Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Laura Whitmore Interview.

Laura Whitmore.
Just a few weeks ago, when I was sitting my English Pre exam one of the questions we had to answer was make up an interview with someone who has your dream job, I choose Laura Whitmore and never in my wildest dreams could I ever have imagined that three weeks later I'd actually be on the phone to the MTV legend and actually interviewing her!! 
I don't know whether it was our mutual love of Kings Of Leon, or just her bubbly outlook on life that made me admire the TV presenter that little bit more. As I spoke to Laura about her career, moving to London, working for MTV and the stress of the leaving cert it made me realise that Laura's exactly like every single one of us, and even with everything she's achieved she's the most naturalist, down the earth person I've ever spoke to, and all this as she was on her way to the celebrity juice studio and heading off to LA the next morning, yeah serious envy!!.
 Laura even took pity on me when I told her I was doing my leaving cert this year as she like us poor misfortunes, is just another girl that made it through the leaving cert, followed her dream and got very lucky.

The first question I had to throw at Laura was about her college degree, as like myself she was interested in journalism and she then went onto choose to study Journalism in DCU, I asked Laura was journalism always her first choice on the CAO, and I was shocked to hear that she almost didn't even head down the journalism route changing her top choice three times. (I'm already on my second time) but Laura said:
''Like most people I really didn't have a clue what I wanted to do, and it's just so difficult, I changed my CAO first choice three times.''
Initially Laura thought she wanted to study drama, but as her parents began to worry about whether or not it would be a suitable career, and  as she was quite good at science her parents thought this would be a great route for her as she's guaranteed a job but with a huge interest in English, she eventually decided to go with her heart and study Journalism.
 ''Journalism looked like a great degree, it was quite broad and as I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, I thought it would be a good option for me''.
Like myself, Laura attended an all girls secondary school and couldn't wait to get to college where she could mix with other people and just gain new experiences like moving away from home for the first time.
''Even though I didn't know what I wanted to do, I wanted to go to college anyway because I think that's a really good experience that everyone should have. 
I moved away from home and you grow up and going to an all girls school it's good being in a mixed college and stuff like that.''
Even though Laura didn't have a set plan her heart was always in this career area,
''I didn't really know what I wanted to do, but I knew it was in that area and no matter what career I go for it would kinda help me (journalism degree) so that's why I really picked it, but not because I knew that was what I wanted to do''
When I asked Laura would she recommend studying journalism to help get into a career of presenting she didn't quite answer, telling me
''I think it's good to have a degree, I can't honestly say studying journalism will get you a career like I have, because at the end of the day it wasn't because of my degree that got me my job, it was because I entered a competition, I know the university probably says 'Oh Laura studied this and got this job' but you can't be guaranteed that  everyone's different and everyone has their own different paths to follow.
Some of my friends that studied journalism some are crime correspondents, some went onto study law afterwards, one of my friends even hated it and went on becoming a teacher, so everyone has their own journey and their own story'' 
When deciding what course you should pick Laura advises that you follow your own heart and go for something that you are truly interested in.
''Go for something that you'd like to study and something you're interested in, and I was really interested in journalism and it's definitely helped me in asking questions and doing research  but it doesn't guarantee necessary that you will get a job in MTV or anything''

After explaining my business/journalism not sure which one conundrum to Laura she offered me the advice that either way I can go into each one from both ways, from business you can go into business journalism and from journalism you can go into business, really there's nothing stopping you but from talking to Laura, I pick up on the idea that she remembers how much stress choosing courses can be and how for some strange reason I don't think she would like to go through that again.
''I know, it's so hard and you meet people who go get a degree and then work somewhere in a completely different area, It's just the experience of going to college that's important''
Laura really does recommend studying something that you are really interested in not something that you think you will get a good career out of.
''I think that business and journalism they're both such broad course, I could have gone into business through journalism or became a business journalist it's all so broad so you just have to follow your gut instincts''

