Rewakening my workshop programme

Its been a sluggish few months with me scheduling occasional producing workshops but without much takeup. Last night was the zenith when a University Society had booked me for a 2hr zoom workshop at a time and date of their choosing. There were only 2 advance booking, and then on the day when I chased, the organiser advised me it was a difficult date/time for them.  Give me a break…they chose the date and time.  Then I signed in for the event and no-one showed up, not even the organiser.  I was awaiting some granite-hard questions and time for me to pour soothing oil on choppy waters of career confusion – but no-one was there.

I would have been disheartened had it not been for a mad flurry of bookings for the next series of Open Workshops which I will be running on Wed 12th, Sun 16th, and now Sun 30th April 4-6pm.  I was worried last week by low early booking, and so engaged the services of Lewis Forman, one of my Alums from the DipCP who had just completed his contract with NT Live developing their computer contract tracking systems, and was available for some extra help.

The DipCP programme and the workshop programme has been invigorated by the social media support of alumni’s sharing their experiences and testing their selling skills – first Joanna Morley, then Lucy Donald both from the first cohort, then Allegra Nespoli who stayed with me for 6 months from the 2nd cohort,  and now Lewis.  Each have brought their energy and focus on getting the word around.   I’ve also had the support of a Bristol Uni undergrad Olivia Tetlow for a few months and the ever present Edinburgh based theatre director and project manager Emily Ingram who has supported me from the very beginning.  They each make an impact when they bring their youthful attention to the wonderful world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and leave me with Linked-In.

Yesterday morning Lewis launched a blitz attack with a new branding of his own invention across social media.  On Easter Monday we moved from 5 advance bookings for the workshops to 38  (capacity 50 across the 2 we launched).  I guess there were a lot of aspiring creative producers and theatremakers using the Bank Holiday to wonder about their career paths.  I am delighted we were in the middle of the path waiting to be helpful.   So busy have the bookings been that this morning I have added a 3rd workshop on Sun 30th April.

I have to accept a slightly more effusive style from Lewis “… industry master, Chris Grady. I have personally had my career in producing propelled by Chris’s workshops; he has so much to teach the new generation of producers…The CGO Institute’s famous workshops return in style, lead as always by world-renowned producer, educator and creative Chris Grady.” Glad I didn’t write that.

I will not give up on doing bespoke workshops on line or in person for University and specialist groups. Over the last 2 years I have done over 30 of them and, when managed and marketed well by the University Society, they are busy and fascinating. But I may think twice about returning to one Uni for the moment after yesterdays no-shows.

It is exciting to be leading the Diploma in Creative Producing with a fourth cohort at the moment, through to graduation in June, and beginning with Lewis and my Associates, to be pointing people towards DipCP5 which will start Nov 6th 2023 for 8-10 aspiring creative producers.  Anyone interested can get in touch with one of the 32 people who have done/are doing the course for their comments, and can watch them settling into organisations and their own production pathways here in the UK and across the world.  It is a privilege and a pleasure to steer this course.

And for now, tomorrow, I have the first of a packed series of Producing Proper Job Honest workshops to lead – meeting the producers and theatremakers of the future. Thanks Lewis for your colourful and highly effective re-brand of Proper Job.

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