Karl Vadaszffy Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Karl Vadaszffy
Karl Vadaszffy is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots Podcast.
He is a man who, ill be honest when I started researching him, I thought “How the hell does he pack everything that he is doing into a day?”
If you think that you are busy, then think again, as not only is he currently the Head of English, Drama and Media Studies at an outstanding Catholic school in Hertfordshire., but he is also juggling the work of a freelance journalist.
Writing articles that regularly appear in ten industry-leading magazines that cover the automotive, aerospace, technology and travel sectors he is a man in demand.
How The Dots Have Joined Up For Karl
Karl Vadaszffy articles are read by over 12,000 subscribers in print, and more online, but he is even more busy than that.
As the author of several bestselling books “The Missing“, “Life Of Sin” and “On Guard” the last blending his love and expertise of fencing.
Yes, he could challenge me to a dual at dawn, as for seven years he was a Karl was a competitive fencer. Fencing is in his blood.
So how does he pack so much into his life, and still find that urge for consistent creativity?
And if he could choose just one of his talents to do only, which one would he choose?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show, to start joining up dots, the one and only Mr Karl Vadaszffy!
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Karl Vadaszffy such as:
How he remembers the first story he ever wrote, that he actually wanted to write
“The Bermuda Triangle Conspiracy” and wanted Tom Cruise to play the lead……guess if that ever happened!
How staff training days for teachers can easily be stuck with their holidays each year.
Not the day after the kids should go back to school
The way his passions changed in life.
After not attending film school due to the cost, but ultimately ending up where he talents are allowed to flourish, in the literary world
Why he tells all his students to grab hold of any opportunities’ you can…as it might just be the one that changes your life
How he met Ralph Fiennes and asked him how he got into movies and became successful….and got the one word answer “Luck”.
Books By Karl Vadaszffy
How To Connect With Karl Vadaszffy
If you enjoyed this episode with Karl Vadaszffy then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Thomas Umstattd James Nord, Richard McCann or the amazing James Barrington
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Karl Vadasffy Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello, everybody. How are we? Oh, it’s me again, it’s me again. And it’s Episode 193 of the Join Up Dots The Daily Show, where we speak to the motivational inspirational, or the kind of creative folks and we are going in different directions. Now we kind of started in a very online way earlier in the series of shows. And we’ve now moved very much into characters and personalities, which you may not have heard about before, but I certainly have got a fascinating tale to tell. And today’s guest on the show is a man who I’ll be honest when I say started researching him I thought how the hell does he pack everything that he’s doing into a day. Now if you think that you’re busy even think again, it’s not only is he currently the head of English drama Media Studies and outstanding Catholic school in Harper cheer, but he’s also juggling the work of a freelance journalist writing articles that regularly appear in 10 industry leading magazines that cover the automotive, aerospace, technology and travel sectors. He is a man in demand. He’s articles are read by over 12,000 subscribers in print, and more online. But he’s even more busy than that as the author of several best selling books to the missing life of sin and on guard but last blending his love and expertise of fencing. Yes, he could challenge me to a jewel at dawn as for seven years, he was a competitive fencer fencing is in his blood. So how does he pack so much into his life and still find that urge for consistent creativity? And if you could choose just one of these talents to do only which one would you choose? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots the one and only Mr. Karl Vadaszffy. How are you Karl?
Karl Vadaszffy [2:03]
Oh David nice to speak to you. Well prounced.
David Ralph [2:07]
I know I was practising that I was looking down at it all the time thinking to myself is coming up. It’s coming up is coming up normally.
Karl Vadaszffy [2:14]
Normally when people stumble when they get to the centre.
David Ralph [2:16]
So where is that surname? It’s not Hungarian or something. Is it?
Karl Vadaszffy [2:20]
Hungarian? Yes. Right? Yes, Hungarian.
David Ralph [2:23]
So obviously your mom and dad were Hungarian or just one
Karl Vadaszffy [2:26]
of all right. Yeah, I know. My dad was Hungarian. My my mom is polish. So I’ve got a bit of a mixture and I met in London A long time ago. And, and yeah, I was born here. And I have a huge mixture in one of my family.
David Ralph [2:41]
So So do you sort of lean towards sort of that Eastern European kind of way of thinking? Are you absolutely nailed down English?
Karl Vadaszffy [2:51]
Maybe another way of thinking but certainly life dial in many ways. My wife is polish. So I kept, kept me sendgrid in my family even more. And I spent a lot of spend a lot of time in Poland, and less so in Hungary. But for my latest book on God, which is partly setting hungry, I spent quite a bit will get some time there to prepare. So yes, Poland’s a very important part of my life, my family and a great place where I recommend people should go, they want to see see it up and coming vibrant place with lots of great city.
David Ralph [3:27]
So you played it safe in you really you you made sure that your wife got on with the mother in law? Is that how it worked?
Karl Vadaszffy [3:37]
David Ralph [3:39]
you’re not being pulled on that one, you’re not being pulled on that one at all.
