Fatima was a woman who lived a thousand years ago. Just when her life was stable, something would happen to it like a shipwreck or being kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery. Each time she acquired a new life she acquired a new skill. But it all turned out okay in the end because all the skills she’d acquired enabled her to make a tent for the Emperor of China and she lived happily ever after.
I’ve never been shipwrecked or kidnapped by pirates but I do feel my life is like Fatimas. I’m embarrassed at the number of things I’ve done: acting, singing, writing songs, being signed up by Warner Brothers, being dropped by Warner Brothers, being signed by Sony, being dropped by Sony, running a kung fu school, publishing a book, producing 15 kung fu DVDs, writing 2 novels (that are hiding in my loft).
Maybe it’s the nature of life these days, that many creative people have to do numerous random things in order to survive. But I often feel like a shipwreck. Bits and pieces scattered all over the ocean.
When I was shuttered in the kung fu school with the gang trying to break down the door, my mum was a bit worried about me, and I said, “It’s meant to be.” I don’t know where those words came from but I really meant them. She said, “I don’t believe in that, how is it meant to be?” Panic creeping into her voice.
I didn’t know the answer at the time but now I realise it was meant to be because all the skills I’ve acquired are enabling me to make my version of Fatima’s tent: a feature film.
Some people are reluctant fundamentalists and I’m a reluctant producer, going on crash courses at Raindance to learn about tax breaks for investors and SEIS and film tax relief. The only difference between Harvey Weinstein and myself is I don’t have an office with pot plants, and as I write this my daughter’s balanced on my lap chewing a rubber giraffe.
Frustration is building up inside me because all I want to do is start creating the soundtrack, learning my lines and making the film. But frustration is a good thing because it’s like a damn, building and building so when the gateway opens there ‘ll be a flood.