Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

New Year’s Resolutions 2021

Well fuck me thank God 2020 is over right?

I mean don’t get me wrong – there was some nice bits in 2020 – friends had kids, I bought a coffee machine and Newcastle didn’t get relegated. But overall, on balance, not a terrific one.

Regular readers (by which I mean all four of you – you know who you are) will know that every year I make resolutions and mark off the previous year. So in 2019 I achieved 40% of my resolutions (that seems low but is, actually remarkably high for my underachieving standards).

So here goes again…

2020 Resolutions

  1. Perform a Storytelling Show – I’ve been writing a storytelling show for the last 4 months and, while usually horribly modest, it’s got the potential to be good, maybe very good. It’s called Every Little Thing You Every Noticed (But Didn’t Want To Mention) and is exactly the type of pretentious but quite clever show you’d expect me to make. I need a venue and someone with faith in me to force me to do it.
    1/2 point – I wrote the show, and did some R&D on it, and technically performed it to myself in a studio. I will be doing it (performing the R&D) to some people I’ve not disappointed in a while, in January.
  2. Comedy Songs x 10 – I used to smash out the comedy songs when I first started. I’ve been trying to pinpoint where I slowed. I suspect it was when my kit stopped being just always set up. Anyway, I fancy writing them again.
    Fail – did bugger all. I’ve not felt very funny, or musical.
  3. Film Shorts – I’d like to make some (x3) short films – the premise is that it’s me writing a story that comes to life, but I voice all the characters and it’s quite self deprecating, probably about love. I like the idea of a man meeting a woman in a coffee shop and even though it’s his story and he’s writing it for his own benefit he still gets rejected.
    1/2 point – I didn’t make any short films to that exact premise – but I worked with our team at Clwyd to films some shows and live stream them for actual money.
  4. Edinburgh Fringe – I’d like to go as a punter for a week. I’d like to get pissed, watch shit and very good shows, hang around with mates who are now obscenely talented.
    Fail – ha ha ha ha
  5. Buy A House – Carried over from last year!
    Done – actually did it – and we now live outside Ellesmere Port in a lovely 3 bed house.
  6. Vienna – I’ve always wanted to go since watching the film Before Sunrise. It’s the old school buildings mixed with a grafitti underworld sort of feel that appeals. Also I’m a massive fan of old European cities – so Seville, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Krakov I loved – reconstructed ones like Berlin I like less..
    Fail – #Covid
  7. Gig like it’s 2013 (36 gigs please) – I stopped gigging. It’s a combination of being scared, tired, sad and having anxiety about it. I used to love it, for the friends i made and the people I met. I’d like to again.
    Fail – #Covid and also a rampant desire not to die literally and metaphorically on stage
  8. Keep Swimming – It has been really good for me. I need to a) keep going and b) learn how to front crawl without near drowning.
    1/2 Point – I did until we moved and we got locked down. So yeah..
  9. Let Rip Occasionally – I’ve gone soft and it pisses me off. I used to let rip at people saying stupid things, or, more likely people who were believing their own myth. I think dropping a few more grenades is needed.
    Fail – I’m still a massive wuss.
  10. Do something I love – It’s no big secret that I do what I do at work because I can and know how rather than because I love it. It also makes me anxious, sad, stressed and sometimes panic attacks. I also struggle to see the different I make (my team ironically, I’d say make a big difference – I just feel a bit impotent in what I do) and am always worrying about the next thing. I’m not sure there’s a solution other than do something different. So it’s down. The biggie for 2020 – so something I love rather than something I just do. Maybe getting some coaching along the way.
    Fail – There have been massive extenuating circumstances though…

Total Score – 2.5 out of 10

2021 Resolutions

  1. Perform a storytelling show to more than 50 people. So a bit of history for this – I’ve done 2 show of my own work – they have been seen by, cumulatively, accounting for all the audiences – less than 50 people. 50 doesn’t sound like many, but it would be 50 more that came to see me gigging in 2018 for Liverpool Comedy Festival when I was programmed at the same time as Liverpool vs Everton and the show was advertised as a week after the day it was booked for.
  2. Build raised beds and grow broad beans. Ever since we moved to Chester I’ve been a bit of a closet gardener. Broad beans are my favourite – they’re easy to grow, satisfying to look at, have nice flowers, attract bees and are delicious. I didn’t get chance to do the garden after moving in 2020, so this is on the list.
  3. Plant a tree. When we moved into our new house the first thing we had to do was get a big, old, dangerous, about-to-fall-down tree cut down. I’d like to replace it – not least because the garden is now, unsurprisingly, much more wet. 1 or maybe 2 trees. Probably pear.
  4. Create a film short. I still want to do this – I made some films with Graham and Keddy a few years ago and wince when I watch them back as some of what I did aesthetically seems hopelessly naive. I think I could make something kind of lovely now. I like the idea of a series of interviews with people, talking about the underground theatre staff bare-knuckle boxing bouts of 2020.
  5. Write a new show. I’ve two ideas – one’s about the lady who lives opposite dying and about her (mostly fictionalised) story and the road and how it relates to each other – the other is about facebook marketplace listings.
  6. Get a complete stage adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy finished. It’s started. I’ve got 20k words. It needs tidying, lots. I even know EXACTLY how I’d direct it and it would be astonishing.
  7. Direct a rehearsed reading. I’ve seen some good ones and I’ve seem some utter dross. I quite fancy a go, mostly because I’ve sat through a few and started to wonder if some sort of directorial insanity and lack of self awareness is inherent in them or if it just happens by accident.
  8. Design artwork for my office. My office is grey. Lovely, but a bit stark and soulless. It needs soul.
  9. Work my hours more. God I’ve been fucking tired this year. I mean I’m pretty OTT normally, but I’ve done 60hr weeks a fair few times and I’m terrible at taking time off so… Yep. Sort that shit out.
  10. Become insanely good at live streaming. One of the things that’s made me incredibly proud is how the team at Clwyd has come together to be able to do some pretty good live streaming. My role is ambiguous – I’m terrible on camera, bad at mixing and not great at organising calls. However. I think my role is working out how to get something from nothing, and something good from little. Connecting the dots so to speak. I have a suspicion that with a bit more cash we could get insanely good. I need to brush up on my sound skills and also look into the Black Magic Studio Cameras (M43 lenses which would be great for high quality, adjustable wides…). But yeah. I want to make it epic.

As always if you want to get involved or help me with any of these then just get in touch 🙂

Cheers for now!

P.S. I’ve not written any marketing posts for a while. A few reasons. One, I’ve nothing interesting to say and have felt a bit sad and exhausted. Two, the post I keep returning to is “have we been doing arts marketing wrong” which is bollocks and entirely impossible to prove. Three, my interests have changed so I might do more about digital delivery. If you want to chat marketing then, as every, tweet me and we can have a zoom.