Why the 2023 Academy Awards Proved There’s No Such Thing as Too Late

Anything Articles

After seeing the results of this year’s Academy Awards, I’ve realized that maybe it is okay to slow down on working toward my dreams.

In recent years, the biggest problem that I’ve dealt with is the fear of being too late. I want to be successful in my life and career and I feel that if I want to be successful, I need to make it happen NOW. I’m reaching my 27th birthday and worry that I haven’t achieved anything substantial in my life. I fear that if I don’t do anything now, it’ll be too late. I’ll have nothing.

I know that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to other people my age, but I can’t help it. I look at all the other people I know, the ones who are making names for themselves, and wonder why can’t I be like that? Everything falls into place for them, while no matter how hard I try, nobody seems to take me seriously. I sometimes feel trapped while everyone else has a perfect life, and I’m left thinking to myself: When is it MY turn?!

That question is why I push myself every day to work hard and make something of myself. Admittedly, there are times when I can push myself a bit too hard, but I just feel that I need to make myself be recognized for my work NOW. The biggest worry for me is that if it doesn’t happen now, in ten years’ time, it’ll be too late.

There are some people who don’t understand my feelings because they’re settled; I’m not. There are some who say that I should have a life as well. That makes me mad; I don’t spend every day holed up in my room working. But at the same time, you can’t just laze about and dream. You have to work hard to make your dreams come true and I feel that I don’t have the right to waste time not working toward success. Is it wrong to have a desire for success as well as happiness?

I’ve always worried about being too late in achieving any success or recognition in my life. That is until I saw the results of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Much to the relief of everybody, there were no major scandals (or slaps) at the Academy Award ceremony this year. The biggest winner this year was Everything Everywhere All at Once, winning seven awards in total. There was a very touching moment when Harrison Ford presented the award for Best Picture to the cast and crew of this film for reasons I’ll explain down below. Meanwhile, John Williams broke his own record for the most received nominations in history, receiving his 53rd nomination for composing the musical score for The Fabelmans, while Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio won Best Animated Feature. There was even an Irish victory with An Irish Goodbye winning Best Live Action Short Film.

But it was those who won the acting accolades who really struck a chord with me. Some of them were anticipated, and others were unexpected. But it was these four people who proved to me that maybe it’s never really too late to reach success in your life and achieve your dreams.

(From left to right) Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, Brendan Fraser, and Jamie Lee Curtis celebrating their victories at the Academy Awards

It was these four people who proved to me that success is not defined by your age. They have shown me that it is never too late to achieve success in your life.

Ke Huy Quan‘s amazing story of going from a forgotten child star to an Oscar-winning actor has captivated everybody. He started off his career as Short Round in the 1984 Indiana Jones movie, The Temple of Doom, starring alongside Harrison Ford himself. The embrace they shared during the Best Picture session, touched everybody. Quan also starred as Data in the 80s’ classic The Goonies. But as he got older, he found it harder to land roles, so he ended up leaving the film industry in 2002, thinking he’d never act again. In 2018, he decided to take a chance and return to acting and it paid off brilliantly. He has now become the first Vietnamese-born actor to win Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards for his role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. He finished off his Oscar speech, reaching out to everybody with a dream.

“Dreams are something you have to believe in, I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive. Thank you so much for welcoming me back — I love you!”

– Ke Huy Quan

Meanwhile, actress Jamie Lee Curtis won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the aforementioned Everything Everywhere All at Once, her first Oscar nomination since she began her career in 1977. She is most recognized for her work in the horror genre, starting off her career as Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise. Since then, she has achieved great success in both film and television, with roles in Trading Places (1983), My Girl (1991), and Freaky Friday (2003). Only now, however, at the age of 64, has she been ever nominated for an Academy Award. To be nominated is an achievement in itself. But to win is at a whole other level. Sometimes, with all of her success, it is easy to forget that Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of popular 1950s actors Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Both of her parents achieved Academy Award nominations throughout their careers (Curtis for Best Actor in The Deviant Ones in 1958 and Leigh for Best Supporting Actress in Psycho in 1960). But there is a difference. Her parents were only ever nominated; they never won. But their daughter did.

“To all of the people who have supported the genre movies that I have made for all these years, the thousands and hundreds of thousands of people, we just won an Oscar together.

And my mother and my father were both nominated for Oscars in different categories. I just won an Oscar.”

– Jamie Lee Curtis

Another award this movie achieved was Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh. Starting off her career as a stunt person, Yeoh gained recognition for her work in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000). However, it wasn’t until she joined the cast of Star Trek: Discovery (2017-2020) that she gained worldwide recognition for her work. Now, at the age of 60, Yeoh has finally gained worldwide acceptance for her work after winning the Best Actress accolade this year, the first Malaysian to win an Academy Award in any category. Yeoh has proven to herself and to the world that dreams do come true, no matter what age you are.

“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that … dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”

– Michelle Yeoh

But the biggest success of this year’s ceremony is certainly Brendan Fraser who won Best Actor for his role in The Whale. His story is probably one of the greatest career comeback stories in history. For a long time, many said that his career was over and that he had no chance of ever achieving success in Hollywood again. But now, Fraser has proven everyone wrong with this win at the Academy Awards. He started off as a successful 90s star before his career slowed down in the 2000s due to marital problems, health issues, and a serious allegation of sexual assault committed against him in 2003, which essentially saw him blacklisted from Hollywood. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d see him act in a movie ever again. But as it turned out, I and millions of others were completely wrong. With The Whale, Brendan Fraser gives the performance of his life and proves that success is out there. At 54, it was finally his turn to reach success. From his speech, it’s clear that he was overwhelmed by said success but it was certainly well-deserved.

“I’ve been at that sea, and I’ve rode that wave lately and it’s been powerful and good and I’ve also had that wave smash me right down to the ocean floor and drag my face along there and wind up on some strange beach in a different world, wondering ‘where am I now?’ But believe me, if you just stay in there and you put one foot in front of the other, you get to where you need to go. Have courage.”

