Me, my journey with Babassa and where I am today.
My name is Rasheed, and I am 23 years old. I love watching television with a good romance plot – I feel like life can sometimes be unpredictable and difficult, so I enjoy the predictability and the warmth of a good romance story. I enjoy going to the theatre, watching TV, playing piano, singing, writing, listening to music. I also enjoy going on long walks. Lockdown has been great for my walks, I got to know different, beautiful parks and walking routes in and around Bristol. I also enjoy board games, and card games – and spending time with my friends and family.
I have spent the last few months trying to determine the correct path for me to pursue. I have many interests, so sometimes it feels like picking one is betraying the others. Something one of my mentors Fiona told me will always stay with me – There is no perfect career path, it does not exist. You just make the choice you believe is right for you at the time and go from there. I needed to hear that because I spent months anxiously waiting for a sign to tell me what the right career path was, and I never got one. I was stuck between wanting to pursue a legal career, wanting to pursue a creative career, and wanting to explore social work options. I also felt a big responsibility to pursue social work, having been in care – and having had a good experience I felt like it was my duty to give back to that environment and support others who need that right now. I have always loved drama and music, and being creative, I find creative writing in any form therapeutic. I love bouncing creative ideas off people, and I feel like when you are writing things down you can be completely honest – you do not have to share it with everyone, but I like how writing feels.
Having to make a decision and stick to it has always been something I struggle with, as I often go back and forth. I received mentoring from Paul and Hugo at Babbasa who are both incredible – and helped me to recognise what I wanted to do, and to be honest with myself. For years I have told myself that I want to be a screenwriter. I want to create a television show that creates stability and joy for people consistently, the way my favourite shows did for me growing up. I never knew how to get there though. I do not like uncertainty, I like paths that are clear to navigate, that is what attracted me most to a legal career. It is challenging, but I know what I must do to get to where I want to go. I always felt that with a career in the creative industry, it was a shot in the dark, it relied on meeting the right people at the right time – a lot of luck and I just wanted to feel secure.
Babbasa helped me to overcome these fears. The first time I truly felt like I could offer creative insight that had monetary worth was when Pravanya commissioned me to support with her one woman show. I just wanted to be in the room and enjoy the creative process, but she was insistent on paying me, and helping me to understand my worth. That was the first time I felt like I could capitalise off being creative, and my ideas could have monetary value. I have also had the opportunity to sit on the one city culture board, to receive training from rising arts agency. To go onto BBC Radio Bristol and just speak freely, and that felt natural to do, these opportunities that Babbasa has presented me with have removed many barriers for me and have helped me to feel confident that I can navigate any career path that I want to.
For me, the mentoring programme was me discussing with Paul where I was at in my thought process every two weeks. When I was making applications to law firms, he would help me look over them, he would discuss with me things I should consider about different firms, and he was honest with me, which is a big part of why I am where I want to be now. In one of my sessions, he told me, I do not think your heart is truly in law, so I am just going to be your mentor, rather than your law mentor. He told me it is important to pick a path that is right for me now – so I do not get 5 years down the line and be behind where I could have been if I had been true to myself.
Hugo was amazing too, he looked over my creative applications, helped me to make my creative CV worlds better. He set up meetings for me with script editors, who gave me an insight into what the career is like and what the job entailed, this instilled me with confidence throughout my channel 4 application process. I really appreciate all the mentors I have had and the fact they have volunteered their time to help me realise my dreams.
I am excited about the future; I have recently been accepted on to Channel 4’s Production Training Scheme, I’ll be starting with a week of TV Bootcamp where I’ll get to meet the other trainees from the nations and regions and get advice about how to utilise this opportunity. From next week, I will be working at Bad Wolf as a Trainee Script and Development Editor.
I am moving to Cardiff next week which will bring me a new level of independence. I will get to do some exploring of a new city, but most of all I am just proud to have been picked as 1 of 15 trainees, on this channel 4 scheme. I am excited to learn and grow as a creative. To meet new writers, producers, and to soak everything in. Even if you do not feel qualified, or like you have enough experience, apply for that job you want, because the company you want to work for might be looking for you.