Archive for the 'Goals' Category

the three reasons why I’m no longer worried about turning forty

9, February 2013

I always hated the idea of waiting until I was forty to really hit my stride but I was convinced for the longest time that was what was going to happen. I told myself it was the universe’s way of teaching me patience and I resented the stupid meddling universe for it.

It turns out my prediction was right but I’m happy to say that with my fortieth a mere seven weeks away all that looking up at the sky and shaking my fists in resentment has now melted away … and here’s why.

The Three Reasons Why I'm No Longer Worried About Turning Forty

The Three Reasons Why I’m No Longer Worried About Turning Forty

new york

Me at Bleeker Street Pizza, New York

My last trip to New York …

… with TJ

Not only am I travelling to New York to celebrate my birthday, I also get to share the experience with my partner TJ and four of my closest mate. Crazy right?

TJ was the one who originally suggested it … I suspect to nip any potential mid-life crisis well and truly in the bud.

I have to say, It’s been one of the easiest holidays to organise. After putting the word out, our best mates here in London, Lawrie and Amanda, who travelled with us to New York before, jumped on board and two of my oldest mates from my school days, Stephen and Ashley, signed up as well without a second thought.

Lawrie, TJ, Me & Amanda in NY

Lawrie, TJ, Me & Amanda on the Brooklyn Bridge

Thanks to AirBnB we’re staying in a beautiful apartment in Chelsea/Greenwich Village that is very fitting of my soon to be mature forty years and I cannot wait. It’s definitely going to be a trip to remember.

new job

For the past three years I’ve been working part-time as a moderator and live engager for the social media management company Tempero. If you ever wondered who deletes the defamatory expletive-filled comments from news article or responds to you from a brand’s Facebook page, it’s someone like me.

Engagement

Engagement

Moderation

Moderation

Tempero was my first regular employment here in London and I owe them a lot. Prior to joining them the only work I could seem to get was the odd bit of film and television runner work … something I was vastly over qualified for or delivering junk mail for a dodgy Ukrainian dude … who’s idea of a farewell gift was to stiff me of my last pay.

The glamorous life of a runner

The glamorous life of a runner

Junk Mail

Mail’s here …

 At the start of March I’m moving to a full-time position at a start-up YouTube network called BuzzMyVideos as an Audience Development Partner Manager. What that means is I’ll be helping to look after content creators who are signed to the channel and working with the BMV team to develop and implement strategies to attract more eyeballs to what they’re making.

It’s a great new challenge that is both scary and exciting but anyone who knows me knows that I have always been passionate about the digital video space and independent content, so this new job is a perfect fit for me.

new commission

In 2012 my writing goal was simple: “write, network, produce and seal a deal”. Well I’m happy to say that all that work has paid off and 2013 is going to see me writing and producing a project I’m very excited about.

I’m holding off revealing the details about what and when as you usually only get one good go at making a splash with an announcement like this but hopefully before the end of February I’ll be able to reveal all.

To say that I am excited about it is an understatement.

-*-*-

So there you go, the three reasons why I’m no longer worried about turning forty and why the stupid smarmy universe was right all along.

Advertisements

reflection on 2011

31, December 2011

As I sit here reflecting back over the past year waiting for twenty twelve to arrive I realise 2011 has been a good year. I didn’t achieve everything I wanted to but honestly, do we ever?

This year I released my Sample Radio Sketches, attended the London Comedy Writer’s Festival, completed the scripts for Tessa & Adam, made more industry contacts, pitched projects, enjoyed hanging out with the ScriptTrank, Script Chat and British Web Series crew and spent way too much time on Twitter.

My two big achievements this year have been seeing New Eden come along leaps and bounds and moving more into social media engagement work as part of my day job at Tempero.

New Eden has been the number one topic I’ve blogged about this year and with good reason. We’re yet to officially release footage but I have to tell you it’s looking great. Freek’s illustration and animation skills has been in high demand this past year but he was still able to carve out time to work on the New Eden pilot. We’re currently finishing up the animation and starting work on the music and sound design. We aim to have the pilot completed early in the new year.

The New Eden web series scripts are completed and I’m currently adapting them into a half hour animated TV comedy pilot script as well. We’re working with some talented creative and business people and have a plan to pitch New Eden as either a web or TV project in 2012, depending on who we’re talking to. So expect even more New Eden blog posts in 2012.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working in social media engagement at Tempero. Tempero has been a great company to work for and a great bunch of people to work with. Engagement is now another tool I can add to my  writing/producing toolbox and what I’ve learnt this past year has helped inform my social media/marketing plans for my current projects.

