Blade Runner 2049 Review: The Perfect Successor

Blade Runner 2049 has been rated R for Violence, some Sexuality, Nudity and Language.

Sitting in a theatre for an extended period to watch a film, no matter which it is, is becoming something of a miracle for me. Whether I’m excited for it or not, it just doesn’t seem to influence me buying the ticket, setting the time aside and going. Blade Runner 2049 started as that kind of movie – I was more aware of its lengthy runtime than I was its source material, more aware of the cost of the ticket than I was that Harrison Ford or Ryan Gosling starred in it. I was also aware of the praise being given to it and of a particular term – ‘The Perfect Sequel’. Happy as critics were to label 2049 as such, I don’t know if I could say the same. What I can tell you is that this movie is, in every sense, a must watch – Blade Runner 2049 an example of what a film can truly be when free of its obligations.

Yet let us not throw away the term of ‘Perfect Sequel’ too quickly, as I agree that on its face, once could see Blade Runner as such. One main reason for its labelling is that 2049 doesn’t attach itself to its official predecessor, the Final Cut of the original Blade Runner. Another is that 2049 does not franchise Blade Runner – over the course of its 2 hour, 40 minute runtime, 2049 tells its own, unique story. This is correct – there are no deliberate omissions of closure to help anticipation for another film. However, to say that 2049 lacks attachment to its predecessor is an understatement – frankly, 2049 acknowledges the age of its source material and almost expects you to have never watched the first film. In fact, 2049 is perhaps best viewed without a refresher of the original. What it does with that material works best when seen from the perspective of Ryan Gosling’s character, K. 2049‘s inciting action, a chance discovery of a secret long-buried, sets the Blade Runner on a journey to unravel a mystery of identity and a collision course with original Blade Runner protagonist Rick Deckard. Deckard’s inclusion in the film, along with any mention of prior events, are used as pieces of the puzzle as opposed to things you should’ve known prior to watching 2049. You’ll learn what you need to from them and move on.

In watching the performances of the film’s main cast, it struck me that every character in some way felt important. 2049 is, much like its stance on the original material, not content to weigh itself down in traditional methods. Its runtime certainly lends itself to this – every character has ample time to sell their performances and be fleshed out. You come for Ryan Gosling’s K, you stay for Sylvia Hoeks’ Luv – a powerhouse in her own right, much like Harrison Ford and Jared Leto are. Considering Ryan Gosling’s ability as a silent actor and the brief screen time of Ford and Leto, it’s clear 2049 wanted to play as much with audience’s expectations of actors as possible – the result is tasteful and not necessarily disrespectful, although I would’ve loved for Leto’s character, Niander Wallace, to have been given more time to keep doing his thing.

Lending itself to the stellar performances is the visual treasure trove and cinematography. Everything in 2049, from sweeping cityscapes to intimate imagery can only be described as worthy of pause. More than once, or twice, or a dozen times even, 2049 tells a story and sells you a lifestyle on its imagery alone. The protein farm of Sapper Morton; the downpour of an overcrowded and despondent Los Angeles; the vibrant yet lifeless Las Vegas – each place speaks to a facet of this world never explicitly stated. It never needed to – director Denis Villeneuve shows incredible skill with the camera throughout, almost never using the same trick twice to keep the film as much about the film as possible.

Blade Runner 2049 is perhaps not the Perfect Sequel it is lauded as. 2049 doesn’t want to be held back by such terms. It would be accurate to call it the Perfect Successor to Blade Runner – it’s stood on its own two feet, unconcerned with merely elevating the original or placing the franchise on some pedestal for the future. It’s an investment for the present – no long-term contract required.

Masquerade Ball

The Future Teachers’ Association will be holding a Masquerade Ball on October 7th, 2017 at 6:30pm-10:00pm in Eagle Hall. Tickets will be $15 per person/$25 per couple, and all are welcome. Formal dress attire is encouraged. There will be a silent auction featuring items such as jewelry from Micah’s, Racquet and Jog merchandise, and local gym memberships.

In addition, there will be a buffet of light refreshments, including a dessert bar. Come dance and get a photo from the photo booth for a selfie! It is the perfect place to take a date or meet new people. This is a major fundraising event for the Future Teachers Association; they have had various fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for a teacher’s conference taking place in Boston, Massachusetts on February 2018. The funds raised will go to registration and travel expenses.

