I walk over the long track of broken glass. Even though I’ve seen others come out unscathed, I wonder how badly I’m going to bleed.
Hang on, that’s not it. Go back a bit.
I look at the email which says I’ve been accepted for Talent Campus. Two seconds of elation, then the rabbits in my head send a clear memo that this is when I will get found out. It's a standard writer worry, isn't it? i.e. When the organisers and writers hear what I’ve written, they’ll chase me out of the building.
Oh. It’s not that either.
It’s not that, not any more, because a lot has happened in the last 3 days. The Talent Campus empowers you to overcome not only your worries about writing or pitching, but your worries about yourself and the blocks you’ve put in your mind that hold you back from progressing.
And so I begin. My fellow delegates turn out to be uniformly generous, fun and distinct characters. We bond quickly over caffeine products.
Chris Jones and his team get us to do what British people generally don’t. Express ourselves. Dance whilst sober. Stand like Wonder Woman. I can explain that last one, mum. It’s a superhero thing…
And then it’s the training. We have wonderful courses from really good speakers on how actors analyse scripts, the reasons we tell stories, how to pitch and on what you bring to make money people spend it on realising your idea. Dragons Den for writers if you will. I just got a whole lot better at some specific things in a very short space of time.
But it’s not just better writing or better pitching. It’s this.
I walk over the broken glass Chris has laid out without a scratch. 5 minutes later I’m doing it again. The growling tiger of fear I had is now a small mewling kitten. I’ve worked out a large fear I had was entirely illusory. What other ones can I smash?
By the last day I am able to enthusiastically pitch an idea I only had a day before to a large audience without any real notes. It gets good feedback. I don’t have the hesitation I had before.
I also casually mention another pitch to an executive since I’m enjoying taking more chances. I see that look! I better get writing, right? Luckily I’ve been given my own mentor who will see me through the next few weeks to really fine tune my progress.
And that’s only the first 3 days of the Talent Campus.
There’s an epic line in the 2009 Star Trek – “I dare you to do better”. That keeps coming into my head, and simply since I’ve been dared to be better.
And if I rise to it, (cue JJ Abrams lens flare), the results will be out of this world.