When I asked Laura whether she always dreamed of becoming a presenter I was kind of shocked to hear that it wasn't her biggest dream although she admits she always loved TV and radio
''Like I said I wasn't sure that's what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to be in television, I love television, even radio and I was also into drama and acting too so like a lot of my experiences and the understanding of what I wanted to do came from all the extra stuff I did at college, like I was a member of DCU drama, I set up my own magazine, I wrote for the paper so it was all those extra bits that gave me an idea of what I wanted to do, and that kind of helped me more so than just doing the course, so it wasn't like 'Oh I'm going to study journalism and be a TV presenter because in Ireland  that's not really possible.
The only reason I got a job is because I entered a competition in the UK, it's so difficult to get into it. 
You have to go for something you think you're going to enjoy. and I enjoy kind of writing, the radio aspect and I enjoy talking to people and interviewing people, it's a good thing I did but at the end of the day it's the extra bits that I did that helped me the most''

Laura admits she was lucky getting her job at MTV as she stumbled across an advert for MTV, who were looking for a new presenter, Whitmore applied only dreaming she could ever win, admitting she only thought she could make a few contacts, but as she came further into the top 5, it seemed to pay off as she won and got the contact with MTV.
I couldn't wait to ask Laura about MTV, and asked her about the process of the competition and what it entailed. 
''When I entered it I hoped to get some contacts of people because like, none of my family or friends were in TV so I was just trying to get a contact anywhere I could, I hoped if I could I'd get someones email address and maybe could do some work experience or an internship, I never thought I was going to win but then the closer you get, and then it was like brought down to 100, to 50, to 25, to 10 to 5 and then suddenly you're in the final five and you think oh God, I could win this.
It was just very surreal if I'm honest, you're on a kind of roller coaster, you just kind of get on with it you don't have time to just sit back and think, and I think it was only about a year after, living in London I kind of thought, 'Oh wow, look what I did' you don't really realise at the time because you're too busy doing it, too busy in the moment''
My next question I had to ask was, the difference between Live or pre- recorded TV, now me personally, I think I would brick myself doing a live TV show, that being said I'd brick myself doing a pre recorded one too but for Laura, any day it's live over recorded as she compares it to an actor choosing to do theatre over a movie any day.
''I prefer live,live is my favourite type of TV, It's quick when it's wrap it's done you can't do any of it again, I grew up watching live TV shows like Dermott on the Xfactor, Davine on Big Brother and stuff like that, they're the kind of shows I'm interested in, I quite like the live shows. I think it's very exciting and anything could happen and it's a lot more pressure as a presenter but it's so much fun to do.
If you ask an actor if they would rather a movie or theatre a lot will say theatre, because you kind of get that buzz''

Laura at the BAFTAS.
One thing that you can say about a TV presenter is that they have the most glamorous lifestyle ever, am I right? 
Surely I am?...
I'm wrong, I couldn't not ask if it's as glamorous as it seems, hey it's an important question for someone interested in this industry! 
 Giving a friendly giggle Laura explains to me how it's not one bit as glam as it seems
''No, it's not you see pictures of me on the red carpet for five minutes, it's not. I always hear people say 'Oh, I'd love to do what you do you get to dress up and go to dinners' and that is a small amount to the job, the actual job itself, is running around, it's long hours, yano you get up and get a call at 6am you might not be home until after midnight and then you might have to fly somewhere the next day, and it's quite tiring and it's hard when you've got friends and family or relationships and you're trying to work all that in and tie it all together with your work so it is tough so you have to really want to do it for the right reasons''

Laura tells me that her days are both the best and worst part of the job, as much as a disadvantage not having a typical day is, it's one of the reasons she loves it. 
''The best part of the job, is it just excites me, some people don't like their job I get paid and I can survive doing work that I love doing and it's meeting people I'm meeting new people all the time and no day is the same, every single day is different. 
Equally the hardest part is that every day is different yano it's not as reliable, like one of my friends could ask me if I want to go to dinner next week? and I won't know because it's so unpredictable''
Even as Laura speaks to me, she's on her way to the studio which she didn't find out about until last night after thinking she had the night off, so it's easy to understand how this would be a negative aspect of the job. 
''There's no typical day, but that's why I love it as well it's negative and positive''

For me, as someone who's always looked up to miss Whitmore I couldn't wait to harass her for some advice about following in her footsteps and becoming a presenter.
''It's you who can make your own future and destiny and don't let anyone ever stop you. I was lucky that my mam always believed in me and trusted me to make the right decisions, and even though she worried about me and was like 'oh my god, you're going to London by yourself, but you have to follow your heart and if an opportunity is there, you take them. I entered the competition so if I didn't enter that competition I would of never have gotten the job. You can't just sit back and hope that someone comes to you, you have to go out and get them, and definitely put yourself out there, if it is what you want to do I'd recommend getting work experience/ internships, like I worked part -time in a radio station, I wrote for a local paper, bits like that so I think it's kind of good to do that and put yourself out there as much as you can''

