A Guy Named Guy – Blog

Just write.

My first post in 15 months. My first post about me in THREE YEARS. No wonder writing feels difficult.

It won’t come as a surprise if I told you I’ve had a difficult couple of years – I mean, we all have, haven’t we?

But pandemic aside, quite a lot of stuff in my personal life has taken me away from so many of the creative pursuits that I love so much. Turns out that moving your entire life back to your home town, watching your dad slowly die, and discovering that you have ADHD can really kill your creative energy. Who knew?

So yes, I’m back in Leicester, and I’m here for the foreseeable future. I moved back in February and my dad passed away in October. The fun didn’t stop there though, as it took us two months to clear the house and we still have two shipping containers filled with his stuff. I’ve got a lot to sort out before I can leave Leicester.

Speaking of which, I’m not sure I want to. Well, that’s not true – I definitely do – but the one good thing that has come out of this situation is that I finally have my own place. A nice two-bedroom flat with lots of greenery nearby and quiet neighbours. And I’m paying £600 per month for it. That’s right – slightly more than I was paying for a room in a shared house in Brighton.

The thing is, now I have my own space, I can’t give it up. I’ve never felt more relaxed as an adult than I am now. I have a base to work from, peace and quiet when I need it, and no noisy student neighbours. A brief cursory search on Right Move tells me that I can have a two-bedroom flat in party central (Hanover) in Brighton for just £1070pcm, a shitty low-roof two-bedroom flat near the train station for £1170pcm, or a new-build flat at the Marina for just £1200pcm. Alternatively, I could go for a crappy cardboard box – sorry, I mean studio flat – right next to the noisy part of the seafront for just £750pcm.

So yeah, I’m not coming back any time soon.

Just write, right?

I’m forcing myself to write this to help me get back into the habit of writing. I need to stir up the creative juices again and there are minimal opportunities to work with people here in Leicester. Finding established professional networks is proving a nightmare. Brighton is blessed with many online communities that usually also translate into real-life meetings. Leicester is lean by comparison. There are networks linked to individual institutions – like photography meetups at studios or by photography tuition companies, and lots of amateur acting groups – but there are very few independent professional networks.

It’s been suggested that I recreate some of the work I did in Brighton – like putting together the networks myself. But there’s a reason that I stopped doing that work. I’m not great at dealing with the nonsense that comes along with it, and the work I was putting in was eating into time that I needed to be using for paid work.

It’s a joke

I decided recently that one of the things that I want to pursue more proactively is comedy. I’m not at my best when working alone so I’ve been working on putting together a small sketch group.

Initially I searched for performers local to Leicester, but I wasn’t satisfied with the responses I received to my posts. I think the highlight was “There’s already a comedy group in Leicester”. Oh no! Heaven forbid that more than one comedy group exist within a city!

In a way, that one response summed up the mentality of all of them. Some may say it sums up the mentality of Leicester. Not me though. I didn’t say that.

In the end, I decided to cast my net a little wider, and I’m now jamming on Zoom with a couple of guys from further south. I decided that quality and dedication to the project were more important than locality for this project. It’s still very early stages. Let’s see how it pans out.

Staying Sticky

I’m still involved with EWW as Stickman McTaggart. Obviously, I’m unable to get to training regularly, but after two years of being out of a fitness routine, I’m only just starting to get back into the habit. When I feel ready, I intend to speak to the wonderful team at Fight Factory in Lincoln about getting back on the wrestling train.

I’m still playing the role of manager to Billy Zero, and just this week I launched the Sticky News website to further add to my character and provide another device to move stories along. As my character is a disgruntled amateur journalist, it’s another place to write, and because my character is a bit of a hack, the writing doesn’t have to be great. It’s a handy little cop-out.

Where next?

Moving forward, my focus is very much on wrestling and comedy. I’d like to return to professional acting, but while I’m lucky in that my day job allows me to work from home/anywhere with an internet connection, it would be very unlikely that I’d be able to make myself available for auditions, rehearsals and shoots during the day with the short notice needed in the professional world. I’m still battling to establish my photography business to the point where I have a regular income, but that still feels a long way off.

As has been the case since I entered the acting world, I’m going to have to carve out a career on my own terms.

Still – I’m back!

23rd January 2022

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