Facebook:

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Destiny 2 Review: Apology Accepted

Between the pedigree of the studio and perceived change of allegiances from the home of their flagship franchise on Xbox consoles to Sony consoles, Bungie had probably set the bar high enough before pre-release footage and marketing was even factored in. September 9th, 2014, the next major Intellectual Property (IP) from Bungie, developer of the critically acclaimed Halo games, released. Titled Destiny, it was released worldwide with expectations best illustrated by the tagline of the series to this day: Become Legend.

It was spectacularly less than. Technically sound but rife with intrinsic issues Bungie would address over the next three years of their ’10 Year Plan’ for the franchise, Destiny was the game many loved but many, many more were left with a bad taste in their mouth from. Fast forward to September 5th, 2017 – the release of the official sequel, Destiny 2. I’ve returned to the game with each expansion for one reason or another but this was the one occasion where I put my foot down – if Destiny 2 wasn’t good enough to stand on its own, I wasn’t coming back. And so, I played – and if I had to leave you with two words from a less-than-pleased player of the original game that sums up my feelings of Destiny 2 – Apology Accepted.

Let me be more concrete. Destiny 2 is first-and-foremost a First-Person Shooter (FPS) game concerned with grounding its gameplay in Role Playing Game (RPG) elements. As in Destiny, players are a Guardian, one champion of many of a moon-like entity sat just above the Earth’s surface known as the Traveler. You, along with your fellow Guardians (be they players of in-game characters) have fought to protect the Traveler and the people of the Last City from a myriad of alien threats – the four-armed, scavengers called the Fallen; the Hive, necro-aliens infesting the Earth’s moon; machine-aliens named the Vex; and the imperialistic brutes of the Cabal. It is this fourth, last race that takes center stage in Destiny 2 – within ten minutes the Cabal have successfully invaded the Last City and sealed away the Traveler, depriving you of your Light – the source of power bestowed by the Traveler which grants you otherworldly abilities. Oh, and your immortality. That too.

You, the Traveler and the Cabal assaulting the Last City.

The game’s plot centers around this premise – having been led via a vision to a shard of your god and regaining the power to fight back, you must retake the Last City, free the Traveler, defeat the Cabal’s Red Legion and take down their leader, Ghaul. The game’s campaign, taking place over roughly ten to fifteen hours, is extremely simple, devoid of depth and poorly paced, having you move very quickly in later portions of the game through planets which otherwise have a wealth of content to explore. Yet, despite such grievous issues, it is far more filling than the campaign of the original Destiny, in large part because despite all its flaws, Destiny 2 conveys what’s being done as opposed to its predecessor, where you’re presented the things your character is doing. In particular the game’s lore on various locations, characters and events, present in its predecessor almost only through Grimoire Cards accessible via a companion app has now been corrected in the second game, with the lore being present as fleshed-out dialogue during missions (which changes depending on the race of your character and whether you’re a returning player) and scannable items in the in-game world. This is much more accessible and personal, something that consistently grabs the players attention as they stumble upon previously unknown information which might embellish a known topic, answer a lingering question or, as is often the case in the Destiny games’ storytelling, pose entirely new ones.

What’s always been a solid delivery for the Destiny series is the gameplay itself. Players choose from one of three classes – the headstrong Titan, the cunning Hunter or the empowered Warlock. From there, you have access to three subclasses, which change the class’ primary element (Void, Solar or Arc) and shake up the gameplay through a unique super move and various perks or changes to the core concept. While players may find one play style to their liking above all others, each class and subclass feels distinct and rewarding to play. As this game is primarily a shooter, you’ll use many, many guns – mostly of varying types separated into Kinetic, Energy (which are the same type of guns as Kinetic Weapons but with an elemental modifier) and Power (separate in type and application – big weapons for big threats) Weapons. Finding a load-out you like and sticking to it is made difficult by the game’s system of progression, wherein the average strength of all equipped gear will decide the power of gear acquired later. Without proper foresight and planning, you can easily lock yourself into a high-powered gun or armor piece of the wrong type, which delays progression in the game until you happen to get the things you need and work your way back up again.

