The Graduettes, my sit-com, has just launched online. It focuses on three female graduates, their lesser halves and the crazy situations they get into. It’s loosely inspired by a situation my wife and I found ourselves in – very loosely!
We filmed the six-part series over six days in the summer and it’s been really exciting.
I’d been writing and making my own short films for a long time – since studying a film and TV programme at the now City of Glasgow College. Since having a wee boy, though, I have had to work on that alongside juggling my job as a restaurant manager, performing stand-up and being a dad.
I’d heard about GCU’s MA TV Fiction Writing and thought it sounded amazing but didn’t think I could apply as I didn’t have a degree, but they took me based on my portfolio, which was great. When I was awarded a scholarship by Larkhall Films, I was on cloud nine – I couldn’t have afforded to study without that support.
It’s a fantastic programme. It’s hard work and very intense but I love it as the lecturers are working writers who you can learn so much from and they bring in so many successful industry people to advise us.
The first year I was together with my now wife was turbulent and we turned those experiences into a very dramatic, comic version of our lives together. We took that to the Fringe and to the Glasgow Comedy Festival and eventually entered it into the competition The Sit-com Trials: So You Think You Write Funny? We did really well and we got to perform it at the Edinburgh Festival.
We decided to turn it into The Graduettes, six 10-minute episodes, and now we are promoting the series and looking for investment to turn it into a second series. It’s been a learning curve. I hope that through my course and the skills and portfolio it gives me that I can get a foot in the door of a national programme and eventually I’d like to get my own show.
It’s weird being a student after 15 years but I’m enjoying it. Juggling other responsibilities shouldn’t be a barrier. It does still feel strange to be studying for an MA – like a long hard slog that’s now coming together.
I don’t come from a background where people do this kind of thing, so I was always getting asked when I’m giving it up and there were times when I felt like jacking it in for a job with prospects but I’d go nuts if I didn’t have it. It’s all been worth it.