I’m a writer, not a fighter

IMG_5987

“I’m a writer, not a fighter”, well actually this year I’m both.

Earlier this week signalled the last of the men’s combat inductions, in preparation for a wide array of rehearsals and choreography to learn throughout March.

With the sole objective to become show ready in anticipation of Kynren 2018.

For me, after a slight absence it was good to be back.

Returning once again I had a slight advantage over the newly signed up cast members, as I had been in their position just last year.

Within minutes realising once again how difficult and challenging it will all be for someone like me who clearly lacks in co-ordination skills.

But what has been evident from day one, is the professionalism of the trainers, who are no longer just these mass choreography experts but friends, just like everyone is within the project.

There is a real sense of pride and respect for each other, and that willingness to learn, grow and develop to become better, to deliver a continued level of expectation and performance.

Heading back into training this year on a reflection of my transition of last year, it was different.

It felt right.

I had a difficult 2017 personally, which I have and continue to be very open about, and had I had the strength at that time I would have never had temporarily left Kynren.

I know last year I would have been writing about all the emotions I felt, along with those the cast and supporting crew would have experienced during the shows of last year.

I would have experienced the butterflies from the experience of the build up of the first show right until the fireworks lit up the sky and the hopefulness of a stand ovation from a packed out audience.

Hoping to hold my nerve and delivering on every single aspect that I will have been professionally trained to perform.

To see Kynren is one thing, to live it and to feel it, to really feel Kynren, that you know you’ve played your part in whichever way you have, that is special.

It doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t matter where you stand, it doesn’t matter what you see, it’s all about how you feel.

And that feeling you must have whether you perform on that stage, or when you wear the visible red jackets of the Experience teams welcoming thousands of visitors each show night, or each and all of the other team roles I have yet to experience in any form for myself yet.

There is proudness, that overall sense of achievement, the camaraderie, support and friendships, that all go a long way in making Kynren an exceptional, unique and visually stunning show to be shared amongst all generations.

Kynren 2018 is only just the start to our latest adventures, but one you won’t want to miss out on.

Here’s to another incredible Summer.

IMG_5982

Tickets are now on sale with discounted prices available until 28th February.

For more information please visit the Kynren website:

http://kynren.com/tickets

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/

Advertisements

Kynren 2018

IMG_5943

And so it starts all over again, for many volunteers participating in Kynren 2018 – An Epic Tale of England, training has already started.

For me, it’s just about to begin.

This week I head to my first session of this new season, attending a refresher combat induction in preparation for a busy, but enjoyable training schedule.

For my new team 7 teammates and the rest of the male combat teams, rehearsals and choreography come thick and fast over the month of March.

We’ll be taking part in none other than 18 different sessions within the course of the month.

And quite honestly I’m looking forward to it.

Although, Kynren 2018 leaves me with the exact same questions that led me into Kynren 2017.

Just quite how do each of those volunteers do it?

Even now, watching the newly released promotional videos, I sit and watch and think how am I going to do what each of those cast members do when they perform on that stage.

I really don’t know how.

For me, I would class myself to be a personable person, and I felt very at ease within the Experience Team during season 1, but this is a challenge for me, a challenge I think I need, and one that I could really relish in.

Stepping back 12 months ago I was heading a little bit into the unknown, I may have witnessed the jaw dropping performances of Season 1, and knowing that I too would be learning what each of the Archers had learnt before me.

I recall thinking and saying outloud, how are we going to deliver all of these changes, but you just do.

There is a confidence that simply grows inside of you, driven on by those that stand side by side amongst you.

And Season 3, 4, 5 and so on will be exactly the same.

Many volunteers started this project with a want to take part, become involved, and to give back.

And now as we head closer to the start of Kynren 2018, just 15 weeks away, the experience flows through each of them to help and aid the newer volunteers such as myself transition quickly to the level that is now expected.

There’s an overwhelming passion for the project and of each role that is undertaken, each Archer carries that proudness, that togetherness, and a want of getting the job done to the best of their abilities.

It is a project and show like no other, it captures your heart and keeps you wanting more.

