This week we reached out to Megan Prescott actress, writer and body builder. She started her career when she was 17 as one of the actors in acclaimed Television series Skin and has since gone on to find fulfilment and interest in a varied range of different areas. Megan thank for taking time out to speak to us, this is what she said:
1. Is being a writer something you’ve always wanted to do?
I didn’t actually realise my passion for writing until I was 17! I had been acting since I was in my early teens and at the time I was working on the Channel 4 show Skins. The creator of the show helped me to hone in on my skill as a writer and I ended up working for his production company as part of the writing team.
2. Did you ever think following your passion was too much of a treacherous path and looked for other roads?
When you’re young, you are force fed the idea that to be successful you must go to school, then college, then university, then get a job, get married and have children and live happily ever after. Not only was this never my idea of a happy life, I also strongly believe that even if we have all of those boxes tickets, you could still be desperately unhappy if you have never followed your true passion/s in life. Of course I was advised by parents, teachers, and even friends to go down the route of a life of security; knowing where I’ll be in ten years/how much I’ll be earning/who I’ll marry and how many children we’ll have but I never wanted my life set out so rigidly. Whenever people looked down their noses at me for choosing to pursue a creative (and unpredictable) career, I just kept thinking that even though I may not have job security for life, I’d rather be unemployed in an industry I was in love with than employed for the rest of my life in an industry I couldn’t stand. Of course, there have been moments where I’ve thought ‘ Maybe it would just be easier to get a normal nine to five job, and then I could work my way up the ladder and eventually put a deposit on a house and get started on the property ladder’ etc. But it never took more than a few minutes for those thoughts to pass when I thought about how miserable having my entire life set out would make me! I would rather take risks and live an amazing crazy, and at points, terrifying life, than be bored.
3. Have you had any mentors thus far? How did you come into contact with them and how did they help you?
My mentors have been Bryan Elsley, the creator of Skins and Executive Director at Balloon Entertainment Productions. Bryan helped me start my writing career and without his training and advice, I would not be in the position I am in today. I also have had the privilege of meeting Emily Silver, an American writer and producer who created a show that my twin sister started in for MTV. With Emily’s guidance and expertise, I was able to work on my skill as a writer and will hopefully be working with her in the future.
4. When did you realise you could make a career out of it?
I realised I could make a career out of writing in 2012 when I got my first professional writing job. I loved it. I always thought I only wanted to act because of my passion for story-telling, but when I realised that even before the acting phase of a production, the most important element of storytelling starts with the writing, that is when I realised I wanted to do both!
5. What’s been one of the hardest challenges of being a writer so far?
I think the hardest part is concentration! It sounds silly but I have a really hard time sitting down and concentrating on any one thing for a long amount of time! I think it might be to do with me being dyslexic, but it took a long time to learn to try and concentrate and I still am not great at it! I have to take regular breaks, whilst making sure the ‘breaks’ don’t turn into half-hour-long procrastination sessions! I normally go out to write to avoid procrastinating, so I’ll go to a coffee shop to sit and write all day because at home there is far too many things I could distract myself with!
6. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a writer, can you refer to any particular experiences?
The number one most rewarding things about writing for me is being able to get a point across without people even knowing you’re doing it. I think those in positions to write stories for TV and Film have an amazing platform to do good. It might sound ridiculous but I genuinely believe that the average person is far more likely to change their opinions and/or behaviours as a result of watching a powerful television drama/film about such an issue rather than they are to change because of reading a real news story about the issue. I think the reasoning for this is simple: people won’t read a news story or watch a documentary about a subject they have already made their minds up about and are unwilling to change. They don’t want to be told off, they want to be entertained. But writing can find a unique way to entertain whilst educating people. These people are likely to watch a TV drama, just because it is entertaining and doesn’t necessarily specify that it’s based around said topic. As a result, you have a stubborn person who, for example, doesn’t give a damn about commercial materialism or its consequences to the planet watching a film like Avatar and unexpectedly going away with these new ideas and thoughts, drawing parallels from the film’s fictional world and our own one. This person will quite possibly go on to think for the first time about how their decisions have an effect on the planet. However, if this same person had been given the option to read an article on how global warming and deforestation is destroying the planet, they would undoubtedly turn the page without a second thought.
7. Do you have any big learnings from your experience following your passion? If you could talk to your younger self what would you say?
If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her that the secret of knowing what you’re doing is confidence and, failing that, faux confidence! The reality is that no one starts out knowing exactly what they’re doing and where they’re going in life –but lots of people are good at pretending that they do! If you emit confidence, others believe in you (as cheesy as that sounds!). Once you get good at pretending to be confident, you eventually start to actually absorb that confidence and will find that you genuinely believe it yourself. In lieu of a better/less weird expression: ‘Fake it ‘till you make it’.
8.Finally, what’s next on your Bucket List?
Ok so I ticked a few things off the bucket list last year, one of which was competing in a Bodybuilding competition (I ended up doing three and am now officially a ‘Pro’ haha!). I think next is to write, and star in my own drama series. I am inspired by people like Michaela Coel (Writer and Lead in Channel 4’s Chewing Gum) and Lena Dunham (Writer, Director, Producer and Lead of HBO’s GIRLS) and admire their confidence in themselves to take on such huge tasks and carrying them out fantastically. I think we need to see more women taking the lead and I would love to be one of those Women.
And that’s that from Megan, to read more about what Megan is getting up to you can find her on her Twitter handle: @Meg_Prescott and to keep up to date with all our FLUX NEWS goings on make sure you take time out to sign up to our newsletter.