5 Helpful Tips for a Podcast Guest

5 Helpful Tips for a Podcast Guest

 

Podcasts are now unbelievably popular and therefore, demand for podcast guests has increased massively. There’s pretty much a podcast for any subject. Review podcasts for film and TV. Conversation podcasts on all sorts of subjects from the lighthearted through to the very serious. There are comedy podcasts, political podcasts, mental health podcast, parenting podcasts, the list goes on and on.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have heard of them. More than likely you will have listened to a few favourites on a regular basis.  With that in mind I’m going to share 5 helpful tips for a podcast guest after my own experiences.

Early this year I was asked to be a podcast guest for the very first time. To talk about working from home/ running your own business while dealing with a chronic illness condition. It was my fellow spoonie Gem over at The Quirky Gem who asked me to be a guest on her own podcast series ‘In Conversation with’.

Although I said yes straight away, I was incredibly nervous but excited too. Because she lives down on the south coast and I’m in London our conversation was to be recorded over the phone. So, no going in person and sitting in front of a proper microphone, which I was pretty pleased about.

On the day she phoned and explained how it would all work and then went straight into her intro to record. I already chat online to Gem quite often and felt like I knew her a little already. When we started chatting it really was like having a good old natter to a friend. Within minutes I felt really comfortable talking.

Then, as we were all thrown into the depths of the Corona virus Lockdown she asked me again to be a podcast guest. This time talking about how the Lockdown has affected me in general due to my chronic illness and also my business as a social media manager. It was  such a positive experience the first time, I jumped at the chance to chat to her again about the current circumstances.

Personally I enjoy listening to podcasts and probably listen to more now that I have been a guest myself. So I decided to share 5 helpful tips for being a podcast guest. I am by no means an expert, and I would love the experience of being on more. But thought these tips might be helpful if you get offered the chance to be a podcast guest.

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5 things I’ve learned so far during lockdown

               5 things I’ve learned so far during lockdown

 

Lockdown has changed everyone’s life. We have never in our lifetime seen anything like this. Pretty much being confined to our homes except for work, shopping, exercise or a medical reason, and it has already seemed like an incredibly long time. So, I am going to share 5 things I’ve learned so far during lockdown.

When the whole lockdown thing happened we did consider ourselves to be one of the lucky ones.

By that, I mean my husbands job was secure and he continued to work. My income is secondary and any work that I lost didn’t really have too much affect on the overall financial side of things. So without the added financial stress and uncertainty that a lot of people had enforced on them we considered ourselves incredibly lucky.

That said, like everyone else our daily life changed dramatically. All the things we naturally took for granted as always being available, became obsolete virtually overnight. For me it was cinema trips, coffee shop meet ups, meeting friends for lunch, meeting with clients or just mooching around the shops.

I also suffer which chronic pain so for the last 10 yeas or so, it’s like I’ve been in training for lockdown as my life is probably more sedentary than most anyway.

But, even though I may have adjusted slightly better than anyone living a ‘normal’ life, there are still a few things I’ve learned during the lockdown period so far.

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How you can support small independent businesses during lockdown

How you can support small independent businesses during the lockdown

 

Corona virus

The realities of the Corona virus lockdown means what we would consider as ‘normal life’ has dramatically changed for everyone in one form or another. Parent’s of school aged children are finding themselves in a teacher’s role. People are now working from home if they can, and our elderly family relatives are being told to stay at home and are now separated from their families.

Key workers are working incredibly long hours to help in this crisis. Some people have lost their jobs and small businesses are struggling due to closure or adapting to stay either relevant or afloat. We all know why we are having to adapt our lives. Everyone now realises the seriousness of the situation.

What I have also noticed online in the last week or so, are small businesses local to me either closing their doors completely, adapting to providing a takeaway service or go fully online with their services almost overnight. So I’ve popped together a list on how you can support small independent businesses during lockdown so they can hopefully still be there when this is all over.

I have friends with businesses locally having to really dig deep right now, facing the thought of how they can keep their business going (especially service based such as cleaning, beauty etc). The worry of no income and whether their small business will survive through the pandemic on top of all the normal concerns we all have at the moment.

So, with my social media manager head on now I would like to share a few, very quick and easy, tips on how you can support small independent businesses, during lockdown in your area, from the comfort of your own sofa.

