Monday, 21 December 2015

My Year

Maybe it's a week too soon for this but I'm reflecting on this year. I'm on a train home from London after doing my last job before Christmas and I'm pleased it's all over for a bit. I think on paper this year looks pretty successful. I wrote and directed 2 films and got a TV advert. It's not been my toughest year but it's been less patient. I've felt more frustrated than usual about not moving forward as fast as I'd like. Acting will always be everything but I have felt the strain, particularly from September to November where nothing seemed to happen and it did get me down. I was probably at my lowest the day before I got pencilled for the TV advert so the timing was perfect. I think a lot about how actors, or at least with me for sure, need a bit of validity every now and then just to know you're doing the right thing and doing it the way people want you too and even just a confirmation that you're a good actor. I definitely feel like that from time to time and I think the quiet autumn confirmed that. I also think it's the science of making other people happy makes you happy and I will always try to do that. It's the best feeling in the world playing a role and taking on direction and doing it the way people want you to do it. I also wanted people to know my belief since I moved to London has never wavered. Even in my quiet autumn there wasn't a single moment I thought I should start to plan for a life without acting.

This year ended up being a rewarding one with maybe some of the lowest days of London so far but definitely the best days of my life too. I remember thinking at one point you change the most between 16 and 20 but I think this time last year I was a different person to who I am let alone since I moved to London. One of the biggest things I've learned since moving has been stamina and the patience I need to do this and this year has definitely been a stamina year. I have no doubt I'll be a completely different person again this time next year. Roll on 2016 and have a bloody brilliant Christmas. X

Sunday, 29 November 2015

November 2015

As I sit in a Premier Inn restaurant in Cambridge sipping on a Baileys eating an outstanding New Yorker pizza I'm in a reflective mood. This time a month ago I was working at my filing job to earn pennies for a trip to Colombia I was worried I wouldn't realistically be able to afford. Now I've had the biggest job of my life so far in the Canary Islands and came home straight into being Santa Claus for the East of England in, most of the time, the middle of nowhere. I am happy. I've had some bad days and maybe one of the worst moods I've been in to immediately be followed by the best days of my life. I've said it before, I'll say it again and I'll probably say it a few more times after but I am so grateful for this month. Someone up there likes me. Sometimes the world has a way of falling on its feet when you need it more than ever.

The other day I decided I'm going to be famous. I was looking out the window on my lunch break, half in a Santa suit in a very very small place called Framlingham, and thought "yeah, I'm going to be famous". It's been amazing and I'm still pinching myself but I'm determined to not rest of my laurels and think this'll do for now. I'm becoming more aware of the momentum I need to start building with this and I'm working on 7 weeks out of the country not breaking that. For the side of me that feels he needs to prove himself to people back home and his friends everywhere I can be happy with this achievement. I always know I can take on anything. Even on the low days I know I can nail a part and I'd be a great choice but I needed to let other people know that. I was never going to be Sam who goes off and follows his dreams but he'll grow out of this phase one day and throw in the towel. This job has proved I'm a somebody who will continue to make noise until everyone is listening. November, you've been unpredictably awesome. December, more of the same. Let's see how much noise I can make.

Monday, 9 November 2015


It's been a couple of months since my last acting role with a character I could really get into and that was something I'd written and organised myself. In the last few months I've had one audition and a lot of things have gone quiet. I'm keeping my head up but it doesn't really matter too much at the moment. It's winter so there's not as many jobs to audition for and I'm in limbo, saving money for my 7 week adventure around Colombia, then when I get back I will look for a new agent. For now I need to wait and be patient. I'm doing my side jobs and getting money which is all good but I can't help but feel a bit lost. I think about why I moved to London and have had nothing to show for my career from the last few months. The short films I made are labouring onwards and I hope to get them done and released by the end of the year but I'm impatient to want to show more for myself. This year has been a bit of a non year. I couldn't be prouder of myself for writing and making two films but I wish they were one of many other highlights. I want to have things I've auditioned and fought for to show too. A Nurofen advert isn't good enough for a years work to look back on. Not even a TV or film audition and I know I'm worth more.

