Some of this will appear on the All About Me section of the website so you can skip it if you’ve read that. I mean you are probably going to skip it anyway, but I thought it was the best place to start I just have hope that one day I will write the most fantastic blog that will take off on social media and it will become a full-time job just responding. I can dream.
I am more of an introvert, so this won’t be my life story. That would take too long anyway. I am a writer. I started in theatre. Actually, I started years ago as a child. I mean as an adult, I started writing theatre. I began attending drama classes, and when it came a chance to do a showcase, I wrote and then asked if I could do my scene. A bit brave not only asking but especially as we were doing scenes from comedy greats. French and Saunders, Monty Python, Victoria Wood and me. The scene was a roaring success, and the rest is history. That’s not strictly true, but when rewriting my life story, why not? What did happen was I was asked to write a full-length play. I did, and this became Wedding Shots. A family drama where people brought their own set of problems to a wedding. It even had a tagline which is not something done in theatre. ‘What do you do if the happiest day of your life is the worst in the life of others?’
A funny thing happened in the process of writing Wedding Shots; I became quite physically ill. That isn’t the funny bit. It just meant that I started writing a darker play called The Dead Wait. I didn’t know I was ill; all I knew was I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to write a happy wedding one. The Dead Wait was set in a waiting room between this life and the next, probably influenced by Satre’s No Exit, although I have no recollection of reading it before writing the play. I finished Wedding Shots, handed it over and waited six months to show The Dead Wait to others. From there, I started writing more plays and saw other people/groups doing my plays. I decided that maybe I could get more vision across better and started my own theatre company doing original works only. Amaline went on for seven years.
In the meantime, I started to work in media. I got a place in a prestigious training company here in Wales that only took on a few people a year. I was taken on as a script editor which meant they paid for my training. I was also given training in filming, editing and the industry. I did some excellent courses in London, and it went well. Timing is everything though, and after a few jobs, avenues became closed because it was the time of the BBC fund cuts, which was having a knock-on effect on all media. I went to find another day job.
Keen to be a bit more ambitious with the theatre company, I changed the name from Amaline Theatre Company to Amaline Theatre Productions. This allowed me to put short films within the plays making it a bit more edgy for the audience, more fun for the actors and a technical nightmare for me. I would film, edit and direct the film on performance nights. I didn’t direct all the plays, so arranging times for filming also became a logistical nightmare. It was stressful but creatively rewarding. However, Doctor Who became huge and prices shot up for prop hire in Cardiff. Then room hire prices rose, and the feedback I was getting was I had to lower the ticket prices because there was a recession on and so it became impossible to breakeven. Something then happened, which made it impossible to go on and that finished. I will write a whole blog about this, but these are the main points. I felt it was over, and I wasn’t meant to be a writer.
Life went on, but I had this awful nagging in me that I was neglecting that part of myself. I was watching TV and film and thinking that I could add to that, so I went back to writing but this time concentrating on screenwriting. Here I am writing, trying to get myself out there when my whole being screams not to do it. I have done some big things this year in terms of getting my work seen. I have this website for instance. I will talk about the rest in different blogs, but here are the basics. If you got this far, well done, thank you and have a lovely day.