bram Stoker Festival, there will be lots of different festivities taking place across the city. Some of the events will be fun for all the family, even those who are only kids at heart. But, some of the events are only for those 18 and above. will you be brave enough to step beyond the threshold and into the darkness?

For the kids there are lots of spooky, but fiendishly fun options throughout the festival:

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Stokerland is a 2 day victorian themed pop-up fun park that will take over the entirety of St Patrick’s Park with the ominous but beautiful silhouette of Patrick’s Cathedral looming over the festivities. There will be a vintage photo booth, face painting (no age restrictions), street performers, food stands and much, much more across the weekend. Entry is completely free, but some activities may require a fee. Oct 29-30th 11:00-16:30

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Monsters @ Light House will introduce you and your kids to the monsters that kept the youth of the ’30s and 50’s jumping at shadows. The Light House as part of the Bram Stoker Festival will be showing a number of classic horror movies across the weekend. These classics include 1954’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon” in 3D and “The Wolfman” from 1941. Tickets start at 6.50. Schedule available at www.lighthousecinema.ie

For the grown ups among you, there are plenty to make you go bump in the night:

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Bleedin’ Deadly will be infesting the Pillar Rooms at the Rotunda for the 4 nights of the festival. Bleedin’ Deadly is a victorian themed freak show that will entertain you and disgust you in equal measures. The show will present talents from home & abroad. ‘The Space Cowboy‘ hails from Australia, he holds 44 world records, including the most swords swallowed at once. Kitty Le Roux lives in Greystones and combines her snake charming with her burlesque talents to wow & amaze you. Tickets from €25. 2 shows Friday to Sunday, 1 Show Monday.

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Dracula Live: Screening with Live Score will be taking place in the Nation Concert hall. The 1931 cinematic version of ‘Dracula’ will be screened in the NCH with the world premiere of the brand new score written and performed live by Seán Mac Erlaine, Sharon Phelan, Matthew Nolan and Eivind Aarset. See Bela Lugosi in one of his most iconic roles live on the silver screen.

Now for one of the biggest events to come to the Bram Stoker Festival, and back for another successful year.

Macnas Parade – Sleep no More

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This year, Macnas are returning to the streets of Dublin, but this time they have created a wholly original piece just for Halloween and the Bram Stoker Festival 2016. “Sleep No More is a restless ballad, a deliriously dark and delicious waltz between love and loss. Hundreds of colourful Macnas volunteer performers will transform and transfix, bringing a birth, a wedding, a funeral and everything in between, to the streets of Dublin.” The parade will take to the streets as the sun begins to set on Monday 31st October, this year it starts on Moore street, heading down Henry & Moore street, turns onto Wolfe Tone street, then onto Little Britain street finishing in a small park off Halston street. If you want to get the best view in the house, take up position along the route, so you can experience the parade in all it’s glory. Check out the map below, to plot your viewing experience. Parade starts at 5:30pm and will last approximately 1hr 15mins.

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Laya City Spec adventures continue – onwards to Cork!

This is a follow up to my piece about volunteering at the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular this Summer. If you haven’t had a chance to read the Dublin 2016 piece, you can find it here 😉

Laya City Spec 2016

Originally, because I had applied to volunteer so late, I wasn’t supposed to be 2nd Laya City Spec taking place in Cork. Luckily for me someone dropped out and I was included on the trip. It wasn’t surprising, Considering the job I had to do on Sunday in Dublin and would inevitably have to do all weekend in Cork (YES, I had to deal with the Chipos for all 7 of their shows, but there will be plenty of time to talk about that later).

This year we were leaving a day earlier than last year. So we were leaving on Wednesday, which I kinda liked, but I was a little worried, in case I got called in for a job interview (that never happened). We were meant leave around 11am, but the bus broke down after about a half kilometre, and then after we got a working bus, gear was left behind twice. So, we didn’t actually end up on the road to Cork until about 13:30.

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Around 15:30, we stopped off in Kilkenny so we could stretch our legs and get some food, but primarily so we could visit the Smithwicks Experience. It was a fun tour, if a little cheesy, see for yourself.