I've got work lined up until December currently and it's great money but it's not acting. I will get through it all fine but this year I wish had gone better. I need a new agent. I need a step up and know I can prove to people I'm not just some low level advert actor. I'm not Sam who went to London to try really hard and we're all very proud of him for his efforts. I'm Sam who went to London because he was never going to do anything else and is racing up the ladder and making a name for himself. It's a patient time but I can't fight the stagnating feeling of just waiting and working on other things and hope that maybe I'll get a shot. Colombia couldn't come sooner enough. For the second time since I moved to London I want to go somewhere and just not think about acting for a bit. I'm a bit tired of it all. The waiting with no results. Nothing to show of my determination to stay here and make a career. My career hasn't started yet. Next year is no excuse year but until March 6th when I get back from South America I don't want to deal with my career for now. I think I'm just a bit fed up. I'm not acting so therefore not as happy as I could be. I feel a bit lost so I want to lose myself in Colombia and not even really think about England. Just go out and think in the moment and let loose a bit so when I come back I'm refreshed and ready to get stuck in again. And I will be a different person when I get back.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Meet Sam And Mighty Colour Films

This week has been one of most successful ever. Mighty Colour Films, the collective of Adam, Sam and I, is at a very exciting time. Meet Sam was finally released last Sunday and the films that we made are close to being posted to the public. And this week has been busy filming in Bournemouth for 2 more films. It was a pretty intense couple of days filming with the guys. I was proud to film with them. I always am. The way they look and understand things is, I feel, of a top professional level and I feel I'm in the presence of people who deserve a lot more credit and attention than they receive now. Without knowing it they test and challenge me to think more and always try to improve my work and I feel I have. In the credits of the film we shot on Tuesday it will say 'directed by Sam South' but really it was a collaboration. It's as much my project as it is theirs because of how strongly we work together.

I am excited for Mighty Colour Films. The films that haven't yet been seen that we did 3 years ago would demand recognition at any film festival. There are now 5 films we have not shown and I would say each one deserves merit. But maybe I'm being biased...I couldn't have any more faith in the work we do. Meet Sam is loved and will only get stronger. The films we will release will demand attention and I will demand it for them. What we've done in the last few years has proven the idea of surrounding yourself with positive people and you will have more belief. And also finding creative people to not only work with but be true to and honest and as creatively open as possible. I have a very strong bond to these people because of the performances we've been through together. I have no real reason for making these films. I do it because I love writing and making. Making films is one of the best things in the world, and to do it with my some of my best friends too, well that's just perfect.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Jurassic World

I've just watched Jurassic World. I didn't enjoy it. My expectations were to see some dinosaurs and hear the Jurassic Park theme tune again and, yeah, we hit that expectation pretty well. The thing for me that just kept making me feel that little bit more annoyed was the amount of stereotypes. The predictability of the plot, I guess, was always going to be clear but did the film have to hit these stereotypes so hard on? I don't want this to sound like a film review because the thought that lingered in my mind through the film was that, for an actor watching, is this what I'm aiming for? Am I working so hard to be that lucky person to finally hit the big time to play a character seen so many times before to say terrible lines? If I'm a young kid wanting to be an actor and seeing this film as the highest of the high then I'd think I don't have to really do all that much acting. I just have to get good at saying cheesy lines and looking good when they say action. I summed it up in my head as a classic bullshit blockbuster. It in no way deserved it's billion dollars. It also made me think if, as actors, we have a right to be unhappy with who we are playing and what lines we're given. If we have a case to be unhappy with filmmakers giving us one dimensional characters and shitty lines. Is it the filmmakers responsibility to not only make a great film but also test the actors ability with a really brilliant deep character and natural sounding lines? It pissed me off.

It also made me think about what kind of actor I want to be. My love of acting started with heartfelt moments in genuine feeling stories where you felt it as much as the character on the screen was. You were right there with them and tonight really uninspired me. I choose a great role over a great price any time. I'm not here to sell out. I'm not here to sprint to the top and burn out straight after. I want to play characters that people will fall for, love, cry for, and be there for every emotion they go through. Jurassic World did nothing. I felt like it was out to tick enough boxes to make a decent movie and the title and history of the films would carry it the rest of the way to big money. I'd be perfectly happy indie filmmaking on no budget with a story that will excite and characters that people will love rather than just painting the audience bland. You were an important watch Jurassic World. I hope I never fall to the hands of a predictability ridden film like you.

