Guy Raz is Ruining my Life

The trouble with life is that too often things aren’t black and white enough. Nothing is ever just fantastic or terrible, it’s a sickening combination of both and the combination of the two just add up to life feeling… meh.

The easiest example that comes to mind of something good being mixed with something bad is the podcast “How I Build This with Guy Raz.”

The podcast itself is fantastic because it’s a podcast that talks with some of the best entrepreneurs and innovators in the world.

Who wouldn’t want to hear Sara Blakey talk about what she went through to invent Spanx? The story of her journey selling fax machines door to door at age 27; before using her innovative spirit to transform her life is so inspiring. Her rags to riches story is heart warming and the perfect way to spend my morning on the train.

Then it’s all ruined by Guy Raz.

Guy is a radio host for NPR and is often referenced in very high regards by his peers.

Unfortunately for me I find the high pitched, patronising and twinky porn voice he interviews his guests with makes the podcast almost unbearable.

The worst part is that when you listen to live episodes where he’s unable to lean into the microphone and really work to squeeze out his crackly teen wheeze, his voice is actually normal and completely bearable.

Why he thinks we want to hear this artificial and insufferable version of his voice is beyond me and ruins the experience. Not to mention his questions that amount to not much more than “what?! What?!!! How is that possible??!! Just 20 years old??!!! How did you do it??!! How??? How is it??? How is it possible?!!

Life in China is almost like this podcast. I love the content so much, I love the culture and the food and I have so many fantastic experiences everyday.

Unfortunately for some of us foreigners, the experience is delivered by shady employers that don’t tell the whole truth, food poisoning and power outages.

Well these are my experiences anyway, and they’re weighing on me as contract re-negotiation season is upon me.

Do I listen to the podcast and learn to live with the interviewer? Do I adapt?

Or do I switch podcast and hope that it’s better over on Radiotopia?

It’s been rough lately because I’ve been sick. My work contract doesn’t include sick days so my days in hospital weren’t paid.

This was a hot topic during the first meeting regarding my future contract. I’m lining up options elsewhere just in case this contract renewal doesn’t pan out.

I’m curious whether anyone else drags their employer through a lengthy and demanding contract renewal process or whether it’s just me…. No it’s not just me, it’s lots of people. Luckily for these people though, many of them have way more skills than me.

I’ve learned that to survive here you have to be clear and concise about what you want, and that you always get everything that’s said to you in writing. Nothing is a fact that isn’t in writing. I learned the lesson eventually, but later than I wish I had.

Lately my employers have been giving me the business, but mistreatment isn’t enough to make me leave any job. I stayed at Disney for 4 years after all and Disney are the best employee abusers ever.

Thats because if you pay me enough I’ll take any amount of punishment.

So I say bring it on! I’m in the Chinese Wild West after all; shooting at me might be legal, but I’m gonna to take your horses and all your booty.

When they hear the figure it’s gonna take to keep me here their eyes are gonna water, but between that day and this one; I’m gonna be the best damn employee they’ve got.

Time will tell how his plan pans out.

F*ck it, I’m Writing an Erotic Novel

It goes without saying that whether your Chinese or Wai Guo Ren (foreign) you can’t say just anything you feel like saying while in China.

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For as long as I can remember I’ve always lived daily life within a relatively thin bubble of restraint. While on a date for example (unless I’m drunk) I won’t say anything too offensive or too stupid (except a couple times).

But in my everyday life and especially while at work I’ve always said exactly what I’ve felt and at a super loud volume and felt little to no kickback for it.
Luckily for me I’m a performer and for us it’s basically expected, even encouraged. My offensive ranting passes off as stand up and the laughter fuels my confidence to push things even further.

This however has changed since moving to China.

In my first week at my first job in Shanghai I made reference to a coworker about the … negative parts of Mao’s legacy in China and was swiftly reprimanded.
China’s sketchy history is off limits.

The new Chinese semester just started here in sunny Shanghai so we workers had a company meeting where we were given a cautionary tale of a foreign teacher who was fired for uttering the sentence “I love both China and Hong Kong” as opposed to “the Mainland and Hong Kong” (as China feels very strongly about its ownership of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet). Whether that story was true or a grossly exaggerated warning; political, social and historical conversations are all strictly off limits here, and things of a dirty or gross nature are kept quiet. (Which hasn’t stopped me from one or two sex related rants in the office, but they were very PG rated and very rare!)

