Monday, 8 September 2014

No-one works harder for yourself than YOU



The summer has passed, the weddings, the summer nights, the fun, the playing has all now come to a close. I love the summer, but its also my most dangerous time of the year for me, as I become very lax when it comes to work, and what I have to do to progress within the entertainment industry. I didn't once go to the gym in August, becoming very lazy, unhealthy, eating and drinking lots, which yes was fun and yes sometimes its nice to take a break from the requirements of my job, but does it help me? Not one tiny little bit. Others won't take a break. Competitors will continue to network, continue to work out, continue to be absolutely ready come the end of summer for the industry to pick up.

BUT, one thing I am doing now is knuckling down harder than ever. Work is tough. There have been a lot of changes at my ITV job that mean there are fewer nights available to work as of this month. This put a lot into perspective and is another reminder that there is little if any stability with my work. Being freelance and self employed, at any stage work can be terminated and I have nothing to full back on. It's not like a full-time position where you get redundancy pay outs. I need to constantly be on the look out for more opportunities and to continue to develop and to improve my skills.

I have a few agencies that look out for me, modelling, presenting and acting, but they also represent many other individuals, and so will never give their full attention to you (which is absolutely understandable). The only one that can work as hard for yourself is YOU. It really is as simple as that. This is something that I am telling myself everyday to ensure I do something that could make a difference and take me a step further down the road.


There are always a lot of these quotes about on social networks, and I'm sure many people (like me sometimes) just ignore them. But honestly they can really help to bring everything to light, and to enhance your motivation to succeed.



Some opportunities arose recently to host some awards ceremonies, something which I have never really done before, apart from on a small scale in LA. I was very excited to be asked to host the Luxury Lifestyle Awards a week ago. It was a very fancy do, with a lot of complicated names to throw in there from Europe. And as you can see from the picture above I was being my usual "serious" self ;-). I like to have fun when I'm presenting, as its just a process of being yourself. I like to entertain and to be light hearted, which we all know watching any programmes that we love from a host. It helps add to the experience for the future but to also build up some new contacts to try and get some more work in the future. This worked perfectly at this event as I was approached by a new Presenting Agency/Management company and also could potentially have work with the clients and the events company in the future. KEEPING POSITIVE.



I was also asked to host the South-East Apprenticeship Awards as well. A more serious, scripted affair, but one that again I gained valuable experience from. I certainly learnt a lot, including that my reading level in school (which was pretty low) still needs improving on! Ha Ha. I know I can always improve and I know theres a lot I can do to ensure that I raise my game and become the best I can be.


Haven't posted for a while so I appreciate all those that have taken the time to read through my post. I hope in some way it gives you an eye into what I do and to also potentially help others too.

Many Thanks

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Past 3 Months and turning.........30!!!


A blogging hiatus is finally over! Maybe it was the pre and post blues of turning 30, I don't know! You turn 30 and all you think about is when you were younger and everyone always said "by the time I'm 30, I want to be...". It was never 40 was it?! And did I think that by the time I'm 30 I would be doing what I'm doing now??? Hell No! I thought I would be in a stable job, probably a 9 till 5 thing, working my way up the corporate ladder. Maybe thought I would be married as well....Well what do we know when we're kids!

You know what, it wasn't even that bad and its just a number at the end of the day and believe me nothing changes what so ever.

So, 3 months to review...and to be honest not a huge amount has happened, just been plodding along taking things day by day. Working fairly hard...well sometimes of course. I have had some good jobs along the way though keeping me going and still building on new adventures as well.





Let's start with my little job as a "Diet Coke Hunk". Ha that sounds terrible and self proclaiming of being a "hunk" ha. Clearly not! But, an afternoon spent doing little stints in a human vending machine! As you can see the shirt came off, but in all seriousness jobs like this really makes all the hours and hard work in the gym worth it. I could do the absolute minimum and I wouldn't ever have a chance for jobs like this, which simply enough restricts my earnings. It was like a promotional event and we interacted with the audience as they stood at the vending machine when we were revealed. It's fun to do different jobs like this.



The 2 pictures above just look like I'm so chilled and relaxed...well you would be absolutely spot on! But this was for a job! Honestly sometimes I do pinch myself and constantly tell myself to never moan about my work. I was at the brand new centre parks in Bedford, modelling their spa area. Literally I spent my time looking relaxed in all the different treatment rooms in the spa. And spent the rest of the time either sun bathing or lounging about in my bath robe ha ha.

But let me state now, jobs are never like this believe me. And its about making the most of these ones because some of them can be a lot different.



Ok, so the picture above doesn't look like I'm having too tough a time...you would be right at this time of the shoot! But this was for Barbour. I had booked in some regular e-commerce work with them, which was good. But e-commerce modelling, when you ask any models, is the toughest of days. You are not on location, there is no glamour, there is no sitting around relaxing, it is just solely you, a stylist, a photographer and a studio, with a shit load of clothes to put on!