– Brendan Fraser

These four people and their victories at the Academy Awards this year really struck a chord with me. All of these actors have achieved recognition and success at different times in their lives. They proved that it is never too late in your life to achieve success and recognition.

I keep looking at the pressure that I’ve been putting on myself to achieve success in my own life. And I’ve realized that maybe it’s okay to ease off on the pressure a little bit. I’ve been worried that if I don’t achieve anything now, at this point in my life, it could be too late in ten years’ time. But maybe it’s not. I’ve felt that I need to reach a successful point in my life right now. But looking at the four success stories from this year’s Oscars, I understand now that success will come for me at the right time. It may not be right now, but it will happen. I can work for it, there is nothing wrong with that. But it’s also okay to ease off a little and enjoy myself. That’s success in its own way.

Right now, I don’t know when I will achieve success and recognition in my life. But it’s something I can work towards and enjoy living my life at the same time.

Burnouts and the Beginnings of Doubt

Anything Articles

Sometimes, you reach a point in time where you just feel like you cannot do anything at all. Where you just feel so drained, physically out of it. Where you’ve lost all love and desire for the things you enjoy doing in life. I hate it when this happens. As somebody who is passionate about the things that she does, I don’t like to lose the enjoyment I feel in the things I do.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ll admit that I went through a complete burnout. I was emotional, I was tired, work was taking its toll on me and I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I just felt so low, so unsure of myself. I hated it.

People who look at the work I post online can see how passionate I am about my work. I love to be able to create my little history videos, write my articles, and express myself. So I will be honest and say, that to lose all of my passion for all of this over the last few weeks were terrible.

These last couple of weeks were tough, no doubt about it. I had to go through a lot of things in my job and while it was good things that happened, all of the things I had to do was just really draining on my mind. When I would finish work in the evening, I’d be too tired to even switch on my laptop, let alone write anything.

As some know, my greatest passion is writing. One of my dreams is to become a published author and have a book published. I’m not going to be the sort of person who makes empty promises about her writings (I know that there is a certain someone who has done that but I am not going to name her), I know what I want to do. It’s not like I am empty-handed in terms of my writing. During COVID, I actually to write the full drafts of not one but TWO stories, which was amazing. I would love to be able to have at least one of my drafts edited and properly written out. One of my resolutions for this year is to send a story off to publishers.

Over the last week, I tried and tried to put together a writing schedule. Set myself a little time during the week to just sit down and actually work on my writings. But no matter how hard I tried, I just could not get a schedule together. I found it so frustrating that I couldn’t even put that together, let alone work on my passions. I hated feeling so burned out because it made me doubt myself and my dream of being an author. Looking at all the people getting their work published left me wondering ‘Am I really as good as them?’ I began to wonder if maybe I wasn’t.

Slowly but surely, I began to recover from my burnout, letting myself rest over the weekend and trying to find myself in my writing again. With this post and my freelance position, I’ve managed to regain my love for writing. I still haven’t worked out a schedule but I will get there!

Doubt is always going to be there. I think I’ll always question my skills and whether I’m as good as the writers who came before me. And there will be times where I will feel like my candle is burned out and I can’t do it anymore. But like the Take That song, you can only relight your fire, and find your passions for life once again.

The Lost Boy: The Tragedy of Peter Pan’s Bobby Driscoll

Anything Articles, history, research

Disney’s Peter Pan celebrates it’s 70th anniversary this year. But what many people don’t know is the tragic story of its lead actor…

The Lost Boy: The Tragedy of Peter Pan’s Bobby Driscoll

Find the second star from the right and fly straight on till morning. Those are the instructions given to Wendy Darling, Michael and John by Peter Pan as they fly off to Neverland, a place with no rules, no grown-ups, nothing but magical forests and endless adventures. Home to the boy who never wants to grow up.

This year, Disney’s Peter Pan is celebrating its 70th anniversary. It is one of Disney’s most successful animated movies of all time and has inspired different sorts of merchandise, amusement park rides and video games.

But what many people don’t know is the tragic story of Peter Pan’s voice actor, Bobby Driscoll. It’s a story that reflects on many child stars today. Child stars have great success in movies, tv shows and are recognised everywhere…until they grow up. And while there have been some who have successfully transitioned from child stars to adult roles, other have not been as fortunate. Bobby Driscoll’s story is only one of them.

Bobby Driscoll

Born an only child in 1937, Bobby Driscoll started his acting career at five with a small role in the family drama Lost Angel (1943). His role only lasted 2 minutes but it was enough for him to land the role of Al Sullivan in The Fighting Sullivans (1944).

Alongside Luana Patten, Driscoll was one of the first two actors placed under contract with Walt Disney, and quickly landed roles in Song of the South (1946) and So Dear to My Heart (1948). His success continued into 1950, starring in Treasure Island (1950). With a steady workload and recognizable talent, Driscoll received an Academy Juvenile Award in 1950 (which in an ironic twist of fate, was lost in a house fire years later).

Bobby Driscoll receiving his Academy Juvenile Award

Driscoll was on the rise when he landed the lead role in Disney’s latest animated movie Peter Pan. His co-star, Kathryn Beaumont (who voiced Wendy Darling) remembered him as ‘very lovely. went to his own public school when he was not working. He had normal experiences with his peer group—just as I did.’ By 16, Driscoll seemed to have it all – until he did the one thing that his character never wanted to do; he grew up.

