The day when remaining tight in the bud becomes too painful
It’s been a long week, hasn’t it? The chill of autumn has definitely arrived in London.
I’ve been thinking about this poem a lot recently, as courage - especially creative courage - keeps coming up in conversation. Does bravery always feel like the choice it looks to be on the outside? Or is it the result of a process that’s been going on, hidden, somewhere in the subconscious? We see the result - the Blossom with a capital B - but we can’t see the working out, so we attribute it to something we don’t have enough of, namely courage.
I read somewhere recently that no one thinks about how becoming more successful, even achieving the thing of your dreams, contains within it the simple swapping of one set of problems for another. No iteration of the human condition, no matter how perfect, successful or courageous it looks from the outside, is without its problems.
Anaïs Nin’s little poem suggests that time changes our relationship to our status quo; what was aspirational once becomes quotidian, then actively uncomfortable. Hiding away becomes harder to bear than the once terrifying thought of standing out. So it’s time to move on. Is that bravery? There must be something in it - surely that’s why these conversations keep bringing this perfect tiny poem to mind?
Upcoming training in podcasting and comedy writing!
I’ll be leading a session for beginners making a podcast under lockdown tomorrow, as part of the London Podcast Festival’s Pod Makers Weekend (26-27th Sept):Several brilliant audio people are giving talks and workshops this weekend for / ! Tickets are pay-what-you-want
Podcast Maker Livestreams @podmakerstreamsTickets just went on sale for the Podcast Maker Weekend (Sep 26-27)! Feat. @emankwen @SuchandrikaC @ScottFlashheart @GejWatts @AxelKacoutie @_kathytu AND @trufelman! See the full line up and get your tix at https://t.co/UyeeVQtuRX
After the huge response to the 10,000 downloads masterclass, I’ll be running two more podcast sessions in October: a repeat of that one, and a new one on presenting!
You can sign up here (get in quick for the discounted tickets!):
There have been a few questions about this one, so yes - the personal essays masterclass will also be returning later this year!
I’ll be running the Angel Comedy Writing Gym next Friday, 2nd October! If you’re interested in coming along, join the Facebook group and look out for a post from me on the day with the Zoom link.
What is it ?
These are for anyone in comedy writing - whatever level - to get you motivated, writing, and also to learn new comedy writing techniques from an experienced comedy professional.
It's also a chance to write with other people if you wish, and to meet with other performers and writers (meeting other writing people is often the hardest part of the job!).
The workshops, like much of what we do at Angel Comedy, are free at the point of service, but there will be an opportunity to donate at the end of the session.
I’m not involved in this - just recommending it: A free talk on getting Arts Council funding for your podcast, set up by podcast legend (also champion) Renay Richardson, and featuring the Arts Council’s London Director? Yes please.Had an Arts Council grant app for you podcast rejected? Did you not even bother? Were you unaware Arts Council even fund podcasts? Arts Council offer grants up to £100k, due to covid are prioritising individuals over orgs. Get all your questions answered Anthem-talks.eventbrite.co.uk
What I’ve been up to
I was profiled by The Native Society - that broken image leads you to the video below on my Insta:
Links of the week
On the Breonna Taylor verdict: It Hurts to Keep Hoping for Justice
“I’m sorry, Rainier,” my former friend said. “I didn’t realize why what I said was wrong. I didn’t know it was racist.” It felt like progress, as if I actually made a difference in his life.”
This thread is a tough but necessary look inside the experience of being Black and being a barrister. It shouldn’t be like this:
I remember my dad, who was an obstetrician before he became a GP, telling me in the 1990s that The Sunday Times investigation into thalidomide in the 1960s, led by Evans, was what true journalism was all about. He would never take The Times again after Rupert Murdoch bought it in 1981. When The Guardian was late arriving at our local newsagent, they would sometimes send The Times to our house. My dad would take it, unread, wait with me at the school bus stop up the road until I was safely on the bus, then go to the newsagent with the paper. He would gently remind them that he did not take The Times, and swap it for something more suitable (The Guardian or, at a push, the Daily Mirror). Every. Single. Time. Those were his journalistic principles.
Hear Harold Evans on this Media Masters podcast episode from December 2018
The second edition of Steph Boland’s newsletter Lost Kit is about catcalling and fear and wanting the next generation of girls to not have to go through it. That stuff can start so weirdly early in life.
One for the memoirists out there: Fictionalising your home town
I. Can’t. Stop. Laughing. At. The. Da. Vinky. Twins. Help. Me.
That’s all from me this week, byeeeee x