Antoni Garcia

27th Birthday Gratitude to Everyone

Happy Labor Day, everybody. I know I would have loved to release this drawing a little bit earlier but I was quite busy with preparations with my mathematics written exam for my A-Levels or known in German as “meine schriftliche Abitur Prüfung in Mathematik”. Mind you, this is the second to the last exam I am doing as of this month before I get my Abitur certificate in order to for me to apply to all of the universities and colleges here in Berlin. This is something I should never for granted and I need to haul lots of ass. Even though there is this nagging doubt in me that tells me that I should have done a much better job in my 5. PK, my Spanish Leistungskurs Exam, and my English Leistungskurs Exam, I am not going to hold back whatsoever and just keep soldiering on. Going back to the matter at hand, I am extremely blessed, grateful, humbled, and happy to each and every one of you who have greeted me on my 27th birthday. I am now at an age where I need to set a better example for myself and for everyone else in my life, manage myself in a smarter way, and also take more time to be reflective and keep questioning everything I see in the world and not just have everything in my perspective to be black and white. Moreover, I have to continue to be very career-oriented in everything I do whether as a YouTuber who does vlog-style reviews of operas, concerts, albums, ballet, musicals, movies, cartoons, and anime, an artist who specializes in shipping fan art, and doing anything and everything to do with languages, music, and art. Finally, I have to keep on being grateful for everyone who has played an important role in my life. Speaking of which, I want to thank my mom, my dad, my grandparents, and my helpers who have raised me to be the person I am today and for ensuring that I do not lose sight of where I came from and who I am. I also want to thank my uncles, aunties, siblings, cousins, nephews, and nieces for showing support in their own special way. My gratitude also extends to my friends, colleagues, and fans who have shown continuous loyalty, support, and ensuring that I do not get too big for my boots. I cannot forget to be grateful for the many people who have inspired me such as my fellow artists, fellow singers, fellow actors, fellow voice actors, and fellow online reviewers. Finally, I would love to thank God for making me know my place in the world and for helping me to endure all of the hardships I have to go through and all of the blessings I have in my life. To conclude, thanks for being there for me during my 27 years in life and I too wish you a lot of love, beauty, and greatness in all that you do. Take care and have an awesome spring.

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New YouTube Achievement Unlocked, with some Reservations

Hey, everybody! Antoni, here! I know I have been AWOL on YouTube, due to the fact that I had a lot of major academic priorities to take care of. I had one presentation to accomplish in History regarding the Baroque period, one in English regarding the Philippines, and one which I will do alongside my colleague in Chemistry regarding the usage of superabsorbent polymers. I apologize for my disappearance, but don’t worry, as soon as everything calms down I will continue to make more content most likely on Easter break.   Now in terms of my channel, I have some bad news and good news. The bad news is I have been stripped of monetization for now, as I did not reach the new 4000-hour, 1000-subscriber threshold. This is a major shame as I have been releasing content on YouTube for a span of six to seven years, yet in spite of my best efforts, it was not enough to achieve something like this. At least, I can rely on Steemit in terms of getting my content paid, so all is not lost.   The good news is, I have reached 604 subscribers. I am so thankful to the people who have followed me so far on my journey as a reviewer, actor, singer, and voice actor and for that, you are all awesome. I thank you so much for the support you have given me and I bless each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Even when times get rough, I will not surrender and I will keep on going even after I reach 1000 plus subscribers. So, keep supporting, keep spreading the love, and thanks for making my time on YouTube very fruitful. I could not have accomplished this without your help.   Like I said, I am not going to disappear and I will keep going on. It’s just that priorities need to be set straight, things happen in real life, and I cannot deny nor ignore it. On top of that, I intend to review Rossini’s Semiramide live from the Met starring Angela Meade, Elizabeth DeShong, Javier Camarena, and Ildar Abdrazakov either on Tuesday or this coming Saturday, so look out for that. Until then, I hope you have a wonderful evening, please subscribe to my channel, spread the word about it to everyone, and see you all on the flipside. Take care. Subscribe to my channel, where I review opera, anime, cartoons, concerts, albums, musicals, and ballet