Tickets are now on sale with discounted prices available until 28th February.

For more information please visit the Kynren website:

http://kynren.com/tickets

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/

Kynren – The Big Reveal

IMG_5677

Last night saw all the Archers assemble for an evening that is classed as the Kynren – Big Reveal.

Details of which I cannot share, nor would I want too, that all adds to the mystery and the magic of what Kynren epitomises.

What I can say though is 2018 already looks exciting, and the buzz amongst the cast and crew throughout the evening left you feeling with not just with a sense of achievement, but also a willingness to get started all over again.

Despite being involved more or less from the start, this was the first ‘Big Reveal’ event that I have attended during my own personal Kynren journey.

Looking back they always seemed to be on or around the last couple of weeks of January or early February clashing with other commitments, like birthdays in which I was unable to attend.

Last night’s event, although it was to reveal what is in store for each of us heading into Season 3, it was also a celebration, looking back on what we have all collectively achieved so far.

Looking back on memories that we each share within the Kynren project and show, but also the individual memories we have created throughout our teams and friendships.

As you can imagine, when a 1000+ volunteers come together under one roof, there is an overwhelming buzz running through not only the building, but also through the very core of your own being.

It’s special.

It’s exciting.

And it’s real.

We each hold an overwhelming sense of pride and respect for each other and ourselves.

KYNREN!!!

Collectively, we have done this.

We are doing this.

And we’ll continue to keep pushing our boundaries to keep achieving more and more.

It was an evening to listen, to take everything in, a time to reflect and also a time for laughter too.

I often get asked what I write about, and at times people are confused when I reply it’s a Kynren Blog, but I don’t write about the show.

I choose to write about the emotions and the feelings of what it like to be there as opposed to what you can see.

Kynren has and will continue to be a game changer for many.

For me, heading back into the project after taking a short break within season 2, you realise instantly how much you’ve missed it.

How much you miss not attending the Kynren site.

The views, the feelings, the emotions; that smile that won’t leave your face.

The general rehearsal days where everyone comes together to share what they have learnt.

Memories and flashbacks hit you at every turn.

And most of all the people, from varying backgrounds and age ranges.

We are a community of people.

And we are a specially bonded family, that we will treasure that sense of belongingness for our lifetimes.

So what’s next?

For many, this month sees the start of the cast rehearsals, my next session is on 21st February, and from then on they come thick and fast.

And although such a big commitment of time, I personally can’t wait to get going again.

I want to learn more, and continue to keep learning.

Appreciate the people and surroundings and the experience all around me.

To meet even more people and create new friendships.

To see and experience many different things and capture details from a different set of eyes, and spine tingling moments, that I can share through writing and creativity.

And I want to challenge myself and see how I develop and grow within the project, when I look back on yet another successful season with fondness of memories.

Interested to find out more?

Please visit the Kynren website:

http://elevenarches.org/

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/ 

 

 

 

Season 3 – It’s Good To Be Back

IMG_5350

Last week saw my return to the Kynren project and indeed the Kynren site, for my first session of Season 3: Camp Kynren.

It will come as no surprise to many that I’m delighted to be returning back to the project.

It feels like home.

I don’t know how quite to describe the feeling you feel each and every time you enter the Kynren site.

It feels special, because it is special.

IMG_5342

Walking across the Eleven Arches of the viaduct seperating Bishop Auckland’s town centre, is the outstanding sight of Kynren, in all it’s majestic awe.

Flashbacks hit, wave after wave, memory after memory.

From the Construction of the site back at the very start, the rain, the floods, the thick wet mud, that seemed to be everywhere because it was.

Watching the transformation take place day by day, week by week from across the river, or high above the site we all watched from afar.

And boy it developed, and has since delivered, it seems ridiculous and unimaginable that we are heading into Season 3 already.

The time has flown by, but time does when you’re having the time of your lives.

Reflecting back it’s been a ride, a ride of great proportions, a ride of rich experiences.

Self development and a confidence builder.

It’s seen many friendships start, blossom, and grow into treasures.

Outside looking in, each one of us can look at the Kynren project and see how it’s grown and developed, but for me, a volunteer, it really does show how much I’ve developed too.

