I want to write this while I remember what it feels like.
I’m writing as a wife and a mother working, a working wife and mother. These responsibilities come before anything else. Of course I’m also a daughter, daughter-in law, a sister, sister-in law, aunt, niece, cousin and a friend. All of these roles belong to me.
I need to tell you about my job as a Director/ Producer. I’m not in this on my own, I work alongside Marcia Layne Writer/ Producer, together we are Hidden Gems Productions.
To make it clear Tabonuco is my creative entity that is rooted in Heritage and exploring in Film ( I’ve been accepted on a film making course which will support my first short documentary)
Now back to Hidden Gems, Hidden Gems Productions is a theatre collaborative, Black, British and Bold.
Due to my lower back issues, (high jumper,dancer,mum) I’ve been asked by health professionals, to find time, steal time to buy time for myself. Fellow Producers, promoters of events, the self-employed will understand my first thoughts on that….. It involved a lot of rolling of eyes and kissing my teeth. No one is promised tomorrow but since I’d quite like to see a few more mornings I’m taking heed. It’s my time now.
First of all I looked at how it is. Often when you push forward with your work it’s not the idea or even the work that can cause ‘stress’ but the lack of push surrounding your work. A crumpled folded flyer, a dumped batch of posters, non-returned calls, a casually missed deadline, late payments of invoices all go towards adding pressure. This is whilst navigating the politics, back biting and general bullshit that goes on in the world right about now.
Let me tell you there are some days I wonder what the hell are we doing producing a theatre tour, two Black women in Yorkshire, are we crazy? No….but trust me some days I have to question myself.
Some days I have to close my eyes and imagine the empty space….. the auditorium, the lights the music, pre show the audience the buzz….Just to keep going.
Hidden Gems Productions creating an atmosphere of anticipation, excitement and maybe even fear.
It’s hard to watch anything else be it tv, film or theatre itself without thinking, hearing, feeling, how do we make this worthwhile, worth your time, worth telling ,worth remembering?
Maya Angelou said
‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’
So we keep going.
So that’s how it feels, here are some insights to the journey so far.
Every job creates another.
Creating that A5 flyer (please look out for it) involves so much you feel you should take a bow just for producing that. Is it striking enough? Is it heavy enough, environmentally let us order only what we need ……just how many people does it take to put up a poster? And where to place them?
We don’t have a marketing team of our own (yet) what we do have is an amazing Dave who produces the style and energy we need as close to a brand as we can get.
With casting, from cast call to contracts. We have developed some mutually respectful working relationships with Agents. It’s about getting their person seen and then asking for feedback if they didn’t get the job. We’ve met some intriguing Actors from all over the country, some having their very first visit to the North, let alone Yorkshire. We have cast people who made us feel something, who could work hard as part of a team bringing their particular talent they are responsible for to the table.
We had over 600 applications and shortlisted and auditioned 24. This task was so large we wrote a report! Its great having a growing interest in what we do.
I’m now taking time out to reflect on the journey so far before we step it up another gear. Rehearsals start out in a few weeks’ time. Opening night at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield 31st May 2012.
Who knows what the future holds.
What I do know is that we have a special story to tell about a teenage son and his mother, about broken friendships, loneliness of teenage girls and…….well come and take a look.
It must be special I’m taking time to tell you and resting easy for now so I can.
Look forward to seeing you at a performance next month, before then I’ll be at a coffee shop drinking herb tea and getting ready for the next part of this journey.