Work In Progress // Silverstone, Derren Brown & Our Final Goodbyes

Hey guys! Here we are, the end a Work In Progress’ weekly podcast series!

This week we thought that in keeping with it being the end of our podcast series, and officially the start of Summer, that we’d have a little chat about what each of us would like to get up to over the Summer holidays. Gemma chose 5 events that she’s attending over the next few months to discuss, and I chose 6, I got a bonus one as mine were reasonably hilarious, things that I’d like to do over our break.

I shan’t give away what we talked about, so that you can enjoy the podcast for yourselves, so here is the final week of a Work In Progress!

I know I say it all of the time, and I know it type it even more, but thank you for listening to, and reading my rambles, it means a lot to us. Another major thank you to GCABray for helping a girl out throughout this endeavour. I can’t believe one day I offhandedly mentioned that we should do a podcast throughout June, and you made it happen.

As we mentioned in the podcast, this is the final instalment of our series, but next week we are sharing a bonus ‘blooper reel’, that features all of our mistakes and abrasive laughing fits. So if you haven’t quite had enough of a Work In Progress, don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere yet.

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Book Recommendations

Hey guys! I realised recently that I’ve grown quite a nice collection of books that I would definitely regard as my favourites, and I really enjoy talking to people about my favourite books, so why not combine all of those things and do a blog post on them?!

Now I know this isn’t your typical beauty, fashion, lifestyle post, but I’m just going to very quickly run through four of my favourite books and explain how I found them.

Richard Dawkins The God Delusion | I’ve been meaning to read this book for so many years now, and when I was out this past January, I decided to make a point to pick it up. This book is incredibly well known, and undeniably holds a major role in all science vs religion debates. It is quite a dry read at first, but if, like me, you uphold a high interest in religion and its arguments/applications/basis, then you’ll be hooked. Dawkins covers everything from the ‘God of the gaps’ debate, the cosmological argument, homoeopathic magic and perhaps the relationship between religion and science as symbiotic.

F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby |“Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her; If you can bounce high, bounce for her too, til she cry ‘Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!” Now while technically this quote is an epigraph, and not a direct quote from the book, Fitzgerald really did catch the emotions engrained in Gatsby with this quote. Again, Gatsby is another incredibly famous book, and one that I would recommend for everyone to read. I thoroughly appreciate so many elements of this book, from Daisy’s hardened intelligence, masquerading as naivety, to the “colossal significance” of the green light.

Alain De Botton The Consolations Of Philosophy | I picked this book up when I was looking for The God Delusion, and it would seem I was on something of a religion/philosophy binge, so I read the blurb of this one, and couldn’t resist buying it. Botton explores the philosophical ideas founded by 6 philosophers, Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and organises them into digestable and applicable ideals for our everyday problems, from love, anxiety and even the pressures to conform. Another perfect read if you enjoy philosophy and how many of these ideas can apply to our lives nowadays.

Derren Brown Confessions Of A Conjuror | I was trying to decide which of Derren’s books to include in this round-up, and that’s when I realised that Confessions Of A Conjuror is actually a perfectly covert biography, set around the retelling of a card trick. Derren takes you through the history of magic, psychology and as per usual, the correct way to poach an egg. This book really is a perfect insight into Derren’s mind and past. Two of my favourite quotes from the book would be “I loathed myself again. My heart pounded beneath my stupid blousy gay shirt” and “Then I woke up, then I died.” It’s also very telling that those are the very first and very last lines in the book. A must read.


That’s it for some of my favourite books, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, be sure to let me know if you did!

What are your favourite 2 books?

 

Why “Derren Brown: Pushed To The Edge” Is So Important

Hey guys, as you may have been aware, everyone’s favourite TV magician/illusionist/hypnotist/mentalist/all-around performer, Derren Brown returned to our TV’s after just over a year, with his new one-off special “Pushed To The Edge”. With a 1.3 million peak audience, what was the hype behind the illusionists latest instalment? Well, Derren wanted to test whether or not experimenting with something known as ‘social compliance’ could convince a human being to push another to their death.IMG_0813The aim of this special was to investigate and experiment with an extreme example of the concept of social compliance. Now, social compliance is something that inadvertently affects us all, after all, it is a trait of human nature. Over the years, we as human beings have learnt that there is safety in numbers; by following the crowd, we are increasing our chances of survival. Social compliance essentially taps into our response to follow orders; to do something that an apparent authority figure tells us to do, simply because they say it’s the right thing to do. As Derren explains, “This authority can come from a person, a group of like-minded individuals, or an ideology.”

So why bother developing an experiment into something perfectly normal?

Well, it’s actually because social compliance has it’s bad traits. Derren further explains, “It can help keep public order, but it can also push people to commit terrible acts.”

Aside from this special covering a highly interesting topic, and exposing a huge psychological phenomena, I enjoyed this special for some additional, un-suspected reasons.

“Pushed To The Edge” was actually the first show that Derren Brown has ever produced, where my admiration and how impressed I was, peaked within the last 10 minutes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really did enjoy the entire narrative, loopholes, the extensive talents shown, techniques and psychological ideas that were explored, but something felt wrong. Derren’s more recent shows usually aim to impact an individuals life in a highly positive way, helping them to change for the better. But this particular show seemed to latch onto darkness. There wasn’t an obvious way in which Chris, (the focal individual in the show) was being taught anything valuable. But then I realised I felt that “Pushed To The Edge” was lacking something, because I was latching this show onto all other previous shows. Forgetting that Derren always aims to come back with an entirely new concept with each show, never just replicate previous ones.

