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Kevin’s Key to Being an Outsider: Own It!

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Kevin Wolfhard (@kwolfhard) knows what’s up!

If you’ve ever felt like a freak or an outsider, what helped you through it?

“Always…and essentially, I mean it took me quite a lot of time to sort of figure this out, but if you don’t own being a dork, being a weirdo, being a misfit, being an outsider…it’s, you can’t live life like that.

So if you just own it, it’s the best thing in the world. It’s who you are, right? This is why I dance at the Fox. It’s the ultimate expression of who I am as a person.”

I was feeling super crappy today (damn you PMS and a lack of sunlight), so I am so thankful to Kevin for his unbelievably wise words, because they boosted me up and reminded me of what’s important in life.

Owning who you are (which I find challenging to do all the time, but it feels so good when I do own who I am) is the best way to cope with feeling like a freak!

If you want to look at some gorgeous photos, please follow Kevin on Instagram: @kwolfhard. 

Sonja Larsen: Her Memoir Red Star Tattoo Is A Life-Changing Read

This summer my friend Nessa passed along a copy of her friend Sonja Larsen‘s impeccable memoir Red Star Tattoo: My Life As A Girl Revolutionary and I was hooked from page one. Larsen’s past is full of lots of different topics that are both fascinating and painful, such as being part of a cult and experiencing sexual abuse. Sonja’s talent lies in being able to appropriately delve into her shocking and painful past experiences without making them too heavy or going to the opposite end of the spectrum and presenting them in a salacious or tabloid-like manner. The book is educational without taking itself too seriously. It’s fun to read too! These are just a few of the reasons as to why I highly recommend that you take the time to read it.

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I am grateful for Sonja’s decision to turn her life into a memoir, because it reminds me that I need to let go of my own shame and there is nothing in my past that should ever prevent me from moving towards a more enjoyable future.

Thank-you Sonja for sharing and for taking the time out of your day to let me interview you!

Sonja Larsen: “If I ever felt like a freak or an outsider…well if you’ve read my book you’ll know that I was definitely a freak and an outsider in lots of different ways, so often in my life. You know, my Dad was a pot dealer. My mother was a communist. You know, but I think part of my growing up was that I actually kind of was raised to believe, because my parents were a little bit hippies at first, that being an outsider was not such a bad thing, that if you were questioning the system that was good. But I think really what has got me through it is sometimes realizing that you’re not alone. That everyone is sort of making it up as they go along.”

If you’ve ever felt like a freak or an outsider, what’s helped you through it? “I don’t know that I’m through it.”

I asked Josh the usual questions on Main Street in Vancouver today, and I was very entertained by his responses. I love it when people speak the truth, even if it involves them being vulnerable in order to do so. Josh definitely opened-up in a hilarious and honest way.

When I asked, “If you’ve ever felt like a freak or an outsider, what helped you through it?” His answer was, “Huh…I don’t know that I’m through it.

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I love that answer! I also often still feel like a freak or an outsider, and while that feeling is not permanent,  I don’t know if I’ll ever stop feeling awkward and weird some of the time.

Josh then went on to say, “I think that you can go in and out of stages of comfortability, you know, but I think that what gets me out of anything is just sort of the knowledge that I’m going to be OK. You know I like just sort of look at my past and figure out, have I got through shit before? And it’s like, yeah. Am I gong to get through this next shit? Yeah.

Being A Freak And An Outsider Can Be Freeing!

“Yes, I always feel like a freak, like an outsider. But again, at the same time it’s a very safe place to be, an outsider, actually, you have the freedom to be yourself and no one is going to come and tell you to stop being this.”-Patty 

Patty loves Vancouver...and she understands the sense of freedom that comes from refusing to fit in!

Patty loves Vancouver…and she understands the sense of freedom that comes from refusing to fit in!

Patty answers my usual questions:

1) What do you love about Vancouver?

2) If you have felt like a freak or an outsider, what helped you through it? 