Now don’t take this as a post of me bashing China, I love being here and have no desire to leave. But I am feeling rather bottled up lately, it’s like I’ve been on a first date that just won’t end..

So does one do?

Dance sluttishly to Beyoncé down a thinly populated street? Absolutely, I mean people really aren’t paying much attention anyway.
Add cuss words to conversations while speaking English with people that won’t pick it up? 100%
But surely there’s more I can do?
My solution? Well here we go.

It’s time for me to whip up a pen name, whip open a word document, and write several years worth of pent up filth, offensiveness, depravity and crass into the dirty book to dirty all books.

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I’m gonna write something so despicable I wouldn’t admit to having even seen it with a scimitar pressed against my throat.

But I won’t stop there, to avoid causing an ‘ark of the covenant’ style face melting to a poor unsuspecting editor, I’ll be writing it as a script and recording it into an audiobook where I can really vent all the deep rooted filth and get it all out of my system completely.
Once that’s done I’ll slap a name, fake author name and a quick cover on it and smack it on a digital shelf in the darkest corner of the internet where only neck-beards can find it.

I’ll feel purged, plus I’ll get some practice in for my fledgling audiobook recording career. Win win.
I really think everyone should try this, what better form of therapy could there be? Just take all your pain, rejection, hurt, those messed up thoughts and unleash them on a word document. It’ll be cleaning! Plus there’s a neck beard online somewhere who’ll thankyou for it.
Hey, I’m not judging bro. One mans trash is another mans.. ummm.. nasty smack book.

Remember, if you want your audiobook also recorded by my sultry voice, it’s completely doable, you can source me right here on Fiverr

Making It as a Travelling Freelancer

Once you’ve moved to your dream city and have fled far away from the sticky confines of where you were born, sometimes it’s easy to get the feeling of entrapment in the full time job you took on to make the move possible in the first place.

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Often the jobs we take on aren’t dream jobs, but are gateway jobs to a new life. So when that job starts to eat away all your time and strips chunks off your soul, you need to start finding new ways to feel fulfilled.
The job I have in Shanghai is great, so my soul isn’t exactly in pieces, but I feel drained doing absolutely anything in a full time capacity. Plus as a former performer I don’t exactly relish the feeling of being off the stage and at the desk.

So to get the feeling back that I’m creative, useful and independent I turn to online sources of revenue to get that zest in life and fight off the cobwebs of monotony.

The most important thing in life for me is to perform, so the platform I’ve just started using recently is Fiverr.
Fiverr is a website I’ve used for years to source all my design needs, editing needs, lots of my needs. Basically anytime I’ve needed a professional for something that wasn’t in my physical world (like fixing my sink) I jump on Fiverr and find the right one.
Luckily for me, the performance discipline I’ve been craving to do more of (and has no physical toll on my body, praise the Lord) is voice acting. And wouldn’t you know it; voice acting is one of the professions you can find on Fiverr.
So once the New Year ticked around and a deep craving for something new emerged I busted out the old microphone equipment, recorded a few demos and threw my gig up on the site.

Its early days still so not a whole lot of action yet at this present moment, but I’m putting myself out there and trying to be vocal about it. From talking with the friends I’ve made on the site over the years of being a Fiverr customer, I’ve learned that it’s really slow in the beginning for everyone.
No one knows who you are, you don’t have any reviews yet and nobody wants to be the one to take a chance on someone who might be a complete dud. But over time once the gigs start slowly dripping their way into your lap the snowball begins rolling. I had my first gig yesterday (wooo!) and following that this morning I was in talks with three more people who may never have messaged me without the golden review I was given by the first gig.
I’m really hoping this turns into something real because something like this can follow you around the world and you can fulfill orders online from wherever you are. I have a copy editor friend who travels a lot and funds it by spending a few hours a day editing other peoples writing, she’s living the dream!

This really seems to be the trend, freelance workers unshackling themselves from desks and employers and making it for themselves, oh to be on that bandwagon.

My Fiverr Gig that I’m most proud of is the one where I’ll record your book, textbook or script so that you can listen to it and learn it faster. For example when your driving, walking or sleeping you can listen to your book and learn it quickly, good idea right??

