Okay so who are you and why do you deserve a website? You’ve already explained that you failed at this a few times.
Well, I’m going to go for telling the so-called story in a vaguely chronological order.
- 1992: December 31st; I get born. Unfortunately, it turns out that the day is already a pretty big international holiday-type thing so I can’t claim credit for that. I do sometimes though. Usually with humourous intention, and it is taken in that light.
- 2002: I see Robot Wars live. My life is made. Forever.
- 2003: I star as ‘Boy #1’ in the Speen Festival Production of The Pied Piper. The lack of there being a boy 2 makes me feel that this character deserved a more titular aspect. I believe that a review of the production in the Bucks Free Press cited ‘a delightful boy with energy brings his scenes to life’. The review did not reach me til months later, and I failed to get involved with amateur-dramatics for years to come.
- 2004: I see Busted live, just months before they split up. I take no responsibility.
- 2004: I purchase a Nintendo Gamecube. I remain a Nintendo enthusiast forever. Except 2008-2011. Kind of.
- 2004-2009: John Hampden Grammar School. I get some GCSEs. This isn’t my CV, you don’t need to know. But if you are a perspective employer, and are looking, I’ll publicly confirm my A in History and B’s in Maths and English Lit and English Language. And Geography. So, there’s that. I also liked the place for its usually-excellent teaching, and often-interesting individuals.
- 2005: I played ‘The Clerk to the Court’ in Speen Festival’s The Wind in the Willows. That was tremendous fun with great farcical moments. I had a funny speech that got a big laugh if I remember correctly.
- 2009-2011: The Henley College. I wanted A-Levels in a more vibrant place. It was great. 2 A’s and a C. I was 2 marks from an A* in Government and Politics. Oh well.
- 2010: January: I perform stand-up comedy for the first time. It was at a ‘scratch-night’, aimed at the drama students to practice performance techniques in a non-theatrical context. It goes down a treat. It was fun. I want to do it again.
- 2010: January: I have my first driving lesson. I want to do it again. The instructor is not so sure (JOKE).
- 2010: March: I win election to the Henley College Students Union. Victory.
- 2010: April: My A-S Drama class puts on Fen. The lack of chemistry between the leading male, me, and the leading female is obvious. I take some, but not total blame for this. She was outstanding in the assessed piece her group did the following year.
- 2010: May: Labour loses the general election. I find this to be an injustice on Gordon Brown, but I’m often told that I am alone in thinking this, so let’s not dwell.
- 2010: July: I begin working in Primark.
- 2010: September: I appear on Question Time. Not as a panellist, but as an audience member, in the Labour Party Leadership Special. My street-cred has remained sky-high since. I met David Dimbleby.
- 2010: November: I appear on Young Voter’s Question Time on what I can only call The Tutition Fees special. About 55 minutes in. I pointed out that the debate had gone in circles for 55 minutes. The debate carried on, in circles, for 4 more minutes.
- 2010: December: My politics teacher gives me and my mates his tickets to Any Questions being recorded locally in Henley. Some beers and Dominoes are snuck into the Students Union office after-hours and we meet Jack Straw and Theresa May and Jonathon Dimbleby.
- 2010: December: I stop working for Primark.
- 2011: February: I do my third gig ever. It is brilliant. I want to do this every day when I get to uni, I decide.
- 2011: September: Began attending the University of East Anglia to study Politics with Media. This goes tremendously well, I regularly consume lectures and alcohol, (rarely in combination), I meet some of my best friends for life and all that.
UEA, Year One. 2011-2012.
- I join the Headlights Comedy Society. Obsessed with improv and making my Fridays be based around the pub, the prospect is interesting.
- I join DramaSoc. I get involved in a couple of shows. I pitch a few but have it pointed out to me that I have no experience. This is a fair point. The socials are brilliant.
- I join UEA:TV. A tiny office with a camera on the way, the fledging ‘TV station’ is in a weird place.
- I join Labour Party Society. I go to one social and never go ever again.
- I join Badminton Club. I discover that I am not very good at Badminton yet.
- I join Glee Showchoir but never go ever. I feel guilty as some of my best friends are in it, but never go. I don’t even feel guilty enough to go their end-of-year show.
- I meet Vanessa Schnieder. Well, as we hope to one day sit-comically document, she met me. This is a life event.
- I star in the end of year Headlights shows. I appear in Jeremy Carl: An Improvised Jeremy Kyle Show, and the untitled 2012 Showcase. It is mega fun. I am elected to be the Treasurer for the next year.
- In the summer, I go to Edinburgh with Headlights. It is tremendous. I have a brilliant, brilliant time. I want to go again.
UEA, Year Two. 2012-13
- I move into a Student House. This experience is unnerving. However, the xbox can finally be used again, if shared. One of my housemates gets better than me at Call of Duty. This heriarchy is troubling to me, but he has a car and takes us to Asda for cheaper food shopping, so the friendship works out. I’m already fairly close with the other two. He gets us employment at a Dinosaur Theme Park over halloween. This is brilliant.
- I become the promoter at Bearlistic Comedy Club at The Rose. This is great.
- My Politics in the USA teacher hires out a conference-centre room for our class to watch the 2012 Presidential Election. That’s a heck-of-a-lot of fun.
