This blog has been dormant all summer as Metta Theatre, who I administrate for, have had three shows running, and I’ve also been doing the groundwork for a production in London next week and the following week. I’ve also moved to London properly over the summer, and writing, unfortunately, slipped through the cracks. However, I’m back on the ball, and it feels like a good time to give my blog a bit of a new direction, as well as a bit of an aesthetic revamp. (Side note – if you’re reading this in a subscription email firstly thanks for subscribing, and secondly – click through to the website and admire how pretty it is! Seriously! Now, back to business…)
I think one of the most difficult things about working in theatre is that it’s quite an insular environment, where everyone seems to know everyone else and how everything works, and arriving as a newcomer feels overwhelming. There is a distinct lack of transparency, in my opinion, which makes it feel difficult to get into. What I want to do with this blog is describe my work and projects, in an attempt to provide you with some insight into what an early-career producer might do, and how and when I do it.
When I first started writing this blog, about a year and a half ago, I was a student, lamenting the lack of resources to help me produce student theatre, and I used blogging to fill the gap I saw; mixing and matching advice for other student producers and documenting my own projects. Some of the explicitly advice posts were useful (the most read post on this site is still How To Get A Producing Internship) but I found as time when on, that documenting my own work was both more useful for me as a way of processing what I’d done more or less successfully (and therefore how to improve next time), and more useful as advice: there are sample budget spreadsheets or production timelines out there, but seeing how other people put them into effect has been how I’ve learned best.
So, my current plan with this blog is to use it to tell you about what I’m doing, which may be of interest to you because you want to know how a new producer starts out, and what they do for various projects or because you’re interested in my projects as an audience, and hearing about the backstage development is extra insight (or because you’re my mother)! I will also intersperse it with posts about the industry more broadly. (One I wanted to write over the summer but didn’t have time to was a comment on the response to Tea House Theatre’s offensive job advert “To Millenials”, which was mostly more outraged by the low pay – which is in line with every other paid entry level position in theatre I’ve seen – than the abusive behaviour of this employer…).
Next week, I’ll tell you all about my current producing project, The Overcoat, at The Omnibus in Clapham and The OSO Arts Centre in Barnes, and my summer with Metta, and Metta’s autumn projects. After that, we’ll be into the nitty-gritty of my work as an early-career freelance producer and administrator. I hope you enjoy it.