Last night I emailed Ashley Lopez, CEO of the chain of coffee shops I work for in London. Ashley is fantastic. For a person with so many degrees her email signature looks like Alphabetti-Spaghetti, and a position at the head of a multi-million pound company in one of the toughest cities in the world, she is insanely approachable and down-to-earth. She's also not even 30 yet.
There is absolutely no reason she should have to interact with people like me. On the day before my birthday this year she told me she was going to get me a balloon, and in the middle of our cafe, full of customers, that I WAS WORKING IN AT THAT VERY MOMENT!! I said “a balloon full of cocaine?!”
And she laughed. That's how great Ashley is.
So below is an email I sent her at 11:44pm last night, while sitting in bed at my new flat, which by the way is about 3m above the ground in a wooden loft. The bed, not the flat... the flat is actually a warehouse, and it's on the ground, where warehouses normally live. But my bed is 3m above the ground, so essentially, I sent this email from a cubby-house. As you consider that while reading it, I also want you to imagine a very dynamic, ambitious, and successful young woman sitting at her serious desk in Central London and reading this email. Maybe imagine that you ARE that woman, and in the midst of this fantasy, try to recall how absurd and ridiculous this entire situation is.
Life is great guys. Here's the email.
Okay, so I feel like of all the emails I've ever sent you, if any warrants some sort of official tone, it's this one... but I just... I can't do it. So here.
I don't know whether you heard about the blog I wrote in the closing months of last year, I'll spare you the entire details but it was about a guy I was living with who was basically a sociopath and professional con man, and the end of the whole saga (I was writing it in instalments AS IT HAPPENED) was that a girl who was supposed to move into our flat ended up losing £1000, and Andy (the con man) disappeared with her money and it was horrible.
So. I've moved into this warehouse in Stoke Newington, and I've been thinking that the lounge room is pretty big and a nice space, and with a few chairs and a bit of a reshuffle, would be the perfect space for a comedy show. And as you are no doubt aware, my hour of departure draws nearer with every waking moment - visa runs out August 1st.
So I've decided I'm going to put on a show in my house, I've already set a date and locked down an MC who's a great friend of mine. We're doing it on the 22nd of July (Friday), and I'm going to headline the show with 30-40 minutes of standup, everything I've written in the last two years of living in London and gigging almost every night. And I'm going to record it - I have a friend who I'm meeting with next week to talk about it, he studies film at uni - as a sort of time capsule of my life for the last two years, and where my comedy is at. I guess it'll be my first comedy special... but I don't want to think of it like that because I'm nowhere near good enough to warrant that label yet but whatever GETTING OFF TRACK!!
Finally, the proceeds from the show - I don't want to charge on the door, but I will be asking for donations at the end - will all go to the girl who lost £1000 to Andy the piece of shit con man. I've messaged her and told her the plan, she's not responded properly yet because her exams are on, but from the conversations I had with her she seemed really cool and I think she'll be down for it.
So the reason I'm telling you this is I know department have funded a couple of other creative projects from staff in the past, and I don't know how much yet, but I'm sure camera hire, and comics will cost money which I know I don't have... I could probably call in favours but to be honest I don't really want to make it about me and rinse people of their goodwill, I want to make this something I can do for my friends, rather than something they feel obliged to do for me. I also realise the irony in saying that and then asking you for money hahaha but HEY!! It has to come from somewhere.
I don't have a figure at this stage, this is just me gauging your interest and asking what I'd have to do to organize any sort of funding for this project.
Also consider this a pre-emptive invitation.. I absolutely will not have you not being at my going away party Ashley... it won't just be work people, so you'll be able to camouflage yourself amongst the plebs, so no backing out.
This is probably the best idea I've ever had I think and if I can pull it off I think it'll be a really special evening, so if this sounds like something you think Department would be into funding, I'd love to know how to make that happen.
I hope you got through this email without needing to get up and exercise, I know it was long, as per usual. SOZ!!
Pretty great huh? I mean, actually, upon re-reading it, I've realized that stylistically there are a lot of improvements that could be made. Apparently when I'm trying to tell someone an engaging story over email, with a view towards eventually asking them for some amount of money, I like to start every paragraph with the word 'so'. But that's fine.
She called me today in fits of laughter recalling the email, and told me she'd started reading the blog from the start. I know that I should maybe stop writing to my bosses in such an informal manner, and maybe I will when they stop LOVING IT SO MUCH!! Haha... I'm a fuckhead. You're great Ashley.
Details about the night to come. If you don't already, follow me on Twitter (@AJ_Taco). We'll probably be streaming it on Periscope if anyone who doesn't live in London wants to watch. Also if anyone knows anything about recording live shows, hit me up on Facebook (Aidan 'Taco' Jones), and finally if you ARE in London, and you want to come, it'll be the 22nd of July. Put it in your diary NOW!! I'm leaving London forever the following week, so let's make this night fantastic.
I think that's all.