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Netflix and Chill at Drayton Arms Theatre – Review

Netflix and Chill at Drayton Arms Theatre

Have you ever wondered what goes through people’s head in certain situations? What do you think about during a date? Or the random thoughts that go through your head during sex? What about when someone’s mental health is deteriorating?

Netflix and Chill is a story that follows Ben , a working class chef, who’s life spirals out of control after trying to rekindle a relationship with his mum. His work, friendships and love life are all tested as his week goes from bad to worse.

 Netflix and Chill at The Drayton Arms Theatre

Netflix and Chill is essentially an in depth look at male mental health and how our inner dialogue can have such a massive impact on how we see and react to everyday situations. It follows the story of Ben, played by Tom Stocks who also wrote the play, who works as a chef in a pub and has been estranged from his mum for over 11 years. It opens with him meeting his mum for the first time since she left her abusive partner and is now trying to rekindle their relationship, something that is only touched on at the start of the play. Immediately the inner dialogue becomes apparent and we get the feel of how the story is going to be told.

Netflix amd Chill at The Drayton Arms Theatre

It seems like nothing is working out for Ben at the moment, from the relationship with his mum to his lack of progress on Tinder with most dates cancelling on him at the last minute. Only Ryan, his good friend at work, appears to be a constant. Ryan is over the top, loud, upbeat and appears to be living life to the fullest at the weekends. He’s crude, outspoken and tells it like it is, however inappropriate at the time. The connection between the two characters highlights the pressures men face in modern life, with the toxic world of ‘lad culture’ and the difficulties they face in all situations when it comes to talking about their feelings.

Netflix and Chill at the Drayton Arms Theatre

The inner dialogue that runs throughout will be familiar to most people. We all have those ‘what if’ moments, those constant nagging doubts and the replaying of conversations over and over in our minds. Then add in the bravado of the early twenties age group, modern dating, online and off, and the pressure to be living life to the fullest and you will have an idea of the types of subjects covered in this play. The name ‘Netflix and Chill’ is an indicator itself due to the modern meaning attached to it.

It certainly doesn’t shy away from awkward topics, scenes or conversations throughout. It uses crude and raw language as would be used by that age group and is an unapologetic look at how tough navigating a new relationship can be with all the modern pressures pushing heavily from the edges. This is harshly highlighted with Ben becoming overwhelmed on a night out, having had too much to drink and seeing his friend Ryan head home with his schoolgirl crush, it culminates in a monumental breakdown of sorts at the club. This whole scene and the lead up is an incredible piece of acting by Tom Stocks and it certainly feels like it comes from the heart.

Tom Stocks Netflix and Chill

However dark the play becomes, it is portrayed with great humour and the bravado of lads banter lifts the dark moments into something completely relatable and real. Using the deflection of comedy there are stories of tragic sexual conquests, prostitute encounters in Magaluf and dare I even mention the bus tray ejaculation! Throw in the bedroom scene with Ben and Sophie, which leaves no holds barred in its hilarious internal narrative, and you will be laughing out loud. The play is entertaining throughout regardless of its subject.

Netflix and Chill at the Drayton Arms Theatre

At different points in the play both Sophie and Jill give Ben the opportunity to talk about what is going on, however, this only encapsulates the fact that men are the ones that still need to breakdown the stigma of mental health amongst each other. The play is a stark reminder that with male mental health there is no one mask that fits all, it can present itself in different ways and can be very hard to detect. It’s a story written from personal experiences and aims to be a pathway to approach and open conversations around mental health and male suicide.

Netflix and Chill is at The Drayton Arms Theatre until Feb 29th 2020

Tickets £16 / £14 (concessions)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cast

Ben – Tom Stocks

Mum – Julia Binysh

Jill – Charlotte Price

Ryan – Joseph Lindoe

Sophie – Emily Ellis

Creative Team

Writer – Tom Stocks

Director – Luke Adamson

Producer – JLA Productions & Actor Awareness

Sound Design – Luke Adamson

Set and Lighting – JLA Productions

Photography – Cam Harle Photography

My 50 things before I’m 50 list

                 50 things before I’m 50 list

50 things before I'm 50

**UPDATE** Due to the lockdown I have extended the time limit on my 50 things before I’m 50 until the end of this year for obvious reasons……….and I hope I will be able to achieve a lot of what I have listed (fingers crossed!)

This is a 50 before I’m 50 list with a difference. Not a fantastical bucket list of amazing things to do, but rather a ‘make time for the smaller things’ that will make your day or weekend special list. I’ve also added a few extra special events thrown in that I wont need to win the lottery in order to fulfil them.

