Category Archives: The Arts

Do I have An Ugly Voice?!?!?! The truth about what you hear

"Is THAT my voice?!"
“Is THAT my voice?!”

As I’m expanding Learn With Amy onto YouTube, I have discovered one big problem that has slowed my progress: I hate the sound of my voice on recordings. And not just video! I hate my voice on the phone, when singing, but just particularly badly when recording video. But why is that?

Well, what affects me is the same thing that most people experience when they hear themselves recorded. I hate my voice because it isn’t the same voice that I hear in my head when I speak! it just isn’t! It is so far removed from the voice I have had for as long as I can remember.
But can it really be the case that my voice sounds smooth, rich and buttery until I’m placed in front of a microphone? Do my vocal chords decide to have a dance party in there? Nope!
I have done some research and it turns out that the voice that we hear isn’t actually the voice anyone else hears! We hear a very different and unique “version” of our own voices that no-one else in the world hears.
When we speak, a lot of what we are hearing isn’t the sound that comes out of our mouths and bounces around the room until it reaches our ears, but more the vibrations that come from speaking resonating in the bones of our skull. That’s why we often hear our own voice as fuller than our own.
BUT! It isn’t necessarily a case of your real voice sounding BAD, but more a case of you not being used to hearing it! Anytime that we speak without a microphone, we hear one voice that we have grown to accept as ours, and when something challenges that we are going to label it as “weird”.

Want to hear your own voice for real? Then get two large pieces of cardboard (about A4 size) and place them against your jaw, in front of your ears, then speak out loud. The voice you hear is your “true voice”, the voice everyone else knows and loves!

So, like me, you are probably going to jump to the conclusion that your voice is ugly, horribly annoying and too bad to ever be heard on a microphone again! But, fear not, because it is not as bad as you imagine. Go easy on yourself because it isn’t all that bad. How many people do you know with really “ugly” voices? Not many, I’m guessing.

So accept that, while your voice doesn’t sound just like you imagine, it isn’t as bad as you think it is either.

So, what do you think of your voice? Is there anything you want to improve upon? I’ll be doing some research and asking some people for their advice on what to do to strengthen your voice and get you the pipes you really want to hear!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article! Make sure you join us over on Facebook and Twitter! Xx

Kim Woo Bin Is Sharing The Secrets Of His Talent Now?!

 ©SBS
©SBS

South Korean acting sensation Kim Woo Bin has revealed one of his secrets for how he chooses and develops his acting roles, and his system goes to show how doing your homework really pays off.

Known for his roles in School 2013, Heirs and his most recent film The Technicians, Kim Woo Bin doesn’t fail to deliver on his committment to his roles. While some actors can sometimes let their masks slip whilst they are on camera, Kim Woo Bin’s seamless embodiment of his characters has audiences dazzled by his authenticity and has managed to become hot property in the acting industry as a result.

In a recent interview with Chosun, he shared one of his practices of when he is preparing for a new role and how he can so well understand his character’s feelings and motivations.
In the interview, he shared his important method, “No matter how small or big a role, I always make a list of 100 questions about the character I have to play. The questionnaire starts with simple questions, such as the character’s name,” he said about his method “By creating a list and filling in the answers, I often get a real feel for the character.”

Kim Woo Bin can certainly play tough, but is this method a bit hard on the roles? “I wouldn’t say that I’m picky,” Kim said “I just don’t want to be complacent. I want to make progress steadily, little by little.” It would seem that his method works as he has taken on some cracking roles before, and it’s a good way to ensure that he won’t play a role that he doesn’t believe in or find challenging or interesting.
About his progress, he said “If I continue to work this way, maybe I will be at the top one day.”

 © Vogue Girl
© Vogue Girl

He very clearly shows that has a dedication to skill over just popularity- a strong morale discipline that will certainly come in handy in his climb to the top of his craft and ensuring a long and happy career.

About his stardom, the heartthrob did not see himself as a star and understands the fragile position of fame. He said “It could come overnight, but go quickly. It would only be natural if the popularity I’m enjoying disappears the way it came.”

