Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Wanted: Jolt (must be life changing)

I’ve been feeling for a while like I need a change in my life. This isn’t particularly out of the blue, but I think in the last year I’ve changed substantially enough to need a jolt. I read a few interesting things about achievement and tasks recently, the first being that achievement is not limited to being in your 20s and the second that big tasks take about 3 months if you do them properly so in a year you have potential to do 4, over 10 years that’s 40, over 30 years that’s 120, etc…

The problem is a comfort in life where, while life is happy and pleasant, professionally I don’t feel that rewarded. I don’t mean financially, I mean in terms of my soul feeling like I’m actually doing something. Anyway I typed into google “how to change your life” and these 6 questions came up (this is the original article – click here). There seems to be lots of people who’ve had that moment and rather than it being a moment of inspiration it needs some retrospection to find the way forward and see the light.

You’re probably wondering why I’m blogging about this. Well partly because I know for a fact that only 4 people read this blog despite me posting it on facebook so ultimately it doesn’t matter. Partly because you never know where inspiration might come from and from whom. And partly because at the very least writing something helps with the feeling of at least trying to do something. So here goes:

  1. What do I absolutely love in life?
    I love theatre that is fast paced and funny but has a point. I love stand up comedy that is smart, makes you think and uses the structure to add an extra dimension. I love eating at nice restaurants, particularly Little Italy down Smithdown Road, Sahara behind the Everyman and The Opera Tavern in Covent Garden. I really enjoy compereing, more that doing a set, but also performing smart material on stage. I love directing shows which are in-yer-face which talented actors and small teams. I get a weird pleasure from designing theatrically specific spreadsheets around budgeting. I love watching cricket (it’s incredibly soothing). I love designing wordpress websites (again a weird one). I love writing good, exciting copy for stuff. I love problem solving, mostly in a theatre setting, both administratively and artistically. I love going for walks. I love cats and dogs relatively equally. I love writing comedy songs and singing them at increasingly confused audiences. I love (absolutely love) spending prolonged amounts of time in Oxfam finding books to read on the bus. Utrecht and Edinburgh, love ’em. And, of course, Louise.
  2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life?
    Creating Floating, Gaffer and Revenge. Writing my first storytelling set. Doing stand up for the first time. Going to see my friend Tom as often as possible when he was in hospital. Learning to walk again when I was 16. Learning to drive and passing first time. Moving to Liverpool. Moving to Utrecht.
  3. What would I stand for if no-one would judge me?
    The Tories (only kidding). I would stand for making our environment a nicer, cleaner, more beautiful space, everything from painting old buildings to pushing independent companies before corporations. I would stand for finding a good work/life balance. I would stand for obsessively working on something with a group of people until it was perfect for little financial reward.
  4. If my life had absolutely no limits and I could have it all and do whatever I wanted, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?
    I would choose to have a terraced house with a long garden and a garage at the end. It would have grass not paving slabs and a pond with a frog and/or newt. I would have a MGBGT in British Racing Green with chrome bumpers. I would have an office with a window overlooking the garden where I could watch it. There would also be a vegetable patch. I would run a theatre, a small 200 seat venue (bench seats) with a thrust stage, LED lighting, really simple. It would have a restaurant attached run by my brother-in-law and a kitchen garden. The bar would open out into the garden in summer and in winter would have a wooden stove. Plays would be on Tue to Fri, and late Fri & Sat there would be a comedy club. I’d direct shows, maybe try writing again, work with new companies, serve behind the bar sometimes. The bar would look ominously similar to Mello Mello and would have an array of delicious cake. Music and poetry would regularly play night by night. There would be hammocks in the bar for when the staff had a heavy night and plenty of bacon and eggs in the fridge.
  5. What if I had one billion pounds?
    EASY. Do everything in question 4 and leave it with an endowment to keep it healthy for 30 years. Pay off the debts of everyone I know. £500m arts endowment giving out £20m a year. £300m to be split between various charities. £175m to set up a social housing organisation and build quality houses for those in the most need with sensible rents. £25m to live extremely comfortably (sorry, I feel bad about this one).
  6. Who do I admire most in the world?
    Daniel Kitson – artistic genius who keep reinventing himself. My mum & dad. Tom Spencer – for never really growing up and avoiding being sensible. Ben Folds for the album he did with Nick Hornby. Nick Hornby for the album he did with Ben Folds. Joanne Harris for writing Blackberry Wine. Alan Ayckbourn for being an utter legend. Ben Stiller for not giving a flying fuck about making serious movies. Bill Bryson for being a brilliant travel writer. Dave Gorman and Louis Theroux for wanting to find out more and asking the extra question. Mark Watson. Matt for leaving HT. Susie for being an actress (I mean seriously, it’s really hard) and Louise 🙂

Done. I’m not sure how this is going to help right now. Maybe it’s a slow burner or maybe having written it, i need to sleep (it is 10.40pm) and then read it through in the morning all enlightened.. For now that’s 1,040 words written.  Goodnight. xXx