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For design professionals there’s another site called Red Bubble. Red Bubble is fantastic because you can take your design, alter it to fit nicely on a t-shirt or any other number of merchy products and list it on your Red Bubble store.

I am not a designer by any means, but I love quotes. So I just type up the quotes that jump out at me from my favorite shows into a design program, use a funky font and a couple of related pictures and wham, I have a shirt design.
I’ve been hocking shirts, hats, stickers and other swag on Red Bubble for years. People order whatever they want, Red Bubble makes it, boxes and ships it to the customer and you the designer get a cut. I’ll be honest, I’ve made literally only enough money to fund my coffee machine and a couple video games off of this, but it’s not a bad trade off for a few hours working out how to use a free design program and formatting words onto a t-shirt template.

The third and final avenue I use is e-books. As you can see from the Books tab on my site, I make a sell short and cheap e-books.

Basically whenever I’m in the mood I sit down and write out a book that details a predetermined period of my life, and what results could basically be read as an extremely long blog post.
The difference between these and my blog though are that I send these off to be edited professionally (thanks Fiverr) have a cover made (Fiverr) and smack them on Kindles Direct Publishing Platform (KDP).

Amazon has changed the game when it comes to self publishing, they’ve made it super easy and are just about solely responsible for transforming e-books from clunky, worthless digital files onto your computer into a respectable and mainstream method of writing and reading books.
There are lots of self publishers who’ve made a respectable career for themselves; I’m not one of them. I absolutely do not have the stick-to-edness to write a long enough book, or the gusto to market it properly and really give it a chance to shine among the masses.

But like with most things I enjoy giving it a go, making a few dollars and spending those dollars on fun things I may not have bought otherwise.

I have given two things a half attempt, and am giving a third thing my proper attention. I hope this inspires you to go out and do a much better job and make it properly, don’t be like me who is so uncommitted I can barely even finish a

Where’s the Beef?

Is it just me or is ground beef the rarest commodity in the entire Middle Kingdom?

When needed I can easily source beef of various forms from any of the large and well stocked Chinese supermarkets surrounding my apartment. I can have it in shanks, steaks, cubes or jelly. I can have the feet, the ears – hell, I could probably have the tail.

But for the love of God why is mince such a rare thing?

No-one anywhere near me stocks minced beef. To buy this rare treat I need to travel on the subway for 30 minutes and change lines twice to get to the Western supermarket I know about. Is it the closest one to me? Not a chance, but I know how to get there and back again so it’s the local one in my mind.

This upscale Western market has all the goodies.

It’s well lit, smells beautiful, spacious and has little cheese samplings! There’s plenty of service and all the Western delights I could ever want.

But clutch my pearls the prices..

For the money I pay for minced beef I could feed a family of four at a restaurant. Short of buying a grounding machine myself and cranking it out, I have to keep buying it there and paying those prices. I could just buy pork I suppose and pay pennies, or even chicken breast which is far cheaper (unlike in my local Australia). But while I continue to cook the food I stubbornly eat regardless of where I am on the planet at a given moment, I need to accept paying the equivalent of $20 for half a kilo of minced beef.

Paying roughly $20 for half a kilo of mince back in Australia would be enough to stop your heart, a butcher would never sell an ounce. But here in Shanghai it’s a luxury imported purchase that doesn’t form a staple of the everyday Chinese diet, so the price is justified.

When I first moved here I took comfort in my friend telling me that his mother makes him lasagne whenever he visits home. It made me feel confident that minced beef must be sold cheaper elsewhere and all I’d need to do is ask her for the location. This theory was great until I actually saw her lasagne..

Beef chunks suspended in mashed potato (substituting the white sauce).

I had to say a prayer.

Beef isn’t the only thing that’s expensive, but it’s the one thing that has me shaking my head and sighing as I put it in my basket. Weirdly paying $8 for a stick of butter or $12 for a litre of cream almost doesn’t seem like a big deal.

Basically at what it’s costing me to make a lasagne in China it’s a damn event eating one. It’s also an event shopping for one.

The Western market that sells my beef is one of those beautiful, well lit and fragrant markets that distracts from its prices with cheese samples and beautiful servers.

My local grocer is grungy and smells, the woman who bags my vegetables scowls and gives zero cheese samples. But it’s cheap.

