Nudging people, chocolate cake and the gentle art of marketing

I create events and support projects which give people a helping hand as they navigate a forest of ideas, or the foothills of a mountain. I aim to offer a bit of nourishment and some time to help them look at the map, and prepare the path.  But sometimes it takes a bit of nudging to help them realise there are no catches, there is just ‘chocolate cake’

I love this analogy (and we do glutton free and 100% healthy imaginary versions of the same cake). It was described to me by my charity fundraising daughter – in her terms she is not begging for money, she is offering chocolate cake – and you know you like it and will want to pay something towards her charity and that warm fuzzy feeling, or the t-shirt, or the place at the table which your cash, support, legacy can make possible.  I’m doing some workshops for a networking organisation of musicians and storytellers across Scotland and have spent a lot of time talking about the gift they have to offer, the chocolate cake they carry with them, when they are trying to find the courage and best way to negotiate.

And sometimes free events (like this one), and the Producers’ Pool (£5 incl croissant), and CGO Surgeries (pay what you can), take a lot of energy in marketing to get traction.  It is one of the problems of being freelance and not part of a National Theatre team or recognised body. Wow have I tried over the years to offer my chocolate cake on the platers of these august institutions, but maybe my lifelong fringe is just too long. Maybe they just can’t understand how inexpensive the offers are, and how needed they are.

So, dear reader, I rely on your help to spread the word and the fickle word of twitter and facebook. In the end it works but it sometime feels like pushing uphill.  But I know the chocolate cake CGO offers is very good for you.

Here are a few quick dates in case anything in the display cabinet teases your fancy:

Tue 25th – London – Producers’ Pool on post Brexit international collaboration (*)

Wed 26th – Glasgow – TRACS member free event on negotiating (contact TRACS)


Mon 2nd-Mon 9th – Perm/Russia – Musical Theatre writing Workshops (1 place available)

Thur 19th – London – ITC Conference debate incl the role of the producer (via ITC)

Tue 24th – London – Producers’ Pool on union/representation for producers (*)

Wed 25th – London – CGO Surgeries / pay what you can consultations (**)


Fri 10th – Leicester – NSDF Producer career pathways  (via Nat Student Drama Fest)

Wed 15th – Edinburgh – CGO Surgeries / pay what you can consultations (**)

Sat 25th & Sun 26th – Edinburgh – Revelation workshops (check my website under COT)

Tue 28th – London – Producers’ Pool, host/venue tba

Wed 29th – Inverness TRACS member free event on negotiating (contact TRACS)


Wed 13th – Edinburgh – Art of Being Heard Masterclass (email me for details)


Throughout these months I continue to offer skype coaching sessions to creatives and small businesses in the UK and internationally.

A marketing/brand expert would rightly say I have too many different products in my cool cabinet, but that’s been my way all my life.  The person who needs a quick surgery on their production plans is a very different person from the business leader who needs presentation skills, or the young person passionate about theatre who has just realised there is a career called “producer”.

I share this list in case any reader wants, or knows someone who might want, anything on the menu  (*) 450 PP members will have the link to book for this event, any producer who wants to attend and doesn’t have the ticketsignite link, just email me. (**) for a face to face surgery, or to arrange a skype surgery on another date, email me chris [at] chrisgrady [dot] org. TRACS, ITC, NSDF

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  Mary Oliver, poet 

“I have more trees to climb” Ben Moor 

Have a great weekend

Now to prepare for my CGO Surgeries in Edinburgh today

1 Comment

  1. I highly recommend Chris’s warmth and unmatched expertise. He has a magical way of extracting your dreams and desires, and in just a few minutes can help you to isolate a path to pursue. Wonderful man. I can’t wait to work with him again!

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