As lovely applications are coming in for our Creating Theatre Lab, so various questions come in too of course, and it's a learning curve putting yourself in the shoes of your 'audience' as you find the best way to spread the word, aware of how inundated artists are with offers, opportunities, information - total overload the majority of the time. And, what you really want to do is sit down with each of them, with a cup of tea, and have a nice chat about why you have created this particular opportunity, what it means to you and why you feel it is necessary/valuable/important. So, here, on a rainy bank holiday morning is my metaphorical chat and cup of tea.....
The Scenic Route exists to support new artists and new work, but specifically with a particular and passionate interest in avoiding the concept of 'emerging' and really supporting new voices. Voices who may not currently have the CV or experience to pave their way, but are no less talented than those who do. Similarly, I am passionate about creating opportunities that are not prohibitive financially and have a degree of flexibility. Much of this passion comes from a very personal place, a desire to challenge elitism in the arts, and my experience in the industry, and my story is not unique....
What it doesn't say in my bio is that I'm also single mum to two inspiring little people, the youngest of whom is still not in full time school. Juggling the demands of this industry in this context is no mean feat! Finding time and money to create work is a challenge, 'networking' is a challenge, the logistics of professional development opportunities are a challenge - to name but a few! That's evidently not to say it's not do-able (I'm doing it - as are many others - and I do like a challenge!), and the joys of motherhood and working in the theatre make the whole mix tremendously worthwhile BUT it has made me incredibly passionate - and vocal - about how we view, judge, support and promote artists.
As we all know, talent and ability alone is not what realistically propels artists forward in this industry. Opportunity is. And opportunity is better found with time and resources. Sometimes both are not in abundance however and this is the perspective and awareness I come from as I am growing The Scenic Route.
Our Creating Theatre Lab is one step within this. An opportunity for an artist to immerse themselves in a practical process, whilst training intensively in diverse techniques, with award-winning professionals, AND with a sharing at the end, BUT it is consciously time limited and affordable and no experience is necessary, just ideas, passion and commitment. I wanted to create an opportunity where artists who may not have yet had the chance could find and express their unique creative voice and have a sense of where to go with it next, how to tell the stories they want to tell, and make the theatre they believe in making. Opportunities to build on collaborative theatre making skills are few and far between, yet confidence in generating your own work and ideas is so incredibly important and valuable across the disciplines.
Nothing like a bit of honesty and passion on a Monday morning!
And if you ever do want that cup of tea, just shout! I am always happy to hear from new artists, whatever your ideas and suggestions....or challenges! (Incase it's not already apparent I strongly believe in being vocal about the challenges to create shifts in how we as artists approach our work)
New to blogging but maybe more to follow....
The 'whys' of our Creating Theatre Lab
Monday 29/5/17 11.15am