Where I’m At Right Now.

Photo on 20-02-2016 at 11.36

Recently I’ve been feeling really fed up. Continue reading

How To Stay Organised For The Naturally Scatterbrained

the messiest wall everIt’s that time of year when everybody is trying to better themselves and fill every minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run. I’m past the point of trying to implicate massive changes into the way I work; I have a really flawed working mechanism but I’m used to it! I work freelance and juggle a lot of projects on a daily basis. I often get comments like “How do you fit it all in? You must be so organised” which is ridiculous as the inside of my brain is CHAOS.

I’m naturally a very scattered person; I’m that annoying type who has to make a big mess to produce anything. Picture the kid in school who has to pull all the paints out of the box to make the exact shade they want, spills half the paint on themselves and then forgets to tidy up after. That’s me! Over the years I’ve found a few ways to keep organised and I thought I’d share them below.

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Explain To Others What Is Going On

For me this is step one of doing ANYTHING. After years of living at home with my Mum “tidying” away (read: destroying) whatever I was working on, these days I’ve learnt that the very first thing I need to do is tell somebody else that I’m doing it. This ranges from “I’m writing a daily plan for the next month and I’ve put you in the first box of each day” to “Don’t touch the box of insects on the table” to “the lights need to be re-glittered in twelve step stages in the car”. Expressing your intention to another living person (or in e-mail or whatever) makes it a bit more real and also helps you keep yourself accountable with whatever task you’re doing. Also, those are genuinely all things I’ve said in the last 24 hours.

Last-Minute Task Lists

This is a big one for me, I’ll reach midweek and tasks seem to piling up out of nowhere. The physical process of writing down a list of what I need to do is a really useful thing to do just before I go to bed.

Carry Something Extra

I constantly have piles of music, clothes, props or whatever that need to go somewhere in my car, bags for the charity shop and packages to post. I’ve made it my rule that every time I leave the house I have to take something either to the car/post office/charity shop or whatever. This means I avoid having to run a load of “moving stuff around” errands at the weekends because I’ve worked it into the week.

Use Lists Wisely

KEEP YOUR LISTS IN THE SAME PLACE. Don’t have a reminders list on your Reminders app, a list in your notes, a list in 3 separate notebooks, a list on your whiteboard. Keep all your lists in the same place! I learned this the hard way after years of frantically running from app to app.

Stop Using Paper

This is my big resolution for this year. I’m a sucker for stationary and there was a point this summer where I had about 18 notebooks on the go – one separate for each project. This is crazy! It’s much to have a couple of saved documents, and save physically writing stuff down for other things (i.e. daily lists as mentioned above). Try and digitise as many documents as you can – it’s better for the environment, more efficient management-wise and you don’t have to lug a library around wherever you go. There’s nothing like calmly using the search box on your computer as opposed to tearing your room apart and rifling through half the stock of Paperchase for one specific detail.

Don’t Touch It Twice

This is something I’ve been training myself to do. Don’t read a message and then respond to it later basically – either read the e-mail and reply, or don’t check it then. I’m the worst for a middle of the night message check and then marking stuff as unread or having to favourite tweets to deal with later. It’s just a really poor use of time!


So there we go! Nothing that breaks the mould but a few things I’ve learned along the way. I’m thinking about sharing a couple more posts on time and project management, working from home and being freelance – so watch this space if you think that sounds good!



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If you’re not familiar with my project Quizcats, Quizcats is a 10 piece band and we put on events that combine live-band karaoke with a pub quiz. The nights are themed (films, musicals, 90s etc) and end up superfun in a silly, easy way: dancing, costumes, prizes for best team name and so on. I spend most of my time working on Quizcats – sorting all aspects of the show and promoting it.

