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Archive for November, 2013

Usman Amin

BSc (Hons) Psychology

No Diggity/Thrift Shop – Cover

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Hi everyone. Sorry again for the delay. Youtube has been a bit slow recently and failed to process a couple of my videos so finally I have one online. It’s been a great week for me with more intensive rehearsals. Radio drama has really kicked into gear and we are well into the process of recording our piece. Not only am I involved in my own piece but I’ve been cast in others as well. All of these drama’s will eventually go out on Spark FM around February time.

Speaking of Spark FM, me and my good friend Anthony Davison will be on the radio tomorrow morning. We’ll be performing a couple of our cover songs live so if you have some spare time, tune in between 10 and 12!!

Anyway, today I’m posting a cover of two songs that were originally covered by Ed Sheeran and Passenger. The combination of songs I thought were brilliant and their version inspired me to make a cover of my own. I also bought a brand new guitar this week and this is my first official cover with it. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it!! 😀

The Christmas Lights Switch On

Friday, November 15th, 2013

So today the Christmas lights all around Sunderland were switched on and to mark the occasion, they had a free event down by the civic centre. Manager of Sunderland Football Club, Gus Poyet, was there to help switch on the lights. Lots of people turned out to celebrate the opening of a season that brings so much joy and happiness to many. They had live entertainment from school choirs who sung various Christmas carols and a great band called The Revolutionaires. If that wasn’t enough, there was a fireworks display for all to enjoy as well!! Here is a small video showing just what this evening had to offer. Hope you all enjoy it! 😀

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I apologise for the delay. With Christmas now approaching very fast, I’ve been putting together lots of ideas on how to make the blog more festive. But before I go onto that, I wanted to talk to you all about what I’ve been up to.

Shortly after my last blog post, I went to South Shields to watch a fireworks display! It was really good and it’s the first time I’ve been to the annual event. There is a video below where you can see for yourself just how amazing it was!!

Aside from this, rehearsals for our practical assessments are well under way now. There is so much work to do but I’m enjoying every second of it. I have essays to write as well but they don’t need to be in until after Christmas so there is still time. For one of our performance pieces, we are comparing Alice in Wonderland to Shakespeare. Yes, it does sound a little odd but as a group we were looking at the themes for both pieces and found a lot in common. We are studying a practitioner called Robert Wilson and looking at how all aspects of performance can have an impact on a piece. So using both Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare, it’s very visual; there is emphasis on sound, lighting and what actors can do physically. It’s all really interesting, I feel like I’m learning so much this year!!

At the weekend, the University Choir went to Durham Cathedral to sing as part of the Festival of Remembrance Concert. We’d all worked so hard so when the day finally came around I was a little nervous but excited at the same time. When you walk into the cathedral, it’s breathtaking. The place is majestic. It’s rare that I’m speechless but I was honestly lost for words. They say that Durham Cathedral has some of the best acoustics in the country. You could definitely tell as our choir sounded better than we’ve ever sung before. I think there was something about the occasion that just took the performance to another level. On the whole, it was a night to remember. I was a little emotional, especially when they dropped poppies over the band on stage.

Lastly, as I mentioned before, I am planning to try and post some Christmas videos very soon. The Christmas lights switch on in Sunderland on Thursday so I will hopefully be covering that. I may even take a trip into Newcastle and various other places around the north east as it’s a great place to be around Christmas time.

Well that’s it from me. I hope you all have a fantastic week. Keep watching for more updates!

My update for the week

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Hi everyone. Hope you are all well. This week, I am going to write my blog rather than show you a video. It’s been such a full on week and there is so much to talk about. I hope you all found the tour of Priestman useful. I know when I was applying to university, I always thought how great it would have been if I had access to such resources. It’s extremely useful to see for yourselves the kind of place that Sunderland University is, especially if you live so far away and it isn’t always that easy to travel.

Almost time: The build up to the match before kick off!!

Almost time: The build up to the match before kick off!!

Before the week had even begun, I went along to the Tyne and Wear derby game between Sunderland and Newcastle. I’ve been to a fair few games here at the Stadium of Light and it is always very good. The atmosphere on Sunday however was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. The fans up north are so passionate about their teams and I can’t describe the feeling you get when everyone in the ground is on their feet laughing, smiling and cheering for the team that they love and support. Sunderland did go on to win 2 – 1 in the end and the roar that greeted the final whistle was breathtaking. At that moment, I had to just stop and listen just to take in everything. It really was something I will remember for some time.

Anyway, this week was a fresh one and I couldn’t wait to see what it had in store for me. I am part of the University of Sunderland Choir and there is only a week left now until we perform at Durham Cathedral as part of a remembrance service. It was a very big occasion the last time we sung here which was two years ago and I’m sure it will be just as big this time round. I always look forward to choir practice on a Monday evening. Everyone is so friendly and we all get on really well. Being a non auditioned choir, it’s very much the love for what we do which carries us as a group. As a result, I can safely say that we sound better for it and we are together as one. I honestly can’t wait for the 9th November where we get to show just how good we are!!

In terms of university and my academic studies, it is now coming round to the time of assessments; whether that be practical assessments or essay writing. I’ve already been put into one of my working groups so far and very shortly this will happen across all of my other modules as well. Also, as I am a third year student, I have begun work on my dissertation. As a drama student, we can pick a topic within reason and explore this through a title or question. So for instance, I want to explore Harold Pinter and the representation of political issues within his plays. This will most likely have to be adjusted to something more specific depending on the feedback from my lecturers. However, I am looking forward to getting started and really getting stuck into a fresh challenge.

That's me and Dave :P

That’s me and Dave

Outside of university, I went to play five a side football with my house mates this week. Every Tuesday, a group of us go to a place called goals. For anyone that doesn’t know, this is just a place that consists of Astroturf pitches and for a fee you can play every week as part of a league. You can even just hire out a pitch for an hour if you wanted. I joined because it’s a great way to keep fit and be sociable at the same time. I also get involved with the community and I conduct a couple of  choirs in Sunderland. I love music so much and it’s great when you can inspire  others. Both of these choirs are aged between 12 and 19. Although they are young,  the energy they bring each and every week is inspirational. Let’s see, it was  Halloween on Thursday too so for the first time ever, I decided to carve my own  pumpkin. His name is Dave!! I think I surprised myself; it was a lot easier than I  thought it would be and was loads of fun too.

On a final note before I go, I just want to remind you that if there is anything at all that you want to ask about my course or things that I get involved in then please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help. Other than that, I hope you all have a brilliant weekend. I will aim to get another video up very soon so watch this space. Take care everyone!! 😀

  • Name: Usman Amin
  • Age: 21
  • Studying: Drama BA (Hons)
  • Hometown: Birmingham
  • Ambitions: I aim to teach drama - I would love to inspire youngsters to do what I do!

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