On March 19, 2005, my father killed himself. Thirteen years later, my family still cannot hear the word "suicide" without a cringing pain in their hearts. My mum told me she will never ride the Haunted Mansion because of the prop of a noose.
To this day, his suicide haunts not only his side of the family, or my mum's side, but to anyone who knew him. Suicide is never the answer.
It sounds fake to say, but it spreads like a wildfire of pain. I am not just some sad person saying it either: I struggle with very serious depression too. My older brother has a son, and, to see my step-father play with him, brings tears to my eyes because, if my dad was watching over him, he would now give anything to play and smile with him.
Recently, people have been taking suicide as a joke, a relatable "meme," but who has to suffer with the suicide of a close or loved one to know that it is not something to take lightly? Suicide is the last thing you crave when you are too mentally depressed and empty.
My freshmen year, I tried to take my own life. The first thought was, "My mum can't find another dead body," and then, "Why would I go through with this when I know how it will affect everyone?" I know for a fact that there are people around you who care about you, whether you know it or not.
After that, I had gone to my Mum to try and get help, saying that I was depressed, and she brushed it off saying it was "teen emotions." Finally, there came a time when I had to scream to her face, explaining and yelling out all of my emotions to finally get help.
I now have to take medicine to help me to never get that way again, and meet with a therapist to help. It takes some different tries to get it right, but it will help.
I want to come and try to explain how badly suicide is. And it is not a joke. I feel nothing but true sadness when I hear it thrown around so easily among teens, and I remember that I have my dad's ashes and it's not something to try and act relatable with. Saying you want to die or kill yourself is a serious accusation.
Huntington Beach, California
The recently released film, “Love, Simon”, starring Nick Robinson, highlights a teenage boy’s story of coming out as gay to the world and his journey towards accepting himself for who he truly is. In the film, Simon communicates with another boy in his grade that is a closeted gay, and they move through the beautiful journey of coming out together. The film does a fantastic job at exploring the relatable experience of a teenage boy's coming out story without making it feel like a classic cliche "gay" film that has been worn out by Hollywood. This film did not tell the story of a boy who faced rejection by the outside world for his sexuality, but rather told a genuine story of friendship, love, and self-acceptance. There are far too little mainstream Hollywood films that depict gay teenagers as normal kids, so that is exactly what this film sought after. After watching this film, I can truly say that I feel inspired. The story and hardships that come with Simon’s story of coming out is so heartwarming and heartfelt. I highly recommend this film for anyone who may be experiencing similar hardships with their sexuality, or anyone who has trouble coming out to world for the person that they are.
This movie helps to open the minds of so many people, as Simon’s story of being gay reveals all aspects of difficulty and fear that comes with finding yourself and understanding your sexuality or genuine self. Heart2Art hopes to appeal to all readers towards understanding that one’s sexuality does not determine “who you are”, but really just contributes to how wonderful you are as a whole human being. The world is growing to be more accepting, and, with such a wide spectrum of sexuality, the idea that each sexuality and variety of person is beautiful and meant to be embraced is beginning to be further understood by more individuals. Everyone is loved and everyone is wonderful. Love is love. I recommend seeing this wonderful masterpiece of a film and to open each of your minds and hearts to both the wide array of people in the world and to who you genuinely are as an individual.
No matter your sexuality, teens are notable for their struggle to understand and accept themselves. While "Love, Simon" focuses specifically on the difficulties teens may face when coming out as gay to the world and learning to accept themselves, even if it may not be the person they have always thought of themselves to be, the film as a whole sends the important message to the youth watching that you can never truly be content with yourself until you learn to love yourself for who you are naturally. In the film, Simon notes that one of the reasons that it became so hard for him to come out is that he felt compelled to hold onto the person that he had always been for just a bit longer. Simon's fear that he would be treated as a different person or that he would feel like a different person drove him to the point where accepting himself became synonymous with accepting an entirely new person as his identity in his mind. This film is an essential step is teaching teenagers that, even if who you "truly are" is not what you have always pictured yourself as, it has always been a part of you. By coming to terms with yourself, you are not changing who you have always been. You are only embracing it.
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Holly Olmos directed the music video for Olivia Castagna's song "Things Don't, They Just" in preparation for the HB Academy of the Performing Arts' MMET Playlist 2018 show.
The art of the music video is one that is intriguingly unique. Music videos are able to combine the magic of song and film into one piece of artwork, with an innumerable amount these videos being created and shared throughout the past many decades. While the platform is undeniably popular, creating a cocktail of two art forms can take a lot of work, effort, and creativity.
That's why we decided to take a look into the production of high school students Holly Olmos and Olivia Castagna's music video "Things Don't, They Just." Olivia Castagna, a high school senior who specializes in vocals and guitar, wrote the song over a period of time and the final song was admitted to be performed in HB Academy of the Performing Arts' MMET Playlist 2018 show, which features a number of talented students performing both originals and the most popular songs of the year. The MMET Popular Music branch, which Olivia is a member of, collaborates with the MMET Media branch each year to create music videos for the admitted original songs in the show, which inspired the creation of Olivia and Holly's music video. Holly Olmos is also a senior in high school, who is a member of MMET Media, who specializes in filmmaking. Holly and Olivia had previously worked on a music video for Playlist 2017, and continued their partnership for the most recent show.
In interviewing the two of them, I was able to take a deeper look into what it took to create the music video for "Things Don't, They Just" and find out more about each individual growing artist.