Pic from BBC.co.uk
Last night I went to a comedy writing Masterclass by Miranda Hart at BAFTA. If you follow me on Twitter or are a Facebook friend you will have heard me go on about this endlessly since I got a last minute ticket a couple of weeks ago. Miranda is one of my favourite comediennes because she really doesn't give a monkeys about what is cool, she just likes to make people laugh. And anyone who is willing to do a fart curtsey on national television is very high in my esteem. International people you can check her out her views on Galloping on You Tube to see what I'm on about!
So after dashing out from work early and heading for the big city, I found myself at Piccadilly and outside BAFTA who's entrance is a bit like trying to get onto Platform 9 3/4s to catch the Hogwarts train. After an anonymous person buzzed me in I found myself at the bottom of an extremely well hoovered marble staircase with the big gold BAFTA masks on the walls. I was a little early so praise God there was a bar where - top tip about visiting BAFTA - the wine was very reasonably priced and jolly tasty!
Most of the people in the bar looked very important, like they were having meetings to mastermind the new season of Doctor Who or something, so I made myself scarce and phoned the husband in an attempt to look busy. Somehow, however, I had managed to end up at the back end of the theatre where they were setting up and who should emerge but Miranda! I managed to stay cool for all of about two seconds before squealing down the phone like the crazed fan that I am.
The talk itself was fantastic. Lots of writer-y chat about character formation and story-lining that was hugely beneficial but also a real sense of the amount of hard work and persistence it has taken for her to end up where she is now, writing and staring in her dream sitcom. What also really struck me is the niche that she has carved out for herself. She spoke about the days of stand up at Edinburgh festival (well, years really to get a break!) and how stand up never really would have suited her and doing sketches was always going to be her thing. The whole concept of the show was based around the persona she created and her willingness to be unique in the sitcom world today, which I think is what has struck a cord with people and made the show so popular. She really created something to fit her rather than moulding herself to fit into someone else’s vision.
Anyway, it gave me food for thought in terms of sticking to your guns on what you personally have to offer and to continue being a cheeky mare (see last blog post!) - perhaps even to ramp it up a little! It has also reminded me that what seems to be universally needed to be successful is absolute dedication, hence why I'm up writing a blog post at 7.30am! It can be easy to slip back into normal life and lose the faith to be bold and strive for big things. As Miranda said, she worked as a temp right up until 2005 to support herself, and that was after ten years of being on the comedy circuit. What dedication! So all in all an inspiring evening and an inspiring lady! Not bad for a Monday!