I've got a show - help?

Tom Butterworth, 29 September 2012

SUGGESTED BY: Tom Butterworth

PARTICIPANTS: Tom Butterworth, Sarah, Clare, Kat Michael

Once you've got your show, how do you get it out into the world?

(NOTE: I have done my best to format this as a sort of beginners guide to networking and finding opportunities for your work, specifically theatre shows, which is what I'm looking to do at the moment)


Networking is having conversations, it's sharing your ideas and finding the people who want to share your ideas. It's building a ‘critical mass’ of awareness of what you as an artist/company are doing...sometimes you have to accept that in order to talk to the right person you first have to talk to several people who can't necessarily help you.

That's okay. The more producers, venue managers and programmers you talk to, the more minds you stick in and the more likely you are to come across opportunities that are right for you and your work. Be open to talking to venues and programmers about their wants an expectations, as you wish them to be open to the work you are doing...you might find exciting, inspiring new ideas come from those conversations.

This can be cash money (everyone likes cash money), it can be support in kind e.g. space for free, marketing assistance from a venue's marketing team, but it can also be networking on your behalf... people talking about what you are doing. This links neatly in to...

IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR SUPPORT! the worst anyone can say is no, the most likely answer you'll get is “You should probably talk to this person/this venue...”

DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT OUR WORK/PROJECTS? In a word, yes. But that doesn't mean being in-genuine. There is always going to be an element of ‘selling’ your work, but if you network enough you will find the right people to sell it to, who like your ideas and your stuff and be in a position to give you the support that will help you. Being enthusiastic about your work doesn't mean selling it to people/venues who don't want it, but rather finding those who do, finding a good fit for you (the artist) and the people/places where your work will find an audience.

- Know your end point. Where do you see your show ending up? What spaces/festivals/outlets are you aiming for it to be in?

- Think about what comes next...you've got a show, great, but what do you want to do after this?

- Accept the vital importance of new media and social networking in sharing/promoting your work - Twitter, Facebook, You Tube.

SOME OPPORTUNITIES FOR SHOWING NEW WORK WERE SUGGESTED (you might just have to google these to find out what they are!):
-Hatch in Nottinghamshire
- New Work Network

- House - a consortium of venues in the south-east.
- Camden People's Theatre
...and of course Pulse Festival (Ipswich), Latitude and other regional arts festivals.


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