What’s worth noting however is that even in these instances where you’re artificially given a hurdle to climb, there’s such a wealth of content to undertake whether by type or place that you’ll likely never burn out on anything as you play. Within any of the four planets that serve as the games’ settings, you have your main campaign missions chronicling the Red War, supplementary Adventures and post-game Quests – additionally, there are Public Events which appear at set intervals within the game world as freeform goals to complete, Regional Chests to find and collect and Lost Sectors to explore and clear. In addition, there’s Player Versus Player (PVP) game modes, Strike missions (undertaken by a team of three players), the weekly Nightfall Strike (one of the Strikes within the game set on a timer, with modifiers to gain back time and change gameplay) and the six player Raid, a multi-stage trial requiring geared, capable players to complete various complex tasks to progress. The sheer enormity of ways to progress in the game means that at any stage of play, you’re acquiring valuable loot for your adventures such as the highly sought after Exotics, weapons and armor with unique perks that can drastically alter styles of play. Such a large amount of content – none of which feels overly repetitive or specifically there as padding – means that no two players will gear the same and should you ever get bored with how you’re playing the game, you can change things up and still feel as rewarded there as you were before.

As a long-time player of the series, having seem the ups and downs of the Destiny series, Destiny 2 represents a fresh start and the best foot forward for the franchise. It’s not perfect but it isn’t built on fundamentally broken components like its predecessor was, and as it grows and develops in the coming years, Destiny 2 will remain a heartfelt apology to fans of the series and an example of how Bungie has learned from the experience and wishes to move forward – with purpose and clarity. And, well, you know my thoughts on that already. If there were ever a time to say this, it’s now, at such a crucial time for the series:

Become Legend.

A silent protest with a loud message

Dallas Cowboys team and owner lock arms in moment of silent protest on Monday September 25. Photo from ESPN.

In 2016, Colin Kaepernick drew nationwide attention for not standing during the national anthem before games. His silent protest was against the oppression of people of color in light of events of police brutality. This form of protest has gained more attention since Sunday, when more players were shown with arms linked, kneeling on the field, sparking a debate over what the players are protesting and whether they should be able to protest at all.

On Monday September 25, the Dallas Cowboys team and its owner, Jerry Jones, linked arms and knelt on the field before the national anthem was played amidst jeers from the crowded arena. Jason Garret, Dallas Cowboys head coach, said in an interview with NFL Total Access they chose that moment to demonstrate for a reason.

“The biggest thing for us was to show support and to demonstrate, but do it in a way that didn’t involve the American flag and the national anthem, and everybody was behind that,” said Garret.

“The reason that I’m particularly proud of this team and the coaches that coached them, is because we all agreed that our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,” said Jerry Jones.

Jones is not the only owner to kneel with his team. Arthur Blank of the Atlanta Falcons and Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins also kneeled with their teams. Donald Trump has spoken out against the NFL, urging for a rule that forces the players to stand for the anthem and sees kneeling as a sign of disrespect on the United States rather than a silent protest for social equality. He shared his opinion through a series of tweets.

Many Americans agreed with his statements. Taya Kyle, widow of ‘American Sniper’, Chris Kyle, shared her thoughts about the issue in a letter to the NFL on Facebook. In the letter, she claims the NFL’s job was to “bring people together and heal the world” and feels that their recent protests go against that.

“You are asking us to abandon what we loved about togetherness and make choices of division,” Kyle said.

Not all Americans feel the same way as President Trump and Taya Kyle.

Olivia Okoye, freshman, also supports the players kneeling. “It’s their right to kneel. If they feel that they should do it, it’s their right.”

“I think they are standing as a team no matter what race they are because it affects all races. There are all races in the NFL,” said Arlena Lightsey, freshman.

Zane Watson, freshman, was on the fence about the issue.

“It’s their right as human beings to represent their opinions, but those opinions can reflect badly on the organization,” he said.

What’s Up With Kpop?

Korean Pop, better known as Kpop, is popular music from South Korea. Kpop has also had a solid following all over the world since the 90s.  One South Korean everyone might be aware of is Psy, who created the Gangnam Style dance craze that went viral back in 2012.  Since his insane popularity the South Korean government has giving the Kpop industry money to continue its work in the hope it would put South Korea on the map and encourage tourists to come to the country.

What makes Kpop unique is that it has managed to incorporate all genres of music from rock, pop, and metal, to jazz, rap, and R&B. It has taken all these genres and made its own brand. It’s not strange to hear several genres played in one song. Kpop also features boy and girl bands alike that can have up to 10 members. Unlike U.S bands Kpop bands tend to have several more members and they start training really early. They are taught to sing, dance, and play instruments at a young age. They compete with thousands of other  teens just as skilled. They practice 12 hours a day, including time for studying, because education is important in South Korea. They attend Kpop private schools where one 3-month semester can easily cost $1,000. Keep in mind that they can start as young as 6 and at roughly $4,000 a year, by the time they reach 18 a private school can cost up to $48,000. Even then they are not guaranteed to be in a band, but with their extensive study, they are still able to go on to college and get well-paying jobs.

