Hello all! I’m Daljinder and I’m the Trainee Producer for Check In Festival 2020. I’m a freelancer across journalism, marketing and production as well as working part-time for the Midlands Band 2 Arts Council NPO ArtReach.
As many early-career or emerging producers know, it can be difficult to find rewarding – and for us working-class creatives – sufficiently paid work in production. In fact, I’ve found it particularly difficult to shake off the emerging label due to the lack of opportunities offering the specific skill development I need.
In other words, I’m your gal when it comes to all things marketing and event-management, but I lack confidence with a slightly more complex budget. This doesn’t mean I won’t problem-solve a tricky issue or find resources from elsewhere, but the British are known for being slightly shy about talking about money matters and so, this is just one of the areas of knowledge that has remained frustrating opaque.
I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the wisdom of other producers on both China Plate Theatre’s The Optimists and StageOne’s Bridge The Gap, but as two familiar names advise in this Guardian article, “nothing beats hands-on experience”.
I’ve been able to refine my marketing skills with companies such as the South Asian LGBT+ umbrella brand, Gaysians and Heaux Noire, a poetry night for Black and Brown womxn. I’ve gone on to programme and produce events with Beatfreeks and will be doing plenty more of this as I work as an independent producer for the Midlands artist Erinn Dhesi. In fact, we’re currently gearing up to take Wigs Snatched, Perceptions Destroyed for VAULT Festival 2020.
But as busy as I am with all this (and more than I won’t attempt to fit in), I’m especially excited for Check-In Festival 2020 because I’m also really hopeful for the other possibilities that may emerge from this role.
I’m hoping to increase my confidence as an independent producer, but one specifically in the Midlands. I think there’s such amazing potential to nurture a vibrant and innovative theatre scene outside of London, an idea that In Good Company has already recognised.
I’ve long admired their work for this reason – they’ve given me the role so believe this isn’t an attempt to butter them up. But through my relatively short career in producing so far, I’ve really enjoyed uncovering amazing talent in the area that I grew up in and can’t wait to be part of helping this develop for 2020.
I won’t say what we’ve got in store this year, but I’m already so impressed by In Good Company’s plans to build upon previous years and eager to contribute my ideas. Previous years have seen talents like Chris Thorpe, Mia Johnson and Enter Edem so you know you’re in for a treat!
On a final note, Check In Festival is a wonderful chance to be a part of a festival that is an amazing space for other theatre professionals like producers and not just artists. One of my favourite aspects of working as a producer in the Midlands is the brilliant support networks I’ve developed with other producers.
Although we usually spend our time during theatre festivals running around as we organise our own shows, pop on our other hats as performers or in my case, reviewing or providing marketing, I’ve found that other producers have always been willing to stop to give advice on a tricky problem or celebrate a successful funding application over a cuppa. While the festival has always created opportunities to do both, I hope that this year’s festival is a particularly great opportunity to celebrate our achievements as theatremakers.
Of course, I’d encourage you to come along to this year’s festival and take advantage of the varied programme designed to address your queries and help you overcome any obstacles to achieving your goals. Though, in addition to this, please think about something that you’re really proud to have achieved in the past year and if you like, find me and tell me about it.
Check In Festival is between 3rd-5th April 2020 at Attenborough Arts Centre.