{Do this} Open Mic could be your night

If you actually have talent and can hold a tune I salute you. Unfortunately my singing is a blend of a screeching cat, nails running down a chalkboard with echoes of a whale’s mating call.

So, to you talented individuals this could be just what you are looking for:

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Happy singing Nesters!

{Prizeapolooza} Jen Stocks Photography

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Some people are just ridiculously talented. Like if you are lucky enough to be in their presence when they are creating their ‘art’ you are simply blown away. I feel that way about the wonderfully skillful Jennifer Stocks.jen stocks logoFirstly, for the purposes of being upfront I should disclose that she is a part of my family. I have known her my whole life and am proud to call her friend.

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Jen is one of Australia’s most sought after and celebrated photographers and is a fully accredited member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). As evidence of her wonderful skills and talent she has won numerous awards for her work both at a state level and nationally.

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The best way to describe her photography style is fresh, contemporary, pure and simple. She captures moments in time so you can keep them for always.

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She is a professional newborn, baby, child & family photographer servicing the Central West. I can honestly say she regularly amazes me with her sublime work and the sensational care she gives her clients.

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Jen is taking some well-deserved time away from her business for 12 months to spend some more quality time with her little birdies (she has four!!) but I assure you will be back, bigger and better then ever in the not too distant future.

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line4To celebrate all that is wonderful about the Christmas season and to thank her wonderful clients for their support, Jen is offering a very special prize to one lucky Nester. If you have had your life captured through Jen’s lens in the last three (3) years she is offering the chance to win one of your images printed onto a 20inch x 30inch canvas. This is huge and would be an amazing way to display your family’s image for a lifetime.

To be in the running all you have to do is be a ‘liker’ of Jennifer Stocks Photography’s Facebook Page as well as The Central Nest’s facebook page and let us know! Winner will be drawn 5pm Monday 30 December 2013.

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Let us introduce you to Matt Boylan-Smith

The Central Nest loves talented locals. Particularly REALLY talented locals.

Recently we were lucky enough to speak with Matt Boylan-Smith about music, plucking and wishing he had started five years earlier. Studio B&W

Hi Matt, thanks for chatting with the Central Nest. Please tell us a little about yourself

I am a 27 year old musician. I grew up in the Blue Mountains and Bathurst and originally come from Victoria.

Music has always been a part of me. When young, I would always be singing and watching music but was generally too shy to sing in front of people. I qualified to get into the Australian youth choir but my voice broke so I didn’t really sing until after my teenage years.

How would you describe your sound?

My sound is a mixture of folky roots, with finger plucking sometimes overlaid with frisky strumming. When writing, I usually work on the melody and lyrics around the actual guitar on its own and build the song from there.

What comes out is a pretty honest and raw sound, which is great as I like to sound in the studio how I do at my gigs.

How long have they been performing? How did you get started?:

I’ve been performing for about five years live. I started not long before that. I’ve always sung but am still relatively new to guitar. I started when I walked past a second hand music store and laid eyes on my Maton guitar. I outlaid a fair sum of my money but it has paid me back a million-fold.

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What is your favourite thing about performing?

Performing is a great outlet, something I appreciate more as I do it more often. I enjoy telling my story and communicating it through music.

My favourite places to perform would be the Church Bar in Bathurst and Logan Vineyard in Mudgee.

Do you have a least favourite part of the job?

I would generally say the kms on the road alone, but this is also a good time for introspect. I guess the fact that I perform whilst my friends are out enjoying their time off from their jobs is my least favourite part.

What has been your career highlight?:

There have been better known and more storied performers, but opening up for Ash Gunwald would be my highlight so far. Apart from being an incredible performer, he was also honest and upfront and gave great advice when I was probably a little bit nervous sharing the stage with him!

What advice would you give the 16 year old version of yourself?

Pick up the guitar and start playing! Don’t wait another 5 years.

What would you say to the up-and-comers in the music industry?

Work hard, do the time, be smart and take opportunities when they come, as long as they fit with what you are doing. And stick to your brand. If you’re writing and performing a softer laid back show, don’t always do pub shows. Find an audience that appreciates your style and grow that way.MATTBOYLANSMITH 1

Where can people find you?

My website is www.mattboylansmith.com
On Facebook at www.facebook.com/mattboylansmithmusic
On Youtube at www.youtube.com/user/mattboylo

We thank Matt for taking the time to chat with us. We love his sound and look forward to watching him perform for many years to come. Make sure you get out and support this very talented local.