About Me

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I am a performer and author and a trained mindfulness practitioner + imagination agent.

Friday, 20 December 2019

How to Find a Direction in Life

To finish this edition of my life I would like to offer an idea of all the parts that make up one whole of my brain and, to make that construction even more surreal, my imagination.

Here, in the style  of The Rocky Horror Show, is my story.

Since the day I was born, I've been trouble...

Well, not really trouble, more of thinker, which in most Western worlds is considered to be trouble. I often reach the conclusion that most organisations don't want you to think, just do. Like Nike constantly remind us - JUST DO IT - which is also what many managers say when you question something utterly fuck-worthy. 

But you get a big fat tick on the side of your shoe or in the middle of your chest, so hey.

Woah - woah - woah

endless movies and fast times (not at Ridgemont High but I did live on a road called Ridgeway, which is close); drinking in the culture of Cherry Coca Cola and Mars, hey...Star Wars and Indy, woah yeah.





Plastic figurines for friends, my parents did not question. Playing in the woods all day pretending to be anything other than a 12 year old kid was all we needed in life.

And then...

I grew. Like Alice in the Wonderland, I grew and started to shave and then liked films like Die Hard and then Clint Eastwood and then...oh my god...Prince and horror and sex... (probably in that order)

aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh!

Life. Never stopped me thinking though. And with thinking comes imagination and with imagination comes dreams and all those dreams always went back to the stories, the culture, the influence of those halcyon Cherry Coke days of Temple of Doom or Gremlins. That's the key.


Don't stop...believin'....
Hold on to that feelin'...

With great power, comes great responsibility. With parenting too. Did you ever see The Money Pit? Who did, not many. I did, it was great and I also saw Top Secret and Police Squad. Thanks to the Video Inn, a haven for 80's kids.

So then when you have children you almost regress as you enter the world of current pop-culture and some of it works, and then some of it really doesn't. Which reminds you of the things that worked for you when you were that age and the bottom line to life i have discovered is that you never, ever grow up.

Unless you want to. But all those people are grey and talk about spreadsheets...all of the time. I mean all of the time, like, they actually like fucking spreadsheets (maybe literally).

We choose our destiny, just like George McFly does with the help of his son who has a mother who has the hots for him. Mmmm, questionable ethics of Back to the Future. 




And then you reach a point where you are at a crossroads, do you head down Coronation Street or across to the Eastenders? No! You choose your path and the tools you need to take you to your dreams. 

So never stop thinking. I couldn't, and as I said, that leads to imaginations. Yet it also leads to nightmares and demons and monsters and detachment and you can, if you are not careful, head down a dark road where the trees are made of burnt oak and the pavement is covered in black treacle. It's a long way back, but worth it. You're like Darth Vader repenting for his darkness in Return of the Jedi (forget the others, please). 




You are back! The Hero is Back! The one person you think you can be you can be and you know you can be so just be...right?

If only it were that simple. As Shakespeare once wrote, 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players'. We have in our lives wonderful people coming in and out, making entrances and exits. Ultimately though, your story is about you and you alone. 

So, my parting message for you is this, remember, you are the hero; you are the only one who can make a difference. Love yourself first, and then you can share so much more.






Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Go Punk and Die Trying For A Friend

Anarchy is the name of the game and I want to play that game with you...

All right me loves? Yes, you can take your lead from the great entertainer who was Bruce Forsyth and lead a life where you beat The Generation Game, and if you Play Your Cards Right, you might Strictly Come Dancing all the way to success if The Price is Right.

In short, find a mentor, whoever that might be and learn learn learn. That, I think, is the secret to life and success. LEARN.



Time to change. Change is essential for success. Now is the time to move on to phase 2, like Marvel, life is in phases. You must learn and grow and move. Perhaps being forty *cough cough* something I should be on more phases, and you younger readers may (if I have any that is) already be on phase 3. Anyway, I am officially now on phase 2 of achieving my goals, and the first part of that phase will hit theatres (?) in 2020. Maybe I'm taking this Marvel approach too seriously.

Forty-something in "human" years actually equates to twenty-something in "universe acknowledgement and belief in the power" years.

I am a storyteller, writer, poet and performer. Shows across the south east are coming to you - I am calling them workshop/shows. 

