Friday, 11 September 2020

My Last Post

 I am happy and I am sad. It's been 8 years this month since I first moved to London and after a lot of thinking and talking, I am moving back to Bournemouth. This will be my last post on this blog.

I am sad. I came to London to pursue a dream and become an actor. I want to say that this isn't the end of my acting career but a break is needed and there is an element of finality moving away from London, my home, after 8 years. The last couple of years have just not got off the ground and I have had to rely on event work to keep me afloat. A chance that every actor needs to progress in their career hasn't come for me and I am tired. There was a breaking point that I hadn't realised I'd reached this year and my interest with it all has dropped almost entirely. Coronavirus has definitely played a major role in this decision. I haven't worked for 7 months and there is no guarantee any work will come in the next year so, after visiting home for 2 weeks in August, I realised that this would be the most sensible option. I've not been one for taking the sensible option before but after a fortnight back home I realised how, more so than ever, I still love where I'm from. The places, the beaches, the atmosphere, the quiet and of course first and foremost my family and friends. All of it. And I crave it. I still like London. But I don't love it anymore. It makes me think of the famous quote by Samuel Johnson: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." To that I say Samuel had clearly never been to Bournemouth. I will always treasure the memories I've had here. The friends for life I've made. The flatmates I've treasured coming home to. But I feel like it's time, not just because of Covid, to come home and change things up. As I've gotten older the dream of acting has been slowly moving aside for more grown up dreams. Owning my own house one day. Having a secure job. Settling down somewhere. Moving back to the seaside. I have wanted these things more and more over time and I am excited to pursue those new dreams now.

I am happy. As sad as I am about leaving London, I am so happy and excited to move back to Bournemouth. I had pretty much made up my mind about moving back a month ago when I was home but I wanted to wait and go back to London first. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was giving up. As soon as I was back I knew I had left my head and heart by the sea. Yes, it's home. The place I grew up where almost all of my family are and so many friends, but it really is a beautiful part of the world. A place I'm proud to be from and somewhere I knew I would want to return to eventually. So many people I've spoken to from Bournemouth who have lived away have now either returned or have plans to return in the future. 

The break from, or end of, my acting career (whatever this may end up being) will be replaced with a computer and code. A thought that was of course strong in my mind was if I were to move back, what would I do? There was so many things that didn't attract me and, after a lot of conversation with my cousin, I have been learning to code. At the risk of sounding like a nerd I have found it exciting and interesting and would love to pursue a career in it. This is obviously a radical shift from acting and the lifestyle that goes with it but I think that is a big factor. I have had far too much experience of the freelance lifestyle and I crave structure. The thought of having a routine and a structured life excites me and that's what I would move back to achieve. I have spent 8 years thinking constantly about money and not knowing when the next job will be or if next months rent will be paid out of money earned or savings. The relief that I will feel having a job and a salary and a routine to my life will be priceless.

There are so many reasons and components to this decision that writing them all would probably be boring and undoubtedly long so I will leave it there. I don't want people to feel sad for me that I didn't achieve what I set out to do here. I want people to feel happy for me that I had an amazing 8 years in London and am moving onto something new. As unexpected as this year has been this is the right move for me right now. I'm sad it's the end but happy it's a beginning. I am excited for what happens next. I am excited to come home.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020


Just the two years and one month in between this blog and my last then. Good.

First, some home truths of why I haven't written anything for such a long time. I have been falling slowly out of love with acting. I lost the drive to write and make films and despite being available and still keen I had less and less opportunities as time went on. Last year six months passed without a single audition. I forgot what it was like to act and have that excitement of being on set. I remain adamant that I never gave up acting and still haven't. But for 2019 acting gave up on me. I understood more about why friends had previously thrown in the towel with acting and done something more secure. I crave it too. Every day. You start to work out where your happiness lies on the scale. Is it leaning more to the side of security and money or sticking with the penniless dream chase? I can honestly say last year I didn't want to act anymore. I wasn't happy. I even almost climbed out of the rabbit hole completely and went for a full time job at the end of the year. There are only a small amount of people who can know how truly hard it is to chase the dream, repeatedly hitting brick walls and stay positive. Eventually it'll be one brick wall too many and you begin to think this is the universe's way of saying...have you tried something else?