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A Call to Action: Subscribing to My Channel

I know I am still rather perturbed in light of what developments have been happening on YouTube. In spite of that, I want to use this opportunity to invite you all to subscribe to my channel and take a gander at the content I have to offer. I know I have been using this plug for countless of times but it has to be done because this is a reminder that just because my channel only has 529 subscribers does not mean I am going to wallow in self-pity.   I do not just do these vlog-style reviews of operas, concerts, musicals, ballet, anime, cartoons, and movies for kicks-and-giggles. I put in a lot of effort, research, heart, encouragement, and of course, I take my career as an online reviewer very seriously. It has been my mission to not only voice out my opinions via this platform and do so in a way that does not make me come off as mean-spirited nor pushy nor pretentious but to also create genuine, healthy, and long-lasting relationships with my fellow actors, voice actors, singers and musicians of several genres, animators, creators, filmmakers, artists, and reviewers. Through my reviews and through loads and loads of inspiration from many of some fabulous reviewers, who I am glad to call my friends, I felt like I fulfilled making some well-meaning relationships, be it on Manic Expression, Team Night Saturn, Channel Awesome, Steemit, and many other platforms.   I don’t want to bore you too much with a history lesson but I essentially started off as an aspiring actor wanting to be noticed for my craft, as it is the 21st century and some casting directors will end up searching for a video of someone doing a monologue in spite of the fact that the camera quality may not be amazing. It was not until the night before my 21st birthday did I decide to release my first vlog-style review of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at the Deutsche Oper Berlin starring Edita Gruberova and Pavol Breslik. From this point forward, this was my experimental phase, as I made more vlog-style reviews. I did not want to confine myself to reviewing music, so I made my first anime vlog regarding Space Dandy when I had a stopover in Washington Dulles. I even branched myself out into doing movie reviews, as that was what a lot of my reviewer friends were doing. Whilst making these reviews, I was initially hesitant on becoming a YouTube partner because I did not want to whore myself out and I was rather hesitant. However, that all came to a head in June 2014 when I finally said, yes I will be a YouTube partner. I did not receive my first YouTube payment of 71 Euros until June 2016, as it took me two years to achieve that, which was far from easy as I was still branching out and of course my schedule in my old acting school did not really make it possible for me to watch certain operas and concerts, as several days were intended for rehearsal. The next payment I ended up getting took me 1 year and it was 74 Euros. These days I am really lucky to use Steemit for my overall revenue to increase, as I have a pretty strong following on that particular site and I do enjoy posting my stuff there as I do get something great in return, whether it be payments or people who are genuinely supportive of my content.   Speaking of followings, whilst I may not have the most significant amount of followers ever, I was glad to know some of my favorite opera singers and some fellow opera fans recognized my work. Anna Prohaska, whose concert I saw in Salzburg in the summer of 2014, automatically recognized me as the guy with the vlogs. She even remarked that my work was informative and people can learn a lot. One of my opera singer and opera fan friends recognized me through a review I did of, I believe, The Magic Flute in the Deutsche Oper Berlin. I even made a lot of great friends with a lot of the opera singers of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and I cherish each of them for being such down-to-earth and amazing people. This all got to the point where the Deutsche Oper Berlin even subscribed to my YouTube channel, which was one of the best moments I had so far, as I did make a lot of my reviews based on the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s productions. I even met the likes of Evelin Novak, Katharina Kammerloher, Pavol Breslik, Diana Damrau, Thomas Hampson, Waltraud Meier, Cheryl Studer, Adrianne Pieczonka and Evelyn Herlitzius. I even achieved my biggest dream of seeing Elena Mosuc perform the role of Violetta Valery from La Traviata, of course, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and she herself loved my review of her performance in one of her signature roles. During my time in Pesaro last summer, some of my friends who performed in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims were so thankful that I not only came to see that production but also make a review of it. Some of them even remarked my review as interesting and thoughtful, so much so that the conductor, Michele Spotti himself, gave me his business card once he recognized me. Through all of these happenings, they were all blessings because I knew deep down that this was what I wanted and I achieved it because I kept soldiering on and I was not going to go up in smoke any time soon. Mind you, I have become so familiar with a lot of operatic topics from the popular works to the rarer works to the many singers of the past and present to even the Fach system, which categorizes vocal types and each of them has their own traits. I was all but thirteen years old when I became familiar with the Fach system, fifteen…