Bobby Driscoll dressed as Peter Pan in Disney Studios

By the time, he had reached his teen years, Driscoll had grown from a cute little boy to a lanky teenager with bad acne – a precursor for child stars of today. By 1953, he had unexpectedly been dropped from Disney Studios, despite having signed a multiple-year contract. Overnight, he had gone from Disney’s Golden Child, to thrown out in the trash. As Hollywood biographer, Marc Eliot explains, ‘When Howard Hughes bought RKO, he, in effect, became the owner of the Disney studio. He controlled the money and he hated Bobby Driscoll. He hated Hollywood kids. He thought they were precocious, weren’t real, and were incredibly annoying. He didn’t want Bobby Driscoll to be with Disney anymore.’

Having been dropped by Disney, Driscoll was left wondering where to go. At 16, he moved to New York City hoping to study acting but ultimately dropping out of UCLA and Stanford. He found some happiness in TV work and tried to settle down with a young woman named Marilyn Jean Rush. They eloped to Mexico five months after meeting, but three years, three kids, two marriages, and two divorces later, their relationship was over.

Moving to Topanga Canyon, Driscoll befriended Beat Generation artist and photographer Wallace Bearman. Driscoll even dabbled in art himself with some his work surviving today. But then he began to dabble in drugs, ultimately getting arrested in 1961 and sent to California Institute for Men. This proved to be the final nail in the coffin for his acting career as he was unable to find any work after his release in 1962. “I had everything,” he said in an interview after his sentence. “Was earning $50,000 a year…working steadily with good parts. Then I started putting all my spare time in my arm. I’m not really sure why I started using narcotics. I was 17 when I first experimented with the stuff. In no time at all, I was using whatever was available…mostly heroin, because I had the money to pay for it.”

Bobby Driscoll under arrest for drug possession

Driscoll seemed to drift in his final years, unable to truly find a place where he belonged. Nobody knows how he ended up alone in a derelict apartment block in 1968 when two young boys discovered a body lying in a cot. Beer bottles and religious pamphlets were scattered around his body but investigators could not find any identification. With nothing to go on, the body was buried in a mass pauper’s grave on Hart Island.

In fact, the discovery of Driscoll’s death would not be discovered until a year later, when his mother, Isabelle, who had not seen her son in years, tried to get in contact. A fingerprint match at the New York City Police Department would reveal Bobby Driscoll’s death at just 31 years of age. News of his death would only come to light in the 1970s, due to the re-release of Song of the South. From one of the most recognized stars of his generation, to being just a brief news report, is a tragic fall for this young man who once had it all.

Bobby Driscoll in his final years

Bobby Driscoll is immortalized as one of the most tragic child stars in Hollywood history. He was truly a Lost Boy who after being cast aside by the movie industry, couldn’t find a place where he really belonged. Even now, he is still lost on Hart Island; the whereabouts of his grave are unknown as the burial records between 1961 and 1977 were lost in a fire.

The story of Bobby Driscoll has proven to be a cautionary tale for the child stars of Hollywood today. One minute you can be the most adored little star, then the next, you can be cast aside for the next big thing.

Perhaps Driscoll described his downfall best in his own words: “I was carried on a silver platter—and then dumped into the garbage.” But thanks to bringing Peter Pan onto our screens and into our childhood memories, many believe that Bobby Driscoll has emerged from the garbage heap. Hopefully now, he has finally found the second star to the right and has flown on to eternal peace.

A Tale as Old as Time that Will Never Grow Old for Me

Anything Articles, Life Experiences

Here’s my experience watching my favorite Disney movie as a musical at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre! Let’s just say that it was definitely a night to remember…

Sometimes, when I take walks, I like to walk down the Grand Canal Dock. There’s always something about the water that just draws me in. I am convinced that I was a mermaid in my past life.

One day, when I was walking down past the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, I saw the posters of shows coming to the theatre. I looked through them with interest and then I saw one I knew immediately that I wanted to see.

Beauty and the Beast

Four words, one story, one movie that has been part of my life for years. When I was little, I played the Disney movie continuously, played the soundtrack on my morning walks, and collected as many dolls and figurines as I could relating to Belle and the Beast. When I played the Kingdom Hearts Playstation game, I was delighted to see that there was a level in the Beast’s Castle. I think that was my favorite part of the game, aside from the actual Disney castle.

When I saw that the musical was coming to Dublin, I knew that I wanted to go. But then a little something happened that caused me to put everything on hold. A little thing called the coronavirus pandemic. Once I saw how long Ireland was going to be stuck in isolation, I knew that there was no point in even trying to get tickets to the show. What was the point? All shows were canceled for the foreseeable future.

Two years later, and with the coronavirus now just a small part of society, I saw that Beauty and the Beast was coming back to the Bord Gais. And I knew immediately that I was going. It took a bit of time as getting tickets proved to be more difficult than I thought (popular demand!) but I ultimately managed to get two tickets for myself and my friend Silvia.

I knew exactly what I was going to wear the night of the show. It was easy: a few months prior, I’d bought a gorgeous t-shirt depicting the stained glass window at the end of the movie. I knew it was perfect.

On Thursday 15th December, we got ourselves ready, made sure the tickets were safe on my phone and the two of us walked from our home to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Although I admit, a couple of times we did question why we chose to walk because it was absolutely freezing!

Silvia and I arrived and we managed to get into the theatre no bother. To see the show illuminated on the building thrilled me. I knew it was going to be an amazing night.

Before the show, I warned Silvia that she was not to hold me back at the merchandise stall. And to her credit, she didn’t! I walked away from the stall with two programmes, a tote bag, a beautiful book necklace, a magnet, a keychain and a gorgeous hand mirror. (The mirror was a gift from Silvia to say thank you for getting the tickets and inviting her to the show. How lovely was that?) It wasn’t too long after we finished at the stall, that we found our seats and the show began!

I am the sort of person who has watched Beauty and the Beast repeatedly for years. I have listened to the soundtracks religiously. I have a video on my On This Day channel dedicated to the movie! You can definitely say that I was really excited for the show!

