Last week I spent the afternoon with BAFTA winning writer, Geoff Thompson, at the BAFTA club in Piccadilly. He wanted me to soak up the creative atmosphere and visualise my future success. Maybe, I would be a member one day. Yes, maybe.
The BAFTA club is almost invisible to the outside world. Shoppers and tourists would have no idea they had past the historic academy, unless they happened to be looking down and looking left and spotted the discreet gold BAFTA acronym engraved into a floor tile.
The private members’ bar is hidden behind a red, velvet curtain. I’m not sure if their interior designer was being ironic here or not. Either way I enjoyed my brief, velvet curtain swoosh.
When you’re in the BAFTA club, you don’t want to look like you’ve just won the lottery, all wide-eyed and giggly. However, it is very hard not to stare at everybody and wonder why their faces look so familiar. It is also bloody impossible to concentrate on a conversation when simultaneously eavesdropping on the table next door. Who wouldn’t ignore their host, to hear what Jude Law is doing in Dublin?
Besides, the point of my visit was to immerse myself in an environment of creativity and possibility. The gossip just appealed to my nosey, curious side.
So, I held a BAFTA and touched the seats in the auditorium. I looked at the framed photos of actors, directors and writers. I sipped tea surrounded by artists and inspiration. Geoff was giving me everything I needed to visualise my future success. What I do with that is up to me.
I may be a writer-in-progress, but I have learned so much already. There will always be people waiting to piss on our dreams. Those who question our audacity to think we could achieve more. People who will say: ‘but didn’t you used to walk dogs?’ And: ‘I thought you wanted to be a teacher.’
Geoff Thompson, who I’m now lucky enough to call a friend, started life in a factory sweeping the floor. He’s now working on his latest feature film and has his sights on an Oscar. We’re all capable of achieving more but for those who try, prepare to have your friends and family, tell you that you can’t.
So, for anyone asking who I am to write a book? Who am I not to? What have you done today to realise your dreams?