"Part 1/4": We run a theatre company AND...
Updated: Sep 6, 2019
We've found that one of the biggest misconceptions about running a theatre company, is that making shows is our full time job... we wish!! (broken heart emoji). You've heard us waffle on about the admin work that goes into keeping our small business afloat in previous blogs, but what else do they do? I hear you cry! So we have decided to create a 4 part blog series called 'We run a theatre company AND...', that delves a little into our 4 very different lives.
Part 1: Meet Alice
Job Title: Freelance Artist
Home town: Stevenage
Favourite Colour: Mustard
Favourite Film: The Princess Diaries
Favourite Animal: Cats (the big and small kind)
Biggest Fear: Dressed up Characters/Wax figures/Animatronics
Favourite Place: Disney World
Favourite book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
What/Who is your spirit animal: Piglet (From Winnie the Pooh)
What first interested you in the Arts?
I've danced since I was three years old (said everyone ever), but my Mum taking me to see musicals as a child first sparked my interest in working in theatre. I vividly remember at age 13 going to see Wicked in London, and I just knew that I wanted to be Glinda. I even wrote myself a word document note (cool kid) reminding older me how much I wanted to be in theatre!! I would still say now that my love for musicals directly competes with my love for physical theatre, I couldn't choose between the two! At 16 my drama teacher introduced me to Frantic Assembly, and I went to see Lovesong at the Lyric Theatre in London. To this day, it is the most moving and perfectly crafted piece of theatre I have ever seen. I had the exact same feeling then as I did when I was 13 – I want to learn how to make theatre like that.
What other work do you do besides Push To Shove?
So many other bits and bobs!
When I first graduated, I went straight into teaching at my old secondary school. I am still unbelievably grateful to my secondary drama teachers who coached me, and still to this day support me! I now teach at a musical theatre school for 4-16 year olds every Saturday (I had to have musicals in my life somewhere!!) which brings me so much joy.
I then freelance, doing all the things: producing, facilitating workshops, data entry, performing (children's theatre, physical theatre, musical theatre), chaperoning, teaching, supporting/marketing local arts – I try to keep myself busy with as much work in the arts world as possible.
I also work as a front of house member and team leader at a theatre cafe/bar in Lincoln. I LOVE this job. Yes, I serve coffee, alcohol, clean bins and serve tickets, but I also get to meet new, lovely people and watch free theatre all the time!
How do you think your other work influences Push To Shove?
We all owe our passion for working with young people to our external work - Push To Shove now offer a comprehensive education pack, designed from a culmination of experience and expertise we have all acquired through teaching work outside of the company. We frequently visit schools as a result and run theatre workshops for students of all ages.
Through freelancing, I am constantly growing my skills in company management for Push to Shove: producing, admin work, finance work, marketing etc., and a lot of the opportunities for this kind of work, for me, have come from working at the cafe! I am still so integrated with the local arts scene and the university just from chatting with my customers. Networking and relationships are key to building a successful arts career (I'm not very good at networking, but I love a good natter!)
Then lastly, performing! Devising work is a learnt craft, so through devising and performing with other local, larger companies, I am constantly developing as an artist. I still perform as a vocalist when the opportunity arises – you can never have too many tools in your tool shed!
I may not have the high earning graduate job that society expects me to be pursuing, however I very, very rarely feel like I am working. I genuinely enjoy all my jobs so much that I could count on one hand how often I wake up and have that gut wrenching 'I don't want to go' feeling. And that alone makes me feel pretty darn successful!