Kilkenny

After the tour, myself, Jessica & Aisling went for lunch with Jason (Seb Whipits) & his wife Kaela, they are a seriously nice couple. After our lovely lunch we headed back to the bus and the rest of the trip to Cork was fairly unremarkable. Just as we were pulling into Cork city my phone rang, it was the Department of Social Welfare, I now needed to go into the welfare office first thing on Monday morning to late sign. You see I had been wrongly told by my Social Welfare case worker, that because I was assigned to her, I no longer had to sign on, how wrong she was. This meant, I had to leave Cork early on Sunday night and would miss the closing festivities. I put those thoughts behind me, as we had reached our accommodation for the week, Victoria Lodge.

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That first night in Cork was a quiet one, we got our our rooms, I was in an apartment with Jay & Kaela and Ali (another volunteer). After we got settled in to our rooms, most of us headed down to the local Tescos and did a little shopping. I made a simple dinner, a frozen pizza, and went to bed.

On Thursday, I was free to do whatever I wanted. I decided to head into town for a few hours, so I did a little sightseeing and some shopping. After I was finished in town, I took a bus out to the massive Tesco near our accommodation in the Wilton shopping Centre. Funnily enough, I ran into a group of some of the street performers while I was there.

Cork Town

Later that day, I got a call from Aoife, she asked me to cook dinner for the Dublin volunteers that were already in Cork. I headed back to the little Tesco yet again, I picked up some pizzas and drinks. I had to cook the food in Aisling’s kitchen, because my oven didn’t heat up properly. I cooked some food I had previously bought too, so the volly meal ended up being: 2 pizzas; my sweet potato fries; 2 diced breaded chicken fillets; garlic bread; and a vegetable stir fry with rice noodles and a sweet chili sauce. The vollies were happy for the food, as were Aisling & Jessy, who joined us.

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Luckily, I had enough food left over to feed Aoife, Christina, Shane & Ellie, who arrived later. They seemed very glad for the feed after their long trip down from Dublin. We chatted for a little while and decided to meet up for breakfast in the morning. We also had tentative plans to visit a haunted building in the hills on the other side of the river, near the city.

The next morning we met up in Christina, Ellie & Shane’s apartment for a big Irish breakfast: eggs; sausages; puddings; rashers; mushrooms; beans; tomatoes; and toast! Let’s just say everyone was satisfied and no sausage was left behind. We were determined to get into the haunted building, but a few things needed to be taken care of before. Aoife had to go on a site walk with the organisers and some of the performers, so we agreed to meet back at the apartments around 1 and we would see about discovering what secrets were hidden within the walls of St. Kevin’s Asylum.

We headed off around 13:30 and Christina took us all in her car, and we headed to the area where the asylum was located. When we got to the apartments next door, we were a bit worried because there were fences up around the asylum, we kept going, but unfortunately there were builders all around the grounds, as the school next to the asylum was in the middle of a conversion to apartments. A few of us did manage to get into an abandoned church nearby, but my size stopped me from fitting through the small window.

Kevins bust

Since we still had plenty of time to burn, we decided to see what else there was to do. The top 2 choices were Cork City Gaol and the Butter Museum. We opted to pay the former a visit. The Gaol was pretty cool, the main buildings and the new central wing were open to us, however, due to the rot & decay the 2 side wings were off limits.

Cork City Gaol

Throughout the Gaol the tour guide told us about the life in the prison, for the prisoners (men, women & children), the guards (who lived in the prison too), and the warden & his family. In certain parts of the Gaol, mannequins are set up to represent well known inmates. Myself and Shane got to try out the one of the cells, not too bad, if a little bumpy. Certain cells had been used to house members of the 1916 Rising and engravings by them have been preserved on the walls.

Cork City Gaol

Later that night, we went to Sober Lane, ate Pizza and played some darts while the Cork volunteers arrived. The balloon guys joined us too and were nice enough to make each of the Dublin volunteers their own balloon Pokemon.

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Later, we joined the performers and organisers in the Electric Bar across the river. Lizardman once again performed for the crowds. This time Lizardman was able to make the condom trick work, and it was hilarious.

We left not long after that, we had a long day and we knew there were 2 more long days yet tom come. Christina dropped us back to the Lodge by car, and then headed off to the train station to pick up the last of the Dublin volunteers. The train goers were Sophie, Emily, Louise and Melody. When I got back I started cooking for the girls arriving soon. They were surprised by the feast and very thankful. We stayed up for a little while chatting, but we were all tired and headed to bed before long.