I’m due to turn the big 5-0 in July this year. Most of the lists I see for people hitting milestone birthdays are pretty epic and in fairness they give themselves a year or more to do them.

I, on the other hand, only really thought about it recently when it dawned on me that my 50th birthday is in fact this bloody year……………I still can’t quite believe it.

For me though, I feel I have a lot of things I could easily do at any time and yet I don’t actually set the time aside to do them. I’m not really talking about big holidays or jumping from a plane, my body could no longer cope with that. In any case, I have wing walked twice ( on the original Crunchie plane, one of which was at an International Air Display). I’ve also been dangled out of Sea King rescue helicopters too many times to count,so I think I’ve done my daredevil bit when I was much younger.

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Blitz at The Union Theatre – Review

Blitz at The Union Theatre – Review

Blitz is just one of the shows at The Union Theatre that is part of the Phil Willmott Company’s Essential Classics season 2020: V.E DAY – 75 YEARS ON.

It is based during WWII in London where both the Jewish Blitztein family & the cockney Locke family live. When the children from these opposite families fall in love a wonderfully poignant wartime romance starts to unfold.

Blitz at The Union Theatre London

This classic style musical from Lionel Bart has an instant feel of being a much bigger show. The songs tell the story and the dance routines portray that old fashioned  ‘good old knees up’ atmosphere that gives a sense of inclusiveness with the audience being so close. The set is bustling and busy with lots of individual connections between the characters going on, whilst the main premise of the story starts to develop. The space is cleverly utilised not only to create the claustrophobic feel of being stuck on an underground tube platform but also the winding feel of the  narrow lane aspect of the area at that time.

Mrs Blitztein ( Jessica Martin) instantly presents as the strong matriarch of the Blitztein  family as well as the natural leader of the group. She has inevitably earned the reputation of ‘Queen of Petticoat Lane’ with her being both loved and feared by her neighbours and friends. Her rivalry with the outspoken Mr Locke (Michael Martin) is blatantly apparent from the outset, it generates the witty undercurrent of disdain between the two characters, focusing on the differences in their families throughout the performance.

Blitz is essentially a celebration of the working class spirit during a time when unspeakable horrors occurred, night after night, as bombs were dropped relentlessly on London and other British cities throughout the war. It captures the unquestioned camaraderie of the time in London’s East End, the pulling together as one against the Nazis as a whole, and the simple fact that life still goes on regardless. Yes there was raw, heartbreaking suffering and terrible loss and complete terror, but it was faced with that  ‘stiff upper lip’ high spirits and the typical unwavering humour making the most of a bad lot.

This musical encapsulates all the emotions across the board. Enthusiasm exudes from all the cast keen to make you connect with all their individual stories. The highs and lows of life during the war and what people had to do to survive. Jessica Martin’s portrayal of the formidable Mrs Blitztein reels you in helplessly from the very start. We are left knowing that in spite of everything we do need those natural leaders, those strong family characters that hold everyone together in difficult or uneasy times. Which is even more prevalent now in 2020 with all its impending uncertainty.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars

PERFORMANCES

  • DATES5th February – 7th March 2020
  • TIMESTuesday to Saturday @ 7.30pm
    Saturday and Sunday @ 2.30pm from February 15th

TICKETS

  • FULL PRICE £22
  • CONCESSIONS £20
  • UNDER 18S £15

SEASON TICKET OFFER
See Tom Brown’s School Days, Blitz and Peace in Our Time for just £50. Bookable in Advance until February 1st

CAST

Jessica Martin  – Mrs Blitztein
Caitlin Anderson – Carol
Anna Robertson – Cissie
Robbie  MCartney – Harry
Corinna Marlowe – Esther
Michael Martin – Mr Locke
Connor Carson – George
James Horne – Ernie
Vicki Mason -Miss Joseph
James Georgiou -Mr Finklesstein
Danniella Schindler – Rachel
Beaux Harris – Elsie
Eleanor Sandars – Joyce
Charlotte Bradley – Peg
Eleanor Griffiths – multiple roles
Jack Slatter – multiple roles
Lorne Taylor – multiple roles
Stephen Hayward – multiple roles