I think one market is the kind you shop at for your everyday dinners on the bed, binge watching ‘Rick and Morty’, and the other kind doesn’t have cheese samples.

Coffee is liquid gold in China

When everything I eat in China is so inexpensive, why does my coffee cost so much?

Shown above is a screenshot of my payment app AliPay after paying for my Starbucks coffee.

What I bought was a venti caramel macchiato and it works out in my homeworld currency (Australian dollars) to be just shy of $8.

At first I questioned my memory of what things cost back in my home world of Australia, but I’m in New Zealand right now and I’m paying half that!
If I’m going out for a meal in Australia and I pay $20 for lunch, I’m not feeling too vexed when my hot, caffeinated delicious venti sized and flavored beverage costs under 50% of what I paid for the meal.

But when I go out for lunch in Shanghai and pay 32RMB for a meal (what I pay usually) or 28RMB (what I pay on weekends) it feels strange to always pay more than 100% of what it cost to eat to become re-caffeinated.

If nothing else it’s complete proof that I’m horribly caffeine addicted, what lunatic pays more for a coffee than a meal?
Without doing research or finding a related podcast I’m left to speculate wildly about the cause.

I personally feel myself concluding that the reason is because so few people drink coffee here when compared to the amount of people that drink coffee back home in the West.

When I worked in Australia the majority of our office drank coffee, easily more than half. Some of the others drank tea –
black tea with a splash of milk for Becky who’s watching her figure but sneaks a naughty biscuit anyway. Herbal tea for Margery who’s hip has been acting up but is excited for a good weekend because her son always calls on Saturday’s.
Finally there’s Trenton, the super fit gay part time spinning instructor who drinks fruit blended teas and has always had a rough night the night before.

The remaining portion of the office drinks water and talks constantly about burying the rest of us.
When I worked in the US nearly 100% of us drank coffee, enormous ones with up to 6 shots in cups the length of your arm. (Occasionally I exaggerate).

Whereas here in China I’m the only coffee drinker in my office, two of my friends drink it and literally everyone else drinks tea.
A Korean friend of mine drank cold tea from the fridge exclusively for the first 10 years of her life, she thought it was water until she was a tween.

Therefore I conclude that due to the fact that the only other people I see in Starbucks are well adorned rich people and super fly entrepreneurs making it big and business-typing on their notebooks I have to make my non-informed conclusion.

That coffee here is for foreigners, the wealthy and the fabulous young.
Oh God literally everyone in the queue is ordering tea. Bless my dehydrated soul.

Performing for Disney

I’ve been talking a lot lately about releasing a short e-book detailing my adventures up to this point moving to and living in China. The book isn’t ready yet and I’m beginning to feel impatient.
So to remedy this impatience I dusted off an old e-book I wrote years ago about my first gig as a performer for Walt Disney World in Florida. I read it and laughed quite a lot, so I got out the scissors and begun cutting into it.
I edited it, took lots out, put some new stuff in and bam, I had a new version of my old book. So I put it back up on amazon and it’s available once again for 99c Right HERE on Amazon!

I’m keen that you guys see it first so here below is the first chapter of my little Disney book. If you like it, jump over to Amazon and get it to read on your phone, tablet or Kindle. I’d appreciate it! Then come back here and tell me what you thought!

So here below is the first chapter of ‘Becoming the Performer Disney is Looking For’

Im sitting in a bizarre Chinese café drinking the best coffee in the city, thinking about how I will spend my intensely long work breaks at my newly acquired role in Shanghai. This job gives me a two-and-a-half hour break right in the middle of the day, and I can’t afford lavish trips to strange animal-themed cafés forever.
This one is stuffed to the brink with plush African safari creatures and has a strange fruity smell. I’m not one to complain, though – the coffee is strong and the break unending, almost Sandinavian in its generosity. In this long, meditative space to think, it hit me that it was time to reopen the book I wrote in 2013, put onto Amazon, then pulled off the internet mere months later. There are die-hards in the field of Disney memoirs, and details of my glorious experience were not sufficient for them.

