Do I Show Off Enough?

Friday 1 December 2017

The other week I met up with a friend I don’t see often enough socially, but do occasionally bump into through various work events. Not a lot of my friends actually work in the arts, even fewer of them are people I originally met at uni. This friend knows my work in theatre PRETTY DARN WELL. He actually helped a lot with the making of one of my solo shows and, not only that, but like me he also works on and off the stage.

He’s an incredibly talented guy. Some one I professionally really admire. He has this fantastic work ethic and is really well respected. He probably doesn’t know this - but in a lot of ways I find him or his CV quite intimidating. So imagine how refreshing it was to catch up with him and find that we have a lot of the same BIG questions rattling through our minds. 

Anyone of those questions could be a blog pos in it’s own right - so I won’t list them all off, instead today I want to focus on just the one… Do I show off enough?

As you can imagine in the arts there are a lot of big personalities, and a lot of big names. Obviously some of those personalities are household names, but some of them are more niche. There’s also a lot of big talk. Sometimes that big talk has the walk to back it up, and other times it doesn’t. But either way I find it intimidating.

I tend to shy away from too much ‘arty’ talk. Not because I can’t hold my own (believe me if you’d seen how I blagged my through seminars at uni, you’d know I can be a pretentious little miss) but because in all honesty - I don’t see the point of it. Art should be accessible to as many people as possible. And sometimes because of my aversion to arty talk and because I don’t believe in an art heirachy, and because I work with the community I sometimes feel like others may well be looking down their nose at me. 

I KNOW that is my issue, and that the majority of the time, that simply isn’t true. There are plenty of lovely people who speak art and I would never hold it against them… the point I’m making is that it’s not an environment that I feel comfortable in.

And therefore I think sometimes I shrink away and leave people wondering what it is I’m actually doing.

This isn’t just at face to face networking events either. My facebook is full of actor friends promoting their new show or company or celebrating signing with a new agent, and I LOVE to see that… but my facebook? Tends to lie pretty dormant until I do one huge upload of photos because I’ve been on holiday. My twitter account is the same, the odd retweet of a cute dog, and a half hearted attempt at promoting this blog and a lot of raido silence. And while I’m actually quite proud of my instagram, it tells you VERY little about what I’ve been working on.

And that really isn’t a good thing - because how can somebody think of you for their next project if they have no idea that you’re even an option?

Of course it’s more important to actually be doing the work, and I hope that the people I have worked with know how good I can be, but I guess in all industries now, you have to be able to sell the product not just make it.

So do I show off enough? Or if not show off - at least talk about my work enough?

You guys reading this are probably screaming at the screen ‘MY GOD YES, YOU NEVER TALK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE?’ but I’m not sure I do.

I have done so many things I am proud of in my career. In the past 6 months I programmed 55 different live events - two of which attracted over 700 people. I have worked with artists from across the world. I help people who have never been to the theatre before get involved in the arts. I have commissioned a piece of theatre for young adults with learning difficulties. I deliver workshops for sixth formers. Set up volunteer programmes for venues. Write shows that tell real peoples stories. Run social media accounts for a nation wide forum. In short I work really hard, and guess what? I’m pretty good.

So maybe I should find some way of letting people know that? Even if it’s not screaming ‘Me Me I’m that best at Theatre-ing’ maybe it’s just subtley mentioning… Hey I’m working on this today!’ I need to get over my own insecurity that people think less of me, and be confident that I can hold my own. And maybe every now and then I need to speak arty.

Because the only person who is really putting me down right now? Is me.

Here’s to holding you’re own x

ps. Some of you might have noticed, but I’ve already started trying to share a bit more, I’ve revamped my ‘My Work’ page and I’ve started a work based instagram. Don’t worry though, my twitter is still mainly dogs.
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