Midsumma Festival Launch

— 22nd November 2012 —

Today I was invited to attend the official media launch for Melbourne’s 25th Midsumma Festival – a celebration of queer arts and culture. My co-producer and tour manager, Ryan Barwood, is currently working as the Production Manager for the festival and was charged with the important task of declaring the festival open! Such a proud moment to stand by and watch him take the stage.

I was very impressed by the engaging speeches from proud sponsors, fabulous performances (so many sparkles!), and the insight into the jam-packed festival program to kick off in January 2013. Not every event will be my cup of tea, but there are some really exciting performing arts projects that I’d suggest keeping an eye out for. One in particular is Gaybies - an original theatre piece commissioned by Midsumma inspired by real-life stories and interviews of children from same sex parents. Casting details are yet to be announced, but there is already quite a buzz around this show. Gaybies will be performed on the main stage at Melbourne Theatre Company, Southbank in January.

After the formal part of the evening was over, we all enjoyed the stunning views of the sun setting over the city from level 43 of the Telstra building before heading across the road to mingle at Trunk. So many inspiring artists and new friends!

Midsumma is a really important annual Melbourne festival promoting arts, culture and diversity in a safe and inclusive environment. There’s something for everyone! View full details of the Midsumma Festival program here.

Touring Tips

— 21st November 2012 —

After months overseas, I arrived back in marvellous Melbourne just in time to attend the annual Performing Arts Touring Workshop at the Auspicious Arts Incubator, South Melbourne. Co-presented by the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association (APACA), Regional Arts Victoria (RAV), Auspicious Arts Incubator (AAI) and Theatre Network Victoria (TNV), the event was tailored to inform producers, both emerging and established, of the ‘way in’ to touring. Tips on pitching, tech requirements, online networking tools and budgeting were shared and discussed by the panel and delegates.

I was honoured to join the panel for the second consecutive year, this time speaking on behalf of Theatre Network Victoria in relation to my budgeting experiences as a touring producer. I shared tips regarding building remount and weekly budgets, rolling out payment schedules, cash flow spreadsheets, petty cash, drumming up fundraising and writing acquittals. In case that all sounds really dry and not at all like me (!), I also threw in stories and anecdotes of what it is like to tour for weeks on end in regional Australia.

It was very encouraging to receive positive feedback from fellow producers during the networking session following the workshop. Contact details were exchanged and ideas were brainstormed. It was great! I really believe that sharing knowledge is the key to creating a vibrant arts community. No more of this ‘holding your cards close’ and ‘tall poppy’ business, please.