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Blog: A Mind Opening Open Day

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For the first time in AGES I had my traditional Wonderful Wednesday working from home actually ON Wednesday this week, as things at work have quietened down a bit after a HECTIC (ish) month of ACTION. It was DELIGHTFUL, except for the FACT that I STILL had to head off into town after the working day was over to attend an OPEN DAY.

As mentioned a little while ago, I'm thinking about maybe doing an MA in playwriting or similar, and during my initial researches I'd seen a REALLY good course on offer at City University, doing a mixture of Playwriting, Screenwriting and TELLY. It all sounded terribly exciting, but was only really offered part-time, and as the whole idea of doing an MA was to have a PROJECT for when I lost my job I regretfully put it to one side.

HOWEVER, things have changed around a bit now so i MIGHT NOT be out of work QUITE so soon, and so part-time study is back on the agenda. THUS I booked myself in for their open day, and so found myself going in the opposite direction to everyone else on the Central Line on Wednesday evening, wondering what I would find what I got there. I was distinctly UNIMPRESSED the LAST time I'd spent ages on a train going to a University Open Day, would this one be any different?

As soon as I arrived I knew that it would, for LO! when I arrived at the College Building I saw a simple A4 sheet sellotaped to the front door saying "OPEN DAY". ALREADY they were miles ahead of the last lot, and when I asked at reception where I should go they pointed behind me, where there were two students sat behind a large CLEARLY MARKED table, taking people's names.

My name was on the list and they directed me down a corridor where i was OVERJOYED to see, every six feet or so, a CLEAR SIGN with an ARROW on it pointing me in the right direction! It might seem like an overreaction to some, to place such importance on this sort of thing, but if I'm going to be paying thousands of pounds to an organisation, and trusting with a huge chunk of my FUTURE WELLBEING for a year or two, I'd rather do that with someone who can be DEMONSTRABLY BOTHERED to spend five minutes putting up signs rather than someone who... well, who doesn't even turn up!

I found the CLEARLY MARKED room where things were happening, within which was a large group of excited looking potential students. Around the walls were tables, each with an academic behind it with their name and course written in large letters on yet more sheets of A4 paper. Closest to me was a man reading a NOVEL who, I was pleased to discover, was in charge of "Creative Writing (Novels)" and next to him was the chap in charge of "Playwriting and that". The seat before him was free so I sat down and we had a CHAT.

Ten minutes later we were finished. I looked around for a moment and realised that that was ALL I'd come from, so headed off to get the tube home again, with my ENTIRE BRANE going "KERZANG!"

I was SO EXCITED - right from the start this course had looked good, and everything I'd hoped it might be was CONFIRMED. It's exactly the sort of thing I'm after - a chance to TRY other things and be MADE to write stuff, with added OPPORTUNITIES to get INTO doing That Sort Of Thing along the way. It also felt like the right kind of ATMOSPHERE - he seemed unfussed when I told him my TRANSCRIPT would be a "BROAD" musical comedy (NB Moon Horse) and said they were LOOKING for people who wanted to do Commercial, West End type of stuff, which is EXACTLY what i want to have a go at. The idea of doing CHALLENGING THEATRE, as proposed by that other place earlier in the month, makes me want to FLEE, but this seemed like a chance to have a go at INTERESTING, FUN stuff that PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO SEE!

The only potential problem (well, apart from them reading my stuff and saying "NO", obviously) is that it would be two nights a week. That WOULD be quite a commitment, and it lead to some Serious Thoughts. When I got home I looked at a couple old diaries to see what I was doing in previous Septembers (i.e. when the course would start this year), and pretty much ALL of my going out was recording/mixing sessions and Dinosaur Planet/Moon Horse gigs, NEITHER of which I'm going to be doing this year.

It's certainly DO-ABLE - it'd probably mean doing LESS other gigs too but, to be honest, it's not like a huge number of people are exactly BEGGING me to do them at the moment anyway, and if I just end up doing the occasional Vlads gigs for a while then, well, I don't think the world will end.

These last thoughts led me to a small spot of GLOOM on the way to work yesterday morning. To distract myself I started to think about ANOTHER bit of writing I need to do - for another place I'm thinking of applying to I have to write a couple of short stories, something which I've not done for YEARS, but as the IDEA for one of them started to fill itself in I found myself walking quicker, GRINNING, and quite forgetting the SELF-PITY. I got all EXCITED about the prospect of MAKING STUFF UP again and found the MOPE was entirely gone.

I think this is a Krazy Plan that just might work!

posted 17/2/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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