A very cool little writer's milestone / by Laura Kebby

Today marks my one year anniversary with Newcastle Mirage, and that’s something that makes me really proud. When I think about the gravity of this last year, and everything I’ve managed to squeeze in, and everything I really set out to achieve writing wise, the makes me pretty proud as well. My role with Mirage really began when I first met Kian West. We were both living the retail life dream, when he took me aside one day and asked me what it was I really wanted to do. 

I’d always been a writer but I’d never really thought about actually pursuing it professionally, and I had never once really thought about the people who got to do what they really loved for a living. But here was Kian, along with Ryan, basically pursuing everything that he had always wanted to do creatively, and making things happen. I wanted to be that person. From the very get go he didn’t really present failure as an option to me. He gave me a platform to pursue something that I didn’t even know was possible to pursue, and from that single conversation, my entire writing career began.

On this day last year, Kian asked me to go to The Stag and review a local EP launch for Justin Ngariki and the Dastardly Bastards. I don’t think he really had any expectations, except for the fact that he was willing to give someone like me a shot, little did either of us know, the impact that this one particular gesture would have on both of us. In all honesty, I had absolutely no idea how to write a gig review. I continually use the phrase “fake it till you make it” in fact something Kian or anyone doesn't actually know, is that I googled that very sentence before writing that first piece. I also didn’t have a computer, a hurdle I didn’t really consider significant at the time and that first gig review was hand written, a practice of mine that hasn’t really changed too much. I arrived at the gig over two hours early, a complete nervous wreck. But as the band started to play, I knew exactly why I wanted to be there, and this was exactly what I had always wanted to do. I sat transfixed by the band, attempting to catch every word, remember every detail, asking myself how could I capture this properly?

As a passionate fan of live music, how could I put pen to paper and translate my love of live music to an audience? How could I ensure people were just as excited about going to see a band as I was? I looked around the room, the whole place was filled with people who were quite honestly, having the time of their life. And that’s what I wanted to capture, that’s what I wanted to write about, and so I did. That very first gig really shaped the way I write all of my pieces, by recounting the experience I shared with those around me. 

As my relationship with Newcastle Mirage grew, so did my passion and creative direction. Through a simple act of faith, I was able to cut my teeth in an industry that can be at times, impossibly hard to navigate. I built a support network, I made incredible connections, got myself to a position where I am able to make a living almost entirely out of something that I want to do, not something that I simply have to do to keep a roof over my head. Everything that I have achieved wouldn’t have been possible without this one act of faith and patience from the tight nit team at Newcastle Mirage. 

I love writing for Mirage and I’ve always been adamant that it’s the place I feel the most nurtured in terms of my passion for penning words, and I couldn’t be happier, or more thankful, or more proud to be a part of this wonderful team. To Kian and Ryan who have really kept this publication going for so many years, I thank you. And for all of the people who take the time to read the words we write, I can’t thank you enough either. So here’s not to just one year with Newcastle Mirage, but to the many more that are to come.