Convener(s): Katherine Lamprell

Participants: Alastair Norgate, Phelim McDermott (bumble bee), Montse Gili ( bumble bee)

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Alastair felt that the issue was more about opportunities/chance meetings, thus contacts are just a by-product of the profession. Is it all really just about chance?

Should we just accept that theatre is always about contacts and stop moaning/worrying about it?

The marketing aspect of theatre- casting who you know and not unknown actors?

As two students who were concerned about starting out in theatre we felt that events such as this could really help us discuss theatre with professionals more. A supportive community of people who can offer advice.

As there were only 2 of us at this session at the beginning we felt that perhaps this was :

a) an obvious issue – ie: theatre is all about contacts
b) other people were bored of discussing it or not interested

Isolation and loneliness at not knowing others and who to ask. Giving up on your hopes because of this.

Is it a taboo subject? Should you feel ashamed to network if you are good at it? How do you meet people/make contacts? Should it be taboo to want to meet and network and not only build up knowledge and experience on one aspect of theatre?

Breaking down the fear of contacts and talking to people.

More young people at these events would be good but the age range/experience here has been really good.

More support about where to go for young people starting out?

Dealing with reality more at drama school might help- learning more about forms, tax returns etc.

This conversation led to a small discussion about whether drama school is worth it if you could get contacts and get work in the outside world. Model of drama schools needs considering to help actors know more about the world and not just training.