AAArgh! It's out there!

My curious alter-ego Hary is going to be a stand up. Hey, you wanna book me for a 3 minute slot of surreal nonsense?

Do it now!

"Aaargh! Stop it!" Cries my ego as it tries to drag me back into my cave of fear.

You got to be brave and bold, like Batman (the brave and the bold is an animated Batman movie). Sick of superheroes? Then be your own.



JoJo Rabbit is currently sitting at $16m in the US box office and is released widely in January.
It tells the story of a young Nazi Youth child who meets a Jew and who has an invisible friend in the guise of one Adolf H. It may not sound much on paper, but this unique film comes from the wondrous imagination of Taika Waititi, who gave us the surreal and charming Thor: Ragnarok.



The benefits of having an invisible friend

Do we ever lose that friend? It is our mirror, into our soul. Our beautiful and lovely person who some miserable old farts would consider the child in all of us is our friend. Remember that person from a time ago who wanted to become an astronaut, or poet, or movie director? That's still you, it's just that grown-up you took over and became this boring git sitting in an office waiting for the clock to hit 5.

Or you became an astronaut and everything is excellent...you don't need an invisible friend.

So I would say that having an invisible friend is hugely beneficial for your dreams, aspirations and achieving your goals, and through entertaining your invisible friend via your imagination you are gaining a great deal of insight and help through YOU. You and your alter-personalities have drunk in a wonderful ocean of information over the years, and it all has to be stored somewhere, so go ahead and tap into that source of energy within you. You are a Google search in physical form.



Spiked Imagination 3 preview


Yes folks, here is the cover of my new and latest Spiked Imagination Series book, available to buy at Amazon from 20th December 2019, it will be just 99p on Kindle, which is a grand old price reminding me of buying a Flake ice-cream back in the day. They are still called 99's, but I would reckon would cost over two quid now!



Now, finally, this is my penultimate blog before 2020 and every year I reckon it's time for a refresh. So, I shall be changing the address and content for the new year. Please continue to read my twice monthly updates as I explore my journey into workshops, shows, writing and sharing ideas. 

Thank you all for your time. 

Friday, 22 November 2019

Reasons to Leave That Thought Behind



Time: 8.28 - Place: Maidstone - Thoughts: Anger---

Why?

Here's the reason - I was sitting in my car making my daily commute to work at the same time as yesterday and a consideration flooded over me at how selfish people are while driving. You find yourself continuously blocked or honked or cut-up or ass-kissed. People seem to be angry and self-centred and do not allow any sympathy for fellow human beings.

Then I stopped thinking that and instead I turned it around. I came to a conclusion based on fog.

I was sitting in the car at the same time I have been doing every day, every week, every month, for the last six years...so perhaps had all these other people. The day consists, in basic terms, of waking, eating, sitting in a car, sitting at a desk, sitting in a car, sitting at the television, sleeping. That's it...THAT'S LIFE!

So what if instead of everyone being selfish, we are all instead in a fog of nothing?

We repeat the same patterns day in, day out, and for most I can't imagine the work life being particularly taxing and uplifting. The same dreary drudge to and from and to, mental fog descends and before you know it your mind has not left the bed, only your body.

The Walking Dead are walking the Earth.

The Walking Dead Seasons are here

Now this is a thought that has been considered by many years, and I saw it this morning as Iat in the same traffic, seeing the same people with the same looks on their faces. I saw school kids walking the same path and wondered if they have considered that they will too be sitting in this traffic following the same path. The thing is, you can move and change jobs, but the situation remains.

Look at Dawn of the Dead, the film by George Romero. The zombies are shoppers walking aimlessly around a shopping mall. It is a sight you see every weekend. We are brainwashed from school to think that this is the acceptable journey we should be going on in order to feed the system.



Here lies Dawn of the Dead - the original one

I don't want that.


I want poetry and music and laughter and life. You too can change the patterns, the first thing that you need to do is notice the patterns you are falling in.
Get some excitement, get some change and gather it all from a place of love. It is no good getting angry about your situation or life, you can achieve greater success when you come at your life from a place of love. Start by loving and believing in YOU and then charge forward from there. Help others; make people smile.