I didn't get the full time job I went for and over Christmas and New Year it was good to have some time out to not think about work. I was watching (not a plug but...) the new A Christmas Carol on BBC and suddenly something sparked. I felt it again. This strong need to be up for these roles and the respect for the acting on display. This feeling of being left out of these shows and knowing I could take them on and do a good job. I left my agent a month ago after the quiet year and they agreed it was a shame it hadn't worked out and understood my reasons for leaving. I'm not in London to go for commercial after commercial but so much more. I know where my heart lies and the older I've got the more I know what I want. And I don't want to give up. Not yet.

The way 2020 has started, acting has started to pay attention again. I've got a new agent who I'm really excited about and feel rejuvenated with voice over work and acting. I don't know where it's come from but I've got the fight back again. I know how important it is for me to remind myself of how good I am and can be with the right opportunities. I know if I can get in the audition room I can impress. I just need to keep going. I know I will have times this year which will be tough but every year has had tough moments. 2019 was the hardest. I will make sure 2020 will be easier.

And...I'll try to blog more.

Lots of love. Sam x

Friday, 22 December 2017


God I love a summing up. We're hurtling towards 2018 and I'm getting all reflective about this year, and by hell I've decided to focus on the positives. I promised my friend Adam I'd be positive so my hands are tied.

This year I:

  • Made 2 films
  • Got into 5 film festivals so far with them
  • Made London my home more than ever before
  • Actually now feel like a professional voice over artist
  • Added to the list of memories I never want to forget
  • Ran 10k in a time I'm ridiculously proud of
  • Done what's made me happy
I'm really proud of myself. Partly just because I'm still in London. It's another year and I'm still living there and (somehow) affording to live and work there. It's been the toughest year so far (on the edge of positivity now...) but I've survived and my postcode still remains N7.

The films. I won't say much about them because I've already blogged about it but the happiest I may have ever been was during the week of filming The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper with my best friends in Devon. It was a feeling of huge pride and happiness to know the people who helped me make it. The support of the Mighty Colour Films guys is solely responsible for me making films in the first place. I owe them so much. I can't wait to show the films to everyone next year. They're doing really well in film festivals which unfortunately means we have to wait until Summer to release them but I plan on doing a big premiere in Bournemouth when the time comes and show a few Mighty Colour Films films past and present.

I want to thank my flatmates too. This is the most settled I've ever been in my life and it's down to 7 amazing flatmates and my amazing neighbour (yes it's a big house (yes we actually know our neighbour)). They're some of the most important people in my life now and I know I wouldn't be this happy without them. They've been so supportive of the films and I know I can rely on them if I've had a shit day which has happened on a few occasions this year.

10k. My run surprised me with how happy it made me. There aren't many things that I can say with confidence but with incredibly determined pride I can say I'm fast. Very fast. That sprint finish at the end of it all was worth all the training and the previous 39 minutes of complete pain and a devastatingly strong desire to stop at all times past 5 minutes. It meant a lot more to me than I realised and it's a moment I'll never forget.

I'm very aware I haven't written about acting at all. To be honest this year hasn't been much to write home about in the way of acting. My agent is putting me forward for all the right stuff but opportunities and auditions just haven't come up as often as they have in the past. There's been no shift in desire. If opportunities don't come up I'm more than happy to spend my time earning from promo work and writing and continuing to make my dear short films. It continues to be a waiting game which I'm more than happy to be patient about. I'm close to securing great regular flexible promo work so I can stick around. This year my faith has wavered a lot in what I'm doing. But it's almost a new year and my faith is as strong as ever. One last thing that this year has brought is a mini motto I've had to remind myself of at times. Everything's going to be ok. It's simple but I love it. It reminds me that things aren't going to stand still for me or my problems. Things are going to keep progressing and time will keep ticking by, and no matter how bad things get, it'll pass. Everything's going to be ok.

And that's it. I'm out for another year. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank YOU too for reading this, keeping up with everything, despite the odd depressing bit, and being here. You're the best. Lots of love. Sam x

Thursday, 19 October 2017


It's been a while. Last time I blogged was in April and it wasn't all too positive feels. Since then I've finished 2 short films and kept on keeping on.

Firstly these 2 short films. The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper, after about 6 long months of working itself out, is finished and out on the film festival circuit. If it made it to a few film festivals I'll be the happiest man around. At times it was a labour of love but I couldn't be prouder of everyone involved and that here we are. It's finished and I'm happy. Then there's Eat Jeremy. My second short film of the year which I wasn't sure was going to happen but, after a day of shooting and roughly a week or so of editing it's finished and joining the lighthouse film on the film festival circuit. I feel more a writer and filmmaker than I do an actor at the moment. I've had time to focus on filmmaking which has been great and films wouldn't have been made if it weren't for my dry spells but acting has slipped down the line. I'm a filmmaker first, voice over artist second, actor third.