At the start of the show,there was a wonderful tribute to the late Angela Lansbury who voiced Mrs. Potts in the original film. It was her voice reciting the introduction to the story. To hear her voice say ‘For who could ever learn to love a beast?’ was such a moving tribute to the late great actress.

So what can I say about Beauty and the Beast as a musical? What word can truly describe it?






Maybe…all of the above? I think that’s just about right!

Let’s talk about the performances. Courtney Stapleton as Belle did an amazing job, she really captured the character and the emotions of Belle wonderfully. With her naturally curly hair and reading glasses, she showed everybody in the audience that anybody can be their own Belle if they really want to be. And I have to be upfront and honest and say that I fell in love with Shaq Taylor as the Beast. His dark sultry voice sent chills down my spine. His solo of If I Can’t Love Her was just…ooh. Yes, I know I must sound like a giggly schoolgirl but he was amazing.

I have to say though, it was Alyn Hawke as Lumiere and Nigel Richards as Cogsworth who really stole the show, they were hilarious together. In every scene they were in, they had me in stitches. Their work in the big performance of Be Our Guest was just out of this world! I also enjoyed watching Tom Senior as Gaston and Louis Stockil as Lefou together, but I think they didn’t get enough stage time. But Tom Senior did a fine job with Me, he gave me plenty reasons as to why I don’t want a Gaston in my life, thank you very much!

In retrospect, I already knew that Beauty and the Beast was going to be an amazing show. I just did not expect it to be as amazing as it was. I am really happy that I finally got to see it. It’s a musical that I have always wanted to see and I’m really thrilled that I finally did.

My dear Silvia thanked me for inviting her along to the show; she had only ever watched Beauty and the Beast in Spanish prior to this so this was her first time hearing the music in English. But she absolutely loved it! She said to me as we went home that we’re now going to have to watch all of the versions of Beauty and the Beast together! You don’t hear me complaining about that!

Beauty and the Beast is a fairytale that has been around for over two centuries. This movie has been an aspect of society for over thirty years. It’s certainly a tale as old as time, but it’s a tale that will never grow old for me! If you’re fortunate enough to have this musical arrive at your closest theatre, you should definitely take the time to go and see it. It’s definitely worthwhile!

P.S. I’m finishing off this article with a link to my On This Day video, talking about the first release of Beauty and the Beast in 1991. It’s nothing fancy or anything like that, but I’m happy I did it anyway!

Me, Myself and My Life Online

Anything Articles

After watching the movie Not Okay…I have to admit, I feel a lot better about my status on the world wide web.

Hello. My name is Eidhne. The answer is no. I don’t get stared at in the street. I don’t have a big following on Instagram. I’m not a verified TikTok star. I don’t have a thousand friends on Facebook. I don’t get called out on Twitter. Aside from a few that I actually can consider friends, nobody really gives a damn what I do. And you know something?

I prefer it that way.

We live in a society where everybody is competing to see who can get the most likes on Instagram, and who has the most friends on Facebook. Social media is continuing its quest to consume all of mankind. In my teenage years, I admit, I was the sort of person who was desperate to get some form of attention online. I’d write posts, upload photos, share links, send out multiple friend requests, all in an attempt to get noticed online. Looking back on it, I think I was really desperate for someone – anyone – that I ‘friended’ on Facebook, would reach out and become a real friend.

I’m just after looking on my Facebook page. I don’t post on there anywhere near as much as I used to. At the moment, I’m currently sitting at 599 ‘friends.’ How many of these friends actually interact with what I post online? Only a few. But they are the few that actually do care about me.

Back when I was a teenager, I was desperate to be recognized. I tried everything, acting, singing, performing. I’d post photos online all the time, make status updates every half an hour, but the attention would only last for a short while before it would disappear. Once it went, I would be left wondering what I’d have to do next to get a bit more attention. I’d be staring at my Facebook page, scrolling through the posts, comparing the amount of likes I got to the ones received by others. It was maddening.

I guess, at some point in our lives, we all want to be just a little bit popular.

If I could speak to my sixteen-year-old self, I’d say to her that popularity isn’t everything. The ‘friends’ you have on social media, are not real friends, not really. It is better to focus on real life rather than the next big thing on Facebook. Those who are really your friends, are the ones who actually spend time with you, do things with you. They don’t just interact over a computer screen.

I now know that popularity is not the most important thing in life. The movie Not Okay has enforced that.

The movie looks at Danni Sanders, a magazine photo editor who wants to make it as a writer. She struggles with her job, having no real friends and – worst of all – no followers on Instagram. In order to impress her influencer crush, Colin, she lies about going on a writer’s retreat to Paris. In order to keep up the lie, Danni creates a fake retreat website, and posts edited photos of herself on her Instagram. Her plan unexpectedly goes belly-up when a terrorist attack takes place in Paris and she is mistakenly believed to be a survivor. Finding herself caught up in a lie, Danni gets the fame and attention that she has always craved but she soon comes to learn that notoriety comes at a terrible price.

On a side note, do you know what it took me to get to Paris for my birthday this year? I went through the channels to prove that I had been fully vaccinated, I searched and booked my flights, my accommodation, I bought my own coach tickets and I got myself to all the locations that I wanted to go to. And I documented everything I did with my camera, because I wanted to show that I travelled to Paris, all by my sweet self! I wanted to actually visit the Palace of Versailles, I did not want to just act like I was there by posting edited pictures of myself on my Instagram account. (Not that I would anyway because I’m terrible at Photoshop!)

Me actually visiting Paris for my birthday.

Watching Danni sink deeper and deeper into her lie in Not Okay, made me realise a few things about searching for fame and attention online. It’s all well and good to make up stories about yourself to try and get a bit of attention online but sooner or later, the truth always comes out. Danni learns this the hard way when she is forced to come clean about her lie and she faces online hatred and slander.