The mantra I was taught at school and that followed through into my professional life was this:

YOU DON'T GET ANYWHERE BY BEING NICE.

To which I calmly reply: BULLSHIT.

You get to a very lonely place through being a shit and no amount of money is going to change that.

If you want music, poetry, excitement, love, dancing, action, daring and fun, then you have to start producing it in your life. You are the one who can make change and try to escape that commuted fog. That doesn't mean you have to change jobs or anything if you don't want to, just change your mindset.

My anger this morning at peoples selfishness quickly subsided when I considered how we are all following the same daily path and we slip into a mental fog. I started to feel a  little sorry for these people. It may be that at work or home they are the life and soul of the place, but in that moment, with the radio playing the same track and the other drivers following a similar path, your mind falls and slips into a place of solace. Flip it out.

Mindfulness - A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World

Peace is the answer to all of our ills, peace and love and harmony. Mindfulness is a way of hearing yourself and ultimately others. Our top businesses are already harnessing the power of mindfulness, and in future blogs I will be moving along those lines as I use my studies to pass on to others the benefits and power to being at one with you. Our angry days could be over, the human race can actually achieve success through love. We just need to believe in that more.

Zac Thraves is a writer and performer living in Kent, UK. 

Friday, 8 November 2019

Ten Ways to Infuriate the Masses



I live in England, which, along with Scotland and Wales, is a small island just off the coast of Europe. I'm not entirely sure if anyone is aware but there are many people in England (known as English) who don't like being connected to other cultures, brands, colours, gimmicks, countries, lands, continents or people. 

Please be sure that I am not one of those people.

Maidstone - Kent - Eng  - I have seen a rise in popular thought, and that is people finishing your sentences. What is going on here? I mean how do they know what it is you are trying to or going to say? Here's a trick you can use when face to face with one those quite weird people, tangents. Find a word that does not easily follow the previous word and let the sentence flow from there.  For instance: today I went into town and it was so...
busy (expected)
or,
full of flying fish landing outside M and S.

See what happened? That person would be rendered utterly useless and then would have to listen to every damn word you are going to say. That would make your sentences dangerous.

I believe in the power of poetry; of words and song and lyrics to excite. But you can't just write any old thing, that leads to the dark side. Instead you must remember that you are your brand - think Brian blessed,  Nicolas Cage or Daniel O'Donnell. In short, you become what is expected of you.  You are you and must believe in you to be you and then create the best you.  Your clothes are you; your hair is you; your make-up is you; your words are you; what you put out there is you.

Let's say you want to make an impression in a job interview. Well, first of all you could actually do impressions of famous people, you would instantly stand out. Or you could walk in wearing nothing but a plastic bag for a shirt. Perhaps you would like to entertain the idea that you are qualified, then exaggerate the qualifications a hundred-fold and get that confidence sky high. (Quite why anyone would think they are qualified for anything is questionable, just look at the people in power)

What I am trying and failing to say is YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AS YOU ARE; DON'T PRETEND TO BE SOMETHING ELSE.

I hate those critics who say about artists or sportspeople, oh, he's the new Pele, or she's the new Doris Day, or this band are the new Beatles. NO! They are themselves, not anybody else. I know lots of people who like new things as well as going back to older things. It's not a problem. Plenty of room for new people, come on in.

Poetry and Video games are not a mix you would expect to see; like eggs and Marmite I suppose. But wouldn't it be wonderful to see a character in a game spouting some words that hint at poetry? Just imagine teenage boys delighting at Lara Croft stopping in her tracks to recite how she feels the trees are contrasting with the landscape. I know...awesome right?

Video Game music on Scala - yes, you read that right. Scala, which is a really cool new digital station playing classical music have a show where they play music from video games. Now, I haven't heard the music from 80's classics like Donkey Kong or Pac-Man, but I have heard themes from the likes of Uncharted. It's a great idea, and it's a great station as well. You can download the app on your phone. It serves as a reminder that the video game industry is huge and should be taken far more seriously than it is at the moment. It is bigger than Hollywood, and bigger than Brexit. It unites us as a human race in far more ways than any other media. Time to embrace gaming, and Scala are doing just that.

