Artists AND/OR Producers?

Jessica Phillippi, 29 July 2012

Session notes / minutes

Participants: Jesse P, Suzy, Jo, Tina F, Flavia

QM once had a producing course that no longer exists?

Not many freelance producers in Scotland, have they all disappeared or moved to London?
- If we bring them up here, could they do their jobs as well w/o connections? Maybe it would not be useful to attract them.

Fear of not creating as an artist once you begin producing

Hard to do both - Producers don't want them to and most artists don't want to!

How people perceive artist and producer roles?
- do actors just want to find £ and admin
- producers want artistic role - what asking them to fill/not fill?
- administrator and project manager are different from producers - has this been articulated yet?

No space for producers
- visionary, not just administrating

5 session attendees describe themselves as: director, producer, dir/prod/stage mgr, project mgr, actor/writer/director

PRS launching PRS plus scheme - putting music producers into other arts organisations

Things are beginning to happen for producers, to encourage/help them in Scotland

Articulating how producing works/how attractive it is/enthralling it can be at the upper level–it's not just spreadsheets, which is how it's perceived

Hard for artists to forge relationships with producers–need to establish these (hopefully friendship) so producer doesn't become project manager

Example of good relationships: Artichoke, which produces work of artists they know, creating great, exciting work

Nepotism issue: when artists go up the ladder, what happens?

Help those who helped you–what happens when you lose those collaborators to bigger organisations?

Only working with those you come into contact with in your circles/society
- How do we meet producers who are connected to non-theatre attending groups or

working class or smaller marginalised groups in society? Connect to them?
- Rural producers connect to their society - different relationships they have
- Highlands and islands producers?
- difficulty of rural touring schemes who sometimes have young promoters who disappear

- how do I come to the islands from Glasgow?

Promoters vs. Producers?

Promoter: creates a link between a product and a space –> not working with the artist @ creation of work

Producer: responsible for many small tasks –> is often responsible for working with artist @ creation of work


If you're ideas-led and specialising in one field, i.e. theatre, look for a producer who shares your focus

If you want someone to mutate, find someone working across disciplines

If need it to be theatre, and at a specific venue, find someone who knows that venue


How many projects do you actually DO, undertake, that people approach you to work on? %? 1 to 100?

One producer says 1 in 50.

Playwrights may need to wait a few years even if selected; funding dependent

Artists should cluster together and figure out who's the best at producing and then get that person to produce the group's work

Training is not in place to get the number of producers in place needed to change the landscape.

Producers ask: How can you separate yourself from producing and just be the artist?

They recommend:

Begin operating at a manageable level for a while so it's not overwhelming and damaging when people come through the door

You can't be all things to all people

Articulate what a producer is, where they sit collaboratively in the team, just as you articulate roles of actor-director-writer

Get excited together about the projects when at the same career level!

Producer says:

- Actors as baubles–be a bauble–go meet people and network! (Although producers can be very shy!)
- Everyone I'm working with understands how the budget's working
- Share the workload, work with others, to co-produce each others' work

P13 group of playwrights in US producing each others' shows

Need a different perception of what producing is! Explain it! Write a play called The Reluctant Producer!

How much better we have it in Scotland, when in London we producers would just be reading contracts.

Empowering - choosing what kind of work you want to help create

Playwrights always saying to producer “I would never have imagined it like that”

Producers enabling creatives to dream –> don't stop dreaming!

Is streamlining (thinking about reality and practicality) a bad thing for creatives?

In first years out of college, you have to mash everything together to get your work on, and wear 4 hats but at some point, stop and pick ONE.

Producers: Kate Tindall, funded by Gerwood Foundation - they talk about what they do and why

Look outside Creative Scotland for other trusts & grants

Be bold–ask producers! Research them and look at work they've produced then contact them: Mark Fisher's page, Thom Dibdin's pages, Actor and Artist's Yearbook. - they receive loads of ad hoc emails, tell them you want to talk to them!


relationships, artist, Creative, creative, Producers, projects, producers, create own work, perceive, producer, producing