Another thing learned from Not Okay, is that fame and being admired by people who don’t really know you, is not as desirable as simply being a good person for those who actually care. Danni learns this after an uncomfortable sexual encounter with her crush Colin at a party. After leaving, she looks on her Instagram and sees her new friend Rowan playing in a softball game with her trauma support group. Seeing this gives Danni a wake-up call about the company that she keeps and she decides to join the softball game. Danni arrives in a dress and heels and is open about bring not good at sports. Despite this, she ends up having a great time and realises that there are good people out in the world.

In life, I would rather have a quiet night with my friends because I know we would have fun. I’d rather not be stuck in a large party with a thousand people who only see me as an online figure. They could look, like and admire but they’d never really want to know me. Danni comes to this conclusion at the end of the movie, as she attends an online shaming support group. She comes to the realisation that she had a much easier life being nobody than being known for her horrific lies. Sometimes, it is better to be unknown than to be hated in the world of social media.

Ten years ago, I thought that all I wanted was to be internet famous. But after watching Not Okay, I feel a lot better about being one of a million online. I would rather be a nobody with real friends than be famous and not have anybody really care about me.

Social media can have its benefits in terms of keeping memories alive. But do not focus on the amount of followers you have on your Instagram account; if you ever find yourself doing that, always ask yourself how many of them you actually interact with once you log out of your account.

Writing Out My Path In Life

Anything Articles

To write is a form of art. Paper is my canvas. A pen is my paintbrush. For me, to write is to express my emotions, tell a story, reach out to others.

I have always wanted to be able to let my writing do the talking. For a long time, I wondered, how could I do that? Where can I start? A couple of months ago, I found the answer.

On a whim, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to apply for a freelancing position for a website called ScreenRant. It’s a website that provides reviews and stories about movies, games and tv shows. I wondered what it would be like to write for them, so I sent in my application and left it at that.

A couple of days later, I received a response. They asked to test my writing skills by having me write out a review for anything on Amazon. Rising up to the challenge, I chose to write about a Kingdom Hearts Playstation Boxset. It was a good combination of two things that I love: Gaming and Disney!

I sent in my review and waited to hear a response. They got back to me saying they’d had to freeze my application but would keep it on record. I thought ‘Fair enough, it’s not the first time.’

In all honesty, I had forgotten about my application until a few weeks later, when I got another email. They said that they would like to offer me the chance to work as a freelance commerce writer for ScreenRant. I was a bit confused until I remembered my application from before.

In my riddled up mind, I wondered, ‘Is this real?’ I had to analyse everything about it, to be sure. But you know what? I decided to grab the bull by the horns and accept the offer.

And I am really glad that I did.

Now, I can say that I am working as a writer. I write articles and reviews for ScreenRant. It feels amazing to be able to write that. I’m proving that I am able to write anything and it feels great.

I am not saying that I have now officially become a well known writer. But what I can say is that I have made a start. And that really means a lot to me.

Removing The Face Mask: Why We Must Stop Hiding Our True Selves

Anything Articles, Society

This is an article that I wrote earlier in the year, explaining about why we must be true to ourselves and not hide our personalities.

We all have our own little routines every morning. Getting up, picking out clothes to wear, checking out how we look in the mirror. We are always looking at ourselves in the mirror, staring at our reflection. But what do we really see?

One night, after having a shower and changing into pajamas, I looked at my own reflection in the mirror. My hair was tied back in a ponytail, my skin was still glistening with moisturizer, my eyes had a hint of mascara leftover from earlier in the day. I stared at my reflection like I was looking at myself for the very first time.

How often do we truly look at ourselves in the mirror? Remove the cosmetics and make-up that we apply to our faces and look at ourselves as natural human beings? Is there even such a thing as a natural human being in today’s society?

Society has its take on the way that people should look. As life has changed and the world has continued to evolve, people feel the pressure to fit into society. Young people, in particular, are constantly examining what they can do with themselves to be popular and accepted. In a way, it’s as if two beings are living inside of us; the outside, the side that is expected by society. And the inside, the one being hidden for fear of rejection.

In the last entry of her diary dated 1st August 1944, Anne Frank wrote about the inner struggles that she faced with herself. She wrote about how she had always felt split in half. She hid her true self on the inside, covering it up with being boisterous and cheeky on the outside – the way others had expected her to be. As she said herself ‘no one knows Anne’s better side’ because she kept it hidden by a mask.

Masks have become common today; we all have to wear them to protect ourselves from the coronavirus. But we’re also wearing another type of mask, protecting our personalities. With these masks, we’re shielding ourselves from the scrutiny and disdain of others, pretending that we’re fine. In the opening scene of the controversial movie Joker, we see Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) sitting in front of a mirror, putting on clown make-up and turning his mouth up in a smile. As he is doing this, a tear rolls down his cheek which symbolizes his inner turmoil. It could be argued that we are all clowns – we use make-up to paint our faces to cover up how we feel on the inside. We feel this pressure to wear these masks to be accepted in society.

It is very easy to be fooled by the mask. It can be so convincing that many times, we do not see what’s hidden underneath until it is too late. It’s especially dangerous for young people – they feel forced to hide their problems, not say anything until eventually, they turn to self-harm and suicide.

In 2018, there were 730 noted suicides in people under the age of 25 in the United Kingdom. Imagine that; 730 suicides in one year. Every person who chooses to end their life is somebody’s child, sibling, grandchild, friend. There are people who love them without the mask, but many find it difficult to see that. They find it difficult because they feel that they cannot love the most important person in their lives – themselves.

Peer pressure and images on social media influence people to change their personalities, hide their true selves to be accepted. Anybody who is considered ‘different’ from how society wants them to be, is labeled as an outcast. That is extremely damaging to any individual.

There is a song called ‘Outside Looking In’ by Jordan Pruitt that perfectly highlights the struggles with acceptance and the pressure to be perfect. Those who are not considered perfect are cast aside by society. There is a moment in the music video where young people are sitting down to have their school photos taken. Their smiles – their masks – hide their inner turmoil.

