Stepping Up – be brave, be great, it’s your choice

Convener(s): Poppy Burton-Morgan

Participants: Poppy Burton-Morgan, Rosy, Marie Vickers, Loren O’Dair, Maven Macbeth, Simon Pittman, Lucy Avery, Jen Tan, Jen Lunn, Arabella Lawson, Setu Honnor, Lucy Westell, Jennifer Jacksons, Jamie Zubairi, Kelly Golding, Malwina Chabocka, Matthew Smallwood

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Feeling from some people that this D&D not as inspiring as last year –

What inspired you last time? – Discovery, seeds of ideas, leads to collaboration


Turning optimism into something concrete.

Having to step up when you have a baby.


Step Change program NT/ROH – Jen had an interview – felt they were really looking for people wanting to be creative producers.


Acknowledging you’re the ones who care the most about a project so you’re the best placed to set up and make it happen (in a sort of producer-y way) or facilitate others to come on board to help you. But either way we have to take responsibility.


Focusing energy.


How long it takes to get a tour off the ground (it will happen!)

Offering opportunities to people who come and work for you.


How to make the right connections.

How to best communicate and say who we are

Make a psychological choice – this is the year that I will…


Lucy Pittman Wallace (Director) good at helping people get what they want – asking difficult questions.

Reminding self that you are stepping up!

Investing in self – approaching new companies/people


Being brave – where do you get the bravery from?

Ringing people is hard and there’s a different level of helplessness as a performer in that you’re more beholden to other people choosing (or not choosing) you.


EVERYONE IS SCARED (even Nick Hytner. Especially Nick Hytner!)

How do you deal with that?

Everyone feels like they’re a fraud, about to be found out.

There is something empowering about writing a letter (and a bit less scary than the phone).



Put yourself on people’s radars.

Get a ‘press quote’ from a friend/colleague about what you bring to something.


Whatever stage you’re at there’s always someone ‘further along’ and those people are also always trying to step up!

Celebrate your accomplishments – it’s very easy once we’ve achieved great things to undermine them because the very fact that we achieved them means they’re doable and in time doable becomes equated with easy.



Nothing of any worth every comes in comfort.

There’s a cost to everything, there’s a risk.

How can we be less risk-averse?

The gains always outweigh the risks actually because even massive ‘failures’ give us huge learnings and experience.

We need a reason to jump.

It takes practice – break the comfortable seal and keep breaking it.


Seeing other people be brave makes us brave. (And knowing that we will try to catch them if they fall so there will be people who will do the same for us)



We are our own worst critics.

It’s our attitude – therefore we have the power to change it.

The language we attribute to ourselves is really powerful – how we talk about ourselves changes ourselves.

Visualizations techniques.


Other people can help chivvy you along – mentors – people who believe in you.

Each of us here are artists and all of us are trying to use our art to change the world – we’re offering something else to the world. There is a huge generosity in that.