I simply can’t think back in any real detail on how it used to be, or maybe I can, but choose to keep looking forward.

I’ve changed as a person, I’m more socially aware now, I was always active and engaging, but I feel I have developed more of an understanding for many situations, scenarios and people now.

I understand volunteering more, and I appreciate everything that is and can be.

Walking across the car park last week and watching all the cars come in, wave after wave, it brought a flashback.

Back to the days of the first general rehearsals, the wide eyed smiles, the laughter, the friendliness of each volunteer, keen to meet up once again and play their part in delivering an outstanding summer of shows.

Camp Kynren I’ve done before, I participated in something similar last year.

It’s more of an induction and information session than anything else.

A time to collect your passes, to provide any outstanding information, and to learn more about the overall objectives of the project in the year to come.

The best part of it is engaging and picking up where you last left off with many of the volunteers you may not have seen for awhile.

Or meeting brand new volunteers or existing volunteers for the very first time.

Kynren holds two elements.

The epic show that develops year on year and each and every volunteer can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in season 3.

And the volunteers circle, a group, but more like a family, of which we can all be proud of each other’s personal achievements.

Once you volunteer, you’ll feel part of something unique, something special, something that you belong too, and something to be proud of.

And there’s still time to become involved and play your part in a Summer that you will treasure forever and never forget.

This Wednesday 17th January, sees the final open call session in preparation for Season 3.

It’s your chance to come and have a look and see what it is all about for yourselves.

To speak to fellow volunteers.

To feel the same magic that I and many other volunteers feel when you arrive each time to the site.

If your interested, full details regarding Wednesday’s Open Call can be found in this link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1723378124361154/?ti=icl

It will be great to see you and welcome you all to the project, there is a wide range of options of roles to become a part of too.

https://corryandrew.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/the-volunteers/

For me, as mentioned in my last blog article, I’ll be back into the cast, show team 7 this year.

Hoping to pick back up where I left off last year, and to create many more memories and take part in many more wonderful experiences, to not only live and breathe them but to share my emotions throughout each stage within this blog going forward.

It’s great to be back!!!

To find out more information on volunteering for Season 3 or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website:

http://www.elevenarches.org

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/posts/

Season 2 to Season 3

IMG_5044

It’s Christmas Eve and it seems appropriate to write a new article now.

For many the Christmas period represents ‘family’ and ‘togetherness’ and the same words hold the same passion within the volunteers circle of the Kynren ‘Archers’

So I’d like to wish a warm and Happy Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to each and every one.

And always raising a glass to those Archers who are no longer with us on our unbelievable Kynren journey ahead.

So Kynren…

It’s been a funny year for me in regards to this project.

What started my year in hope and anticipation came to a stop or more just a pause in April, when I sadly decided to take a break and walk away from the project.

In that time I’ve reflected a lot, I’ve witnessed the project now both inside out and outside in.

And it continues to play a huge part in our daily lives and leaves a huge hole when it’s out of season too.

I didn’t know how I would feel leaving a project that has grown to become a huge part of my life, a passion, a love.

For me, it was timely, I needed to go, I needed to recover, and I’m now returning back, just like I was before but stronger, and better.

I may not have been directly involved in Season 2 during 2017, but it still holds a lot of good memories for me outside of it too.

I could well of been performing to thousands on stage in battles of combat, scene after scene throughout the epic ness of the show capitivating the watching audience as Kynren took them through a breathtaking show of British History.

But no that wasn’t to be for me this year, after all the many hours of rehearsals, the intricate choreography that was learnt by the cast including myself.

No last minute nerves before opening night.

No thoughts of what am I doing?

Am I ready?

Thinking you aren’t, but knowing you are.

No buzz pre show or after show.

And then, then it’s show time and time to deliver on everything that you have trained so hard for.

And then within a blink of an eye it’s over.

And then to witness and feel a spine tingling sensation of a standing ovation.

There was none of that for me.

What was Kynren for me?

This season, I achieved more than I thought I would setting into 2017, I hoped with all my heart I would be strong enough to go on and volunteer in season 2, but the best decision I made was walking away.

