BBC New Comedy Award 2012 hits Birmingham

Tonight I’m returning to Birmingham for the next heat of the BBC New Comedy Award 2012.

We’ll be at the Glee Club from 7.30pm with ten more comics looking to earn themselves a place in one of our semi-finals.

So far the standard has been ridiculously high and I’ve had great fun meeting everyone and filming the shows. Here’s the films I’ve produced so far:

I’ve got to run and catch a train very shortly, but I hope to see some of you there. We’re also heading to Cardiff, London and Brighton on our first round tour – tickets for these shows as well as tonight’s Brummie barrel o’laughs can be found here.

Find out more information about the BBC New Comedy Award here.

The Show: Redefinition

Birmingham's Bullring Centre has always sought to be at the forefront of technological developments.

When I worked at the lovely Created in Birmingham shop at the Bullring over a year ago, I remember Chris Unitt telling me how he'd been working with the centre to help them establish a reputation as the most tech-savvy mall in Europe. As the Bullring is also a hotspot for roadshow events such as Britain's Next Top Model, Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance and Gok's Fashion Fix, it appears apt that it should look to blend large scale events with their technological ambition.

The Show: Redefinition has been described in the mysterious video below as a 'breathtaking collaboration between fashion and technology'. In a nutshell, the idea is to showcase eight hot looks for the new fashion season using a combination of real and 3D 'volumetric' models and holographics, including 2010 BNTM winner Tiffany Pisani (and anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that I'm a Next Top Model obsessive!) There're rumours of another special guest in the works, but the Bullring are keeping it zipped for the time being.

The show itself will be part of Style Birmingham Live, an event that once led to my friend being hauled onstage by Trinny and Susannah, being stripped of her things behind a makeshift quilt – held up by fellow 'victims' no less – and made over into a party girl (she's an Oxford scholar).
 

Despite the show not turning its audience into virtual catwalkers, it will be showing you where you can shop to recreate the looks and will include garments from Reiss, COS, French Connection and my current favourite Forever 21. You'll also be able to create the hair and make-up by paying a visit to Regis (in Debenhams) and The Body Shop.

Being a fashion telly show junkie, I'm most excited by the prospect of behind-the-scenes videos, which may even give away a few hints about how the effects used in the show were produced. If you can't make the show itself they'll also be style guides based around the looks in the show, revealing exactly how you can reinvent yourself as a Hollywood siren or a gothic beauty.

The run of shows kicks off on Friday and, if you missed the chance to enter the Bullring's VIP ticket competition, you'll still be able to catch a glimpse of the action by watching from the balconies overlooking the Lower West Mall at the following times:

Friday 23rd September: 10.30am, 1pm, 3pm, 5.30pm

Saturday 24th September: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm

Sunday 25th September:  11.30am, 1pm, 3pm

Also, despite the competition being closed, I was having a cheeky browse of the Bullring Birmingham website when I discovered the Rewards page which is amazing – there's currently a Dune discount offer going on (shoe heaven)!

So will you be going? Have you got a coveted VIP seat? I expect your updates via Twitter please!

For more information, take a look here: http://www.browsebullring.co.uk/fasion-news/the-show-redefinition/

 

This is a sponsored post but don't worry – if I don't like it, it wouldn't appear on here!

Viral video by ebuzzing

The all new Get Frank podcast!

I have just finished uploading my very first Get Frank podcast!

I may no longer be working for Amazing Radio, but I want to continue to support new and emerging artists, and I thought that producing and presenting my own podcast would be a good way of doing it.

I’m intending to produce a 30-40 minute episode every 2-4 weeks (depending on the response to the pilot episode). The idea of the podcast is that it will feature a mixture of acts that I have seen live (or am planning to) and will centre around a featured artist who will guest on the show by way of an interview.

The first episode features Wylam five-piece Vinyl Jacket who are currently promoting debut single Painting Stations. The single, which has been released by new Newcastle-based label The Calico Print, has found a home on many a radio station, including BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio, and should see the boys recruiting a strong fan base. The guys make fantastic interviewees, and I really couldn’t think of a band I’d rather have helping me out on my first episode.

Alongside Vinyl Jacket there’s also mentions for Pandas and People, Let’s Buy Happiness, Grandfather Birds and Pilots, plus plays for Craig Wosahlo, Baskin’s Wish, The Carpels, Toodar and Mammal Club (as remixed by Mr Blazey).

