Refine Your Search

Paul Atherton – Film & TV Producer/Writer/Actor


1 Minute Read

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?

Paul Atherton

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

49

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.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

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?

Surviving!

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).

And

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.

AND DYING?

It happens when it happens.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Always.

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.

AofA People: Richard Strange – Musician, Actor, Writer, Teacher


1 Minute Read

Richard Strange, 66, is a polymath and a wonderfully flamboyant character. Not only does he run the abundantly eclectic Cabaret Futura – we went to the first series in a strip club in Soho – on the third Monday of every month at The Paradise in Kensal Rise, he’s actually back on tour at this very moment with his band, Doctors of Madness and getting rave reviews. This is a return forty years later. There are a couple this week, one in London at London Gallery 46 on June 1st. For other dates richardstrange.com

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Richard Strange

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

66

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

London, UK

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a musician, actor, writer, curator and teacher. I also run a monthly multi-media event called Cabaret Futura in London, which features artistes and entertainers from every discipline in an informal engaged and informed atmosphere. I started the club in Soho in 1980, took a brief 30 year hiatus, and have been back at it for the last 7 years. Cabaret Futura happens the third monday of every month at The Paradise in Kensal Rise.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

A sense of proportion. A sense of the absurd. A nagging knowledge thatI have long passed the half-way mark! I have a self-confidence in my ability to survive and prosper and to amuse even the most blasé company. Also, I have the certainty that if I hadn’t dared to fail I would not have enjoyed my life half as much.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

I can honestly say that my sex life is as fulfilling, as exciting and as unpredictable as it has ever been, in fact…more so!

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

I was lucky enough to meet the most wonderful woman quite by chance 9 years ago, and although she was married with children, within a year we were living together, and she, and her children, have enriched my life in ways that would have been unimaginable.  It was not easy, least of all for the kids, but love, and consistency, conquered all! We are now married, and now I cannot imagine a day without speaking to them, wherever they, or I, am in the world.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

I feel free to express my love and devotion to my friends, my family and my art. I am blessed by all three, and with this blessing comes the responsibility, and the desire, not to do anything that would jeopardise them.  I am mindful of other peoples’ feeling and needs (most of the time) and try to be kind and generous. It has never occurred to me that this consideration in any way diminishes my freedom…rather, it enhances it.

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

I am proud of the fact that I have worked with some of the most celebrated artists of my generation, and have created work (music, writing, and performances) that I believe stand the test of time. I am proud that my son loves me, despite the fact that I left his mother when he was 14, and that my 3 step-children do too. I am proud that I am loved by friends and admired and, occasionally, respected by strangers. I am proud that I know how to make people feel GREAT.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

Curiosity in an ever-changing world.  The moment you draw the shutters, you exclude inspiration. There are many things I hate about contemporary life…the politics, the ubiquitous anxiety, the selfishness, the xenophobia, but these things are not new, and all can be either overcome, accommodated or ignored, Working in education with young people is constantly inspiring, as is my wife’s devotion to her work as an academic and a researcher, as well as being a wife, a mother, a sister, a lover, a friend and a muse.

WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

It gets channeled in various ways..as a creative artist I write music, songs, articles, screenplays; I conceptualise and curate events and I challenge myself to find new worlds to conquer.  As an interpretive artist, being an actor and working with others collaboratively is a constant source of pleasure and enduring friendships.

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Dare to Fail. There are two sorts of artists in the world…those who say “Yes” and those who sat “No”.  I say “Yes”

AND DYING?

I am in no hurry to die. We have lost too many friends, family, and heroes in these last few years.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Occasionally.  My projects are dreams until they materialise.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

My wife would kill me if I told you.

Surprise Me

Hear more from us

Subscribe to our newsletter