Kpop has opened its arms to all genres and culture. It takes the best parts and makes it unique. The Kpop industry has been marketing its music and videos to be globally friendly, with 44% of song titles in English, and a lot of the choruses and hooks in these songs in English as well.

Below are three different songs. Which one is your favorite? I’d love to know why.

This song is to showcase a very popular boy band as well as how this expensive music video has found a way to incorporate different genres. This song is likely a party song as it encourages people to dance. “Put your hands up, like you got your country back. Jump up, like you would sprain your ankle. Shake, like you have a seizure. Sing a song together everyone. Ringa-linga-ring Ringa-linga-ring”

 

This song is to show that Kpop bands can have numerous people and yet they find a way to showcase everyone almost equally. This chorus is essentially telling a guy that if he likes me very very very much then call me. The rest of the song goes on to describe how the girl doesn’t know if the guy is serious about her or not and she wants to know either way, all while her friends and family call the guy a snake.

 

The song is called crazy and it fits. By crazy, she does not mean insane, she means more like wild. In the song she states she is crazy, everywhere she goes it’s crazy. Don’t fight the crazy, embrace it.

Fans rally behind popular DJ

Popular radio DJ Mimi Campbell was dismissed from her position with Townsquare Media almost three weeks ago.  Following a post by a disgruntled fan in the Facebook group Texarkana Cheers and Jeers, Campbell’s fans and friends rallied to show her support.

Campbell had worked as a radio DJ for nearly 17 years when she was told that the station was going in a different direction.  Listeners could hear Mimi on Power 95.9 in the mornings and Magic 93.3 in the afternoons. “I guess those corporate folks just didn’t know how much of a chameleon I can be. I can go with the flow; just tell me what needs to be done,” Campbell said in a Facebook post regarding her dismissal.

When a disgruntled fan heard the news, she took to Facebook to air her frustrations on Texarkana Cheers and Jeers.  Neither the disgruntled fan, nor Campbell, expected such an overwhelming response.  The post generated over 300 likes, 23 shares, and more than 90 comments.  Fans posted moving messages, such as; #teammimi, #bringmimiback, and “I WANT MY MIMI AND MORNING SHOW BACK.”  The general consensus of the commenters was that, without Mimi, the listeners were changing the channel.

Attempts have been made to contact the management at Townsquare Media Corporate Office in Shreveport.  No one was available for comment at this time.

Posted in A&M

Nowhere But Up!

It is hard to believe that there are seven billion people in this world yet somehow, we are all connected in some way. I can’t fully explain this connection, but obstacles are placed before us in which some people overcome, share their stories, then someone, somewhere, somehow is able to personally relate because they too experienced a very similar situation. There are some things in life that many of us will never endure and it’s easy to judge a person when their social norm is different from ours. It is during these times that we should get to know them.

Monday, September 25, 2017, I had the opportunity to have a sit-down interview with one of the residents at the Randy Sams’ Outreach Shelter in downtown Texarkana, TX. Tommy Aubrey, 40, is one of those residents. Growing up Mr. Tommy was the oldest of three and suffered from dyslexia along with a speech impediment. As a child, he imagined that one-day he would grow up to go into the Marines he was fascinated with law enforcement, and forensics was something that interest him most, but challenges were forced upon him and life takes him on a detour. He settled back in Texarkana, AR after moving away from Oklahoma, he quickly explains that the reason it’s been hard the last two years is because he had a hard time asking for help when he needed it most. “If I can’t get it on my own, it was meant for me not to have it,” Aubrey says.

He went on to describe what the first night was like for him being homeless, he says “It was hard, because I have a lot of pride issues and I believe in myself so much that sometimes you try to hide things until you get it together, I didn’t want anyone to know I was homeless.” Mentally he felt hopeless, but quickly understood what it felt like to sit and sleep on the sidewalks. Aubrey says, “It made me understand, and gave me an idea of what those people were going through. It’s kind of hard to understand a homeless person unless you are put in that situation.” Despite everything he went through he has no regrets, he went on to describe them as “growing pains” he says that “this experience allowed me to understand where I can survive at and let me know where I am weak. The weak part is I can’t do everything on my own.” He was quick to make light of the situation by telling me how he would’ve never known what it was like to camp out had he not been homeless sleeping in the woods.

