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.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

November 2016

Lighthouse Lighthouse Lighthouse. Lighthouse. November has given Mighty Colour Films a Facebook page ( and our first crowd funding campaign which is going brilliantly. We've talked for so long about spreading our social media wings and raising our profile. I've spoken a lot before about the faith I have in what we can achieve as a trio and I really hope people like the work we do and if we do end up getting a lot of likes and attention for it I want it to be deserved. It is hard work to continually post to keep our presence strong but it doesn't feel like work because it's what we love doing. I want to thank you too so much for liking the page and being a part of what we're trying to achieve. I hope we can make films that will make you proud of us and keep getting bigger and stronger.

Since we're talking about thanks I can't be more appreciative for the people who have donated and shared my project. The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper is not a film I can afford to do with my own money. As great as the last few months have been with jobs I am still a regularly unemployed actor living in London. I had no idea what to expect when we started this. I was really happy with the video we'd made with a little bit of comedy in to show our personality and after a day of no donations when it started I realised I was going to have to reach out for support. I posted more and started messaging people who were in the creative industry in one way or another and people who I felt could understand what I was trying to do. I had little goals of reaching a certain amount by the end of the week and that pushed me to reach out more and more and go down a lot of avenues to find the money. It's been really hard. I've had to push the link and find new ways of selling it and posting it. I wanted to keep it fresh too so tried to cast by a certain time so I could update new things to interest more people and secure locations for the perfect stagger of posting and timings for when the majority of people are on Facebook. This is how much I think about it. I think about it every day and generally it's all I will want to talk about. I've met a lot of people who have their own little projects and ideas and I feel like, as much as this needs to be a success for my short film, I want this to be a success for others too. I want to be an example of how if you want something do everything you can to get it done. I haven't taken a film making or script writing course. I am arguably not qualified to be doing what I'm doing. I don't have the experience or know enough about film making. But what I do have is the passion for it and I personally think that's more than enough to get it done. I'm doing this because I love it and think I'd be good at it. I've not been to drama school so not even qualified to be an actor. I'm here because it's my passion and I will do anything I can to do it. If there's an opportunity to do something you love then work out how to do it and get it done. Make it happen. It's so achievable if you put your mind to it and the rewards for it are immense pride and happiness. I'm speaking from experience and with The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse I know if I can make it look like it is in my head it will be one of the proudest moments of my life showing it to the world.

We are currently £235 away from reaching our target. I am so driven to get to 100% and yes I am about to ask (yet again) for a donation if possible. I need your help to reach our goal. Just £10 gets your name in the credits and therefore part of the film. Thank you so much for the support already. I am unbelievably grateful for it. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for that support. Thank you.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

October 2016

October's been great. Firstly the 10k I did on the 1st went well. My aim was 45 minutes and I got 46:55. I was pleased with how I ran but disappointed to not get 45 despite being proud of the time I did get. It's really comforting to have these side interests I think like running and even though I didn't entirely enjoy the training and occasionally wondered why the hell I was doing this it was worth it for that final 200 metres of people cheering you on and, of course, the beer afterwards.

This month has been a hell of a success. A much needed one. There are some actors I've met along the way who seem to always have things going on and I am so envious always of their busy lifestyle. I consider it a successful year if I get one big job but October has been kind and has given me 2. I did some modelling and hand modelling (yes this means I can say I'm officially a hand model) for Visa and a TV advert for Those were the big jobs and with them came lots of little brilliant voice over and corporate jobs. It's weird to say 'I'm on a roll' when all of this is down to luck. Momentum is all mental if it's felt with these jobs I think. I'm a lucky boy to have these things work out and I do genuinely feel stronger for it, as odd as that may sound. I'm really happy at the moment.

I've somewhat drowned in a passionate love affair with my lighthouse film. I think about it every day and any time I'm free I work towards making it more of a reality. I'm currently casting for it and working on an Indiegogo crowdfunding pitch that will be up and running hopefully within the next week. It's slowly coming together and that feeling of miniature progress every time I do something small towards it fuels the passion more. At this moment in time I probably wouldn't mind if I lived off adverts and used them to fun my short film ideas. It really is on par with my love of acting. Being creative is my favourite thing in the whole world and I want to work hard to make the lighthouse film something people can watch and see why I was so keen to make it. I want to make people fall in love and cry and laugh and The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper can do just that. I couldn't recommend sodding everything off and doing what you love any more. It's a complete happiness I'm feeling and it's because I'm only doing what I love and nothing else.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

September 2016

Last month my agent told me it was natural for it to be quiet over the summer and it would get busier in September and he was right. It's been a really great month for auditions and the odd job. I had a recall for a tv advert and although no big jobs have been gained I feel I've got confidence in the auditions I've got and did my best in them. If I can have more weeks like some I've had in September it would be no time at all before I got another big job. I did feel some frustration at the end of a 2 week busy auditioning period at not getting anything but it's so important to remind myself of how much pot luck is involved in all of it. I was talking about life with one of my best mates on my rooftop overlooking the best sunset of the year so far (no apologies for how that sentence sounds) and I realised that the thing that makes me the happiest is my career. The happiest I've been in the last few years has been when I've had good auditions or got great jobs. A lot of different things drive different people like how important love life is for example which is important to me but I realised I'm more happy over a new job that a girl I'm excited about. It's all to do with where you are in your life and at the moment if my career goes well I feel everything else around it will lift with it.