We all wear masks. Not many of us realize it, but we subconsciously try to cover our true personalities to fit in. We try to blend in, become ‘part of the crowd.’ But are we truly happy with that? As a person who once tried to change herself to be accepted, I can say that you will never find true happiness if you cover your inner self with a mask.

Do not hide your true self. Do not cover yourself up with a mask. If you change yourself to fit into society, you are eventually going to want your own self back sooner or later. It is important that we love ourselves for who we are. Ditch the mask, let your true personality shine out.

Be true, be happy, be you.

Childhood Classics: Should They Be Changed or Left Alone?

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After learning about the intended release of a shocking horror film, I bring my thoughts about childhood classic stories and characters and whether they should be changed or stay the way they were initially created.

I thought I was dreaming or maybe a bit hungover when I woke up at 5am and saw the news. I had dozed off and awoke to find my fairy lights still on, my moon lamp dimming, and my sea projector sending blue waves onto the ceiling. I needed to switch everything off before going back to sleep.

Out of pure habit, I decided to check TikTok, and as I scrolled through the videos, a post from ITV caught my attention. It was talking about an upcoming movie and called it ‘Winnie-the-Pooh, the horror movie.’

Naturally, I was very confused. We all know who Winnie-the-Pooh is; the ‘bear with very little brain’ who lives in the Hundred Acre Wood and adores honey. Now, all of a sudden, he was in a horror movie? I thought it was just a silly joke. Or maybe my mind was a bit fuzzy. But when I looked it up properly, I realized that I was very wrong.

The famous bear with very little brain, Winnie-the-Pooh

As it turned out, there was indeed a horror due for release called Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey. Apparently, the story goes like this: Christopher Robin leaves his childhood friends behind as he grows up and leaves for college, something that we all do in life. But this doesn’t sit well for those he leaves behind. Feeling abandoned, and without food, Pooh and Piglet revert to their animal ways; they become completely feral and unhinged, killing their friends in order to survive. When Christopher Robin does eventually return with his new wife, the unhinged Pooh and Piglet go on a murderous rampage, targeting several college girls who are staying in a rural cabin. (That old cliche is never going to die.)

The promotional poster for the new Winnie-the-Pooh horror movie.

To put it very simply, I was shocked. This is Winnie-the-Pooh – the bear with very little brain who lives in the 100 Acre Wood, plays with Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Eeyore, Owl, Kanga and Roo! His best friend is Christopher Robin and he absolutely adores honey! I think I just outed myself as somebody who loves Winnie-the-Pooh, didn’t I?

It’s just… Winnie-the-Pooh has been a part of my life ever since I was a baby. When I was very little, my bedroom had Winnie-the-Pooh wall stickers on the wall. I had an electronic Winnie-the-Pooh bear that came with its own honey pot that he would ‘eat’ from. I had the Pooh’s Friendly Places and Honeypot playsets as toys; they were my favorite things to play with. One of my favorite Disney movies is Pooh’s Grand Adventures – The Search for Christopher Robin. In my favorite video game series Kingdom Hearts, one of the worlds that you could visit was the 100 Acre Wood where you could interact with all of the different characters. So… yes, I certainly love Winnie-the-Pooh and I am currently finding it very hard to see him reimagined as a feral bloody horror killer.

I’ve looked at a few times where classics were reimagined by authors and creators. There have been several parodies and mock-ups of different stories released over the last few years. There was a time when I visited the Chapters bookstore in Dublin, to enjoy the chance of buying books at a low price. Well, that time I was browsing the shelves and found a variety of classic parodies.

A sample of ‘reimagined’ classics on sale.

I saw these books for sale and I was disgusted.


It wasn’t just the style of the covers that horrified me, it was the fact that all of the stories had been modified and made more sexual. Basically, classics such as Jane Eyre and The Great Gatsby had been turned into porn.

Many authors were trying to cash in on what I consider the black mark in the world of literacy, that God-awful Fifty Shades series. The ‘love story’ of a controlling stalker and a co-dependent gold digger inspired a lot of authors to write their own little stories that were similar in taste. That aspect, I can understand, but did they have to touch classic stories like these?


Authors such as Charlotte Bronte and Oscar Wilde are long since gone, so technically, nothing can be done to prevent people re-writing their stories. I can understand in a way; sometimes, I see a story that there are elements that I don’t like and I feel I could change them. But… I feel there is a limit. I wouldn’t go so far as to change the main character into a bloody killer or shape the story to revolve around sex. That’s taking a little too far, for me anyway.

The problem is that stories such as Winnie-the-Pooh now reside in the public domain, they’re no longer protected by copyright law. In the United States, copyright law is usually limited to the life of the creator, plus 70 years after their death. Or in more simple terms, copyright of created content expires 70 years after the creator’s death. And since A.A. Milne has been dead since 1956…. you get the idea.

Now that the copyright law has expired on Winnie-the-Pooh, the public can do whatever they want with the character. But I refuse to see Winnie-the-Pooh as anything other than the bear-with-very-little-brain. This is one horror movie that I will definitely not be watching!

Post Traumatic Stress, Anxiety and Being My Own Worst Enemy

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These last couple of weeks have been a time of stress, worry, self-hate, and anger. Sometimes, in life, there are things that happen that knock you down a couple of pegs, but you have to find the strength to pick yourself up and force yourself to get through the tough things. I had my first experience of post-traumatic stress, faced a final college assignment that really affected me and I had to once again, deal with my worst personal trait.

I was looking forward to getting the last hurdle of my Master’s degree finally finished. The last hurdle? A presentation defending my chosen topic and how I went about researching the dissertation. You would think that 80 pages and nearly 25,000 words of research would be enough but…. clearly not. I really did not want to do this presentation but we had no other choice. So, I had to spend one more week studying all of the work that I did for my dissertation, putting it all together into a presentation and explaining the topic that I’d studied. My presentation took place on the 9th of September and I was determined to make it the best.

