We hope you are enjoying this lovely sunny day! We are off to start a very sweaty rehearsal, ahead of our tour that starts NEXT WEEK! (Totally chill about this... we aren't nervous.. at all...)
This week we wanted to share our top tips for staying playful when your theatre admin life get fierce! Over the past few months, this is something that GOLKK have been constantly trying to get to grips with, and it can be seriously challenging for collaborative theatre makers. So hopefully by sharing these nuggets of experience, we can help you with your own creative struggles, and remind you that we are all in the same over-so wobbly boat!
As a ensemble, GOLKK do everything together. We direct, perform, produce, and share the admin between us. BUT, this is never as simple as it seems. Over the past year our admin has tripled - suddenly we were swamped with applications, venue research, networking, budgeting - all the things that suddenly appear from the woodwork when you start out as a company. As the workload tripled, our roles didn't change, and we found that some of us were taking on more than we could chew! (Suddenly marketing is no longer just a facebook shoutout!!)
What we soon realized was that our admin workload, and most importantly the imbalance of our work loads, was seeping into the rehearsal room. Admin tasks were being discussed over our warm up, rehearsals were cancelled because of a deadline that needed to be met, and the atmosphere of stress and worry was filling the room. Luckily, we realized this was happening. And we remembered that all this admin was actually to further the creative work - the work which couldn't exist in this environment!
So we took action, and started doing the following things:
* Share the load. We re-adjusted our roles, and remembered that we are a TEAM. We can delegate to each other, share a tricky task, and work things out together.
* Celebrate the successes! Whether its meeting a deadline or reaching a new audience, take the time to celebrate that little win for the company - and recognize that you are slowly but surely succeeding!
* Work out a system that is good for your company. For us, this is a combination of using brilliant work apps (we use SLACK! - its a lifesaver!), meeting and doing our admin together in the same space, and using cake and coffee as motivators!
* Bin the admin during rehearsals! The filtering of admin into our rehearsal space was so subtle and sneaky, it took us a while to realise it was happening. But now we are being more strict with ourselves- no discussing admin jobs when rehearsing! This is so important as it not only means you have a free and creative environment, it means you as an individual have the mental space to switch off, and switch on to curiosity and play!
* Find ways to bring joy to the task in hand. This might be as simple as all taking an ice cream break after a couple of hours in the office, or more creative like experimenting with time lapse whilst building some set (see our insta- it turned out pretty cool!). Whatever you can find to make that task a bit more enjoyable!
* Be kind to yourself, and to each other. You will not always be able to achieve everything you set out to do - that may be posting a blog every Monday (whoops!), or a big funding bid that wasn't successful. But remember that these things happen, and more opportunities are around the corner! When times get really busy, you need to adjust. Try to prioritize your key tasks or goals, individually and as a group, then forgive the rest!!
We hope that this may help in some way! When you can approach your admin with playfulness, kindness and solidarity, it will always seem that bit easier.
MAY THIS POST BRING YOU MONDAY MOTIVATION!