I first met Kate when we were both involved in the very early days of the management of YMT:UK, now British Youth Music Theatre. She facilitated and line produced a heap of shows which my wife Kath Burlinson was devising, writing and directing. Since returning the Scotland we have both relied on the knowledge of Kate for producing, grant writing, and making stuff happen. I am looking forward to working with her on the development of the CGO Institute Bursary Fund.
What was your journey into producing?
I studied music at university but knew I wouldn’t be a musician or teacher so needed to explore other ways to use my degree. I worked with classical music organisations until joining a music theatre company and am now freelance.
What inspires you to be a creative producer (and/or keeps you going)?
When I look at roles in other industries I don’t feel so excited.
Is there a style of art/theatre you particularly want to create/produce?
Everything I work on has a strong musical element.
Have there been any barriers or challenges in your creative journey?
As a freelance producer I am challenged by the fact that live productions can take longer to deliver than working in a [regularly funded] producing organisation so sometimes it can be difficult to hold onto motivation and enthusiasm.
Are you someone who works on one or multiple projects – tell us a little about your style of work?
I have a portfolio of work and skills. Currently I am working with two/three artists and productions, plus I work as a fundraiser and project manager.
What are you working on now (which you can tell us about)?
I am unproducing and rescheduling a tour for Skye Loneragan a spoken word artist, plus in the early stages of Mairi Campbell’s new show.
Within the Diploma programme/idea what are you most looking forward to helping/experiencing?
I am looking forward to meeting the cohort and figuring out where I can support/advise.
If you were going to share 1 or 2 gems of advice to aspiring producers, what would they be ?
Whatever/however/wherever you get your early experience will be useful and transferrable.
How do you ensure your own personal wellness (especially at this time in the world)?
I do a lot of pilates, cook good food, go for walks, and kitchen dance.
How do you like to learn / acquire new wisdom, info?
I like to learn by doing.
How do you see the future, what could change for the better, what must be protected, how can the arts and your role in the arts move forward in uncertain times?
As a freelancer I am now much more keenly aware of the difference between organisations and independents. I would like to see a future where organsations reach out to a wider pool of people to support their producing work.
Personally, I am finding it hard to see what the future looks like, the picture looks very blurry and keeps going in and out of focus. I am inspired by my artistic colleagues who are coming up with solutions to keep making and performing live art.
Any superstitions or special phrases you hold close to you?
Nobody dies (unless we are very unlucky)
Any lessons learnt or experiences to look back at which are amusing/ lifechanging?
I have learnt most from my mistakes – you only make them once. Always set or ask for a budget – as an intern I ordered canapes for a fundraising event, but my manager hadn’t set a cost per head and I didn’t know to ask. I ordered very delicious things from the menu including lobster claws and when my boss saw them he went white! What I will never know is whether the luxury buffet translated into bigger donations…
Thanks so much Kate