-*-*-

In 2011 I said I wanted to “write, network, produce and seal a deal”. I can happily check off the first three and feel like I’m well on the way to reaching the last. Despite what I said earlier, I do believe that we can get what we want out of life. It just takes persistence and patience, well for me at least.

On my laptop I have three little mantras that help keep me going. The first and the last are my own little notes to myself. The second came from a newspaper interview with someone, I forget who now but that’s not important, and it always struck a cord with me.

So, with this in mind my goals for 2012 is to stay the course and spend more time enjoying the work ahead.

goals for 2011

7, January 2011

Looking back over my 2010 goals I’m pleased to see that I’m on track with what I hoped to achieve. Phew!

Last year my time was divided between writing my own projects and chasing other opportunities. Out of this I am happy to say that I have:

  • made connections with several producers, writers and actors
  • started developing a new project with a talented mate back in Australia
  • recorded some audio sketch comedy samples to be released soon
  • did further writing on Tessa & Adam
  • and teamed up with a talented Dutch animator on my other project New Eden, which is developing along nicely

-*-*-

In 2011 my goals are simple:

write, network, produce and seal a deal

the one thing that I felt held me back last year was spending too much time worrying about competitions or opportunities I wasn’t taking or missing out on rather than staying the course on the projects that I believe will benefit my career and creativity the most.

This year is about getting work finished and out into the world. I have a good mix of production and writing skills and a strong independent Aries streak so it’s time to stop waiting for permission, play to my strength and get things done.

goals for 2010

13, January 2010

This year I’ve taken on some advice from Piers over at his blog, Between the Pavement and the Stars, and have focused my goals on things that are under my control and achievable.

-*-*-

Professionally, I’m in a great position to get some work done this year. I have a job that pays the bills and also affords me enough time and head space to write. It’s time to live up to my own expectations and to have something to show for the year. This year is about completing several pieces of work, pitching, networking and not waiting for permission to get things done.

-*-*-

Personally, this year is about enjoying what London has to offer, both big and small. It’s snowing outside as I write this and is a perfect example of what I mean. I’m a complete tourist I know but I’m loving it. I want more of these experiences so that by the end of the year I feel more like a local. 2010 is about seeing more, doing more and socialising … more!

-*-*-

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : post to facebook

hope for the new year

5, January 2010

On New Years day I was greeted by this little fella on my window sill.

It didn’t snow over New Years as I had hoped but I think as far as kicking off a new year (not to mention a new decade) goes this more than made up for it.

Seeing this filled me with hope that I could indeed start to make London work for me this year.

Let me be clear, last year London felt like a real bitch – a slightly aging but still in-demand bitch of a diva … and she knows it. A bitch who can offer you the world but you better have some money and be somebody to be even worth her time. If not, forget about it!

Luckily 2010, what little of it I have experienced, doesn’t feel like that anymore. I am more hopeful and can happily say that the heaviness and stress of last year has all but lifted.

I feel like I’m actually a contributing part of society thanks to my job. I have a better understanding of how London works and how to have some quality of life here. And I feel like I have choice as well as the ability to take advantage of what this city has to offer.

Like I said, part of that is due to me getting a job but it was also thanks to embracing the festive season.

I didn’t get the white Christmas I had hoped for but we did get one great night of snow where I got to walk through the city to Trafalgar Square to see the carolers.

Call me a tourist but I also loved the Christmas lights down Oxford Street and around the city.

As well as feeding the squirrels!

I had a fabulous Christmas day with mates and plenty of hours in front of the telly lapping up England’s famous holiday specials.

I also spent my break mulling over my hopes for the coming year and what I want to achieve.

Very shortly I’ll be posting up my goals for 2010, so drop back to see what I plan to get up to and if you have goals of your own feel free to link to them or share them in the comments below.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : post to facebook

reflections on 2009

17, December 2009

Back in January I posted my goals for my first year in London. Not everything has gone to plan. It’s been a rough year to be honest. Money has been tight. Being a new face in a competitive industry during a recession has been tough. And just getting use to Jolly Old Londontown has been a struggle at times.

Would I have changed my decision to come to the UK? Not at all. Would I do things differently? Definitely! Can I do anything about that now? Not really. And upon reflection, do I really have that much to complain about though? No, not really.

I’m now working (part-time but at least not being exploited), living in a lovely little flat (by London standards) and looking forward to my first UK Christmas (with the promise of snow … maybe).