As a man very aware of the situation is in and how he got there, he added “I try to be grateful and not take what I have now for granted. I want to replay what I received. I don’t want to disappoint those who supported me”.

So, what is next for Kim Wo Bin? Who knows, but we can all rest assured that his next roles will have to pass his rigouous 100 question screening.

Want to see Kim Woo Bin at work? Watch him in The Heirs over on Viki.com!
Viki has a wide and ever expanding range of dramas and movies from Korea, Japan, Thailand and more and I would highly recommend it! Their community of subbers and translators all work really fast to bring you the shows you want in your language.
(Source: Chosun)

I hope you have enjoyed this article. As ever, if you have any comments or questions (or just gush about how great Kim Woo Bin is), please share them in the comments or join us over on Facebook and Twitter. See you there! Xx

Korean Phrase of the Day! 무서워(요)

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Today’s KPotD was inspired by my favourite internet cutie Yebin, in this video where her Mom teaches her how to say when she is frightened

This is a useful phrase for anyone travelling to Korea, as you can seek help from natives in dangerous or frightening situations, even if you don’t know enough Korean to describe the problem!

I’ll be back with another Korean Phrase of the Day very soon! Meanwhile, come connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Xx

 

Lack of performance: What’s blocking you?  

So that title wasn’t intended to sound so sexual. Anyway, it’s there now!  But, that is genuinely the topic of today’s post: What areas of your life are you failing to perform in and why? (That still sounds so dirty….)

key4I suppose the title could have been ‘how to succeed’ or ‘how to get everything you want in life’, but the purpose of this isn’t to just hand you advice for what to do to get what you want, but to also teach you what to look out for so you know when you aren’t quite on track. Otherwise it would be like giving you a fishing rod when you’re at a river with no fish – pointless and not very helpful.

Hopefully this information will help you to avoid reaching standstills in your life that consume your time and waste your precious energy. This is all stuff that I am currently having to do in my life and so we are all in this together. And remember that there is no shame in your life being a little out of order. There was never an instruction manual for life, so there’s no need for you to feel bad for not having it all worked out.

 

Together, we can work out what’s in our way and collectively work together to break those blocks like we’re an 80s gamer!

 

1. Begin first by having a think about what it is that you want. Make a list and try to be as specific and clear as you can be. Write down as much as you can about that particular subject or area, everything about it that you want to do or learn.

Clearly knowing what you want helps you to lock onto the paths to attaining or achieving it by putting into words that your problem-solving mind is best at working out.

 

2. Look at other people succeeding in that area. Now, don’t look at them and think “Why are they so great, while I suck?!” as that will just set you back. Look at what they do which helps them succeed. What habits do they have? Are there any special behaviours they have that help them get what they want?

If you can, try to talk to these people so you can get first-hand advice from the people in the positions you want to be in. Some people may not necessarily want to help someone to become successful in the same area as them (some people feel easily threatened) so ask around until you find someone willing to honestly share what they know – there’ll be someone!

 

3. Take a day or two to examine yourself. Don’t do anything any differently to usual, except pay attention to what you are doing and take note.

What are you doing when you should be doing ‘X’? What side-tracks you? Are there any blatant causes of distraction or procrastination?

Don’t do anything at this point to ‘fix’ it. Just observe and take note.

 

4. What are the biggest blocks? Tiredness? Work? Absentmindedness? Socialising? The internet? Commitments?

Look at all the things that stop you or steer you off course for your goals?

 

5 How do these affect your progress? Currently, my bedroom is an absolute mess. There are boxes everywhere, laundry on the floor, bags of clothes I keep forgetting to donate, half finished organising jobs to do and too much random garbage surrounding me. That means that I cannot sit down at my desk (or even see my desk) to do any work. Thus I have to work in a different room where there are other sounds to distract me, I’m not in my office space and I feel more idle than I would if I had my office space (and bedroom) in a tidy manner.

I also want to film Youtube videos for Learn With Amy, but my bedroom is waaaay to messy to film in.