A friend and I planned to work on our presentations together the week before. We arranged to meet at the Queen of Tarts cafe, somewhere I’d never been to before, but I’m always willing to try new places.

It wasn’t until I arrived that I realised that the cafe was located bang next door to a restaurant called the Piglet Wine Bar. I was horrified. This was the place where I had experience the worst allergic reaction of my entire life. It was the place where I honestly thought that I was going to die.

My hands started to shake. My breath was catching in my throat. A voice in my head was saying ‘Oh no, no, no.’ I felt worse when I entered the cafe. Its interior was exactly like the restaurant from that night, right down to the upstairs seating area.

Looking up the stairs, my mind kept thinking back to that night. I can remember stumbling to the bathroom, gasping for breath, barely able to stand. I remember looking at my reflection in the mirror and not recognising myself. My face was white, my eyes were bloodshot…I didn’t look like myself.

I looked like a monster.

I had to force myself to calm down, to bring myself back to the present. I told myself that I was being stupid, that I was overreacting. I sent a message to Mum, telling her about what happened, saying I was being silly. I expected her to agree but she actually said that what I’d experience was perfectly understandable.

I’d had my first experience with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I had just relived the worst moment of my life. I couldn’t believe it but looking back on it, it makes sense. Until that day, I hadn’t properly gone back to that area since the night of my severe reaction. I figured I was okay, I’d gotten over it. It had been nearly three years.

But clearly, I was mistaken. It took going back to that place for me to properly understand what happened to me. I think if the pandemic hadn’t have happen, I could have gotten over it sooner. Having said that, (and this is going to sound crazy) I am relieved to have experienced this now. Mum asked me if I would go back to the cafe again and I said yes. I cannot let this one bad experience put me off returning to that area. I’ve gone through the worst, all I can do now is move on with my life.


My friend and I were able to finish our presentations and on Friday 9th September, I travelled to the college campus to give my presentation. I had forced myself to practice relentlessly the night before. I didn’t want to stumble or make a fool of myself, I wanted to be clear and concise with what I had to say about the work that I’d done.

I arrived in good time and managed to get a last practice thrown in before I was called into the room where the presentation took place. There were two supervisors, one physical and one virtual via Zoom. I set my gear up and began my presentation. I managed to get through my presentation smoothly enough; I explained my chosen topic, how I went about my research, the films I had studied and the final conclusions that I reached. I thought that I had explained everything to the best of my ability.

Let’s just say that when it came to feedback… things took a bad turn.

Actually no, I wouldn’t call it a bad turn. I mean, I knew that my dissertation had been quite complex, I knew it was flawed, it wasn’t perfect. I didn’t want it to be perfect, I just wanted to show that I worked on it to the very best of my ability and I could create a good dissertation. It’s just, the feedback that the two supervisors gave me, convinced me otherwise. They liked how I presented my dissertation, it was clear that I had done a lot of research but they felt that my dissertation rambled a little bit, didn’t quite reach a proper conclusion, and could have been laid out better.

Looking back on it now, the criticism that I received that day, was fair. I knew deep down that I hadn’t done a dissertation that was completely perfect. But the criticism I got really made me feel that I had failed. It made me feel that I hadn’t done enough to pass. Maybe, the dissertation I had submitted, wasn’t good enough. I felt awful, I felt low, I felt like a failure.

I left the college campus, tears streaming down my face. I was bubbling up inside with sadness, and anger. Mainly towards myself. All I could hear in my head was ‘You stupid idiot. You should have done better. Now you’re going to fail and you should not have failed. How could you be so stupid? Stupid, stupid, stupid.’ That’s all I could hear.

I had to call my mother and explain what happened. By that point, all I wanted to do was forget, so her constant questioning and forcing me to go back over and over the presentation session did nothing to help me. I was upset and angry enough with myself as it was, I didn’t want Mum forcing me to drive the knife in deeper. I know she meant well, but I was an emotional wreck at that point.

Let me be honest and say that my worst critic is me. I am the sort of person who only really sees the worst in me. I am ambitious, but sometimes admittedly, I can be too ambitious for my own good. When I get a result that means, I have passed a module, I can’t help but think, ‘I could have done better.’ I am very very hard on myself and it is something that I know I need to work on.

I had to use these last couple of weekends to recuperate and find where my head is at. I needed to find myself, to go to that old cliche. Through it all, I was able to find support in my housemate Silvia and my fellow college friend, Adina Sarah. They listened to me and comforted me when I brought myself to tears and looked after me. I really appreciate all that they did for me. I’m so grateful to them.

Dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress, Anxiety and self-hatred, was certainly a lot to deal with, but I can say that I’m feeling better now after taking some time to recover. As to what happens with my dissertation, all I can do now is wait for my results. I’m really hoping that I’ve done enough to pass, but there’s nothing I can do now except wait and see what happens.

The worst thing that could happen is I could have to repeat the whole thing, but hopefully it won’t come to that!

Open Up Opinions – The Highs, The Lows and The Unexpectedness of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest

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I remember where I was two years ago when two hosts in Tel Aviv, Israel announced that the Netherlands had won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. Myself and my sister were on the edge of our seats, tense, and practically screaming at the television, yelling at the hosts to ‘Just get on with it!’ In my family, there is no such thing as patience! Poor Murphy was scared of us, huddling on a chair! Still, we had nothing but high praise for Duncan Laurence and swooned over his beautiful ‘Arcade’ song. I had high hopes for the contest in 2020.

Or at least I did, until a certain event happened in 2020, called the coronavirus. I was gutted when it was announced that Eurovision was cancelled. The reasons were perfectly understandable but having been looking forward to see if Ireland would get through to the finals (we have had a very poor history of being eliminated in the semis in recent years) I was just so disappointed. 2020 was not a good year, that is for sure!

