So I graduated university 12 years ago today, on 13 July 2004, aged 22.
Since then, what have I achieved?
+ Worked office jobs in UK for 10 years.
+ Worked away from home during the week for 9 out of 10 of those years.
+ Started improv classes on May 1st, 2010 with ComedySportz UK in Manchester, aged 27 & 5/6s.
+ Won £100 for a Twitter joke competition.
+ Applied to emigrate to Australia.
+ Did stand up "comedy" twice. Hated doing stand up comedy, twice.
+ Joined up with Wow Impro and did my first proper show with them in March 2012, aged 29 & 2/3s.
+ Got long listed in a short screenplay competition.
+ Was asked to join the CSzUK Sunday League team, and then got fired 2 shows later, at the end of August 2013 for wanting to try long form and put on a one off show.
+ Put on an indie improv show with my friends (as Beware The Gnomes) on November 23, 2013. Thus ensuring the Dr Who Anniversary will always be fondly remembered by me as a day when I got to have fun with my friends.
+ Got several writing credits on BBC Radio for Newsjack for Writing one liners. And got paid for them.
+ Got several podcast writing credits for writing/ co-writing sketches.
+ Got a couple of stage credits for writing sketches.
+ Lost weight.
+ Left Wow Impro and office jobs.
+ Emigrated to Australia, Jan 12, 2015.
+ Arrived in Brisbane on Jan 14, 2015.
+ Moved to Melbourne on March 15, 2015
+ Got my first studio apartment.
+ Attended my first Improv Conspiracy Harold night / Cage Match at The Dan, on March 18, 2015. Hosted by Lucy and Tim.
+ Started doing improv classes at Improv Conspiracy and Impro Melbourne, April 2015.
+ Met, and became friends with, lots of lovely improv people.
+ Got an office job. (May 2015)
+ Lost weight
+ Did a weekend comedy writing course at RMIT.
+ Got asked to be a cast member for an improv show, Full Disclosure (October 2015).
+ Felt like I really bottomed out in everything (November 2015).
+ Diagnosed with depression & put on meds. (Dec 2015)
+ Graduated TIC training program.
+ Auditioned for TIC house teams.
+ Placed on inaugural Fresh Blood team, Dad Fight. (Jan 2016)
+ Accepted I'm not broken inside, and am just asexual. (Jan 2016.) https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2008/sep/08/relationships.healthandwellbeing
+ Did a monologue and "came out" as asexual at a comedy show on Valentine's Day.
+ Gained weight.
+ Performed 8 shows with Dad Fight.
+ Contemplating career switch, to what, I'd no idea.
+ Visited home aka Wigan. (May 2016)
+ Gained weight.
+ Refocused myself to think of Melbourne as home.
+ Returned home to Melbourne. (June 2016)
+ Refocused myself to look at the positives. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f3jdbFOidds
+ Eliminated some negatives (removed some Facebook friends who ghosted me, etc).
+ Gained weight
+ Moved apartment to somewhere that actually feels like home, even though I've only lived there a week. (July 5, 2016)
+ Started attending an evening singing course at VCA. (Day before yesterday.)
+ Started attending an evening acting course at VCA. (Yesterday).
+ Started personal weight loss program. (Today)
+ Still contemplating career switch.
+ Wrote this post. (Today).
So, thanks Salford University. Your degree has allowed me to find new friends, a new home and my place in the world, 10,500 miles away from you.
I wonder what the next 12 years will bring?
For as long as I can remember, and especially lately, I've been down on myself.
I've been through a lot of change in the past year: asexuality, finding out about HSP, sleep issues, depression, anxiety, oversharing this at times (maybe now) and not respecting friends' boundaries (truly sorry).
I've always thought that I wasn't capable of great things, that my disability would hold me back, and define me as nothing and not worthy of anyone or anything.
I'm taking steps to be a better me today than I was yesterday. I've started using the headspace app, started using brain training apps, started losing weight again, and retimed my medication which seems to have solved my sleep issues.
