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Tom Atkins
United Kingdom
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It DOES sound cool, actually! Hope all goes well.
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And a London version: http://www.theatretokens.com/
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I guess the other method, if you can get at it early enough, is to ask if there are any particular things company members would like to know about and put some responsibility for their own needs back in their hands too.
I think having an effective mentor is really key as part of this too. Someone who is supportive and can offer professional guidance at the same time if you are having trouble with something. I guess the ultimate goal is to get to the point where you can hold yourself accountable to...yourself. Trusting yourself to do the work at the time you decided to and achieve the results you wanted to.
It's great when this happens. When I'm working, I often switch off my phone or put it somewhere I can ignore it. At weekends, I have been known to completely leave the battery to drain out and the freedom it gives is incredibly valuable. Faster, more effective communication is brilliant, but being contactable any hour of the day or night is just not good for my sanity.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2011 on My weekend at One Producer in the City
If you're visiting London and you're on your own, you can pretty much rock up to ANY West End theatre and get a very decent seat for £15-20. The same price you'd have to pay to see a fringe show. I think it's a bargain.
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Pausing and being still is incredibly important. You need time to think. I come up with my best ideas shortly before I fall asleep in bed. The product of that brief pause during the day.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2011 on Pause at One Producer in the City
I did wonder where you were going with this! But it's a good point. I've been so guilty of taking too much on in the past, I'm now much choosier about what I take on and how much I want to do. I still work hard, but it feels much more manageable than it used to. Sometimes it's more enjoyable to take just one slice of the pizza... leaves you wanting more.
I think this is a really interesting topic. It's really no surprise that some of the most successful companies in the world are known for looking after their people and giving them many freedoms - see Google and Apple. As we move into what Stephen Covey calls this 'knowledge worker' age, away from the 'industrial worker age' I think more and more companies will need to adopt similar ways of thinking. The creative industries have traditionally been very good at giving freedom to their people, primarily because many within these industries are actually freelance. But it's important that larger organisations take certain responsibilities for both personal and professional development to give something more than a pay cheque back to their staff, to build a more rewarding relationship. I've known some organisations to be very committed to professional development but only in the area that individuals are working in. So if you're an administrator, they may fund a short course in how to be a better administrator for example. Sounds as if it makes sense. But if that administrator has other ambitions and desires for their wider future, why shouldn't organisations be encouraging and supporting this progress too? If it were me, I'd be falling over myself to give back to those who support me early on in life with my bigger picture. For individuals, whether freelance or within organisations, the best way - as you suggest - is still to seek out your own training. I've had a go at all sorts - marketing courses, fundraising courses, company management courses. All good fun. In the UK, you can look at the Theatrical Management Association website (if you are in an organisation), the Independent Theatre Council, The Society of London Theatre or Stage One, Stage Management Association for some great courses.
Good advice. I know I occassionally suffer huge guilt if my activities are not 'working' so need to put some effort into having some breaks.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2010 on Why I've been out at One Producer in the City
Great post! Always fascinating how many different interpretations of the role of the 'producer' that exists.
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It was pretty awesome and certainly a highlight of my time in New York recently. Looking forward to hearing more great things!
Great post. It is all about the relationships and you're clearly always on the look out for the win-win which is ultimately the way to achieve dreams and to make things happen in the best possible and most successful way.
Annoyingly, you can't view that video outside of the US. Any way to get an internationally available version on here?
I think this is a great notion to be living by. The guy in a video you posted a few months ago said he is driven by gratitude. Which I thought was fantastic. 'Thank you' is a phrase I carry within me constantly and it is powerful in recognising lessons, challenges and leg-ups as well. But equally, I think it's important not to expect anything in return when giving - although sure, it sucks when you feel you've been forgotten.
Toggle Commented Feb 22, 2010 on Say Thank you at One Producer in the City
Whilst figuring out what the hell to do with my own website, I thought it would be most useful to use a 'favourite books' list as a holding page. http://www.tomatkins.co.uk/ - need to update it with a few more!
Well it's 'art for us' where 'us' is anyone else in the world. I don't see the point in creating something which isn't seen by anyone. For me, the enjoyment comes out of seeing large numbers of people themselves enjoying a show. It doesn't even have to be mine! But as a producer, that's where the satisfaction is. A by-product of that is a very nice box office which makes everyone even happier!
I think honesty is valued above almost any other quality. You know when someones not telling you the whole truth and how can any partnership, read 'relationship', be successful without both sides being straight talking, open and transparent? Great advice and I hope more take it up.
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Interesting video. The host really didn't quite know how to handle Gary did he? But I really enjoyed the thoughts on building business and particularly on being driven by gratitude. Michael - I feel 'iTheatre' is starting to develop. In London, we've had the Royal Opera House put together an opera from Twitter, a conference from the Arts Council on relationships between digital media and the arts, the launch of Digital Theatre (a company who films and showcases full theatre productions) and other projects. However, the live experience will always have to endure - there is no connection more powerful. Or is there? I guess one of the questions is....when we are so focussed with creating something and then hoping people like it when we start selling tickets, how is it even possible for Theatre to build that community ahead of the idea even being there? Around the people involved, the production company, the brand? Maybe. But I know, from experience, that we don't listen to audiences and would-be audiences enough. It's hard to tear your eyes away from the sales reports and put energy into your comment box.
The separation of 'idea' and 'execution' is impossible. A happier situation might be to continue dreaming up a bank of thoughts and ideas, and then picking the right one out for the right moment. An early and rushed realisation of an idea, without concern as to its success or failure, for the sake of seeking that success through volume of output feels a bit odd to me. It's good not to get stuck in the dream world but spending too little time there is not necessarily the best route. I believe that the successful people see the light bulb, but then know precisely when to switch it on.
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Has it changed? I still think that the 31st is a night where many want to feel part of, or experience, some sort of event...with a party atmosphere. Should be a night where musicals do well, but I didn't spy any making too big a deal out of it with special promotions. Would be interested to hear if sales do dip on New Year's Eve in comparison to other years.
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I always find it odd that people are more prepared to honour a deal where their signature is on a piece of paper, rather than a warm handshake following an agreement. When did someone's word stop being important?
All fantastic ideas, would love to see that implemented in a big way. I'd love to see some international connections and people from other industries looking in too.
Toggle Commented Nov 4, 2009 on Mixing it up at One Producer in the City
I agree. A choice between making a great friend or 'knowing' 10 useful business people - it has to be the first option. If you find someone you want to cling to, cling to them (as long as it's mutual).
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Oct 15, 2009