So far at least...
I Was born.
Thats correct! I was born! And thats where the story begins. On a magical but cold early Friday morning on January 22nd, 1999, I began my life dressed in a 3-peice suit and speaking fluent British english... Or that's at least how I remember it. In truth, I most likely started off like everyone else; crying cause its all I'm capable of, probably kinda hungry and hating the cruel world already. I was moved home a few days later in Dartford, United Kingdom to spend the following two years learning how to walk, talk and you know... baby stuff.
At the age of two, my parents split up. There had been lots of arguments and domestic abuse so enough was enough. I stayed with mum to continue childhood with bi-weekly contact with my fathers side of the family. By this time, I was lactose intolerant too - so no magic stars for me unfortunately. This made life fairly difficult growing in a 'broken' family but gave a tonne of different experiences on adjusting and being out-of-the-norm. On bi-weekly contact, I would hate it. The thoughts of being away from home was horrible and I would always act up around these time.
From 4 I started dance classes as a way to throw out all of the building anger from the uncomfortable arrangements. That helped me to develop great rhythm - plus got to be Len Goodmans favourite male student in the class. That in itself was a difficult title to get because all one of us boys wanted that title. By the age of around 6, dance and music was everything I cared about. Well... Dance plus reading every Roald Dahl and Jaqueline Wilson book in existence.
I had a normal life in terms of schooling until near the end of Year 3. I had found myself in a custody battle being at risk of being moved away from my mother and dance to move with my Dads. As mentioned perviously, I hated being away from my home on contact - let alone the thought of permanently being away from it seemingly forever. At the end of Year 3, I had been moved to my fathers with no way to be able to stop it. The worst thing was how it was my life yet it was only my voice that wasn't heard. Adolesants Social Services officers never listened to what I wanted - so I either didn't talk (And that means my life is horrible apparently), and when I did speak, my mother was accused of making me say it. This resulted in another huge change in my life.
The 18 months in total that I had spent there, a were a lot of changes in my life. Not only a new family, new home, new life - I had to make new friends, be in new schools, do new activities. Over the 18 months, I had changed between three different schools, which meant friends never stayed around for long. Not only that, the pain of all of the transitions plus the court proceedings prevented me from making many friends too - I simply didn’t trust anyone. According mostly to my father, self defence classes were apparently 'a manly thing' I should be doing instead of dance because all boys who dance 'are gay'. You see the kind of people little me were dealing with here. So I said goodbye to my passions for that time. Giving up on such an important passion in the time my life changed drastically created a lot of anger and hurt inside, developing into more reasons I started cowering away from everyone. Not to mention the physical and emotional abuse that was going on in the household behind the backs of social services.
After all of that. I was placed back to the home I belonged that - with a 'pointless' trauma just behind me. On the plus side, I could get back into Dance! I almost immediately started dance classes again and still had amazing rhythm, timing and passion for it. To help with re-adjusting back home plus in the aftermath of the 18 months prior, My grandad took me on seaside holidays every half-term. My favourite camp-site was New Beach in Dymchurch. From having a passion for dance, I got on very well with the entertainers that were on the site which gave me a huge feel for entertaining and playing music also. One time, one of the entertainers had broken their leg so they were only able to play music from the DJ booth instead of entertaining on stage or being the mascot. The entertainments manager on that week took me back stage and I became an entertainer, showing up on stage in their uniforms and wigs - getting my first real feel for what being an entertainer was like. I absolutely loved it. Towards the end of the holiday, the entertainments manager challenged me to a dance off at the late night disco. Long story short, I was amazing and was up for one more song… the trained one was dripping in sweat and laying on the stage with another entertainer having to get him a glass of water… yeah - I think I won that one. After he recovered, he found is trainee badge he had in training in which he gave to me. Thats when I knew my childhood dream was to be creative and entertain.
I improved and advanced into Drama and Singing too. Upon being 12, I was part of a young group to dance and perform musical theatre on cruise ships around Norway which was the most exciting work ever at that time. I mean, I'd rather be on a cruise ship than in school, right? With the same dance and drama groups, I was part of three musicals - two in my hometown and one in Eltham. As well as being apart of a nationwide choir for ‘Children In Need’. Around the time of the cruise was where two of the musicals and a showcase were also, making me exhausted and over-worked for how hard I was pushing myself. I didn’t mind the exhaustion, I guess I didn’t mind the physical and mental pain it causes.
