Serafina Salvador, 10 January 2016

I called a session on sharing and celebrating the creative, mental and emotional

condition of the courageous people that had or are transitioning into Theatre from

another profession; and to my surprise, there were at least 4 others at DandD11.

Sophie from Project Management, Amy from Charity work in World Peace and Conflict

Resolution (whoa!), Anthony from Retail, Marianne from Journalism and Olly from

Producing/Managing & many other things.

A common helpful catalyst to 3 out of the 5 participants was Julia Cameron and her

wonderful nurturing book The Artists Way. For me personally, the book helped me

celebrate my decision to go from disgruntled & paid to disgruntled & now devoted.

At DandD11 and in real life finding myself amidst discussions on how to get paid for

that devotion, I have concluded: its not just about having that “one idea of success” in

my mind become reality; but really allowing myself to trust the process of change I

began. And really listen to what it is teaching me about my experience as a human.

Which then, feeds my experience as artist. So its not (just) about becoming my

favorite director's new muse and getting paid; but about how this process of change

could contribute (through my art) to the performing arts as a whole and to the world. I

mean, I am much more than perfecting the process of being “told what to do” as a

muse to a famous director. Isn't that why I initiated the change in the first place? Do I

know for sure that process pays, well I am a work-in-progress and still finding out…but

I can tell you I am not broke!

Transitioning does not only have its philosophical lessons;as Sophie, who is just letting

go off software development (fully) pointed out. There are things to be learnt from

other professions, which then get brought in by people who transition. In her

experience, a number of processes she had employed, such as the “agile

methodology” and “failing quickly” could be employed usefully in the arts to “creatively

get to the same place/ a sane place”. Similarly IT software development could use

“open spaces” to more efficiently create satisfying working processes that aren't

(almost always) stifled by the bureaucracy in corporate organisations.

Amy from the Charity sector, opened our eyes to how competitive charity work can be

and that she discovered through cardboard citizens the relevance of real life to theatre

making and has now moved to Manchester where she is re-organising life, to let

herself creatively express. She spoke of the welcoming atmosphere outside of London

to “new” artists regardless of having emerged or being emerging.

Anthony brought forward the very relevant question of “how do you structure your

life?”. Its not like the day after you decide to become an actor, you are on stage or in

an audition room or even in front of an agent! This question just brings me back to my

realisation of keeping “the human experience” alive and the focus rather than just the

artist's experience. Anthony has a great opportunity at the RSC, which seems to be a

good combination of his past work ex and where he wants to be in the future - a

theatre maker. So it is possible and even the transition does not have to be painful.

Olly found that his life experience of being a jack of a lot of trades has now helped him

be General Manager at the Poets School in Bristol. Giving up the “extra” life pressures

of living in London has allowed him to find a place as a more relaxed participant in the

Arts. He finds he has more room and breathing space to think about his contribution to


Marianne who started off as a journalist brought her experience as a theatre maker in

prague to the forum and commented that the potential for dynamism and exchange

between cultures was definitely more possible in England versus Hungary. She has

not given up her job as a journalist yet but makes her contribution as a playwright on

the side.

Some very practical statements that came out of the session:

Know Who You Are

Not Letting Criticism Destroy You

Have yardsticks for success but define them yourself

In Life you gotta get comfortable with “winging it” once in a while.

I end with a quote by Nichiren Daishonin, the Buddha of the Latter Day Law : The

deeper the roots of a tree the more prolific its branches, and the farther the source, the

longer the stream (Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 736)

A very inspiring and encouraging session. Hope I didn't get anyone's points jumbled

up (for the people that participated) and hope whoever reads this gets a twinkle or two

out of it to go on and shine on your artist self!


Criticism, Charity, criticism, success, charity, growth, CRITICISM, Theatre, it, way,

THEATRE, theatre, It, Success, Poets, Human, Being, Yardsticks, Profession, IT,

Julia, Growth, Way, Artist's, Cameron, being