During the final 10 minutes, I found myself telling my brother how it had been years since we, as an audience, have seen something Derren is investigating not go entirely as planned.

Almost immediately after I’d mentioned that, we see Chris reject what the presented authority figures are telling him to do, instead choosing to stand by what he believes is right.

“Pushed To The Edge” is so important in so many aspects, because not only did it give the audience everything I’ve already mentioned, but it showed Derren presenting another psychological concept, in an entirely unbiased, and innovative way. 3 of the 4 participants went along with the entirety of the experiment, but the focus of the show, the narration that we are presented with, is the one that didn’t complete the experiment in the predicted way. I feel like this is paramount when it comes to experiments and psychology, because all too often we’re told that we all fit into these tiny boxes of behaviours (which we do in many cases, but it is not true for every single behaviour we exhibit.) and we aren’t given a different point of view.

It’s no surprise to anyone that I really enjoyed this show, but I think “Pushed To The Edge” might be one of the most important shows that Derren has ever done.


 

You can watch Derren Brown: Pushed To The Edge on 4OD HERE

Did you watch the show? What was your favourite part?

The Truth Behind Being A Journalism Student

As some of you guys might know, I’m currently studying Journalism at University. As I said in my personal statement, I never really knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I never had a particular plan, such as most of my friends did. So when it came to making this huge decision in my life, I felt quite overwhelmed. Going to University always seemed like the most obvious (and sometimes only) choice I had. So when the time came that I had to narrow down my choices, I always knew that I like working with people, as opposed to always working alone, so it had to be a course where I’d be interacting with others and not just studying on my own, and then I realised, I never felt more relaxed, or like I was doing something that was really meant for me, than when I was presenting the Sixth Form Entertainment. Sixth Form Entertainment was a ‘show’ that sixth formers that wished to, put together. It consists of sketches and parodies of famous events from the year, starring the students and our teachers. It was then that I realised that I’d love nothing more than presenting. It didn’t matter the style of show, I just really enjoy working and with other people in a creative setting. Therefore the most natural route for me to follow was either drama, or Journalism, and due to how much I enjoy writing, directing and producing pieces just as well as the ‘performing’ aspect, Journalism became more and more appealing.

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Now when I joined University, I still felt very out of my depth. As if I was only ever visiting, and not like I belonged. Everyone seemed to have prior knowledge and experience in Journalism, and I had only just finished my academic subjects at Sixth Form. I realise now that most of my anxiety and stress stemmed from the fact that I had been living the same routine for 7 years, and this major life change, was the real cause.

With what I know now, I never would’ve imagined so much of what I’ve created and achieved coming. Naturally, I expected to be constantly writing, which I now realise might have lost it’s novelty very quickly. I never expected myself to know how to use a green screen, what the heck a tricaster even is, the fact that I’d have a conversation with my mum over a rifle mic, getting to give an entire presentation on psychics and the psychic industry, and that I’d actually get the opportunity to work with such creative and aspiring people. I absolutely adore what I’m doing now, and I couldn’t imagine my life taking any other direction. It all feels like every little detail, held things I never knew I was passionate about.

Just some of the things I’ve learnt, is that the news is now more in our hands than ever before. News can come from any source, and it’s instantaneous. You yourself could attend an event, hold up your camera phone, record footage and upload it to YouTube (with a good connection) with a brief write-up, within 10 minutes! It’s no longer a weekly newspaper, it’s a tweet. We don’t rely on the news at 6, it’s now produced as a 24 hour, live coverage.

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Everyone I know has told me that they can see a big change in who I am, and the best part is, I didn’t even know how much I’d love spending time, doing all of these things that I’m learning, in my personal life too.


So my advice to anybody who is currently going through the stress of exams, or if you still don’t know what you’d like to pursue, is to stay true to yourself. Don’t do anything for anyone but YOU. And keep your passions in mind! As I said, I never expected to be doing what I’m doing, but I also know no other path would feel so right. Don’t abandon your dreams just because you need to choose a subject quickly, and you already take the subjects for it. University is NOT the only option you have, and there are endless sites that can give you advice as well as your teachers. Everyone has their own story to tell, their own path to forge. You do not have to follow in any one else’s footsteps.


More importantly, here are some cheesy quotes that will hopefully really help you to break away from the idea that you have to do what everyone else is doing, and hopefully inspire you to be different.


“Every day create your history
Every path you take you’re leaving your legacy”

“Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road”


My personal inspiration comes from Derren Brown (audience gasps, shocked, perhaps some faint?). As he has said before, it might not feel like it right now, but when you’re older, it’s always the popular, pretty girls, and popular athletic guys, who go on to have the most boring jobs, because they never had to forge their own identity when they were younger.

(I’ve transcribed Derren’s speech below because unfortunately Channel 4 have had it removed from YouTube)

“If you are a bit of a Dickbrain, or you’re just made to feel like one every day when you go in, can I just promise you that all of those really ‘cool kids’, the sporty cool guys, and the skinny pretty girls, all grow up to have the most boring adult lives and jobs, because they never had to forge their own path when they were younger, they never had to find their own way when they were little. And if you are having to do that now, it is tough, but I promise you, you grow up to have the most brilliant and creative adult life. Yeah, whoever heard of a musician or an artist who just fit in, really easily at school? Nobody.

So, Dickbrains unite, yes?”


Choose your idols wisely guys


Hopefully this post gave you a little bit more of an insight into who I am, and has made you more confident in the choices you have ahead of you. Let me know in the comments below if it did, and if you’d like to talk about anything, just drop me an email at corinnebygrave@gmail.com