I’m Jordan and this is the beginning of a self-published book I originally wrote back in 2013 following a year spent working at Walt Disney World in Florida, which I’ve rewritten and updated with lots of new stories and cleaning up of old content. In 2012 I was a performer for Disney World; coming down from my Disney high, I wrote about my experiences during the boring part of 2013. Following this I worked for Disney Cruise Line for five contracts. A cruise ship contract is a predetermined period of time every cruise ship worker across the industry agrees to before serving their time and being released back onto land to wreak havoc with newfound freedom and a few grand in savings.
I performed for Walt Disney World for just over a year, then Disney Cruise Line for a few years, and finished it all up with Royal Caribbean International so that I could be based in China. Think about Disney shows and imagine what’s happening ahead of time and behind the scenes to bring all the colorful characters and magic to life. It takes a lot of people and a money to make it all happen. Because of its enormous size, Disney obviously needs a lot of people and for a period of about four years I played a small part in the action. Like any meaningful relationship, it was a symbiotic journey though, with Disney shaping me as much I did it.
So here I present my original stories, and some new ones to bring us up-to-date. This book is for people who like to read stories about Disney and about the grit and glamor of shows, but mostly it’s for people who are acting in community theatre and wondering if there’s really a dollar to be made elsewhere and whether any old schmuck can make it. Of course there is! And the industry is almost entirely populated by schmucks. You’ve just got to work really hard, audition millions of times, buy lots of Häagen Dazs, and don’t be a diva. That last one is much easier said than done. I can tell you now that if a crying dancer who’s in a show I’m managing comes complaining to me about a funny feeling in his ankle that might “turn into something” when I saw him on Facebook tearing up the dance floor the night before in the club, still has bloodshot eyes and a boozey body, and know for a fact that he’s fighting with his boyfriend (also in the cast), so help me God the fury comes. Be better, for goodness’ sake, man! Be the professional the industry is craving. Be God damned competent and you’ll be fine – there’s plenty of money to be spent. Why not spend it on you?

I’d like you to first take a moment if you will, to remember April 2011. Do you recall what you were doing? Easter is just over and . . . like all humans there’s no way you’d remember, but for me I wrote it down and put it online so I’m at a slight advantage. I was sitting in my parent’s living room in northern Australia enduring the heat and trying to avoid permanently sticking to the couch. I had been “let go” from my job and university was growing more skull crushingly boring by the day. Adding to that was an encompassing feeling of age and failure that was growing on me like any other reasonable 22-year-old who hasn’t yet made the big time. Looking back now, nearly 30, and at the tail end of my performance days and the mouth end of my casting days I miss my weight and my working joints. (Hey, cruise ship life really takes the steam out of someone who goes to the gym twice a year). I was practically retired in my mind at the time, ready for hosting bingo nights in Sun Valley. There was something about performing to a tiny audience at the local theatre in my hometown, as fun as it was, that didn’t feel as fulfilling as it once did.

Whether by some misplaced sense of entitlement or gross overconfidence in my performance skill I wasn’t sure. But regardless, I wanted something else. Community theatre is an amazing training ground though, and a fine lifetime way to keep acting throughout what life throws at you – never let it be said that I disparage community theatre.My entire family was sitting in the lounge watching something loud on TV and I was on my laptop searching local jobs when a Disney audition was one of the advertisements on the side of the screen. Disney was running an internship program for a variety of fields of employment; this included a casting call for performers. The casting day was in a week’s time and I happened to have that day off from both work and university. To add fuel to the fires of fate, that day was the very last day for registration. Hoping for a reprieve from the mundanities of my Australian life,

I arrived a week later at the casting, carting half a ton of the requisite paperwork. I watched the nice Brazilian receptionist who Disney had brought with them staple them together and comment that surprisingly everything was there. Essentially, the tough life starts now; it’s not easy getting all of that paperwork together. The website Disney had available at the time was buggy and it wasn’t easy getting through fourteen pages of forms that would stop loading randomly then crash the browser. To be honest, I devoted an entire day to getting this form finished. It’s because of this, and the amount of other forms required, that I believe is the reason several people turned up without everything they needed. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world for these hopefuls – they were sent away to find a computer and finish the job, but I believe it paid off for me to have the forms to create a good first impression.I went to another casting call years later in Auckland, for the city’s first ever Disney casting.