Now things are calming down slightly I can return my attention towards my lighthouse film. I really want to make it. I feel like I need to make it in January otherwise it may not be made for a long time. Originally I wanted £2000 at least but I think if I stripped it back and raised a grand for it I could make it just as good with a huge amount of favours. I really believe in it. It's the kind of film I've always wanted to make and if it goes well I will have a beautifully shot endearing little comedy love story. I still think about how lucky I am to be able to make films with the friends around me as helpful as they are. I never thought I'd have any interest in making films when I first moved to London and everything's changed. I enjoy it just as much as acting. Also yesterday I ran in the Bournemouth marathon doing a 10k which is another thing I thought I'd never do. I'm really proud of myself. I'm proud of the person I've become and how I go about what I do. The people who I'm closest with know I will be the first to take the mickey out of what I'm doing sometimes but I am really proud of who I am and who I've become in the last 4 years in London. I am a completely different person. I never talk about how hard it is. That's probably why I make jokes to cover over the occasional tough month but there's no point being down about it. It is what it is and I'm thankful for the journey so far. I hope from now to the end of the year there is a surprise for me. Anything can happen.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

August 2016 - Lighthouses and Summer

August has been one long boring fairly jobless month so I've decided to write a short film; my next project, called The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Lighthouse Keeper. I got a little drunk with a friend a month ago and told them that one of my 'probably not going to happen but nice thought' plans was to one day live in a lighthouse. As I walked home I had this quirky scene in my head of well-to-do parents asking their son what he's going to do with his life hoping to follow a respectable professional path and simply telling them he wants to be a lighthouse keeper. I got home and wrote for an hour in the moonlight on my rooftop and have spent this month, with the lack of jobs and auditions, working on it. I've realised I love creating and writing just as much as acting. I didn't think I'd love anything more but the writing and imagination of it gets me so inspired and excited that I get really passionate about making things.

Mighty Colour Films is looking strong and its future is exciting. We have films we've not released yet that we're looking forward to showing and will be storming social media by force. I think about what we could achieve with a budget and I wholeheartedly believe we could create some really interesting dynamic beautifully shot films with Adam at the camera helm and Sam's imagination. I have decided I would like to raise money for my lighthouse film. I think we've proven so far what we can do on no budget and want to show off how good we can be with some money behind us. This is uncharted territory as I know nothing about raising money for short films and kickstarter projects but I think in the grand scheme of things I won't be asking for a colossal amount and it's achievable. Unless anyone has a spare £3000 they'd like to make into a future award winning exciting film?

Always worth an ask.

I met with my agent a few weeks ago and he printed off a list of what he'd been putting me up for the last few weeks and one of them was Game of Thrones. I didn't get an audition but still a massive confidence boost in who my agent can get me in front of as well as what he thinks I'm capable of. I'm really happy with him. We talked about how August is always quiet because people go on summer holidays, even production company people, and that it should pick up in September. I think I've been doing all the right things but it's just not happening at the moment. I have faith September will pick up. Actually since I've been writing this I just got booked for a job in Somerset for a few days. I've started going for these little jobs knowing if I can get a few of them a month that's me sorted for a little bit and almost even more importantly it clears my head and makes me feel in control and on top of things. Quiet times are tough so I'm pleased I've had my lighthouse film to keep me occupied and happy. It's been so important for me to keep creative and positive through this tough month and I'm ready for more auditions and jobs now. If I could get maybe a big advert before the year is out that would keep me going but it's still the small roles in tv and film that will build my career. I am happy to be patient and wait for my chance. I've got my own projects to make and to master and champion social media through Mighty Colour Films. Whatever happens this is something I'm in control of and can make some big noise myself. And if I can raise the right money I will.

Friday, 20 May 2016


Hell fire it's slow. Oh it's so slow. Since I've been back from Colombia which is ridiculously 2 and a half months ago, feeling like 6, work has been limited. It's not just me. I've spoken to a few other actors and it's not just me. Since I've been with my new agent I've had one commercial audition under him and have been in contact asking if there's anything more I can do. It's just luck of the draw and I'm going into summer on a bit of low because auditions, let alone work, just aren't happening and going my way at the moment. Maybe this is one of the reasons why people trying to be actors change careers. It's this frustration that you can't do anything to get rid of apart from get work. Easier said than done. I'm on my way back to Christchurch for my sisters birthday. Train journeys are the best to think and sort your life out a bit. Hopefully within the next week I will have my second short film to show you and by the end of July will have shot another I've written. I need to keep myself busy with my own projects even if it's just to get used to being in front of camera again.