I couldn’t help but to wonder, ‘how is Mr. Tommy able to remain so positive and hopeful that everything will one day work out?’ He responded, “I believe in the self.” Both his grandmother and mother taught him to not feel sorry for himself, to stand tall in the midst of any storm and he has done just that! Mr. Tommy emphasized on being a risk taker, trusting the decisions you make for yourself, and not being afraid to go with the unknown. I learned that not everything is going to be easy in life but as he said, “I believe everyone has to go through something in order to know where they are going.” Now being 40 years old he has experienced enough of life to know that the things he cared about when he was younger just don’t matter anymore. He has truly inspired me in a way that will always leave this lasting impact on my life. That day, he taught me that everything truly does happen for a reason even if we don’t understand the reasoning at that moment. I’ve always wondered and questions the obstacles of my life, why was I of all people handed certain stumbling blocks while others seem to have it a lot easier than myself?

Mr. Tommy taught me that as “bad” as your life may seem, there’s someone dealing with a struggle that you may not ever endure in a lifetime. I learned that we all go through tough situations but you must learn that struggles are necessary in order to get to where you are going. Society should be less judgmental of people who have less than them and that life don’t have favorites, that at any given moment the life you have now can be taken away and you could be in the position that you said you would never be in. So, the next time you see a homeless person let me tell you now, they are humans and they have feelings.

Destiny 2 Begins First Wave of Releases

The highly anticipated sequel to the Action Shooter series released on September 9th, 2014 and helmed by original Halo developer Bungie Studios, Destiny 2 has released worldwide (September 6th) to PS4 and Xbox One consoles and will release on PC October 24th.

Continuing a three-year long series set in a not-so-distant future wherein humans have accelerated their civilization’s expansion with the aid of an otherworldly planet-size being known as the Traveler, players take on the role of a Guardian, champion of the Traveler and all civilization within its Light. After an attack on the Traveler and the last bastions of humanity by the Cabal, hostile alien occupants of Mars, players must defeat the Cabal army now occupying Earth, freeing the Traveler and taking back their home.

Losing what has been home for fans of Destiny is not lost on them and is a deliberate choice for Bungie – while the games predecessor had a historically rocky launch and post game history, in effect restructuring what in the game’s early years was called a ’10 year plan’, Destiny 2 aims to expand on the goals of the original. It’s packing more story, content and gear than the first game at launch and to continue delivering enjoyable, cooperative content for players for many years to come.

Players can progress through the games campaign alone or with two friends, take part in instanced Strike content and partake in overworld content in the games new Patrol areas in areas such as the European Dead Zone (EDZ) of Earth and Titan, a moon of Saturn. Participating in any of this content, as well as the game’s player versus player (PVP) game types, awards the player gear such as weapons and armor, any of which can be unique Exotic items carrying unique perks. As before, players accumulate stronger gear and weaponry for harder content in the game’s endgame, such as the six player Raid or upcoming DLC content such as the upcoming Curse of Osiris expansion.

Early impressions and in-progress reviews of the game show a favorable reception, with commentary that the time Bungie put into this sequel to the original was not in vain – the experience feels fresh and wholly rewarding. However, time will tell if the appeal holds as it should into the many, many months ahead for fans of the series.

Destiny 2 is out now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles for $59.99, will be available on PC on October 24th and is available at any major retailer or online through the consoles’ respective digital marketplaces.

Animal rescue saves lives

There is more to animal rescue than puppy breath, furry faces, and unconditional love.

Animal neglect and abuse are responsible for a large number of rescue animals. According to Whitney Harrison Stokes, Director of Ark-la-tex Animal Rescue, they get two or more calls a week regarding animal abuse or neglect. Recently, the rescue responded to several dogs abandoned in Nashville, Arkansas. In two separate yards, a total of nine dogs were left on chains to starve.

“There is a lot more going on in our rescue than just giving dogs second chances,” Stokes said.

Ark-la-tex Animal Rescue currently has 37 dogs in foster care. Stokes fosters six of them herself. With only 20 volunteer fosters, each volunteer has an average of two foster dogs each. The rescue is always looking for volunteers to foster.

“Would it be a big deal to allow a dog to come stay with you instead of sitting terrified in a shelter, or starving on the streets, or neglected at the hands of some idiot,” Stokes pleaded.

