No1 03Sep1983 - Section : FUN
My first jobs were in Sheffield where I started as a trainee manager with the Co-Op.
I actually took that job over from Martyn Ware (Heaven 17) after he chucked it in.
They were looking for young people to just fill up shelves-that `trainee manager' label was a load of rubbish!
I used to give lots of things away - all these old ladies would come in and ask for some bones for the dog and I'd end up giving them sides of beef!
I worked for Moss Bros for four days but I couldn't handle that at all, then a guy I knew offered me a job on the stage crew at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
I worked my butt off on this panto for six weeks to show I was willing and able, and they offered me a full-time job on
I thought I'd just have to pick up a can of Mr Sheen and start spraying, but you have to do something called French Polishing. It's a real art, you have to know how to do lacquering and it's very complex.
After being unemployed for a year I worked for the Acton Community Arts Workshop teaching little kids drama and photography.
Then I did some fashion photography, again by blagging. I said I'd trained for three years at college and the guy who hired me could tell within half an hour of starting that I hadn't.
I actually did a bit of work for the music magazines -I took some pictures of The Human League for Sounds!
I also ran a shop called La Boheme in the Caledonian Road, selling all kinds of things. We had London's largest collection of secondhand Time Out's.
Oh, and I was a roadsweeper for just four days in Sheffield. I thought that would be a bizarre little feather to have in my cap but it's not a very thankful job on the crew.
When they put on a production of Dracula I had to dress up in black so no-one could see me and stick my hand up a fake bat's bum to make its eyes light up! The switch was in its posterior. It was good fun.
I left there because there was only the one theatre in Sheffield, and came to London. I worked in the National and the Lyric actually doing stage management, but only because I blagged my way in.
I said I'd got the experience and that I could do it, and managed to get away with it.
I'd always end up lying to get a job, and then proving I could do it afterwards.
Then I saw an advert in the Standard for a coffin-polisher and I liked the sound of it, so I blagged my way in there but for once I couldn't cope.