‘What is success to you? You want to be a writer, but are you writing?’ Yamin Choudury – Artistic Director of the Hackney Empire.
Important words to end an inspiring day at Theatrecraft 2019. After spending the day talking to industry folk and telling them where I wanted to be, I found a lot of them telling me, ‘then do it!?’ Suddenly all the self-doubt and impostor syndrome I had been feeling had gone and replaced with sincere support from…well…strangers!
This is the purpose of TheatreCraft, to celebrate those wanting a career in theatre, not necessarily knowing what that looks like. There are so many different jobs in the industry that make a show happen that may have nothing to do with getting up on stage.
The list is endless so I won’t waste word count on it, but to give you an idea, I spoke with Monqiue Foulger from Opera Holland Park:
‘I always loved all aspects of theatre, performing, reading plays, but I didn’t know how I would fit that into my career path. After my Masters in theatre Producing, I realised all the things I love about theatre and what suited me were in that role. It was amazing to see that you can have a job where you organise things and people and you are really part of the creative process without having to be that person in the room calling the shots or getting up on stage.’
So, what can you gain from Theatrecraft? Well, do you want experience? Mix with industry people? Be introduced to new companies? Hell yeah!
I started my day by talking to the Rose Theatre Kingston about marketing. My main aim for the day was to talk about how to get into marketing when I feel completely under qualified to do so. After speaking with them, then speaking with the representatives at the LW stand, then to the Orange Tree Theatre stand, they all gave me the reassurance that it is possible as long as I have passion, as well as giving me advice about where to get started – something that was so valuable for me at this stage in my career.
Making my way around the marketplace, I spoke with Frankie, Theatre Administrator for UK Theatre, who I feel summed the event up perfectly:
‘Theatre has always been my passion, so I thought I might want to go into Marketing after Uni. An event like this would have been really useful for me as I didn’t realise there were marketing roles within the industry.’
I then continued learning more about such roles by attending the ‘Marketing a Show’ workshop hosted by Dewynters, a live entertainment marketing company. It was a brilliant opportunity to find out more about their company and experience a day in the life of a marketing role. Once the workshop was over and I had stopped for lunch (side note, always eat lunch at TheatreCraft, it’s a long day), I then went to the Dewynters stand to have a chat with Matt Hamm, Head of Social and Content. He gave me some great advice about marketing companies and digital content creators to look into as a way of getting experience. What great tools! I almost felt like I was being told all these secrets that I had to keep quiet, but that’s exactly what the day is about, getting insider tips about the industry.
To finish off, I attended the Q&A with Yamin Choudury (Artistic Director of Hackney Empire), Michelle Terry (Artistic Direct of Shakespeare’s Globe) and Matthew Xia (Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company). One person asked, ‘how do I stand out from the crowd,’ to which Michelle Terry responded ‘competition is an old model.’ This left me feeling confident that I can achieve the career I want within this industry. Looking at all the like-minded people in the room, I stopped looking at them as my rivals but more as supporters, people to help, people who are in the same position as me. I left with a head full of advice and tote bag full of leaflets ready to take on the theatre world – and without sounding too much like the cast of Highschool Musical, I felt like we’re all in this together. Thanks TheatreCraft.