Laura then told me how, it's important to have some support from your family and be surrounded by good people but when I told her of how my mam also believes in me but it was always her dream for me to become a primary school teacher she could relate straight away as she told me how her father didn't always approve of her following her dream, as he thought she wouldn't use her brain as much as she could.
''My dad didn't want me to do it, I did quite well at school, I was quite smart and got a good leaving cert, so he wanted me too do something else because he didn't think I'd use my brain in this career but to be honest you do use your brain, a lot more than people think because you're constantly, constantly going and your brain is always going, you're interviewing and making stuff up on the spot and my dad was worried about me but it's my life not his, so I did go for it in the end. They're happy now but it can be hard.
You learn from doing, and if it doesn't work out it doesn't work out but at least you gave it a go. You have to take a risk and it won't work for everyone.
I know some people who've tried to make it happen and it hasn't worked for them but you have to at least try and know that you've tired''

Last weekend was one of Ireland's biggest media events as the 11th Annual IFTAS took place and Whitmore co presented the event with Simon Delaney, whilst wearing a stunning floor length white gown.
However the minute I mentioned the award show I could tell it was a touchy subject as Laura wasn't happy with the production of the show. 
''It's not the biggest thing I've ever done, it was a bit annoying because we had problems production and sound wise and I don't have control over that so I wasn't too happy with that, because you're only ever as good as the team you work with.
When you work teams over a while, like the team on I'm a Celebrity you become like a family but when you work with a new team it can be quite difficult, so I found that difficult in that I never worked with that crew in Dublin before and it was done differently from how I like to do it and there was sound issues and stuff so for me I found that very difficult because I couldn't hear myself. 
But you live and you learn from different experiences, and I try and take the positives out of everything so even though I didn't enjoy that, I loved working with Simon he was amazing, and being back in Ireland but I didn't think it went well and I wasn't comfortable in the environment so you take what you can from the experience and you say 'ok well it didn't go well, I'll learn from that'.
It's the beauty of live TV, you can't stop you just keep going''
For most people, improvising is very hard, 
For example...
Teacher: Where's your homework?
Me: Oh am Jesus, no am you see what happened here was I thought I left my pen in school, but really my pet rabbit eat it and started choking and then we had to bring her to the vet and then the vet had to take it out....
Yeah, long story short I'm not the best so I asked Laura how she coped with improvising and she told me she loves it!!!!
''That's my best bit, I don't like over rehearsal I think the stuff you do on the spot, sometimes can be the best''
Laura with I'm a celebrity co-hosts Joe Swash and Rob Beckett.
As you may know, every November since 2011, Laura joins the pairings of Ant and Dec for the ITV spin off show 'I'm a Celebrity Get me out of here now' this is a dream come true for Laura, as she gets to spend three weeks doing live TV in AUSTRALIA!!!!
''I'd never been to Australia before, I work with a great team and it's live TV everyday for three weeks it's full on and very tiring but I love it, I get such a buzz from it,and everyone is so nice I just love it.
We have so much fun we're like a family''
Like most of you wondering I couldn't not ask about Ant and Dec!! When I asked Laura what they were like she said 
''They're exactly as you see them on the tele''
But when it came to asking Laura which she would rather 
''They come together as a package, you can't split them up''.
Fair enough!!

Laura and Kings Of Leon.
When I finally got the chance to bring up one of my favourite topics KINGS OF LEON!!  
I immediately bonded with Laura as she admits she loves them too!! Laura recently interviewed them for the MTV show 'MTV asks' and I literally had to ask, WHAT ARE THEY LIKE?!!!
''They were lovely, some bands are just interested in the music, you forget they're musicians and they're used to being on stage in front of loads of people but they don't do a lot of interviews, so sometimes I find they can be a little bit quite or awkward, but they were really nice.
Nathan, (the drummer) is really funny!! Caleb is a bit more serious, when I interviewed him he had his wife and little baby in the next room so yano there just really people aren't they? they got on with everything, they talk about their hard times as well when they get stressed and stuff and one thing I'm lucky with is when I meet people and even if I'm a big fan of their music you realise they're just people, getting on with life.
Were all the same at the end of the day''.
It was at this stage I faced Laura with a VERY difficult question as I made her choose between my personal favourite lead singer Caleb Followill or my second personal favourite bass guitarist Jared Followill...
Who would you pick....
Jared is in the front left, Caleb is in the front right.
''Well they're both married, I used to fancy Jared, he used to be my favourite but Caleb's got those eyes.
They're piercing''
Well, I couldn't be happier with Laura's reply. I highly agree,

