Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Young Vic Genesis Network

You can tell when I should be doing other work - I blog more. Anyhoo.

The Young Vic Genesis Network is pretty much the only such network dedicated to linking aspiring and established directors in this country. Possibly the world? It's a fantastic resource - with links to over 700 directors, regular updates about different opportunities from assisting on productions, attending workshops and talks, getting free tickets/ticket offers and much more. It also allows its members to send blanket emails to the entire network asking for support or advice, publicising your work, or anything else really.

When you become a member you get to create a profile - a bit like Facebook but without a 'wall'. There's a section for including information about past and present projects, put in requests for staff etc. And there's the 'about me' bit. It's a bit like writing a dating advert, I think. Because, I found out recently, there are actually people in the industry who take it upon themselves to wade through our profiles and actually read them with a view to possibly employing us. Yay. And yet, how best, then, to present oneself? Here's where I am:

Perusing through others' profiles there is a variation on length, how much past experience is included, whether a person has trained, what they're interested in etc. Some are chatty and done in the first person, others are strictly no-nonsense 3rd person pieces. But what is apparent is not only the amount of competition out there, but that there are people with amazing credits on their CV, people who have been on the National Theatre's Studio course (a bit of a holy grail for us lesser mortals down the rungs), who have worked at incredible theatres as both directors and assistants. But we're all in the same network.

In a way, while we're all in competition, we're also all part of a team. Team Director.

Go Team!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Challenges Associated with Fringe Producing

1. You are not the priority - if a better option comes along (read: better paycheck) then you will be dropped quicker than you can blink. This is not personal, this is business. The danger is the timing of this.

2. Your network will be small. Attracting funding is hard, and reaching an audience as a small company is harder - especially if you are independent and not creating work as part of a theatre's official programme.

3. Very often you have a much smaller company of people than a production may realistically require. Actors have to double as stage hands, the crew have to multi-task in extreme ways, and everything has to happen on a tighter, shorter and cheaper schedule.

4. Every success is an extraordinary achievement. Every failure is the end of the world. Emotions run high. This holds true for all types of show though.

5. An extraordinary amount of work goes into what may ultimately be a very short run. And then it's all over.