To the USA and back

You would have seen my blog previously talking about preparing and fund raising for a weeklong trip to Florida, USA to attend a showcase. Well… I’m home again and all I can say is that it was absolutely AMAZING!

To be honest, it took a long, long time to actually feel excited. Here’s why. I had never been out of the country before, hadn’t flown many times in my life before and was more scared of something epically stupid to happen. There was always the chance that I would forget something really important, remember something and then leave it behind in an airport or plane, my luggage could of gone missing or I could of made it all the way to Florida and my credit card could fail and I would be stuck helpless 8000 miles from home. As it turns out, I had to run through most of the airports to get to my planes in right time for boarding and only lost a bottle of body wash because it was too big. I felt like I was on a role and everything was running fairly smooth and then I rocked up to Orlando Airport and my guitar didn’t come through the oversize baggage chute. I had to run to the service desk and have a word with them. They assured me not to worry, BUT my guitar was on its way to Chicago.

Kent Singing

So I managed to book into the Marriott and my credit card worked, but I was without my guitar. Not only that, I actually didn’t feel excitement because it was so overwhelming. I had never been in such a big hotel. I had never seen such a big pool. I couldn’t get my head around the side of the road they drive on.

Kent Modelling

Anyway… I thankfully had everything I needed in good time and was healthy and ready for the sections in which I was entered. I got the biggest surprise when I came out of a seminar I was in and people started smiling at me differently and saying “you might want to check out the notice board”. This took the hype out of it a bit, but I managed to get into the top 10 vocalists out of everyone. This meant that I got to sing in the showcase show. I ended up winning 2nd place overall! Not only that, but I got 5 callbacks!!!

Unfortunately I didn’t get any recording deals or modelling contracts straight away but I did get some really great advice from some top professionals in the industry. I now have contacts for agents in New York and LA and have a list of things to now save up for and work on before I move to New York to pursue a career. (This will be in a few years, don’t say your goodbyes just yet).

I honestly can’t thank you all enough for your support and kind words.

I now need to go and make a boatload of money to make things happen.

Blessings,

Kent

 

Why live on college?

There are literally so many reasons why living on college is a good thing. In fact there are so many that if you actually asked the question “why live on college?” and then read this entire article, you would probably find yourself packing your things and moving there right away.

Firstly, the most obvious benefit of living on campus is the convenience of it. Even if you have a dreaded 8am class, you can still afford to sleep longer than you would in a house because you just have to get dressed and walk to your buffet breakfast where you can eat what you like amongst the company of your friends who are also up at that time. When you finish with your plate, the amazing friendly kitchen staffs wash it up for you and you walk your way across the road to your class. Speaking of convenience, all your bills are also put together into a single bill so that you don’t have to waste your time paying a million separate things. You have Internet in you room as well as WIFI around the common rooms and surrounding areas. Oh and did I mention there’s a gym just next door that gives us sweet deals because we’re students? It’s seriously so convenient that we almost become lazy. However it does allow for us to focus on the study.

Block party #redfoo #nurses #degree #stereotypes #swag #yolo

A post shared by Kent Tonscheck (@kenttonscheck) on

Secondly, college is fun. We have a big contest each year between all colleges called Residential Shield, or “Res-shield” as we all call it, that basically consists of lots of different sporting and cultural events throughout the year. There’s no reason for you to ever get bored if you’re one of those people that study something that allows you free time. It’s so important that you get involved in these types of events because they help you to take your mind off study and reduce stress while keeping your body and mind healthy. Other fun aspects of college are things such as block films for Semi-Formal and Formal. Lots of times we make them so bad that they’re good and really focus on making something funny. As you can imagine, after the formal is finished, everyone is in fits of laughter and makes for good stories for weeks to come.

Lastly, college is supportive. While on college I made friends with so many people and they’re contacts I will have forever. Everyone looks out for each other and when you need a friend to talk to, there is always someone just down the hall. If there’s not, there is always someone in the next block. You literally have friends living a small walk from your bedroom door. If you need support with your studies or want to see a councillor, there are support teams just across the road or an email away. If you’re like me and come from a family farm struggling through tough weather, you can find financial support and scholarships specifically for you.

