Humans Of Mojo
Humans of Mojo is Brighton’s answer to the hugely successful Humans of New York! Individuals are featured to give us a little more insight on themselves, why they come to Mojo, or simply to tell us an interesting story. Contact us if you would like to be added! http://www.mojocoffeeclub.co.uk/contact-us
Andrew Allen, writer, director and of course actor. Andrew’s journey arriving on the south coast from south London began on the week of 9/11 and he has been a busy man since!
Mojo’s is a place that helps to support my work. The coffee shop environment of sounds, people and energy manufactures a competition atmosphere that spurs you on. My ideas go down in a variety of note pads, digital formats and a simple diary but it’s good to get these ideas out, then I can move onto my new ones so the first ideas don’t die. And of course Mojo plays host to providing a nice area to meet local actors and artists to record our theatre podcasts.
I am most proud of being able to provide a platform for local writers and actors that was feels very much at home in this city (Andrew founded The Cast Iron Theatre with his wife Michelle in 2014). It has also provided me with the ability to redress the balance of equality in theatre. ‘Year Without Summer’ our first Brighton Fringe show was one of biggest achievement in 2016. ‘Cacophony’, starring Heather Rose Andrews, was a success at Edinburgh festival this year which was an amazing achievement given the competition.
On life in Brighton:
A coastal town gives you an horizon and therefore the feeling of escape.
The chance to benefit from quiet off days next to the sea.
It’s a very networked city – it’s reasonably possible to walk from here to the sea front and bump into at least a couple of people that I know.
On writing and supporting young artists:
Genuine, interesting and exciting writing will always do well but the importance is to actually start. All the stories I have not written yet are of course all perfect.
You give great power (to students) by admitting you do not know all the answers. We normally tend to be so concerned about perfection and not forgiving enough of someone throwing in new ideas. Try it, consider it, taste it – don’t say, ‘I don’t think that will work because…’
On acting and improv:
The great thing about writing is that I can fit it into the gaps of life. Acting can’t generally be negotiated in that way.
My younger self would have been very perplexed to see posters of me all over the city (on being Brighton Ghostwalk of the Lanes actor, Jasper). But that’s the product of me, not me: you can get over your shyness by realising that the audience – by being there – has given you the instruction to speak. Even so, I don’t often get nervous before a show: it’s afterwards that the nerves hit! It’s only then I have time to contemplate the realisation of how badly it could have gone!
To find out more about Andrew: https://andthisisandrewallen.weebly.com
Tom, a writer and regular at Mojo, originally came to Brighton in 1982 for a weekend visit from Paris. He now lives here full time.
“I’ve been coming to Mojo since shortly after it opened, as it’s on the way to the library. One day, it was just here. I like Mojo because I feel comfortable here, it’s just the right distance from home where I do most of my writing. I bring my work down here to edit, so I can sit, think about my own work and occasionally meet some interesting people when I don’t have my nose stuck into my work. The staff are friendly and great to talk to. If the work is good then I don’t hear any of the café. Once the café comes into the world that I’ve made, I realise that I’m not focused.”
Pearls of Wisdom
“The trick with writing is to be lazy; you make as much work as it is.”
“The best thing about writing is everything becomes material.”
“If someone’s willing to criticise your work, it means you’re worth something.”
“I’ve been working for Mojo since September, but I’m originally from Italy. I love working at Mojo because I love drinking coffee! My favourite meal to eat here is the scrambled egg with mushrooms. In my free time, I love drawing and creating art.” – Martina
“I’m originally from Norwich, and I’ve been working at Mojo for about 3 months now. My favourite part about my job is the community vibe. I’m also a big fan of the House Smoothies, and love eating the chicken and chorizo paninis. In my free time I make music, and I’m currently working on writing an album.” – Steve
“I’ve been working here for 2 years now. I’m originally from Salisbury, but now I’m studying Nursing at Brighton University. My favourite thing about working at Mojo is probably the atmosphere, it’s really friendly and family orientated. My favourite food? Probably the chicken and chorizo panini, and to drink it’s peppermint tea. In my free time I love baking, and drinking tea of course!” – Lucy