There is usually a set amount of clothes to get through, but with some shoots they will want you to work the full 9 hours with just a lunch break and countless clothes changes. Now, I'm not sitting here saying how tough the work is, because mentally it of course isn't, but it can be draining being on your feet all day, like shop assistants. Without a break and often under pressure to get all the items shot, it really isn't the most fun part of the job at all. But its the jobs that keep you going and keep that money coming in, which ultimately is why any of us work!


It's not been all work though, I saw this little lady up close and personal at Royal Windsor...


And I tell you I swear she winked at me....

I managed to sneak in a 5 day little holiday last week too to Lanzarote with the girlfriend. Who on that note probably is to blame for the lack of posting the last 3 months....hmmmm.



I thank everyone for continuing to read my blog and the page views are going up and up which means a lot. If you ever have any questions or want to know more of what some of my jobs entail then feel free to leave a comment and I will answer.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

ACTING CLASSES

(Work selfie whilst on ITV)

"My new thing for 2014" has been going extremely well and I have enjoyed every single class I've had. Its tough at times because it feels like I am back at school, but I strangely am enjoying learning something new and going back to the basics of a new skill. Most of this I have to thank Terence Dormer for. He's been after a shout out in my blog for ages, so here it is!!! Ha Ha Ha. But in all seriousness he has been pushing me to get into acting and start classes. To have a mate there who knows the industry and is looking out for you and can be honest about your chances with career moves is very important. We now have many regular talks about acting classes and many silly conversations on the phone and sing songs whilst walking down the street! ha.



This is definitely going to take some time to get to the level I want to be at, as I continually push myself to be better. I don't like being bad at anything, and I hate to lose, its a trait I've had ever since I was younger. From sport, to exams, to work, even on Shipwrecked, I simply enough hate losing at anything. But this helps me strive for more and strive to that comfort level playing a variety of different characters. Ultimately I want to give myself the best opportunity possible to be successful in the future, whether thats presenting or with something new like acting.

I know how competitive this industry is, and I know how much I need to ensure I stand out from the crowd, this is going to take some time. Do I wish I had started this earlier? Absolutely! But theres no better time than now, and the good thing is that right now I'm not in a rush and can take my time to achieve my goals. It will happen I know it.

IMPROVISATION

This is one of the most enjoyable parts of the class and gives you the freedom to just go for it whatever comes into your mind. The other week I turned into Superman randomly because it came into my head and I just went for it. (Yes I have weird things in my head) ha ha. Improv is great for my presenting as well, as it allows you to think on your feet quickly and respond to comments and direction from others.

In the class, we are often given a scenario and literally told to just go for it. I love that freedom to be as inventive as possible and to throw yourself into it. At the end of the day we are all in the same position so there is never any need to be nervous or worry at all. It's vital to break that barrier down immediately to enable you to bring out your own ability.

TEXT

The last few weeks we have started to adapt some text into the class, from very small bits to larger bits as we did this week. One of the scenes we had to prepare for had just 4 lines which were:

"Hello"
"Your late"
"Sorry lost track of time"
"No Worries"

Something so small as that, but gives you the opportunity to be creative with a situation where to use the words. I love that freedom to be expressive, and it is definitely helping in my everyday life too. Feel more confident walking into castings and allowing myself to let go.

END OF CLASS PROJECT

At the end of the course we have to prepare a monologue to complete the class. Now throughout I have continually been involved in comedic scenarios which I thoroughly enjoy doing, but I feel that I need a challenge for my project and to embark in something emotional, so I have decided to do a scene where I play a character who is psychotic. He switches from a loving caring husband to a controlling, angry, manipulating husband. Love the range that I can show from this scene, and really looking forward to preparing it.


Just thought I would give you a bit of an insight into the classes that I am doing and show you a bit more about the reasons why I chose this and what to expect if you are considering getting into the industry.

Thanks as always for reading

Monday, 24 February 2014

One month on and lots of little jobs to start 2014


I think the picture above really sums up how I feel at the moment. Relaxed, comfortable and very happy. It's been a busy start to the year and been consistently working with regular clients and picking up little jobs here and there thats kept me very busy. Work at ITV has been great too, especially when we hit targets and reflects well on to me, especially considering I am still one of the newbies.


ITV
Work on ITV has been going very well this last month. Had a very busy time in January, but was surprisingly very busy. Whats great about the show is the amount of tweets and emails that come in. Gets absolutely crazy at times. I think what surprises a lot of people is getting more emails from guys than girls! ha ha. Now, some of these emails do go far beyond what they should be and I have had some pretty horrific ones sent in too. People do like to get sexual at that time of night! ha ha. But most of it is good banter and again good on air practice for me.



Modelling
The past couple of weeks have been very quiet because of fashion week. For cat walk models, fashion week is the busiest time of year, working day in day out. For everyone else it gets very quiet, as clients aren't looking to shoot during this period. But I have been lucky with having my presenting and a regular client in Matalan to keep me busy. 

Always Test Commercial
At the end of January, I filmed a test commercial for Always, (yes the "women's product"). And no I was not modelling them in anyway shape or form before you start ha ha. I was down in Brighton for the day and filming in a converted music venue to shoot the commercial in front of a green screen. I was the boyfriend, being dragged around the shops by my girlfriend acting all bored before she comes out of the dressing room looking "refreshed" ha. It was a long long day, but a lot of fun on set as I always have. Never any point in being miserable as it makes days drag. I take that into any job I have actually, plus you never know when you could be working with these people again.

