I’ve been fortunate enough over the last three years to have been involved with one of the “magic circle” law firms for two days a year, helping them find young talent to have a week of work experience that frequently leads to a life changing job or a paid university place. It’s a hell of a thing to be involved with. These candidates are pooled as widely as you can imagine. The firm is actively trying to diversify. They aren’t just taking the best graded candidates. They’re acknowledging that straight C from a tough inner city state school is harder to achieve than straight A from a fee paying school. They’re looking at the individuals not the system.

I’m always a little winsome, as I won a place on one of these events when I was that age. I think it was at that very firm. I only remember it in a blur. I enjoyed the day and met people from utterly different backgrounds. I was offered a place on the initiative, and turned it down because I wanted to be an actor. My mum and I fought bitterly about it but I was adamant. One door closes… … … another … um …

It has been two very lovely days, in really diverse rooms. I remember having my mind blown by the difference in background and education on that day for me, and that was in the nineties. This firm is good at making opportunities, good at thinking outside the box. They are guaranteeing a continued future for themselves by employing deeply from all classes and backgrounds, while also seeking gender parity. If I could teleport into 17 year old me I’d still make the same decision, but it would be much harder knowing what I know now. Some of these young adults are going to have remarkable lives, catalysed and given direction by this day. There’s nothing I can do with my obsession. Its wired in my blood. I’ll be an actor until it kills me, and the opportunities will either catch up with my obsession or they won’t. I’m internally and externally ready for whatever. My craft is honed to a sharp point. But it takes two to tango. And one of my last conversations with dad was “I’ve got nobody in your industry. I can’t help you. Any other industry I can offer you something, but acting? I play golf with Sean Connery… But I don’t think he likes me much.”

Meantime, this evening I’m chilling with my best friend. She made a human so she’s busy. I just had to read a bedtime story to that small human. It was fun, but I think it got us both a bit too excited. So now I’m downstairs listening to my friend do top class bedtime mothering and reflecting on my day. Once the small one is sleeping, the mum and I will eat pizza, have a spot of red wine, and put the world to rights.

I didn’t check up on my hat at Kentish Town. Hopefully it’s not lost.


(Details only obscured in the picture just in case, and out of habit.)

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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