Archive | March, 2012

Is there a doctor in the house?

30 Mar

No I am not sick if that is what you think from the title of my blog, though the focus of this is on my trip to Brimingham. After getting up at the crack of dawn, I took a long drive down the M1, M69 and M6 to head to where I need to be. I had been warned by others that the M6 is a road not to mess with, however I managed it ok, I guess its because I went so early and because it was a great morning. Even though it has been a while since I set foot in Birmingham, it made a change driving into the city, rather than catching a train in. The place is question I was heading to was Archibald House, where the BBC film the TV series ‘Doctors’. All of this came out of the blue yesterday when I received a phone call from one of the producers, who invited me to meet the team behind the series. It was a good thing as I mentioned before that I went earlier than the time I had arranged as I’d heard the motorway can be a nightmare. Despite my satnav constantly telling me to make a u-turn, I felt like I was literally going round the bend until I saw the street near to where I needed to be. I just pulled into one of the car parks and saw a police car with a BBC sign in it, and although I was over an hour early I decided to wait before playing the explorer. Luckily I saw someone who had just pulled up onto the site, and I asked him about where Archibald House was. He then asked me what it was in connection with and after mentioning that I was meant to be meeting one of the producers, the guy introduced himself as one of the dubbing mixers for the series ‘Doctors’, and showed me where I needed to go. So it really was a stroke of luck meeting someone who is part of the team.

I made my way to Archibald House and I was blown away by the beauty of the building, especially the wooden doors, it certainly reminded me of a gothic victorian house and the inside wow the inside was just as beautiful. After getting clearance from security, I was introduced to three really nice guys; Gareth, Hardey and Dan, who were the people who interviewed me. Surprisingly, I spent roughly 15-20mins with the guys, and the interview itself I feel went well, so I just have to wait until Easter has gone, and I can hopefully go back to Birmingham to do some work with Doctors, or any other programmes produced by BBC Birmingham.

So I can safely say that I can pass an interview as well as drive on the M1, M69 AND M6, though halfway heading back to the East Midlands my legs went to sleep and could have kissed the ground when I made it home mid-day because I could actually start walking round and getting the feeling back in them. Hopefully, something will happen after this latest holiday has passed, so in the meantime I will be doing loads of baking and bulking up my CV as much as I can.

The other good thing I need to mention is due to my work with vInspired, I received a certificate on Tuesday assessing my role throughout the night, what skills I had demonstrated and what others thought of me during the night. It played an important role when I went to Birmingham. After all of this I think I need to lay down. Keep checking and you will see more of what is going on.

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One Night Only

23 Mar

Well it was a night that I and other people won’t forget. You may recall a few weeks ago I attended an Induction Day in London for the vInspired Awards, well that day was yesterday. And boy, what a night!

After heading to London and making in to the venue, which was the IMAX, one question sprung to mind; How on earth do I get into the building, as I was wondering round and round like a fool trying to find a way in. Only for a kind gentlemen who pointed out that the entrance to the IMAX meant having to go down the subway. Well, didn’t I feel like a fool. Once I made it and more people showed up, the debriefing began. Emma and I were introduced to the on-call staff who were in charge of the running of the event, and incase we had any questions or problems.

We all then took a tour of the IMAX, and as it was my first time inside I thought OMG this place is huge. We were all taken up to the auditorium and shown the stage and told the running order of the night. Emma and I were then shown the backstage area where the presenters and performers would be until needed. Well the presenter certainly got us talking, one question for you Do the names Emma Willis and Eddie Kadi mean anything to you. Answer they should!

Once we had all been given our uniforms, which consisted of a purple t-shirt with our roles highlighted on the back we then headed to the hotel to drop everything off and to change. In order for you to see the wonderfulness of the t-shirts you can see from Emma and me what they look like.

We all then headed back to the IMAX and as soon as we were there we got to work. Emma and I headed up to the backstage area and once we were there we saw the names of everyone attending; along with Emma Willis and Eddie Kadi we saw Tinchy Stryder, Angel/ Wretch 32 and the new and upcoming group Stooshe.

