Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My day at Baker Street

It is now 00:36 on 28th November and I'm back in my hotel at Paddington. 19 hours ago, I was leaving to get to Baker Street, in order to spend a whole day at a station to see what it's like to do this challenge fully for a day.

I have to say that was some of the most fun I've had since doing the challenge. In the sapce of 18 hours I....

- Met 75 musicians
- Had help from really friendly TFL staff (big shout out to station attendant Daniel who not only took great interest in the challenge but started to stop musicians and call me over!!)
- Met every instrument in an orchestra, with the exception of...you guessed it...oboe!
- Had my brother join me, dressed as Sherlock Holmes, and he proceeded to skulk around in the back of camera shots for a laugh
- Met musicians I'd previously already met, and remembered their full names and the stations I met them at
- Ended the day with the 75th musician being a Euphonium player who worked for TFL!

So, thank you Baker Street. You provided me with some great memories and I look forward to reliving them when I edit the footage shortly.

So, it was a long day. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tired. It has been really tough, and I don't mind that. It's what I expected and no grumbling from me, because I did it with love, and when you enjoy something and do it with love, it's never a chore.

But, I couldn't make it all the way through stuck at Baker Street, as planned. I had to admit defeat at some point in the day and take a break. Around 6pm, after being there for 12 hours, I realised it wasn't healthy to work relentlessly for 18 hours without a break. And my plan of staying in the station and resting was failed multiple times by seeing musicians with instruments and having to run after them. There was no peace. Even on a break I couldn't turn it off! I even tried to turn my back to the passing crowds, and look at a shop front, only for a Clarinet and French Horn to make their way into my line of sight.

That was the clincher. I'd be on my feet for 12 hours, and when I saw them, I reluctantly got up and made my way to approach them. You know. Follow my rules. And also, I'd hate to have people miss out on something just because I was tired. So, I explained very briefly what I was doing. THe same pitch I'd given today 57 times before. But, instead of the different responses I'd had before, I was met with a arrogant roll of the eyes. The girl with the French Horn looked at me like I was some kind of pest. I tried to explain that, because I'd seen them I HAD to go speak to them, but it didn't matter to her. I was someone she clearly didn't want to associate herself with. "I'm busy on that day" she quickly said, without even taking in the date.

So, that made up my mind. I was getting out of there! People like that suck the energy out of you, and I was saddened by their lack of enthusiasm for something unconventional.

Now, I have to explain. I've had lots of rejections up until then (26 to be precise), including a few rude people. You'll get that. The "sorry, not interested" response. I don't mind that. I'm inconveniencing someone and they're in a rush. That's going to happen. And today I've had plenty of "I'm busy that day" with geniune sincerity. It's normally preceeded by people looking in the top corner of the eyes as they recall the date and then inform me they're busy. That's cool too. And so are the people that tell me that they're not free or interested but wish me luck. I even had one guy tell me it wasn't his thing but really liked what I was doing and handed me a £1 coin. Not really sure what to make of that!

What I'm trying to say is I wasn't just throwing the toys out the pram because she said no. I totally expect rejections and am completely fine with them.

But this girl's response was the type that crushes me every time, and one I'd not had that day so far. It's the very quick dimissive comment that may say "I'm busy" but it's accompanied with the "I've listened to what you're saying, seen the way you look, and you and this silly challenge are beneath me" look. It's horrible.

I walked away, with no enthusiasm for what I was doing. If more people were like her, I'd never
do this challenge. I don't mind people having no enthusiasm for what I do, but don't take my enthusiasm. That does no good in this world! I felt rubbish. 12 hours non-stop, tired and emotional, I decided I needed a break.

My brother (who had joined me as cameraman) pointed out I was contravening EU workplace legislation. So now I realised I had to take a break. You know, it's the EU innit.

So, that explains why I didn't complete 18 hours non-stop at Baker Street. I went back to the hotel for a break at 6pm and looked to resume at 8pm. Which turned into 9pm because I fell asleep...

Sorry for talking so much about the negative there. But what I have actually tried to do was make you empathise with me and what I go through, before nonchalantly explaining that I got a little lazy and dozed.
Can't have it all I guess......

Thanks to all who helped me today, and took the time to stop and be kind to a stranger. More to follow in the video blog.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

All day at Baker Street

I write this with 16 days & 22 hours to go. Things have been VERY busy. But I'm really loving things at the moment and feeling very inspired.

I've been thinking about how many musicians must pass through stations on a daily basis, and for one day only, I wanted to do something different. So, on Tuesday 27th November, I will be spending the entire day at Baker Street Station. That's literally from the moment the doors open, to the moment they close. An entire day in one place. Viktor Navorski style! I will spend all day at one station with the aim of finding out exactly what goes through one of London's underground stations on a daily basis.

