In this time of isolation and lockdown we need friends. We need to feel that we can reach out by phone, zoom, skype, or good old fashioned letter and make connections. I describe the role of the next generation of creative producers as inventors, employers and facilitators. My intention is to help the cohort of producers who decide to take the DipCP with me to find the friends they need for the future. The people that they may collaborate with as co-inventors. The people they may employ, or be employed by, as they move forward with their career. And the people who they will help and facilitate to make work into the future.
At this time of inventing the CGO Institute, I really need friends. I am blessed to have a long list of people I have worked with in the past and connected with in so many different jobs and worlds. This morning Kath and I took time to go through our mutual contacts and make a humungous list of people who might, just might, help to spread the word about this course.
Last week Julia Mucko and I interviewed our first applicants for the DipCP and we are delighted to have the first few people now signed up to be with us and the rest of the faculty of mentors and teachers when we start on November 2nd. It is both a strange and a perfect time to be starting a new training course for theatre and other arts producers. Strange in that we are in such a place of stasis and confusion. Perfect because the way out of it and into a new dawn will be taken by the next generation of inspired and inspiring creative practitioners. I can’t wait to be part of the classroom helping them find their way and make the friends they need. Anyone reading this who thinks a course might help them become the producer they think they might be, do get in touch.
At the start of someone’s career there is always trepidation that no-one knows I exist and maybe no-one will care anyway. ‘They’ (other people) are already making great strides. ‘They’ are inside their clubs and connected worlds and I am just a nobody trying to make theatre. Part of my work is to dissuade new creatives of this mis-apprehension. I was delighted to see one of our new cohort putting up a facebook and linked-in post about joining the CGO Institute in November and immediately he had some of my colleagues in his country congratulating him and making connections for his future.
Most established practitioners, especially most producers and programmers (ok maybe not all) are looking out for the next generation, the next great idea, the next project which can ignite their programming and inspire their audience. The next generation is needed. Especially where their voices may not have been heard enough, and where they can speak to and for a sector of the audience or community who may feel marginalised or not included in the ‘mainstream’ of arts practice. Most producers and programmers truly want to reach all the communities in their patch – but we will need the next generation of producers and theatremakers to help to make that happen.
So my task this week is to reach out to many of my friends and ask them to help me amplify my message, and especially reach communities where there could be aspirational creative producers and makers who could benefit from the training we are offering. I will continue to run online workshops entitled Producing – Proper Job – Honest (next one Fri 3rd July) to talk about pathways into the business. I will continue to be inspired by the passions and concerns of the next generation of producers. Last week I was with 20 students from Durham University who want to make theatre and film and a difference in the future. I have a ‘proper job’ workshop booked to run bilingually with Tania Azevedo in Portugal in a week or so. Shout if you’d like a workshop for your network.
Thank you to all those friends who are helping me to spread the word. It can be a lonely business to invent – every producer knows that feeling. Having a group of people to turn to for help, support, and to share the load is so important.
Here’s to friends at this time – and may we be able to hug again very soon.