Sunday, November 23, 2014

Youmacon 2014 (Original)

This was my first trip to Detroit's annually held cosplay convention known as Youmacon,  it was something out of this world!

This is the one time of the year (besides Halloween) you can dress up as your favorite character from a video game, movie, anime or even television show and not be weird! Well a bunch of adults in costumes..ehh well we need to let loose every once in a while, tricks don't always have to be for kids! So Youmacon is like Halloween, minus the candy, plus cooler costumes and two extra days! Thousands gather to show off their costumes, go to panels with celebrity speakers, watch anime, play video games, shop, eat drink and be marry! There's tons of cool things you can get into, depending on your preference.

All of the events are fun. There's literally something for everyone. However, it's not the events or the celebrity guests, or the fancy lights that make Youmacon. It's the people. The costumes are the most exciting part! I think even old Clint himself would agree, It's all about the good, bad and the ugly. How much work some participants put into the cosplay is mind blowing! Traveling across the vast wonderland known as Youma I came across many interesting people.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Journey to Japan (Original)

This summer I studied abroad in Japan through a program called JCMU. This was my first trip out side of the U.S. and also my first time riding on a plane. I can honestly say,  it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. It wasn't with out it's challenges though. It took a lot to find the confidence to say I'm going to this and then actually follow suit. I had lived with the thought of going for most of my life, but I could never get past the distance. Being from a close knit family, it was hard to imagine journeying so far away from home. They thought so as well. Then there was the fear of heights, I couldn't even stomach a roller coaster. After getting into college, I spent two years thinking about and listening to everything people had to say concerning travel, riding planes, money and culture differences etc. The only thing was that most of the people telling me had never attempted what I was about to do. So I made a decision, I would find out for myself.

 After I made up my mind all of the fears and doubts I had turned into determination, I had to know for myself. With this new vote of confidence, I began to search for a means to travel to Japan. After a while of searching through study abroad programs at my University, I came a crossed JCMU. It was a summer long program of studying language in Japan. It was perfect for my finances and my time schedule. All that was left for me to do was to apply and head out. I hit a few snags finding a good price on plane tickets and a few other obstacles which almost prevented me from going, but my strong desire to experience Japan for myself help me to persevere. 

With that, I took to the sky and began my journey to Japan. It turns out flying wasn't as bad as everyone had told me, I loved it!

Before I could get to Japan I had to change planes in South Korea. It was easier to get around the air port than I thought it would be. Everybody I ran into spoke a little bit of English, which was helpful.

It was a little strange, though I had traveled through South Korea and arrived in Japan I didn't experience the anxiety known as culture shock. It wasn't until my return to America, that I felt the effects of the culture differences. After arriving in Japan I wasn't met with a welcome wagon, I was on my own. I spoke only five sentences in Japanese, along with a few phrases I picked up from my favorite anime. I was in trouble, not really. If you understand your basic direction questions and answers you can find your way around pretty well, people in Japan are very helpful. I got directions to the city where my program was located and caught a bullet train heading that way.

By the time I got my program I was exhausted. I had been up the whole 14 hours of the flight and the small time I spent in South Korea. I was experiencing jet lag. It took some time for me to adjusted to the change in time zones. The culture part wasn't to hard you just have to do everything opposite of American culture; take your shoes of before you enter the house, separate your garbage and be polite.

The town I stayed in was a cozy little place called Hikone.

The people I met at JCMU were all amazing. Everybody had their own reasons for coming to Japan. Some were there for business, others for research, but most of us were there for language. The summer program was very intense. We studied day in and day out with out fail. It was overwhelming to say the least, from my experience. I was pushed to my limits and beyond academically. I had many sleepless nights of cramming for tests, memorizing different grammar patters and vocabulary everyday. I was met with a challenge every step of the way. I didn't overcome all of them, but I learned every time. Whether it was a short coming or a success.  

These are my classmates and our language professors.