I always thought that I wanted to do brave and adventurous things, but never had the confidence to do them and took the easier path instead. But this past weekend, while I was watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, there was a character who expressed the same feelings, and the response to that character was that she did something brave and adventurous. What she did, I did. I've written it on a Post-It note so whenever I'm feeling unsure, or insecure I can remember:
So I haven't updated the ol' blog-a-trola much this past year since moving to Australia. Mainly because I didn't have much to say, but I have been doing improv about town. And I've been doing a slew of classes, which are all coming to the end of term in the next couple of weeks, so here's a list of where you can see me on stage in Melbourne over the next 14 days:
WED 2 DECEMBER 2015 10pm - IMPROV CONSPIRACY - CAGE MATCH. Performing with Tom Twinn as "Best-ish Of British"
FRI 4 DECEMBER 2015 8.30pm - IMPROV CONSPIRACY - BYOT. Performing with Jake Payne as "Man Feelings"
SAT 12 DECEMBER 2015 7.30pm - IMPROV CONSPIRACY - Level 3 Improv Showcase. Performing with a bunch of very talented people who have been under the tutelage of Broni Lisle and Simon McCulloch for the past 8 weeks. This show will focus of creating improvised sketches.
SAT 12 DECEMBER 2015 8.30pm - IMPROV CONSPIRACY - Level 5 Improv Showcase. Friendship Train. Toot Toot. Performing with my improv fam who have been under the tutelage of Hayley Tantau and Shea Evans for the past forever. This show will be a Harold. There will be 2 sets to this show. I will be in at least one of them.
And after these shows are done, we'll see if I have succumbed to improv burn out. (Most probably). Not only will these shows mark my last of 2015, but it also marks the end of my core training at Improv Conspiracy, which is sad, because it's been a very big positive of 2015. Who knows where life will take me in 2016. I hope that I'll be able to continue to make stuff up with these really fun people.
I'm just going to take a moment to thank everyone that I've improvised with throughout my time here in Melbourne. If I hadn't found Improv Conspiracy and Impro Melbourne, I wouldn't have stayed in Australia this long.
With Especial thanks to:
MUSICAL - Strano, Rainer, April, Ashley, Carly, James, Jayden, Jess, Laura, Owen, Sabina, Triona
LEVEL 3 - Broni, Simon, Elly, Fiona, Ian, James, Luke, Philippe, Reuben, Vu.
FRIENDSHIP TRAIN - Hayley, Shea, Ashley, Carly, Dani, Elizabeth, Jake, Jayden, Lelda, Leticia, Reb, Tom, Zoe.
BEST-ISH OF BRITISH - Tom and Georgina.
MAN FEELINGS - Jake.
And a big thanks to all the Melbourne improvisers that I've seen perform on stage this year. You've been fun to watch.
's up, my babies?
That's right, it's been a while, but I am back.
What have I been doing, other than procrastinating over writing a blog post? That's an easy one, I've been procrastinating over so much. From procrastinating about doing laundry, procrastinating about contacting my wife and son in the UK to let them know where I am in the world, to procrastinating about writing jokes and scripts, I've quite literally not done it at all. (You'll see that jokes are missing from this blog post.)
I have been taking improv classes over here in Melbourne, to get faster on my feet (for running away from my UK based wife), and I've also been losing weight. But that's not the point.
It was through my improv classes that I met comedian Elizabeth Davie. Elizabeth was about to start hosting a weekly current affairs-style show on C31, a Community Television channel here in Melbourne.
The show, Offbeat, is daily and broadcast live at 4.30pm. It's produced by students at RMIT (a Melbourne University). Elizabeth hosts the show on a Monday and asked for people to contribute material. In a fit of pure activity, I volunteered to write some comic material.
And so it came to pass that I have had some material read out on TV here in Australia.
So far, there have been two episodes broadcast live from an outside broadcast unit (14th September and 21st September), and I managed to get some material on the first episode (quite a bit - the Myki joke and some general news jokes), and a couple of lines on to the 2nd episode.
I'm procrastinating from writing material for episodes 3 and 4 (of 12 in the series) by writing this blog post.
See, procrastination rules!
Until next time!
Well, it has been a long time.
