How myself and Tony Bessant ended up acting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a fascinating story, it proves that with hard work, you can create your own luck. Bear in mind myself and Tony come from a film background.
I’ll start from the top..
In November 2014 myself and Tony Bessant had just got ourselves a new computer and editing system, we were now going to start using Adobe Premiere, instead of Final Cut Pro which we had been using for a few years. With this in mind we headed out to local Calderstones Park to grab a few shots to put together on the system and have a play around.
On the way back to the car park after getting a few shots we developed this idea, a small sketch we could film in the car which would be a comedy about two friends John and Gary and their relationship. We filmed the shots by literally holding the camera in front of our faces and improvising, we used no specialist equipment etc.
We edited it and put it on Facebook that night, the reaction was amazing- it went viral. People absolutely loved it, we didn’t expect the reaction. Following this we thought ‘we can make another one that carries on from this’. So we did, we created another one in the car again, this time we used a bit of lighting and professional audio. We edited this one and put it out again, people loved it. We then made an episode 3 and an episode 4. With each episode the production values increased slightly. Episode 3 was in my car again (My car looked like a set out of Star Trek) and episode 4 was filmed in Tony’s house. (Episode 5 is scripted).
Towards the end of November 2014, Mike Dickinson contacted us and told us he wanted to talk. Mike is an award winning Director and someone I know from my time at Edge Hill University. I didn’t know him very well, but I knew that he had his own theatre production company ‘Naughty Corner Productions’ and achieved some success with his first play ‘The Bastard Queen’.
Mike had been following our sketch episodes of ‘John & Gary’ and at the time, just happened to be writing his second play ‘Not The Horse’, a gangster crime comedy. We set up a meeting with him and Jemma Lynch (Co-owner of Naughty Corner Productions) and at the meeting he told us that he had already written roles for us in his play since seeing our John & Gary videos. He loved our humour and what we had. He didn’t just want two scousers for his play, he wanted myself and Tony- that was the vibe. He sent us over the script and after reading it, we loved it. It was a project we couldn’t wait to get involved in.
We went to Edinburgh Fringe festival the following August in 2015 with the show and it proved to be a brilliant tour. Edinburgh is a beautiful city. We had an offer to do the show again this year at the festival but we’ve had to turn it down due to other commitments. We will be back in the show again after August.
Since that meeting a year and a half ago we have performed in the show on numerous occasions and are continuing to do so. The cast are extremely talented, and very genuine. They’re a fantastic group of people who have definitely made it all worthwhile.
We have performed in Liverpool, Lancashire, Wigan, Manchester and Edinburgh. (Receiving two 4 star reviews along the way). Crazy that we didn’t even have to audition, we were headhunted. The best part of the story is that we created our own luck. Things like this don’t just land at your feet unless you work or them.
It might take you a year, it might take you fifteen. My point is that if you consistently put yourself in good positions, then opportunities will come knocking. It all depends how long you are willing to do it for, and inevitably how hungry you are for success.
Thanks very much for reading. I have included a link below via Facebook where you can find our John & Gary videos. Also, if you haven’t yet seen ‘Not the Horse’ I strongly recommend it!