Karl Vadaszffy [3:42]
She’s in the next room, she might just some
David Ralph [3:46]
you are you are you busy, aren’t you, you know, I looked at that and being you know, just being an offer. That is enough, but you are squeezing in more of and you you should count, I’m gonna say to you, you need to give one of these things up, because you’re doing you’re doing some much how to pack it all into a day.
Karl Vadaszffy [4:04]
3am I think is the best time of
how Yeah, madness, I don’t know this funny up, you’re speaking to me at the busiest week I’ve ever had. So I’ve got five articles on the Go at once. Now over a two week period. Well, teaching full time of course, and, and trying to write the next book, which is page 25 has been the page I’ve been on for quite some time now. So how do I do with difficulty just pushing myself and and sort of you have you have you have a target and you’ve got to keep up to it? And eventually, you know, you, you you get quicker and and more and more capable of taking the pressure of it because there’s a little pressure but and I you know, I never say no to Well, I was always take what was offered to me. So I can keep using the skills and so developing myself as a writer, is it?
David Ralph [5:00]
How can I say? Is it harder when you’re juggling different articles at the same time? Would it my way of thinking it must be easier to just do one move on? Do one, move it on? How do you jump from doing a bit on this one a bit to that one and keep it keep the flow? Right.
Karl Vadaszffy [5:15]
Whereas hard I mean, writing I’ll do one at a time. But I have to interview a lot of people to get the content. So the interviews are all jumbled up simply because you’re having to work at other people’s availability. So how do I do that? With great difficulty, I record how to take notes. And I just rely on having having done a good interview to get the right information. So I come back to it to write the article is it’s all there. But it’s something that isn’t much easier than it was the first so I must say, and how do you find the people to
David Ralph [5:49]
to interview you? I know that’s possibly the hardest thing that I do. I’m constantly reaching out and finding people. And I’m not actually finding people that are integral lead sort of directed to the content of the show i can i can go pretty generic, but you’ve got to find experts who can fill in the blanks and your knowledge for your characters, I suppose.
Karl Vadaszffy [6:13]
Yeah, when it’s when it seems doing people for articles that contents technical, so I write for automotive magazines or post technology is number one, I’m doing some education stuff now as well. 14 for that I don’t need to interview people because I have that knowledge already. But if it’s cause I’m writing about, for example, and you know, they rely very much on experts, those articles. So they’re always forthcoming. Because you know, it’s I think it’s lovely for anyone to see their name in print, whether they’re writing something, whether they’re being interviewed, and they’re part of an articles discussion is hard when you interview someone and they answer your question, yes or no. And that’s about it. And you don’t get with detail. And you’re like it when unfortunately, it’s most of the time, when people speak a lot and provide me with a huge range of information so that they asked will be coming together much more easily. It’s when you have the so called for the information that is more difficult. But that doesn’t happen often. Fortunately,
David Ralph [7:14]
I find in my show, if I do an incredibly passionate, enthusiastic, lengthy question, because I really want an answer. I will then get a yes or no in response to
Karl Vadaszffy [7:26]
the hit very typical. Yeah. I could just say yes.
David Ralph [7:31]
And I saw Scrabble around, I think, what what can I say now? What can I say now? But I’ve only had one or two of those people. And then I went for a little phase of saying to people before the show, can you please stop saying yes and no questions. And then I realised that didn’t work because I had that in their head. So they went really limit for you on everything that I asked them, even when it was you know, you had a nice day to day, you know, talk about everything they’ve been doing. So yeah, you’ve got to get that happy balance, but it’s not easy interviewing is it is is that a skill that you have sort of developed? Or do you just do it as a kind of informal chat?
Karl Vadaszffy [8:04]
How do you interviews voice? Yes, the informal. I think I’ve worked before the MC always send set questions that sort of will guide me through the interview. But very much is a case of responding to things people say because they don’t always know you know, everything I want from them. So I will hear something and it will prompt a question in my head. And that will get me the extra detail and we can go but it’s it’s not as it’s not a skill I have I have not a trained journalist and I remember meeting not very, not very long ago, a great editor who, who controls a publishing company and pitching and and she pointed out to me where certain strategies for interviewing the if you’re fully trained as a journalist you pick up so I sort of adopted my own style because I came into it after I was teaching and and I found my own ways of getting by but my ways are probably not the most helpful ways Actually, I’m sure they’re there quicker and some more conducive ways to getting what you need. But I do it the way I have to do because I’m still teaching on the books and I’ve got a style now that does work for me so sort of keep it going that way. So So
David Ralph [9:26]
let’s take a take you back in time because that’s what we do and Join Up Dots and when you was a little child running around, were you always laying down and scribbling storeys and writing or Was this something that has kind of come to the fore in later life.