Listen Now at Scala

TOMB RAIDER @ Amazon


Here is a list of books I am currently placing on my radar, which is what I call the table next to my bed:

My Best Friend's Exorcismhttps://amzn.to/2JYjm6i - amazing 80's set horror by Grady Hendrix

The Institute - Stephen King at his page-turning best

The Colossus - Sylvia Plath's haunting and beautiful collection of poems

Small Hands - the debut collection of poetry by Mona Arshi

Finally, a word from the poet and literary sensation, author of Man and Superman and Pigmalion, George Bernard Shaw (he preferred Bernard Shaw):
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

How To Think Outside The Box

Hey...

here's a radical thought -

Why don't Disney make an original story?

'Nah...you're all right mate', says ol' Dis, 'we're just gonna milk the shit out of this load of crap from our back catalogue.'

But, Mr Disney, what of the new stories, characters, situations and worlds being dreamt up by new writers, new authors, new imaginations?

'Fuck off, we're doing Star Wars number 9 and Frozen number 2, and Marvel number 256.'




Since the last blog we had a power-cut at work and instead of the esteemed management from the local authority coming forward and taking control of the situation by, for instance: cancel appointments, health and safety of customers, can we re-direct the work to another office, it was a chaotic mess of fire-fighting and wondering what on earth to do. So my theory goes like this, if all the decision-makers and process-doers of the lower levels are crap, then is it any wonder that Brexit is a right fucking shambles? I mean, if you look into the flow of a river, the shit always rises to the top.

Our authorities, local and nationally, are a fucking joke. The Home Office, and I speak from professional experience of having to deal with these idiots, are absolutely clueless about what is going on. You know, basic stuff like knowing what it is that you have told people to do, that kind of thing. Like, not contradicting yourself and making any process of your invention even more fucking shambolic and confusing.

Brexit, regardless of your vote, is a playground mess. It stands for Brex, meaning Brr it's cold and your an ex, and it, meaning shit.


CALLING ALL WRITERS! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
November is NaNoWriMo, which is an acronym for NAtional NOvember WRIting MOnth. It is a time of the year, just prior to the onslaught of seasonal goodwill and throwing cash at crap plastic items we are all required to write a novel. So just bloody go and do it will you...NOW!

https://www.nanowrimo.org/

Now look here Disney, head over to nanowrimo and see what new authors are doing, what new artists are bringing to the table. Look at the passion, the style, the wide-ranging characters.

'Yep,' ol' Dis says, 'I'll get one of 'em to write Toy Story 22.'

NOW for a regular section I have dubbed -

                                                         CELLOPHANE WARS!

We've got plastic in the seas, plastic in the shops, plastic in the air, plastic in our faces and our arses; a box of tea you might think would not be an offending article. Here it lies, in a cardboard box, wonderful, thank you Yorkshire Tea; oh, and the bags I hope may be biodegradable, perhaps...good stuff Tetley...hang on a minute....

WHY IS THE BOX WRAPPED IN FUCKING CELLOPHANE?!!

The box is sealed by perforation, it does not need more sealing, it's a box, a box has the ability to store things on its own, it doesn't have to be suffocated by yet more plastic.  MWAAAAAW!

Hey Disney, make a story about a load of cardboard at war with plastic, and how plastic is drawing a veil over our world causing toxic pollution. Cardboard soldiers batter through the plastic and suddenly a whole expanse of universe lies ahead begging to be explored.

Anger it seems is everywhere, in the streets, in the living room and in the mind; I have a useful remedy against such batterings to the thought processes, which is:
                                                 ...live in my imagination and not give a fuck....

I know it's not perfect, and comes across as mightily selfish, but hey, you know what I would think about that. It does all depend on the situation however. If someone I love or something that I feel passionate about is causing anger, then I shall deal with it; but general dumb-shits in the town being angry and aggressive, then I refer to my mantra. A good way of living in your imagination is through play, and I recently dug up an old game from Games Workshop entitled - BLOOD BOWL.

