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Creative Spotlight: Owen

What was the highlight of your time at University?

I got to do a year abroad for work experience, which was cool, experiencing different cultures and seeing more of the world. I taught Spanish in Argentina for the first half of my year and then I spent the second half of the year in Nantes, France, where I worked at a radio station. I had to host the show in French, English, and Spanish. We talked about local and European music and culture. I got to interview local and European creatives, musicians, directors, and choreographers as they passed through the city. It was very much about independent music, so I had the chance to interview a lot of up-and-coming musicians.

Do you have many interests outside of your languages?

Loads. I play the clarinet and saxophone and I dance, mostly contemporary and jazz. I also do drag. I’m trying to build a drag act here on the Island. After I graduated, I lived in Madrid for a while where my drag performances really took off and last month, I did my first performance here. It was a charity show at Vagabonds. It sold out. There were six or seven acts and nearly 250 people attended, which was my biggest audience so far. I also write and perform poetry. My drag act is an accumulation of all my creative passions, so it is a brilliant outlet.

What would be your dream job?

I enjoy writing and presenting. Through the radio experience in Nantes, a part of that helped me realise what I really want to do. I also enjoyed the journalism aspect; I have my own self-published blog where I review queer films, I guest-write on other blogs, and also write for my current job. I’m doing an internship with Sound Records, through the government internship scheme. A key part of the job is working to integrate the business into the local music community, creating a blog for them, expanding their social media and making videos. The internship is short though, so I am looking for my next opportunity.

Your proudest moment or most valued experience?

From the radio experience in Nantes. I interviewed Isabel Coixet who is a Catalan director, she is huge in Spanish cinema and that was an amazing thing to do. It truly showed me the power of languages because she spoke five languages, I speak three, and even though she is Spanish and I am British, we did the entire interview in French. My French teacher from high school was her biggest fan so I managed to get her an autograph.

After I came back from my year abroad, I started my own radio show with a friend. We created the entire show. It was great to be able to implement all the skills I had learned in France. It was called Brispop, where we would have political discussions through the lens of pop culture that related to student life. It was a chance to do more of a radio talk-show than a music show. Being able to create my own show with complete creative control was amazing for me.

Check out Owen’s work:

The Sound Records blog, all about the Manx music scene:

Every Gay Movie, Owen’s weekly queer film review:

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