So the activities of the night for the both of us was helping answer the questions of the volunteers and the guests, providing refreshments to the presenters, handing out flyers about vInspired, escorting the volunteers who had won back to their seats when they had had their photos and interviews done and anything else that needed doing.

Oh, I should seriously hit myself, I haven’t even given the other guys a mention, the people who were acting as Event Support Staff, Photographers and a DJ for the night’s event. (you will see and hear more of them in the post).

Prior to the event Aimee, one of the wonderful people who chose us for the designated roles advised us (Emma and I) to get some food before everything kicked off. I must admit it was a good thing we did, my gosh the food was incredible. What I, Emma and Niall (our DJ man of the night) had first was a small bowl of malaysia chicken with noodles and carrots. This was followed by a bowl of something that was soft and tasted of cheese, which I later discovered was Gnocchi (Italian dumplings) served with Artichokes and broad beans. Another good reason for us to eat was one of the helpers of the night asked Emma and I to start running and being backstage. So we got our skates on!

Emma was the runner for upstairs and I was the runner for downstairs though this soon changed when we were both up and down at the same time.

Whilst the award ceremony kicked off, I decided to capture some of the show and the performances for all you lovely people to see.

In addition to filming part of the show, I also got the chance to get some photos of the wonderful people attending and performing too. All I need to know is what you think?

Although the night in itself was awesome, the only downside for me was getting a bounding headache halfway through, all I can say is that a small amount of chocolate, Diet Coke and Fresh air certainly helps. Once this had slowly subsided I was able to enjoy the night.

During the evening I managed to get photos of the venue, the people and I also filmed the awards that was shown on the TV in the V.I.P area.

Though before the event ended, Emma and I got the chance to go into the IMAX and watch the show get ‘rapped’ up (if you’ll pardon the expression) by the one the only Tinchy Stryder. Though he certainly surprised me prior to the awards when he came in and looked at me and said hi! and he said that to me each time I saw him. Well feast your eyes on his performance here people.

The one thing I nearly forgot to mention was that when Tinchy arrived with about 4 people, which before going on the green room, and he just hi to me, which was an enormous surprise. Although I didn’t see them during the after party I managed to get a picture or two of Stooshe, and here is one of the photos.

Though the best bit for ending it was Emma and Eddie doing an African dance, and Eddie doing something that got everyone cheering and that was his Michael Jackson performance (which I have tweeted to him!). Once we done what we’d initially gone to do in the IMAX; retrieve someones scarf and hat.

Once we were out we got down to partying ourselves, and the best bit was meeting the guest, and the first one on the list for me was Jamal Edwards, who I not only got my picture taken with, but also got his autograph. This also happened with Emma Willis and Eddie Kadi, and I’ve got to be honest they are the nicest people who could ever hope to meet, they are all gems. The highlight for me with Eddie Kadi was handing him one of my business cards, writing my blog site on the back and him saying he wanted my video! Not bad for a night’s work.

Here are some of the awesome shots of us with the presenters and guests. They all rock! Once we had photos taken and had had a laugh with the cameras we all headed up to the dance floor to get some serious partying underway, and I have to admit I went a bit too far, and ended up falling on my butt. You may ask why this is, and the answer is because I decided to do a limbo move and went too far back, and of course I laughed at myself, as you do.

I can’t get over the fact that we had over two hours to party, and it went by so quickly, but as the video here shows the fun we and everyone else we having yesterday.

The night’s partying went on till after midnight and once back many of us were still hyper, and didn’t want to call it a day/ night/ day, so we headed to out for some drinks, bought them back to one of the rooms and spent the next three hours talking, having laugh and have a good old mess around, as you can see here. One of which was me suggesting that we do some mattress surfing, of course we couldn’t get the mattress through the door, so we all took it in turns of threes to surf.