I also work a LOT, so that means I am out of the house most of the day and come home late at night. After a long day at work, I am too tired to tidy, so that is left until my days off, which means they can’t be spent working—it’s a vicious cycle!

Be honest with yourself about your progress is being affected. Don’t shy away from admitting it – embrace it and turn it around on itself!

 

6. Think about simple and realistic ways that you can solve your problem. Try to avoid intricate and detailed MacGyver solutions. Just stay simple and find out what you need to do. You may even need to try a few solutions before you find the right one(s) for you.

For example, tomorrow I am going to give myself the morning, and not a minute past 12, to get my room and office space sorted and ready for me to work so that I can use all of the rest of my day to get my work done.

 

7. Remember why you are here. Don’t let yourself forget your goal. The worst thing is when you forget that you are supposed to be focusing on a goal and you just trail off. That’s when the work gets forgotten and how you end up staring at your screen like ‘How did I get here?!’

Stay sharp and keep your eye on the prize!

 

8. Be strict but fair. Like a good leader, be understanding and kind to yourself, but don’t coddle yourself.

In life, we don’t get the luxury of being lead, so we have to lead ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need leadership skills. You can’t just treat yourself badly and expect good results. Respect breeds respect, especially with the self!

 

9. It’s okay to ask for help. Asking for help can be so powerful. It can instantly unlock key answers that you didn’t know were right there, simply by putting out that request for help.

Whether you are asking help from a friend, a co-worker, someone in the industry of your choice, a family member, me, a teacher or even just the universe, asking for help very clearly says “I could use a hand here” and can be exactly the key to getting you rolling again.

What pursuits have you felt blocked in recently? Let us know in the comments, or send me a message using the message box below, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. X

 

Tattoos and Tattoo aftercare

As I mentioned in one of my recent posts, I have 3 tattoos that I love very much that all carry very strong meanings to me.  They’re important and I want to make sure they last well.

A lot of people ask me

“Wasn’t that really painful?!”

firsttattoo1Personally, if you are worried about pain, probably best to leave getting a tattoo for a while. When I got my first one, I was very scared of the thought of the pain and almost chickened out a bunch of times. Then I laid down on the tattoo bench, and when I sat up I had a tattoo — it really wasn’t that bad!

I will be honest, some points hurt a bit and different areas hurt more or less than others, the thought of the pain hurt more than the pain itself, and the sting of getting a tattoo disappears very quickly.

“Aren’t you worried about regretting it?”

In life, there are some things that we just know and I knew that all of my tattoos were good ideas. They all had very strong messages behind them and I went into the tattoo room absolutely confident in my decision. Trust me, I’m not going to mark myself for the rest of my life if I’m unsure about it.

tat2“Did you get that for a boyfriend/ex?”

No. Getting tattoos like that is a very dangerous idea. Even if you and your partner last a lifetime of love and commitment, you might not always want a tattoo of their name/face/starsign/whatever stuck on you forever!

I 100% recommend against getting tattoos for friends or someone you are in a relationship with. There are so many ways it can go wrong!

“Are you worried about employability?”

Maybe once upon a time, people in western culture couldn’t have tattoos that were visible in the workplace, but times have changed. As long as the tattoos aren’t offensive in any way, then there isn’t much to worry about.

Yes, in other countries tattoos can be an issue, but more and more countries are learning to accept tattoos, especially on those from a culture where they are commonplace.

“There’s this band I love and -“

NO! Please, stop right there. Regardless of how much you love a tv show, band or movie, you don’t need a tattoo from it. Again there are so many things that could go wrong.

You could decide that show sucked, a horrible revelation could be found about someone involved in it, the band could go downhill and your opinion could change — those are just to name a few!

If you are so pushed to get a tattoo of something entertainment or pop culture related, sit on the idea for a good long while before you go through with it.

“So, does that mean you aren’t an actor now?”

