It has been my overall dream for a long while, that I want to pay my way through life, through my creative means. Meaning I want to eat, pay my rent, travel and have fun all from payment through my creative outlets and ONLY through my creative outlets. No part time/ full time PAYE jobs. Straight self-employment through my writing, acting and modelling (though the latter is very few and far between).
ACTING: So I have been in various plays this year in various theatres and each one has come from the last. I was recommended for a role for a scratch night at the Waterloo East theatre with Whoop ‘n’ Wail. The play was called Three Women in a Music Box written by Dan Horrigan and directed by Alice Bonifacio and I played Cora. It went down a treat with the audience along with the critics and gained 5 stars ∗∗∗∗∗ I received my first review from it: https://grumpygaycritic.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/theatre-review-whoop-n-wail-represents-waterloo-east-theatre-london/
From this I got scouted to take part in The Story Project at The Arcola, where ten 15min plays were put on from new writers, with only 8hrs rehearsal. I was in The Bird Woman of Lewisham written by Chino Odimba and directed by Emily Bush. I played Blessing accused of witchcraft and it was awesome to play.
Then I got asked to do another stint at Whoop ‘n’ Wail. Same director but new writer Daniel Page with the 10min piece Nice Jumper This was an awesome little funny piece, where I played the comical character Beth and again I got reviewed and even a double mention: http://grumpygaycritic.co.uk/2015/02/review-whoop-n-wail-represents-desire/
I then did various workshop pieces in schools and conferences with the theatre companies UpFront Theatre and Little Fish and then got scouted again for another acting job.
A site specific interactive theatre piece based on the best selling book The Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch where I played the river spirit Beverley Brooks. It was three 1-hour shows an evening, and I had to do my 6min monologue 9 times, interacting with the audience and knowing they could say anything and having to go along with it, whilst still keeping to the script. So challenging, but so much fun! It was directed by the lovely Eva Sampson, who I cannot wait to work with again! This month (June) I will be touring in schools again with Little Fish and I’ll be doing another run of The Forty Elephants in July.
– Brothers With No Game Season 3 has been confirmed as going ahead. That’s all I’m allowed to say on the matter …
… but I look forward to filming as I love getting together with the actors and bringing more comedy drama to the screen.
WRITING AND PRODUCING:
– The Forty Elephants. We have our BBC director Dan Wilson on board, our Producers Ian Thompson and Alita Simpson helping us with funding, Associate Producers Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe (CEO of BUFF the British Urban Film Festival) Simone Karma Rae (Head of merchandising for Adidas Europe & Russia) and Fredi Nwaka (owner of GridLoc Films and C.R.I.M.E Creating Role models in Media Enterprise). We also have Ross Bispham as our Marketing distribution consultant who runs Ignite Film Fans coming from the distribution company Revolver. This film is HAPPENING and now that we have our key players behind the scenes, it’s all about getting to the next level – funding which we are in the process of obtaining.
We have been commissioned by the mental health institute The Tavistock & Portman Clinic to do a run of the play on 16th Oct to young people and industry professionals and will also be doing general public showings on the 17th and 18th. Things are coming up daily for this project and we cannot wait to get the funding, get planning and get filming. We will also being doing our Bright Lights project, offering work experience, to selected young people, on set to work in all departments and document their experience.
– Super 7. I am writing a TV comedy series with another friend to pitch to a couple well known TV channels. That is all I can say for now on this, but we have three seasons prepped and will be looking for development funding for the pilot, before we push for full production. I have high hopes for this programme (when it succeeds, it could potentially be part of my pension fund – it’ll go global and you heard it from me first!)
– Subjectivity. I have been given the opportunity to have my writing commissioned on important issues like Domestic Violence and Double Standards: Equality of the sexes, through an event called Subjectivity: a topical debate show that makes room for wider conversation. Whatever the theme of the night, I write, source actors and direct scenes to open up the two halves of the show, that begin the debate. Each time has been successful and they continue to invite me back. At first this was scary as I usually write and direct with my Hiype business partner, but doing this on my own has shown me I can do it and it’s pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and explore more of what I am capable of doing (which is a lot more than I thought lol)
SIDE BUSINESS: Arbonne. I have also started a network marketing company in health and beauty, which I never ever thought I would do, but once I researched it and got to know the business model, I saw I had the opportunity to get paid for something, that we all already do. Recommending and redirecting my spend from an expense into an income. This has taught me A LOT about myself. I’m so used to hiding behind characters for acting, as I was a very shy person. Now I am more confident, my presentation and communication skills have largely improved – I’m learning to become a leader. Obtaining a more positive mindset and being humble and grateful for the things I have, rather than just focusing on the things I want. It has been a game changer in my self development and though I have a long way to go, it’s going to be a journey that will have a positive impact on all aspects on my life. It already has and just means I don’t have to rely on PAYE jobs when the creative work slows down for a bit (which always happens, being the nature of the business).
I think that’s everything for now. More than enough right?! lol. It’s a busy life but it’s filled with different creative things to look forward to everyday and I love that because I am freelance. I can have naps in the day, go to matinee shows, see friends and family throughout the week – not just the weekend – work in the park if I want to (with my portable charger of course lol) basking in the sunshine (when it decides to come out) then stuck inside surrounded by four walls, staring out of a window. It’s taken me just under 10 years to get to this point and the journey has been WELL WORTH IT! I encourage EVERYONE to follow what they want to do in life and listen to NO ONE who tells them it’s gonna be too hard or it’s not realistic. Not everyday is rosy and there are times when things are tight (which still happens in a supposedly ‘safe/secure’ office PAYE job) but when they are rosy and the money and fun is flowing, it’s OUT OF THIS WORLD!