This is just a quick one really. It's the morning before BEAM2018 begins. The UK's biggest new musical theatre festival put together by the incredible folks at Mercury Musical Developments and the Musical Theatre Network. These dudes, including top brass Victoria Saxton and James Hadley and their teams live musicals. So much so in fact that they should have a musical written about them, that includes such hits as "Making it Happen Even When It's Shitting Down with Snow."
So I've got my hat on, I'm still in bed, I'm looking for my gloves, drinking tea (who says men can't multi task - only four of those things are lies) and I'm nervous. Nervous and excited. Interestingly I'm not nervous about my own pitch for Turing, a musical adaptation of the life of Alan Turing. We wisely asked some brilliant people to help and the great thing about brilliant people is that they are brilliant and they make your work sound good.
I'm nervous about the other pitches.
It's not a competition, but inevitably as a writer you can't help feel like your work is going to be judged in relation to the other work. Some horrible-dark-little-crust-infested-demon-that-lives-on-the-sludge-waters-of-my-soul is hoping that everything else is terrible. His name is Colin. Colin Shitmearer. He's my evil alter ego. He comes from a long line of Shitsmearers and like most Shitsmearers he is absolutely not to be believed or trusted. So I've made a decision to lock him away today. I've hidden the key inside a Cadbury's Creme Egg. Colin hates those, so there's no way he's getting out.
Today,it's just me coming along.
So now I'm more excited than nervous, not only am I incredibly proud of all of my talented friends who will be showing off their skills today, but I'm incredibly excited to make some new friends.
As much as BEAM2018 is about getting new work to the attention of the people who can produce it and develop it, for me the best thing about it is the community building. Without community we have nothing, strength comes in numbers, and friendship with other writers enriches your life immensely. Not only in the creation of new and exciting collaborations, but in the fact that you can go to the pub, talk about your work, the pitfalls, the highs, the lows, the technical aspects of lyric writing all of the sharing that you don't necessarily want to bore other people with. MT people are excited about it. You can inspire each other, motivate each other, get drunk with each other and hopefully slowly climb the musical theatre ladder together. It's frickin brilliant.
At last count through the programme it turns out I know 50 people either performing or writing for BEAM2018 and now they are all mates. Five years ago, I knew no one. I mean, ridiculous.
So I'm coming along with an open heart and an open mind and Colin Shitsmearer can go suck it. Can't wait to meet the future of New British Musical Theatre in a couple of hours, I have a feeling we might just get on...
BEAM ME UP MUTHER FLIPPER!!!!!