Blood Bowl RPG

It's a football game, marrying rugby and NFL, but with orcs and dwarves and elfs and other some such, and as the name suggests, it is bloody. It was  released in 1986 and that is the version I have. Yet now it has expanded to larger platforms, and PS4 and that. There's nothing like a good bit of mindless violence to ease the anger.  Blood Bowl 2 PS4

I also watch films, and in contrast to Blood Bowl you could watch Escape to Victory. This stars Pele, Michael Caine, and Sylvester Stallone as a goalkeeper for a football (soccer) match. It would now be considered a Sunday afternoon movie, https://amzn.to/2Jj8JL6 but that perhaps says more about its age. I recently watched Batman Returns on a Sunday, and it felt as if that had slipped into the genre of easy Sunday movies. Shame as it was something else upon release in 1992. A beautiful gothic love story featuring an assortment of weirdos in fancy dress.
You could also put that one on the list of Christmas movies, and would be a worthy precursor to Gremlins, followed by Die Hard.

So that's thinking outside the box. Tune in next time as I discuss the philosophical merits of Batman; The Movie, featuring that often needed tool the 'Anti-Shark-Repellent Bat-Spray'.

Zac Thraves is a writer and performer currently residing just outside of Europe in a small shanty town called England. You may realise that he likes movies. 


Thursday, 10 October 2019

Ten Ways to Start A Fight and Wage Plastic Wars

A Long Time Ago, in a galaxy  far, far away...

CELLOPHANE WARS



I am sick of it!                     So sick I am tired!

        Like totally sick of all the bloody plastic wrapping!

What the fuck is going on with companies who wrap plastic...
                IN FUCKING PLASTIC!!! ???

The product is already protected by plastic...we need no more plastic....

FUCK!!!

First Blood started out as a lengthy drama about a Vietnam vet struggling to adapt to normal life; Stallone hated it so much he wanted to buy it and then destroy the print; it was then re-edited into a 90 minute action movie and the rest, as they say, is history. Rambo was born!

First Blood on Blu-Ray Here

Now when you get your blu-ray or dvd of First Blood, because you know you're intrigued by the movie even though you haven't seen it for years, just take a moment to marvel at the amount of

FUCKING CELLOPHANE THAT IS WRAPPED AROUND IT!!!!!

I'm going on a cellophane war, shops...you have been warned.

Interesting geek moment - Beverly Hills Cop was originally an action movie stated for Frank Sinatra, and then Sly Stallone himself. Just imagine, we would never have had Axel F from Harold Faltermeyer or Glenn Fry singing The Heat Is On. (Sinatra doing Axel F would have been interesting)

Hey...here's another geek fact, Prince did the soundtrack to Batman in 1989 and was meant to do it with Michael Jackson. Take a peek at this interesting video from Midnight's Edge:


So you've now all probably realised that plastic is a real bug of mine, I hate the stuff, I mean I really hate the stuff. What makes me so mad is that the world is becoming more "aware" of plastic and companies are failing to do anything about it.You know we didn't ask for all this plastic shit right? We just seem to be in a position where it has been forced onto us. It's getting worse! I remember heading into Our Price or Sam Goody and picking up a cd or dvd in its plastic case and being able to open it and see a disc and read the interior and now it's all covered in plastic shit. Why?

Oh well, you see, people can steal the discs and then place them in their pockets and the like. 

Ok, then put bloody tags on the disc or something! Do something else with all your brainpower and technology - this option is cheap, brainless and destroys the planet - 

You fucking morons!

Broccoli in plastic !!! - apples in plastic ???!!!!! 

I can steal a bloody apple that's wrapped in plastic - it does not need to be wrapped in plastic!!

Aaaaahhhhh! I'm melting into my own boiling pot of despair and frustration!

Right, e-nuff, which is not an electronic drug. I am going to calm and think of lots of things that aren't wrapped in plastic, like...

erm...

Baked Beans?

I think you'll find that a four-pack of beans comes in plastic wrapping.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've drawn a line, which means I am moving on (for now) from plastic. Here's a picture from an old cereal box that I used to eat.


Here you can play your own game of The Black Hole, from classic 80's Disney flop, The Black Hole. Now, you need to get a dice I would think, and perhaps print this out and cut it out using an adult with a pair of scissors. Then, you choose a colour of your choice and you can be VINCENT, Maximillian, Cygnus (which is a spaceship) and Pizer which is a stupid name for a human pilot; then you have to get sucked into the black hole I think, I can't remember. The only thing I remember about the film is Anthony Perkins, or Norman Bates of Psycho fame, getting killed by a robot with propellors and trying to protect himself using a book. Yes, you read that right, a book. As you do. He should have called his mother. 