Not just in the fact that I haven't posted here on the site in a while (it's a long story, that I will get to eventually, Kif) but a long time in regards to getting a credit on Newsjack. Well, rejoice, because overnight I got some good news!
I got a credit on Series 12 episode 5 of Newsjack. I've been constantly submitting since my last credit on S10E3 without much success. Starting with this series (12th) I have just been submitting one liners (with the exception of last week, episode 4, when I did not submit anything at all due to lack of Internet.)
My 7th credit overall. It's a bright spot in a bleak few weeks.
In the event that you can't be bothered listening to the podcast, my joke is as follows:
Results are in for the Solar Eclipse. If you want to be able to see again, look away now.
Catch you next time,
Australia - Thursday 15th January 2015 - Day 2 - Brisbane.
It rained yesterday all day but today it was 30 degrees in the shade, so I have been to a shopping centre with air con. Sadly there is no Morrison's. But sacrifices have to be made somewhere.
I have had coffee and food and I can already feel those 53lbs I lost before venturing over here creeping back on.
Weight gain or no, I've already been wowing the locals with my fashion sense.
Until next time, keep being stylish.
Australia - Day 1 - Wednesday 14 January 2015 - Brisbane
Thought I'd start my new life with a bit of a diary (however infrequently it gets posted.)
My final destination is Melbourne, but I'm spending a few weeks in Brisbane with family first.
Arrived in Brisbane at 6.40am local time on Wednesday. Managed to sleep a bit (probably 6 hours) on the 13 hour 20 minute Dubai to Brisbane leg (and for an hour or so on the Manchester To Dubai leg). I awoke on the plane at 2am Brisbane time. It was my best "sleeping on a plane" journey ever. The only low point was when I dipped the tip of my tie in the baked beans on my breakfast plate once we landed in Dubai. I handled it as deftly as the next International Man of Mystery by sucking the end of my tie to remove the rich tomato sauce. After all, I'm not a philistine. I don't normally travel in a suit, because I don't normally take one. Since I'm emigrating here (and I'll need a job at some point) I figured I better bring the suit. The jacket is fairly heavy and bulky so it made sense to wear it rather than pack it.
After going through e-immigration at Brisbane airport (very quick as opposed to the man at the desk variety of years past) I got my bags and was at my relatives for 8am ish. My British mobile didn't update the time automatically on arrival, so I can't be 100% sure.
Spent the day unpacking at my Auntie and Uncle's and talking to visiting cousins. Ate tea (think I'll always call the evening meal that because I'm from North West of England) of Lasagna and I managed not to spill any of it on my still pristine white shirt. (And didn't spill anything else on the shirt during the entire trip barring the bean juice incident in Dubai.) As I was getting undressed to go to bed (I know what you're thinking, and yes, I do sing the Stripper music to myself during the whole process. Every single time as it makes it into a cardio workout. Though I am glad the tassels did not flag up any issues when I went through the body scanners at the airport.), I noticed there was a small speck of lasagna sauce on my outer cuff. Great, now I'll need to wash it before I wear it again. Not being a philistine is a lot of work these days.
Went to bed after a quick shower at 10pm. Then the smoke alarm went off. It was annoying at first, but after a while the sound (in association with the smoke) enabled me to drift off to sleep easily.
PS. There was even 10MB of free wifi on the DXB to BNE route because it was an A380. Here's me in my shirt and tie at 35,000 feet just off the Northern coast of Australia:
Not pictured, the bean juiced end of the tie.
Loaded up and truckin'
We got a long way to go and a short time to get there...
See y'all on the other side.
It's Mundane Monday.
So now that I finished, I figured that I'd let you know where the fun happened:
It was my first job after university, and it was a lot of fun.
I met a lot of amazing people through my time there, both in the office and in the surrounding areas.
I'll miss it a lot.
Thanks for the memories!
NB. And with that, Mundane Monday comes to a close. For now, anyway. Who knows if Melbourne Mondays will make it's debut in 2015?
It's Mundane Monday!
Counting down the working weeks until I'm funemployed the only way I know how.
No weeks to go!
Wait, why the hell am I up at this time?
I'm going back to bed.