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We had an even bigger breakfast on Saturday morning, we knew there was a long day ahead of us, and we needed to fuel up. It was nice all of us sitting there chatting and we were all fired up for the day ahead.

Down in Fitzgerald park, I spent most of the day dealing with the Chipos again, but thankfully a guy named Eoin from EQ was there to help me, he was great!. Luckily, the Chipos last show was at 5, so once their equipment was delivered around 4, I could go back to normal volunteering duties, and thank God the Chipos finished on Saturday where they would start on Sunday 🙂

I got back to the volly HQ for the poncho fashion show, the girls were making dresses, skirts and tops from the blue & pink ponchos we had.

Poncho Parade Sat

After helping out for a while, Aoife told us to take a break, Sophie and I went to see Seb Whipits last show of the day over on Rainbow stage. His show was awesome, when we got there, a volunteer from the crowd had a stick of celery in his mouth and Seb whipped it out! For his finale, he needed 2 strong volunteers from the audience, and I GOT TO BE PART OF THE SHOW! He tested us to see how friendly we would get – Handshake, to fistbomb, to hug, to a kiss (on the cheek :p). You can check out the stunt in the video below.

Afterwards, we took a trip around the park with litter pickers and a trash bag to try and clear up the last of the rubbish, so we could all finish up as early as possible. At the end of our trash pick-up, when walking by the cheesy bread stand they stopped us and asked us if we wanted some. It was the perfect thing to hit the spot at the end of the day. As we left the park after day 1, I stopped at some cool graffiti and Sophie took a picture of me as Mario 😀

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That night , we were all exhausted, so we relaxed with some drinks, tasty snacks and a funny movie. After the movie was over, I had to pack up my stuff and leave out clothes for Sunday, because I had to get the train on Sunday night and wouldn’t be returning to Victoria Lodge after Sunday morning.
Of course we started off Sunday morning with yet another fry (probably the largest one!) and my last breakfast in Cork. The fashion show started design and construction started early on Sunday, thanks to the success of the outfits on Saturday, although the dresses didn’t last as long after the heatwave that hit us later.

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I spent most of the day dealing with the Chipos again, I was counting down the shows and the minutes until their last show and I would be free. Unlucky for me, they had an extra show due to a performer drop-out. The heat during the day was oppressive and twice during the day I had to help deliver extra water to tents and stages. It was so hot Ciamh even went to pick up some ice! Near the end of my day Jay showed us a special trick.

Jay Special Trick

Around 6, I had to finish my shift and get changed, I had a train to catch. I said my goodbyes to everyone that I could, the train was 19:20 and I couldn’t be late, or I wouldn’t get home. The train journey was fairly uneventful, if a little lonely. I just relaxed in my seat, watched some TV and listened to some music. I wish I could have stayed to join in the City Spec closing party!

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Onwards to the next adventure!!!

Volunteering at Laya City Spec 2016 – Here we go again :)

A little over a year ago I started my volunteering adventure at the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular in Merrion Square. I wrote a blog about it last year, you can check it out here ;). So, it has been nearly a year and in that time I have volunteered at a lot of festivals. But, it was time to to go back to the City Spec, it’s not quite like the majority of other festivals or events: the open air; the performers; the Sun; the massive crowds; and the volunteers, there’s something a little different about it, but it’s a good difference!

Laya City Spec 2016

This time I wasn’t nearly as nervous walking in to the orientation meeting as I was in 2015. I met up with people that I knew from last year and City Spec last year. A video I made from the festival in 2015 was being used as part of the presentation. That night Guru Dudu treated us all to a little Happy Yoga. At the end of the night, a few of us repeaters had a little dance to ABBA with GD.

Friday
Originally, I wasn’t to volunteer on the Friday, but after offering extra help, I would now be starting at 9am, to help with the set-up, but first breakfast. As the Spec is in Merrion Square, and Sophie works on Merrion Square, I though that meeting up for breakfast was in order. We met in the front square of Trinity and had a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages and toast in the Buttery. After we walked and chatted towards Merrion Square and the Volunteer tent, and Sophie said hi to Christina & Aoife.