Book Cover Shoot
I will find the picture from this shoot, as it is shot and then an artist draws the end result. Amazing images and very very talented artist too. This is the second time I have shot with this client and its great because they like a bit of acting in there, again good experience for my new thing for 2014 (that sounds so American doesn't it???) ha. I was the aggressive drunk! Hmmmm ok probably quite well type cast there ha ha.


Acting Class

This is something that has been going extremely well. I have loved every single minute of the classes and I am now past half way. I am very much Teachers Pet which I find very amusing because that wasn't the case in school one bit! I'm constantly used for examples and sure everyone will start hating on me soon but I really don't care ha ha. 
We have covered a lot of improvisation and have now moved on to scripts. Its so much fun when you have the freedom to play a character however you see fit. The class are fantastic as well and its great to see everyone grow as the weeks pass. A very random mix of people, but it works and its something I look forward too every week.


Thanks to everyone for taking the time out to read my posts. Hopefully will have some exciting stuff to talk about soon as well. So apologies if you find this one a bit dull ha ha.

James










Monday, 13 January 2014

E-Commerce Work - The less glamorous side of modelling


SUPERMAN!!!!!! ;-) Yes this is me doing my thing in Superman pants! Ah the things we do for money hey?! But wanted to talk about the less so glamorous side to the industry and as you can see from above this is certainly it!!!

E-commerce work is something that many clothing companies have for models and is something that is extremely regular and crucial to keep going for your bank balance! ha. But very true. Let me tell you though, it's not glamorous one tiny little bit and it really is some very tedious work. Now, I know this sounds like I'm complaining about it (ok maybe a little), but I am very thankful for the work and anything regular in this industry is a bonus. And you can't see my face either ;-) probably for the best right ha ha. But the good thing is that unrecognisable work gives you the option of doing work with a variety of different companies.

An E-commerce shoot will often involve a 9 hour day with many, many, many outfit changes. There will usually be about 5-8 shots of the front, moving after every single shot. After that it will be the same again for a back shot. A stylist will style the clothes and ensure they look right and then review them on the computer before confirming they are fine and moving on to the next outfit. It's very repetitive as you can imagine. For me, I spend the day chatting with the small crew and its the best way to get through it by getting to know each other. You then can find common interests to talk about, just the basics of communication I guess.


Just a short post this one talking about work that currently is becoming very regular and keeping me busy and I am hoping it will continue as much as possible too.

I hope you have all had a great start to 2014!

James

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The End of a Dramatic Year and the Start of a New Year



The look in the picture above really sums up 2013 for me, serious, slightly confused, tense and un settled. Nothing in my life had prepared me for everything I went through, especially the first 5 months of the year. But the important thing was to end the year on a high and certainly to start m ovine forward with everything, work and my personal life. 

To end the year presenting on ITV felt like a huge achievement for me and something that meant I can start progressing more with my presenting. I had said to myself at the start of 2013 that I must move on from my old presenting job. I finally achieved that in September and couldn't be happier. It took a lot of hard work and ensuring I gave my all when I had the opportunity. It's a step foreword and I'm treating it as that until I make further strides forward.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNT FROM 2013

There is only one place to start and thats with my Friends and Family. Not that I need to learn this, but just a reminder of how fortunate I am to be surrounded with the best support system I could ever have asked for. In the good and the bad times they have been there for me and for that I say THANK YOU. 

Learnt the hard way to not rush into anything "relationship wise", and take your time getting to know the real person, rather than whats on the outside. I turn 30 this year (still can't quite believe it) and I want to meet the right person at some point when the time is right. But I also know there is no rush to do this and I will know when the time is right. 

On from that, I have learnt to be happy with myself and to be happy and comfortable in my own company. The start of the year I did find myself getting anxious when I was on my own, but that is long in the past now.

To cut the negative people out of my life. This has been hugely important, but something that has made me feel much better too. Why do we have to have these people in our lives or give these people any time of day? The answer is we don't. If someone doesn't bring you good thoughts in your life then why keep them in it? If someone feels that way about me I completely understand and I wouldn't argue against that. Its just life.

Be grateful for what I have in my life and not to take it for granted. Sounds a bit "cliche" and a bit like a Miss World speech but its so true.

WHAT DOES 2014 HAVE IN STORE

It starts with preparing and editing a brand new presenting showreel which is the priority and which I am to complete by the end of the month. Start getting that pitched out to some production companies and see what will come about.

I start ACTING CLASS yep you heard right! A 12 week course starting next week which I cannot wait for. Through modelling and the commercials I have undertaken, I have a lot of experience within acting, but at the same time no very little about the ins and outs. I want to add a string to my bow and feel this could be something that i will enjoy so much and could lead to something new. Regardless of whether any work comes from it, it will certainly help me with auditions, my presenting and certainly my confidence in everyday life. 

Watch this space is all I can say, because I aim to have a big year this year!!! 


Thanks as always for taking the time out to read my blog and I wish you all a fantastic 2014!!!