My degree was three years in duration and I lived there from start to finish. I wouldn’t change a thing! I learnt a lot, completed my course and will have friends for life thanks to college.

P.S. I’d totally love it if you could check out and buy my debut EP just released

https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/life-love-tales-ep/id939931395

FLORIDA- HERE I COME!!!

As I was working through my study books in mid May, tirelessly completing final year assessment for university, I got a little single note tone on my phone indicating that I just got an email. Now getting an email is nothing new, but this one was from my music lecturer suggesting that I check out an audition in town. The audition was for an event in Orlando, Florida. This is an American event that allows people in the fields of Singing, Dancing, Modelling and Acting to showcase their talents in front of agencies and to attend workshops for training from professionals in their specific fields. They have an Australian representative who auditions around the country and takes over a specially selected group. This year she selected 37 people from across Australia and New Zealand.

Universal Studios

To gain a spot in this would have been phenomenal but when you consider how many people, from these two countries, would be eligible, there was a very slim chance I would have a hope in getting selected. I figured, I wouldn’t know unless I tried. If I did it and didn’t get in, at least I would have gained some experience auditioning. If I didn’t even audition, what would I gain from that? I’d probably gain curiosity and regret.

After a seemingly long week, I got an email from the lovely representative saying that she would love to have me on board and asked if I would accept her offer.

Florida

This just blew my mind! My friends at college kept saying, “I reckon you got a good chance” and that was really encouraging to hear, but I didn’t want to psyche myself up, only to get disappointed. None-the-less, in December 2014, I’ll be heading to the States for a week for Singing and Modelling.

Now I had to balance the trainings for it and my studies to make sure I can succeeded in both. It will work out to be perfect timing because I will just finish my course and then go out and showcase what I can do.

The only issue is that I need to pay for the expenses and they add up to just over $7000. Thankfully, college friends also helped out with fundraising and so far I have been able to meet expenses. I haven’t paid them all off yet but I have faith that I can make it!

Steele Rudd College

I seriously can’t thank all my college friends enough for taking the time out of their busy schedules and for their efforts and support – purely for the sake of helping me achieve my dream. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!

If you would like to help me financially, please go to the link below:

http://www.gofundme.com/9wx2wo

Kent

 

Seeing the Finish Line

You know your course is approaching the end when you are so busy that you actually look forward to a day where you can just do whatever you want instead of following your strict timetable to ensure that you actually complete everything. Another sign is telling your teacher you won’t be at class this week, not because you’re sick, but because you are actually working on your BCA project in the studio. It’s hard to be in two places at once. You find that 3 subjects now seem to take about the time and a half of 4 subjects from previous years and you realize that you haven’t even considered answering yes to “are you coming out this Thursday night?”

Finish Line Ahead

It’s not all as bad as it sounds. After all, you learn so much about why you studied some of those “pointless” courses from first year. Let me explain. For me in Creative Arts, I have to complete a BCA project throughout my last year. Basically the BCA project is the start of you setting yourself up to be able to finish university as a business on your own and have something to show employers. I have realized though that a little bit of everything I’ve learnt throughout the 3 years has all played a part in my final project. What am I saying? Basically, you know you’re approaching the finish line when all of your courses from previous years are actually proving their purpose, you have absolutely no say in what you have to do in the day, you find you have to say no a lot more, but the best of all, you see the meaning in your efforts and progress.

My BCA project was to write and record an EP. By the way, I will have that out soon. Watch my Facebook page for details: www.facebook.com/kenttonscheckofficial

It’s seeing the results of study and projects like this that make all the busy days worth while. The biggest reward for me is seeing people appreciate my efforts and enjoying the art I’ve made. That’s the greatest upside to seeing the finish line.

Friends Help You Cross The Finish Line

Living on college has a huge benefit when trying to complete your final year. As I’ve mentioned, your last year gets really hectic and sometimes it’s hard to stay enthusiastic about doing assignments. Our minds need a balance of study and social life in order to function efficiently, however, being so busy that you can’t even attend all your classes, there’s obviously no time left in the day to be a social bird. Seeing your friends and classmates around you (also in their last year of study) working through their assessment and making it out alive, it’s actually really encouraging and you feel more positive and motivated to go complete your work.