THE PREATURES: Interview

Words of Wisdom from ISABELLA MANFREDI about how to survive bullying at school: “It’s where, if you can make it past 18, if you can graduate from high school, it will never be that hard again. EVER!” 

THE PREATURES (minus drummer Luke Davison) l to r: bassist Thomas Champion, singer Isabella Manfredi, singer and guitarist Gideon Bensen, and guitarist Jack Moffitt.

THE PREATURES (minus drummer Luke Davison) l to r: bassist Thomas Champion, singer Isabella Manfredi, singer and guitarist Gideon Bensen, and guitarist Jack Moffitt. Photo credit: me (Christina Travis)

THE PREATURES rule! This quintet originates from Sydney, Australia and they first formed in 2010.

They are undoubtedly a full-fledged rock band. While I’m not the biggest rock fan in general, I’m a fan of this band because they write catchy, melodic songs that make me wanna jump around! Also lead singer ISABELLA MANFREDI‘s voice can show vulnerability and incredible power from one note to the next.

I saw the band perform live at Electric Owl on Main Street in Vancouver tonight (October 22nd, 2014). They are confident (as they should be) live performers. This is their first time playing in Vancouver, but I bet they’ll be back soon after the impression they made tonight.

I spoke them about their first full-length album BLUE PLANET EYES, which was released this year. Their first EP was released in 2012 and is called SHAKING HANDS. Their second EP came out in 2013: IS THIS HOW YOU FEEL?

Me (Christina Travis) and ISABELLA MANFREDI (I think she is like a raven-haired DEBBIE HARRY). So beautiful...and down-to-earth!

Me (Christina Travis) and ISABELLA MANFREDI (I think she is like a raven-haired DEBBIE HARRY). So beautiful…and down-to-earth!

ISABELLA MANFREDI and THOMAS CHAMPION spoke in-depth about how they were bullied at school. Manfredi and Champion thoughtfully discuss how young people who are being bullied today can make it through the pain and torment that bullying creates.They also talk about their favourite thing about Vancouver so far: FOOD!

MANFREDI recommends musicians DESTINY’S CHILD, BOB DYLAN, THE STONE ROSES, WEEN, CAKE, and BRANDY as being a few examples of music that helped her deal with her schoolmates being cruel to her at school.

The tracks I gravitate towards the most from BLUE PLANET EYES are BLUE PLANET EYES, SOMEBODY’S TALKING, and IS THIS HOW YOU FEEL? (though I embarrassingly called it “Is That How You Feel?” during the interview–I was very nervous!). The band graciously overlooked my error and simply corrected it themselves when they said the title of the song.

I managed to snag a picture with drummer LUKE DAVISON since he missed out on the group shot.

I managed to snag a picture with drummer LUKE DAVISON since he missed out on the group shot.

Another song of theirs that I think is awesome is called BETTER THAN IT EVER COULD BE. It was released as a single and is not on their album or EPs.

THE PREATURES are signed to Mercury Records Australia. ISABELLA MANFREDI won the prestigious Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition (the band writes together, but the award can only go to one individual) in 2013. The prize money was $50,000 and the win was for the song IS THIS HOW YOU FEEL? The band used the money to pursue international release opportunities. 

Some other entertaining quotes that MANFREDI gave during the interview are: “Revenge is a good motivator”(so true…the only satisfying revenge is when you work hard so that your life is where you want it to be, and you don’t give a crap about those who ignored you or put you down). Success is the best revenge! When she said “Don’t read fashion magazines!” I thought that was pretty smart as well (Vogue screwed with my head as a child).

Frontwoman Isabella Manfredi on October 22nd, 2014.

Frontwoman Isabella Manfredi on October 22nd, 2014.

Their live performance was tight! The band clearly has lots of fun performing together and their rapport was contagious, as the crowd was really into the music.

Thanks to THE PREATURES for the wonderful interview and live show!