Sat Bfast

I spent most of my time in the morning helping with the set-up of the volunteer tent, getting programmes and t-shirts from the office with Aoife. I helped deliver the bins and helped some of the area supervisors with what ever they needed.

Sat morning

Around 12 I was tasked with leading a group of American students down to the Custom House Quay to hand out programmes and let people know about the 2 special mini shows taking place around lunch time in the CHQ. I was happy with the extra responsibility and the volunteers under me were easy to deal with and nice people. I managed to see a little bit of both Lizardman’s and Alakazam’s shows, honestly, I was very impressed.

The rest of the day I just helped out around the volunteer tent, delivered some cinder blocks and I just tried to be helpful. I had a great day, but at the end of it I was tired and happy to be able to put my feet up!

Saturday
On Saturday I got a bit of a sleep in, because I wasn’t starting until 11. On my way in I decided to come in through Just Eat street, and I got some great pictures.

Just Eat Street

This was one of the first days I was actually assigned an area, rather than just being a runner. I was helping Jess out at the Super Troopers tent. The first act was Titan the Robot, who honestly scared the crap out of me at first, he’s about 8 foot tall and big! Titan was very funny though, despite my initial reaction and I got to have a little part of the show, apparently Titan recognised me from ‘The Jeremy Kyle show’.

titan Sat

I got a little break during Get Fit Kids and got back in time for Guru Dudu’s Happy Yoga. Guru Dudu is a great entertainer, kids and grown ups both love his stuff, and in real life he is a really nice guy too. I got some great funny pics from his act.

Guru Dudu - Sat

The next act, and my final for the shift at the Super Troopers tent was the one, the only BOSCO!!! This was a manic show, everyone it seemed wanted to see this show, the tent was bursting and people blocked the entrance, as I was on the doors, I can tell you it got more than a little stressful, but the show was really fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I swear there were twice as many adults as kids during that show. After the show something amazing happened, I got to meet and get my picture taken with Bosco.

Bosco Sat

I was technically finished for the day at this stage, but knew extra hands would be needed and I was going to the party that night, heading home alone for a few hours seemed like the worse option by a long shot. I had a bit of lunch and before I knew it I was delivering cinder blocks to stages for Lizardman’s act. Though I did get to watch the amazing Kamikaze Fireflies show. They are funny and amazingly talented, the finale is incredible, but you will have to see & decide for yourself.

When I got back there was a little commotion over 1 of the acts, let’s just say they were being divas of the highest order. Because they knew they could trust me and I could handle them, I was assigned to them for their last show on Saturday and all 3 of their shows on Sunday (and the eventual 7 shows they played in Cork too).

I headed over to the Rainbow stage with Aisling, who was a bit sorry I had to do this, but glad I could be counted on. I was introduced to Carl, a nice guy from EQ (sound engineers) and asked to talk to him after the Chipos show, so I just had to sit & wait. Chipolatas show the first time was good, a bit of comedy, some cool but basic tricks, although I think the shortened performance time, due to sound checks, actually helped them.

Chipos

After their show was finished, I spoke with Carl again, and we made a check-list of all the tech equipment the Chipos would need. My job was to make sure that Chipos were happy during their shows, get the tech equipment from stage to stage and help with set-up if needed. Thankfully Chipos would be playing their first show on Rainbow stage on Sunday.

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After finishing up at the site on Saturday Shane, Christina, Aoife and myself headed to Everleigh Gardens for the City Spec party. We met up with the other volunteers and the organisers, ate free food and had a few drinks over a nice chat. Later, we got another special show from Lizardman, he did some interesting things with a condom and another performance from Alakazam, you can see them in the video below.

Sunday
I didn’t have long at the volunteer tent, before Aoife asked me to head to Rainbow stage for Chipolatas. On the way there I ran into my bro Steve and my nephew/Godson Fionn, and told them what were the good acts that they should see. When I got to rainbow, I was able to see the end of Garraghty & Thom’s show. It was a combination of circus acts and comedy, I really enjoyed it, but wished I could have seen more.

G&T Sunday 10-7-16

I had little to do at Rainbow until the Chipolatas were finished, afterwards I met with Carl again and we packed up all of the equipment for Chipos and walked it over to the Red stage, I was lucky another volunteer was there, so I only had to make 2 trips instead of 3, and I ran into Alison & Steve and I finally got to meet my newest nephew Rian.

