In the past few weeks things seem to have gone totally crazy. Although I’m working almost full-time on FreeRange, I have to admit we’re getting quite snowed under.
I’ve decided to push back opening Love Remains until late April, giving us a few more weeks to get on our feet. I need to get the venues booked up, and decide exactly where and when we’re performing. It’s difficult to get the whole thing solid in my mind until I know what sort of stage space we’ll have. The play needs to change dramatically depending on whether it’s in the round, on a thrust, or on an end-on stage (the latter being my preference at the moment).
I’ve got a meeting tomorrow with a small theatre in London. The key thing to decide is whether I think the space will work for the piece, and give it the right atmosphere. If it feels right, then I’ll be able to get the staging more settled in my head.
The playwright has now confirmed that we can start rehearsing, and I’ve cast a wonderful actor to play the lead role, and started early press work (the poster above being the first draft of the Love Remains poster, do give me your comments). The difficulty now seems to be trying to find the right actress to play the other character. My contacts are all still at school, or busy with other things. I’ve lost my assistant director, and the actress I’m hoping for is seeming less and less likely.
We keep hitting these walls, and have to try and get through them to actually make progress on the piece. I’m finding it quite challenging to be both the producer and the director. I’m juggling running the process as a business, and running it on a creative and theatrical level. Love Remains has to make a profit for us to be able to take it another show to Edinburgh this summer. Furthermore, the last show we ran lost almost £500, so I really need to recoup that as well.
The workshopping and devising on the Edinburgh piece, working title Start with Description, is going well. It’s hard work, and the verbatim material is emotionally challenging, but we are making progress. I am concerned about how we’ll afford to run it, though, as I’m currently predicting a loss of around £4,000 (expecting to sell around 30% of all our tickets). We’re pressing ahead, but also working heavily on ideas for fundraising. One of our aims with Love Remains is to raise funds, but I don’t think they’ll be significant.
Consequently, I’ve started work on yet another production, bringing our total up to three. Yes, this is slightly crazy and means that we’re juggling even more things, but there is method in my madness. The third production is called ‘C-Dub: How I Became a Hip-Hop Megastar’, and is a one-man comedy/rap act. I’m hoping that it will cost almost nothing to run (it’s written and performed by me, so there are no licensing fees), and if I can generate some donations or even some interest through playing small clubs and bars or parties, or by running it at a couple of small venues, it could be quite beneficial.
So, I’m learning to juggle. Juggling three productions, writing two of them, performing in one of them, and running all the admin on top of it. But I’m absolutely loving it. It’s a risky journey, but even with the setbacks, it’s one I’m adoring.