I’m writing this en route to the city for reasons that will become clear but I thought that it provides an excellent opportunity to fill you in on further details to my master plan: to get on Strictly Come Dancing. I can be a dramatic soul at the best of time and leaving you hanging at the end of Getting On Strictly Come Dancing, as to exactly how I intend to compete in the show may have been a little cruel, but panique pas mes cheries, all will be revealed now.
What do we know about getting on Strictly then? Contestants have to be able to dance, poorly or otherwise and it’s quite evident that my plans for dance floor domination require a certain degree of fame. Now I don’t want just any kind of fame. I’m not going to get my bits out or sell my tragic/seedy story to the papers so what will I do? Well avid reader, I intend to become one of the nation’s best loved broadcasters! While I appreciate that this term covers all manner of sins, this is a relatively new concept in my life story so I ask that you forgive me for not having every t crossed and i dotted.
Although I’ve always dreamed of a career in acting and/or broadcasting, I had never acted on it until last year. The view that your average person doesn’t do that sort of thing and has a real job, was enough to convince me that I should do something more normal. But I’m not your average person and there’s no such thing as normal nor should there be, in my humble opinion.
Question is, what sort of person am I if not average or normal?
I can’t deny that I’m animated which can only be advantageous in my quest. I’m not one to shy away from taboo or difficult subjects and I find it distressing that so many people seem to live their lives in a bubble completely severed from the world around us. If you’re interested to read some fascinating views on the subject, you might like to check out a fab blog by Niall Doherty, Disrupting the Rabblement. I won’t try to explain what he’s doing because he’s so much better than I so check it out with a cuppa and a dunker and prepare to be illuminated. But back to me (aren’t blogs great for being egocentric?).
What might be more important to ask is what sort of person was I when I decided this new career direction?
It was only a few months ago, September 2011 and I was turmoiled to say the least. At 25, I wasn’t exactly taking the path of least resistance by working with high risk victims of domestic abuse. It was hardcore to say the least and after nearly two years, the job really took it’s toll and I was a mess. I don’t like labels but for a number of reasons (not that you need a reason) I was suffering with poor mental health and I was ill.
My experience of the the last year or so was part of my reasoning for this blog and I’d like to elaborate on it further at a later date but now I’ll (try to) stick to the point. Needless to say, after admitting that the job was the main reason for my ill health I had the conundrum of finding a new career or at least a job. One thing I knew was that it needed to be something away from caring and being empathetic because that wasn’t working for me. So that left my degree, BA Hons French and Spanish. All well and good but I didn’t want to get involved in translation so I’d need a trade to go with the languages which meant that whatever I was going to do, it would mean starting from scratch.
One day I got a text from my cousin’s partner Teiga suggesting that I become a presenter. Apparently she and my cousin Lee had been discussing my career dilema and thought I’d be good at presenting. I was felt flattered due to the secret desire to go into TV/radio but at the same time, dismissed it as an option. “I’m just me and that wouldn’t happen to me”. Then it dawned on me that I was the only one who was stopping me and really, I’d love to give it a bash.
I got to it, finding out about how people have become successful in either TV or radio, looking into training options, job opportunities, apprenticeships, anything I could find just to see how viable an option it was. Thanks to a very lovely, supportive friend I found out about a local lady Carly Wilford, who was living the dream. I emailed Carly in the hope that she had a gem of info to share and thankfully she gave me some tips. Most importantly she told me not to give up and to persevere.
Within a month I got paid to watch my rugby team Northampton Saints (one of my favourite likes) and chat to a few of the players and coach Jim Mallinder for TVNorthants. It was in front of a camera, I loved it and it was my first ever presenting job! It wasn’t perfect and it felt odd watching myself but I survived. Other than the fact the director David introduced me to the divinely skilled Jim as “This is Kerry our presenter, it’s her first time and she’s a huge fan”.
Thanks for that David!
That was October 2011 and although I’ve not had much TV work since, I’ve proved a lot to myself which frankly is more important (cheesy but true). I’ve also branched into radio and I work for Radio Nene Valley as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. The guys I work with are brilliant and I’ve learned so much since starting in March plus I’m enjoying it so I know that I’m on the right track.
So, there we have it. The plan is to take every opportunity to practise my interviewing and presenting skills and get as much experience as possible. I’ve got plans to undertake some training at the end of the summer; a double pronged attack is the best bet I feel.
The Strictly link is tenuous to say the least but it’d be too easy to talk myself out of the presenting without a goal. Setting Strictly in my sights, however unlikely it seems at the moment, will help me to get there. If I say that I’m trying to do something, it’s as though I’m setting myself up for a fall; I’m trying, not doing. Yet when I set my mind to something, I achieve. Stubborn, that’s another trait I have.
What about the big smoke?
My journey brings me to London this weekend, as I’m volunteering for a fabulous charity by the name of CoppaFeel. We’re heading to Hyde Park for Hard Rock Calling where I’m going to be a Boob Monkey (how brilliant does that sound?). It’s all about being aware of what’s normal for your breasticles, ladies and gents to increase early prevention and avoid the needless loss of life to the evil that is cancer.
Hit Factory Live has already been cancelled due to the weather so I’m looking forward to an interesting few days and the opportunity to provide you with witty anecdotes. I’m going to be branding myself a Boob Monkey to thousands of festival goers with a base of a boob shaped tent, in the flood that is the British Summer, what could go wrong?
Keep it real