How many of you dress for success? I don’t mean eighties powersuit, Joan Collins shoulder pad style, I mean matching your clothes to suit or alter your mood, asks Emma Hyman, a Development Producer who’s worked through Media Parents.
Let’s say for example, I’m knackered – I have a choice, I can wear grey and brown so everyone will know and stay away or I can wear bright pink and turquoise to brighten my mood and lift my spirits. Let’s be honest here, nobody really wants to see a morose development producer beiging around. Taupe is not the colour that will inspire Fact Ent hits or a sunshine-filled kids’ format or even a meaty factual series. Taupe is the colour of accountants and tax advisors, taupe can be left in the grown-up corner of John Lewis – I’m heading to the sale section, turns out yellow shoes are always going cheap in January!? Borrowing the words from my first TV mentor, the great Sir Peter Bazalgette “I’m not afraid of colour!”
I had a baby not so long ago. My hair and back were often covered in a vomitus slime that only parents can appreciate. My eye bags were so heavy that I looked like I’d been carrying my Tesco shop…on my face. But pass me the red lippy and hey presto, I felt a million dollars (well, more like ten quid but you know what I mean!).
I’ve been working from home for a while now, bashing out kids’ formats for Cbeebies and CBBC (taking advantage of my current brain zone) with my lovely work partner Christopher Pilkington – even getting a funded pilot commissioned. We meet at Bafta every few weeks so I can play at being a grown-up. There is obviously much wardrobe deliberation pre-meet. “Does this look ok?” I ask nervously to my over-honest 9 year old, “Hmm,” she says in a Wintouresque tone, “lose the belt!”
The focus has been fantastic, a sanity saver for those more tedious moments of parenting. Don’t get me wrong, looking after kids is extremely rewarding but so is using my brain for something even more creative than what to make from Playdoh today. On those rare mornings when I actually had a chunk of time to write, I would really think about what to wear for the office (my kitchen table). As shallow as it sounds, I found that if I made a bit of an effort: clean clothes, brushed hair, a bit of the Barry M, then I felt more grown-up, more empowered, more creative! I’m in fine company, apparently Magritte used to put on a suit, walk around the block and enter his own front door every morning to get himself into work mode. And he did alright, didn’t he?!
The last few weeks I’ve been challenging myself to get back into the work place. No more working at home, developing ideas in between shovelling rice cakes into my little ones mouth and dragging my big ones to swimming, art etc etc. I need a break. (Just to clarify in case any future employees are reading this – I don’t mean a slacking break, I mean a break from the domestic.) I was lucky enough to find work through a Media Parents networking event so I need to relaunch again, jumping into something other than the local swimming baths. A new challenge. To think in a team, and write with an end and dress to impress someone other than a one year old. I need a new makeup that isn’t left over from my wedding over ten years ago and most of all I need a new wardrobe. To sum up, I’d love a job – a hectic, pressured, fun-packed, brain-turning, worth-dressing-up-for job.
Having been trained as an Endemol Creative Intern, I spent years developing all sorts of shows for various Indies. I have worked at massive corporations and as part of a two-man team in new companies. I’ve developed everything from fact-ent and factual to quiz shows, Saturday night entertainment, day-time, kids’ shows and everything in between. I get a buzz from sparking off an idea but also love the challenge of cracking a tricky format. I’m a great team-player and really enjoy a good brainstorm but I can also work hard by myself if needs be. I have some big ideas in my head that I’d love to share with a company that is willing to invest in me.