After chatting about their concert in Marley park, a week after my Leaving Cert Laura takes pity on me doing the leaving cert but have no fear she informs me there is actually a life after the leaving cert!! and nothing is as hard as the leaving.
''Nothing will ever be as hard as the leaving cert it's when it's done that's when the real fun starts. Keep the head down work hard and then go off to college and you'll have great fun.
Do the few months, get through it and then you'll have the summer.
You can get very stressed by it, and I think, at the end of the day they're just exams. If you can just put the head down for the few months and work your ass off and then you're done. Nothing if ever as hard as it, college is so easy compared to sitting down and doing all those exams because you're only doing one or two topics that you're interested in, you don't have to do loads so then I think enjoy your summer, have fun, relax.
I went away on holidays, I hard a part time job to get the money and then started college in September''
Summer is festival time for MTV as Laura tells me how she's jetting off to LA, TOMORROW morning for a festival headlined by Muse and Outkast and can't wait but she admits her favourite festival is actually in Ireland.
''You know what one of my favourites is, is Electric Picnic in Stradbally. That's one of my favourite ones''

I finally got around to asking Laura if there was anything left that she wants to achieve..
''Oh My God Lynda, yeah there's so much more I want too''..
beep ... beep....beep
and the phones goes off.
Laura rings back though for one last question before she has to go and I decided to get you some inside facts about Laura and ask her something that not many people know about her, and it seems to be the trickiest question of all, even more than the Caleb or Jared one..
''Oh God, ammmm I don't really know ammm....that's a really hard question to do..
ammmm.... I can tap dance''

And so my interview with the legend that is Laura Whitmore comes to an end. I was honestly sad to hang up the phone to Laura, getting to speak to one of your idols is an amazing opportunity and never in a million years could I ever of imagined her as such a lovely down to earth woman.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Irish Oral 2014

For any Leaving Cert sitters out there you can probably relate to this post but for those of you outside Ireland or who have not come across the Leaving Cert I'll run through it as basic as I can firstly for you.
As part of your Irish exam you are required to sit a fifteen minute oral exam with an examiner which is worth 40% of your actual Leaving Cert, it's great and on Monday I had my oral and since Irish oral is my favourite part of the Leaving Cert, as a matter of fact it's one of the only part of the Leaving Cert that I do like, I was almost excited to do it.
 I had all topics learned, I knew how to swerve the examiner I even learned off pages upon pages of useful phrases I was ready. That was until I went in and made such a balls of it that every time I go into Irish class since I almost break into tears and I now refuse to speak any Irish at all.
This is all because of two words : Sraith pictiúrs. As part of the LC oral students are expected to learn off twenty picture stories which I gave a good aul bash at, except for this one. 
They went up the mountains walking and got lost! It was impossible so I left it out didn't even look at it, I mean there's a one in twenty chance I get this picture so what's that 5% no chance. I got it.
The minute I turned over the page and saw that picture my heart sank.
Two minutes before going into my oral I sat outside with my friend Haleigh and my teacher and explained to them how screwed I am if I got that sraith.
Well.. here's what I think of the darned Sraiths!!!!!!!!!

Then reading a poems, I think there's six poems and you read one, the easiest part of the Oral without a doubt.
But there was one. One poem I hated with a passion, I had forgotten to read over it I HATED it, called 'An tEarrach Thiar' yep you guessed it. I got that poem.

