One of the great problems of being an atrocious human being is that you kind of need to change your persona in order to not suck. As such, I tend to idolise people regularly, and have taken inspiration from loads of people in my time…

Obviously, my Dad was a hero. He worked a lot, but I lived with my mum and 2 half sisters for years, my only grandparent was a Gran, I had reams of female cousins and 2/4 of my best friends were girls. And when you’re a kid, all women are harpies. This is just fact, nobody disputes it, on a boy’s 12th birthday, his mind is reset and he’s no longer secretly suspicious of vaginas, and suddenly you have twice as many friends in the world and life becomes really easy, right? But until then, women are harlots, and it’s bros before hoes, and Dad was basically the only guy who had my back. 2 of my closest friends, George and Liam, were boys, but I couldn’t trust them. They lived with their mums and sisters! They were too far gone. Dad just existed forever, and other than looking increasingly less like John Lennon as he ages, he is eternal and unchanging. He was wise beyond my years, to this day I basically haven’t left little boy mode of always going to him with a dilemma. He taught me how to read people, he taught me one of the most important life hacks I know (which I can’t reveal on here), and most importantly, he’s proven that you can actually be cool with a neckbeard, so if I can’t be bothered to shave for a month as with now, there may be hope for me anyways. He has also, of course, been constantly there (emotionally, as he is a taxi driver, he is phyiscally always absent).

And then of course there’s the growing up nonsense. As great as Dad was, being a taxi driver was hardly practical. I progressed through various learning institutions, and of course an asylum is a great place to meet the most mental and bizzarre people you’ve ever met. And there among them stood their leader, the balding hatter himself. Philius Nicholls. Anyone who was taught by him will still be able to recite his classroom’s specific anthem, a warbling chant delivered at rapid fire speed to bamboozle us into watching and listening to his every move. It seemed like he was singing, but he was tricking us into being educated! I had little interest in the British Takeover but I was so well versed in facts about it back then, and it’s all because of Philius, with his hair styled to match his idol Beethoven (and it was out of fashion then) and his ancient Greek name. He even led the school choir with military precision, which I was shamefully in. I remember the first time he took us on stage. We goose-stepped out there and delivered an operatic version of ‘Somewhere Only we Know’ by Keane, which went down… well, I still sometimes get teased for it. But here’s my point; I realised at this point that some of the most influential people in our lives are the ones that stand out, and so of course there’s nothing wrong with being star-craving mad, so long as you’re going somewhere with it. He made madness an art which I loved, and yet, managed to keep that musical mysteria separate from his maths teaching, which was coldly precise. In terms of just crunching numbers, I still haven’t seen anyone quicker. On top of this, he’s also a classically trained pianist, furthering my theory that he’s either related to or has also taught Lady Gaga. And then there are my current teachers, Mr Witney and Mr Pelley, who teach me philosophy and ethics respectively. In stark contrast to Mr Nicholls, they taught me that you don’t NEED to be mad to work here, only that it helps. Which I’ve since lost the rights to as a phrase. They’re both very down to Earth people, very funny, very amusing, very helpful in any aspect of life I’ve ever approached them with and have pretty good tastes in comedy, while just happening to be teaching me. They make no effort to be out of this world unless ironically, and I love the total relaxation and contentment they seem to have for themselves.

I have of course, saved probably the most important for last. I’ve omitted many I’d like to speak about, such as existential serial killer Sylar from ‘Heroes’, or my primary school teachers who put me on a decent foundation or the Tillington Hobo. But ultimately, the person who’s inspired me more than anyone is a sexually ambiguous canadian writer who can make you laugh, cry, cry laughing and laugh crying, and then feel a sick sense of primal guilt for all 4 within 3 frames. This man is Joey Comeau. I refer to how I first knew him, through (doesn’t have nearly a big enough fanbase). I have since gone on to read his short stories, his writing for ‘Overqualified’, 4 genuinely meaningful interviews he conducted and have read ‘Lockpick Pornography’, a novella of his. Somewhen in the summer, I will commit myself to reading ‘One Bloody thing after Another’ because it will thrill me. That’s the plugging done. What Joey does fantastically is take individual insecurities that we never tell anyone about (you all have one), and analyse them from a viewpoint you’d not normally see (e.g an outsiders one, as you never tell people these sorts of things) and then lets you all see them as well. Another reviewer described Joey as building up lovely and charming characters just in time to make you watch him do horrible unspeakable things to them, which is also true and intriguing. His writing has helped me through many a bad episode, has changed my outlook on a huge number of things and it wouldn’t be an overreaction to say I would be a hugely different person without him. He’s what started me writing not just to communicate but for meaning, as I thought it’d be a good life goal to try, through my life, to write something about a third as well as he writes not just his stories and comics, but also his life. He also sells one of my favourite shirts ever, “Many problems, one solution: BLOW UP THE MOON”