The real challenge I’m currently struggling with is the editing process. This isn’t because I’m inexperienced in using sound editing software, but because I don’t have a professional program intended for the task on my computer. (I miss Adobe Audition greatly!) Currently I’m editing interviews and preparing song extras (with fades/transitions) in Audacity, loading into iTunes and multi-tracking it all together in Garage Band. For the links themselves I’m recording with a Zoom H2 microphone straight into Garage Band. When I was editing the pilot I kept having to rerecord ins and outs because, unbeknownst to me, the clips kept cropping. Once I’m safely back in employment I’ll save up and invest in a copy of Logic Express, and then I can think more about audio imaging and the concept of the podcast itself.

If you have any comments, questions or would like to be featured on the next Get Frank podcast then drop me a line at frankiepromotes@gmail.com. Find out more about the podcast and how to subscribe here.

Deposit Dilemma – Please Help!

I received a letter from my previous landlords/agency (they own all of the properties that they let out) and was shocked (and quite distressed.)

My deposit was £400. I left my room in the condition I found it (except maybe a little cleaner!) and cannot believe what I am being charged for. We received a letter outlining fines and costs (i.e unclean toilet – £25) and made sure all requests made by the landlords were completed to a high standard.

So why am I now being told my deposit has had £148.20 deducted because of a so called missing key (that firstly was not for my room, and secondly, was returned,) windows of an unspecified location (mine were bloomin shiny!) as well as blatently ridiculous ‘administration fees’ and a service charge (for an inspection!?!?!?!?!)

The appalling letter from rooms4every1.com

The letter also features incredibly poor grammar and presentation. The word ‘whatsoever’ has been separated into three words, my name has a small ‘f’ and a scribbed out ‘C’ in front of it and also a lack of proper signature at the bottom of the letter. Accounts is not a person and whoever on earth they are, they clearly didn’t do very well in maths class.

My cheque, which I’m unsure if I can post has £251.20 written in the numerical amount space and the written amount is a barely legible ‘one hundred and fifty one pounds’….so they’re trying to keep an extra £100.20 (or get the cheque to bounce so that I don’t get anything.)

If anyone can help me. I’m still a student and not earning much for my current work experience position (so I need this money) please, PLEASE let me know. I’m thinking of making a trip to Birmingham on Saturday (in fact I AM) so that I can go to the office and express my feelings….

The incorrect cheque (bank details covered)

Thanks everyone.

Frankie x

Gearing up for Get Frank

The news in briefs (aka bulletpoints)

  • I’ve just finished my last bit of work for uni and now just have  a dissertation proposal meeting (weds) and a 9am-5pm audition on tues to go.
  • Am about to launch a podcasting project on Burnfm.
  • Have been offered (and taken) the position of Generation Next Future Media Production Assistant for Channel 4 (more on that later.)
  • Have a featured open mic slot at The Phoenix, Coventry on Monday
  • Am preparing for my first gig with a full band at The Rainbow on Friday 29th May…

So firstly the ‘big gig…’ I’ve been dreaming of playing The Rainbow in Digbeth for over a year. It’s literally my favourite Brummie venue so I can’t believe I’m getting to play there. I’m playing with the wonderful Dan Smith, who I played at the Yardbird with in March. You can check out my myspace or my youtube if you’ve not heard my music before. All tracks on myspace are available to download for free! I’ve got five extra people helping me so expect glockenspiel, keyboards, guitars, drums, bongoes and a saxophone…

Also big thanks to all the lovely tweets about the Channel 4 internship I was very pleased too! I’m going to be focused on the Big Brother website and a few others I’ve not been told about yet. It’s my first proper paid internship so hopefully I won’t be too overdrawn at the end of summer like I was last year.

 

Hope to see you at the Rainbow on Friday!

Frank x

 

Swine Flu – How to strike the balance between fear and ignorance

The current subject of major international focus is the Swine Flu.  Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that – it’s probably the most talked about thing on the internet right now, seemingly stealing the focus from the ever depressing recession. Being a student I’ve felt slightly cushioned from the talk of unemployment and bankers’ distress, preferring to concentrate on my deadlines and my final year of study before I’m thrown into a world of economic turmoil.

When I last checked today, just before starting write this article, it seems that there have been 91 cases of Swine Flu confirmed by laboratory testing in America (51 of those in New York) and sadly one death (a child in Texas.) There have been five UK cases affirmed, with one woman being treated from her home in Redditch. On the TV as I am currently writing a news anchor reports from outside a health centre in Northfield reporting that ‘we must hope that the threat in the West Midlands remains mild’ and that a victim’s uncle could not obtain tamiflu from 6 different pharmacies. If this was a confirmed case of tamiflu then I am sure that the patient would have been given tamiflu directly by the hospital so I’m not entirely sure what that victim was suffering from… (I’d been briefly watching Newsnight on the other side…)

The following was published from this article on the BBC news website:

The BBC’s Alex Bushill in Paignton, Devon

No school expected to be at the centre of a national media storm, but for the pupils of Paignton Community and Sports College in south Devon, there were to be even more shocks and surprises.