Next Sunday we’re doing a Christmas themed show, Quizmas. I am SO excited!! I didn’t think I could get through this month without telling you about it – it’s been my sole focus for so many weeks and I’ve dedicated myself to the project. This show has a few festive surprises – we have a Christmassy photobooth (I’m secretly jealous I can’t get involved with this!) and the rest of the band (the 9 guys in the pictures) will all be dressed in seasonal attire, complete with me in a ridiculous Santa dress. I can’t wait to see what the audience wear!

We get a lot of comments from the audience on how much fun they have and I think it’s genuinely because (as cheesey as it sounds) we, the band, have so much fun on stage. I put in a lot (a LOT) of unpaid hours to the job, but the minute I get into rehearsals with the guys or up on stage with Chris it’s like I’m having the time of my life. The shows are at the forefront of my mind for such a long time, occupying so much stress and toil, but on the night I just basically go on stage and have a ball.I think the place I’m really happiest is performing in front of an audience and the Quizcats boys are just such an awesome bunch, every show we do feels like we’re just hanging out and having a great time. To have an entire audience join in dancing along and cheering with you is indescribably fun!

I’ll definitely share some pictures of the event itself once it’s happened! If you’re London based and want to come then use the code “TapeParade” for 40% off tickets. And let me know so I can come and say hello! #Quizmas :)



Dubai & Mauritius

I’m currently in Mauritius, a tiny island off the coast of Africa best known as a honeymoon destination. I’m not here for a holiday but sadly due to a family situation that is reaching crisis point. This trip was completely unplanned and last-minute, arising at the most inconvenient time in the way these things tend to. We had a few days stopover in Dubai (as you may have seen from this jubilant post) and I am now in Mauritius. Mauritius is one of my favourite places in the world and I’ve written a lot about it before.

Even given the present circumstances I’m grateful to be here in this beautiful country, although I feel very displaced right now. I had planned for September and October to be about recording, rooting myself in projects for the next couple months, writing round the clock and laying the foundations for next years work. Instead I’m a million miles away from home, trying to reschedule and mentally readjusting to effectively pausing my life for a bit. I feel like somebody’s taken over the reins for a bit and it’s pretty bizarre. If I don’t get much chance to blog in the next few weeks.. you know where I am, and I’ll try and share this incredible place on Instagram (@lailapictures) from time to time as well. 

Apple Tea and Annie – Perceiving Ourselves

copper leaf flower ivy dorking halls arts exhibitRecently I’ve been thinking a lot about how we present ourselves. I’m not the kind of person who really goes in for a lot of care or thought when it comes to my outward appearance – and I don’t just mean my physical appearance, I mean my outward behaviour, the things I say, how I’m perceived. I suppose I’m quite self-involved in that I never stop to think how people see me, and on another level I guess I figured I can’t control how people see me anyway, so why bother? How I come across to other people isn’t on my radar at all and consequently I’m not very self-aware – I leave most of the observations to others.

One of my friends takes pride in essentially curating herself – heavily editing her online profiles, her outfits and even her life choices so that they fit in with the aesthetic and ambience she wishes to inspire in people. She spends a lot of time on pinterest and blogs, looking for people she’d like to be like; Brigitte Bardot, Lolita, Princess Peach. She has a thousand self-portraits. I have another friend who celebrates wearing bright clothes and has an “edgy” style, something that has come to define her and which she says makes her appear more confident to other people, despite her insecurities. I’m the opposite of both those thought processes. I rarely base my choices on what fits in with how I wish to be perceived. In fact, I’m the opposite. I obviously choose to wear clothes I like, or listen to music I like, but I don’t think apart what all these disparate choices combine into and what kind of impression they, and consequently I, might leave on a person.

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I’m aware that perhaps if I cared more about how I came across I could create a more interesting persona for myself, or build a bigger audience. Maybe I’m naive to think that just allowing myself to do what I want and letting that dictate who I am is enough to make for an interesting, likable person. I’m now in my mid-twenties, and it’s an interesting perspective. Most of my friends are a few years out of university and in the creative sector, like me, and my friend tapestry is a patchwork of those achieving their dreams, those taking the scenic route and living life to the full, those stuck in a bit of a rut and those stressing out that they have no idea what to do next. I tend to think of myself as largely ok; certainly nowhere near the top of the success stories but doing alright in my chosen career and happy with myself.

