london – 12 weeks & 5 days … times for something different

12, May 2009

It’s been over 12 weeks and still no job.

TJ and I have got my little studio flat right next to Euston Station (where we get gently rocked to sleep every night by the rumble of the tube), a new gym, some mates to hang out with (and get fed by when we need a pick-me-up) and even a couple of neighbourhood squirrels. All we need now is some jobs.

I’ve tried everything. I’ve applied for any job that I think I’m remotely qualified for. I’ve sent out emails cold to prospective employers.  I’ve registered with temp agencies far and wide. But at this point I’ve turned up nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s jobs to be had out there but there is also a heck of a lot of people out of work to compete with. For any particular job I apply for I can guarantee I’ll be up against anywhere between 50-150 people for the same position. So to say it’s competitive is an understatement.

Will things change?

I don’t know … strike that – things have got to change!

I can’t afford to go on like this for another two months. I’ve got to have something to show for this experience besides “giving it a go”.

It’s time to try something different.

* * * * * *

For the next couple of weeks I’m going to keep on forging ahead applying for jobs and following up leads but I’m also going to be focusing on the following three things –
networking: I’m going to seek out writer’s groups, industry events, courses; anything that will get me mingling with like-minded individuals. In the past the majority of my work has come from people I know, so it’s time to get to know some people in London.
(2) writing material that can get made: I’m going to focus on scripts that can be either realised as a piece of fringe theatre, a low budget web series or short film. By October I want to be able to say that I got something commissioned or produced here in the UK.

(3) finding collaborators and facilitators: I’m going to be looking for other writers/directors/producers/groups who I can collaborator with to get work made as well as dramaturgs/script doctors/mentors who can help me to develop my work. At this point I don’t feel like I can do this alone. I need help so it’s time to go out and find it.

At the end of these first two weeks I’m going to take stock of where I’m at and what I’ve achieved. If things are positive I’ll keep on forging ahead. This is as much for my own sanity and morale as it is about getting something done.

* * * * * *

Luckily I’ve already made some in-roads to achieving these goals.

Last week TJ, myself and our mate Lawrence, hired a DV instructor (big shout out Mike at DV Training) to give us a one-day training course on the Z1 DV camera, which is pretty much the industry standard for self-shooting producers/directors working in reality and factual television at the moment. We learnt more than I expected and I can now white balance, set audio levels, expose and focus with the best of them. We’re following it up this week by hiring a camera to mess around with for the day and to solidify what we learnt.

On Tuesday night I’m going along to a script reading held by the London Comedy Writers Group who regularly do readings of half-hour sitcoms, sketches etc submitted by its members. I’ve looked into several groups and these guys seem exactly like what I’ve been looking for – a tight group of pro’s and semi-pro’s who support each other in the development of their work.

The following week I’m going to check out a piece of fringe theatre, I Love You, Bro, at the Pleasance Threatre. It’s got rave reviews from it run at various festivals here and back in Australia and at 10 Pounds a ticket, I can’t really ask for more.

I’m also talking with my best mate and long time collaborator, Lawrence, about developing some stuff together. In the past when we’ve put our minds to it we’ve always managed to get something up but for the past eight/nine years we’ve been living in different parts of the world. So now that we’re finally together in the same city it’d be crazy not to take advantage of this opportunity to work together.

* * * * * *

I know this is another LONG entry but I’m planning on blogging more regularly from here on out and in shorter bit-size posts to debrief and keep everyone updated on my progress. Thanks for all your support and encouragement to date, it really does make a difference. I look forward to reporting back about hopefully some exciting times ahead.

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3 Responses to “london – 12 weeks & 5 days … times for something different”

  1. Gregory Stewart Says:

    Good luck man. Sounds to me like your head is in the right place, and you’re planning positive steps. I’m sure it’ll pay off soon.

  2. […] london – 12 weeks & 5 days … times for something different […]

  3. uncle peter Says:

    it must be very frustrating but it seems you are going about it with strong beliefs hang in there we are thinking of you.A idea for you [free too] write about going to pommy land to get a job writing funny films.Goodday mate lots of luck unc

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