Walking up the stairs into a small social space at the Zip Room, a small cafe based in Stretford, I found my group in a wide circle, preparing for the Workshop. The workshop was run my the members of children's theatre group, Colour the Clouds.
The workshop's subjects focused on organising your own theatre company and working Freelance.
WORKSHOP 1:STARTING YOU OWN COMPANY
Catherine ran the first workshop which was a breakdown in setting up your own theatre company. Catherine began buy telling us about her company, and what their goals were as a team, creating a theatre company that created shows for younger audience and from that goal they have developed a strong theatre group that is respected and has performed a number of shows for many theatre festivals.
Firstly we discussed what should be the goals of being a self-employed and established Theatre Company like what you wanted to achieve with your theatre group (what kind of shows would you like to produce, finding funding, sharing profits). She also pointed out the main things that would be required to keeping you theatre company active from making sure that your team is in for the long ride and that you know which role you are within the group, from treasurer to the advertising. She also discussed the importance of make marketing your company and making a name for yourself. Whether that be marketing research to find out what theatre audiences want to see in a show to having a engaging tagline that attracts the audiences attention. From this the group can create a new and engaging show. But it was an opportunity for us to sharpen our skills and to try new things as a collective.
The third subject that was covered was writing a Tax and Risk Assessment. Catherine explained that it was easier to write it as a group rather than individually as it would make the process more fun and could be completed without struggle. It was also important to keep a log of all your expenses and to research everything. It was also suggested that if we needed help better understanding on how to write a form, that Equity, The Acting establishment has a program which helps new theatre companies and performers to write it without any problems.
The final discussion was based on self promoting your company and making a name for yourself. How a your company could be used to promote yourself or to network with other creatives. Catherine also told us that if our first show is a failure then it is important to try again and learn from your experiences. Catherine also spoke of branding and marketing your company by working with local theatre companies or branded shirts and prgrammes with your company logo and use it to capitialise your partnership. Using basic social media as well to spread the worked and get noticed. It is also importtant to look back at your mission statement, to remind yourself why you created this group in the first place and to have a three to five year plan for future reference and change.
The second workshop was based on the subject of working Freelance and the ups and downs of the role.
We all introduced ourselves to Sarah and she begun to discuss with us her experience as a freelance theatre director and writer and opportunities that it provides. Sarah told us that being freelance is based on managing your own career as well as making your own opportunities and knowing what job roles you want to succeed in whether it be a director, technician or other jobs in the arts industry. Working freelance also gives you the opportunity to work with others who share the same passion.
There are certain skills that are required working freelance. You must have strong communication skills, knowledge and experience of the industry as well as the role you are applying for and always networking with new creatives and people who share the same passion as you.
Sarah also warned us that although being freelance does give you many opportunites and freedom