Paul Atherton, 49, is a film and television producer plus much more. He’s also homeless! Here he tells us what he’s achieved while being homeless, as well as explaining that he stopped being monogamous at 30…
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Heathrow Airport (or in a Car)
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a Film & Television Producer first & foremost but also a Film Pundit, a Theatre Director, Actor, Chorister, Radio Broadcaster and one time Guardian writer.
TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?
As cliched as it sounds, I genuinely believe age is just a number. So the question is what’s it like to be me. And that runs the gamut of being ill, stressed, to still achieving the impossible often on a daily basis.
I always try to keep a smile on my face whatever happens regardless.
In some aspects of life, I’ve never been fitter, healthier or more motivated (though my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome remains a constant Sword of Damocles above my head).
WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?
That’s an interesting question for me, I had all the standard trappings of society at 25, the house/mortgage in Wales, whilst living in a flat in London with a high paying job in Public Relations & a long term Girlfriend/Fiancee.
I have none of those things today.
So, I’d have to say, what I have now that I didn’t when I was 25, freedom, knowledge, real choice, wisdom and fearlessness.
WHAT ABOUT SEX?
Nowhere near enough and nothing as adventurous as I’d like. Past year, has included a woman who hadn’t had sex in 2 years and a lover based in France who was looking to settle down.
Never stopped pursuing the goals whilst staying true to who I am though.
And always hoping that I can find the perfect balance between friendship and sex with a number of people.
Stopped the notion of partnered relationships when I turned 30. I could never do monogamy but had previously always lied about it (having affairs and the like).
I’d been in long term relationships from the age of 10 to 30 and had always wanted to get married and have a family.
When my last relationship ended at age of 30 resulting in many people being hurt in a variety of ways, I decided I never wanted to be the instigator of that kind of pain again and have never been in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship since.
It worked spectacularly well until I hit my early 40s where life seemed to take an unexpected turn with the upsurge of Hook-Ups (Tinder, POF etc.) which aren’t my thing and everyone else apparently looking to settle down or going through menopause.
Dating younger seemed to work for a while, but the 30s seem to be the new 20s now and breadth of knowledge in that generation seems almost nonexistent.
So proving difficult and the absence of a home can for many, be extremely off-putting.
HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?
Very. I don’t think I’ve ever felt freer in my life. With no money and no home comes no overhead and no fears.
I live for what I love and I love a lot.
WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?
But above all surviving with style.
In the years I’ve been homeless, I’ve got a film screened at the Leicester Square Odeon.
Became the only person in the world to have a film shown on the Coca-Cola Billboard in Piccadilly Circus.
Performed in the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games after 300 hours of rehearsal.
Took a leading role in the immersive theatrical production of You Me Bum Bum Train in its final 3-month run.
Written an Article for the Guardian Newspaper.
Judged an inaugural film competition
Became the first person in Britain to have his Video Diary taken into the permanent collection of a Museum (Museum of London).
Kept hosting my four parties a year, that keeps my friends in my life, which always include some combination of singers, burlesque artists, sword swallowers, fire eaters, portrait painters and musicians all hosted in the most select venues in London and all done for free.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?
London. London. London.
They named New York twice.
And London really is the best city in the World.
The ability to do anything and everything on a whim at a moment’s notice, with most things being free. From wine tastings to Polo, from sex talks to history walks.
There isn’t a day, where my city is not giving me a new experience.
In fact, if I haven’t tried 3 new things in a day I feel it’s a wasted day living in Central London.
WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?
Surrounded by friends, sharing experiences in a varied and as interesting way as possible in the city I love.
AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?
In making something from nothing. Whether that’s producing a film, performing in a play or broadcasting on radio.
Or better still assisting others in achieving their dreams.
WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?
Try everything, fear nothing, don’t follow the herd and never, ever, let the buggers get you down.
It happens when it happens.
ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?
WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?
This is a difficult one to quantify. I suppose outrage is for others to judge, but having sex in the woods in Greenwich Park (amongst a plethora of other venues in the vicinity that would have got us arrested) with an insatiable 29 year old a year or so ago, would have to be the one I think would be met with the most indignation.