As I have mentioned before in my blog I am working on the adaptation of a novel to the stage, a project that I’m very excited about. I’m sure lots of you are also working on your own show ideas, perhaps with your own theatre company. It’s these projects that tend to mean the most, but they are often the ones that get a little neglected. Certainly, I don’t seem to have as much script writing time as I would like. This is entirely my own fault as last month at the height of New Year’s resolution fever I decided to try and get more producing experience around my current job. It went better then expected and I am now working on three shows. The expression ‘when it rains, it pours’ comes to mind when I view my current work situation.
So although I am getting lots of great experience I have also managed to use up most of my free time which, before, was dedicated to writing. My co-writer is in a similar situation, so despite enjoying the writing we’re doing we now need to get the script moving a little quicker. And to do this we need a writer, someone to take the lead on the writing process so that we can start everything else. But where do we find this person? For starters they will have to be passionate about the show and want to make it happen as much as we do and share our vision.
If I was an established producer with financial backing, I would be able to commission a writer to work on the script. However I am not quite there yet so that option is unfortunately not for me. So instead I may have to put an advert on a website such as Ideas Tap or Gumtree and find a writer who is just starting out and looking for a project, an option an increasing amount of theatre companies are taking.
Yet I do have reservations about doing this. During my searches for producing experience I have often seen adverts from theatre companies looking for producers. They are all unpaid and often ask for extensive experience. They seem to expect a lot of the person and for them to take on the role of a full time producer, sharing their talents and time for free. I realise that money is not everything but there doesn’t seem to be any understanding of the sacrifices these people are often making. Some people seem to want the benefits of a full-time employee without the financial cost. Of course I understand that when you’re starting out money is hard to come by, but you can’t really expect someone to give 100% dedication to a project that doesn’t pay them a wage. Let’s face it, we all have to eat.
So I am personally slightly skeptical about this type of working relationship, but unfortunately it seems to get anywhere in this industry you have to work for free and in turn have people working for you for free. And I do need a writer and currently have no means to pay them. So I will have to go with the advert. I am trying not to feel too guilty at the prospect but maybe there is someone out there just as excited about this project as us who wants to join our company. So if any of you are budding writers who want to get stuck into a project do let me know, I promise it’s going to be an exciting show. I am not looking for someone with five year’s professional experience just someone who can write. Ok, enough advertising now, time to let the search begin.
Image by Nick J. Adams