Also you can all whinge about the same problems, with people who relate directly, around the dinner table – the only time away from the books and instruments… well… books… Us music students will sometimes eat with our instruments at the table. What can I say? It’s a part of our passion.

All in all, seeing the finish line is a time of

  • Excitement
  • Revelation of some early courses
  • Challenge
  • Finding new ways to balance your mind
  • Achievement

Unitl next time,

Kent

Time Management (From a Creative Artist’s Perspective)

Yes I know, there are millions of these “Time management” things on the web and probably several scattered throughout this very website. But how many are specifically focused from a Creative Artist’s point of view? We all have our unique methods of dealing with time management and I’m going to share with you some of my particular struggles and solutions.

Time Management

Uni is a lot different to high school, as we aren’t forced by the threat of punishment for wagging a class. Some lecturers mark an attendance role in certain classes just to ensure that people aren’t missing out on important information, however, for the majority of the classes, it’s entirely up to you to attend class and get your work done. The difference I guess is that you are studying one course that you are interested in unlike high school where there could be 5 other subjects that you are doing purely because they’re compulsory. Thus you become self-motivated to attend classes. Thankfully, you can log onto study desk and get a weekly refreshed timetable of the classes for that week. This helps a lot for planning and is a very good place to start.

Now, if you’re in creative arts, here’s where things get tricky. Be it Music, Theater, Creative Media or Visual Arts, there is always rehearsal or work to do outside of the timetabled classes. I study Music major with a minor in Creative Media so I’m specifically speaking from my experiences with these. I am involved with several ensemble groups with music and within creative media I have had to spend many late hours forfeiting sleep to get projects done.

Somewhere in there I need to do my own personal practice, actually get some sleep (I’m not invincible) get outside-of-class work done, do gigs, live the social side of college life by getting involved in the Res Shield events and simply live life.

My SOLUTION! Here’s what I have found to be the most effective method. You need to get your hands on a massive wall calendar, whether it’s a Redfrogs or a USQ one, get yourself a calendar. When I’m emailed about events to play at or workshops to prepare for, when there are important events to attend, when assignment due dates are released, WRITE THEM ON THE CALENDAR. The lie people always tell themselves is “I don’t need to make a note of that. I’ll remember it.” Seriously the calendar will help you remember and plan.

Redfrogs Uni Planner

This leads me to my next method. Get yourself a little “Things To Do” whiteboard. There is nothing more satisfying than wiping off reminders as you finish tasks. Your trusty calendar will show general big reminders but your whiteboard will help you remember the specifics for each day.

Things to do planner

With the possession of these two items, you are bound to be more productive and remember a lot more important dates. You’ll find this really helpful and important when doing assignments and being seen as a professional and turning up to rehearsals.

How do you manage your time?

WINTER IS COMING – Toowoomba Winter – Tips for Surviving It!

So you want to know how to stay warm in this bitterly cold winter weather? The short answer is, DON’T GET OUT OF BED! Those real life teddy bears have it right hibernating all the winter. It’s as if they just time-travel from the playful, falling autumn leaves to the fresh blooming flowers and butterflies of spring. We all know that uni work and… well… life doesn’t allow us to just snooze away winter under our warm blankets.

These are just my suggestions. If you have better methods that work specifically for you then disregard what I’m about to say. However, if you don’t know Toowoomba that well, and don’t enjoy getting sick, then make use of my experience.

Firstly, the cold snaps can sneak up on you with a surprise, so be prepared early. Usually it’s because a southerly wind picks up and carries the cold temperatures from the snow down south. So, what I suggest is that you purchase, or bring with you to college, a few jackets and trackies that you can wear while you sip tea or hot milo. Also, don’t forget a warm doona for your bed.