I spent most of the day dealing with the Chipolatas (although most of it was a lot of sitting & waiting). Later, I nearly lost my arms when I had to carry a couple of crates of water and then had to deliver even more cinder blocks. Thankfully, I finished with the Chipos at 5:30. At the end of the day, as it was the last day, we had to take in all the bins, take down the stages, and empty the volly HQ. That night around 9, after everything had been taken care of, we headed to McGrattan’s pub nearby and shared drinks & conversations with friends.

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Cork is still to come…

The Year that was!

So, it has been just over a year since I took my first adventure in volunteering with the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular in Dublin & Cork.

Laya City Spec 2016
It is quite obvious that volunteering had a significant impact upon me, since July 2015 I have volunteered at roughly 16 different events including Laya City Spec 2016, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
I had 1 main reason to start volunteering, it wasn’t for altruistic reasons, I was lonely and I wanted to make friends, also to lesser extents, I wanted to get active & out of the house and I thought the volunteering would look good on my CV (Curriculum Vitae – that’s a Resumé to you Americans out there).
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Regarding friends I was very successful on 1 point, I gained an amazing friend in Sophie Schiltz. We have spent a lot of time together over the past year, we have gone on plenty of adventures too, some in the volunteering world and many that weren’t. I don’t think I can accurately describe how much her friendship means to me. I spend the vast majority of my life alone (when not volunteering) and the time we spend is like the Sun poking through the dark clouds on a winter’s day. I am certain that if I didn’t have her in my life, I would be a much sadder person than I am today – Merci Beaucoup Sophie 🙂

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Sophie isn’t the only friend I have gained over the year, but she is the best one and the only one I wouldn’t consider an acquaintance. I have made other ‘friends’ too like Aoife, Paul, Shane, Christina, Laura, Ellie, Catie, Kat, Tra My, Gustavo and others beside, and I am happy I have gotten to hang out with them and work alongside them.

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Now, as I mentioned before, another of the reasons I decided to start volunteering in 2015 was to look good on my CV and to show that I wasn’t lazy and just sitting around watching TV while collecting the Dole. You see I was made unemployed in June 2015, and unfortunately I haven’t had a proper job since then. In my mother’s words it has been a fairly “Soul destroying” year, but I haven’t let it get me down, sure there have been a few days when I haven’t been able to come up with a good reason why I should get out of bed, but those days are few and far between, thank God.

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In the past year, to keep myself busy, I have of course volunteered at a lot of festivals. One of the proudest moments I had was volunteering at the 1916 Rising commemorative event called ‘Reflecting the Rising’. Apart from the volunteering, I took part in an 8 week course (1 day a week) in networking with Job Care, I finished a 2 week intensive Diploma in Digital Marketing with Sure Skills and DPP Skillnets. I have also tried to remain more active, having recently purchased a Fitbit Charge HR, which has definitely added some extra motivation to my life.

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All in all, I would have to say that the last year was a good year. Sure, I am not in the position that I wanted to be. I don’t have a cadre of friends that I spend my weekends and spare time with, I am still single too. I haven’t been successful in acquiring gainful employment, despite my efforts.
But, I wouldn’t want to change anything realistically. I have had some great experiences, met great people, and I think (and I hope) I am a better person for having gone through it all 🙂

Here’s to the next year!

2016-2017

GAZE LGBT International Film Festival Dublin 2016

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After the excitement of Laya City Spectacular in Dublin & Cork, I was eager to take on another volunteering challenge. Obviously, I would really prefer to have a full time job and the salary that comes along with it, but for the mean-time I will happily take on the volunteering and all of it’s benefits 🙂

I had heard GAZE mentioned a number of times over the past year, but didn’t know a whole lot about it, until an email arrived about a month or so ago. I nearly missed my GAZE opportunity due to the hecticness of the few weeks with the City Spec, but thankfully I didn’t.

For the GAZE LGBT International Film Festival, I would not have my general volunteering duties. For GAZE, I will just be focusing on promoting the festival through Social Media and online, hence me writing this blog.