In addition to this, we decided to saviour the night with many memories of the day and night was lots of snap shots over what we were all up to, and here are a handful of the fun we had;

One thing that surprised me and the rest of the group was Jamal disappeared at one point and came back with a pizza, and I thought at 2.45am you can get food still? Nice. What surprised me was the fact that I’d been up since 6.45am and I wasn’t even tired yet, I guess it was because I had a sugar fix to get rid of my headache.

It was roughly 4am when everyone decided to try and some sleep before having to get up and leave London in the few hours we had left. I have only had two hours sleep and I am not even shattered yet, though this will at some point catch up with me. But is was so worth it after everything we all did yesterday, and our little VIP after thereafter party was one of the best bits of the night, like I said One Night Only.

Before I forget, well done to the volunteers and everyone else, and this goes to the people at vInspired, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a runner. As this was the first time I had been a runner for an event like this, I can honestly say that I had a blast and if I could I would do this all over again I would do without a hesitation. So for anyone out there who is unsure about getting involved in events and volunteering like this, just go for it, you won’t be disappointed. All I want to know is where my next event or activity will take me, I can’t wait. Keep watching and reading.

A day to remember, in more ways than one

8 Mar

This will certainly be a day that I and most of the people of Leicester will certainly not forget quickly. This of course is all down to the Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge paying a royal visit to the city, as the first part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour. Making my way into the city, I can honestly sat that there were enough metal barriers to fortify a castle, and police officers, my gosh there were enough to fill two football stadiums. I don’t think a ghost would have escaped there attention or even gotten through the barriers.

The other reason to make a note on the day, ladies, is because of it being International Women’s Day, so I can say that the Queen and Catherine chose the right day to come to the East Midlands. prior to me seeing the Queen, the Duke and the Duchess I spent the bring at the Apple store, getting more of my film planned and onto the timeline, only a few more shots needed and then the whole thing can come together.

In addition to all my activities of the day, I have now signed up to be a volunteer at the Little Theatre, so I am waiting on my membership card to come through, and I can start to help out and learn new skills, one of which is learning how to make wigs in the costume department.

The first stop for the royal party was DeMontfort University, to attend a fashion show, meet students and staff and chose a fashion student to be the one to design the Duchess a pair of shoes. Other individuals in Leicester were given the honour of presenting the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh gifts of their talents and creativity. One in particular was a picture of a Corgi, by a talented 10 year old girl, and I must say it was a wonderful drawing.

I then legged it to St martin’s Square to get footage of the crowds at the cathedral, and after getting shots of the car, I made my way to the Clock Tower.

Once there, I and half of the city’s population, waited for hours and hours for the royal party to arrive. Though whilst we waited we were certainly entertained by two guys dressed as grandmas on really big motor powered trolley bags, men on bikes and dances at the Clock Tower. The day was great, the only down side was being stuck next to a guy who kept twitching and shouting uncontrollably.

Soon the waiting was over: The Queen descended on the crowds in the big royal car, that was brown. The final part of the day ended with the mayor of the city welcoming the royal family to Leicester, and the Queen veiling a plaque that renamed what is St Nicholas Circle, which will now be known as Jubilee square.

After standing for nearly three hours when it came to leave I am gonna be honest and say I could not walk probably. I had to walk with my toes curled in when heading back to my car, and I can say I will certainly not forget the day, not for a very longtime, and the same goes for everyone else.

On a final note to mark the end of a wonderful day, God save the Queen, the Duchess and Happy Women’s Day to you all.

Work-shadowing in an Ideal World

4 Mar

This weekend has been a really busy one, first London, now my day, or rather my afternoon was dedicated to work shadowing a producer in Peterborough. The clue as to where in particular I did my work shadowing was at Ideal World. I met one of the producer, Antonia, who gave me a tour of the office before heading to a meeting where the output for the rest of the day was discussed. When the meeting was finished I got a chance to meet more of the team, before getting a tour of the galleries 1 and 2, seeing the products that were going to be advertised and sold during the set time slots and being shown other areas in the building. 