Loads of people can inspire you in different ways, and to be blunt, if you’re not finding one small shimmer of inspiration a day, it’s because either you’re not doing enough, or you’re too ego-centric to realise you can do better. Having said that, for God sake don’t dwell on it or you’ll realise quickly that unless you’re Usain Bolt (in which case, why am I bothering to address anyone else?), you’re probably not the best at what you do. The only person you’re ever really competing with is yourself, everyone else is just background noise. Inspiration’s a wonderful thing, but I try not to lose sight of doing things my way, because at the end of the day, it won’t be a mature Canadian’s voice in my ears, it’ll be mine. And my audience, as with anyone else’s, is very hard to impress.

If you are Rhys, this is God.

Wednesday: People who influence me

Right, after reading both Lily and Jas’ posts on this theme, I’ve decided that I’m no way near as… deep as them. I don’t have many influences, only really people I know.

Firstly there’s obviously my family; Mum, Dad, Kirstie, Gareth, Verity, Vic etc. They’re all awesome, I can’t say how they influence me to be honest… it’s too obvious! In good ways and bad I suppose. For example, Kirstie, though she hasn’t lived with me since I was 3 influences me because my Mum always compares me to her (through no fault of her own). I’m job-hunting currently, and I was having a mini-crisis at school so Mum’s come out with crackers such as “Kirstie has done really well”, “Kirstie went to Uni”, and the ever-effective “Kirstie got her first job at 14, what’s your excuse”. So yeah, that’s a big influence. Gareth’s a massive influence, especially on my taste in music. I remember before I started taking notice of the music Gareth was listening to I listened to Kelis, Usher, all kinds of shit, and then suddenly due to Gareth I was into Sum 41, Good Charlotte, Taking Back Sunday etc, which has lead to what I like now. So a big thanks to him for saving me from liking JLS etc… *shudder*

Another influence is surprisingly my art teacher! Mrs Sutton is hard to please and critical, and that’s exactly what I need with my work, so she pushes me to work harder… usually. Last year I was an absolute shit, but partly cuz of her next year I’ll work harder cuz she knows I can! She also listens to all my ideas and helps with them… ahh I’m rambling, I’m actually very tired 😦 and aware that this entire paragraph makes it sound like I have a massive lesbian crush on Mrs Sutton, which is definitely not the case, so here’s some girly guy talk – OMG DAVID TENNANT IS SO GORGEOUS EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM OMFG HIS HAIR HIS EYES HIS ENTIRE SKINNY LITTLE CUTEY FRAME IS JUST FULL OF GORGEOUSNESS *explode*

Ahh that was weird, lets wrap this up dudes.