Karl Vadaszffy [9:42]
But when I when I was 11 or 1212 I think I was I had an English teacher I remember her name is Mrs really liked that’s an intriguing name. And she said that she sent us a storey or something I think it was probably the first time I ever wanted to write a storey outside of the told to do something in school. And so what was going to be a short little piece we had to do for her I decided I’m going to turn into a book so I got this exercise book and try to write a storey at the same time and maybe age 12 so some people may say this is a little bit risky reading when you’re 12 I just read a book by Sidney Sheldon who sort in the 80s and round before them was was in massively sold 250 million books around the world right lots of screenplays for film and TV huge Hollywood so writer my dad introduced me to him he was quite quite rude at times you know push the boundaries a bit
David Ralph [10:43]
what kind of mood
Karl Vadaszffy [10:45]
what kind of mood every kind of areas
David Ralph [10:48]
what was the Rudy area car
Karl Vadaszffy [10:50]
through the stereo? There was there were plenty of naked ladies It was
David Ralph [10:54]
definitely I’m trying to Google Sidney Sheldon now what what’s what’s what’s the rudest one you remember but
Karl Vadaszffy [11:00]
I only really comfortable invalid line out a few few last last one my dad says we don’t read this book. And then when he went out I remember practising my skimming and scanning skills and then became very good at just flicking through as a young boy trying to see why Why shouldn’t I read it?
David Ralph [11:19]
You can find those bits. Can you as a kid very quickly. Yeah, I don’t know what it is first page
Karl Vadaszffy [11:24]
straight there, just like that. But the book I read when when this English teacher said this storey to us was a thriller called the doomsday conspiracy which in hindsight is probably quite a silly storey as she was a soul modern day thriller that had aliens in it so it wasn’t it wasn’t sci fi but he didn’t bring a sci fi angle into it I loved it was just such a page so engrossing. So I thought why why I love the idea of a title the doomsday conspiracies, I’m going to write a storey called be something conspiracy. And every time I’ve heard about them commuted triangle, and I thought were fascinating planes getting missing and stuff. So I decided that I’m going to write the Bermuda Triangle conspiracy, and Tom Cruise with star in the film, and I wrote the dreamy triangles for them conspiracy, and Tom Cruise did not start with them. But it was you know, so 1012 pages of probably nonsense that really got me into it. So I enjoyed writing, then I really do anything again with writing down so I was about 1516 I wrote I read the first Ian McEwen novel. My lover English teacher in school recommended the cement garden she said, Oh, this is a shocking but you gotta read it is naughty. Also Ruby
David Ralph [12:39]
is always the
Unknown Speaker [12:40]
way to get us is it is.
Karl Vadaszffy [12:43]
And I started read that it was always like the car crash means is revolting. But it’s that kind of thing where you still need to turn the page you just can’t stop yourself looking. And I really want to write a book like this. So I put pen to paper literally pen to paper I wrote 200 pages is a storey which I called for no apparent reason other than that, that would be words, we in the first paragraph testimony eight and stuck in a couple of several years of 15 I wrote the first draught of the book that became my debut novel when I was about to know 23 I think
that’s called full of sin. And
some years later, I decided I wanted to write a book for sure. I pulled it out recovered, said I’ve still got this idea so I’ll go read realised at that point, when I read it that is a 1516 year old I was really keen on big words that made no bloody sense whatsoever when they were stuck together and and rewrote it into something coherent. And that began the journey of actually really trying to do it properly and again published through a company and trying to get an agent which is remain still the main way even though Publishing’s changing a little and yeah, trying to find new readers to remodel Is it is it
David Ralph [14:04]
is it a creative urge that you have or is it the process Do you do like actually constructing it like you’re building something or do you lose yourself in the characters when you’re writing it
Karl Vadaszffy [14:15]
it’s satisfying in the sense that you build something I’m I don’t see bizarre my my wife asked me once when when she saw me writing something and I like I was in pain and and I don’t actually enjoy writing the books when it when I start I enjoy it when I finished the first draught and then I’ve got the building I bought the material was partly built and I have to finish it off and make it better I hate doing the first draught I find that so difficult and and i don’t get any pleasure out to creating the initial bits of the building but there’s something in me that just makes me want to do it and that is the finished product so there’s there’s immense satisfaction in getting to the end and to make him something work when we first draught I think always shocking and probably most writers find that and and actually building your your foundations into something solid and then seeing it you know the idea of holding the paper back in your hands and that’s that for me as part of the creative process that is incredible and there’s nothing like it
David Ralph [15:23]
so sort of holding a Kindle doesn’t light you up as much
Karl Vadaszffy [15:28]
I can’t say I don’t like I must have said I Kindles identify can do that. I can’t say it officially because can do is the reason mobile so so well. Amazon wonderful in the sense that it got me a lot of readers. We’ve been missing sold 60,000 copies on Kindle. But personally, I’ve read two books on my Kindle. And that’s probably as long as I’m going through there was something about the paper bag, but you know, I just can’t get away from I haven’t got a Kindle.
