Hi Jamie, please introduce yourself!

Hi my name is Jamie Mackinlay, I am an MA Screenwriting graduate from Screen Academy Scotland and I also have an undergraduate In Theatre and Film from Queen Margaret University. 

Since finishing my masters, I have been trying to break in to film and TV in a variety of roles and have worked as a Runner and Covid Supervisor on several short film productions and more recently a Christmas commercial. I also work part time as Support Worker in Adult care to pay the bills and last November I launched my own podcast ‘Just Get A Real Job’ where I speak to emerging creatives from across the creative industries.

What is your advice to someone wanting to get into your field?

This is a question I often ask on the podcast and it’s something I think about a lot. The creative industries can be hard to break in to professionally and I think I certainly put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed and meet goals which isn’t a bad thing. However, I think especially with everything going on at the moment it’s important to be kind to yourself, lockdown isn’t a residency and what you create doesn’t define your self-worth.  So, what I would say to people is keep creating, keep following your dreams and putting yourself out there but enjoy the process. I think often we think to much about the end goal (I do anyway) so yeah, I would say just enjoy the process and embrace the journey through the ups and the downs. Learn from the experiences and most importantly try and have fun doing whatever it is you love. 

I would also add that something as simple as being nice and enthusiastic can take you so far, people will remember you and want to work with you. I’ve definitely got work or been asked to back to do things not because I was necessarily the best person for the job but because they find me easy to work with and enjoyable to be around.

Cover art for Jamie’s podcast “Just Get a Real Job”

Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time?

This is actually a real hard question as I must confess and I’m not 100% sure what is it I want to do with my life and I’d say to anyone else in my position that feels the same that’s totally okay, we don’t have to have it all figured out.  What I’ve learned in the last year is that things can take you in so many unexpected directions and you might end up doing something that you love and never planned on doing.  That’s certainly what happened with me and the podcast, I never imagined I would end up doing that and I can’t imagine my life without it now, I love it.

 I think I will be happy as long as I am making a living doing something that allows me to be creative and work and be around likeminded people. So yeah, fingers crossed.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your education or career, and how did you overcome it?

I have struggled with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia my whole life and this was especially hard when I was at school and it really held me back as a youngster and really knocked my confidence. However, over the years I’ve been lucky enough to get some excellent support from teachers, lectures and friends and family and I have been able to learn tricks and strategies to help overcome and adapt to these difficulties.  My spelling and grammar are really poor and this was hard at university sometimes, especially as a Screenwriter but I just need to have my work proof read and allow myself a little bit longer to do things, it doesn’t take away from the quality of my work. 

I have now learned to fully embrace this and I don’t hide behind it, yes job application can be hard but I’m fortunate to have great friends and family that help me and read over my work. To anyone else out there with Dyslexia or Dyspraxia don’t let it get you down or hold you back, embrace it and use it to drive you on. As hard as it can be never be ashamed of it and never be afraid to ask for help.

What would you sing at karaoke night?

A good mix of Abba hits and Frank Sinatra, I love karaoke and I can’t wait to pick up a microphone after the restrictions ease and belt out some “New York, New York”…

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