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My Patreon Updates

Top of the morning, everybody! I made a few edits to my Patreon account and I also added a couple of goals, which will help me flourish and get into high gear in my work, career, and passion as an online critic. I hope you can support me in this journey and until then, take care and have a lovely Sunday.

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I Hope to Connect with You All on LinkedIn

Hey, everybody! As you can tell I’m really happy to be on LinkedIn, where I can connect with many fabulous professionals in the fields of the arts, entertainment, music, and of course reviewing. I invite you all to connect with me and join me on my journey as an ever-growing reviewer who loves to take every opportunity with open arms. Stay awesome and blessed be. 🙂

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My Boundless Gratitude to a Good Friend and a Great Supporter

I am really grateful to have someone as awesome as Farcas Andrei being very supportive of my work as a YouTube vlogger who reviews operas, concerts, albums, musicals, ballets, movies, anime, and cartoons. It truly means something when someone can appreciate what you can do and shows support in everything you have to offer. So, Andrei, I thank you so wholeheartedly for your insurmountable support in my journey as a YouTuber, and I will also support you in everything you do. Take care, my friend.

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Audiobook Recommendations: Keep Smiling by Charlotte Church

Hey, everybody, Antoni here. Well, yesterday’s and today’s weather have been rather harsh. Once again my attempt to see Verdi’s Don Carlo starring Jamie Barton as Eboli at the Deutsche Oper Berlin has been thwarted because of the insane rainstorm. However, I do think this next audiobook recommendation would suffice. A few days ago, I stated I was going to take a look at Charlotte Church’s second autobiographical work, Keep Smiling, which was released on September 6, 2007, and written and narrated by Miss Church herself. I came across this audiobook by complete chance and heard a sample of it on I was quite intrigued and as I logged on to Audible for my free trial, I downloaded the audiobook and I had a fine time listening to it. What is so noticeable about Charlotte’s second autobiography is how much she has grown from her early teenage years to a young woman. Her delivery, in comparison to her first autobiography, is much drier, wittier in her own special way, humorous in an honest yet occasionally dark way, a lot more emotive, and she throws in a few swear words here and there. Charlotte still presents herself as down-to-earth, wise, authentic, and always knows that her family matters most. Despite everything that happened to her with the press hounding her on many occasions, she is still able to be herself, which is also the main message of this particular autobiography originally told to Charlotte by her grandfather. It does not matter how bad or insane things are, sometimes you just have to keep smiling and keep a positive attitude, and that’s something I got out of this piece of work. Yes, Charlotte’s beginnings and development as a young prodigy have also been mentioned here, and this time she is a lot more detailed like all the marketing deals and contracts she, her family, lawyers, and managers went through, her falling out with Jonathan Shalit, which caused so much tension between him, Charlotte and her family to the point where Shalit filed a lawsuit for breach of contract, and the