This year as part of ABSOLUT Fringe 2010 Kate Nic Chonaonaigh and I presented From the Heart in No.13 North Great George’s Street. A site-specific piece in a crumbling Georgian Mansion. After initially being accepted by ABSOLUT Fringe we learned that The Performance Corporation were offering The SPACE Production Award to newer artists and companies to help them produce and mount their show and to guide them through the process with the backing of a well established Theatre Company. Kate and I applied and after a brief interview, we were delighted to have been chosen. But what did this really mean?
Up until now Kate and I had made one other production together, and we had done all of this alone and in a rather fly-by-night way. Our hearts were certainly in the right place but our respective skill sets were not . . . And so began the process with The Performance Corporation.
We worked predominantly with Marketa (Producer) and Irene (Production Co-ordinator) and even from our early meetings with them I could tell our process would take a very different direction. Although there were obvious and immediate benefits to award like using the company rehearsal space in Castletown House; gaining access to their massive selection of costume and props; the use of WiFi, phones, printing facilities etc. There were many other elements to the experience that we found entirely invaluable. All of the services listed above were shared with us by The Performance Corporation and now that the process is over they remain with them. So Kate and I are left to reflect on that which process has allowed us to take away and we are delighted with what we have learned.
There are so many elements involved in mounting a piece of theatre and the very act of getting the thing up and running can mean that several important elements (particularly without funding and professional backing) get put to one side and are never realised. Thanks to The Performance Corporation Kate and I have learned that everything is possible once you have the correct knowledge and are prepared to use it. We learned the significance of having a clear and concise direction for our marketing ambitions and the importance of developing a good relationship with a graphic designer in order to realise this. We learned about forward planning (I mean very far forward) and setting clear objectives for ourselves and trying to achieve and stick to these. We learned about anticipating problems before they arise and having a solution if and when they do. We learned that with enough determination 6 or 7 car journeys can be done across 3 counties in 1 day in order to complete a very tight and stressful get in. Thanks Irene. We learned that the working day often doesn’t end until Midnight because you are making a DVD in order to sell your show and the producer won’t rest without overseeing everything. Thanks Marketa. We learned to be open to direct feedback and to find this useful and to work with it as we saw fit. We learned also, to have our own voice and to trust our artistic instincts and to push for success with all the magnificent skills we now acquired.
Kate and I were absolutely delighted with how From the Heart was received, we sold out, we had some lovely reviews and we were nominated for 3 Fringe awards! It all went better than we ever could have imagined and this would not have been possible without the Performance Corporation’s SPACE Production Award. I’m only sorry that the journey ends here.