As badly as fosters are needed, each volunteer has to be carefully vetted. This strict rule was invoked following a horrendous tragedy where more than a dozen animals lost their lives at the hands of a once trusted volunteer and her boyfriend.

Since June of 2016, unbeknownst to Stokes, an established volunteer, Whitney Smither, had been pulling countless animals from the animal shelter in Fort Worth, Texas. Smither and her boyfriend, Brian Moore, had pulled close to 130 animals.

“I can’t tell you how many animals she actually had in her possession,” Stokes said. “I keep hearing that she was pulling dogs from shelters all the way up in Arkansas.”

In November of 2016, after receiving a call from a concerned neighbor, Stokes learned that Smither had skipped town, leaving countless animals to fend for themselves. When Stokes arrived at the deserted home, she was met with more than just abandoned animals. There were more than a dozen dead animals, skeletons, and tufts of fur scattered around the property. The bones told a story of cruelty and abuse.

“If I had any inkling of an idea that she was doing this, I would have shut her down real fast,” Stokes said. “This kills me, it’s devastating, sad, makes me mad, there’s just not the right words out there.”

Smither has not been located to answer for her crimes. The boyfriend, Brian Moore, was charged with eight counts of cruelty to animals and is scheduled for court on March 14, 2018. He could face a fine or up to 10 years in prison for each misdemeanor charge.

Following this tragedy, the surviving animals from the property required veterinary care. In fact, every animal brought in to rescue usually requires some form of medical attention. The rescue spends an average of $500-$700 per month on vet care.

“We spend right at $250 just getting a dog their shots, a fecal exam, heartworm test, and their spay or neuter,” Stokes explained.

With the average adoption fee being $150 per animal, the vet expenses are rarely fully covered. Expenses must be covered in other ways; such as fundraisers and adoption events.

“Adoption events are fairly successful, but we really don’t want to do on site adoptions,” said Stokes. “We prefer to do the home check and interviews before anybody takes the dog home.”

Running an animal rescue is a lot of work and it comes with more than its fair share of heartbreak. However, Stokes believes it is worth it.

“My favorite part is getting updates on dogs that have been adopted,” Stokes said. “Some of them have the most amazing lives compared to where they came from. It takes my breath away.”

Posted in A&M

Follow Fear (How Ellen’s Fear Made Her Millions)

If you could do anything in the world without failure, what would it be? Would you become an astronaut, a cardiologist, or a talk show host? What is keeping you from following your dreams? Comedian, successful television personality, and a household name, Ellen DeGeneres has done the “impossible” and is a prime example on why facing your fear is a good thing. Although everything may look effortless as she enters her 15th season of The Ellen Show, making a name for herself was a struggle.

A yogi by the name of Sadhguru once said, “Fear is simply because you are not living life, you are living in your mind. That means your fear is always about that which does not exist. If your fear is about the non-existent, your fear is a hundred percent imaginary.” Before DeGeneres was a big time talk show host she starred in a sitcom called Ellen from 1994 to 1998. In 1997, she did something courageous she stopped hiding her true identity and by coming out and saying she was gay on national television. Mind you, this was during a time when people did not discuss sexuality, gay marriage was far from being legal, and there were a few openly gay actors.

DeGeneres says, “I didn’t do this because I was fearless, I did it in spite of the fact that I was scared to death…it made me really proud of myself and made me realize I wasn’t as weak and pathetic as I thought.”

Can you imagine what it’s like to be judged by millions simply because you don’t want to live a lie? Many people admire Ellen for her honesty because in life you will always be faced with things that scare you, but it is up to you on how you choose to let “fear” affect you. Ellen lost her career for three years, lost all her money, and had to start all over. There may be a time in life when most of us will hit rock bottom. You will either let your “failure” consume you, or take that opportunity to start over and get back on your feet.

As Ellen once said, “The bad things are our biggest teachers.”

After being inspired by Johnny Carson, Ellen herself wanted to attempt her own talk show but once again was fearful because her thought was, “Who is going to watch a gay woman in the middle of the day?” Now 15 years later the show is doing more than okay!

The path to success is not a straight line and if you truly want to live your purpose and maximize your full potential you must live without fear. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, take risks, and be unapologetic for your personality. Nothing happens over night, I once heard Oprah say, “l don’t believe in luck, ‘luck’ is when preparation meets opportunity.”

No matter how “bizarre” your dreams may seem, it’s possible, remember in 1997, people thought Ellen would never be able to show her face in Hollywood again.