Being made redundant is one of life’s most traumatic experiences but for one Broughty Ferry woman it proved to be a blessing in disguise.
Gayle Anderson (55) lost her job in 2015 but it wasn’t long before her freelance writing career took off with a commission to write a series of articles on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy performers.
Gayle told the Gazette: “Latterly, my job had become more to do with management and when I left I felt my creativity returning. I really had the urge to write and at 55 I felt I had a lot of writing left in me.”
Gayle produced an article for the family section of the Guardian newspaper and that proved to be the catalyst in securing further work. In what Gayle described as a “baptism of fire” the Glasgow Herald wanted reviews of Fringe shows in groups of three, such as observational, satirical or surrealist comedy. Gayle said: “Organising and setting up interviews, attending the gigs themselves and then getting time to do the copy was one of the hardest jobs ever - but it was a great buzz!”
“I saw a lot of new comedy and each review was 200 words. I saw about 50 shows, of which I wrote up around 30, and being entertaining and constructive in my criticism was a really specific discipline.”
Three acts received the highest mark from Gayle. She said: “Jo Caulfield was a five star performer, as was Arthur Smith with his old-school walk around Edinburgh and Tommy Tiernan who ad-libbed a new performance every time, a really brave show.”
When asked for the funniest line, Gayle admitted: “ALL my favourite jokes were too rude but I did like ‘I don’t do cross-fit, I have a personality’ by Sofie Hagan, winner of the best newcomer award.”
Gayle is now turning her hand to another ambition, travel writing, and plans a blog about an upcoming trip to Cambodia entitled “Look back in Angkor...”
When asked what advice she had for others in a similar situation, Gayle had this to say: “Don’t look at redundancy as the end, see it as the beginning of a new adventure. The opportunity to tick off a few more of your ambitions. Go for it!”