So, how did I go with my goals with year? Let’s see …

personal

find a borough and a flat in the UK I can call home

I’m still living in Euston above the tube lines (that rocks me to sleep every night and wakes me every morning) but have to say I love being so close to Bloomsbury and Soho. we are going to move eventually, there is only so long that we can live in a studio but for now it suits us. We could end up in Brixton, which looks affordable with a vibrant young up-and-coming community feel to it or maybe somewhere South West, but that just seems so cliché seeing as that’s where most Aussies seem to end up congregating when they move to London.

maintain a blog for the entire year

Check.

make London friends

I have, slowly. I can count friends of friends, a few ex-work colleagues and some fellow expats that I knew from years ago among my new London friends. So I’m getting there and certainly not a noddy-no-friends but submissions are still open for 2010, anyone … anyone …

stay in contact with Australian friends and family every month

This has been very important to me and thanks to Skype, Facebook, Twitter and good old fashion email I’ve managed to stay connected to those nearest and dearest to me on the other side of the globe. But come 2010 I know I have to make more of an effort to form connections here as I continue to carve out a life for myself.

keep up exercise three times a week

Now I’m not bragging but living a minimal life this year has meant that I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for years, thanks to the gym (my one big indulgence for 2009), a brutal weekly yoga class and clean living with very little excess (who can afford it!).

take better photos

I hope I have. You tell me.

cook more (does not include heating, frying or zapping)

We are blessed with a decent gas oven/hot plate cooker and don’t have a microwave so there has been no other option but to cook. And you know what, I’ve really been enjoying it. I bake a mean breakfast loaf and have been doing some tasty slow cooked meals in a ceramic hot pot that TJ got as a parting gift from her last job. Next year I hope to experiment more with England’s weird and wonderful array of root vegetables.

travel

Being financially challenged has meant that I haven’t travelled as much as I would have liked this year. But I have been to Geneva in Switzerland, Lake Stresa and Milan in Italy as well as Bristol and Brighton in the UK. Next week I’m off to Dorset for the day (to visit my Great Uncle Bill), which should be a real treat. Next year we plan to do more day or weekend trips around the UK and more travel to Europe hopefully – with it so close it would be a sin not to.

professional

Ugh, these are the tough ones …

land an opportunity in the UK that I couldn’t get in Australia

I’m not sure I can say that I have yet. There are certainly more opportunities in television and scriptwriting here in London but have I “landed” any yet? Not really. I’ve applied for a range of schemes and jobs that I wouldn’t necessarily have access to back in Australia and have also joined two writers groups so let’s call it a work in progress. Check in with me by the end of 2010 and hopefully I’ll have more to report on this front.

secure a screenwriting agent in the UK

Yeah … not so much. While important to my ongoing career I realise now that the most important thing is just to focus on producing good work and the rest will follow. My writing has gone through a lot of growth this year, which has included a lot of awkward and just plain ugly growing pains. But I can honestly say that I have produced some work this year that I am very proud of.

complete three original works

This is a box I can definitely tick. I completed a couple of sketches (let’s call that one) plus two multi-episode web series. All of these fell into place in the second half of the year after I just let go and started writing what entertained and interested me. During the first half of the year I produced some work that I wasn’t so proud of, especially seeing as they were the examples I used for several writing schemes, such as the BBC Writers Academy and Channel 4’s Coming Up programme. I hit some real stumbling blocks, let the pressure get to me, double guessed myself and just wrote some God awful stuff to be honest. I’ve been able to move past this now and reflecting back on this work I can see where I went wrong and how to rescue some of it when I comes to rewriting it.

practice pitching

I’ve done more than practice, I’ve actually gone out and pitched this year. I’m quite happy with what I’ve put together and presented in the second half of this year. It’s now a matter of waiting until the new year to see if anyone bites.

network

Where possible I’ve tried to get out and about to meet people and do the whole “networking” thing. My biggest success to date has been joining two writers groups. The London Comedy Writers and Script Tank have given me structure, a community to feel a part of and most importantly the opportunity to share my work with other like-minded peers. It has been something I have always craved and can say without a doubt it has been one of my biggest achievement this year.

-*-*-*-

Well, that’s it.

Thanks to everyone for following the blog this year. I look forward to regaling you all with more tales in 2010.

I hope you stay safe and have a happy festive season and wish you nothing but the best for 2010.

Come January 2010 I’ll publish my goals for the year and start the whole process again.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : post to facebook

busy busy busy

16, June 2009

I’m busier than ever this week. I started submitting material for the new BBC Radio 7 topical comedy show Newsjack. They provide a great opportunity for new writers to submit material for consideration and so I have made a commitment to submit something every week for the next six weeks that it’s on air. Will I get something up? I don’t know but the routine of writing and submitting stuff will be a good experience. From experience, it will take a couple of weeks to get into a groove and get the feel of the show so here’s hoping that towards the end of Newsjack’s run I hit the mark and get something on the wireless!