The process has become much easier than when I was jumping through the hoops. I think they figured out that there are better ways than paperwork to weed out the casuals. I also suspect it has something to do with Disney’s more modern worldwide casting database that they now pull performers from, something that sort of pushes today’s performers further into obscurity and out of the minds of individual casting agents.From what I’ve seen, Disney seems to be doing less direct casting for specific needs and more casting using a database. Then when talent is needed across a range of disciplines they can be found and offered work more quickly. It’s an efficient system, but it’s an easy system to be lost in amongst the thousands of people just as talented and pretty as you. Waiting for the results of an audition can be intensely nauseating when you’re still green enough to wait for notice from auditions, but luckily for me this is the casting call that I waited for and it came through. (This of course led to a period of time of me thinking that I was someone who landed roles. Wrong. I barely landed anything again for three years). One night, June 1st 2011 to be exact, I received an email from a lady named Karina from Disney Recruiting: Congratulations!! You have been offered the position of Entertainment Performer with Walt Disney World to begin in January 2012! Please reply to either accept or decline.Seconds later Karina received the world’s fastest reply, then I leaped from my desk and performed my once in a lifetime happy dance.After that came six months of preparation, and by preparation I mean walking around with a permanent cocky smile, throwing money around because I had “made it” and was gonna earn fancy American dollar bills. This was followed up with a gym chaser – once, to prepare my body for the stress of daily entertainment.

The airport goodbye was traumatic. All my friends were in a teary mess. I had already left my family at their house in much the same manner. I never repeated that mistake again, so when it was time for each subsequent goodbye after that point it became a casual wave and a crappy joke. From Brisbane I began my journey to Nadi Airport in Fiji (no, the airport is not a tropical paradise), then to Los Angeles, which was under renovations at the time so a nightmare of a maze. Then finally to Orlando, Florida, which I decided on the bus ride to my resort was not somewhere I would ever live under different circumstances. It’s not really a city that makes a lot of sense; it’s more of a small town but on a massive scale. It almost feels like a beachside city without a beach. Downtown was pretty though – at night it had a Batman sort of feel to it.
This unusual city, however, houses 100 square kilometers worth of Disney, plus every other theme park ever dreamed up since the time of Jesus. You can even meet Jesus at “The Holy Land Experience”, the Bible-themed park just down the road. I could only speculate on the audition and casting process that the holy hopefuls needed to endure.

If you’d like to read the rest Click Right Here!

Murder Game

Well it’s time for the Chinese New Year Semester break, which means all who work in China get time off to go home, see their families and take it easy.

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This week I finished off the last of my classes and for my oldest class we had our end of semester show on the second last day, rather than the last. This meant the final day would just be for games and revelry.
Games are never straight forward with these kids as they are hyper intelligent and bilingual kids who study 7 days a week.
There’s a lot going on in their minds and I was pretty curious where their minds would go in a popular murder drama game I like to play.

In this game the kids all sit in a large circle and a policeman is chosen. (No matter what gender the policeman is, the kids always say policeman when saying it in English).
Once a policeman is chosen he or she is sent outside and through questions and testing I choose a murderer. (Being the murderer is highly contested so I make them win the opportunity).
The policeman is then invited back into the room to stand in the center of the circle and try to guess the murderer.
The murderer will murder kids around the circle by winking at them. Once a kid is winked at they must die, using observation the policeman has three guesses to try to figure out who’s committing all the crimes.

Normally the game might go for 20 minutes at the most, however this week I didn’t cap the length and it went very extreme, very quickly.
I will tell the story in the present tense and allow you to see it unravel exactly as I witnessed it. We have 9 kids in play, Jan, Will, Henry, George, Jerry, Sarah, Alice, Mary and Lucy.

Round 1.

Optimism was high as the kids sit in the circle eagerly awaiting the policeman’s guesses.

The kids giggled nervously and occasionally shout fake outs like “kill me!” And “she’s the killer!”
Mary is an easily distracted policeman and finds herself regularly chatting with friends and missing murders as they happen.

Jan doesn’t participate in the Tom-foolery, she sits quietly so as to succeed with her kills and go unnoticed. Mary can’t see any connection between the murders and makes her guesses slowly and at random. Murders begin happening further and further apart making the round seem never ending. Eventually the third guess is made and Jan isn’t chosen. Jan wins.
Jan is now the policeman.

Round 2.

This round a time cap is introduced. The policeman has only 90 seconds to make her guesses or the killer will go free.

Jan is the policeman this time and is sent from the room so a killer can be chosen. Henry is chosen to be the killer and immediately after being chosen Will and George sit next to him and recruit him to join them in an alliance.

