A Guy, A Girl and Shakespeare – My Blind Date Experience

When a theatre company tweets the following, what do you do?

You apply to go on a Blind Date, of course!

“Why?!” I hear you ask. Curiosity. I definitely don’t get to the theatre as often as I’d like, and I’m single, so why on earth not?

So, after an email from ATG’s Content and Social Media Executive, Lauren Ball, I ventured to the Noel Coward Theatre in Central London last night to see Shakespeare In Love with my blind date.

I had no idea who my date would be (because, it is a blind date), what to expect from the performance or the date itself. I was a nervous wreck!

I arrived to work yesterday in a shirt and tie, which is a lot smarter than usual. My boss asked me if I was off to a job interview! So, of course I had to tell him the reason I was dressed to impress. He thought it was via Tinder, but when I explained it was actually organised via Twitter, I’m not sure if that made it better or worse…

I arrived a bit earlier than expected, collected my ticket then waited in the foyer for the Duty Manager and my date.

My date walked through the door collected her ticket in a similar brown envelope. We spotted each other and check our tickets to discover we were each other’s date!

Becca and I were shown to the bar by the Duty Manager, where we were given complimentary drinks and got to know each other.

It turned out we had a fair amount in common; I went to university near her hometown, she’s also been involved in Scouting and we both didn’t expect to be chosen for the blind date! We were talking for so long that we didn’t hear the announcement to take our seats in the main house and realised with only a few minutes to spare! When we got into the house, we found we had some fantastic seats, with a great view.

Shakespeare In Love itself was very enjoyable. Being the geek that I am, I was very intrigued by the set design and how the main centrepiece moved to create fantastic spaces on stage. And of course, I noticed that no-one was wearing mics and instead they had off stage mics picking up all the vocals, speech and instruments.
The cast were fantastic as well, certainly making me believe that I was actually seeing a young William Shakespeare on stage!

Becca had seen the production before Christmas but with a different cast and sung its praises. This gave me high expectations of the performance ahead for us, and fortunately for her it certainly exceeded them!

During the interval, I found some cards laying around the auditorium. They had the Shakespeare In Love logo on them, with a moustache. The idea was that you took a selfie with it and shared it along with a hashtag. We decided we’d do it after the show as a momento of our evening and share it with ATG.

We did a very 21st century thing after this photo; exchanged Twitter follows instead of phone numbers!

After we parted ways for the evening, Lauren at ATG sent us a ‘feedback’ form for the evening.

We were asked about our first impressions, what we talked about, how the date ended and about our date’s theatre etiquette. I’m pretty sure I was fidgeting throughout the first half!

As well as our date at the Noel Coward Theatre, two others were happening at the same time. After a bit of digging around on Twitter, I found that one was at Once and the other at My Night With Reg.

Lauren has posted the feedback from everyone on the ATG blog, and even added our selfie to it!

The summary of my first ever blind date; it was a fantastic production with wonderful company.

My 365Photo Blog

Last year I tried a 365 Voices project. That didn’t end too well.

At the beginning of this year, 1st January to be exact, my friend Christopher decided to do a 365 project with photos. A photo taken every day of the year.

I thought I’d match him and we’d make it into a little bit of a competition, so I created 365.olver.me.

Now, I’m the only one still going.

So why do a 365 photo project?

It’s not so much about taking amazing photos every day. If they are, then that’s a great thing! But overall it’s more about documenting what I’m up to and taking photos of things around me that interest me.

So far, I’ve taken some amazing shots around London, including the Olympic Park, and at least four photos of food.

But I’ve got myself a proper camera and I’m heading to Edinburgh and Dublin this month. There I hope to take some amazing photos!

Otherwise, you can expect a mix of photos of socks and my friends.

Doing that blog is probably also the reason I haven’t updated here recently, but it details most of my work experiences as well, so do take a look at the work related posts.

Working on Radioplayer with Ford SYNC AppLink

Radioplayer Ford EcoSportLast month I traveled to the HQ of Ford Europe to work with Radioplayer and Create Soho on a video shoot of a product we’ve been working on at All In Media.

At work I’ve been shouting into a black box that sits on my desk, and resembles something like the dashboard in a Ford car (like the one in the photo).

Together with Iain, our developer in Leeds, we’ve been working on getting the Android Radioplayer app working with the Ford SYNC system, so that drivers can control it without looking at their mobile phones.

The app allows drivers to use voice commands like ‘Favourites’ and ‘Recommended’, which will scan through trending and recommend stations and help users discover new stations around them. The commands on the steering wheel and central column emulate a ‘normal’ radio experience, which should feel familiar to most people.

It’s been really exciting working on this project, as it’s something a bit different and I don’t think AIM has done something like this before. It’s also had some trying times; like when the test unit doesn’t like the sound of my voice or simply wants to do something else other than what I want it to!

Today at the Go Digital Conference, Michael Hill (UK Radioplayer Managing Director) demonstrated the app with the video below. During the shoot I assisted with the technical setup of the phone and the connecting it to the Ford SYNC system in the new Ford EcoSport.

You can find out more about Radioplayer at their website, www.radioplayer.co.uk