I choose the things I like, and whatever jumbled, mixed-up collage that creates (for example, right now: drinking apple tea, listening to Frank Sinatra, sat in the garden in shorts and an Annie Golden t shirt, writing) is who I am. I just accept it. Perhaps a more stylised ideal of myself would be sat in a London park, wearing a pretty gingham dress and eating fresh bagels. Or drinking coffee, listening to Chet Baker and wearing black. Who cares? I don’t really aspire to be either of those tableaus. All I am is the version of me that’s happened today. I don’t really aspire to appear any different to who I actually am and whatever I actually do, and I don’t read too much into this; the tableaus are what they are; guided by my tastes and impulses alone with no guiding hand to curate, to edit, to align. I never think “I want to be the kind of person who does this”. I just do what I want. And maybe as I get older, that’s not enough?

My Job

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Today we’re going to find out what I actually do! Despite having a ‘Career’ category on this blog, “I don’t really understand your job” is a statement I’ve encountered a fair few times in the blog world recently. People never ask me in real life as everyone I know is either in the creative arts themselves or knows me directly through a job. So I thought it was time to be a bit clearer here on the blog – I’m warning you now it’s a wordy post!

I would describe my job as a musician, which is purposefully very broad as I don’t like to label or pin myself down too much. I also rarely use the word freelance as I think with arts it’s a given! I have a very broad skillset thanks to lot of varied training, so to be more specific I would possibly get looked over for certain jobs. Sometimes I include other words like director, writer, researcher, teacher and composer. What it really means is that I do a variety of different jobs at the same time, mostly centred around music. Some jobs last only a couple of weeks, some 3-6 months and some have been constants for years, so my schedule changes weekly.

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I rarely post about my current work and jobs on here as it changes so regularly, and also, it’s all covered elsewhere! I maintain a very friendly and informal mailing list (Lailaletter) and also have a page and website. But for the purposes of this post, I’ll tell you about my current jobs and the sorts of things they involve. It’s not a perfect overview but it is current!


Teaching – I’ve been doing this since I was in Sixth Form. This job involves regular communication with parents, submitting pupils for exams, lesson planning, dealing with new enquiries and writing report cards, as well as actually teaching the lessons on weekly basis. Unofficially, I also spend a lot of time helping my GCSE, A-Level and University pupils. They’re learning what to do, how to get into the industry, how to survive financially, what their strengths are and much more. Teachers have a special relationship with students and can really offer a lot of guidance and perspective.


Quizcats this is a subdivision of my business WOLF PACK. We run themed pub quizzes which involve a live band and karaoke. I’m on an entrepreneurship scheme with this project and have regular meetings with my mentors. My work at the moment involves promotion, writing arrangements, managing the band, controlling social media, booking shows, maintaining the website and dealing with enquiries – mostly related to our upcoming show in 3 weeks time. I started both of these from scratch and did the concept and logos for both.

TAPE PARADE not this blog but the songs! This “job” is really me doing what I want with my songs – at the moment I’m writing an albums worth of material that deals with my grief over losing my best friend last year. I’m also preparing a bunch to be recorded. This job earns the least money but is by far the most important to me. At other times this job may involve booking and promoting gigs or communicating with labels and agents.

Depping – on piano, bassoon, voice, clarinet, ukulele and accordion. Depping means I cover for absent players in orchestras, gigs, musical theatre concerts.