Finally and probably most obviously, there are my cohorts. Friends. I have 4 best friends: Jas, Lily, Rhys and a mysterious being known as Hannah. Hannah lives in monkey puzzle trees and survives on slush puppies and subway foot-longs. Anyway, I need to stop writing like a douche. I’ve been friends with Jas since I was 3 at nursery school, and since then we’ve been through being members of a “Bad Girls Club”… yeah I’m not explaining that, strife in the Intermediate school due to a bitch named Bethan 😦 and finally growing up and loving Doctor Who and boys, so she is my sister from another mister, ya get me. Now lets gush about Lily. Lily has like the same sense of humour as me, and she pulls excellent faces and likes to dye her hair which is always nice. (Really I’m only friends with her because 2 hot brothers live over the road from her… ;D) but yeah. We became friends when I started stalking her in Year 9, then offended her liking for James Morrison, both things set the tone for our relationship really, we’re still like that. I follow her without her knowing then take the piss out of her… but I love her lots really. Now Rhysiepoo, who adopted me as his daughter at the beginning of 6th Form. We were in the same Graphics class in Year 11, but obviously I didn’t tap into his awesome (innuendo much?) so I didn’t really talk to him, but now I do! We have a shared love for all things camp, because camp people are hilarious. We share the love, he is my father. Now the elusive Hannah. We’ve been besties since Year 6, and she was in a wheelchair cuz she had poorly feet 😦 but we’re still buddies now! In fact she’s my brother’s girlfriend, as of 4 months ago (kudos to me for introducing them XD) but she’s kind of like an older sister/mum, which is weird cuz I’m 3 months older than her, but she’s always there to talk through my problems with and vice versa, so I love her 🙂

Enough of this love crap, I’ll say it this last time: I love everyone listed. Except Mrs Sutton, that’d be awkward.


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Tuesday: People Who Inspire Me

There are many people who have had a big impact on me and who have made me look at my life in a different way.

J K Rowling transformed her life by having a single creative idea and putting her life into making it a success. So, it is quite obvious why she inspires me, and I think this is the way to go about things. Why let good things die because you don’t have the nerve to pursue it or don’t have the confidence in yourself to make it a success?? J K has proved that alls you need is yourself and what you love to do.

A group of people which inspire me is all my coaches in singing, dance and acting, especially Michael Woudstra who has always had faith in me. Without these coaches I think I would have given up on any kind of acting or performing years ago. They inspire me not only with their talent and skills but also with their patience, determination and belief in making anything possible.

Recently, (why only recently I have no idea) I have also realised how much I depend on people around me, and how much people are different. When you meet someone who is genuine, kind and fun you know you have met someone very special, and all these people help to make me who I am, and show me who I want to be. I love all my friends to pieces and have learnt to cut out mean people who are not worth it. I love you all 🙂

Others who inspire me:

Kerry Ellis, Alex Kingston, Ellen Page, Sandra Bullock, Steven Moffat

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Monday: People who inspire me

Time to get started.

This week’s theme is ‘People who inspire me’. When this was suggested, I thought about it and realised there are a hell of a lot of people who inspire me. Friends, family, celebrities..

The first people who spring to mind in the celebrities category are the members of my favourite bands. Music as a whole inspires me, takes me to places I’ve never been, understood the emotions I go through, anger, sadness, elation, you name it. Someone whose lyrics really speak to me is Jesse Lacey, the lead singer of Brand New. He seems incredibly quiet and introverted, and yet he can come out with these amazing things that can just transport you. The fact that he can do what he loves and still keep his personal life private is an amazing thing. Brian Molko, of Placebo, is just so fucking crazy and writes lyrics that challenge people, and says what he thinks, all of which has encouraged me to speak my mind and not give a shit about what people think about me.

Another celebrity, although not a singer, is actress Ellen Page. I absolutely adore her movies and her attitude, she’s not like all the other young actresses of the moment. As acting is what I want to do as a career, she really inspires me and shows that you don’t have to play stupid, hackneyed, blonde roles to get into the acting business. “There are a lot of really intelligent teenage girls and boys who are unique and don’t just listen to and dress like Britney Spears, and who don’t just want to fuck the hot guy.” – as she said in an interview. A-fucking-men.

Finally, how could I not mention my awesome friends and family?! My mama and papa, who encourage me to be invidual and weird, to not follow the crowd. Brother Will, who looks after me, takes me places, makes me laugh. Jas – who is always there for me, who I can giggle with, the one who took me to drama club and brought out the drama queen in me. Elli – so many years of taking the piss out of each other, killing ourselves laughing at the littlest things, who I can always rely on. And so many others who just make me laugh and look after me when I’m upset and send me sweet texts and give me hugs when I need it most.. 🙂

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