I know, I know. It’s been a crazily long time since I’ve done one of these. A massive wild delay. I can only apologise profusely. I’ve been busy (I know that’s my usual excuse) but there have been deadlines for this, that and the other and plays to see and other jobs to do and meetings to have.
I held another ICA Lab for my two-hander script, “The White Room”. But this time I did things a little differently. I invited an audience and essentially held an ‘open house’ reading for this script. The idea was that anyone who attended could either approach me for the script, or for me as a writer, or for the actors involved. So it was a good event for all of us to prepare for. We had headshot/bio pages for all the actors involved (same as the last time – the brilliant Susan Stanley and Joseph Wilkins with a new addition of Joanne Ferguson reading stage directions). And then after we had the bar hired privately to have drinks in (of which I provided) and generally chat.
And to be honest, I was so busy preparing for the day making sure that people were in the right place and giving people directions, that I didn’t really take it all in until I had to leave my own reading early to go set the drinks up. But I got a great response. I met people that I’d only had email contact with, I invited old collaboration partners and I also invited people who I had never contacted before. But do you know what? It worked. People turned up, it got people talking. It looked professional and smooth and it got my name out there.
I’ve got some good leads to follow up from this reading and time will tell if they’ll work out. But it doesn’t really matter. The fact is I decided to organise this the week before the first bank holiday (so essentially ultimate office down time), but it spurred me on AND it got people talking about me and my work. If I can arrange this smack bang BEFORE a double straddling of bank holidays in a room where we still had debris left over from a wedding before, and still have an engaged audience of industry folks… Imagine what I could do if I properly planned it ahead of time. It was hugely beneficial to do it because it made me realise how relatively easy it is to be proactive about these things. I now have made contact with several literary departments who can now put a name to a face and who know my work a bit better, because they’ve seen it on its feet.
So the following people came along for the reading, all of which I’m very grateful for:
Melissa Dunne (director)
Sarah Brocklehurst (producer)
Abigail Graham (director)
Maja Milatovic-Ovadia (director)
Cass Sigsgaard (producer)
Tess Morris (screenwriter)
Janice Okah (playwright)
Shenagh Govan (actor)
Paul Vates (actor)
Kathleen Martinelli (from Soho Theatre)
Bettina Fleischer (actor)
Matt Denison (support – Casarotto)
Rachel Davies (support)
Mel Cook (director)