Well once the dreaded Sraith's and the poems are done it's time for my favourite part!! the general chit chat!!
My strongest area, I love speaking Irish it's so much fun.
I had all my areas of speech planned, I was going to simply bring everything back to Conor Murray, yes yes I know but it was a plan!
 A plan I hoped would gain me an 'A'.
I had a rope around every question, look:

'Tell me about your area?' - ''Well I like my area, there are three schools two shops etc etc.. however I'd rather go to Limerick because I like rugby and there is a lot of rugby facilities in Limerick such as Thomond Park. I love Munster Rugby Conor Murray is my favourite player, I met him loads of times when I first met him I shook out and he said 'Don't be shaking' He is lovely.''

'Tell me about your school'- ''I don't like school because the work is too hard and maths is the devil, however I need to study so I can go to study in Limerick, I love Limerick  because I like rugby and there is a lot of rugby facilities in Limerick such as Thomond Park. I love Munster Rugby Conor Murray is my favourite player, I met him loads of times when I first met him I shook out and he said 'Don't be shaking' He is lovely.''

'Tell me about your hobbies' - Well, I like music. Kings of Leon are my favourite band but I LOVE rugby!! Conor Murray is my favourite player, I met him loads of times when I first met him I shook out and he said 'Don't be shaking' He is lovely.''

'Do you have any pets?' ''Certainly, I have two dogs their names are Molly and Mursher.
Molly is black and Mursher is white, I rather Mursher she is only one year old. I got her name from two rugby players Mike Sherry and Conor Murray, I took the Mur, from Murray and the Sher, from Sherry and made it 'Mursher' Conor Murray is my favourite player, I met him loads of times when I first met him I shook out and he said 'Don't be shaking' He is lovely.''

As you can see, I was set!! Nothing was going to stop me!!
Well, nothing apart from the examiner who changed the subject every time I brought up Conor Murray!! I didn't go as well as I expected lets just say.
I'm disgusted with how mine went, I even went as far as asking my teacher could I pretend I was an impostor and do it again. I wasn't aloud.
So after four days of sulking and having a face like a slapped arse I decided that enough was enough and I needed to get over it.
As far as I'm concerned now, what's done is done and like it or not there's nothing I can do to change it.
It's still 40% of the Leaving Cert done and dusted and I'm sure there's some people out there who feel the same as me. So to cheer you up I've decided to put up a few words of wisdom from THE Conor Murray!! Enjoy!!!
''Wipe that from your memory, Yano it's gone we can't do anything about it and focus on next weekend'' - Conor Murray  
''It's gone, It's over and you just have to move on now, you can't do anything about it, it's over now''  -Conor Murray.
Now if that's not good advice I don't know what is!!! 


Well I've done it, my first step into adulthood, I have booked my college accommodation in no other than Kilmurry in the University of Limerick!!
 - And I couldn't be any bit more excited (or nervous).
It's only right now, at this point that this idea of college has really shocked me and made me open my eyes!!!
In the next five months I'll be leaving my small town and headed to the big city of Limerick!! It's at this point I'd love to shout an inappropriate word beginning with the letter 'F'.
I choose Kilmurry because well really it's the only area I'm aware of in UL, I've limited knowledge of UL anyway, but I can make my way to and from Kilmurry so as far as I'm concerned I'm set.
I can see it now, a sunny day finished my lectures heading back to MY OWN HOUSE!!! bopping away to Vance Joy!! (My serious tune of the moment! Listen to it)
 Aw Jesus the amazingness of it all.
I'll go back to my house, to my amazing new housemates who will be lovely and sound, and there will be some hunky chap living there that plays rugby and feels the need to walk around topless.
 With all my exams aced, We'll all get ready for a night out in Limerick City hitting Angel Lane, and the Icon!
Causally meeting into the Munster rugby team on a daily basis!!Life will be AMAZERS!!!!

Now, back to reality! It will be raining. No point denying the fact it will be raining. It always bloody rains in Limerick!
I more than likely won't like my housemates and I won't have money to go out, how fantastic and to top it all off I'll probably spent 99.5% of my time trying to pass my repeated exams, because let's face it, I'll probably fail them the first time.

The realistic view of college is so different to the one you build up in your head, I built it up so much in my head that when I think about it realistically I almost talk myself out of the whole college idea.
For me, as an only child I'll be the first to admit I can be kinda spoiled so going out into that big world where i'll have to cook for myself, clean for myself and even make my own bed scares the bejesus out of me.
I genuinely do not see how secondary school can prepare you to leave your home and become so independent over a three month period. IT'S CRAZY!!!!!