1. Collect data.
Aside from evidencing everything you do, numbers of creatives, participants, audience etc. related factoids and statistics from trade papers, general media and specialist organisations can be helpful.
Its neither interesting to write about nor fun to do but nothing values your proposed work better than a clear need for it evidenced by a percentage.
2. Compare and contrast
Learn about the work of peers in your field, make friends, have coffee, share experiences, tips, support and mutual respect.
You can then ensure that all of your planning and output clearly defines your differences and flags your USP.
3. Make facetime meetings
Being in the same real world space with another human being is invaluable, theatre is a people-focused creative process and the dynamics between people at each point in the journey to the work inform the work itself.
4. Learn to predict
It takes a long time for any theatre project to reach the stage. Content is anticipated months or years before its delivered. Research current and upcoming productions for trends, consider the world and politics and anticipate, as best you can, the space your target human psyche is likely to inhabit at this future time.
You can then generate work appropriate for this imagined future.
5. Chase the dream, not the funding
Projects cost what they cost to realise. Hitting a figure because its available reads to a funder like hitting a figure because its available. It needs to feel important and stimulating enough to do without any money being involved at all.
Its art, not a transaction.
6. Know the difference between persistence and being a pest
Not everyone wants to work with you. Read the signals. Stop just before someone is likely to give you a definite ‘No’. Keep doors open for next time. Don’t be irritating. Radiate happiness and positivity.
You’re privileged to be doing something you love as your job, most people aren’t.
7. Expect timelines to stretch
Time gives air and space to projects, new collaborations form and artistic content gets richer. Fight any urge to do anything quickly and relish time taken thinking strategically, its never wasted.
8. Offer something
In kind contributions and cash investments are of great value to projects, clarity about what you’re offering and what value you’re bringing in return is vital.
Your theatre work has to give something useful, enriching and unique, know exactly what it is and be ready to make that case.
9. Review sent and received email
There may be a positive response you’ve forgotten, an invitation to be ‘updated’ or an email you sent which was never replied to which warrants a follow up.
Your future may lie in your past.
10 .Embrace the long term view
None of it is now, its all tomorrow and beyond.
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