The Secret to How a Pack of Playing Cards can Transform Your Social Life

Stop. Flip apps and set an alarm. It should go off the next time you're in a social situation and remind you that you should take 30 short seconds to pause, breath and take a look around you.You'll see the faces and postures of the social group, you'll see conversation, you'll see gestures and you'll [...]


Harness the Power of Accents and Dialect (and Know the Difference)

Whether you’re trying to figure out how you come across to people or creating a character for the page or stage, one of the key considerations in how they or you communicate is accent & dialect. An audience (reader/audience/colleague/friend etc.) will connect meaning to your natural state and choices based on stereotypes & prejudice, and [...]

The Only Way to Treat the Things You’re Scared to Do

You're walking through the woods, minding your own business, enjoying the song of birds, the buzz of bees, the hiss of a snake... wait, what? Unusual in Forest of Dean perhaps but not unheard of; just go with it. You see the snake, you think snakes are dangerous, they chomp their scary jaws into happy [...]

Which Show Are You Watching? How We Make Our Thoughts Come True (and what we can do about it).

When the director of a theatre performance creates a show, they should always sit in more than one seat. That's the advice I used to give acting students who wondered why I would dart around the auditorium like a coked-up bluebottle during every scene. In a 500 seat theatre, you're making 500 different performances, as [...]

What’s the Opposite of Anxiety?

Anxiety is a modern pandemic. Not because it's in any way new of course - no sane person could possibly think that being a peasant or facing down a bear armed with a stick wasn't a touch stressful - but the way we have learned to use the word; THAT'S new. You feel it in [...]

The People It’s Still “OK” to Discriminate Against

Not far from my house is a shop with a familiar sign: No more than two children allowed at any one time. I remember seeing a similar sign when I was a child myself and they were around in one form or another for a long time before that. You see there's something in the [...]

Be Mindful of the Gap Between Research and Reporting

Mindfulness is one of the most abused terms in the English language at the moment and the massive gap between its study, the media and the claims of some of its practitioners is yawning ever more widely. The Financial Times today runs this article that confidently proclaims that Mindfulness at work is not quite what [...]

The Hiding of the Secret

All the way back at the dawn of time, the gods came together to review their latest creation. And they weren't all happy; not in the least “This ‘human’ is an entertaining sort,” said one, “I do like their spirit...” “Indeed,” said laughed another “nothing seems to stop their exploration of the world we have [...]

A Cure for Writers Block (Warning: here be dragons)

There's little more horrifying to a writer than a blank page and a winking cursor. I mean it's literally winking at you. Bastard. We talk about writers block like it's a disease that we can catch We talk about writers block like it's a disease that we can catch - I can't come round, I have [...]

The Magic Bullet for Dealing with Difficult People

You can't get away from the fact that every so often, sometimes in quick succession, you're going to meet a real asshole or ten. These come in two forms: one is the kind that you create. In actual fact the person isn't all that bad but your image of them - what we call the [...]