I’ve got a sketch being read tonight at the London Comedy Writers group. A slot opened up and was perfect timing for me as I had a sketch that I was wrestling with and needed some feedback on. I wouldn’t say that I’m naturally a comedic writer but after my experience working on and writing on the side for NEWStopia I’m preapred to give it a go and learn as I go at this stage.

Wednesday I’m off to another networking night – this one is called People in Media. I was put onto it by someone I met up with through Shooting People – an ex LA DOP who, like me, is here in London trying to get a leg up.

Then finally on Thursday I’m off to see The Moon The Moon at the Southwark Playhouse.

I’ve still got my web series and a few other things that I’m developing but at the moment I’m enjoying working on some shorter pieces of works, switching between them and actually getting something finished – which is all getting me closer towards my goals for this year.

It’s great to be so busy and while I’m still hunting for work the best thing I can do at this stage. It’s much better than sitting around at home (or the British Library) trolling job sites!

advanced arts network meeting

30, May 2009

Last night I was invited along to an Advance Arts Networking meeting. Advance is a global network of Australian ex-pats who are living abroad. It features “chapters” across many different industries, not just the arts, and operates as a means for Aussies to network and also to sing their praises to the global community. The meeting I attended was dedicated towards Australians working in the Arts in London.

I was invited along by one of the organisers who saw my film, Domestic, up on Shooting People. I can’t tell you how nice it was to be surrounded by Australian voices and by people who say what they mean! It didn’t necessarily make me home sick but did remind we how we Aussies are different from the English (we’re not just their poor convict cousins) and that we have a real “can-do” spirit and drive (as opposed to the English “That’s not my job” mentality) that can see us thrive and succeed when given the chance.

After the meet we adjourn to a gallery to check out an Australian exhibition and spent our time bitching about the English and shared stories about our first experiences here in London. The one thing I found consistent amongst everyone was that they all were still loving life in London. Most had been here for 10-20 years and like me came over seeking bigger and better work opportunities. Everyone I met had whole-heartedly embraced the London lifestyle whilst managing to maintain their Australianess.

I’m happy to say that I can rack this up as another successful networking event (I met several film/TV/media types there) and I found it to be a wonderfully encouraging and positive experience. I’ve got some other new networking events to attend next week and I’m well on the way to getting some more writing done.

My short, Domestic, has climed up the leaderboard at Shooting People for the month of May, which is exciting. The bigger benefit though has been that it has connected me with some fellow indie London writers and filmmakers and led to the rash of invites to new networking events.

My digital project that I have been working on for a couple of years now has got some traction again. It’s still a while off before there is anything significant to report but it’s good to see that it’s still alive. Developing projects is like a life lesson in patience, something I’m not very good at!

Overall June is promising to be a good month and I look forward to keeping you all posted.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : post to facebook

writing update – week #2

25, May 2009

So I’m into my second week of “doing things differently” and I’m happy to say that things are going well. I feel like I’ve had somewhat of a personal turn around even if I haven’t had a professional one yet. I feel happier, more creative and far less stressed.

I had a sketch read recently at the London Comedy Writers group and it went down a treat. It also helped to break the ice and I had a good chat with several of the writers afterward. Writers, especially comedy writers, are often misfits by nature and this bunch are no different, which makes them great fun to hang out with and also very welcoming of a fellow kindred spirit!

On the networking front, I recently signed up to Shooting People, an indie filmmakers social network and put my short film Domestic up there as well as an introductory notice in their bulletin. I had a great response to the short and have three people already that I’m going to meet up in the coming weeks for “coffee and a chat”. These “chats” may not lead to work but I’m happy all the same to be getting out and meeting people. Shooting People seems to be a very positive and proactive network and I’m happy to say it was 30 Pounds well spent.

Moving forward I’m committing to getting two sketches written as well as several episodes of a web series that I have been mulling over. I’m aiming to develop the scripts with the help of my writers group and then later with my mate Lawrence and some actors. The plan then is to get material shot during August and hopefully up online by September.

I contacted someone at Channel 4 this week (via twitter) and found out that the successful eight projects for their Coming Up scheme will be announced by the end of June. So that means my pitch is likely to be still in the running, which is a relief. After not hearing anything for a couple of weeks I was starting to get worried. I’m quite happy now to put it out of my mind but reserve the right to turn into a basketcase the last week of June!

I’ll be sure to keep you updated with my progress and I’m looking forward to some more fun and hopefully success coming my way in the months ahead.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : post to facebook

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 –
(1)
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.

add to del.icio.us : Digg it : Stumble It! : post to facebook