Laila, Emily, cello case, rehearsing, lovely headlaila dancing around office wikimania 2014 tapeparade londonLaila Woozeer at Sura

So that’s my “job” at the moment. It’s a relatively quiet time at the moment; I chose to take on less work after a heavy couple of months last year. I’ve got at least 3 new projects in the next couple of months so this post will be outdated in about two weeks! I’m quite proud of my body of work; I’ve created a lot of things, worked on some good shows and I’ve been fortunate to get to perform a lot. That’s really when I come to life! If you want to hear or see any of my work, then there are links to everything here, or join my newsletter. It’s basically an e-mail version of the life updates I used to occasionally post. Let me know what you think!

I hope things are a little clearer now! It’s been a fun 7 years of working entirely in music and creative arts and I’m grateful to be doing all the things I always wanted to. I realised whilst writing this that I could branch into various topics; CVs, networking, surviving money wise, time management, etc… let me know if you’re interested. :)
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Lovely Head and Frankenstein
computer laptop apple girl working career tapeparade blog blogging

LDF Launch Party

C4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaboration
London Design Festival was about a month ago but I just finished sorting all these photos from the launch party! C4CC (the space where I work) hosted a series of workshops and talks. WOLF PACK (aka my business) contributed a workshop and I also helped to co-ordinate the events, along with the other C4CC residents.These photos are all from our super-snazzy launch party. There was banoffee pie, free Camden Hells (my all-time favourite beer), group singing, super-cheesy dance floor music (courtesy of yours truly), a super-cute dog, merkins and even a short set from me and Danilo. Some of you may remember this frantic post which I published on the day!

I haven’t discussed C4CC in much detail before but both of my major enterprises are based there (WOLF PACK and the brand new Quizcats) are both based at C4CC, aka the Centre For Creative Collaboration. It’s an incredible place filled with lots of innovative start-ups, small businesses and creative enterprises. It is an amazing place; there’s constantly new people coming in and out and I’ve met so many inspiring and wonderful people since working there.




Some of the residents who featured at the party (and are pictured) include:

AOI Sheep – who created the sound-reactive projections that displayed whilst Danilo and I performed (video here).
London Loo Tours – who entertained us with a toilet-themed quiz.
Guerilla Science – displaying a variety of merkins, latex nipples and bum hole paint.
Grow Up – Sophia from Grow Up helped to oversee and organise the LDF events.
Youth Media Agency – helped us with the amazing promo.
Madeline Trigg – organised the whole thing!
ELX Art – curated the downstairs exhibition (the incredible black and white pieces).
Cinter – incredible design time, helped install the exhibition and created the hanging logos and boards.

C4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaboration
C4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaborationC4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaboration
C4CC LDF Launch party festival london design festival centre for creative collaboration


I’m wearing an American Apparel skirt, DIY studded tights (now dead – note the massive ladder), Irregular Choice cat shoes and my favourite Ginny shirt from my beloved Family Affairs.


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realising myself.

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These photos were taken in Exmouth Market a couple of weeks ago one lunchtime when the WP team headed out for lunch. It was just before Danilo left for a 3 month trip. I miss him hugely; it’s the worst aspect of my life at the moment which says a lot about my current life state.

Lots of good things are happening to me at the moment. Quizney, an idea I had in March, was successfully mounted last Sunday and attended by a sell-out crowd. I’m touring the USA in July with my own long-neglected songs. I’m going to Egypt, I’m going to Russia, I’m going to Cardiff. I’m writing a show with my creative soul mate. I’m working on a Wikipedia project, a way to say thank you to my favourite website. My favourite magical person returns at the end of this week. We will meet again.

Growing up I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Not a clue; no job I wanted to do, no place I wanted to live, no person I wanted to emulate, nothing. I think I just wanted to continue being the same person. I wanted to be able to research the things I was interested in, geek out with the musical theatre I liked, travel, learn, play lots of strange music, write my weird songs, wear my weird clothes, create big stage shows and crazy dances and just generally run around making stuff up. I wanted to do all the things I was already doing but on a bigger scale and without barriers. And that’s what I’ve ended up doing. Call it luck or call it being headstrong or call it grateful or call it arrogant. I wouldn’t change a thing.