So when 2021 rolled around and it was announced that the contest would go ahead this year, everyone was thrilled. Personally I felt that Ireland had a decent chance with Lesley Roy and ‘Maps’. I’m not saying that we were going to win, but at least to get through to the finals would be great.

Semi Final 1 came around and Ireland was taking part that night. I watched Lesley Roy perform and… I was very underwhelmed. It was interesting in that she wanted to do something different but she just didn’t captivate the audience. She did the best that she could but it wasn’t strong enough for the final. When the Ukraine performed their amazing performance near the end of that night, I knew it was over for Ireland.

By the time that Semi Final 2 had completed, myself and my friends agreed that it would be a choice between Malta and Iceland. Malta’s Destiny blew us all away with her amazing performance and her beautiful voice – and she’s only 18! Of course, she had one thing that nobody else had – decent experience. Her experience comes from her win in Junior Eurovision in 2015, and being a backing vocalist for Michaela in 2019. Iceland….well, Iceland were favourites to win and had been since they were first introduced to us fans last year. When you Think About Things (pardon the pun), they were unique, captivating and had a solid fanbase.

At last, the final arrived and it was time to see who would be crowned the winner of 2021. The competition opened with a strong performance from Cyprus, marking the beginning of the whole show opening up again.

The slogan for 2021’s contest was ‘Open Up.’ After a year and a half with the entire world closed up and isolated with the pandemic taking over everybody’s lives. To have the Eurovision Song Contest held with a live audience meant a lot to everybody. The world is nowhere near back to normal, but the contest gave us a break from worrying about face masks and sanitizers and allowed us to just focus on the music.

Well mostly anyways. Panic rose when it was announced that two members of Daði og Gagnamagnið (Iceland’s unique entry) tested positive for the virus. There was fear that they would have to pull out of the competition, but it was some relief that they could perform albeit pre-recorded. And I felt really sorry for Duncan Laurence who was due to perform in the final only to be halted due to a positive test. Every winner is supposed to get a chance to relive that moment on stage, and sadly for him, the coronavirus prevented that.

There were highs, and there were lows throughout the entire show (I did not intend for that to rhyme). My friends and I had our agreements and disagreements over which acts were great and which ones were not. I remember there were mixed statements about Bulgaria’s entry where Victoria sung a tribute to her father who had been diagnosed with Motor-Neurone Disease, and nobody could understand why I wasn’t a fan Belgium’s song. There were agreements that France was brilliant and Russia was different but in a very good way, while there were disagreements about Norway’s Tix and his Fallen Angels as well as Moldova’s sexy act (I think everyone had gotten used to Moldova releasing goofy but great acts). We all had our opinions about each and every act and we all had our own predictions.

I will say one highlight that everyone loved was when Iceland were called to give their votes. The representative for Iceland, Hannes Óli Ágústsson (an actor from the controversial Fire Saga movie from last year) greeted the hosts, said it was a great song but then said ‘I personally would like you to play JaJa Ding Dong!’ Literally, I shrieked with laughter, everyone was thrilled to hear that – along with ’12 Points to Jaja Ding Dong!’ Fantastic! He looked so sad when he had to give the 12 points to Finland!

Nobody could have predicted what would happen at the public vote. With the new point system, it was less likely that a country would end up with nothing at the end of the night. Well! Nobody expected for the UK to end up with a big fat ZERO. No points from the jury, none from the public, they got ‘nul point.’ This is not the first time the UK ended up with nothing – some will remember the disaster that was Jemini in 2003. There is a lot in relation to Brexit that no doubt contributed to this result; but I have to give James Newman credit, he took the result with a smile and even opened the bottle of champagne he had!

Unbelievably, the United Kingdom was not the only act to receive no points from the public. Not one, not two, not three, but FOUR countries ended up getting zero from the public. Germany, Spain and the Netherlands could only watch as the hosts announced they got nothing publicwise. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for them, particularly Germany’s Jendrik; he certainly needs praise for keeping positive about his final score of just 3 points – a far cry from 2018, when Michael Schulte’s heartbreaking performance won them 370 and fourth place in the competition. I remember one friend, Kate saying ‘Who is on this jury?’ There was no answer to that unfortunately!

As more countries received their points, we began to tense as they came to our favourites. When it reached Malta, we all braced ourselves…only to be shocked when Malta finished in seventh place. I was gutted for Destiny but she took it like a trooper which was very impressive. France ended up with 499 points finishing in second place, their best result in 30 years! (Not counting the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year, when young Valentina sung ‘J’imagine’ to victory.) Iceland ended up in a very respectable fourth place with 378 points…..

….but it was Italy who ended up at the top of the scoreboard, which a grand total of 524 points! Rock group, Måneskin stole the show, becoming the first rock group to win the contest since Finland’s Lordi in 2006. They put their all into their performance, with their song ‘Zitti e buoni’ described as “undeniable rock stomper with a hint of Franz Ferdinand in its slick guitar riffs” by NME. I’ll never forget the look on their faces when it was announced that they had won. Drummer Ethan Torchio was absolutely gobsmacked – I don’t think it fully sunk in for any of them at the time!

As unexpected as the result was, everyone was really pleased with the winner of this year’s contest. Måneskin certainly deserved their victory and we cannot wait to see where their careers takes off next. This was certainly an enjoyable contest to watch and it was really great to have Eurovision back after everything that happened last year.

So next year, we’ll be taking the contest over to the land of Michelangelo, da Vinci and Carlo Collodi. It hasn’t been determined which city will host yet, but they have plenty of great choices I will say that. And there is one other thing I will say that I know everyone will agree with me on…

Ireland will need to pull out all the big guns if we are to have any chance of getting through to the finals, let alone winning next year!