Calling All Cars. I’m a believer in following your dreams… Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant
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Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.
Calling All Cars – Pyramid Rock Festival. Photo Credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).
I’m a believer in following your dreams… nay, it’s not a belief, it’s a way of life, a burning passion from which those of us with the creativity and drive inside can not escape, explain or hide. Everything I’ve done until this point in my life has been the result of an overwhelming desire to live and be what every single one of us wants to be… happy.
For me it’s finding the simple pleasures in life, living for the moment and planning for the future. If you don’t love what you do 100%, then you shouldn’t be doing it. Every job has it’s challenges, but it’s all about the positives outweighing the negatives and if they’re not then it’s time to move on buddy.
Every cool job I’ve had – Emirates Airline cabin crew, running music festivals and events around Australia, music supervisor on a snowboard show on TV, shooting music festival photography and even guiding social media for some of the world’s biggest brands – has eventuated by me wanting to try something new and putting my balls on the line to ask if I can have a go.
I need to lay this story out in full over the coming weeks/months/years, but this photo of Calling All Cars is the result of series of events that started with checking out Russell Crowe‘s Twitter and lead me on the journey through all those jobs to where I am now. I shit you not.
This particular moment in time I was shooting a music festival for the 1st time and it just so happened to be for Australia’s top radio station triple j. I was so pumped for the opportunity and shot many amazing bands that weekend including Scissor Sisters, Gotye, Grandmaster Flash and many more, but Calling All Cars were a stand-out live performer.
An unstoppable, explosive force field of energy from word go, I clearly remember the seconds leading up to this Calling All Cars photo and the instinct lead me to position myself for what I could sense was going to be an amazing shot… and then it happened… Wow! I still get chills thinking about it!
My 1st time shooting a music festival, all the result of not being afraid to ask. Not everyone you ask for an opportunity is going to say yes, but man when they do… When was the last time you did something for the first time?
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Flashbacks to Dubai days… from 1999 to 2006 I lived in the Middle East working for Emirates Airline. We lived a plastic-fantastic life traveling the world with disposable income, pretty girls and 5 star hotels. The rock-star’s lifestyle without being the rock star.
This expat lifestyle and cash cash cash meant buying toys that we’d otherwise probably not buy if we were living back in our home countries. One such treat to myself with my Monopoly money and access to cheap fuel, was a blood red JEEP Wrangler Renegade. It was a beast 🙂 some of the happiest memories I have in the haze of parties and hundreds of flights across our planet was hitting the desert with friends in our 4WDs and dirt bikes, driving through sand-dunes and creeks to rock-pools out in the back-blocks of the Dubai Emirate at the base of the mountains near Hatta.
While the photo inset is actually of a 4×4 tour I took to the desert with Arabian Adventures, it evokes memories of wadi BBQs and beers in the middle of the desert with good friends, dodging boulders at speed in wet, rocky creek-beds with James Brown cranked and diving into crisp cool rock-pools like no other place on earth.
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Caro Taylor AKA Fashionista Fail joins Dan Wilkinson for Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet:
You had me at hello… Our guest today on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast is stunning, bubbly and lovely NZ TV Personality, blogger and all around legend, Carolyn Taylor.
Earlier this year Caro launched the Fashionista Fail blog with the goal of giving up her shopaholic tendencies for 1 year and putting every penny saved towards traveling the world.
Over a bottle of bubbly Caro and I chatted about getting paid to eat snails, interviewing Richard Branson, ghost hunting haunted houses… Caro is truly a breath of fresh air and her’s is a life full of rich and interesting stories.
Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast series where we interview inspiring people and entrepreneurs from around the world across a range of industries including music, film & tv, fashion, comedy, travel and more.
Drop us any podcast feedback via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or come say hi on social media here:
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Boom! Here ’tis!
This past hour on the walk home from work and as I arrive back at my Melbourne apartment to watch the last snatches of sunlight hit the horizon, I take some time out to myself to soak up the excitement of this snapshot in time. I’ve worked on some fuckin’ cool projects in my life, but I’m truly not sure that I have ever felt like this. Exalted, ecstatic… soaring!
This is probably the first time in my life that I’ve ever launched a piece of creative work that is 100% me. Not catering to anyone else’s needs, not trying to impress anyone… just me working hard to produce a work of passion.. open and honest with who and what I am. Me.