I am reminded often of my ability to see into the future, who reminds me? You'll have to find out, but the point is this, wait for it....

I guess you don't have that same ability. 


Here's some ads:

What A Waste by Jess French   a book about plastic and all the bad crap we are doing.

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson  another book about being a jolly good citizen

And finally my own little book is here and ready to be eaten by a hungry horde of thrill-seekers. Huggers tells the story of one woman struggling against a activist movement with a hidden agenda to send disease across the globe. It's good and cheap, 99p for Kindle owners. 

Huggers for Kindle is HERE


Thursday, 26 September 2019

Ten Ways to Make Money, Music and Stay Mad

This week...

While conducting ceremonies, in the waiting area I was happily playing John Williams soundtracks, the heraldic composer of such luscious themes as Superman and Indiana Jones. However,it would appear that a lot of couples are averse to The Imperial March and Jaws. It seems that doesn't get them in the 'mood' to be married. 

While I will not judge, the laughter and eventual stopping of that CD has caused me to think that they were the ones judging. Therefore, they took it upon themselves to change the music to something so repulsive I was almost sick, Katie Melua or Michael Ball singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. MY GOD! Darth Vader's theme has far more worth and emotion than that!

The Very John Williams CD I used is HERE

MAD Magazine was sadly put to bed earlier this year, but is still available as an online magazine. I remember very vividly the Return of the Jedi parody way back in 1983 (really?!) entitled RE-HASH OF THE JETI. In it Lube must thwart the attempts of the mighty Empire to breathe all over the galaxy. MAD was cool, it was great and it was funny, Spy vs Spy anyone? It needs our support, and here in the UK a new copy of MAD to your Kindle is only £3.43 (cheap!). Those of you dwelling in the US of A can subscribe at their website. Top Fact: the title is now run by DC Comics, so perhaps a multiverse movie series of Batman and Alfred E. Neuman as his butler?




Jedi's don't revenge, but they do return. According to George Lucas who began the advertising campaign for the final part of his trilogy entitled Revenge of the Jedi; until he realised that Jedi's do not seek revenge, so changed it to Return. There are some pieces out there with Revenge and I remember having an old poster with that title. In those days we weren't interested in saving and investing, so all Star Wars products were used, abused and thrown away by parents. That's why they hold their value. Later films need not apply. 



So you wanna make money do ya? Okay, the best thing you can do is save; the second best thing you can do is work...no, the best thing you can do is work; the second best thing you can do is invest what you have earned, and then the best thing you can do is save. Or, the best thing you can do is earn, invest and save...did I just say that? 

Basically, earn money; you do that properly by doing that which you love; if you have no passion, then you have no driver to build on what you do and earn more money.

Wait a minute, this is your social communist conscience speaking, you don't need money!! You need to share and love and do good for society. 

Yeah, right. This is reality speaking, that may be well and good, but the rest of the world deals in money and you need to pay bills. So get over it and reward you and your family. There.

(Besides, name me a poor communist leader in history)

Glad that's out of the way; isn't conscience a strange thing. Sometimes it makes you want to beat the shit out of someone, the next moment you want to kiss them. I know, weird. I guess the best thing to do is look at those moments when your conscience says things like:

THIS IS WRONG...
THIS IS NOT GOING TO WORK...
THIS IS SOMETHING YOU REALLY NEED TO DO...

and then act accordingly. After all, the conscience leads the emotions, not the actions. 

Time now for a snippet of nature and a look at the sea. I find the sea a great deal of emotional help; enabling me to feel different, and to acknowledge what the real problems are instead of the ones that don't really matter. The sea is the most powerful force in our world, and it won't give a figs-ass about Brexit or stupid politicians. 


And there we have it, ten ways to make money and stay mad. (or something) Next time I will explain ten ways to make mad and stay money, which is probably going to be far more enlightening than this (be careful. ed). I will leave you with one thought...

What happens to the onions when the tears have dried...do they die? 

Zac Thraves is a writer and perfomer living in the UK, although currently wishing he lived in a much different country. His new book, HUGGERS, is out now for Kindle and paperback at all Amazons.