1000 followers. 12 days of Giveaways and 1 attempt to make a good first impression.
Winners announced and a new out-take video on YouTube.
This week’s been epic. I’m back in London after a fantastic Christmas and New Year in Cumbria with a bold set of resolutions: to get back into shape, work hard on my blog, workshop my musical, and find a nice guy. Ambitious I know, nice guys are hard to find. I’m still eating left over dessert and chocolate from Christmas, and I’m still trying to cast the musical. But I am delighted by the response I have had to my blog.
In just twelve days, I reached 1000 followers. It goes without saying I was overwhelmed. I had been out to dinner on Saturday night with my friend Chris. Chris and I had met at the Tristan Bates Theatre when he was a set designer, he then helped me design my debut play Fragments there. It’s fair to say I was already drunk, we had been for dinner at Nandos and were surprised to discover to serve bottles of prosecco for £17! We ended up, as we often do, in Freedom bar in Soho, famed for its basement club, dance poles, and stagey clientele. It was almost midnight when the notification came through to my phone that I had hit 1000 followers. I was elated. To have built something up from nothing and to see it doing so well literally filled me with joy.
It’s fair to point out that the abundance of new followers was categorically down to the 12 Days of Giveaway campaign that I’ve been running, and I have to thank the generosity of the friends who helped me get hold of all the prizes. Although it was a clever way to kick start my blog and round of followers, the Giveaway campaign was also an opportunity for me to some charities, with donations made to the LMTO, Shelter, the Invictus Games Foundation, Stars Foundation for Cerebral Palsy and the family of Arron Hough.
I try, as most of us do, to do good deeds everyday. It makes me feel good to do something for someone else, and as well as giving me something to work hard and focus on, my blog has given me a chance to reach out to people I have never even met. I announced the twelve winners this morning, and was taken aback by how good it made me feel, to imagine that in a small way I had helped to make their day.
Kay Gallagher won the Mary Poppins DVD, she read my post saying ‘This blog is a love letter to theatre’ and replied “#loveit Looking forward to following your posts.”
Andy McGowan won the signed Suessical programme, courtesy of Robbie Fell. He said “Amaaazing!!! Absolutely loved the show!”
Justin Williams won the Westend Christmas signed programme, saying that the donation to Shelter was a lovely thought.
Rebecca Byrne won the @ThatStageyBlog mug.
John Preston was chuffed to win the LMTO A Christmas Carol signed programme.
Jo Bryan won the Old Vic’s A Christmas Carol signed programme and play text, which was arranged through Eugene McCoy.
Kay Adeola, a new friend and follow, has been incredibly kind and supportive since my very first tweet, offering kind words and encouragement, and I was delighted that she won the signed programme from the Nativity musical, which was donated by Oscar Conlon-Morrey.
The signed Bat Out of Hell programme which was thanks to producer Jack Maple, and Jordan Luke Gage and Simon Gordan was won by Michelle Lyons, who said “What an amazing prize! Would make a great gift for my partner who has had a really tough year due to my health”.
Michelle Hartley won the Dreamers programme and CD, she said “My 13 yr old son would love the chance to win, he’s totally hooked on the track “Red” after he listened to @TomHier on Soundcloud, he just can’t stop singing it, just as well I absolutely love it too. Beautiful!”
Zoe Dignan won the White Christmas signed programme, saying “OMG this musical was insane!! The cast were brilliant, costumes and set were stunning! I would be so grateful for a signed programme!”.
Laura (@gingertop8) won the Christmas Carol programme signed by Simon Callow.
Farah Elmer won the signed programme from Snow White saying “Wow oh wow I’d love to win Congrats on a blog that’s unique & interesting Infact it’s even sparkling I’m a bit of a magpie so it really caught my eye I’d like to get closer to the shows So this is one way to be near Here’s hoping I'll be smiling from ear to ear. Happy New Year”.
Before I closed the draw I made one final push for retweets, and made my first YouTube video. I asked my friend Marc to help me film it. All I wanted to do was look into the camera, say my name, say thank you, then list and hold up all twelve prizes, before asking people to subscribe to my YouTube video. It should have been easy to do in under a minute. It took 34 attempts, a lot of giggling, and Marc wanting to strangle me by the end. You can watch all the out-takes in a special video I uploaded to YouTube. https://youtu.be/SIYhmR4bnIk
I really, really want to thank everyone who is following me on Twitter and Instagram, and everyone who has viewed any of my blogs and videos. I have a lot of exciting plans for the blog which I can’t wait to share with you.