constant media attention. Being 21 back then, she also reflects on how she felt about her first few albums, the tours she made whilst being tutored for school, the dresses she had to wear for her concerts, her 2000 accomplishment of winning the Classical Brit awards, the celebrities she has met like Placido Domingo, who also stated to Charlotte that she sounded more like a mezzo than a soprano, how a good deal of her albums won a lot of praise in the States in comparison to Britain and of course her ever-broadening repertoire evidenced in her 2001 album, Enchantment, which she recorded in the United States. This also showed how Charlotte bade farewell to classical singing, to Sony, and the image that defined her as she was no longer a little girl. Come early 2003, where she released the single Brave New World composed by Jurgen de Vries with Charlotte crediting herself as CMC and acted in a film with Craig Ferguson called I’ll Be There, which I have yet to watch, thus branching herself out two years later as a pop singer with the album Tissues and Issues, coined in after her falling out with then ex-boyfriend Steven Johnson, and the year after that where she hosted her own comedic talk show, The Charlotte Church Show, which in my opinion has slowly started to become a guilty pleasure because of that really catchy theme tune. Just by listening to Charlotte candidly talk about how much the media has affected her and her family while she was still quite young, the phase she went through transitioning from a novelty act as a young girl to teen branching out to something not everyone saw kindly to, her emotional rollercoaster ride with her family and the press, her budding relationship with then ex-life partner, rugby player Gavin Henson, and her pregnancy at only 21 years of age, thus retiring from the partying, was rather enlightening. As much as the media has made her out to be a fallen angel, I highly disagree with them. Whilst I might not care too much about her pop career, though I have been warming up to it as the years went on, I should not forget that this was a transitional phase in Charlotte’s life not only as a performer but also as a person. She was trying to find herself, trying out new things in her life, all while staying strong and authentic, with a good head on her shoulders. That is something I have always loved about Charlotte Church. Despite her transition from classical to more modern music drawing in some controversy, she was still able to keep her love of music intact and nowadays she composes her own songs while combining a lot of the styles she sang in into one fine work. As I stated before, this audiobook is a bit of a far cry from Voice of an Angel My Life (So Far), as there are also no musical cues and it is just Charlotte doing all the talking. She was essentially a young woman who has dealt with a lot growing up in the spotlight and it is clear in how she narrates. She does not sugar-coat anything as she talks about her time as a rebellious teen who has found herself smoking and partying, her tumultuous relationship with Steven Johnson, who did something rather tasteless to Charlotte, and the constant harassment from the press, thus affecting how her family life went. There are some things that are kind of hard to listen and some people who grew up with Charlotte Church as a classical singer will be flabbergasted as to how she turned out, but as long as you keep an open mind, you will definitely get a kick out of this autobiography and maybe have some empathy as well. Whether you’re a fan of Charlotte Church or not,…