Lots of Sweaters

If we look at the positives here, there are no mosquitoes in winter and the best thing is that we get to wear cool accessories such as scarfs and knitted sweaters. Hmm… this makes me want to go play in snow. The movies make it look so fun. (I’ve never seen snow). In Toowoomba sadly we don’t get snow but you will experience frost. Just warning you. When you go to breakfast, don’t be fooled by the temperature inside your bedroom. It’s usually about 5 times colder outside.

Just because the sun is up and out, you shouldn’t go removing your jacket too soon in the day. Most classrooms will still be cold in the day and if they have heaters on, you’ll be hit with the cold as you leave class. Look at me… I sound like a mother. Just don’t say you weren’t warned. Toowoomba can be mysteriously deceptive. But that’s why its fun to live here.

Warm Clothes

If you’re a person who completely hates winter and can’t be convinced that there are positives then let me just say, you will be surprised with warmer days here and there but they usually don’t last. Lucky the rooms at college have heaters in them.

Now, my number one tip for using the heater – Because I am a singer, I have learned the importance of keeping the air from getting too dry (which heaters will do). You could go buy yourself a humidifier for $70… ew… OR buy a $2 spray bottle and just spray one squirt of mist into the air every now and again while the heater is going. And may I suggest, don’t sleep with it turned on.

In summary:
– Have warm bedding (bring a doona)
– Have warm clothes (don’t be afraid to accessorise – scarf, mittens)
– Hot beverages
– Use your heater (but stay hydrated and keep a bit of humidity in the air)
It’s quite simple really. I’ve only learned these things from experience though so I hope you can learn from my experiences also and enjoy winter with good health. And trust me, the other side (spring time) is amazing in Toowoomba – The Garden City. But that’s another story.

Peace out!
– Kent

Music- The Great Connector

I absolutely LOVE music. So much that I will pay a LOT of money and sit up many hours late at night doing assignments to study it at university and … hopefully… with lots of practice, become an expert at it. So far the only instrument I am trained in is vocals but I can play enough chords on guitar and piano to accompany myself for gigs and performances.

Kent Music

Music seriously connects people on such a deep level that we find it hard to explain. In simple terms, it involves a lot of invisible factors such as emotions and other brain related actions. When you listen to music your brain often releases dopamine. Dopamine, in case you aren’t aware of what it is, is a chemical that your brain releases when you feel pleasure, reward or happiness. Simple. If you feel happiness or pleasure, with say eating chocolate or playing music, and you do it with someone else or even a group of people, you automatically feel a connection with the others involved. It’s magical!

"Let Music Connect Us. Something Wonderful Will Happen"

I remember the very first day when I came to college back in the beginning of 2012, the RA who showed me to my room was sitting in the Junior Common Room with a guitar and playing little tunes and automatically the room felt more welcoming. We walked and talked while he showed me to my room. There was this understanding in our language between us – musician to musician. What’s even greater, music doesn’t only effect and connect musicians. Later that week, two of us (at-the-time) newbies, or as called at college, us “freshers”, spontaneously started jamming in the laundry at college. The acoustics were so different compared to when you jam in the bedroom because of the tiled floor rather than carpet. As you could imagine, just like singing in the bathroom, the sound bounces around and causes a reverb. The most amazing thing though was slowly but surely, song after song, more and more people started to join us. The harmonies from vocals to other instruments such as guitars and ukuleles filled the air and literally put shivers down my spine. It was so awesome!

They felt the music together and something amazing happened – From the street to TV in a few days:

The other magnificent thing about music is that it not only connects people with other people, it also connects us with memories. College is awesome! Don’t get me wrong. But sometimes it’s nice to escape to another place. The great thing about music is that it can take you to another place even while your still in your same bedroom. You can just put some music on, lie down on your bed and shut your eyes. You can feel like you’re somewhere else because the music connects you with memories or images in your mind. It’s powerful, yet serene.

I could talk all day about music because it’s my passion but I won’t put you through that.

Thanks for reading- Kent

CAMPERS UNITE!!!

There were two extremes in moods in the lead up to the Bunya Mountains camping trip for Steele Rudd. Aaron (Our Social Coordinator) advertised the camp, trademarked with a bear around college. I’m not sure if he was trying to scare people with the thought that drop bears may be real, or if bears were just his first mental image of camping and wilderness. In the end, only eight of us from college went.