So, this acting thing. It's been a tough old year, the toughest so far, and I think a change is needed. I've been very methodical and thoughtful with it and I feel as time has gone on my shift of what I enjoy has changed slightly. I love acting. It's the best feeling in the world to be someone else and change who you are completely. Having said that this year my most proud moments have been writing, directing, and creating my own projects. The most passionate I'll ever be is for my own short films and creations and that can be done and will continue to be done no matter where I end up at the end of all this. I feel I'm coming slowly closer to this conclusion that I need to put acting on the backburner for a while to still afford London. Many times this year I've kept myself free out of hope and faith that something will come up and it hasn't. I haven't been sensible. I need to change my priorities and that's not a bad thing that I'm not sad to do so. That's what I'd like to reiterate. If, in a years time, I'm still in London but doing less acting then that's ok. That's what path I've been led to. I know in my heart I will continue to make films and will always want to act, but I shouldn't be depressed if I have to grow up and realise I can't keep going the way I'm going financially. I need to do what I can to stay in London and if that means less acting then so be it. It's been an incredible adventure and maybe hasn't gone the way I'd hoped so far. Of course I wish I was further along than I am right now at my age and after 5 years of London. I think instead about how far I've come. How many films I've made and how proud I am of everything that I've achieved, and how I haven't let the negative things get me down. It sounds a bit like I'm saying goodbye to acting but that's not the case. I just feel like I've been living a bit of a dream that had an expiry date. I've never felt closer to the end of things and need to buy myself some more time. I need to grow up. If priorities need to change then that's what we have to do to keep the adventure going. It's not a sad thing or a goodbye. It's just a new direction that I need to take things in.

I said to my neighbour the other day, I'd love to get framed the words 'everything's going to be ok' on my wall. I love it. It's a brilliant reminder that whatever happens to anyone, the world isn't going to wait. Should anything happen to me that means I have to give up acting or move out of London the worlds going to keep on going. All I can do is my best. The rest is up to the universe to be kind and help a guy from Christchurch continue to live his dream. Everything's going to be ok. I am so grateful for every great thing that has happened in the last 5 ridiculous years. I hope for another 5.

Friday, 31 March 2017

March 2017

I'm glad to see the back of March which I will claim to be one of the hardest months I've had since moving to London.

I love doing these blogs. It's really therapeutic and I feel like I get everything on my mind off my chest. I've always been proud of how honest I am with them and I'll say exactly what's going on and how I'm feeling. If you read back on all of the posts of this blog I realise probably most, if not all of them, are either 'I'm feeling a bit down about things' or 'I'm determined to stop feeling down about things' which could potentially be a bit boring and repetitive. So to not break tradition I'm going to tell it straight and it may be a bit of a downer but know that it's all ok.

For the first time over the last month and a half I've been questioning how long I can be an actor for. I still want to do it of course but for the first time I started to think responsibly about how much money I can spend on staying in London and hoping things will work out. Acting is unpredictable and it can happen for anyone just like good actors can go their whole lives without anything happening to them. After what can only be described as a shit-tonne of tax to pay, a short film made over budget and no notably moneymaking acting jobs to speak of I started to think how realistic this is. I'm back to the Sam who first moved to London, unsure if I'll be here in a years time, but with less optimism. I'm tired. I get so tired of trying to constantly look for jobs and be positive and keep my head up and have faith that something will come up. The truth is I feel more pessimistic than ever about it. The faith and hope aren't there. I've felt quite depressed most of this month and just haven't been myself. I'd rather be alone in the evenings than see anyone and just didn't have the passion to make an effort to see people. I found out that a job I'd done last year was extending the usage which meant a bit more money which was great but didn't change how I felt. It's all starting to feel like I'm using small amounts of money that I'll get from jobs to plug a leak for the time being and not looking at the bigger problem of how I can achieve more and not have to rely on these little jobs to squeeze rent out of each month. I'm starting to look at the bigger picture. I feel very grown up. It's horrible.

