|By Lucy Danser|
Working the Fringe - Part One
Date: 27 August 2011
I'm well aware I've been banging on about how working the Fringe is such an entirely different experience to visiting. This blog I'm not going to moan anymore about how little theatre I'm getting to see. Instead I'd like to share all the things I get to because because I AM working in the industry!
Early on in the Fringe that was a Launch Party for the Free Fringe. After a long and hectic dress rehearsal, my actor and I toddled on over there but found the rest of our production team huddled together on the pavement outside the party claiming it was overheated, crowded and not worth entering the melange of sweaty bodies for. Not to be done out of a party I popped in myself but quickly retreated in agreement. This, I must admit, set the precedent for my failure to adequately join in a number of social activities this Fringe!
The 'Meet the Media' event at Fringe Central (the participants centre) was a surreal experience which consisted of queuing for long periods of time inside and outside the building in order to meet representatives of the major newspapers and reviewing sites present at the festival. We managed to get to Broadway Baby, The Scotsman and Fringe Review, but very few more, within a three to four hour period!You were given a few minutes to make your case and flings flyers or press releases at the poor, tired individuals stationed behind each desk. My PR's particular modus operandi including offering the press Wine Gums. It must've worked. Two days later we were featured in The Scotsman's festival diary!
Masterclass often organise a bunch of interesting events both in London and at the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes. The one that I always attend is the Producers' Panel and, having brought my first show to the Fringe, was even more interested in it this year as it was now being run by Stage One (a funding and training base for new producers). A panel of successful and up-and-coming producers (including James Seabright and Jethro Compton) talked us through the process of producing theatre at Edinburgh and, further afield, plus shared their own personal experiences. Stage One seems to offer so many opportunities that I was simultaneously excited and overwhelmed by all the information I received that day. In a time where it's so difficult to get started in this industry, it's fantastic to see passionate people offering this kind of support to help you make theatre your business.
The more I started to get out and join in the networking and training events offered at the fringe (I by no means even scratched the surface)the more I realised what incredible opportunities can potentially lay in store for budding theatre makers at the festival. It's sometimes a little bit hard to balance promoting your show, seeing other peoples' shows and getting involved in all necessary events, but I'm hopeful I did enough to set me on the right path. The longer I'm here the more unexpected events were experienced, so there are more tales to tell in a future blog!
- by Lucy Danser
Any opinions expressed above do not represent the view of Whatsonstage.com nor any of its staff or contributors beyond the bylined author.
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