Camp Poster

The biggest challenge of the camp occurred before leaving on Saturday morning- strategically packing all of the camping gear and food into two vehicles. It was at this moment of crisis that luxury items or foods lacking high protein were eliminated (MASS GAINS!!! – 7/8ths of us were males). For obvious reasons, steak got preference over the doughnuts. Don’t worry, we didn’t waste the doughnuts, we just had to carb-load before leaving.

Being the only person in our vehicle who had been to the Bunya Mountains before meant I got the front seat because I was the navigator. Little to my immediate knowledge, being the front passenger also meant I controlled the music. Luckily I had music that was pleasing to the masculine ear as we lads hit the road in Steve’s dual-cab Ute. The excitement of leaving the confines of Steele Rudd College ran through our veins and we talked about what other trips we should make through the year – If only we had the time. The back seat passengers listened in, adding comments as their minds wandered away from the engineering assignment they were attempting as we traveled. Being the farmer kid I was growing up, it was nice driving through the country side, except that there was no grass anywhere due to the drought.

Before we knew it, we were climbing the winding roads admiring the views and anticipating better ones to come. We were surprised how many people were at the Bunya Mountains but it was very good weather to be camping. Arriving at the Burtons Well Camping Ground we decided to setup the camping equipment first so that we could make the most of the afternoon. Starving by now, we sifted through the food and decided that snags on bread with barbecued onion would be perfect for our late lunch. Speaking of barbecues, the cooking equipment provided was an open fire barbecue. It had been mentioned in the risk assessment forms prior to the trip that there was a chance the national park could go up in flames. Lighting a barbecue fire straight away put us at risk of this being a reality. Don’t worry, we were responsible… well… as responsible as we could be while almost delirious from starvation. We smashed down our food and realised there were no rubbish bins so improvised and reused the bread roll bags. Take note future campers – bring bin bags!

Now about 2:45pm we figured it was early enough to do a decent bushwalk. Choosing the 9km track ended up being about 12km because we decided to do the little detours along the way to see the extra lookouts and waterfalls (some of which weren’t even running due to the dry weather). This drew our day out till almost 6pm when we headed back to camp to start the BBQ up again for dinner. Aaron stepped up as cook for the much-anticipated steak ‘n’ bacon with salad on bread rolls. We all decided that the best steak was one that wasn’t cooked almost to the point of beef jerky. However, everyone ended up with near restaurant standard blue steaks, with the actual definition of “blue” steak slightly shocking some people. Did I mention that due to the small number of campers, there were enough to have about four each? The verdict was, ‘as long as we were fine in 48 hours’ time, we know it was cooked enough.’ As it turns out no one got sick, Kudos Master Chef Aaron! Having had sufficient to eat, we returned to the campfire, where we talked and laughed for several hours. Prior to leaving college, we predicted that we would be up all night entertaining ourselves around the fire, however we were all tired from our walking and laughing and hit the hay about 10pm.

We decided we would wake up at 5am the next morning and walk up the mountain near us to watch the sunrise. When the alarm went off at 5am I felt way too buggered to get up, it seems others were the same and we all slept in until nearly 7am. When we got up we realised that the view would have been very limited anyway because there was really thick fog and the sun made the whole place a big, bright blur. After eating as much of the leftover food as we could, kicking the football around and packing away the camping gear, we ventured up the mountain for our last climb of the trip. I had been to the Bunya Mountains in the past and promised that this was the best lookout yet. It was only a short walk but there were enquiries from the back light-heartedly questioning the purpose of the climb. Once we reached the top, all doubts were erased.

Bunya Mountains View

The fog had cleared and everyone had learned to trust my judgment. After seeing all there was to see, we walked back down the mountain, returned to camp, connected up the Bluetooth and cranked the tunes for the trip back. Before we knew it we were back and checking ourselves for ticks. The trip was thoroughly enjoyable and we have plenty of stories to tell and laugh about.

If you read this and were there, you will relate. If you didn’t go, I hope this doesn’t make you too jealous, and for anyone else, I hope you enjoyed the journey.

Until next time,

Kent