CREATIVES

Director
Phil Wilmott

Musical Director
Rosa Lennox

Choreographer
Daniel Maguire

Set Designer
Reuben Speed

Costume Designer
Penn O’Gara

Lighting Designer
Harvey Nowak-Green

Sound Designer
Ralph Warman

Assistant Director & Dramaturg
Phil Setren

Casting Director
Adam Braham

Producer
Sasha Regan

Associate Producer
Maison Kelley

Top tips to keep warm in the winter with chronic illness and chronic pain

Top tips to keep warm in the winter with chronic illness and chronic pain

 

If you’re new to my blog, when I talk of chronic illness and chronic pain it’s because I am diagnosed with M/E/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Joint Hypermobility.  I’m now 10 years into living with these conditions. Over the years I’ve become a dab hand at being resourceful at ways to keep warm in the winter with my chronic illness. All without having to blast my heating 24 hours a day.

In very simple terms my illnesses mean I am constantly exhausted and I’m in pain ALL OF THE TIME! We may say we are ‘fine’ but internally our bodies are screaming. Check out our ‘I’m fine’ code here.

As our house has been extended our bedroom is in a Dorma loft. That would mean me having to heat a 3 storey house with only me in it, when my husband and son are at work.That just doesn’t make any financial sense to me to do that. Just call me Scrooge!

So I have become a bit creative with it all. And I wanted to share my top tips to keep warm in winter with chronic illness and chronic pain,

Top Tips on how to keep warm in winter with chronic illness and chronic pain

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Diagnosed with chronic illness -M.E, Fibromyalgia and Joint Hypermobility

Diagnosed with chronic illness

Around 10 years ago I was diagnosed with chronic illness. Both M.E and Fibromyalgia and more recently diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility. These illnesses have changed my life dramatically . I have learned to adapt the hard way.

I had to give up working as a Driving Instructor and my OH then became the main breadwinner.

M.E and Fibromyalgia affects my life daily, without fail it is ALWAYS there. The only way to describe it to others is RELENTLESS!

Walking normally feels like walking in a swimming pool, and every morning I wake up feeling like I have just gone 10 rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson. In short just think ‘proper’ flu without the head cold and you are on the right lines.

That’s before we even get started on the pain levels throughout my body and more recently in my hands and ankles (due to the Hypermobility). Everything hurts……………..all of the time, with no respite!

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The Canterville Ghost at the Unicorn Theatre

The Canterville Ghost at the Unicorn Theatre

The Canterville Ghost has always been one of my favourite stories from when I was younger, along with the play The Rivals which I studied when doing my A Level In English Literature. Both have stayed firm favourites as I have grown older. So I was really curious to see this adaptation at the Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge. This was my first time visiting this particular theatre and I was impressed with the actual working theatre space inside. The Unicorn is the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences and has an extremely wide programme for children up to 18 yrs old.

So for anyone who isn’t familiar with the Oscar Wilde piece,The Canterville Ghost is a story about an American family who move to a castle that is haunted by the ghost of a deceased ancestor. Sir Simon Canterville, killed his wife and was then starved to death by her brothers. What makes it different from other ghost stories, is the fact that it’s funny rather than scary and the characters are not frightened by the ghost at all.

Although the story itself is set in a time gone by era, the humour in this adaptation is most certainly modern. It’s directed towards the younger audience of today (and us that are young at heart) and definitely captures their interest right from the start.

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4 Stages – Fringe Theatre Review

4 Stages – Fringe Theatre Review

4 Stages

The play 4 Stages ( by BC Allen) at the Bread and Roses Theatre is directed by Natasha Kathi-Chandra. It centres around 3 characters, Alex (Andre Skeete), Ben (Brett Allen) and Cat ( Natasha Redhead) on their monthly games night. Presented in four parts which represent four separate nights spread throughout one particular calendar year. Ben and Alex interview each other over the four nights about how and where they grew up. As the nights go on there are some startling revelations which lead to some very frank discussions along the way.

‘ Two best friends Ben and Alex, who grew up together, now in their 40’s, meet every last Sunday of the month for ‘Games Night’. They are from different backgrounds but are as close and tight as brothers. Ben has recently had a child with his partner Cat.’

This theatre is extremely intimate and is set with seats on opposite sides with the ‘set’ in the middle dressed as a room in Ben and Cat’s home which works perfectly as they use the exit door as their door to the rest of the ‘house’. With the space being small it enhances the feeling of being a ‘fly on the wall’ overlooking events unfolding in these characters lives. Each night is cleverly separated in a way that you know the story is moving on and yet works perfectly in the small space they have with regarding the set.

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