My first ever blog! Bear with me folks! I was going to publish yesterday then realised it was Friday 13th! Although I'm not particularly superstitious it seemed silly to tempt fate.
So, a blog! I just thought it would be a good idea to try to give regular updates on our 3-T progress. We're a new company and setting up was a daunting process. As we work towards our first show we're just learning as we go along. Although we've all been involved in shows on stage and have helped out on company committees and with marketing, when you suddenly find that you're wearing all the hats at once it does take a bit of juggling and it's a new experience finding out that the buck always stops here! Not that it's all bad of course by any means. Having the final say on pretty much everything from direction, to posters to set design and costumes is actually a great feeling.
I have to say that as a first time company founder and artistic director I was astounded at the level of support from friends I have made over the years who work in theatre, particularly backstage, and I received messages when we launched offering help on all fronts. I can't thank those people enough and hope that we can continue working together for many years to come.
I am very lucky to have a fantastic invited cast for my first play. I wanted to launch the company completely organised with a first production on the cards. Setting up my own company was something I'd talked about for years, become enthusiastic about on and off but never really had the courage to take that final step and just do it. Obviously finances were also an issue. Producing any kind of show is not a cheap business. This time I'd made up my mind to go ahead but I didn't want to announce it before it was certain, given I'd talked about it so many times before. The only way to make it certain was to pick the show, book the venue and find a cast before I launched the company and then there was no way I could change my mind. I was delighted that there were people out there who liked me and trusted me enough to want to work with me and I have ended up with an amazing bunch of people who are all working their socks off.
I know some people might think 'Elephants' is a strange choice for a first production but I wanted to choose something people could come to see without any preconceived ideas about how it should be done. I read lots of scripts before choosing but when I read this one I fell in love with it immediately.
The progress so far is really exciting. The contrast between the first readthrough where nobody really knew their characters at all and our last rehearsal on Thursday was massive. Everybody has found the basis of their character and they are now adding those little quirks and idiosyncrasies that give them depth and make them human. It's been a fascinating process to watch and guide and I really can't wait to introduce them to the public.
Now we just have to sell it and get ourselves an audience!
Although I've worked quite a lot on marketing and publicity for other companies, I'm finding that the hardest thing to keep up with. I think it's mainly because there are just so many social media platforms out there now and keeping them all regularly updated is almost a full time job in itself. I know there are automated apps that are supposed to update them all at once but since the format of one can be very different from all the others, I find it much easier to get the right message across by doing each one individually. Getting interesting content for posts is another issue and something you have to continually think about, particularly in the early stages of rehearsal when there's really not too much exciting stuff happening. There is nothing worse than spending ages creating posts and then getting nothing but tumbleweed blowing across your social media profile pages. I'm looking forward to the month before the show when everything will really start to move fast and there should be a constant stream of exciting material. Having a large cast is obviously an advantage because they will all interact with your pages and posts. Unfortunately with a cast of just 7 in our first production (one of them being me) we don't have that luxury.
I would like to think that we will get support from other amateur theatre companies. As we all do this theatre thing for the love of it and sometimes breaking even on a production is exceedingly difficult if not impossible, then we should all support each other as best we can. The more companies that are out there producing a huge variety of material then the more choices we have as performers, directors, choreographers etc. Hopefully Threepenny Theatricals will grow in the Edinburgh Theatre community and be able to provide lots of opportunities both on stage and off.
So that's a little bit of the background about me and the company. I'm hoping to post regularly with all sorts of news and views, experiences and observations. I hope you'll join me on my new theatre journey. I'm always happy to receive comments and advice so feel free to add any thoughts below. Please keep it clean and polite! :)
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