David Ralph [15:55]
But I’ve got this urge to have a bookcase full of 60 Kindles just as an amusing statement when people come into my office I could see it and go what a madman is weird very Kindles, isn’t it? How you know that I never want to go on holiday with more than two books. So I don’t see why you really have to take 100,000 books in
Karl Vadaszffy [16:20]
I know there aren’t that many people who can read seven books in a week or now I think most of us go high for a week to those who can see all two weeks even I I could stretch myself to four books if I’m really pushing it but as any once you are a family as well you know there is more to do when you’re on holiday and just read as well. The other handy handy if you go as a teaching I get fairly nice summer holidays. So there are times when we spend maybe four or five weeks in Poland, then taking paperbacks is difficult because I read the most during the year in the summer. So to take eight books or something is a lot when you’ve been you know the airline’s limit you to 20 key rights or something. Kenny was really grateful that I suppose but now I’m downloading to to was my max, but I understand their appeal, I think they probably cover. And I’m very thankful that they exist because they brought me readers that weren’t there beforehand.
David Ralph [17:16]
Did you know call I kind of forgot you was a teacher. And Ben, you mentioned the five, six weeks go holiday in the middle. And the fact that you said I get a fairly nice summer holiday because my daughter is a teacher. And it drives me mad I say to her, you’re having more at this part of the year when other people have a whole year Do you not think it’s marvellous? And dependent winds me up? And I don’t know, if you get wound up is the fact that on the day that I should be going back they do teacher training? And I think how can you not do that within the five weeks?
Karl Vadaszffy [17:53]
You could bear in mind you know go save it certainly my experiences of five or six weeks is go can spend real so we have a working it’s Denver I know people who break off completely during their five or six weeks I can’t do that there’s just too much to do. We could train can we before I find I find train those really irritating actually, you know Rob much rather get on with it, then just listen to people tell me about getting on with it. So they say trainings right or improving. And sometimes things happen that are really useful in training. But yeah, it would be nice just to get going.
David Ralph [18:33]
Because I’m easy. I’m 44. Now I don’t know how old you are. But I’m easing into not irritable land. But this kind of the 70s was a better place to grow up and live. And when I was a kid, teachers basically were teachers. And they would come in, and they would work the morning, go up down the pub at lunchtime, come back. And then that was it. And I never knew teachers to have to be trained. It was like you did the training when you became a teacher. And I’m not sure where this teacher training I imagine all my listeners out there, but our teachers are spitting out their cereal in few days. But I do wonder why you actually have to add the additional training. So now I’ve got you in my grips. What What did I actually do on stop training days because my doctor won’t tell me?
Karl Vadaszffy [19:23]
so anyone who knows there’s so much great stuff that we don’t need the first day of the year is a set of days. Now it’s great. If you’re a new member of staff adjusting to a new school, we’re learning policies and procedures and stuff like that, if you’ve been there several years, you know, you could just get on with things. But when they’re in set days during the year, those are the days when often external companies will come in, and they’ll do quite innovative things with new trainings, new theories, new ways of engaging students in the classroom. Or I mean, the best kind of things will be the training courses you can go on where you can just network and get my slides from the people. There are organisations and professional gather, who dedicate themselves to working out ways to do things differently. And the key about teaching again, is you’ve got to evolve over time. So it can’t it can’t be done the way it used to be done. And it’s not, it’s not expected to be done like that. Now, part of part of your development, professional development is the idea of whether you’re constantly striving to improve and find ways to get better what you do. And we get inspected and off state is a horrible thing in this country’s and arrogance is always there and and your training days are often central to how do you perform for the current ops standards before they change their mind and you’re making something completely different. They do go around in circles. So it’s stupid in that regard. But the training is always really helpful for how you can engage children in a variety of ways said no good teachers, a good teacher, but I think even the best for me to try and find new things to bring into our classroom.
David Ralph [21:05]
Well, one of the things that comes up in the conversations a lot when I’m when I’m talking to successful people, and you’re actually in the school education system is that they feel that the education system is a conveyor belt for employment and it should be a conveyor belt to encourage and inspire and educate Now I know that you are in an outstanding Catholics going Harper cheer. Did you think that’s that’s a fair appraisal of it? Do you do you think Matt, so many kids go in one end come out the other end and Ben just haven’t really got an idea of the passions that are in them what they should be doing with their life.