Friday, 12 June 2015

I Turned 26

So here I am walking home from London Bridge because the weather is brilliant. It's an hour and a half walk but screw using a stuffy tube for half an hour. And I'm thinking to myself what if luck is saying fuck waiting until 30 for your break to come. This is the start of something now. The tilt into more jobs starts here. I've been shortlisted for a feature film, doing another TV advert next week as well as auditioning for an Irish TV advert and waiting to hear back from another advert that will see me travel to Greece to film. What if the break came now? What if I decided not to be sensible and think that this is it. I'm going to start getting famous right now. If I dare myself to relax into the notion that every job I go for is mine I wonder if people will see a change. A successful man has walked into your room whether you give him this job or not.

Confidence is everything. Without it I move back to Bournemouth thinking it was worth a try but we always knew we'd end up back here. With it I'm a focused determined success and people will know that from how I carry myself. One of my heroes is short of confidence at the moment and I can see how much of a difference it makes. The stamina of my determination is always tested but hasn't made a dent yet. I'm a really fucking good actor and I deserve to be getting better jobs. People shouldn't confuse arrogance with determination because whether anyone else does or not I believe in myself wholeheartedly. And if I lose confidence along the way I will need people there to remind me of who I am and how hard I can fight to be a success. One of my best friends once said to me "in my eyes you're already a success because you said you'd move to London and you're there doing it right now" and that made me think no matter what I've had the bravery to do it. But I'm a perfectionist and I demand to not leave London until I've made it. It's crazy what a difference I feel turning 26 in growing up and being more focused. I hope and have faith when I turn 27 I'll still be in London fighting.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Head Down

A family friend asked me a couple of days ago how I've found life since living in London and this was my answer. I don't think I've realised how hard the last 2 and a half years have been because I've kept my head down and got on with things, and that's how I'll always be.

When things have been hard I've got over it quick and not allowed myself to dwell on anything. I try not to give myself time to think about what's just happened and how amazing things could have been but look to how things will get better. I won't allow myself to look back because I don't want to stop what I'm doing. I don't want to distract myself with daydreamy "look how well I've done" thoughts and that is probably why I can sometimes not know what to do with compliments and not give myself praise all that much. But that question made me stop, look back, and realise it's been a really fucking hard 2 and a half years. And I'd never admit it because I kept my head down. Ignored it. Focused on the positives and all that talk. And I've been grateful.

Yes it's been hard but it's been fun and I'm having the best time of my life. It's hard now but it won't be when things start to really go right. It's only been 2 and a half years after all. My fight and determination has not reduced and every penny will go into London. I moved here because I was impatient and didn't want to wait for drama school. I never needed it in the first place and diving in the deep end has been the best decision. Yes it's difficult. Of course it is. But I wouldn't trade my life for anyone's right now. There is no time limit on how long I'll be here. Just like there's no time limit on the love you have for your family or a best mate. I'm in this wholeheartedly and I always will be.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Positive People

I want to blog about my friends Adam, Taylor and Sam. 2 weeks ago I had a job interview for a sales job on a pretty good yearly wage. A lovely 9-5 Monday to Friday job. A friend of mine in exactly the same position as me had taken it with the flexibility to still go to auditions and it would be a very quick step to money worries disappearing. My head really wanted this. My heart didn't. My family were behind it and so were my friends back in Bournemouth. I talked with Adam, Taylor and Sam for hours about what it would mean to get this job and my dear friends didn't want me losing my creativity or myself in this job. I love them wholeheartedly. They told me what I hadn't even thought of or anyone had said. They wanted me to be sure and I wasn't. I wanted this job because I need money. I am definitely not a natural salesman. As I soon learnt...

The interview was an hour and 45 minutes and was very tough. I didn't get the job. And I was so happy and relieved not to. Something I constantly try to explain to my family is that there is nothing else I will do. I am an actor. I'm not an office worker. I will never do anything else and I will stay in London until I make it. I owe my life to Adam, Taylor and Sam. Their positivity and faith have got me through so much negativity. They are enthusiastic about everything I do even when I'm not. I made a film because of them. I do voice over work because of them. I think differently about so much because of them. I am more confident. More thoughtful. More creative. A brilliant actress told me "surround yourself with positive people" which is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given. With these three I can do anything. Sometimes people still need someone to push them to do something they're not sure about, and they've pushed me to be who I am now. My success is down to them. I remember when I first moved to London I said to myself "whatever happens, be thankful". And I am for so much. Especially these three people. God bless them.