In this time I represented Kynren, I represented the ‘Archers’ and just as important if not more I took a step back and acknowledged myself and my self worth as I took to London to represent Kynren – My Experience at the UK Blog Awards as a National finalist at a ceremony at Westminster.

Something I will always look back on and be proud of.

To volunteer and represent in a project that allows you to discover once hidden passions and talents, to explore your creativity, to open up a mind full of possibilities and in doing so represent yourself in the best way possible, is what everyone hopes to live for.

To line up side by side with so many different people, from different ways of life, to different ages, different experiences and to become one, holding the same passion, the same ambition, the same drive, determination and belief that brought you to the project yourself is a true testament to what volunteering actually is all about.

It’s about working together for a common goal, it’s about enjoyment, and character building, it’s about giving back.

2018 sees my return, it’s something at a point I wasn’t sure if I’d do, if I was stronger I would never had left.

But I am back, returning this time to:

IMG_4460

Team 7 – back in the cast.

When I chose to volunteer back at Kynren for Season 3, I left what team that I would be joining back in the capable hands of the Eleven Arches team.

I always had a plan after Season 1, that I wanted to choose different teams each and every year and write from a different perspective of the show and the project, integrating and bonding with different teammates.

And that idea won’t change, but next year I get an opportunity to pick up where I left off and finally finish the chapters that I had first created and continue to tell my story from a cast’s point of view.

Heading into the new year, and it’s Season 3 already, it doesn’t seem real, remembering back through all the memories, and introductions that have been made since day one.

The friendships that have been made and still stand through a testament of time, truly represent a big part of what Kynren actually is.

Kynren means…

IMG_5047

And every single one of us are proud to be standing alongside each other, encouraging each other and celebrating in each other’s successes.

If you would like to join us and become a volunteer in many different aspects and roles of the project, the next session is on Wednesday 17th January, further information can be seen in the attached link.

http://elevenarches.org/get-involved/join-us

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/posts/

 

 

 

Kynren Season 2

IMG_8691

As Kynren prepares itself for one last performance of Season 2, many of the Archers and volunteers will be sharing many memories that this season will have brought them.

For me, they bring many different flashbacks.

As you will have noticed I haven’t written many articles this season, no weekly episodes to watch out for, hopefully to become inspired by, and share in the emotions of the volunteers experience.

14079654_10210692357369732_3565473206692975600_n

Overall at times this season it’s been a hard watch personally, I’ve seen the show, but I haven’t come to write about it as yet, because quite frankly I can’t.

I’ve made no secret on why I left the Kynren project this year, I left for health reasons.

And for those that read these blog articles or follow my progress, the health reasons were down to being diagnosed with depression in November.

It’s been a long and painful process back, I often say depression strips you of your identity, your self belief and self worth, and whilst I tried to continue on in a project I love, I realised I had to walk away for no other reason but myself.

IMG_2569

Watching the show even though it’s still amazing and fantastic, and believe me it does go up levels in comparison to season 1.

So much so I have no doubt it will continue to go up levels in season 3 and 4 and so on.

How do I know this?

Because I completed all of the show team training before I made the painstaking decision to walk away.

I remember being in awe at each training session thinking how on earth are we going to do that?

How on earth am I going to do that?

But you just do.

Practice, practice, practice.

At Kynren you work alongside the very best.

Not only the very best combat trainers and the best choreographers.

But you work alongside only the very best teammates, teammates who once stood in your shoes, who  now have a wealth of experience from participating in the Kynren shows to help you along your journey, with guidance, tips, and lifting your confidence.

IMG_3049

Choreography that was first shown now sticks in your head, remembered and ready to perform, whatever the trainers have in mind for season 3, I have no doubt every Archer will deliver and be raring to get started.

So to the show and project itself, looking outside in, the volunteers have excelled themselves once again, I only found it difficult as I would have been lining up alongside each of them this season.

Knowing in certain scenes exactly where I would be positioned, and exactly what I would have been doing.

But the show itself it has changed, anyone that has seen it this season against last season will know that.

