You’ve just graduated from Young Everyman Playhouse Producers scheme: how has that changed you and what has it taught you?
I think I’ve learnt a lot from the scheme about how different producing in a theatre is, from working as a freelancer. Personally, I had lived away from Liverpool for four years so it was a great introduction back into the arts network within the city. I felt like I came back and knew no one anymore so it was lovely to create new bonds and establish new connections. I thought I knew what a producer was before the scheme began, but the little I knew about marketing, press, budgets & funding etc.. before, has developed so much just from soaking it all in and learning from the experts. The 12-14 hour days haven’t scared me away either, yay!
What are the biggest challenges facing someone starting out as a theatre producer in the UK today?
I find that the biggest challenge is making it all work. When the expectation when you’re just starting out is that you’ll work for free and you have a part time or full time job too, it is a constant balancing act. I’ve been producing freelance now for the past three years and only now am I starting to feel comfortable and confident in asserting that I’ll only work for a company/show if I’m paid.
There must be a lot of highs and lows. What have been your best and most difficult moments as a producer so far?
My best moment was most probably getting a 5-star review for mine and my peers’ final show as part of the Young Producers Scheme, ‘The Way I See It’ from The Echo. Also, being recommended for producing jobs is a wonderful feeling. The most difficult has probably been when I’ve had to be ‘the bad guy’ because of one thing or another out of my control. This, however, is a really minor thing and the positives always outweigh the negatives.
What one piece advice would you give someone who wants to produce theatre?
Try to remember everyone you meet/talk to as you never know how you could help one another in the future.
This is your first professional touring production. How is it different from creating festival work or shows for a single location?
There is lots more to consider with multiple venues and their teams (as of yet, I haven’t met a venue I didn’t like, especially Omnibus Theatre, who I’ve been working with for the first time on this project) more travel & accommodation to consider and most importantly, I feel, as a producer, completely different audiences. One marketing plan might not work for another etc.. so you’re almost starting fresh with each venue you go to which is exciting but daunting! I think when you believe in the show you’re producing/assisting on though, you can’t go wrong. It’s surprisingly hard to sell a show you don’t like.
When you have a challenging day as a Producer, what song do you play to motivate you or lift you up?
Don’t Kill My Vibe by Sigrid, just reminds me to get rid of all the self-doubt.