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Hey everybody, Antoni here. Yes, I know I was supposed to make a review of Verdi’s Don Carlo starring Jamie Barton as Eboli last night. However, professional commitments specifically to the rehearsal process of Shakespeare’s The Tempest prevented me from doing so and I had to be there in this rehearsal for the whole four hours. So, to compensate for this, I figure it would be nice to review an audiobook I have been enjoying so much, Charlotte Church’s first autobiography, Voice of Angel: My Life (So Far), which was written and narrated by Church herself and was released on April 11, 2001. Ah, Charlotte Church. Where do I begin with her? As I stated in my album review of her holiday album, Dream a Dream, I was introduced to her singing through one of my aunties from my mom’s side when I was a wee nine-year-old. I did not know anything about Miss Church until I heard her sing in the Disney Channel and I heard a bit of her singing in Dream a Dream in a music class. Her voice had this infectious effect on me as a child and with every album of hers that I bought I heard an overall difference from how she sounded like in her first album, Voice of Angel, to her final album as a classical singer, Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church. Her voice, while growing fuller at the time, still kept that youth, as she was still in her early teens at the time. Charlotte Church was a lot of people to me: the big sister I wish I could have had, one of my role models for classical singing, and the co-star I wish I could have had if I would have been a child actor myself. In fact, my biggest performing arts fantasy when I was a kid was to act alongside Charlotte Church and Alexa Vega in either a TV show or a movie. Before I even heard about this particular audiobook, I basically stumbled upon this online and thought the book itself looked rather fascinating. I did not start listening to it until I was twenty-two years old and spending the New Year in Vancouver. As I listened to Charlotte Church’s charming and down-to-earth Welsh-accented voice, a burst of nostalgia, awe, and general positive energy was overflowing. What makes Miss Church so infectious as a person is that she is a down-to-earth, outspoken, brilliant and an overall fine and genuine person, who does not take crap from anyone. She cares a great deal for her family and friends, which has always made her cool in my eyes. For those of you not in the know, Charlotte’s aunt, Caroline Cooper, is a cabaret singer. She and Caroline appeared in 1997 on the British TV show, The Big, Big Talent Show hosted by Jonathan Ross, where Caroline was the main performer. Yet, when Charlotte was introduced, she stated the host that unlike her aunt who is a cabaret and modern music specialist, Charlotte stated that she was into opera. That was when eleven-year-old Charlotte Church sang one lane of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu from Requiem and both the audience and the host were in awe. Webber’s Pie Jesu has ever since become Charlotte’s signature song. Usually, the danger of some autobiographical works is that the person involved would come off as self-indulgent, pretentious, self-righteous, and too much of an overblown windbag for his/her own good. It would also be a horrible case if a young person wrote an autobiography as he/she has not experienced that much in life. That type of trap does not occur here. In fact, the way Charlotte talks about her childhood, social life, professional life, academic life, hobbies, first gigs, experience on recording Voice of Angel, Charlotte Church, and Dream a Dream, views on the celebrities, managers, crew members, and musicians she has met and worked with, path as a singer, falling out with her former manager Jonathan Shalit complete with lawsuits galore, and life in Cardiff, Wales sounds earnest, confident, and wholesome. She was like any other teenager at the time when she told her story and did not act and sound like a spoiled child star. Everything Charlotte says fascinates me because aside from her accomplishments as a performer from performing to Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, and Pope John Paul II to singing in places like Jerusalem, London, the Vatican, Toronto, and New York, she describes everything so vividly with such wholesome grace it is infectious. Coming from someone who has yet to go to Wales and maybe make an Erasmus program in Cardiff, Charlotte makes me want to go there. From the way she describes her place of birth to the many wonderful places she mentioned to everyday life in general there to even the famed Eisteddfod, Wales and especially Cardiff has always been one of my biggest destinations I want to make in the future. In terms of the technical structures of this audiobook, I have to say it was well-done. It is well-arranged with a clear beginning, middle, and end in each chapter and Charlotte’s choice of words is unpretentious and it all comes from her. Unpretentious is the perfect word to use for this audiobook as Charlotte does not come off as someone with a huge ego, but rather someone who is grounded in reality thanks to having a firm relationship with her family. There are also some musical interludes used from time to time, but it is mostly Charlotte Church doing all the talking while taking some pauses where it is needed. Overall, I recommend this audiobook wholeheartedly especially if you have grown up with Charlotte Church. She presents herself so gracefully and naturally and if you can spare two hours and forty-two minutes of your time to listen to this audiobook, then you will not be disappointed. With that said, I give this audiobook a well-deserved 5 out of 5 lilting Welsh melodies. Fans of…

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Comic Recommendation: Beanstalked by Sierra Ray