So many actors, performers and artists have tattoos. They are a form of self-representation and artistry which artists often can’t get enough of. So many actors, from Justin Chon to Jackson Rathbone to Angelina Jolie, have tattoos and love them! If they have tattoos and can survive as actors, so can I! 🙂

“How do you take care of your tattoos?”

tat3So, the best advice I can give for caring for your tattoos is

1) Don’t sweat it – Seriously, try not to sweat on it too much. Keep that sucker clean and dry(ish)

2) Don’t scratch it – Scratching is can really damage it and cause some serious irritation

3) Careful of allergies – When I got my first tattoo, I used Bepathen  the baby cream to soothe my tattoo. However, I soon realised that it actually felt a lot worse AFTER I applied it and later realised that I am allergic to one of the ingredients in Bepanthen (Lanolin). So, watch out for stuff like that and find something that isn’t going to make you itchy as heck later on!

4) Keep children away – I don’t know how or why, but children have the amazing ability to locate and exploit your weak spots. With every tattoo I have had, some kid (or about 20 kids one time) have managed to cause me eye-watering pain by punching, pinching or scratching my fresh and delicate tattoo. Until it’s healed, keep ’em away!

 

To clean a tattoo, don’t use any drying or irritating product that contain alcohol. You want to keep your tattoo fairly dry, but you don’t want to damage or crack it. Just use gentle soap and water and then dab it try with a CLEAN towel.

If your tattoo shows any signs of infection, contact your tattoo artist and a doctor immediately and see if you need to be put on antibiotics. I have been incredibly lucky with all of my tattoos not to have had any complications, but it’s always better safe than sorry!

 

I hope this piece has been interesting and helpful to you. As always, we want to hear from you, so drop us a comment or send us a message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #learnwithamy!

 

 

 

Over Fire and Glass– Fear, danger and learning what we don’t need

I recently took a trip down to London Ealing for training to work as a volunteer at the London Screenwriters’ Festival.

Initially I assumed that the training day would involve just meeting the others involved, assigning lists, learning times, names and titles, but it was in fact nothing like that.

The training day, as it turned out, wasn’t training to know exactly what we will need for the festival, but it was in fact training to BE exactly what we will need for the festival.

Chris Jones, our leader and Creative Director of the whole event, lead us in becoming the best team and individuals possible—as much for our personal gain as for that of the festival.

Chris shared with us the truths about life that are so easily overlooked, breaking myths about looking good, fear and the ‘stories’ we all carry with us.

What do we fear? Attention, social interaction, failure, loss, danger, hurt, success, disappointment, the unknown, snakes, spiders, bananas, ghosts—you name it!

But what in this life do we really have to be afraid of? Physical danger is perhaps the only major fear that should be taken seriously – it is what stops us walking in front of cars, attempting to cuddle crocodiles and standing in fire.

But we discovered that, if you give up your limitations (including your negative beliefs, your pointless fears and your self-doubt), you really can do a lot. You can even walk on fire!

If you can walk across fire and not get hurt or face your fears down and walk across broken glass, then what can’t you do?

It was those experiences that really put my thoughts into perspective.

I have wasted time afraid of so many things when, it turns out, I could even face and survive the fears of things that COULD hurt me.

I walked barefoot over glass and fire… so why was I afraid of pursing my goals/asking for that opportunity/joining in/having fun?

 

During the course of that training day we also realised the incredible strength of vulnerability. We openly and honestly told each other the things we wanted, the things we feared and shared, as a team, our stories and experiences that had shaped us into who we are.

It was a beautiful, touching and eye-opening experience to watch as, with each person’s ‘confession’, we grew more in awe of the courage and diversity that surrounded us. I was blown away to see the souls of the people who minutes earlier had been strangers I was too shy to talk to, and I was so grateful that they embraced me just the same when it came to my turn to speak.

I wish that I could share and replicate the feeling of that day for you all. What Chris shared with us was the gift of ourselves. He opened our eyes to the truth that was in us all along.

We are all good enough.

We are all strong enough.

We will not be unloved for being ourselves.

There is no danger in being human.

There is strength in weakness.

We can do anything—including walking on fire!

 

I don’t want to discuss too much about the day, but I want to share with you all a promise I made while I was there.

I promised to encourage everyone around me in the same ways that I was encouraged that day. To look people in the eye, honestly and openly and to not let that imagined fear taint the human interactions I will have.