Karl Vadaszffy [21:45]
Yeah, without without holes of cap, holes of standing good, satisfactory, whatever they want to call it off said does that’s that’s what that relates to it was outstanding rates of boss dead twice his past two inspections. That’s all the nonsense in the sense that it’s an inspector group that comes in for a day or two and makes a judgement based on a limited experience, you know, but I think is important in instilling confidence in the children to go there is external people come and see the school, they say is really great. And you should have faith in every teachers and being here and believing that you can come out of the room with a greater success. We have vastly mixed intake in my school. So we have a lot of students who come in with high academic standards, but a lot we’re coming on average academic standards and some incoming below as well with full spectrum, and they can all achieve and that’s that’s the message it gives them and that’s why I really like it does mean you know, as you’re constantly striving to fulfil these Ofsted standards that in many ways, schools become as you just said, like a conveyor belt to try and pass your exams and try and fulfil criteria. And that’s something I dislike massively. But I always while doing that, because we have to, we have to get them through exams, we have to teach months pass exams, we have to fulfil all state requirements. While doing that I still always try and find ways to get them through passionate about reading, which is at the centre of all language study, and actually being great communicators, which is what we’re trying to teach them as well. So take all the boxes, absolutely we have to do is that there’s no safety belts, if they leave not liking books and not really being engaged or reading up disappointed, don’t follow tradition at all. So unlike a teacher who will say you know, you’ve got to read classics as I know that if you want to read a great crime thriller, if you want to read a chick lit book, if you want to read a comedy of modern writers today, when you do that anything that grabs you is an excellent opportunity. So are encouraged and using my lessons as well book so potentially no other teacher in the country will use all you I used a couple of weeks ago, the opening of the new book by an American Crime writer that was was just establishing himself in this country I everything I find my thing could engage the student or show and the next day was lovely to see. One of the boys came in and said Oh, look what I’ve got my Kindle and we’ve already bought the book. So it does work. It would just have to be brave and trial.
David Ralph [24:27]
When you when you look at the education system, did you see that programme that Jamie Oliver did a few years ago when he took kids that had been expelled or told not to go to school because of issues of some some degree. And he put them in a school where he had celebrities famous people who were to teach them so he had like Jamie Oliver did the cooking. He had daily Thompson doing diving Simon callow doing English, Rolf Harris.
Karl Vadaszffy [24:56]
And I thought I saw bit of the calorie one I think, not much Nova because I cannot tell you to in too much. But no, that would be great. You know, yes, syndrome assignment, calor getting very animated and fresh. You know, it’s, I don’t know if that works when you people who are good teachers or teachers or have spent a long time doing it. And it’s really hard to train as a teacher and jump straight into a classroom and be amazing at it, you go through a difficult opening year difficult even in some cases, two or three years. Before you really get established every time you move schools as well. You’ve got reestablish yourself. So it becomes difficult from a starting point, wherever you are in your career. And I’m lucky that I’ve got a very comfortable day around teaching children they respond really well. But I left my my first school, I’ve been into schools, I left the first school after seven years, and joining my current school, I had town halls and I had very, very, very comfortable years and in a quite a challenging school initially. So everyone, I didn’t find it difficult until they were known by the children. Yeah, 50 children don’t know you got it, you got to build the relationship, build the trust, and then and then you can, you can have great lessons every single day and, and they can respond amazingly. Teaching with regards what you’re teaching and teaching Shakespeare at the moment is on some classes and fellow students that’s, that’s not the most appealing things, and they they’re enjoying it, they’re coming up with some really great, great work.
David Ralph [26:32]
So I’m gonna play the first about motivational speeches because it really does say something to me. But as somebody who is involved with the kind of that the gestation period of education, when the kids are moving through finding themselves, I’d be fascinated to see what these words mean to you. This is Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [26:51]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [27:18]
Now, two questions on that. Number one is, do you think that is the message that we should get out to the kids today?
Karl Vadaszffy [27:25]
Oh, definitely. Definitely. I wish somebody had said that to me when I was younger. Absolutely.
David Ralph [27:30]
And the second question is, have you taken a risk in life? Or has it just naturally been a progression? Have you gone with the flow?
Karl Vadaszffy [27:39]
Five I’ve changed no matter where I am today is not where I thought I’d been on this not regretful at all, because I’m doing three very different things that all bring on a lot of satisfaction. Know I think the age of quite demeanour is my finish university when you were 21 to 21. I wanted to film school, loved films. A very young age my my dad, he was was an actor, when he first came to London. We trained at Rada. And so it’s just always been the family. He wasn’t acting when I was was born, he acted in the 60s, early 70s. He did some films, he was in the crossfire with pain. He was a doctor who tortured Michael Caine for the last half an hour, and some other stuff. And he was in a Bond film. So it was just something that was always there, my family. So I really wanted to do something and be involved in film in some way. And there’s a great film school I found in California, I really wanted to go really, really wanted to go over the fees really scared me the idea of getting into debt at such a young age. And then bizarrely, I don’t really know how I catch this link. I also love drama and acting and stuff, but I’ve been enjoying it lessons in school and I decided okay, so that’ll be too expensive. I won’t do that. But I’ll go to drama school in London, which is actually incidentally very expensive. So it was very stupid thing came I bought the lines up going to drama school. So falling in my dad’s face of not not to rather unfortunately but to to a place called the Centre for theatre studies.