I have been planning, dreaming and talking about this podcast for at least 5-6 months now and finally I can say that the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast is live! And I’m pumped that the boys from The Griswolds could join me for the launch!
Part 1: The Podcast:
Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast where we interview inspiring people and entrepreneurs from around the world across a range of industries including music, film & tv, fashion, comedy, travel and lots lots more for your listening pleasure.
In my time I’ve been fortunate enough to live around the world in the Middle East, Italy, Indonesia and all over this beautiful brown land we called Australia. I’ve studied biochemistry, entrepreneurship & innovation, worked the vampire shift at Crown Casino from Thursday – Sunday, jet-setted the globe living in Dubai for 6.5 years as an Emirates Airline flight attendant and returned to Australia in 2006 with plans to be a rockstar within 6 months.. we can all see how that’s panned out so far ;).
Like all of us in life, I have had my own fair share of personal challenges along the way including 3 brain tumours, which have left me deaf in one ear and having to learn how to walk again after the 1st operation, a little facial paralysis after the second, but one of the things that my blessed life, challenging experiences and travels have taught me is a happy balance between living each moment in the now and fueling the fire of my ambition, by doing something each and every day to feel like I’m moving forward.
My passion for music, photography and fascination for psychology has lead me to so many amazing roles and a career in digital/social media, writing my own personal/business blog, weekly photographic travel series and now this podcast. My experiences working with and managing people from over a 100 different countries and a diverse range of cultures constantly leave me perplexed at how supposedly one of the most “advanced species on the planet” is still so primitive. Every day all around me (including close family and friends) I see people complaining about the most inane shit and we as a species constantly demonstrate our capacity for a lack of understanding or empathy for our fellow man.
Ironically given my chosen career path, I loathe the whole idol culture that our species seem to subsist on, which is part of why I decided to create the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast. The premise of the podcast is to tap into the energy and tales of successful, but humble people to demonstrate for anyone who has ever harboured a burning fire inside them for success, that anything’s possible and break down this fallacy of “us and them”. Presidents, movie stars, rockstars.. we’re all judgemental, human and flesh & blood. One day each of us will be dust in the ground same as everyone else, so we should truly never be afraid to take the plunge… there is no fear that should cripple you, as we all start from scratch and there’s nothing worse than feeling that you should have given it a go. There is no time to start like now.
Part II: Podcast #1 – The Griswolds:
Today we catch-up Aussie indie rock band, The Griswolds. I’ve known the boys for a few years now and apart from wicked tunes, what’s struck me about The Griswolds is that they’re just 4 dudes with amazing energy who love life, the banter and who still manage to remain humble and true to who they are as people, despite rising international success signed to an American label slash and spending 9 out of the past 12 months on tour in the USA.
How we met is a bit of a longer tale, but a massive part of the past 8 years of my life has been working in the Australian music industry. Since 2006, I’ve been part of running music festivals & events around Australia, put a 900 square metre ice-rink on the sands of Bondi Beach, managed artists/bands, created a role as music supervisor on Ballistyx Snowboard Show on Channel GO!, shot photography for triple j, shot photography/written for Broadsheet and the list goes on.
Working in the music industry is fuckin’ amazing! For me, my foray started with my return to Australia with dreams of cities paved with gold and entertaining packed stadiums with people singing along to songs that I wrote (that hasn’t dulled :D), but the harsh reality is that within Australia the majority of artists don’t draw large crowds/make the Benjamins and generally survive on passion and juggling what little $$$ we do have coming in. The tight-knit Australian music community is made up of amazing individuals that bandy together to keep the independent Australian music scene churning.
And that, my friends, is how I met a few of the boys from The Griswolds… in 2011 I worked at Splendour In The Grass (Woodford) and then again in 2012 at Byron Byron and became buddies with a dude called Andy B, also working at the festival, who plays keys for Brisbane-based party dance crew The Belligerents.
I’d come across The Griswolds tunes through triple j unearthed and had initiated banter with the lads via the social medias, so when it turned out The Belligerents and The Griswolds lads were sharing a bill at The Workers Club in Melbourne one night, I decided to cruise down, sink a few beers, shoot a few pics and catch-up with the lads. We didn’t really hang out that night and I wouldn’t say that we really knew each other, but having worked with and around people for many years, I’m a person that survives and thrives on instinct. Give me 5 minutes with someone and I’ll quickly gauge who I think they are and what drives them; I love a dad joke, good people and the banter, and man, these boys have that in spades, so when I found out they were back in Melbourne this month to kick-off their debut album“Be Impressive”, I jumped at the opportunity to interview them for the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast and return the favour in kind by shooting a shitloads of cool pics for them and use the opportunity to plug The Griswolds – “Be Impressive” national Australian album launch tour, presented by triple j, the Harbour Agency and Chugg Entertainment.