When the time came to get back into the schooling life, I just couldn't adapt back. Due to the past issues, depression started to kick in as my brain could start understanding the pain better - plus I had tired myself to the point of exhaustion, being bed-ridden too. After numerous attempts to get back into the school career, I gave up and quit on it. Instead, I started doing more filming, photography whilst making up a network of YouTube channels from 13. And I never opened up a maths book ever again... I'm joking, I ventured into the home schooling sector instead. We had developed a small group of us who hated school and met tutors weekly to help us stay motivated. So I could still feed the need of education whilst heavily being invested in all of my passions from performing to Filmmaking and songwriting. Dance became less important as filmmaking became the new best thing in existence.
The teen YouTube career started with wanting to produce a musical at school which ultimately fell through, however my friend and I - both into acting - decided we’d start making sketches instead. The sketches developed into mini series’ as well as short films over the five years we we’re active on YouTube. Bringing in around 15 other people throughout the life of the four channels, branching out into music and gaming contents too. Most sketches from 2015 started to get more professional whilst I had been training myself in everything from script writing, acting, camera work and editing. The sketches turned into a long filming session in early 2015 whilst making a short film. We managed to hire a load of equipment used in Hollywood films, giving an amazing opportunity in my youth into professional film. But that doesn’t mean we never messed around too!
Given the nature of YouTube, we still created a bunch of stupid content also. Whilst some of the team started game series’, others focused just on our sketches, we also created parodies on the music channel. The idea of having a music channel not only for short film soundtracks and parodies, but was to finally get out a bunch of music I had been writing since 13 also. However, none of it was ever released on YouTube or publicly at all. Some of the instrumentals were used as background music in some videos, but that was all. I hated the sound of my vocals and always had done, therefore my vocals were only used on the parodies as they we’re meant for comedic purposes anyway. Not one actual song I had written and vocalised was ever released as an actual album.
Through my teens is where I had written and composed around 90 to so songs, plus had written around 300 pages of scripts for the sketches and short films I created. At 17, Life got very depressive almost a year into being at college. This resulted in heavy drinking and heavy depression. Things had gotten worse and my passions weren't hiding any of that down anymore. Given the age, our production group were either going through finals, starting college or starting work which made working on film and YouTube incredibly difficult to do by myself. So I gave up producing anything related to Film or production. I had also stopped producing music and all other hobbies so I could focus on trying to pick myself up from depression, focus on college, and focus on drinking the past life of troubles away.
In the August of 2016, I had a huge suecide attempt almost resulted in a liver transplant. Luckily, I got away of two weeks on drips instead of surgery. After the initial attempt, I had no want to ever do anything that bad to myself ever again - and to focus on more positive things whilst moving forward. But given the severity of such a huge overdose plus understanding on the effects of each drug, I got sectioned for a month in a psychiatric hospital for ‘evaluation’ - turned out, I’m insane, but don’t need a straight jacket or anything! However, the ‘precaution’ that was taken to place me there made me miss the start of the second year in college - the only thing I had been looking forward to. In addition, I became more knowledgable about self-harming techniques which being exposed to it was the worst thing for that time. I overworked myself once I finally made it back into college and started harming myself as the way to deal with problems once more. A few months after, I quit college for the reasons I quit school and took the rest of the year out instead. Since then, two more hospitalised suecide attempts followed, which made me realise writing a novel about the first attempt was needed for the world. Because the things that followed could’ve been prevented. In the process of picking myself back up from being out of everything for months, I gotten surrounded by a bunch of friends who believe plus a couple of creative people that reignited my creative side once again - hence starting to do this. And finally, I was back to being creative once again!
After the past couple of years being a tough struggle through depression and suecidal acts, I finally felt good enough to just continue my life as it once was - a huge creative world of otherness. And this time, I hope people will love my work as much as me. Weather its to escape things, relate to things or to make lives more positive. Hence everything thats on this site and what will be on this site in the future.
I love the content I can create here, for music, sharing the film techniques I picked up in photography, Poems and stories to entertain people! But I do other stuff, and its actually a fun life once again. I’m now an ‘author in training’ for my imagination, an artist for finally releasing the music I’ve been writing forever, an FM Radio host because… well music and performing, and also an entertainer - finally back to my childhood dream job. Who said growing up wouldn’t be childlike!
Written by Daniel Smith