God that was depressing. I feel like I should apologise for being such a down clown. Basically I'm feeling a lot better now. I went home last week and feel a lot better for it. I talked to my family about it and had a lot of thinking time. I also remembered that this is how I've felt the last 2 years at this point in the year and I got out of the slump. I don't know how many people read this when I post but I'm glad when people do. And totally get that I can be a Moany Mcdownerson with it sometimes. It's my therapy and I like to get it off my chest. It's my window to say how it's really going without sugarcoating things.

So to sum up:

  • Actings hard
  • Had a bit of a wobble
  • Stopped wobbling
And that was March. April will be better.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper

Well January wasn't written about at all and it's mid February now but it's for a good reason. Last July I was on a date and I don't know what brought it up but I talked about a list I had of 3 things that were pretty farfetched ideas that may never happen one day and one of them was to live in a lighthouse for a year. We'd gone to a park close by to mine with a couple of gin and tonic cans (because I'm a classy romantic kind of guy) and as I walked home in the full moon I had this image in my head of this guy in a 'meeting' with his parents saying he doesn't want to do what they want him to do anymore. He wants to follow his childhood dream instead. He wants to be a lighthouse keeper. I got home and went to the roof and wrote for an hour and a half the beginnings of what was going to be a film I would crowd fund and make 6 months later.

It was the busiest week of my life but one of the best. We were a skeleton crew for the magnitude of what we needed to get done but I am proud of everyone involved. I want to thank my parents too for going above and beyond and then some. They came down to help and feed us so stayed in a cottage down the road...which we ended up using as our main location. They were so tolerant of my stress and occasional idiocy and I wouldn't have been able to get through it without them. This is the most complete film we've made so far. I couldn't have done it with out Adam and Sam, the other Mighty Colours of Mighty Colour Films. I learnt so much during the week including how well we work together. There were definitely moments of stress but we were always on the same page and completely understood each other when there were disagreements. There is such an understanding between us that it proved to me that we will make amazing films in the future. There is a really strong bond between us and I consider them brothers. At the end of the week my heart was full. I had a moment on the morning of leaving, looking out over the village of Beer, of complete gratitude for what had happened. I loved every moment of it. The first day was rained off and we had to reschedule but I remember standing in the rain on that beach looking around and yelling 'I LOVE FILMMAKING' just because despite any stress that came with it I wouldn't rather be doing anything else. Writing and directing has become such a big passion and I loved directing this. I was really proud of myself when there were moments that weren't working or someone wasn't comfortable doing something and I had to find another way of doing it that would work. I think a lot about acting as an unpredictable luck driven career and think if I could make more films and get better and maybe even pick up some awards that would do the world of good for contacts and career. Whatever happens with acting I will never stop making films. I've found my home with it. It's one of the best things in the world doing something that makes yourself proud and I can't wait to show you the finished film.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

December and all of 2016

We're at the end of the year already and I think for a lot of people we will think about this year not about the things we've done personally but the big political decisions of the year. I think it's important to take out the stuff you can't control and focus on yourself when looking at this year. I'm not going to say it's been a bad year for me because of Brexit and Trump but focus on the things that are important to me.

It's been an up and down year. I've had probably the quietest summer I've had so far and haven't had any auditions towards tv or film yet. I don't feel like I've progressed too much but I feel like I'm learning each year. Maybe the biggest thing I've learnt has been patience. I've got a great agent and am in a strong position to start being seen for minor tv roles. Now I just need to be patient and wait for the infamous 'break'. Really I can't have too many complaints when I look at all the things I've achieved. For now I'll focus on the positive things.

  • This year I was on billboards on tube stations, trains and buses all around London and was shown on TV to millions of people.
  • I got a great agent.
  • I went to Colombia for 2 months with my best friends and had some of the best moments of my life.
  • I raised £200 towards cancer and ran a fast 10k time.
  • I wrote a film I love and raised money for it.

I'm a big believer on luck in this industry but I have worked hard for this. I don't want this to come across as boastful in any way. I just don't want my year governed by things that are out of my control like politics and just think about the good things that have happened. I'm not going to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders when I look at 2016. I just want to focus on what's important to me like writing and acting and how proud I am of myself. I am so pleased about the things I have achieved and want to keep bettering myself each year. Hopefully by the end of 2017 I'll be writing about even bigger things...but I am patient and will continue to wait patiently until it happens. Be positive, be happy, be proud of the things you are achieving. You're doing great. It's hard to remember sometimes but I want to keep those thoughts in my mind always. Here's to a better 2017.