Through all of the hustle and bustle of school and the busy life in Japan, I still manged to have fun. I met a lot of new friends and we traveled to a lot of fun places.

Monkey Mountain



Hikone Castle

Friends and other places

Japan was everything I thought it would be and more. There were times when I had to pinch myself to see if it was real. The things that I learned and the people I met have inspired me to see more of the world. I wont ever forget what I experienced in Japan. No words can really describe what it's like to get to live out one of your dreams. But I'll give it a try anyway, it was a blessing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Days in Japan:1 (Original)

           I'm currently in Japan! Here's a few photos I took when I traveled to a town called Kobe.

Friday, May 23, 2014

In The Moment: Larry Joe Campbell interview (Original)

     I got a chance to sit down with actor Larry Joe Campbell around the time he visited Central Michigan University this past January. We talked about college, movies, work ethic and a little about directing. Larry had strong words of advice for young aspiring actors seeking to pursue a career in show business.

"Don't do it for fame, do it for the love of it because you'll never be happy," said Larry Joe Campbell. "You'll always be disappointed if you chase the carrot, you got to do what feeds you."

 Hear the full interview bellow:

Monday, January 20, 2014

In The Moment: Martin Luther King Day (Original)

On this day we remember and celebrate the legacy of a man who forever changed the face of the United States of America. His impactful words still resonate in our hearts to this day. His protest, peaceful. His message, an equal coexistence.

Nearly half a century ago the United States was a much different place than the U.S. we know and love today. African Americans were treated horribly, schools, buses, restaurants, and even bathrooms were segregated, white and black. The nation was filled with a hate who's origins have yet to be revealed. But there were those who would challenged that hate. One of the most iconic of those warriors of love was Dr. Martin Luther King. With a powerful message from on high, he followed by those who also believed in a dream marched. Their journey was riddled with ridicule, thrown rocks, assault and battery from police, water hosing from firemen and the unleashing of attack dogs. But in the end, they made it to their destination. Because of their sacrifice we are now able to enjoy freedom from segregation and oppression.

Today people still believe in that same dream. So in remembrance and in unification, we all march together, black, white, brown, yellow, green, purple in this nation of red, white, and blue.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Movie Review Time: The Bates Haunting (Original)

     Horror laced with a heavy dose of gore and the paranoia of knowing nobody can be trusted. The Bates Haunting is one to look out for. The story takes place on a farm (the Bates farm) that annually hosts a Halloween attraction. The plot begins with a young woman (Lily Hansen) meeting her untimely demise from the fiery breath of a mechanical dragon. After her mysterious death, rumors spark about the farm being haunted. Friend of Lily, Agnes Rickover, plagued with nightmares of her friends death and unable to except it was a freak accident, decides to investigate. She accompanied by her close friend Clyde Abelson, venture out to the farm in search of the truth behind the strange happenings. Agnes gets hired to work the Bates farm Halloween attraction, where she crosses paths with Junior Bates, a strange young man with a strong sense of dedication to the farm. Soon after she begins working, things start to take a turn for the worst. People begin to die in seemingly similar freak accidents as Lily. Agnes finds her suspects as victims and those she didn't suspect as the masterminds. The Bates Haunting was well put together. The characters played their roles excellently, the acting didn't seemed forced. The plot was interesting, the most obvious suspect was Junior, but his character was so harmless you couldn't help but give him the benefit of the doubt. Agnes was no where near the scared female role one would expect. The most clever part of the movie was the theme of a haunted farm. All the murders were seen as just apart of the show! I give director Byron Turk two thumbs up for a job well done.

I had a chance to briefly discuss the movie along with future plans with director and producer Byron Turk during 2013's Thriller Chiller event in Grand Rapids. 

For more information on The Bates Haunting visit also follow the film on twitter @BatesMotelMovie. Also follow Byron @ByronFever and visit his website for information on upcoming projects.

For more video of Byron visit via Weird Review.