Industry-Based Learning Opportunity: Producer 2021
Vanishing Point and Scottish Drama Training Network
Vanishing Point & SDTN were delighted to award this opportunity to Emma Ruse, a student at Queen Margaret University to gain an insight into the process of producing a Vanishing Point show through a bespoke learning programme. The learning programme was designed to involve a series of one-to-one meetings with Vanishing Point’s Administrative Producer, meetings with production staff and members of the creative team and some practical experience. The programme focussed on Vanishing Point’s upcoming show, The Metamorphosis: Unplugged which was set to tour Scotland in April & May 2021. Due to the ongoing pandemic – this opportunity has been adapted and we are delighted to be able to support Emma in other ways.
An important part of our work is to identify new talent and deliver pathways into the industry. We identified that Emma’s talent, enthusiasm, and passion to learn made her an ideal candidate for our programme in 2020. We are delighted to have been part of her development and know she would be an asset to the “Home” new writing project in 2021.
Statement from Emma:
As a third-year drama student at Queen Margaret University, being part of the Industry-Based Learning Producer mentorship has been really exciting. At a time when the theatres are all closed and the opportunities to network are so limited it’s been brilliant to have the opportunity to meet and connect with both the Vanishing Point and the SDTN team.
Obviously, the ongoing pandemic has greatly impacted the work that was initially planned, but Eleanor Scott and the Vanishing Point team have been so lovely and welcoming and adaptable. They’ve really tailored the placement towards me and due to various factors, we are now focusing on supporting one of my projects rather than a Vanishing Point project.
I’ve found with producing that it’s incredibly difficult to find opportunities to develop your skillset. I’ve been producing work for my own company, Framework Theatre, for a few years now but finding the support, mentorship and guidance to help shape your practice can be very difficult. As soon as I saw this opportunity, I knew I had to apply, since these opportunities are so few and far between. It’s also pairing perfectly with my degree and giving me real life examples of the modules that we’re exploring at uni.
I’ve found that because producing is so different from show to show a lot of people just say, ‘oh there’s so much to consider’ and move on. This experience has been excellent because Eleanor’s given me so much support and so many examples of ways that things work based off of her lived experience. It’s really helped me get to grips with things that you usually only get to learn on the job, like contracting venues and PR.
It’s obviously disappointing to not be able to go on tour with the Vanishing Point team and see that work first-hand, but if I’ve learnt anything from the past year it’s to be prepared for anything and not take things for granted. I’ve learnt so much in the first chunk of this programme and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the work goes- and hopefully meet the team in person at some point in 2021 (maybe!).
Even though we’ve been working digitally, it’s been amazing to make these really valuable connections and have these interesting and insightful discussions that I think will benefit my career greatly. The world of producing seems a little less secretive and woolly than it did before! As well as that, having both SDTN and Vanishing Point on board and supporting my producing work for a project that is in the works for Framework is incredibly exciting and valuable.
At a time where it’s so easy to feel demotivated and a bit lost, particularly in the theatre world, this project has helped keep me upbeat, excited and really keen to get some work back on a stage.
Producer, Framework Theatre Company
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