Life Skills and Tools

There are certain tools which I have found transcend cultures, artforms, ages, and experience.  They are tools which can be gifted to aspiring theatremakers and producers, artists and creative beings. They sometimes offer light-bulb moments about a person’s artform, their relationship with it, and their confidence to take it out into the world.

Sharing these tools is one of the pleasures of leading the 16 week Diploma in Creative Producing (next courses starts Feb 20th for up to 10 producers) and the ongoing programme of 2hr zoom and in person workshops for producers and theatremakers (next this Sunday in person for Bristol University, and then 4th January Saudi Arabia musical theatre community on Zoom).

[Edit addition – we will be running a zoom Producing Proper Job workshop for any aspiring producer Thur 5th Jan 4-6pm on zoom]

The questions that are asked over 16 weeks or 2hrs are often amazingly similar. The answers are often deep in my core from having shared the tools many times. I am often asked why don’t I do podcasts and market a remote course – and the answer is that I really relish the live interaction as I share these tools with future generations of creatives. Plus finding the right people to join me in a classroom and spark new creativity with their wise words and tools.

I hope that my answers and my sharing adjust subtly whoever I am working with.  And sometimes I am challenged to think more widely, or question what I have taught often – that is invigorating because I know that the creative in front of me is exploring what it may mean to them.

Today I was sitting with an Edinburgh based, highly established visual artist and we were exploring the selection of their collection for a showing.  Here the marketing tools and the explorations of how and why to make and share art came to the fore.   Yesterday I was working with 10 Saudi based musical theatre writers, directors and performers on zoom. Here the network and project management tools became useful. Two days ago I did an open producing workshop attended by community practitioners and classical music specialists and we explored the essential aspects of a person’s life balance with coaching tools (plus we checked some Disney tools to help creative practice).

As I look to 2023 and the invitations to propose projects to run on Zoom,  in Saudi Arabia, maybe the Philippines or Korea, and hopefully Perthshire and Ayrshire I remind myself that there are people out there who haven’t yet got some of these tools, and some will treasure & share them when they find them.

So in time I will, maybe, gather the vast array of old classes and recordings and tools and slides and material scattered across my laptop (and backed up to the cloud honest). It could make a fascinating new book. But then Your Life in Theatre seems to be getting far more hits this Christmas than ever before. (Maybe quickest to do a kindle download of YLIT or a look at Your Life in Creativity in time for the stocking filling)

For now I will gather my tools for a trip back to my old stomping ground of Bristol University this weekend – taking with me some posters for their archives from 1977-1980 productions I helped on, and a few programmes with some very illustrious names of the theatre and film world who were students then.  Looking back I am reminded how much we managed to achieve without the internet to help in marketing, fundraising. How many tools have remained the same over the 45 years since ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in the Winston Theatre.

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