Kynren has added scenes, such as Boudicca.

IMG_3048

And the running layout of scenes has changed, even for a last season volunteer looking in certain directions thinking you know exactly what is about to happen, and being equally as surprised as the audience when something else does, leaving you high on anticipation and on the end of your seat.

The increase of volunteers on the stage makes every scene come even more to life than the first season, if that was possible at all.

If you have had the opportunity or the pleasure to attend this season, you certainly won’t have been heading home short changed.

So what will Season 3 bring?

Honestly I don’t know, but what I think it will bring is: More.

Each season it is delivering, aesthetically it is brilliant and will continue to be.

The pride and willingness of the volunteers make the project special, and that will long live in the memories of all.

And for me, I’m better, and recovered, i’m just waiting on confirmation to go back and do it all again, to pick up where I left off and carry on my journey of Kynren.

To continue to write about the project from the volunteers eyes, a side of the project that no one quite sees unless you join us.

A final note for now, as Kynren and Bishop Auckland head towards their final show of the season a flashback of mine from last year was this.

Heading into this moment last year I wanted to mark the season, to do something special, to share something that could be treasured and looked back on time and time again.

And then it dawned on me, I had already done it, each and every article that I had managed to write told another story, a story that you didn’t have to remember, as it was there for all to see in black and white.

Archers thank you to each of you past and present, with your commitment, loyalty and work ethic the project is looking in good shape heading into Season 3.

To the volunteers of Season 2, head into Saturday’s show just as you have done for the 16 before it.

Big smiles, big performances, take everything in, and most of all enjoy it, because these are the memories you will look back on for a lifetime.

To find out more information on volunteering for Season 3 or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website:

http://www.elevenarches.org

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/posts/ 

 

Good Luck Archers

IMG_1331

Tonight marks the highly anticipated return of Kynren, in the first live public performance in front of the press.

Both local and national press will be in attendance, and it would come as no surprise if some were international too.

With television, radio, newspapers and bloggers in attendance, alongside what is also classed as a friends, family and local residents night, the excitement is already building on what will be another fantastic spectacle.

All the training is done, all the rehearsals too, and for the newer volunteers tonight marks the very start of their journey of a truly wonderful Summer.

They’ll be nerves, but they are good, it shows you that you care.

IMG_1326

I remember it all too well from this time last year, and without any question it will be something that I will miss this time around.

As documented through this blog over the last few entries, I reluctantly decided to take a break whilst I recover from my health reasons.

And to be honest it’s helped, as most people who know me, they have seen a development of change within me since becoming diagnosed with depression in November.

Although Kynren was a positive within my life, I needed to strip back everything to work on what would help me to get better.

I was even asked again this week if I was making a return as my progress has been so good.

But Season 2, will definitely pass me by, and for me personally, it’s still the correct decision, no matter how jealous I am of everyone who is participating in the project this season.

So what’s new in Season 2?

Lots, I did all of the training before I decided to take a break, and although I’m not going to reveal any details, all I will say is take note of everything going on, on the stage, and don’t blink otherwise you’ll definitely miss something.

“We went last year, why should we go back?”

Why should you go back? Because remember how much you loved it last year, remember how you’ve never seen anything like it before, live, in the North East of England, performed by volunteers, who do it for the love of the project, the love of the town, and the love of the people.

Remember the Experience team, the red jackets and the warm and inviting welcome.

img_8125

Remember the beautiful  wild flowers as you walked down our zigzagging pathway towards the village.

IMG_1332

Remember the exhilarating performance, the shivers on your neck, the lump in your throats.

Remember the look in your children’s eyes as they awed in the spectacle, and realised History and Performing Arts is cool.

img_8120

Remember the fireworks, the crashes, the bangs that topped off your night, and this image that rounded off a truly magical performance that long lives in your memories.

Remember it all, let yourself be taken back, back to the night that you witnessed Kynren, the envy of your friends, the envy of your family.

And book your tickets again to witness the best live show the UK will see again this Summer.

To find out more information or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website:

http://www.elevenarches.org

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/KynrenBlog/posts/