Katie Mccullough Talks and Writes

Words will get written here and some videoblogs will appear. You don't have to look but it would be nice if you did.

DROPPED SEQUINS for #FUTURESPARK is cast! July 2, 2013

I’m thrilled to say that my short play DROPPED SEQUINS for How It Ended Productions’ FUTURESPARK has been cast! Let me introduce the superb ladies…
 
StephO
 
First up (above) we have the delightful Stephanie Overington, a fresh young actress based in Luton. I recently worked with Stephanie on a charity video to raise awareness of self-harm. She has the right spark of naturalism and plays that vulnerability to suit the part of Natasha brilliantly. I’m really looking forward to working with her more directly and on some new writing.
 
RachelJ
 
Then we have Rachel Jackson who I’m really excited to be working with. I saw Rachel in a Coming Up (Channel 4) episode from a few years back, then saw her in a short play as part of RedFest last year, and both times she’s stuck out for me. She’s got the feistiness in her for sure and the boldness that completes the part of Gemma.
 
Two actresses who will bring my work to life under the direction from the lovely Madelaine Smith. Niceness.
 
REMINDER TO BOOK TICKETS! —> here 

 

FUTURESPARK with @how_it_ended June 16, 2013

I first encountered the theatre company How It Ended Productions on Twitter a few years ago. They were on the lips of many that I’d talked to, and I was intrigued by the work they put out. I even pledged some cash in their WeFund campaign to help them get to Edinburgh. I was all for helping out a theatre company, especially when they were so close to home (they’re based in Luton). I was excited to see their work and looking forward to meeting them. Then I got busy. Which meant that I didn’t get to see their work or meet them.

 

Skip forward a fews years and now they’ve mounting a short play of mine alongside others in their event called FUTURESPARK this July. So I will get to see their work, I will get to meet them and I’m obviously working with them. This pleases me so. My short play DROPPING SEQUINS will be directed by Madelaine Smith who I kind of know already from Twitter firstly, then through a mutual actor friend, and then because I invited her to a reading of one of my other plays to give feedback based on our previous interaction. There you go folks, as they sing in Bugsy Malone, “You give a little love and it all comes back to you (na, na, na, na-na-na-naaaaaaa)“.

 

So we’re casting this week and it’s quite a rhythmical piece, not intentional but it just came out that way. There’s dancing, some spoken word elements… It’s going to be fun. The springboard stimulus was the word ‘Carnival’. I ended up writing about two girls who are best friends getting ready to dance in the carnival – but they’re also planning something else untoward and the Carnival is the perfect cover. But aside from that, I should probably tell you the date, time, place .etc.

 
FUTURESPARK
 
 

11th July – 8:00pm

12th July – 11:00am

 

****CORRECTION****

The second performance is FREE and is for ANYONE! (But if you are a school and would like to arrange a group booking contact futurespark@howitended.co.uk) Both performances will be at the UK Centre For Carnival Arts (UKCCA) and you can buy tickets HERE!

It’s looking to be a treat with 8 short plays, live music and other happenings. I will obviously be in attendance, and if you can get your fine self there too it would be grand. As much as it’s nice getting work on at all, it’s especially nice getting it on so close to home. Come!

 

 

St. Albans Film Festival Is Coming… Are You? December 20, 2012

Looks like St. Albans is going to get its first film festival next year from 8th – 10th March, conveniently called the St Albans Film Festival. And if you’re a filmmaker, then you still have time to submit.
 
st-albans-film-festival
 

The regular deadline is 28th December so if you’ve got withoutabox then pootle on over to there and click the buttons. The next deadlines (will obviously be a bit more expensive) are in January so GET A MOVE ON!

 

And the reason I’m excited about the festival? Because:
 
a) It’s on my doorstep
b) There are some amazing things in the pipeline for the festival
 
and
 
c) I’m a judge

 
St Albans has been a popular location with the film industry not only because of its close proximity to some of the leading film studios such as Pinewood (Superman, James Bond); Elstree (Star Wars, Indiana Jones); and also Leavesden (Harry Potter). But also because it’s relatively close to London, a 20min train trip (if you get the right train).
 
It’s been featured on TV (Life Begins, The Inbetweeners), film (The Birthday Girl, Johnny English) and Arthur Melbourne-Cooper – the pioneer of moving pictures – was born in the City. Stanley Kubrick came to settle in the area and remained, crafting his prolific works. The Shining was finished there, and Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut were started and completed there. He also used to only leave the place to buy his bottled ink from Ryman, y’know, the very shop I used to work in.
 