And that promise is extended to all of my readers here. That’s why I run this site. I wanted to make a place where I could share my growth and help other people to grow and learn with me.

So let’s keep learning, keep growing and keep giving it our all!

I’ll share more about the stuff I learnt in smaller posts over the next days and weeks. Catch you later Xx

How to add language keyboards (Windows)

key4

As a follow on from my post about adding keyboards to iPhone, I’m just wanted to quickly explain how to do the same on Windows.

It’s a little trickier than on the iPhone, but just follow these steps and you’ll be ready to type in no time!

Adding Keyboards to Windows (Vista)

Open up the compute Control Panel and click ‘Change keyboards or other input methods’

 

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Then click ‘Change keyboards’

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Look to the right of your list of keyboards and click ‘Add…’

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You’ll see a long list of different languages. Scroll through and find the ones you want to add

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Then expand the tabs for your desired language and select ‘Microsoft IME’ in that tab

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That should be all you need to do to add the new keyboards. Now, there should be a little language bar along your task bar. To switch keyboards, just click on the current language and select the one you want to switch to! Simple as that!

 

How to add keyboards on iPhone

 

Hey, guys!

A lot if you are asking how I’m able to write in Japanese and Korean from my phone. It’s actually super easy, so I’m gonna cut to the chase!

So here is how you can set up your desired language keyboards on your iPhone!

Adding Iphone Keyboards

In your iPhone, go to the Settings app

iphone-keyboard-post1

Then under Settings find ‘General’

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In General, scroll down until you see a tab called ‘Keyboards’. Open that up.

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Then click ‘Add new keyboard’.

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And then choose the keyboard you want to add…6d

Repeat as necessary!

It really is as easy as that and, to switch keyboards when writing, all you have to do is press the little button that is one to the right of the bottom left of your keyboard until you are on the right keyboard!

I’ve also done a similar post on how to add extra language keyboards on your Windows PC!

Meet Anna: Charismatic, fearless and truly kick-ass

 

©Anna Akana/Youtube
©Anna Akana/Youtube

Anna Akana, is an actress, filmmaker, youtuber and possibly one of the coolest women online. One of her latest videos, “How to put on your face”, is going viral online as she spreads the messages of confidence, health and inner beauty.

She’s confident, intelligent, geeky, educational, honest, creative, friendly, so beautifully open – AND HILARIOUS!
Anna’s videos are well thought out, relatable and addictive (and from a filmmaker’s perspective – oh my damn, she’s a fantastic filmmaker!!)

As well as making a ton of fun and creative videos, Anna is also on a mission to create 12 short films in 2014 before making a feature film. This is a lady who understands and respects the process of learning and earning your stripes!
This geeky, cat-loving video goddess is captivating to the audiences and I totally love her open and fearless style.
In her video “How to deal with sexual harassment” she cleverly and humorously tackles the very common issue of sexual harassment in a manner which makes the viewer feel safe, comfortable and enlightened.

 

While in her video “Pregnapocalypse” she plays out a brief scenario of what would happen if every woman in the world was suddenly 9 months pregnant (trust me, you won’t be expecting the twist)

She even did a very helpful video about money in filmmaking to share with people that might not know where the money goes in filmmaking. Is there anything she can’t do?!

She even has quite the “Overactive imagination” (I just needed to squeeze this one in because I love it so much)

Seriously, how can one woman be just so awesome? It’s amazing!
I’m really looking forward to watching Anna’s journey and supporting her work (heck, if she decides to go the crowd-funding route, I’m in!) I plan on sharing any big news she breaks in future (kickstarter plz) and I’m really excited to see what she brings out next.
Stay awesome, Anna!

If you liked this, please keep coming back for more. I love sharing new content and people for you all to enjoy and there will be more people posts like this too. (Also, if you are a youtube content creator who thinks their work deserves some love, send me a message on the contact form here and I’ll take a look at your stuff!)
On social media? Come say hi to us on Facebook and Twitter! You can also come catch up with me on my personal Twitter and Instagram! 추!

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