A little after 1300 BST this afternoon, the 2,000 pupils were told that one of their friends had contracted swine flu from a recent trip to Mexico. They did not know it, but already satellite vans and cameramen were gathering outside the school gate and the prime minister had announced on the floor of the Commons that a 12-year-old girl at the school was ill with the virus.

Although she is now responding well to drugs, there is a great deal of anger amongst parents and pupils alike that they were not told in advance.

In amongst the tears, parents came to collect their children as the school was closed. Reeling not just from the shock that swine flu had arrived on their doorstep, but in the manner that they had heard the worrying news.

It is the content of stories like the one above that make me worry about the way that the potential pandemic is being handled. The fact that 2,000 students and their parents reacted with hysteria surely reflects what a nation constantly accompanied by the media must be enduring. I myself have become uneasy this evening particularly after seeing footage of Dr Margaret Chan of the World Health Organisation officially raising the alert over the level of swine flu to 5 – one away from the level of ‘pandemic (human – human transmission in two countries.) This means that countries must ready their ‘pandemic preparedness plans.’ In Britain this appears to be stockpiling as many doses of tamiflu as possible (and hoping that the virus does not mutate to become untreatable.)

All of this is news that we, as members of the public are perfectly entitled to of course and most coverage by the media has been greatly informative, particularly by sites such as the BBC. However, for the next few weeks I would not even consider buying a tabloid newspaper for fear of seeing sensationalized pictures or ‘survivors stories.’ For example this story on The Sun’s website starts to read as a fairly factual piece until a silly picture of random people arriving at Heathrow airport is followed by text in bold to make you feel INDIGNANT AND BETRAYED BY THE GOVERNMENT the piece ends by saying that ’25 million could catch it here in months.’ Surely this is scaremongering? The content about the lack of masks is completely unnecessary, particularly as we have already been informed that masks are only useful to members of the medical profession as touching the masks after using them renders them pointless.

So what I have deducted from the oodles of internet, tv and print info is that people should carry tissues, get out the old festival anti bacterial gel and to not sneeze on people. To be honest I’m going to be doing this namely because I have a bit of a cold at the moment and my hayfever is rather chronic and is beginning to flare up.

Personally I am going to try not to worry; I have an exam tomorrow and an interview for an internship with Channel 4 as part of their Generation Next scheme next week. My exam is a practical performance of an Alan Aykbourne play called Invisible Friends. In it I play an angry middle aged dad and the voices of a tv, including a speech about rising inflation which suddenly feels all the more relevant!

The Channel 4 interview is for a new media post, as an assistant to the producer of the Big Brother website. When the program is on each Summer I’d say I probably visit the website more than I watch the program itself so therefore I’m quite excited about it! Aside from being keen generally my experience online and also through running Burnfm.com I’d say I’ve got as much a chance as any. As long as they don’t think I’m too young or don’t like that I’ve not finished my degree hopefully I’ll do well. The internship is from July to mid september and therefore I’ll be free to devote all my time to the job. (Put it this way; I really, really want to do it!) A task created video of Ulrika Johnson and Verne Troyer performing the Diana Ross and Lionel Richie duet, Endless Love from this year’s Celebrity Big Brother got over 81,000 views in a matter of days (the task was to get at least 10,000) which shows exactly how cross platform content is becoming increasingly popular amongst mainstream audiences. 

Hope you are all equally well and that this article hasn’t caused a panic!

Frank

Get Frank are go…

Tonight myself and Nick play the Victoria. Here’s a video of Nature Boy that we recorded the other day during practice

I’m playing glock and Nick is on guitar tonight. I might play a little precussion, however I’m a rubbish multitasker.

Its £3 NUS or £4 without. 

Last night I played an impromptue set for visiting London based act The Rileys. According to my friend and Burn’s head of music, Fuzz, two of the guys from the band came into the Burn studio to mention the gig and asked if she knew a potential support act. Fuzz called me. I had to go it alone without Nick but It was great fun. I’ve played the Bar Academy with Pyschonaut before (on bass) but playng on a stool to people not there to see you is a different but rewarding experience….and slightly alienating when you have two of the headlining act cheering directly in front of you. As singer Joe said, “It’s like a private gig!”

Don’t forget you can download some of my demos for freeness here.

Hope you see you tonight – come and say hi…

Frank x

I went out…

I went to see a student production of the play Art which people went crazy for a few years back when in was playing the West End.

I have no idea why.

The joke wore thin after 5 minutes….

 

However myself and friends went out afterwards and were amazing by the Yardbird. There were some amazing breakdancers there. I’m so there every third friday of the month from now on…

 

Perhaps I was scared of the camera

Perhaps I was scared of the camera