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GAZE is a film festival that was set up in 1992, the same year the homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland. The original festival was held in the Irish Film Centre in Temple Bar. The Festival was originally set up to give members of the Dublin gay community the opportunity to see educational & entertaining LGBT cinema and also to help promote LGBT film-makers. However, since GAZE’s inception 2 and a half decades ago it has gotten so much bigger and not only targets the LGBT community, but all those with a love for great films from across the globe.

The 2016 GAZE LGBT International Film Festival opens tonight, Thursday 28th July 2016, in the Light House Cinema, with a special opening gala and a screening of Belgian-Dutch documentary ‘Strike a Pose’. The film profiles a number of dancers from Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition tour and their lives in the 25 years since the tour.

Strike a pose

Over the 5 days 35 movies will be be screened in screens 1&2 of the Light House. The movies come from all over the world.
On Friday in Screen 1 at 8:30pm is the ADIFF AUDI-ence award winning film ‘Viva’ by Paddy Breathnach. Viva follows Jesús, a hairdresser in Cuba, who always dreamed of being a drag performer, but his debut is cut short.

Viva
On Saturday in Screen 1 at 2:30pm is YesterGAZE. This includes a screening of ‘The Ghost of Roger Casement’ which explores the life of Roger Casement, one of the members of the 1916 Rising and his downfall due to allegations of homosexuality. After the screening there will be a panel discussion.

Ghost of RC
On Sunday in Screen 1 at 2:30pm IMAGE+NATION present Queerment Quebec, a mix of 7 eclectic & entertaining short films from Canada. Among the shorts are: ‘House for Sale’; ‘Pepper’; ‘Pow Wow’; and ‘Mirrors’.

Queerment Quebec Collage

There are many more great films on offer over the August bank holiday weekend, Thursday 28th July to Monday 1st August. Pop in to the Light House Cinema in Smithfield, or check out GAZE.ie for tickets.
Come on down or you’ll regret it!

Festival Programme:

Thursday 28th July

GAZE 2016 Blog 1 Thu

Friday 29th July

GAZE 2016 Blog 2 Fri

Saturday 30th July

GAZE 2016 Blog 3 Sat

Sunday 31st July

GAZE 2016 Blog 4 Sun

Monday 1st August

GAZE 2016 Blog 5 Mon

My First Volunteering Experience – Part 2 Cork.

When I left Merrion Square on the 12th July, I believed my volunteering adventure was finished for a little while, but I guess I was wrong!
This is a follow up to the blog I wrote about a month ago, you can read it here.

LHCS Cork

When I signed up to volunteer for the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular, I didn’t sign up for Cork as well, because I didn’t think I could afford it. But, on the day after the Dublin City Spec, I was emailed by Aoife and asked if I wanted to come on a tour of Dublin and the Guinness Storehouse, and also if I wanted to come to Cork for the next City Spectacular, with transport & accommodation provided by Laya.

I said yes straight away to the tour, but needed some time to decide about Cork. I honestly felt incredibly honoured, that I had made such a positive impact on Aoife, that she felt she needed me for Cork. 1 day later at the tour I told Aoife and the rest of the guys that I would be joining them to Cork.

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On Thursday I find myself on a bus from Dublin to Cork, filled with the Street Performers, the Volunteers, and some of the organisers from Laya. It was definitely one of the most interesting road trips I have ever been a part of. 2 of the performers tried playing Ping Pong (or Table Tennis) across the bus, the balloon artists never stopped creating, and some weird photos were taken by the break dancers. Also, it was a goof opportunity to actually get to know the performers.

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In Cork we arrived at our Accommodation in Victoria Lodge, checked in, found our rooms and dropped off our stuff. I found out that I would be sharing a 4 bed apartment with Sophie (a volunteer), Victor Rubilar soccer freestyler and Mikael the Robotman. We didn’t stay there for long, as Aoife was off to meet the Cork volunteers at a pub, and we tagged along.

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It was a long walk to Sober Lane, and we even took a wrong turn, but we made it after about 40 mins. It was Fiesta night in the pub, so we all got sombreros, cheap Coronas and there was even a free candy floss machine (I don’t get it either). We ate, drank and were merry! That night I was introduced to Cards against Humanity, a very fun, but very adult card game, that I have played many times since! On the way home, we spotted a haunted (looking) house, found 40 euro on the street and used our sombreros as protection from the rain.