2 weeks ago I had an audition for a TV commercial which I really wanted. Small money but the director had worked with amazing actors and the casting director was brilliant. We did the audition and I haven't been that disappointed in myself in a long time. Every now and then an audition will come along where they ask you to do something that you just can't seem to do naturally. The scene was me at the top of a zip wire with my daughter who was about to go down it and she was scared. My direction was to reassure her and occasionally make jokes about how high it was. I did that and was fairly happy then I was asked to do it without words then after that to do it in the space of about 5 seconds. With a bit of concentration I could have but I just couldn't get the hang of it. Sometimes that happens and it knocked me back a bit and I was really frustrated. You have to remind yourself that sometimes that just happens but I'll always need a bit of time to just be sad about it before I bounce back. I'm lacking confidence that I can regain with workshops which I've never considered before and think would really help.

This is a low point so I'm going to get my head down, work on my own projects, and do all I can to get more opportunities. Actings hard. It's getting harder. Right now is about keeping my head up whilst I'm down and having faith. I'll always have faith in what I'm doing. I enjoy it far too much. I said before its the highest highs and the lowest lows doing this. It'll all be worth it when I'm laughing on the Game of Thrones set sipping champagne talking about my latest role in Blackadder the remake playing Blackadder. Or something like that. Chin up.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Fuck It Do What You Love

It's been one month exactly since I got back from Colombia which was amazing but honestly I was glad to get home. The last week or so I'd made so many lists of things to do when I got back in England I got more and more eager to get back and crack on with acting. I wanted to find a new agent, release Bump, and pick up where I left off with voice overs and acting jobs.

Bump. Making Bump is probably my proudest moment so far. I was so excited to be able to show people and the feedback has been really great. I want to make 2 more short films this year and will be releasing another I wrote and directed last year soon. I've been pretty lazy on the side of finding and entering film festivals but I think that's because I've done all I need to do with the film to make me happy. I made it. I'm proud of it. I showed people. I'm happy. Writing has become a bigger love the more I do it and, like acting, it doesn't look like I'll ever stop doing it.

Finding a new agent. My friend Carys had a meeting with Amy Hubbard of Hubbard casting which is one of the biggest casting agencies in the world and she gave my friend a list of 10 agents. I saw this list and emailed them Monday morning 8am asking for representation along with my showreel. Unfortunately there was no response so after ideas from my friend Dom I emailed the following Monday morning with simply "I emailed a week ago and wanted to show you this" and a link to Bump. No response. My plan became finding a new thing each week to send them until I got a reply. The week later I emailed them showing off my guitar capabilities with my silly comedy song "My First" linked below.

I received an email back from Pelham Associates run by an ex actor called Peter Cleall who wanted to meet me. I still think it's ridiculous that my exceptionally silly song about losing your virginity got me a meeting with a great agent but that's why I sent it. I did all I could to stand out and I wanted to show that I wasn't a one trick pony but also wrote films and songs. We met and for my 3 and a half years of acting and having an agent previously I could be clear with what I wanted and they were lovely about my abilities and it was promising. They said they'd let me know in a few days and that was on Monday. I honestly felt all week that it was probably going to be bad news. It was a good meeting but the waiting was horrible. I called my parents last night with no news and said to them I think it's probably a no because I haven't heard from them yet. This morning I get this from them:

Hi Sam

Dione and I enjoyed meeting you on Monday and would like to offer you representation as an actor.  Please give me a call on the above number if you wish to go ahead.

Peter Cleall

I had already started to think about what I should send to new agents on Monday before this email. This is the biggest moment in my career so far. I've got an agent who has amazing contacts and who can progress my career further in film, tv and theatre. I am so thankful to be in this position but there's work to do now. It's about how much I can work for myself and put the effort in for my agent just as much as doing well in the auditions Peter gets for me. I made myself an ambitious resolution for this year to try and get a line or two in a tv series or film at least but in the back of my head I knew it could take another year to find an agent to give me that opportunity.

I want to finish this blog by saying I want this to be proof to not let anything stop what you love doing. I know my family are always wanting the best for me because anything can happen and they worry that things might not go my way. I know so many people through Uni and elsewhere whose advice to young actors would be to 'do anything else.' There have been countless times I felt down about my career not just in London but also through university and in Bournemouth worrying that I'm not progressing fast enough. The main thing is I've got this agent not from going to drama school which everyone told me I'd need to go to to have any serious success in acting (In your face drama school) but through knowing what I want, being realistic, being lucky and being driven. Never do what you're content to settle with if you're not happy. Do what makes you happy. There's a book called 'Fuck it Do What You Love' and that's right. Make it happen. Do what you love! I'm so pleased I never gave up when I didn't get into drama school, had shit days, felt like a terrible actor. That's part of it. And for this moment it was all worth it.