- I begin writing for Concrete, in the Comment section. Finally, a better version of my blogspot ramblings are realised.
- UEA:TV becomes a force on campus. It has cameras now. It’s at things. It’s getting places. I am getting involved too. Our Derby Day coverage is brilliant and well-received, we filmed sports and got edited highlights onto youtube from our three cameras and four laptops within minutes. It’s a brilliant day. I am more and more involved. I meet Ben Hinton and Jack Parker. We talk about a place for me on the UEA:TV committee the next year. I am elected Secretary of UEA:TV.
- I become a prominent stand-up on campus, and the society permit me to be a stand-up representing them in that year’s (AGAIN, UNTITLED) showcase. The sketch show we made that year had such potential, and could have been so much better. My stand-up in the showcase (check it out, it’s the LCR video on the comedian page) is extremely well-received. We support Late Night Gimp Fight. It is a really, really fun night. I convince concrete not to publish their review. I promise to reform the society for the next year, dramatically, after it becomes clear that I am the favourite to be the next President. I am elected President of the Comedy Society.
- I go to Edinburgh again. Only for five days, it’s all my overdraft would allow. I spend every hour I can get of work with catering companies. It nearly pays me back out of overdraft.
- A new comedy club gets opened in West Wycombe and Phil Alexander is kind enough to make me a sort-of resident compere.
UEA, Year Three. 2013-14
- My life gets a tad out-of-control. Not in terms of ‘da law’, but my diary is crazy.
- I work for the university on arrivals days. This is great fun and I am among the first person that people saw.
- Headlights Presidency sees me in overdrive, but more on this shortly.
- UEA:TV covers UEA50th, basically, a huge festival celebrating UEA’s 50th anniversary. It’s awesome. Coincidentally, it’s the big end to Freshers Week. We are filming that night’s freshers finale: Greg James. We interview him. Me and Ben end up at his personal after-party. It’s a hell of a night.
- I get TWO Livewire1350 (the student radio station) Shows. Myself and Jake Fisher get commissioned to do the Drivetime Show. We are eventually put on the Breakfast Show as well and have specialist slot for eclecticism. I also appear on and perform in Jack and Ben do the Musicals / Jack and Ben’s Sac Magique. Livewire nominates my sarcastic showbiz featue; ‘The Knowbiz Update’ for best feature, and my general performance for ‘Best Male’. Maybe if it hadn’t been two years of ‘Headlights Half Hour’, I could have legitimately been nominated for Best Newcomer too?
- UEA:TV forms its own frat house, basically. It’s a wonderful year. I live around the corner, but I have an xbox controller, gamecube controller, beer supply, wine cup and change of clothes there. It is a wonderful experience every night.
- I continue to write for Concrete, and Venue.
- I am drunk in week 2 and decide to walk my bike home to prevent it being damaged and rusting in the rain. I fall over onto the road. I damage a lot of face and some teeth.
- Right, Headlights? So, we rebuild, hugely; we do a Hour-Long Sketch Show at the Norwich Fringe; ‘Your Ad Here’ after only three weeks of the semester. I star in it, Anthony Harlock directs. Rachel Keeley produces. We do more than ever before, and a big end-of-semester show; a full cabaret night to raise money for Stop the Traffik. We do two more sketch shows, ‘New Blood’, and ‘Half-Beam’ as well as improv shows. We do a fundraiser for Dig Deep. Headlights finally gets some proper reviews, and decent ones at that. We do a full-length TITLED REVUE instead of a showcase; titled by Will Harrigan: ‘Your Ad Here’, and we support Bad Bread.
- As a part of a journalism module, we make a journalistic piece about musician Bob Wright. You’ll find it in the archive/media pages. I also make a film about Reynard City creator, Robert ‘Will’ Turner. You’ll find that in the media page too.
- I help run the Birdcage’s comedy clubs with Joe Frost. I eventually get annoyed with friends asking ‘how do I see one of your gigs?’ so I decide to pack it all in. One final gig. I write a half-fringe-show so I can pass it off as my final show and an Edinburgh Preview. I book The Hive in May, the second biggest Student Union venue and fill it with my friends, raising more money for Stop the Traffik in the process. You can view the segments I did of my show when I was compering/doing-my-show and Chris Norton Walker’s headline section, on the media page.
- I did another Halloween at the Dinopark’s Primevil run. I achieve employment as a Student Guide. I achieve employment in the campus’ shop. I am dramatically less poor in the second half of the year. I splash out on a 3DS. Sorry. That is NOT a waste of money. It has PHEONIX WRIGHT 5!
- The year, as you can imagine, was fantastic. It was stressful and full of ups and downs. I also did my degree. This included a dissertation about The Simpsons, for which I achieve a first. I achieve a 2:1 in my degree overall. Go team.
- 2014: July: I make this website. At last.
- 2014: July: I am elected to the National Association of Student Television’s officer team, Regional Development Officer for the East-Midlands.
- 2014: July: I am going to volunteer at Latitude Festival.
- 2014: July: I am going to graduate.
- 2014: August: I am going to work at the Pleasance Box Office at the Edinburgh Festival for the whole month. It’s a bit dream-come-true-esque. I am not doing a show after all, not yet.
And that’s where we’re up to.
Who knows what happens next? Well, this website will be a part of that…