Photos by Tina Remiz.

This time last week, nearly 100 of us gathered in the Waterstones basement for drinks, laughs, story-sharing and a brilliant panel of collaborative creative professionals who cannot be stopped by funding, freak-outs, or other people’s parameters.

The room buzzed with multi-disciplinary creatives (some disciplines we didn’t even know about!), creative organisations, an amazing panel, and–of course–us, right in the throes of your amazing creative energy. We’re beyond inspired to witness Zealous in person: collaborative, energised, ready for the next project. The evening was a flurry of business cards, giggles, new hellos, and genuine enthusiasm for one another’s work.

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Our panel – one filmmaker, one choreographer, and one painter (all of whom collaborated on a short film after meeting at Zealous X) – imbued a determination and transparency in us all, confessing the importance of failure, their weirdest gigs, and why friend-making matters.

James recalled shooting Hong Kong action remakes with his best friend in a Dorset car park (“Of course we were in our own films … we didn’t know.”) Rhiannon described using dance theatre as therapy to work through her own “Scary Shit” (prior to the show, she dreaded telephone calls with the very organisations that make her work possible – performance venues, art grants, etc.). Merlyn described his journey through an “Imaginary Art Degree” (quoting Good Will Hunting along the way: “You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”).

All in all, it was an amazing night. Actors met filmmakers who met directors and models who also sing and connected with graphic designers and writers. We left no stone unturned (and no bottle empty). It was a glorious evening surrounded by books, big laughs, and truthfulness.

We had a blast at this pilot event and cannot wait for the next one! (Stay tuned – it’s coming soon.)

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Lauren Aguilera Brown

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Storyteller | Writer | Singsong Weirdo | Food Whisperer | Jane of All Trades Founder @monologues_the | Upcoming Album @weheartarts