Dermot’s Blog: Audacious Acts
I’ve had the pleasure, over the past month, of advocating for the arts of Bradford (and West Yorkshire) in various ways and seeing firsthand that audacity is what makes things happen.
Looking to companies such as Bloomin Buds, who had the audacity to take five shows to the Edinburgh Fringe; CommonWealth, who had the audacity to make a show in a car park; Red Ladder Theatre Company who had the audacity to set up the Asian Theatre School – or Freedom Studios as it’s now known – gives the idea and the courage to realise that, actually, not taking a risk is in itself risky.
What are you not taking a risk on?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for one second suggesting that we take risks that will pose a danger, but maybe a risk that takes us into the learning zone, where possibilities become reality.
Someone once said that: “If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”
So here are some audacious acts for you:
When we launched the actors database we had no idea that it would be as popular as it is (you can still sign up here). There are plans afoot for us, in partnership with friends and colleagues in Bradford and Yorkshire, to create opportunities for actors to get some feedback; to itch those acting muscles; to work with us and in the region; all from and in a brave and audacious environment. I’ll be having meetings over the next few weeks to make those offers more concrete when we next meet at this screen…
Thinking of this actors database and the ideas that have stemmed from it, and with Freedom Studios’ value of support, to find and provide “accessible and clear pathways for artist […] development” we’re happy to launch a sibling database but this time for writers. Now, we are aware that many artists have more than one way in which they create art (trust me, I know), so if you’re a ‘multi-hyphenate’ and have already joined the actors database, this doesn’t preclude you from joining the writers database, but we do ask that you are from, or very close to Bradford. Those further afield, we do love you, and can – and will – point you in the direction of help and support that is nearer to you – just get in touch and I’ll see how we can support you; but we’d like, at this point at least, to focus on those from ‘our patch’. You can sign up here. From this database we hope to create opportunities for feedback for those with work already – we’ve plans for a limited open submission period in the coming weeks – and for those who are ‘emerging’. We will let those on the database know via email first about those opportunities, when they are available.
Thinking about writers, the application process for Street Voices 9 will be announced very soon, but before that happens, I’m really pleased to say that the lead artist and tutor on the course is in the process of being confirmed and we will let you know as soon as that confirmation is with us.
The next Freedom Studios show will be called BD(News)Stories. It will be audacious in the sense that we are planning to start with nothing on the first day of the week and have a show by the end of it. It will involve new writing by new writers who will be mentored through the process. It will involve Bradford actors performing in, about and for Bradford. It will involve Bradford audiences.
Our Youth Theatre Director Alex has written this about the audacity to allow young people to speak their truth in their own way…
Will all of this work? Who knows? But what is for sure is that if we don’t try it definitely won’t.
Before I leave you, Freedom Studios has begun the process of recruiting for the new Creative Lead, a brilliant job with an excellent company – please have a look at the details here, and the recruitment pack here…
See you soon…