I can’t recall what I wrote this time last year when I wrote about 2012 but one memory does remain and that was how bloody awful a year 2012 was. People talked about a Royal Wedding, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, The Olympics even. Everything on Paper says just how good that year was. However for me, it was a living hell.
2013 could be described in similar terms. It has not been the best of years with regards to work or rather the lack of it. And yet 2013 was in some way a better year than 2012. The Best of Times, The Worse Times? Maybe but I felt The Worse but hardly any of The Best. One reason for this (even though I didn’t realise it at the time,) was I was going through a process of exorcising demons from the previous year. Cleaning House if you will. There were at least two people who made my life a living hell during that year. One kept up the harassment and pressure for several months but now they and everything else is just so much Ancient History.
As a jobbing Actor, it is not always wall-to-wall employment and despite a good healthy start to my career in years passed, things have not been as good as I would have hoped. Temping work has always been the fall-back position but the problems inherent in that is as I have found myself, time and time again is dealing with consultants whose incompetence and indifference in how they do their jobs and go about their business to be of neolithic proportions. Given this I have decided to move away from the Recruitment/Temping Sector entirely and focus on my interests and if I need to work outside of that, then seek employment on my own terms.
August saw me finally dispense with my two agents of three and four years respectively. The saying goes that if you have nothing good to say, then say nothing. All I will say is, after the above years of representation/misrepresentation, I found myself virtually redundant as an Actor. And that is all I will say. I secured New Representation and while not a great deal has happened in securing regular, well-paid acting work, the Casting Calls and Auditions have steadily gotten better, I have been seen by more influential people so it is only a matter of time before the breakthrough occurs. I am hoping 2014 will open new doors as my new agents are always on hand to offer good, solid advice that was so sadly lacking from previous agents. If I had this kind of representation years before, I would be much further ahead in the game, as I once was.
Unlike 2012, 2013 saw me lay down the foundations for what I am going to be doing with the rest of my life. In some ways The Year has been a Milestone for this alone. After several years as a concept and name, Ashanti Dreamweaver finally took shape via a Website (http://ashantidreamweaver.webs.com). It has always been the Umbrella Organisation for my Acting interests but this will now include my other work interests such as Digital Artwork, Photography, Writing – Novels and Screenplays. AD has now become ‘The House of Ideas’. Long may it remain so.
The Evening of Sunday 8th December, saw me finally launch a project that has been in my head since the turn of the Century. Magellan-Fifteen20 (MF20,) finally saw the light of day with the launch of its Website (http://magellanfifteen20.webs.com). It had long been my intention to do something radical to turn convention on its head. The idea came from a conversation I had with an Executive many years before about Ferdinand Magellan, a Sixteenth Century Explorer who was the first man to sail around the globe and the approach he took to do that was original and out of the box. Ever since that conversation, Magellan-Fifteen20 has been in my head. It was going to be an Arts-based Initiative promoting new work but I was not sure how I would go about this or what shape it was going to take. It was only after I had restructured Ashanti Dreamweaver and launched the Website, that my thoughts returned once more to MF20. Once I had dispensed with the Recruitment Industry as a viable means of income, did I start to think of what MF20 would become. I had rediscovered a plethora of digital artwork and photography I had done over the years, not to mention an abundance of writing projects that needed developing. This would be the main thrust of The Initiative. To resource my work, writing and art studies research via online donations, while at the same time, making long-term plans for MF20 as an ongoing Initiative that would eventually develop new writing and new talent. This would depend on the size of donations received. As Magellan-Fifteeen20 is a Global Initiative, I am working on a global scale. The Website is in place so 2014 will be spent (in between other commitments,) promoting support for MF20 via online donations, as well as building up Brand Awareness for this Initiative. The size of donations will determine what gets developed of course, which is why the whole of 2014 will be devoted to promotion and gaining financial support. What happens in 2014 will determine what happens in 2015.
Dispensing with the negative, the incompetent, the indifferent, the abusive, the offensive, has seen a better me, as the Year progresses towards its logical end. I feel better about myself, and within myself. That which caused so many problems have been surgically removed like a cancerous cell and this has enabled me to move forward. Now, I am more Machiavellian in my outlook and approach to things. The role of ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ doesn’t seem to have much relevance now – Besides, it doesn’t seem to work with most people anyway. I am not for one second saying I have morphed into some kind Bond villain with his sights set on world domination but I am up for taking on the World as it is and making some fundamental changes to how things are currently done. I am all for ‘Turning Convention on its Head’ but that is something I cannot do alone. That comes from others and the support they can give. I don’t expect those who are already successful to provide that support. Such support comes from the lower rungs of Society. It is these people who play the lotteries and ultimately it is they who finance projects such as the building of the London Olympic Village. It is also they who support so much of The Arts via Lottery money and much more. The poor finance the pleasure pursuits of the rich. There is nothing wrong with being rich and wealthy but why should the poor and the needy finance the pleasure and entertainment playgrounds of the affluent?
In the end any Renaissance and any Artistic or Cultural Revolution comes not from places of affluence or elitism but where Deprivation, Poverty and Hopelessness reign supreme. We are nearly fifteen years into a New Century and we have politicians and who are decidedly old age in their outlook and opinions when they should be New Age. Only Pope Francis has shown any Enlightenment in his Leadership thus far of The Church of Rome. Nelson Mandela set an example years previously that has not been followed. Sadly he is no longer with us. Something has to change. I am changing with each second, minute, hour and day that goes by. Help me to instigate change by supporting my Initiative Magellan-Fifteen20. 2014 and beyond can be a good year for all of us. We just need to take that first step and journey together.
Thanks for reading.