So here we are – 2013. All the chocolates have been eaten, the presents unwrapped, the Michael Bublé Christmas album placed back on the shelf for another year, and it’s time to go back to work. January is a notoriously gloomy month – the days are cold and dark, and money is tight after all the gift and Boxing Day sale purchases. You can guarantee there will be headlines declaring that ‘Blue Monday’ – alleged to be the most depressing day of the year, typically the third Monday in January – is on the horizon. But we at Filskit urge you to look past the miserable weather and focus on the year ahead.
It is time to head to your nearest WH Smith (or other retailer of your choice) and buy yourself a diary. From experience, we’ve learnt that forward planning really is a wonderful thing. Not only does it give you a chance to feel a little in control after the aggressive jolt of returning to work, but getting out your diary can really help structure your days and carve out time for all the things you need to fit in. By looking ahead you can figure out goals and aspirations – we already have a few exciting plans for applications, performances and bookings – and having fixed deadlines is a key way of making sure things actually get done.
So “Be prepared!” must be the first of our New Year’s resolutions, which leads us directly onto a second that has been on the to-do list for some time: our business plan. Yes, those two oh-so-important words that haunt many a start-up venture – a mythical document that sounds colossal, serious and very grown up! In true Filskit style, we reached for the brightly coloured paper and the felt tips, our go-to method when it comes to writing important stuff! With mugs of tea and packets of biscuits, we chatted and brainstormed. It was a fantastic exercise and a great way of checking we were all still on the same page (happily, we were), and it’s definitely spurred us on. Our aim is to get the plan done by the summer, with the help of Aniela at Creative Youth, who is asking us the difficult questions and helping to make our mind maps legible.
Our third resolution is to continue to collaborate. We are fortunate enough to already work with some great people – including fellow performers, musicians and technicians – and we always learn a huge amount from our partnerships with individuals and venues. It opens up conversations about not only what you create, but why you create it and who for. Recent support from Stratford Circus has meant that we are able to engage with our audience as part of our creative process, something we simply would not have been able to achieve alone.
Happily, our fourth resolution is to see more theatre. It’s a fantastic way of reminding yourself why you like making work – or even what you don’t like. Either way, it’s a good way of energising yourself, whether what you see is a source of inspiration or just some plain, old fashioned entertainment. Recent trips for us have included the RSC’s The Mouse & His Child, an alternative, brave choice for a Christmas show. Other productions on our wish list include the glorious Oily Cart’s In a Pickle and 1927’s The Animals and Children Took to the Streets. We are incredibly lucky that there is so much exciting stuff to choose from. And this fits well with our new mantra of “Be prepared!” – when budgets and time are tight, booking in advance is often necessary to ensure we don’t miss out.
Now we have made our resolutions public we will have to stick to them…at least for the next few weeks.