The Mile Guy Club, LA studio shenanigans recording a dream debut with producer Tony Hoffa, drowning as kids,jack-hammering concrete for a living, aeroplane mazz-es.. it’s all here 😀 Truly a pleasure hanging out these lovely, talented guys who are working their arses off in the pursuit of their dreams.
Thanks for listening and joining us for what’s become a life-changing experience for me.
I hope you enjoy this podcast series as much as I love creating it for you.
Special thanks go out to Alister Robbie of The Post Project production company. Your friendship over the past 4 years has been one of my favourites. I love how we’ve both been each other’s sounding board and shared the excitement, frustration and struggles of building what we have right now at this point in time. The effort you’ve made to help me bring this project to life just warms my heart. Shout-outs to Al’s wife Krystal Gregory who has now joined Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet as show producer and I’m excited about working on some magic together (keep it clean peeps, this is one of my best mates’ wife we’re talkin’ about here 😀 ). To Wil Anderson (TOFOP), Dave Anthony (Walking The Room, The Dollop) and Greg Behrendt (Walking The Room) – thank you all. Your podcasts were amongst my first to download, are still my top 3 favourites and you three all have been a significant source of inspiration that you can either claim or ignore depending on how this goes :p. Much love to my sis and all my closest friends who have always been there for me, especially those who have stepped up in the darkest moments. Last, but not least much love to my folks who are both the most amazing & resilient people I know. Thank you for your unconditional love, always believing in me (even when you disagreed 😉 ) and putting up with all my bullshit over the years. I’m so proud that you’re each other’s best friend and still together. You are both such a massive part of who I am today. I love you.
The Griswolds – “BE IMPRESSIVE” Australian Tour Dates:
Listen to The Griswolds debut album “BE IMPRESSIVE” and follow them on social media here
Drop us any constructive feedback via email at email@example.com and follow us on the socials here:
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.
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Every now and then someone I love does something that just blows my mind!
This week one of my colleagues brought to my attention the #SpreadPositivity trend that’s sweeping the internet at the moment and it brought a smile to my face, so I decided share my little piece of love.
Any time I’m having a bad day, one of little tricks I employ to get me out of a funk is to bring sunshine to someone else’s day by doing/saying something silly to make them laugh or if I’m not around friends/family, then when I’m at the supermarket, store or a bar, I’ll ask a random stranger (the person serving me) how they’re day is progressing. It’s amazing how often you see a visible uplift in spirits when your actions break the monotony of someone else’s day with a little human touch. So empowering!
This attitude I have towards life is a longer story than what I have time for today, but is partially inspired by my granny who for most of the time I knew her, was dying of emphysema and had been left pretty much penniless by the husband she’d divorced many years earlier. Despite these challenges, Granny Else set the world of her family alight with positive energy, cuddles/tickles and boundless love, which had a massive impact on all of us as human beings. It’s this experience and the influence of my amazing parents who have lived such selfless lives so that their kids would not want for anything, that inspires me to want to be a better person. Whilst I am far from perfect and certainly have moments that I’m not proud of, my outlook on life is this – I can’t necessarily change the world and all it’s problems, but I can change the lives of those in my world. If I can do just one thing each and every day that impacts positively on the life of another individual, in my mind that in itself justifies my own existence and will hopefully inspire others to take the same action also. Is this way, incrementally, day-by-day I can make this planet a better place to be.
And so here I sit on a Sunday evening, sipping on a delicious glass of Pepperjack Shiraz listening to Jack Johnson after a twilight excursion to Melbourne’s Docklands to test out my “new” Canon 60D that one of my close friends has given me on long-term loan ’cause he knew how much I needed it to take my next steps in the business (Hot & Delicious Group) that I run outside my agency role. While his is not the small kind of gesture that I’m talking about, this simple act of kindness and selflessness has me writing this article with a smile on my face and a song in my heart 🙂
It’s such a simple thing, but when you’re next having a day when you feel like throwing your toys out the pram… Take a few deep breaths and whether it be a random act of kindness for a friend, family or stranger, reach out.
Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.
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