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Devoted and Disgruntled 8

ARTISTIC DIRECTORS ON THE LONDON FRINGE - TO SUCK UP OR SPEAK YOUR MIND?

David Aula - 26 January 2013

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I convened this session because I wanted to get this worry off my chest first up - so i could settle in to other interesting questions for the two days. I've had a couple of bad experiences with artistic directors last year and think regardless of what i think of those people, the only useful thing for my development is to look at the parts of it that were my fault. I think overall it is a problem of clarity - and often when i'm speaking my mind, I'm working things out in the moment and discovering what i think as I speak. I think this can frustrate Artistic Directors and so I sometimes find myself trying to make myself fit in to their idea of what I should be - and wonder if I wouldn't be more successful if I ‘sucked up’ a bit more. It was a great session for reaffirming what i think I already knew - that the most important thing is finding what i REALLY WANT TO DO and discovering the way to describe that in MY OWN TERMS. No mean feat but certainly easier than making someone else (the aforementioned ADs) more receptive and supportive. It was also great towards the end of the session when someone asked me to just come out with it and share the detail of the experience I'd had - it was freeing to go through it all, recognise all the moments where alarm bells rang for me and where I KNEW it was going to go badly - and also the realisation that I probably wouldn't change what happened if I had the chance. It has given me the confidence to learn from the experience and come back stronger. It was also very useful to hear perspectives and experiences of others - some of whom had less experience than me and others who had far more. Particularly useful and insightful to speak with someone who is the artistic director of a London Fringe Theatre and to take away her warmth and support.

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