had to Yeah, I was there was set to do lots and go there. I’d never auditioned for a drama school in my life. I went and auditioned. And for those 1000 people applied in 35 places and they chose me bizarrely, it was a complete surprise, and I ended up going there. But I deferred for a year I didn’t go when I got in because because of the money side of things. So that’s how I got into trading to teach your training I tried. Looks at the qualifications, I have some options of all, okay, you could train to teach and learn recruiting, I have a career path there that if the drama doesn’t work out, you could go down. And things just happen. But the ultimately turned me towards teaching and turn me away from the drama. I met my my wife. So then girlfriend, but she was important. I was in England, I was going to drama school at the time. And in the end, I just had to make a choice. Now, what do I do? Do I carry on teaching which I was qualified to do by that point? Or do I go fully with the drama and take every risk, there is a massive, massive uncertainty with that it was 85% unemployment. So this statistic I heard back then in the UK, and then probably never not have the relationship with the person I wanted to be with them who was abroad, because I needed to travel the time. And so I fell into teaching full time and the end and married mom very happily. And we live over here in the UK and my life could have been very different. But then actually in a lovely young daughter now. So I’m pleased the way it went. It was never expected on every corner, that sign different boundary around it wasn’t expecting,
David Ralph [31:14]
which is the beauty of life, isn’t it. And that’s really the theme of the show that your path is kind of directed by fate in many ways. But it’s what you do with it at those times and those decisions that can lead you either to huge success or despair. And I think what I’m finding out on these shows is the people that get get success, they purely get success because they try more things than other people. And they have a certain amount of luck. They have a certain amount of talent, but I can speak to them on a daily basis. And I go well how did this happen? Really, I’m not really sure by come back, it’s like, I don’t know is too many things joined together about making me get to that point. But they’ve done those things, they’ve done those hundred million little things to move on. And that is what makes a life fascinating, isn’t it?
Karl Vadaszffy [32:10]
Totally, if you don’t, if you don’t try as many things as you can, you’re just never going to know. And you might say I’ve got this plan and you’re so narrow minded Let’s all you go for you and you might completely block everything else out and then you might get there and you might be disappointed with it. So I think being very open minded your way through and taking every opportunity that comes at you and and if things don’t work out well so what you know you’ve tried you gain experience from it. That’s a great thing and and you said the word luck long as key as well I once I met the actor rate finds once and he was doing some work with my dad in preparation for film. And he had to learn how to offence to my dad was coaching in the quiet period of time. And and I’ve asked him something about his his storey How did you get into film? How did you become successful at something like that? And his answer was one word on so it was luck. That was it. And obviously was Howland’s is there, and the training is there. And the opportunities are there. But ultimately gotta get lucky to, you know, with the books, there’s definitely been a degree of lock, how the mixing sold the number of copies it did. Things just fall into place naturally out a lot of authors supporting the other huge number of people supporting you on Twitter. And it wasn’t stopped with it wasn’t a planned advertising campaign just fell into place. It was lucky, you know, the journalism I got into the journalism one Bye, Bye Love to in many ways I wanted to I was teaching I taught for a few years, I thought I’d really like to try and apply my creative skills in a different way. I love writing I like a lot I like language. So what what could see if I might be able to get get a job in editing or something. And you have come out of teaching for a couple of years and see what that’s like. And I spent two years just applying for lots and lots of jobs. And in the end I met with publishing companies managing director on and he said to me, Well, why don’t you write for us. And he put me in touch with an editor and I did an article. And to this day later was eight years later, I’m still writing for. And this blue majority of my work is for this brilliant company and sorry. And, but 10 of their magazines I write for. And that’s simply because a man who when he was young, someone had given him a chance decides decided that he would give other people chances. And he saw my very unusual CV which had no journalism experience at all and cold banners that kept coming towards me, and then just offered me this great opportunity. So that in which I’m still benefiting from today, so so to do to love your life, when you look at
David Ralph [34:58]
it, you kind of go Yes, this is really the you know it on your deathbed. If you were to die tomorrow, hopefully that’s not the case. But um, if you were would you go Yeah, I’ve had a good one here.
Karl Vadaszffy [35:11]
If it happens, if
we get you know, I’m gonna satisfy Yeah, there’s a lot more I want to do, you know, I think I’m really pleased to have these great opportunities and these great experiences, and I’ve helped a lot of people it’s been lovely teaching, you bet you affect so many lives, you know, every year, hundreds of young people’s lives. And, and I remember you, you I can see some children, I taught wherever children now they’re not, you know, 10, nine years ago, and they still remember you and they remember you fondly. And that’s a lovely thing. writing a book that’s read by people, I mean, people in Australia who have read it, you know, and India and America. And that is described, well, it’s not really a democracy. And they let you know, if I don’t like it all reviews a scathing back the other. Fortunately, the majority are really good. And then people have enjoyed, enjoyed my voice. But that’s really lovely too, because people, I’ve read lots of books, I remember them. And so you go with people for their life. And then articles to me, people keep magazines don’t lie, and people learn from there, I think, then three great, great pathways. And anyone who’s considering teaching or trying to write a book or trying to get into journalism in some way, jump straight into it, go for it if you can. But at the same time, don’t restrict yourself and have an open mind and take up opportunities that come to you. But they still allows more to do. Last one, which has been writing things that have to be achieved, and I won’t stop until I get there.