Happy Father’s Day everybody! Antoni here, and I got something special to all the dads out there. If there are some things I love so much in my childhood, which hold up so well to this day, then they have to be fairy tales, mythology, and comics. As a child, these were my major sources of imagination, wonder, and creativity. Nowadays, as a grown-up, I still love these to this day because there are some elements which can thrill, frighten, excite, make one laugh, make one cry, make one empathize, and emit a whole gamut of emotions. It is also no wonder why I hold these in such high regard because a lot of the television shows I watch whether it’s anime or western animation or live-action, there are some elements of fairy tales and myths on these installments and I jump with glee when I spot the references. On top of that, I consider them to be an art because of the imagination that can spark anyone’s mind, plus take one into worlds unknown and be filled with anticipation and excitement. Enter Beanstalked created by Sierra Ray, known in Deviantart as PockyBloo, beginning in 2015. She not only wrote the story but she also illustrated the characters and the settings. I stumbled upon this webcomic on Deviantart last year as summer break was about to start. I was completely intrigued by the characters, the designs, and even their personalities. From that moment on, I became more curious about this webcomic. Just a few days ago I began reading it and I instantly fell in love with this! The story basically revolves around Jack Asesino, who of course is based on Jack and the Beanstalk. It starts off with the usual fare of Jack taking the cow to be sold off, only to encounter a mysterious woman, who is the Enchantress of the Moon, who tells him of his fate as a fairy tale warrior, who bears special powers and weapons known as Märchen, the German word for of course, fairy tale. This prophecy befuddles Jack and that’s all I’m going to tell from here because you might as well read further what happens next. I find the entire story to be very intriguing with the right amount of adventurous tension and thrills, marvelous fantasy elements, and some comedy to balance things out. Keep in mind that there is some profanity being used here and there, especially coming from one of the characters who I will talk about a bit later. So, don’t be fooled by its family friendly like appearance as there is also a fair amount of bloodshed present, but only in reasonable doses. However, for those who can tolerate a few swear words and some violence, then this is for you. Additionally, the story does contain elements of the chosen one trope, a ragtag team of fairy tale characters interacting with each other, power-ups typical in a lot of shounen anime like Bleach, Dragon Ball Z, InuYasha, Naruto, and One Piece, and elements of magical girl transformations like in Sailor Moon or Madoka Magica, complete with the characters bearing special weapons and powers in combat. However, what makes this webcomic stand out is its heart is in the right place and it’s a character-driven story where one does feel for characters like Jack and many others, plus one would want them to develop. Overall, despite some familiar elements found many installments, the writing is solid, charming, breathtaking, and leaves one with a lot of anticipation for what comes next. The art style is very appealing to look at. Clearly, it is inspired by manga and anime from the facial expressions, to the exaggerations, and to the overall look and feel of this webcomic. It’s well-detailed, colorful, and gorgeous. The noticeable area where the art truly stands out is when the characters summon up their chosen Märchen, providing the readers with a visual and stylistic orgasm, so to say, as there is a certain brilliance, which leaves them in complete awe. The characters are wonderfully likable. Jack believes himself to be a normal farm boy until he meets Moon, who tells him of his prophecy as a fairy tale. He is at first incredulous at this until that fateful moment where he is at the beanstalk does his destiny come true. He can be a slacker and a bit goofy in his actions, but his heart is always in the right place and is very loyal and caring to the people who matter most to him. Pinokuni, based on Pinocchio, is the first ally Jack meets during his trek to the beanstalk. He is crass, unafraid to speak his mind, swears a lot with the use of the F-bomb and even calling Jack Jackass, and is the total opposite to Jack’s all around good guy nature. Despite his rude attitude, he does have a soft side to him and the banter between him and Jack is a lot of fun to witness because of how they bounce off of each other. Much of Moon’s character is shrouded in mystery but is nonetheless quite fascinating. There are also other characters who are equally as likable like Beast, the tall, dark, muscular prince with a heart of gold and is based on the Beast from Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, the cool big sis badass strategist, Raiponce, the book-smart brain who is curious about the world around her, Ashe, the tough pyromancer, Nalja, the blind half werewolf girl who possesses great strength, and even Goldi, the Seven Little Kids, Gero, Henny Penny, Hazel, and Kettle. Overall, I highly recommend this webcomic to anyone who is a literature and mythology fan or even anyone who is avid about comics. It has lovable characters, great writing, and a lovely art style that I am willing to give this 5 magical weapons out of 5. This is a definite gateway drug for me when it comes to great webcomics…

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