28 July 2014

12 tips for the creative freelancer

Fields of flowers at sunset can be so relaxing 
I've been a 'creative freelancer' for a while now: in fact, ever since we moved to Amsterdam eighteen months ago. And it's going alright. Pretty well, even.

I've learned a few things along the way, which seems like really the minimum one can do when embarking on a new venture. So I've made a list of some of these things that I think might be helpful for others.

They apply specifically to me and what I've been doing – which is writing websites and corporate film scripts, performing and teaching improv comedy, producing and hosting storytelling and comedy events, and a smattering of acting and voiceover work. But they are – well, if not universal, at least extrapolatable. Which is only theoretically a word, but most certainly a concept.

Hopefully they'll be useful for you.


25 July 2014

Return to the Edinburgh Fringe

For two shows only, I'll be at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe

I'm pleased to announce, more or less more officially (I'm pretty sure a blogpost qualifies as an official channel), that I'll be back in Edinburgh for the Fringe 2014. And not as a visitor – although there are about 300 shows I want to see – I'll be back doing a very limited run (two shows) of The Pitch.

Or, as it's known in the PBH Free Fringe programme: Ryan Millar in The Pitch!


22 July 2014

So Corfu-sed

I'm just back from Impro Hotel in Corfu, and I'm still completely Corfused.

I was definitely in another world for a full week - and that world was full of sun, laughs, delicious homemade meals served at pre-appointed times, dune buggies, improv revelations, dancing and high quality good times. Although I was technically working (I was there to teach improv), it sure didn't feel like it; in the words of camp director Ralf, there was much party made last week.


03 July 2014

An incomplete guide to Ryan Millers and Millars

That's not a typo. The Canucks new goalie spells his last name with an 'e'. 

A lot of people have been asking me if I'm excited about heading back to Vancouver to play for the Canucks. I would be, if I were doing so.

But I am not.


25 June 2014

Performers: be yourself

As straightforward as it can get. 

I've started teaching a new workshop this Slapdash Festival, named "Get Real". It's called that because it's a snappy title (if I do say so myself), and also to help performers get at something that I think is vital: reality. Or authenticity.

A lack of reality (or commitment, or vulnerability) is one of my biggest turn-offs in improv. And in performance (and people), in general.


23 June 2014

Words, words, words

Words. That's how people communicate. With their mouths, their minds, their keyboards and even their pens. Mouthing the sounds or drawing the shapes of letters that together form words. These words, once written or spoken, carry meaning, so that people can express themselves.

It's important that we understand these individual words. So that we can pursue the meanings of them when combined with other, different, words.


20 June 2014

Life and Death at Sea

At last night's Geekeasy, as part of Slapdash, I delivered a lecture entitled "Life & Death at Sea". The topic  adventure, risk and consequences on and in the ocean  genuinely fascinates me. It's also the first time in recent memory I've done something non-improvised on stage.


17 June 2014

Las Vegas: everything in excess

I've now been to Vegas. And I get why it's so popular: it's wonderful and bright and sleazy; it's the epicenter of hedonism and indulgence. It can be so damn sexy.

Fortunately, we played it cool. We didn't lose our shirts or our heads. We passed up fear and loathing in favour of relaxing and wandering. (And watching World Cup football in the hotel room).

But we did partake in what was on offer: winning a very small amount at blackjack and losing a piffling amount of time and money chasing slot machine dreams. But it was fun, which is great because I like fun. But the perimeter of fun and madness really stretches only so far.