David Ralph [36:47]
But when when when you meet these old kids who were kids that you told, did they still call you Mr. But that’s free.
Karl Vadaszffy [36:53]
Did they call you wait for you, sir? It’s bizarre. No one’s called is, you know is but when actually I had a very bizarre experience. When I first started teaching. I was I was teaching in a school in the same town where I grew up. And we used to have school Consortium’s then they sort of died out about two years ago, but it was when about three schools in the local area got together every so often. And they did training together. And they offered students lessons. So if for example, one school couldn’t put on a subject for various reasons, they could travel from one school to another another last time. So my school was in my school was in consortium with the school where I was a student was 11 to 18. And within my first couple years of teaching advocates and meetings and my former English teacher will be there and walk in the room and I will be Hello Miss. I just couldn’t call her Claire it was preserved. And she would always say now call me Claire. Find out where it comes from is is a very weird sensation. So after years, including someone said I will make so much Balboa for Mr. Mrs. Was tickled by their first name.
David Ralph [38:06]
Because I I met my teacher I when I was five, I had a teacher, Mr. O’Brien. And he was a little bloke with a beard. And I’m now 44. And when I was about 40, I walked into a pub and I thought, oh my god, it’s Mr. O’Brien. And I couldn’t work out how I’d gone from five to 44. And he looked exactly the same. It just hadn’t aged at all. And I went up to him and I said, Hello, Mr. O’Brien. You don’t remember me? And he obviously looked at me like no, I might have remembered you as a five year old but not as a 34 year old. Little bit different. And yeah, he kept on saying to me, you know, I don’t know. Call me Bob. Call me Bob. And I was going okay, Mr. O’Brien. Yeah. Yeah, I couldn’t do it. Even though I bought him a pint, which was a bit weird. And I was having a drink with this man. But um, yeah, it’s fascinating how you can’t break from that, that training. You’ve got to call them Mr. Do, Sir, don’t you?
Karl Vadaszffy [39:01]
You do bizarrely Is this the most odd experience. I mean, fat, Facebook and things like that. So great now, because you can get you can get in touch with anyone calling you and they send you messages and requests and stuff like that. And, and suddenly hear from someone a few years later and still say Hello, Miss to me. That is just, again, called is out of the question. For some reason. You still insist on it, and eventually it might happen to trong.
David Ralph [39:33]
So just before I played a words of Steve Jobs now, actually, I’m going to play him now. But I’m going to ask you the question afterwards. This is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [39:41]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards, 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to try in something, your gut destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [40:16]
So the question I was going to ask you is, do you have a plan in life? Or is it very much like Steve Jobs, talks about bad things happen, and you just go with it.
Karl Vadaszffy [40:29]
I’m always ambitions, my wish, I suppose you could say is a plan, but the how you reach the end ambition, how it gets completed is completely uncertain. So now I think you do this and that maybe this is the dose part, you do this and that and you try and do whatever you can to, to fulfil the things you want to achieve. And eventually you get there are my biggest ambition at the moment. And I try it with every book I write is, would like one of the big five publishers to pick it up. And that’s an ambition I’ve got a how I get there is, is that we have very various routes to get into that sort of standard. So I gotta write another book, and we’ll finish it got a good idea, I think the next one, you know, you you, you’ve got to look at your backlist and hope that they keep grabbing readers interests and, and you can use those as as ways of attracting attention to on and keep learning that you know different ways of making writing better I certainly where I’m going now with this and while doing that, trying to see how your my teaching career from developed to I’m going to seem very senior position now. Which is great and and how I can I can affect, you know, students the most positive way by by by leading a team of teachers by step by step homes, you know, it’s going to be a case of reacting to opportunities, I think everyone should just grab every opportunity they can get. And that’s the message I give very often to students who come to me and ask for advice. Those who are may think about going to university or something like that. take every opportunity Go for it.