The rest of the class haven’t noticed what Will, Henry and George are doing and seem oblivious to the deceptive hints that they give to Jan to throw her off the trail.
Jan tries to make observations and catch murders as they develop, but Will, Henry and George are using false signals and lies to throw her off the trail. She muddles the signals and trusts the wrong information. 90 seconds begin to slowly run out and and Jan makes three incorrect guesses. Henry wins.
Henry becomes the policeman.

In the minute or so before the next round the kids begin to chat with each other, but this time the volume is noticeably different from the last time there was a gap between rounds. Instead of the blaring noise that’s usually piercing my ears as the kids joke and fight, its a calm and dark whispering.
Jan joins Will, Henry and George and the four of them recruit Lucy and increase their influence.
Through math, trivia and language questions George is chosen as the killer this round. Immediately the new found alliance begins plotting together, but unlike last time they aren’t subtle enough and Jerry, Sarah and Alice begin to notice.

Round 3

A new rule is introduced, if you are caught communicating with the policeman you die. If you’re the killer and you communicate with the policeman, you lose.

With the new limitations in place the influence of the alliance is limited until they can work out a new strategy.
When the policeman enters there is momentary silence as everyone begins to silently plot the game.
Henry is the policeman and he is looking for George, the killer. Lucy tries to tell Henry who the murderer is and communicate that the killer is part of the alliance, but she is unable to get the message across before I notice and kill her for breaking the rules.
The other members of the alliance react to Lucy’s outburst and chastise her, much to the suspicion of Jerry, Sarah and Alice.
Their suspicions are confirmed when members of the alliance begin slowly nodding or shaking their head whenever Henry is almost about to select a killer. Using slow nods and shakes they communicate the murderer and sacrifice George for Henry’s benefit. Henry guesses correctly with only one guess, Henry wins.
George becomes the disgruntled policeman.

This time the chatting gets explosive as Jerry, Sarah and Alice call out the alliance for what they see as cheating, the alliance deny’s all claims and once again through tricky questions a killer is chosen, this time it’s Jerry.

Round 4

Sarah and Alice realize immediately that the alliance will communicate with George that the killer is Jerry to keep the wins within the alliance, so they agree to work together.
The round begins and as predicted the alliance very slowly indicate to George with their eyes that the killer is on the side of the circle where Jerry is sitting.
Unknown to the alliance however is that Sarah and Alice have been watching how they communicate and began to emulate this communication method to George.
George is obviously very confused and feels like he possibly missed a recruitment drive while he was out of the room when a killer was being chosen. He turns around in panic and communicates a little conspicuously to Jan that he is feeling confused. Jan gestures back by shaking her head but this was too much communication, Jan is killed.
Plagued by indecision George guesses wrongly 3 times and is unsuccessful, Jerry wins.
Jerry becomes the policeman.

Jan is enraged with how the last round went and consults with the alliance. Jan instructs them to use a very subtle neck scratch in future to identify themselves as part of the alliance, and that if it is discovered she will instruct them further in what the signal will change to.
George is very feeling very disgruntled with the entire group, he remains silent through the deliberations.
When it comes time to challenge the kids with questions and find a killer, Jan is chosen.

Round 5

Jerry enters as the policeman and the round begins. Jan, Will, Henry and Alice remain completely still and exhibit perfect poker faces, only breaking occasionally to snicker and silently mock Jerry’s stern face as he scans the crowd looking for clues.
He looks around as kids begin dying and can’t find anything unusual to look out for, he is painfully aware that the clock is ticking down but can’t find a basis on which to make a guess.
He guesses once and is wrong, he makes another attempt and is wrong a second time.
He looks pleadingly at Sarah and Alice but they died early on and are lying on the ground with their eyes closed.
Suddenly George dies a little more dramatically then he had in previous rounds and attracts Jerry’s attention.
Jerry watches him dramatically gurgle and lay stretched out on the ground with his dance trained foot pointing out towards Jan.
Only one of his feet are pointed, and it’s direction is squarely and obviously at Jan.
Jan has noticed what he’s doing but is powerless to act, Jerry has also noticed and swiftly turns around and successfully guesses Jan as the murderer.

A dark look falls across Jan’s face. She knows what she’s got to do.

To be Continued…