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  1. Secret review now not so secret…ish

    June 10, 2013 by hayden

    age-of-the-geek - Web ImageLast summer as all of you should know I performed at the Edinburgh Fringe with Age of the Geek. Whilst I did receive some pretty decent reviews, I noticed that whilst a national newspaper had interviewed me and seen the show, the review was never published.

    In my demeanour as your friendly neighbourhood performer, I have started promoting my new show Secrets of the Elders of the Zion. I therefore thought I would get in touch with this reviewer who seemed to like my stuff to encourage them along to the next one.

    They then sent me the review from last summer and allowed me to publish an amended version here, for the first time, 10 months later.
    Age of the Geek
    theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, Nicolson Street, until Aug 25

    The obsessive world of the geek is lovingly conjured up by Hayden Cohen… [a] proud geek from Leeds, whose only shame is that he did not do a degree in quantum physics.

    Rather, he graduated in English, and there is a literate feel to his rap-influenced paean to geekery, which is served up with lashings of self-mocking irony.

    The inventive 26-year-old… takes his audience on a whimsical journey through the different levels of geekiness – from an ability to change the wallpaper on your desktop to being proficient in Ascii art (cue, a photo of himself, composed of numbers and letters). He gives a mock-heroic rendition of the numerically-rich Geek National Anthem; and he charms us with a lovesong to his smartphone.

    And while he sings, he accompanies himself on the guitar, the mandolin and the kazoo, plus one of the few midi-stylophones in existence. A genuine geek, to his very original fingertips.

    4 Stars

    This reviewer has good taste in shows indeed. I look forward to welcoming them to Secrets of the Elders of the Zion

  2. Yorkshire Evening Post & BBC Leeds

    July 17, 2012 by hayden

    So this has been a busy few days for ‘Age of the Geek‘ promotion.

    I was interviewed by Wes Butters on BBC Radio Leeds last Friday. Here is the recording:

    Also, I had a massive page in the Yorkshire Evening Post including a picture on the front cover!

  3. Letter to my Soulmate

    February 14, 2012 by hayden

    Dear Soulmate,

    I’m not too sure whether we’ve met yet or indeed if you actually exist, but I just thought I’d take a moment on Valentine’s Day to tell you how I feel. When we eventually connect together you will be swept off your feet. On our anniversary I will bring you a rose for every year we’ve been together and on your birthday I will serve you breakfast in bed. If life provides us with enough financial support, I want to tour the world with you on my arm and me on yours. We will be happy forever.

    There is however one clause. If you want as much as a heart shaped candle, cheap red card or expensive meal at some swanky place on the 14th February, the deal is off. You are obviously too easily swayed by the emotionally manipulative commercialism of Valentine’s Day. You are obviously not my soulmate.

    All my love


  4. 1 – Impromptu Poem

    August 31, 2011 by hayden

    So on the 27th September 2011 I’m providing my “poetry factory” for Love Arts Leeds. I needed to get a bit of practice in to write a poem very quickly so in about 5 minutes I came up with the poem below. To provide a bit of context both my mum and her friend are English teachers and have a similar level of religious observance (Jewish and Muslim respectively).

    The 2 R’s

    Roma and Razia are BFF’s
    Friends of the highest order.
    Not only do they work together,
    But they religiously perspire.
    Sweating out philosophical quandaries
    Their differences never overshadow
    The fact that for each other
    They are kind, helpful and reliable.

    If you would like to have the “poetry factory”, music or any other writing for your event or to commission any work please get in touch.

  5. To write or not to write

    June 28, 2011 by hayden

    Over the past few months, I’ve been eager to write numerous blog posts about numerous different issues, but to put it bluntly, I’ve been afraid. Yes, my usual manly demeanor has been cowering in the corner for one reason – Money (however much we try to convince ourselves we don’t really need it, unfortunately we do). Once something is put online, that’s it. You’ve engraved your opinion to the cyber-noticeboard for evermore.

    Using the example of my previous blog post and for that matter this video –

    It is now clear that I think Cheryl Cole is not that talented and that her presence on our tv screens is detrimental to the mental capacity of all who watch her. Now let’s say that someone has heard of my work and how great I would be for say (*SHAMELESS PLUG*) a corporate event doing impromptu poems or for singing/playing guitar or for performing at an arts festival (*END OF SHAMELESS PLUG*), but unfortunately they are a Cheryl Cole fan. I would have therefore lost out on a booking as a direct cause and effect of my big-gobbery.

    This is not a blog post about freedom to say something, it’s about whether you should actually say it. I have the right to call someone an idiot or a loser. If I really wanted (which I don’t btw) it would be well within my capabilities to start slagging off David Haye’s mum, the world boxing champion, but it would be a stupid thing to do as he could beat me up without too much work.

    Also, whilst there are people who make a terrific living out of alienating others à la any-reporter-from-the-daily-fail, that’s not how I want to make my mark on the world. Sometimes it’s good to ruffle a few feathers though, and I would like the freedom to be able to do it. That brings me onto my final point.

    As a logical thinker, it irritates me that we have offensive-word Bingo. You could be mentioning rapeseed oil and it would cause distress. This is a major cause of irritation and excuse to curtail anything mildly objectionable.

    Basically I’m ethically confused. So, my challenge is, does anyone have any solutions for being open and honest, whilst ensuring that you make enough of what is seemingly the most important thing in the world – money? Comments below please.

  6. Brit Awards or Brit School Awards?

    February 16, 2011 by hayden

    Maybe I’m just a bitter northerner, but the Brit Awards highlighted the music industry’s bias towards the south. With the exception of best band which went to Take That, all the awards and most of the nominees (that had any chance of winning anyway) were from the South East. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t think that the winners are talented, they are. What really gets me quite frustrated though is that the sole northerner was Cheryl Cole.

    As I’m afraid to be sued for libel I’ll tone down what I was going to say. Cheryl Cole is a talentless, miming, spoilt average dancer with a pretty face. No, it’s not some snobbery because she’s from a working class background. It’s because she is actually talentless. Completely.

    That rant over, let’s get to the job in hand. Host, James Corden was told to hammer home that the award ceremony now has a renewed focus on grassroots music. Not really true as most of the winners put out their good work either one or two years ago and the winning artists are based in the South East.

    Why are the Brits, actually the South East England’s. It’s quite simple – The Brit School. Whilst specialist schools are great for things like technology or business, a school that controls the entire music industry is not very healthy. It gives alumni an unfair advantage over everyone else in an incredibly competitive and creative arena. Most of them go into the backroom management side such as A&R, managing etc and because it’s all their mates, they have the connections already. The few that don’t do this, instead perform themselves and they all, somewhat surprisingly, always succeed.

    In a creative industry this is not great. Yes, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, Jessie J, Kate Nash and Katie Melua (to name but a few) are talented, but what about the rest of us, that are pushed out London because we don’t have the infinite income to survive there. It doesn’t seem right.

    To those that say you don’t need awards to succeed, you’re wrong. After every award ceremony, regardless of the medium, there is a renewed vigour to buy their wares.

    To solve the problem, there needs to be more record labels with offices in the north (Manchester’s better than nothing) and close together to ensure that a more rounded winners list can be announced in the year to come. Please, we are actually quite talented up here as well you know. Tell me what you think in the comments.