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.

Seven Nation ArmyPhoto on 17-09-2014 at 11.45 #4Flimsymoon kickstarter launch party clerkenwell gallery Flimsymoon lingerie tapeparade tape parade Freyia Porteous Laila London

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

Once The Musical

once the musical review london musical phoenix theatreonce the musical review london musical phoenix theatre

(That last picture is just to show you my hilarious post-show face)

This is a very self-indulgent review! Before I get started I want to mention the wonderful people at Seatwave and their new app Timbre which you should check out – more on that later…


A couple of weeks ago I went with James to see Once: The Musical. I saw the original film back in 2006 and on first hearing of the stage adaptation I thought I could imagine a student production playing in a basement in Edinburgh during Fringe, but was perplexed at the prospect of a dazzling Broadway show. It’s not a film that obviously lends itself to a stage adaptation; long shots, sparse conversation, improvised dialogue and slow-burning, subtle documentation have rarely been hallmarks of theatre. The film has no obvious dramatic rises and falls, little character development aside of the two leads and not even a particular drawn out narrative arc.

A lot of characters have been expanded from one-scene cameos into fullblown comedic sidekicks. I appreciate that the story needed to grow to fill a 3 hour show, and whilst I liked the characters of Billy and Andrei I didn’t appreciate the mother, the banker or the overall genre shift. The two leads differed greatly from the film; the Girl had become a lot more fiesty and perky than in the film. I found Marketa Irglova a little naive and simple in the film but weirdly whilst watching the musical it actually changed my memories; I found myself wishing for her naturalistic and wistful performance rather than the poorly-accented and overly comic one I had on the stage (we had understudy Sophie Reid at our performance).

Glen Hansard is dark, brooding and suitably everyman in the film and whilst the Guy (Daniel Hunter) had managed to retain the dark, broody aspects it was without any sense of the earnest, boyish “can’t believe my luck” that Glen has in the film and ended up coming across as grumpy. I wouldn’t describe Glen in the film as particularly charismatic but I think that’s what the character needs on stage; both James and I would like to see Ronan Keating in the role when he takes over as I think his natural charisma will combat the broodiness of the character. However a lot of the accents were all over the place which is a shame; London is one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world so where are the legitimately Irish and Czech actors?

once the musical review london musical phoenix theatre

The beginning pre-set featured the cast performing as part of an open-mic night; another feature straight out of Edinburgh. The set changes were incredible and I particularly liked the choreography in the flat scene. Musically the show had some impressive moments; the recording scene was a triumph. I’m not a massive fan of the original score and with the exception of “Leave” and “Gold” I don’t think there’s anything that particularly stands out to me and even then I think just love ‘Leave’ because of the vocal lines – Glen’s vocals are incredible and it’s such a heartbreaking song when he performs it. The magic of people joining in mid-song has been proved time and again and it was a nice theme in most of the songs featured.

Ultimately I enjoyed a lot of things about the show without really taking to the show itself. What I really loved is what the show represents for music in a West End theatre. I’ve got a long and varied history of playing music in theatre shows. I first met James during a show we performed about 3 years ago in Edinburgh. Whilst the cast was divided into musicians and actors, we all appeared on stage swapping instruments and performing original folk-pop music during the show (I racked up 8 instruments during the 1 hour show, a record). Whilst back then this was still relatively unique, I feel like now conventions such as: an actor beginning a song and a troupe of musicians joining in, a whole stage singing in 5 or 6 part harmony, melody being recycled during set changes or are now all very common place musical conventions and you could wander into any afternoon show in Edinburgh with “live music” and see a variation on a theme.

What was exciting for me about Once is that these conventions have made it out of the rehearsal room and onto the West End. Actor-musician shows are nothing new (notable examples being 2008 Company and 2009 Sunset Boulevard) but these sort of integrated gig-style shows are. I kept turning around to James during the show and saying “we could do this” – it’s exciting to think the kind of weird, niche thing you’ve spent years doing is reaching a mainstream audience and people are getting to experience music in a new way. The cast should be applauded for acting, singing, dancing and playing throughout. Great production, and as a stand-alone show it’s fine but I still question whether a film like Once can ever translate properly to a stage (and really if it needed to). Have any of you seen Once? I would love to know what you thought!


Thank you so much Seatwave for sending me. Please go and check out Seatwave and their range of concerts – at the moment they’re offering money off for signing up to the newsletter which is pretty rad (also Seatwave have recently launched a new app called Timbre to keep on top of live music which I’ve been using this whole week – speaking as a live music fan, it’s great so gig fans, get on it.) Seatwave are also currently selling The Vamps tickets so get them whilst you’re hot if you’re still mourning McFly like I am (sob)…

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