David Ralph [42:18]
I think that is the title of the show, to be honest, because I think that’s the thing, I think what what what makes people stuck call is the fact that they think that the opportunity has to be the end, it has to be the one that nails everything for them. And I say it time and time again that you can be in a crappy old job and get another job. And if it’s crappy, get another one, you know, it doesn’t have to be the perfect job. And when I transition from my nine to five, which was a very good job service, I did loads of stuff in between, because I had to pay the bills and I had to cover it. And there were certain times when I’d be thinking, oh my god, did I do the right thing. I had this career I had base I had vast and stuff. But I knew that I was able to take advantage of those opportunities that you’re talking about. And I think people get stuck because they think it has to be the one
Karl Vadaszffy [43:16]
did you think that? Yeah, very much. So that’s, that’s the storey of my books actually, in fact, because you know, it wasn’t released, full of sin was released via initially by a small independent publishing company, I wasn’t able to find an agent, that one is a very dark storey. And very, it wasn’t part of the trends that was kind of going around at the time and fiction. So with the second book I wrote, I went to crime fiction, which is very popular was very popular will continue to be very popular. And, and try to find an agent for that as well. And the traditional way is to have an agent who can try and find your publisher. And obviously, the aim of every book you write is to get published by the biggest publisher possible so that you can have the maximum exposure to try and get the biggest number of readers possible. And after after substantial amount of trying, I found an agent, one of one of London’s top agencies took me on very, very luckily. And the idea was that the missing the that was picked up by the agents, he was the one that was going to go to all the big publishers. And I was very keen to that to happen. Because that would have been Dan and now which is what I think people wanting and often very impatient, but in discussion with my agent about what possible next, but when we came up with the idea for on guard, which which is also a crime thriller, but that involves fencing and Hungarian history. And thanks very much to my family history. She felt it was a really unique selling points that because no one’s really writing crime with fencing in it. And it’s it’s an unusual sport and because of my knowledge of it could be quite a, quite a quite a unique take on things. So she convinced me to not push the missing to the big publishers, and the hope that we will release it ourselves through her company will get some readers to be aware of who I am. And I’ll write the next one on God. And that will be the one that we’re going to be publishing. So she asked me to be patient, when when obviously I liked having anyone who’s written a book will probably be wanted to just go for it and really try and have one main goal achieved straightaway. And I listened to it actually, I mean, it works so incredibly well. Because when we were trying to get just a handful of readers to get my name out there, we ended up getting 60,000 and ends up having a top 10 best seller. And that wouldn’t have happened have we done it the way I initially wanted to be down, which is probably why most people would want it to be done, which is let’s go for the biggest thing now is a huge risk in sending to to the big publishers and then not taking it on because ultimately, then you leave yourself with only one other way to go. So by by not doing it the way I think I thought I probably would have wanted to do it initially. We know we have great success. And sometimes I think you do have to just be patient and not not want to get the end goal straightaway. And that could come in the long term. And that’s what we’re working on now. So it’d be lovely now to get the big publisher, having had the initial success and that success will be will help as well attract the big publisher to
David Ralph [46:39]
I wish you all the best of success on that. And I know I have no doubt that you will achieve your aim. I was talking to our friend Peter Stewart Smith the other day and I gave him a character that I thought was really useful. And I’m going to offer it to you as well. And he is really sexually attractive. podcaster cool, called Jobs. And his surname is Join Up Dots. So it’s Join Up Dots and he gets to sleep with loads and loads of ladies willy nilly revved up. Can you build that into your character? Do you think that’s going to work?
Karl Vadaszffy [47:11]
Well, in the new book by writing the villain? Exactly. I’m really I’m empowering the female characters, I’m going to have a female psychopath. So one of them could be I don’t want to sleep that she could be in she could kill you. I know. The victim was afraid
David Ralph [47:26]
he’s not like a praying mantis being I like to do I’ve given it away. Now. It was me I was talking about?
Karl Vadaszffy [47:33]
Well, evidently, you could have your fun that you had been asked to be punished for that, as is the convention of crime
David Ralph [47:41]
and marriage as well, I suppose Why?
Karl Vadaszffy [47:43]
David Ralph [47:45]
Well, just before we say goodbye to you, I’m going to send you back in time. And this is part of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic. And if I could send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self, what age would you choose? And what how would you speak to so I’m play the words now. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [48:11]
We go with the best of the show.
Karl Vadaszffy [48:29]
So 33 year old Carl says to 16 year old call something along the lines of this I think you’re studying for your GCSE. So your exams in the UK, you’re a lazy little bugger. Pull your clothes, your socks up and start working hard. Try to achieve as much as you can. And then when you go to university carry on the pattern do exactly the same thing. So you work off your levels to get into a good university make the right choice, my pic, of course, the really interests you don’t take the safe option, which is what you did. And, and, and then really, really push yourself to excel in it. And hopefully by loving it, you’re going to excel anyway. Don’t wait until it’s two days, one or two days until it’s late in the day to start working hard. You can do well if you work hard late. But if you work hard the whole time, you probably would do a little bit better than you did and then drop my T’s horribly then so I apologise. I think your message is called work harder and achieve more
David Ralph [49:33]
cow How can our audience connect with you?
Karl Vadaszffy [49:38]
So there’s a website called bad.com. It’s called okay. Twitter. That’s called surprising the article My surname is selling short because it’s just horrendous to spell Facebook as well. If you do call the ad, I’ll be the first one who says no one with a name like that. And then warm on LinkedIn by window understanding Tim so you’re welcome to search and vehicle, whatever it is you do on LinkedIn, but July 14, anyone who’s read the books or who wants to read the books or who’s interested in journalism, read the articles wants to read the articles, anyone who’s interested in learning more about teaching as well be delighted to help anyone who’s interested in secondary education or indeed English education in this country to
David Ralph [50:21]
well, we will have all the links on the show notes. Carl, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build a futures. Copa Daffy, thank you so much.
Karl Vadaszffy [50:38]
Thanks, David. Good.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.