I have said before and I’ll say it again, time goes by so fast when you are enjoying yourself, or doing something interesting. Most of the late afternoon was looking over the running order of the broadcast, and asking questions before going into the upstairs studio to watch the output go out on-air. Before all that, I did get the chance to meet some of the presenters: Nigel May and Howard Griffiths, and I must say that Howard was very pleasant when he met me, asking me about my background in the field of TV and Film and was interested in the work experience I’d done with Eastenders. 

The day work-shadowing ended on a high, and before leaving I thanked Antonia for letting me follow her all day and all I now have to do is wait to find out what happens now after shadowing at Ideal World.

As people constantly say watch this space x 

Induction Day as a Backstage Runner

3 Mar

Although I had the day off work, I still had to get up early in order to get my train to London. Reason for this was a few weeks ago I applied to a volunteer event on the Vinspired website, as a Backstage Runner for an awards ceremony. I had had a phone interview a few days ago and surprisingly passed it, where I was told that there would be an Induction Day at the Vinspired offices on Saturday 3rd March. So now you know why I was up so early, for getting there on time. I made it to London in plenty of time, and then things took an unexpected turn; the Victoria Line I need to get from St Pancras to get to Pimlico was closed over the weekend, as engineers were working on the line. So after looking at the board I had to get Piccadily line to South Kensington, then to Victoria, get a bus to Pimlico and then walk to Dean House (Vinspired offices). Note to self, and to those of you if this ever happens, never ask a London tour guide where the bus stop you need is, because one guy I got decided to rudely blow me off. Although I wasn’t swearing rude, I did gave him a mouthful over asking him a simple question, and then walked off.

Once at Vinspired, I met the rest of the team who had signed up to be involved in the volunteer awards ceremony we were all part of. I also met another Backstage Runner, Emma, who would be doing the same things I would be, as well as 4 event supporters, 3 photographers and a DJ.

Vinspired doors

After meeting the Vinspired team behind the event, the session began with an interesting ice-breaker game that involved a piece of string. Now you may wonder why string, or are possibly thinking of many inventive things that could be done with said string, and the answer is this each person had to pick a piece and string and whilst wrapping it round your index finger you had to say as many interesting things about yourself to the whole group.

Once that was done we were briefed on what Vinspired stands for, what the organisation does, the awards ceremony and the running order of the day/ night. We were also told where the event would take place, however, I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so I will share the venue with you on the 22nd/ 23rd March as the whole thing doesn’t end till 12am, then we will need to tidy up and sleep. The same rule is going to apply to thelist of celebrities, numerous artists and special guests attending, fear not I will not disappoint. Another thing we all saw was a video of last years event, and we saw people like Keith Lemon, Kevin Spacey and Natasha Beddingfield, and from what we saw it looked pretty awesome when it was held at the O2.

I got to learn a lot more about the people there over lunch and throughout the day, especially when we were given the task of using newspapers and cellotape, to make a Giraffe, and you can imagine the fun we had in the two teams we were in. I can say that the team I was in won the challenge, as you can see below, it was a very funny activity, and the Giraffe dosn’t look that bad either.

Yes thats me, and its not my best shot.

The team and our giraffe!

Finally we were given a quiz on everything we had learned today and said what we wanted to happen on the night, as personal goals, and what fears we have. After getting our packs, finding out what our roles and responsibilities on the night nad that we can have a great time at the after-party with everyone there we all headed out to get home. One thing I have to say before I forget is thank you Aimme, Gary and Craig for letting me interview for my film that I am currently working on, what you guys said was brilliant and I really appreciate it.

Funnily enough, I managed to retrace my steps and get to St Pancras, and after running up escalator steps and down platforms I made it on the train for getting out of London. I don’t know if this is me but I find time goes by so fast in London, I hope that this doesn’t happen on the 22nd March, I actually want to remember the night as much as I can.

One thing that stood out for me during the day was seeing in the Vinspired office that there is a green alien there in a purple t-shirt, something that we all will be wearing that night, with black trousers and any shoes within reason. So all that is left for me to say is, bring on the 22nd March, I can’t wait to start running.

Maybe the alien is related to 'Paul'

Oh, almost forgot, the office has its own green alien and it looks so cool!

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