So, with everything I've done on this challenge, I've decided to have some rules, to make things interesting and fund.

- I have to get to the station when it opens (or at the very latest, arrive on the first train going through Baker Street)
- I have to leave when the station closes (or at the earliest, the last train leaving Baker Street)
- I am not allowed to leave the station except for legitimate toilet breaks
- I will arrive at the station with no food and drink, and rely on the kindness of friends/strangers to come by and provide me with beverages and snacks
- At least twice during the day, I must conduct "Bag Hour", which consists of me approaching anyone carrying a bag, and asking if they have a musical instrument in there.
- I am only allowed film crew to join me, with the exception of people dressed as Sherlock Holmes. I am allowed an unlimited amount of people dressed as Sherlock Holmes to hang out with me during the day.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to use the day to meet more musicians, have fun, and learn a little about how a station operates on a daily basis, whilst also compiling data on the types of people travelling through with musical instruments.

If you are passing through Baker Street station on Tuesday, stop by and say hello. Of hang out if you have a deerstalker and a magnifying glass......

Sunday, 11 November 2012

HELP!!! Support needed!!!!


OK, it's not as desperate as it sounds, but I really want everyone to know about the fundraising that is now happening for this challenge. I've spent the last 10 months of my life travelling around, meeting musicians and trying to do something a little different. I've done pretty much all of this on my own (with some exceptional help from those close to me).

But now, in the final stages, I'm making a please. I really do need the support and help of everyone who's willing to give me a hand. I know not everyone has time or money to give. I also know that not everyone wants to do something for nothing. And I know some people really want to help but aren't sure what they can offer. So, just have a look at the headings below and pick the one that's most suitable for you.

You can donate to the children's charity Daytrippers by visiting Daytrippers Online Donation.  In return you will get a)a sense of wellbeing and b)the knowledge that every £10-£30 you give will help pay for one disabled child and their carer to attend one of their annual events.

Or, visit The 121212 WeFund page and pledge to Sponsor-A-Seat. This means that you'll be buying a seat that will donated to charity, allowing those less fortunate to experience the event, in return for a certificate & signed original ticket.

Well, you're in luck. Visit The 121212 WeFund page and pledge your support from as little as £1. There's lots of things you can get for your money, from limited edition oyster card holders, to original artwork from renowned artists.

We'll also be adding more goodies all the time, so keep visiting and checking what's on offer.

Well, you can visit The 121212 WeFund page and not only buy some amazing merchandise, but you could do the incredible and Sponsor-A-Seat. Buy a ticket for the event, we give it to a local charity (so the seat isn't wasted), and you get the original ticket that will be signed by me & some musicians on the night, as though you were actually there! It's making this a global gig!!

Visit The 121212 WeFund page, and pledge £1. In return, your name will be added to the credits of the 121212 documentary to thank you for your support. It's your chance to be in a movie for as little as £1.

YES! Visit The 121212 WeFund page, and pledge £5. In return, you provide us with a photo of yourself, and get special credits at the end of the 121212 documentary to thank you for your support. So you'll be able to show all your mates that it was people like yourself that made this all happen!

That's ok. I totally understand that not everyone has cash to spare. And I'm grateful you're reading this. So, all I ask of you is to hit the buttons below this and e-mail it, blog it, twitter it, facebook it. Just send it out and spread the word to people. If your email/blog/twitter hits just one person who contributes £1, then you've technically helped contribute that.

So, thanks for reading, and for the help you give. I really hope to be able to pull off an amazing event on 26th January, and show a documentary that highlights a story that I think is pretty interesting.



VENUE CONFIRMED!! Saturday 26th January at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire!

OK, so things finally starting to take shape. it's weird that when I started this is was just an odd idea and now we have a venue and stuff up and a date and lots happening and it's all becoming a little real. Here's the plan for the next few months (bearing in mind that I stopped shaving and cutting my hair until at least one of these tasks are complete:

18th Nov : I finish writing the music for the performance on 26th Jan (maybe shave and cut my hair)
12th Dec : I finish the challenge, and do the first rehearsal that night with whoever has signed up (maybe shave and cut my hair)
26th Jan : Screen the documentary of the challenge, then a musical performance featuring whatever orchestra I've managed to put together, along with my band (www.buswellmusic.com).

I will definitely shave and cut my hair by 26th Jan......

FOR TICKETS TO THE EVENT ON 26TH JAN : Visit O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire website
FOR VIP TICKETS & FRONTROW TABLES : Contact enquiries@daytrippers.org.uk

So, now all I have to do is convince everyone I've met to be a part of this, and pull off a public performance.