Sunday, 8 March 2015


This weekend I have ticked off something from my bucket list. I wrote and directed my first film yesterday. I'm still shattered from the day but it went perfectly and I'm really proud of myself for it. Up to about a week ago I still thought in the back of my head that this may not ever happen. I've said in the past that I've planned to do a short film but I made sure that this was going to happen this year. I'm really thankful for the people around me who made it happen too. My friends Adam and Sam who I've worked with so many times before and inspired me to think about making films in the first place. One of the best pieces of advice I ever was given was to surround yourself with positive people and I know I owe them for a lot more than just this weekend. I called in all the favours I could with this and am so thankful for the kindness of people getting involved. This last week has been the best week of the year so far. Certain auditions that have happened have made me believe in myself more. I didn't realise how much my belief this year had dropped until I got it back this last week. The next task now is trying stand up in Wolverhampton in 2 weeks...but that's for another time. For now I am feeling happier than I have for a very long time. I realised it's a risk doing this. Not just financially moving up to London but I realise I've signed up to a life of massive highs and lows. I can feel stuck and depressed and then in a heartbeat something can change and I will be on top again. If that's what I've got to live with for a while then so be it. Whatever happens I'll still think of more film ideas and create more. I am proud and happy and full of love for the people who have helped me. I can't wait to show people this film and hope for a great reaction.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Worn Out

I'm tired. I think I lost a lot through the panto and can't help but feel lethargic now it's over. This first week has been pretty depressing and I need to find some inspiration. I joined another casting website and have been looking at a list I made a long time ago of things to to do to make me more proactive and have been on top of things this week. But I can't help but feel tired. It's dawned on me a lot that I need to get some big work over the next couple of months otherwise I won't be able to live in London anymore. I need to wake up and get realistic and realise money is running low. I can afford this year but I need to hope and pray that something good will come. I've been thinking that the voice over work and film ideas I want to make I could easily do with a full time job and that's a bad thought to have. I still want to be an actor of course. I just think I need a break. A holiday. I spoke to my actress friend Kate the other day and she talked about having a break to refocus yourself and I think I need that. I'm feeling uninspired and I don't want to be. I was always pretty good at getting along ok without thinking realistically and having faith something would come along. I lost a lot of that through the pantomime. I won't be doing panto again. As much of a good experience as it was I didn't want to be there. I kept thinking about the feature film audition I had last year and the very unhealthy thought of 'what if'. I could be best mates with Tom Felton by now but I'm stuck here doing panto. I kept my head down and got on with it but this last week has been shitty.

We'll see how next week goes. I need a bit of luck and something to kick me up the ass to give me some faith again. This is the first time I've lost this much faith in what I'm doing. I don't want to go back to Bournemouth. Yet I've thought about it a lot this week and London hasn't been nice to return to. I think it's just a bad week I've had. I want to feel like I did when I first moved here. Small step by step aims and big hopes. But I feel like I don't have much time now and the next 6 months will be huge to dictate where I'll be by the end of the year. I've got a good mind to just go abroad. One way ticket somewhere when my tenancy agreement is up in August and see how I do till I decide it's time to come home. These are just silly pipe dreams. I've just had a bad week. We'll see what next week brings.

Thursday, 1 January 2015


I don't like 2014. I had a good opening 2 months but that's all I can say about it. There are too many resolutions I've passed onto 2015's shoulders. 2014 was not a bad year but certainly a quiet one. I have spent the last few weeks doing panto performing to occasionally only a few audience members and thinking about the opportunities I had that would have stopped all this. My feature film audition being the focal point of my thoughts. I want to make it clear though that I'm happy doing panto. It's been really rewarding and great fun with some awesome people. But I have to be honest, as I brutally am in these blogs, I felt a bit of a loser over Christmas. I had nothing brilliant to say about my recent jobs. Only that I was in panto which, to most people, is a pretty lame thing to be part of.

This is a negative blog about the year but I say it with a happiness that the pantomine will finish in February. That I've written and plan to shoot and direct my first short film at the end of February. That I'm going to try stand up in Wolverhampton in March. This pantomime if anything has made me more determined to sort my career out once it's over. My family laugh at me quite a lot. I don't think they understand when I talk about my creative side, my silly songs, my film ideas, my sketches. I want to show them what I'm trying to get across by doing it. I want them to be proud of me, for my friends to be proud of me. Right now I don't feel I have that with my pantomime and need to finish it to move onto serious things. This time next year I want to be proud I made a film, that I tried stand up and that my career is going somewhere really exciting. And it will. 2014 was a stepping stone to something bigger. 2015 will be different.