Convener(s): PETA LILY

Participants: Tanya Roberts, Phillipa Barr, Morna Burdon, Alison Mead, Regina Mendes, Drew Davies, Amelia Bird, Lucy Wigmore, later Chris Grady

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Regina: The hard part is the artistic frame of mind doesn’t marry well with the producing role.

We were all artists who to varying degrees have been/are producing our own work – due to perceived economic necessity rather than choice. 

Drew shared much of his experience tips and guidlines.

Time is the greatest Challenge, also knowledge, resources and ability

Drew recommends making use of web applications such as diary, spreadsheets etc. Tips: get all your invoices to stay on top of budgets – even if a friend only charges you for film, don’t pay till they invoice you.

Finding venues is a slow process – ring and ring – maybe ten no’s to get a yes.

Remove the emotional value to calls by putting them in your diary or phone – scheduling follow-up is key, be systematic. Be prepared for (some) venues to not call you back.

The elevator pitch is important – help the venue know why they should have/could sell your show. Be clear about what you want –eg only November (helps them feel you are organised and in demand).

Three weeks minimum to get reviews. Are the broadsheet reviews that crucial?

Drew gave a rundown on what various venues charged. The cost of hiring venues made some people feel ‘it’s a hobby you can only do if you’re rich! But it’s not, it’s a job! And we should be paid’. Fees, part fee and then BO percentage.

We spoke a lot about swaps for complementary services eg voice lessons for some IT work.

Listings are free – the Guardian, What’s On, Big Issue? And they do seem to work – a great title that people can identify with and good by-line. Call the local radio stations, too.

ACE website - get on their mailing list

Morley College in Lambeth trains producers – swaps or deals?

Publicity is key and costly – £2-3,000 unless you get mates rates/strike a deal…

Does ACE offer help with fundraising methods?

What makes a good Press Release?

Get to know the press officer at your local theatre and get their advice. Journalists are BUSY. The more you can write the article for them, the better, Have a clear angle, a clear hook.Use your minority demographics if you have them.

We decide to make a group and share our knowledge.

Lucy volunteered to share a lot of templates she inherited from her Fundraising friend in NZ.

Fundraisers can be asked to raise the money, then take their ten percent.

Good photos are crucial. Poster photo must be strong and ‘sexy’ you also need performance pictures for the press, they can’t use your ‘sales’ image.

A Fringe Co-op would be a good idea, Alison suggested.

Can we interest EQUITY in supporting producing artists….???

Drew said we should sign up to Fringe Mondays. A social get together – good networking.

Email-outs – always have a similar head eg ‘Peta Lily appearing in…’, sp people can get to recognise it. Twitter reverses email – it’s a little blog so people will come to you – esp if you give a gift e.g. of information D&D is running next weekend

Budgets and spreadsheets – Lucy may have a budget template to share with us –

Although all budgets are different.

Website – Chris Grady said – there are may be students at drama school whose IT skills can be traded for some voice or singing lessons

PL mentioned Chip and Dan Heath’s book ‘Made to Stick’.