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  • Writer's picturegilburns


So in 2022 I had great plans to write a blog every month as an update on what I'm doing with my varied career! But - best laid plans and all that... So for 2023 I'm going to be kinder to myself (always important!) and say I'll do a quarterly update - and if I manage to blog anything in between then it'll be a bonus!

So January was a writing month! I self funded (aka saved up!) a month of pure writing bliss - and it really was! I also made sure I fed my creative soul with some theatre trips as well as a long stomp around Yorkshire Sculpture Park - which is always ace for getting the creative juices flowing!

I spent a lot of my writing time submitting both my 'in progress' sitcoms for opportunities and feedback which felt great. I did plenty of reading around sitcoms and nerded out on the 'Sitcom Geeks' podcast which is a great listen for anyone interested in the genre.

I also focused on a bit more planning around my M. Badness Ltd novel. It sort of falls out of my brain onto the page and often feels disjointed - which is why I end up taking huge gaps in productivity! So I'm starting to feel a bit more settled with that.

I wrote some smashing scripts for my voice-over reels which are slowly but surely taking shape in the editing suite. It takes so long, and because it's my writing (mostly - I've used a few excerpts from monologues and website blurb on a couple) my voice and my editing it feels like triple judgement on my skills. It's like birthing a child with no midwife. And then you have to put your child into one of those awful 'cute baby' contests to see if they can win anything. It's actually terrifying. So it literally takes a long time to DO the things, but the emotional aspect adds so much on for me!

Back in Nov/Dec I took a course with the incredible sketch writer and performer Gemma Arrowsmith to hone a few comedy sketch skills with her. As part of it we got to write collaboratively with other students which I really enjoyed. In January I heard from one of my collaborators who asked if she could use our sketch - all about a really rubbish psychic medium - with her professional performance group at a few upcoming fringe events this year, which felt really nice!

And that was January! I always think it's weird how January seems to go on forever and ever, and then February hits and disappears in about 5 minutes. But that's just how it is!

I did actually achieve a few things in Feb too! I continued my fave class at Skylight Circus Arts, which is a family circus skills class for families of children with anxiety. It's a great project and I love teaching alongside my colleagues Annette and Dani - and it makes working every Saturday morning feel like a breeze! I also spent a wonderful weekend with my fave partner in crime Kei Bailey during which we made a major reshuffle of our Crypotzoologist novel, leaving us pretty much starting over and writing in many and varied different formats - it's exciting and puzzling at the same time!

I also had a lovely time working with Handmade Productions on a lantern parade in Colne. I worked with two groups - one to create costumes to wear as they joined the Handmade Samba band in the parade, and the other group were from a dance school so I worked on choreography with them as well as created costumes. They were all 'Spring Hares' and had wonderful light up ears which looked great! I'm always blown away by the effort and energy of young people and how they put themselves forward to do something that might feel absolutely terrifying and way out of their comfort zone!

March has been a bit quieter again, but this has given me the opportunity to have a bit of a break and enjoy my cousin's beautiful wedding with my family. I was particularly pleased with my hairdo... We've also started a new project at Skylight that is all about clowning and I'm loving it for two reasons: ONE I love to perform and clown around - although the world of clowning is pretty full on and I find it a bit intimidating BUT I'm happy to throw myself into it and enjoy it because TWO the project is being run by one of my best buddies and collaborators Natalie Speake! She's a wonderful, experienced clown and is an incredible, loving and caring teacher so it just makes the project amazing! My role is to be there for any of the participants who may need extra support, but it means I get to take part and fully enjoy the experience too!

So there we are. Looking ahead to April I'll be taking a giant chicken to Coventry and a giant hippo to Wales. And I might well be filming a commercial - we just have to see if they like my face. Which can be problematic...

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