On Wednesday I attended #TVmingling at Freedom bar in Soho which was a fantastic opportunity to meet and get advice from people who are working in or aiming for a career in the television industry.
After finishing work an hour early I drove to the train station and after having a disaster with the ticket machine which resulted in me paying £13.50 for a ticket (for 2 days parking!) I brought my ticket to London! Once on the train feeling nervous but excited I spent the journey on Twitter searching the #TVmingling hashtag to see who would be attending the event.
When I arrived in London I followed my instructions to get to Leicester square (tubes are confusing!) and with the help of the sat nav on my phone (life saver) I arrived at Freedom bar and met up with Laura (@Lauratvtweets – follow her!) who I had been talking to on Twitter. We made our way to the basement, received a name badge, and made our way to the bar. We slowly began talking to a couple of people who looked just as nervous and found everyone was so friendly – it was interesting to hear their stories and current working situations.
At 7.00pm the evening kicked off with a question and answer session with Production Manager and creator of the Unit List (@theunlitlist) Jude Winstanley and freelance Production Manager and #tvmingling creater Lou Gallagher (@WonderOfAWeazel) who outlined the evenings agenda. They were also joined by Talent Executive, BBC Academy Simon Wright and Don Kong, Trainee Schemes Coordinator and Social Media Manager, BBC Academy who were on hand to answer everybody’s questions.
After the question and answer session it was our opportunity to mingle and ask any questions to the ambassadors. (Full list below) I spoke to to Alicia Bailey (@bailey_alicia – follow her too!) who has a degree in Television Production and has worked as a runner on Britains Got Talent, Daybreak and What happens in Kavos just to name a few! She gave me lots of help and advice to getting my first runners job and it spurred me on and reassured me I am taking the right steps. I also spoke to Don Kong who I had previously met at a Channel 4 event called The Unusual Suspects. He gave me lots of tips and told me to subscribe to his ‘Media-Opportunities’ list on Twitter for lots of contacts!
As the night began to draw to a close we were told to move away from the stage and as a show was about to start. We all wondered what the show could be then all of a sudden a man in heels, makeup and low cut dress entered singing Amy Winehouse Valarie came to the stage. What followed was a taster cabaret show with men in full makeup wearing dresses and hotpants accompanied by two cowboys dancing and doing high kicks which was fantastic and very entertaining – definitely a great end to a successful event!
If you want to mingle with television experts and people, who like myself are trying to break into the TV industry, I would definitely recommend attending the next #TVmingle networking event!
JONATHAN ALMOND – INTERACTIVE PRODUCER
ALICE BROOKSMITH – TELEVISION PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
JAMIE SUTCLIFFE – SENIOR PRODUCER
CHRIS ARISTIDOU – CASTING PRODUCER
JORDAN LIVERMORE – RESEARCHER
JOHN ADAMS – SENIOR ENTS PRODUCER
IFE OKWUDILI – HEAD OF GLOBAL CASTING
BEN SZORADI – 2nd AD DRAMA/SCRIPTED COMEDY
DAWN PANTON – SENIOR CASTING PRODUCER
MICHELE SMITH – PRODUCTION MANAGER
ROB KINGSBURY – SOUND RECORDIST
JAMES COOPER – ASSISTANT PRODUCER & SQUARE EYES TOP DOG!
KAT KEMPSTER – PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
ALICIA BAILEY – RUNNER