Decision making has never been my forte. Some of life’s simplest decisions have resulted in what can only be described as a small breakdown. Like last week, when faced with only having the time to watch an episode of either Mad Men or The Bridge, I found myself myself staring through Jeremy Kyle’s dead eyes at the words, “My boyfriend was dropped several times on his face at birth. Why won’t my family accept him?”
And so, spending the last few months being forced to make decisions that affect the potential success of our company and our production has, in essence, brought me to a near loss of sanity. Even the simple decision to do the show at all was only made once I was presented with a ten-point list as to why this would be a good idea. And yet, thanks mainly to my boyfriend’s excellent ability to sound like he’s listening when he’s really watching the football and Francesca’s ready supply of animal tranquilisers, each decision has been negotiated with care…ish.
One of the foremost decisions we must all make is regarding the venue. There is a venue for everything at the Fringe. Therefore it’s incredibly important to know what you’re after. No one wants to see a 25-strong production of Hair sardined into a 4×4 studio. Francesca, in her wisdom, booked us into one of the Fringe roadshows run by the Fringe Society. It provides the wonderful opportunity to meet the venue managers for some of the busiest venues at the festival and to make your pitches in person. Thanks (or no thanks) to my Really Good Idea, our venue requirements were more specific than most, and many of the venues quite simply didn’t have a space that matched. However, from past experience we already had a good sense of who may be able to give us what we were after and we soon struck gold with Zoo Venues. Unfortunately, we then struck gold with another venue as well. And not just any venue, one of the biggest on the Fringe.
Zoo, a venue that specialises in dance and physical theatre immediately latched on to our project once presented with the RGI. They are either wonderfully enthusiastic or woefully deluded as they seem to be under the impression that we could sell out. The interest from the Other venue was in all ways a huge shock. Having wondered over for a chat “just to see,” we found ourselves being faced with the words, “Now, we never normally take on new companies, but we have a space that would be perfect and I’m willing to take a punt on you. I would need to see a rehearsed reading though. Just to be sure you’re not completely insane.” Fair enough.
What followed was painful.
One venue was huge with the exact space we wanted and some serious offerings socially and networking-wise but way beyond our intended price range. The other was more affordable, more specialised with its own excellent reputation and has seemed really interested rather than wary, but was smaller and we’d have to adapt our staging. After much whining, emailing, surmising, budget jigging and the usual pros and cons lists been drawn up and compared, discussed and then set fire to, we decided on Zoo. Thinking clearly and logically, they were a good starting point for all the above reasons and somewhere that we felt we could stand out and establish ourselves. It was NOTHING to do with the high concentration of male dancers to be found there.
And so we have our Edinburgh home this summer. And I’ve learnt not to break out in sweats at the sight of the words “either” and “or”, to ban the words “But what if…” and that I hate lists. But mostly, that one can build up a serious tolerance for Valium…
Written by Chi-San Howard