Tyson Smile

First Draft

The deadline for our feature screenplay is this Sunday night. Spending hours alone writing is a funny, weird, beautiful thing. You have to feel what you want the audience to feel, which means siting in an empty room trying to make yourself laugh, make yourself cry, and make sure that you love and understand your characters. Next week I’m sending it out for feedback and then I will really get to work as the rewrite is where the magic and sometimes the core story actually reveals itself. Now to get back to writing the thing I’m actually meant to be writing :).


Speaking at the Sweat Life Festival

I’m still on my #sweatlifefestival buzz. Having previously done other talks and ADHD style monologues, this was my first panel and I loved it. @esmee_ldn with moderation that makes you want to run a marathon and also have whiskey and laugh for days matched with @billy_riley who has the charm and organisational skills worthy of any superspy casting. Thank you to everyone who turned up, asked questions and was patient when I got excited. It happens. I can not thank the @lululemonuk family enough. How do you manage to get a team where everyone smiles with their eyes? It’s contagious. I love it. Connecting with my heroes and making new connections. Dear life, more of these moments please.

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Go and Do It

I had been reading anything and everything I could get my hands on regarding metaphysics, new thought philosophy, esoteric ideas and anything to do with spiritual awakenings for about 10 years. I had found ‘Watkins’, the worlds oldest metaphysics and spiritual bookstore, which felt like my own Hogwarts. And then I stumbled onto the work of Michael Beckwith, who to me was like finding a philosopher version of Steven Spielberg. Wonder, awe, insight and most importantly… sense.

After about a year of reading everything I could find of his, The Secret came out. Watching it, a title card came up with his name and his face. I thought: “It’s my guy!” After watching him for all of a minute, I booked my first ever flight to LA and went to a week-long retreat with him to study philosophy, meditation and, in essence, ‘advanced common sense’. At this point he had been on Oprah and as such there were a thousand or more of us at this event. On the last day, I queue up nervously to go speak to him. I fumble out my words. I’m saying something about, wanting to train in philosophy, building a company that makes spiritual cinema. He looks at me with something I want but lack. Clarity. “Go and do it” he says.

Ten years later, we take this picture. Seven years of studying, training and multiple temper tantrums later at night school. I graduated within my little esoteric school of new thought philosophy and, after a few failed attempts, I finally start my own company, Stories Like Us, which has finally moved into the space of developing TV shows and films built around hope and optimism. Here’s to the ones whose convictions can outweigh our doubts. Keep dreaming. Keep chasing. Keep believing.

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Our North Star Foundation

So what is the ‘North Star Foundation’? A film fund producing impact storytelling projects based on hope and optimism.

Our film fund will produce stories and fund storytellers who want to make stories to uplift and inspire. Stories to remind you that someone else has been through whatever you’re presently going through. Stories to remind you that you’re not alone.

For 17 years, I have been holding onto this dream. I have been close multiple times and have watched it fall away in ways ranging from annoyance to deep embarrassment. Over the last three years, I have been meeting with this guy, who has revealed himself to be a mentor, philosopher, mathematician, investor and now a good friend. He’s always encouraging, always challenging and always ready to ask me the questions I might want to hide from. Patiently he watched me grow my love affair that is Stories Like Us into its current shape: from family films, events films, corporate films to TV and film development. At which point, in the most movie-like moment, he invited me into his office and had me pitch the ‘big’ dream to a bunch of welcoming but unknown faces. I would later discover I had pitched some of the most influential and successful investors, lawyers and entertainment giants in London. The outcome of which was a date, 27th of Feb, set for our gala dinner. At that event, he and I would present to a room of investors, connectors and change makers. The dream would become a reality and over the remainder of this year I will move to producing commercial content designed to share unapologetic Hope in a time where we have a culture of hate and hatred of culture.

I feel happy and tired and might now have to shut down for some spiritual maintenance. It’s been 17 years of self pep talks, a lot of close calls, heartbreak, and a lot of dreaming with no evidence it would ever happen. Now, I need to gear up for the actual work. The fund will be working with a new media company based on the idea that we are only ever one ‘chance’ away from the breakthrough we are dreaming of. So until the next story time, keep believing, keep growing, keep chasing, keep loving. You’re closer than you know. Let’s get it.

Paramount Studios

This is 2019

Twenty-four hours ago, I was standing here, looking up at this sign, dreaming hard, about to have the ultimate dream and chase tour through Randall’s house in ‘This Is Us’.

As is still the case, 90% of my dreams feel bigger than my resources, environment and current skill level. But hope and hustle, or as the Madre would say “pray, then move your feet”, has put me in more dream spaces then I would have believed possible over the last couple of years.

I went out to LA this time praying for clarity and courage. I learned last year that perfectionism and procrastination are twins. Don’t wait to have it perfect to move forwards – just start. Letting go of the lie of the perfect start and embracing the playful sketchbook idea is my goal for 2019. I wish for all of us chasing a dream the clarity to just begin and the courage to keep going. Let’s get it.


Preparing for the New Year

Focus. It’s the final few weeks of 2018 and, for me, this means I get to practice some of the new habits and focus techniques I want to rely on in 2019, which means making tons of mistakes and having the permission to get it all wrong. Too often, I’ve set a million new goals at the start of the year and lost momentum by confusing the learning stage with an evaluation stage. So for now it’s time to mess up all my goals, fall down, set unrealistic expectations, learn from them and give myself a chance to start 2019 chasing dreams with some insights and practice already with me. For anyone who feels like new year, new me has been a let down, give yourself the opportunity to practice your goal and mess up now so you can take the ninja insightful version of you into the New Year. Practice what you want to become and fail forward. Let’s get it.

A Message to 4-Year-Old Jacob

When a 4-year-old walks in on his mum and her friend watching a DreamChaser video and asks if you could be his friend?!! My heart almost exploded. And when he gives his mum a Batman mask to show you how you could be friends… CUTENESS overload. The only appropriate thing is to make him a DreamChaser response video. This is more hyper than usual, features props, and how to chase dreams and work with rejection for 4-year-olds. Big love to 4-year-old Jacob. But… you still might get something from it.

The Dark Side of Positive Thinking

This video has stories about what happened when my kitchen burned down as a kid, the end of of Titanic and, most importantly, how the current version of positive of thinking may be harming more than it’s helping. Wondering ‘will it get easier?’ Here is my full-on hyper, triple espresso mode answer for you. Chase your dreams!