When A Challenge Comes Along, You Have to Say Yes!

“Just Do It” – I never really understood the power of that Nike slogan till now.

Sometimes things don’t feel like opportunities. That job or task that you’re sure you couldn’t do but wish you could for example. In Britain especially, we are so used to being honest and modest that we turn down opportunities before we even realise that’s what they were – opportunities.

I’m a film, TV and video writer, producer and director. I am rarely in front of the camera or an audience, except perhaps at a Q&A’s about my work.

That’s me in the foreground, on the set of Sound Asleep, a short film I’m currently editing, starring Danny John-Jules (Cat from Red Dwarf). I am very comfortably off camera.

And there I am in the foreground again, definitely not stealing the scene.

But a month or two ago I was approached by an actor and performer with a question: Can I write an immersive, iconoclastic, interactive comedy show for a single performer, on the theme of finding love?

Well, it’s a tough starting point, but yes, that’s what I do – of course I can do that.

And will I be that performer?

What???

That last question was a bit of a shock. He was asking me to go on stage at a London theatre and perform the piece. Perform in front of an audience.

No. Of course I can’t. I’m not that guy. I’m a writer and a producer and a director. I’m the behind the camera guy. I’m not the one you’re looking for. That’s not my thing.

Maybe I can find someone else to perform it?

No it has to be a writer – performer, he said.

I do write from my own voice. And I do secretly harbour the writer / director’s classic jealousy of his actors – they get all the glory for all your creativity, and they seem to have all the fun.

Could I really do it?

This would be a real test. So far out of my comfort zone. But if I’m ever going to do it, I should do it now, when it’s handed to me on a plate. Because it’s not something I’m likely to set up myself.

So yes. Let’s Do It!

Boldly, before I could change my mind, I said yes.

So it’s time to overcome performance anxiety and false modesty and go for it. Because it’s only through challenges that you grow and learn what you are capable of. This is where great things happen. This is where confidence grows from. And that’s where creativity comes from.

It might be a disaster. It could be awful. But it will be a challenge. It will be fun. And I’ll learn a lot. And if you want you can come along.

It’s easy to say no – it’s not for me – I’m not that guy. But sometimes you have to just throw caution to the wind, and see the challenge as an opportunity.

So this is where I will be next Friday – testing myself: https://www.facebook.com/events/242341026233251/