Thursday Collage 2

Friday was a bit of a lazy day, most of the volunteers ate breakfast together in Shane’s kitchen, I cooked up eggs, sausages & rashers for everyone and we all had a good chat. Later on, we decided to check out the park where the City Spec was gonna be taking place, it was lovely, but 1 third of the park was closed for construction. We wandered the park, took pictures, played with some dogs, and had a lovely spot of cake at the Cafe. That night we were given a budget of 35 euro from Laya, and were to feed ourselves with it. We ended up cooking 3 pizzas, 24 drumsticks and 2 large chicken & bacon casseroles that ended up feeding more than the dozen people they were supposed to! We had planned on watching a movie that night, but technical difficulties got in the way, so we just drank and chatted until around midnight and then we were off to bed , as we all had 2 long days ahead of us.

Friday Collage 1

Myself & Sophie headed own early, as I knew things would be stressful for Aoife, and just sitting around is boring. That day, I was fairly busy, I helped putting up bunting around the Super Troopers area, made sure all of the different areas had enough water, as it got to be a very hot weekend, delivered floor mats to the Discover NI stand (and got some fairy wings, swords & foam fingers for my troubles), myself & Aoife did some litter picking to keep the place clean & nice for the festival goers. Later, we repeated the Sandwich fairies and delivered much needed joy & snacks to the volunteers around the festival.

LHCS Cork Collage 1

We took some time to check out the the acts at the festival while we headed around with our sandwich deliveries. We checked out Mama Lou, Space Cowboy & Mario Queen of the Circus.

Later that day the park reached capacity and there were large queues of upset people waiting to get in to all of the fun. I was sent out by Aoife to explain the situation to people, keep them happy & calm, and to give them information & programmes about the festival so they could see the wait was worth it! It was a little stressful, but a good experience. I ended the day at the festival as they all seemed to end, wheeling great big rubbish bins out to the entrance, so they could be emptied before it started all over again on Sunday.

That night we were all invited to a party in the City Centre, but after the day we’d had, and the day we knew was ahead of us, we decided a quiet night back at the lodge was a better idea. So, on the way back we stopped in to Tesco, bought some goodies and settled into a viewing of Zoolander, by the time it was over most of us were falling asleep, so our beds beckoned!

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The next day was a very nice day for the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular, after all it was a Sunday, and the weather was divine, no clouds, no wind and about 20 degrees, it was the perfect combination for a day at the park. The weather was so nice, I started a rolled up sleeves trend and I got a little sunburnt on my arms. I started the day how I finished the last, moving bins. Sunday was fairly hectic, I was literally going the whole day, but I still had a lot of fun working with Christina & Aoife at the volunteer tent as well as everyone else! I was so busy that day I barely even took any pics. We reached capacity even earlier on the Sunday, and I was put back on crowd duty. This time, we use the back gate as an exit only, so my role was to direct everyone to the entrance, and to keep people informed and calm, because there was a 2 hour wait at one stage.

Queue

The end of the second day was a little strange,as the whole experience had been such an amazing adventure, and it was all over, at least until next year 😉 We packed up the tents, put away the bins – again! and said goodbye to Fitzgerald park, but the day was not over, after all the working hard, we had to start to party hard!!!

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We headed back to Sober Lane, which was jam packed, we had the wonderful experience of changing in the toilets, ’cause we headed straight from the festival, and it had been a long, hot, hard day. We had a few drinks, I got mine for free, because a guy’s name and a girl’s name is chosen everyday for a free pint, and the barmaid had a bad memory. After getting some food we moved on, we tried a nearby pub, but that was a bust, and we eventually ended up in Crane Lane. We danced to good music, partied with the street performers, had a few drinks and just unwound from the days behind us. An impromptu dance off erupted between a local and one of the breakdancers.

Partay Collage

The last day in Cork was really subdued, everyone one was exhausted and a little hungover after the weekend and the previous night’s festivities, we all just got comfortable on the bus and let the countryside of Ireland fly past us, I watched some TV on my phone & reminisced on the adventures of the past 2 weeks. In Dublin, we all said goodbye, hugged and then myself & Laura went for some Burritos & Blues.

The adventure may be over, but the journey had just begun!