So checkout the website: www.stalbansfilmfestival.com
 
Look at the Facebook page: StAlbansFilmFestival on Facebook
 
Peek at the Twitters too: StAlbansFF

 

Juggling Scripts And Research May 19, 2012

I’ve been crazily busy with three different scripts recently. One children’s theatre script, one half hour screenplay and a full length play. Which is a short way of saying that I haven’t got round to blogging recently. But as part of research for the children’s theatre script I’ve been wandering around my village to the places I used to play when I was a kid. This beautiful place is at the end of my road and I (along with my older brothers) used to spend a lot of time wreaking havoc and getting muddy there.
 

 

 

 
The children’s theatre script is going to be a promenade performance in a small wood in Pembroke. So I’ve been spending a lot of my spare time walking through my childhood woods to get into the perspective of a child. Do we change where we look as we become older? I’m looking up feeling small with all the trees, but I’m sure I looked down at the insects when I was small wanting to feel big.
 

 

Whiteboard Writing Question (crass) April 15, 2012

Filed under: Hertfordshire,theatre,Theatre and writing,young writer — katiemccullough @ 2:00 pm
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This has remained on the whiteboard for quite some time. Provocative. And a reminder. There are more poetic ways of putting this statement, but that’s the point – if you’re not after poetic why dress it up in words that your character would never say?
 

 

 

Whiteboard Writing Question April 8, 2012

Filed under: Hertfordshire,theatre,Theatre and writing,young writer — katiemccullough @ 11:30 am
Tags: , ,

 

 
I love whiteboards, I love my whiteboards. I have four of the bigguns mounted on my wall and some spare ones that I can move around the house to boot. I have a tendency to write fragments of ideas and snippets of dialogue. But I also have a whiteboard for questions. And I tend to spew things out on there about my project that are either unanswerable or I already know the answer. I think it helps to answer inane questions just so you can prove to yourself that you know them. And sometimes I write down what seems to be a seemingly naive question and it leaves me a little stumped. This is one I wrote earlier this week. And it’s definitely got me thinking.

 

Collaboration March 19, 2012

I’ve been asked a lot over the last few months about how I can be so busy with different projects. My response is that I actively seek collaborative partners so I keep creatively stimulated. The other major influence for me wanting to delve into the collaborative process with projects like Ship Notes, Simone, Nascent Collage .etc. is because it makes me do work. By including other people you’re actively spurring them on to do work and therefore creating an environment where you too have to respond. In essence you’re not wanting to let anyone down. So you do the work. If only for that reason alone, it makes me work hard. Some people may not like that approach, but it works for me. It keeps it simple transaction.
 

“If you don’t do the work you will let someone down. So do the work.”

 
And voila! I do the work. It actively engages your brain with the notion that if I do A then B happens. It’s something we already know but it’s putting it in a different context. I apply it to all areas of my work. In my own theatre work I’ve gone out of my way to avoid doing what I need to do, we all do it. For me a lot of my work is off my own back which means there are no enforced deadlines or definite productions so I meander through the weeks and come up with excuses. But because I’m juggling different projects it makes me focus in on what I need to do. It crafts its own work schedule.
 


 
Binshit is not a word. But it’s part of the creative process of elimination…
 

“I’ve got to respond to so-and-so’s part of the project and then I want to do some brainstorming on my play, oh and by that time the other so-and-so might have got back to me with their next chunk of the project so I’ll look at that…”

 
Overall it makes me aware I’m generating work for myself. And that’s how it should be. It makes me feel like I’m doing something and keeps me busy. And when I say busy I don’t mean it just in the literal sense, but I mean creatively busy. I’ve been lucky in that so far two collaborative projects have worked so well that the end fruition will be displayed to the public. But that should never be the end goal essentially – if you embark on something only because of the end result you’ve got your perspective all wrong. Fair enough you may have a project you want to release into the world, but the thought has to be put into it otherwise it’s a hollow shell of what it could be. And that ‘thought’ translates as work. It should be an area of your life devoted to keeping yourself creatively fresh and bouncing off ideas with people, helping someone else out of a creative funk and being a support but through your work. The idea should always be, “let’s create an environment where we can fail and it doesn’t matter”. Nothing should be sacred, nothing should be too polished otherwise you’re not really listening to each other. It should be one big experiment, nothing is concrete. Not only will it allow you to explore areas that you might not have pondered on before, but it will also heighten your awareness of working with other people either in the same medium or a different one.
 

I’m not saying that everyone reading this should instantly fire off an email to a whole bunch of people demanding they work on a collaborative project. But I do suggest mulling over if there’s someone you know in a different creative field who might be open to the suggestion of ping-ponging some ideas. You never know where it will lead, but I bet you anything you’ll learn something from it. Whether it’s never to do it again or not is another thing. The absolute worst that could happen is that it doesn’t work for you. It’s just an idea.