2013 Reflection

I thought, why don’t I make a video with my achievements for 2013. Then I could share it with my friends online. It could be a new tradition.

Then I realised I don’t have enough time!

So, here is the new tradition. The reflection on a year gone by.


  • Co-Produced and 1st ADd two films with Shiftwork Productions which were shot in December but completed in 2013 (‘Now Wash Your Hands’, ‘Don’t Do It’)
  • 1st ADd & Co-Produced ‘The P.A.’ with This Big Productions
  • Started Production Managing/1st ADing/Co-Producing ‘All I Do Is Dream’
  • Had four films entered in the Virgin Media Shorts Competition (‘The P.A.’, ‘Now Wash Your Hands’, ‘Don’t Do It’, ‘Tragedia’)
  • Screened ‘Tragedia’ at Whirlygig Cinema’s Making Tracks (My first Q+A)
  • Screened ‘Tragedia’ at KinoLondon #57
  • Had a second interview with Adelaide Screenwriter published online
  • Co-Produced / 1st ADd ‘The Estate Agent’ with Shiftwork Productions
  • Produced and Directed ‘Dead Letter’ with Shiftwork Productions
  • DPd ‘The Meeting Place’
  • DPd my first feature film. Got fired from the same feature film. Learnt a lot from the experience, including who not to work with, research who you’re working with, and don’t assume that people who are making a feature have gained experience from shorts or other projects.
  • ‘Copper’ completed with an update. ‘A Party For Me’ is very very close to completion. Starting entering these into festivals.
  • Took part in the inaugural Action On The Side in July 2013. Produced ‘Elle Fatale’.
  • Started helping James to run Action On The Side. Helped run Action On The Side in November 2013. Produced and wrote ‘WhosApp’; 1st AD’d & Co-Produced ‘Facetracker’.
  • Production Managed and 1st AD’d (pick-ups) of ‘NightStrike’ with This Big Pictures
  • Worked on the London Film London Calling application for ‘
  • Attended the BAFTA New Filmmakers Market and the Screen Film Summit.
  • Attended networking events and met loads of filmmakers.
  • Started teaching (see Career below)


  • Performed with the Arab Quarterly at the Hoxton Hall (London Belly Dance Debut)
  • Took Teachers Training Workshops and Dance Performance workshops with Elis Pinheiro
  • Took weekly classes with Farah Nasri
  • Performed with Farah’s class at the Bellydance Trophies
  • Joined and performed with the London Algerian Ballet
  • Completed a Performance Development Course with Ozgen
  • Took numerous workshops and attended numerous performances


  • Went to the Global Powwow in Dubai
  • Attended the CAMS Conference in St Louis
  • Filmed a friend’s wedding in Bristol
  • Returned to New Zealand for a week. Sorted things out at the house and with films; caught up with friends and family.
  • Spent Christmas with friends in Inverness


  • Attended the Global Powwow in Dubai and the CAMS Conference in St Louis
  • Scheduled the entire 2013-14 Academic Calendar before registration for FA2013
  • Promoted to Registrar of the Undergraduate Program
  • Got a new Assistant Registrar
  • Successfully implemented Online Registration for FA2013 (200+ students in September, 700+ students in November/December). Included running training sessions for students and staff, my team creating statuses and uploading worksheets for all 700+ students.
  • Started teaching: taught one Independent Study on Film Production Assisting and one Independent Study on Scriptwriting.
  • Hired to teach a course on Practical Film Producing in Winter.


So often on social media, we all promote our best times and fail to mention our worst. From the outside, our lives are awesome. But some people had a crappy 2013 and just want it to be over. I think it is important to reflect on the crappy as well. Our lives aren’t all perfect, and it is important to talk about the bad stuff too. So, a few of of the downers.

  • Got fired from my first feature: this was a major learning experience. The Producer still owes me over £600 for the days I worked. Never trust people who want you to work without giving you a contract.
  • I filmed too much stuff that I have not had the time to edit. I unfortunately still do not have the time to edit it, or the money to pay someone to edit it.
  • I picked up too many projects: I hit my limit towards the end of the year, and have been declining projects until I finish a few.
  • There are some people I will not be working with again or at least for a while.
  • Didn’t get to see enough movies. Am especially gutted for not supporting the Independent Film Industry enough by seeing Indie Films at the cinema.
  • I still haven’t worked out my work/life balance. I have had a few too many nights working till 8pm/9pm/10pm/11pm with the day job, due to short-staffing and over-work. I work long hours at the day job without a break, then do a dance class then a production meeting. The way I see it is I am building my careers.
  • I spent too much time on tumblr and not enough time exercising. Man I wish I kept up doing yoga or pilates every morning.
  • I ran late and took too long to do things too often.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to in 2014

  • Teaching my Practical Film Producing course in WI2014. Producing a short alongside the course.
  • Running Action On The Side (next edition in February)
  • Performing at Arabesque Nights: Thursday 03 July for Strictly Egyptian and Thursday 04 September for Rock The Casbah
  • Working on and finishing ‘All I Do Is Dream
  • Submitting my films into Film Festivals – thereby increasing my IMDb page
  • Attending a large film market
  • More workshops, more dance, more film, more friends, more travel!

Wishing you the best for 2014!


Dance class or Production Meeting?

Picking between going to a regular dance class or going to a preproduction meeting leads to frustration.

Betty Boop dances

I’ve been missing quite a few dance classes recently. Usually I’m at 1-2 hours of ATS classes on a Monday night and 2 hours of Bellydance on a Tuesday, with 5 hour workshops twice a month (Performance technique and teaching bellydance). It is important to me to get to my regular classes: I don’t go to a gym, and it’s my main source of exercise. It’s also how I cope with stress, and relieve the build up of stress-related tension in my muscles.

