Being here, now.
Well, I don’t know about you but it’s been ruddy mental here these past few months. For one thing, the recession appears to be well and truly over (hurray!) and the voice world is a-booming. In the past few months I’ve voiced a bunch of stuff for all sorts of fab clients, for all sorts of projects on all sorts of platforms. The variety of jobs that are coming through is brilliant – every day really is different.
I’ve had a monster chest infection and in February I took some time off (voicing while panting gives totally the wrong impression to a listener) but was I idle? On the contrary. I set up a publishing company and wrote a book! The book’s called You Are Here – a mindful travel journal and is all about, well, travelling mindfully.
I’ve been practicing mindfulness for yonks now and for me, it’s a very powerful mental tool that helps keep me grounded. It helps me make deliberate choices in my life rather than stumbling about just reacting, from thing to thing. Mindfulness is all about being fully aware of every moment. (There’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s pretty much Mindfulness 101).
I love the idea that wherever you are, no-one has ever experienced what you’re experiencing RIGHT NOW in quite the same way as you’re doing right here, in this moment. That got me thinking about my holidays (or precious lack of them) and how I spend my time off. My holidays seem to go by so terribly quickly almost without noticing them. My colleague Rich Sweetman went on holiday back in February (a whistle-stop tour of the Far East). I thought that if I went on a holiday like that, what would I want to take from it? What would I want to notice?? And from that, the concept for the travel journal was borne.
The book’s split into three sections: Preparing, Experiencing and Reflecting. It gets you to think about your holiday in a totally new way and – hopefully – get better value from every single moment. The book encourages you to think in fresh, new ways and focus on things like Adrenaline Rushes, The Comfort of Strangers, Successful and Unsuccessful Shoes, Random Acts of Kindness and even holiday Horrors.
There’s an audio version of the book too (of course there is!) so have a listen and BY ALL MEANS buy!
To help promote the book, we made a short film. We wanted it to be fun, evocative and give a sense of what the book’s about. Above all, we wanted our viewers to feel inspired to find out more and (dare we say it!) actually buy the book.
The film was made by Volume2Volume and features my cartwheeling son, Joe. We spent a lot of time on the art direction – getting the colours, the locations, the objects and the colour-grading just right. The sound design was also a big part of it. Our production team created sound effects and Foley for all the audio you can hear in the film. The music was written and played by my husband, David Birtles. (My daughter’s foot’s in the film too!) So it’s pretty much a family affair.
The film’s called ‘Discovery.’ A curious boy finds a travel journal in an old suitcase. What secrets does it hold?
Watch it here. Enjoy!