However, with all the film projects I’ve got going at the moment, and with how busy it has been at work, I keep missing my dang dance classes. It’s so frustrating!

Continue reading “Dance class or Production Meeting?”

London Bellydance Debut: photos

Photos from my London Bellydance Debut

Nasmat London Debut

Thanks to Maani Photography for these photos.

This event The Arab Quarterly show on Sunday 17 February 2013 in the Hoxton Hall.

My costume was from Zara’s Zouk.

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Nasmat London Debut

Announcing my London Bellydance Debut

Sunday 17 February 2013 sees the London debut of bellydancer Nasmat (aka ME!)

Tickets are on sale now for the Arab Quarterly event at the Hoxton Hall. Tickets are £18 each, and are available for purchase from the Hoxton Hall website

The Arab Quarter at Hoxton Hall

The Arab Quarter

Sunday 17 February 2013 at 7.30pm, Hoxton Hall,
130 Hoxton Street, London N1 6SH

Doors open at 7.00pm

The Arab Quarter at Hoxton Hall is set to move hearts and send minds racing with its punchy, dramatic and eloquent narration taken from Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz. Palace Walk is part of The Cairo Trilogy, and the epic master piece of the Nobel Prize-winning writer. As yet Naguib Mahfouz is the only Arab writer to win this prestigious literary award. Scenes rich in atmosphere and cultural significance will fill Hoxton Hall and create a special magic. Around these passages will be enthralling and highly authentic Arabian musical and dance entertainment provided by members of The Arab Quarter Band and a host of fine oriental dancers, colourfully costumed and interpreting Arabian music of immense soul and beauty.


Did I mention I was busy?

Where I’m a glutton for busy-ness and stress, and get to be in on making two short films in as many weeks.


Oh, the joys of double booking…


  • The last day of the busiest week of the year at work; then
  • Standing in the Globe Theatre and watching Taming Of The Shrew with some of my lovely friends, and
  • Trying to get over this cold, in preparation for…



  • Sound editing for this competition.
  • Sleep?

Continue reading “Did I mention I was busy?”

The Arab Quarter

I took part in two Bellydance workshops today, and have been invited to perform at the Arab Quarterly at Hoxton Hall in February.

I went to two Bellydance workshops in Shoreditch today. The first was a Hat and Cane choreography; the second, a choreography for veil. The classes were from The Arab Quarter: Bellydancer Melanie Norman taught the classes, with support from live musicians: Hassan on tableh, Georgie on synth, and Emile on violin.

The workshops were great. I can highly recommend them. Melanie is a wonderful teacher. It was really great having live music there; not only for the experience of dancing with musicians (which every dancer should experience), but because one can avoid the issue of having to go from the start of the CD track every time you want to go over a part of the dance. But, I digress.

Continue reading “The Arab Quarter”

Dance Shows – a weekend of Bellydance and Cabaret

The teachers of the Bellydance classes that I have joined both were performing this weekend. I went to both shows.

I’ve joined two Bellydance classes since being in London.

One is what I would consider an Advanced class, focussing on Arabic Theatrical Cabaret.  The teacher is an Egyptian man called Shafeek; the ladies in the class have been dancing for years, some teach classes themselves. I’m really enjoying extending myself.

The other is a Beginners Class with Hayaam Bellydance. I’m taking it because I like to see how people teach the fundamentals. It’s good to go over them myself too. I was drawn to Hayaam’s website from a Google Ad, and found it to be a very professional site.  Adrianna is a Brazilian teacher who is invigorating her new students into Bellydance.

This weekend, both teachers were performing, and I went to the shows.

Continue reading “Dance Shows – a weekend of Bellydance and Cabaret”

Bellydance Teachers in Wellington

A list of teachers to contact for anyone looking to learn Bellydance in Wellington

Want to learn how to Bellydance? Want to join a dance troupe? As I am no longer teaching in Wellington, you may like to try these teachers and groups…

Firstly, when picking a dance teacher, think about these things

  • what sort of style do you want to learn? Look into Cabaret Bellydance/Raqs Sharqi/Orientale, or Middle Eastern dance, or Tribal (ATS). You can do a Beginners Course and go from there;
  • the teacher’s experience: workshops attended, how long they’ve been dancing, what their students say about them;
  • the location where they’re teaching;
  • the price (at the moment you’re probably looking at $10-$20 for an hour class);
  • do you ultimately want to perform? You don’t have to if you don’t want to, and no teacher would pressure you to if you didn’t. If you do though and you’re starting out, you probably wouldn’t be performing for at least a year. Tribal takes a bit longer, as there are cues to learn and you need to be able to work with the group.

Photos from Azphodel feat. Nasmat gig

Photos from ‘Azphodel featuring Nasmat’ at Mighty Mighty, 09 November 2011.

Thanks to Olex from Lenscraft Photography, we have some photos from last night’s gig at Mighty Mighty.

Azphodel feat. Nasmat
Wednesday 09 November 2011

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Zills and muffles – links for my Bellydance Students.

Both Bellydance classes that I teach have been learning to play Finger Cymbals, known as Zills in Turkish or Sagat in Arabic. I am currently working on a Zill Drills teaching resource for my students. This is in addition to the Middle Eastern Rhythms worksheet that we have been going through.

For my students, we discussed Zill Mufflers for practice in class. Here are some links to information on Zill Mufflers, including links to patterns for crotcheted Zill Mufflers.

Continue reading “Zills”