So, it’s been a year (and a bit) since I officially left the University of Chichester. It ain’t been easy.
Umm, shit, there’s been shit loadsa stuff that’s happened. Fuck, where do I even start…
The Marlborough Theatre – Internship
So, thanks to Brian and sort of knowing Abby and David, they thought I was alright to do some admin shit for their Pink Fringe Spring Season, which was jammed packed with loads of Ed Previews. This was the first time I saw Figs in Wigs do Show Off, saw how ACTUAL get ins and outs work, learned about pronouns (well important – like, proper important if you don’t wanna look like a dick) and how to spell check everything. Everything.
I met shit loads of people and was in a really safe environment to do the whole awkward, “Hi everyone, I’m Roxy, I’m an intern” schtick. I mean, that’s not all what I learned, how to talk to people. Haha. But that did help. I went to Edinburgh and was like, “HI I’M ROXY. REMEMBER ME FROM THE MALRBOROUGH?!?!” … I think I made friends…
I didn’t even think I wanted to do admin stuff tbh…I thought it was gunna be well boring but didn’t want to pass on an opportunity that was getting a foot in the door and spending less time at a well known chicken restaurant. Cheeky.
Obvs, I was pleasantly surprised. The three super dream team that is Abby, David and Tarik, were supportive, accommodating and always ready to chat about whatever confusion I had. Mainly, it was great to talk about theatre and performances.
I don’t consider myself as queer but it is fucking great to have an insight into what queer is and open up another style/form of theatre that I defs wouldn’t have been exposed to in another venue.
And yeah, they thought I was alright and was like, “Hey, fancy being a Programming Assistant for our FIRST EVER ARTS COUNCIL FUNDED SEASON, and then assist with Brighton Fringe?” When they asked me to stay on I admittedly did a little dance and recorded it for Hannah to see. I think it’s important to still be a dork.
Then I had the pleasure to actually have a cute title that fits at the Marly; Junior Producer. (I’m even on the website with my dogs, LOLs) I mean, I think it’s a bit out there but, fuck it. No one’s gunna come over and be like, that’s not what you are, fuck off home.
Actually, they might. OH GOD PLEASE DON’T TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME.
All in all, The Marly is great. It’s my first theatre love. AND it has a pub. Steller. They took a chance on a little graduate who felt like she was a little fish in a massive ocean with 100 ft depth where old ships and gold were buried underneath sand and those camouflage sea creatures OH and the ones that have lights in their bodies. Like, how fucking mental is that?
I moved in with James.
This was cool. I mean, not right now, we’re about to move to Brighton and there’s literally shit everywhere. Clothes, boxes, dirty plates, my notepad…I don’t even know what’s on James’ side of the bed. I’m well annoyed by it.
It’s been fucking hard just living with someone else. Someone else you love. Honestly. Like, we’re at difficult points in our 20ish years of existence (away from family, in a job you hate, in your max overdraft, paying loads for electricity-we’ve totes been mugged off…so annoying, away from friends, (LIKE ALL OF THEM HAVE GONE)…
Cosgrove went away for four months, Sophie’s been away for 10 months or something ridiculous, Hannah’s still away and has been for four months, everyone has moved out from Chichester except for Tara and the boys. But they’re going soon so…
fretting if your landlady will overcharge you for making scratches in your laminate flooring)…all of that, adult stuff. Adult stuff that your parents got stressed about and when you were a kid you were like, god, what is up with you? Have a piece of Lego and come sit with me on my magic carpet.
So, we’ve argued loads, we’ve made up less, we’ve gone to bed angry, I’ve thrown things and slammed doors, he’s shouted so loud I thought my eardrums had burst…yet we got through whatever disagreements we had…which was most likely “Why do you think it’s OK to eat all of the fucking yoghurts?” – I can’t go into anymore depth with this argument…it’s too painful.
Despite all of that (LOLs I’ve just stated everything bad about living with someone else, best actually lighten it up so it doesn’t seem like a really crap deal haha) It has been well exciting…never thought I’d be interested in home decor or nifty second hand steals. I mean, that’s the flip side of being poor, you appreciate that shit like, late night tesco shops where you pick up a block of cheese for £2 reduced from £6.
I mean, I have learned how to compromise…kinda. It has been great when I’ve had a shit shift and I have dinner on the table…well, more like kitchen counter ready for me to eat on my lap. He’s been there when I’ve been fretting about money/family/work to just hug and listen to me hysterically cry.
In an ideal world, I would’ve moved in a bit later so I could’ve saved at least two months rent, but, c’est la vie. It has been an eye opening experience and I cannot wait to be in Brighton with James where I feel like we’ll be a bit happier.
I went to Latitude.
Cheers Brian! Another banging festival that was epic. Free ticket and a meal a day in order to do 20 hours over the weekend. Pfft! Yeah, alright! Got to camp in the Performing Area, where there were actual toilet stations and it wasn’t overcrowded, relatively close to everything. I think anyway…I mean Latitude is no Glasto in comparison to size…maybe I never experienced the other end of it cause I thought I had already been to the other end. Ah crap!
This was a different role and nothing like I expected. Some of the shifts were like 10pm-2am which is only 4 hours but when you’ve been sunning/walking/drinking/enjoying the festival and then you’ve got to work when it’s chucking it down…eeeeeeeeeep!
After this, I realised, I really like structure, I like to know what I’m doing. Latitude is so laid back, they’re like, well, we just wait here until we’re needed. So, when we’d go off exploring the Forest for other performances to see, it was a bit of a touch moment but I’d come back and they were like, where have you been??
I mean, the last day…everyone had just disappeared. I’m not really sure what happened. But, safe to say, I have not been asked to come back and help. Think this was a mixture of too many people on the same shifts and I just didn’t know how to apply myself to a Forest with multiple tents (venues) who didn’t need my help. I was probs too fucked as well.
Forest Fringe at Edinburgh Fringe.
Another nod to Brian. OK, so you know when I said about being a little fish in an ocean blah blah? Well, this was on ANOTHER level. I was, in a different city, SO FAR from home, living with people who I didn’t know – I knew their work and was a fan, so this only made me feel even more intimidated/alone etc. Umm…so I guess I’m a little bit of plankton in that big ocean shit I described.
I loved it. I loved working with a wide group of artists to build a community of free performances. Fight capitalism. Yeah! There was a calmness to Forest that I hadn’t experienced before. Like, Ed Fringe is on so much speed and adrenaline highs than anything I’ve ever experienced, so it was great to know I could retreat to Forest if I felt like I was going to be trampled on by everyone else.
I got to meet fuck loads of artists here too, loads who I love and actually got to say hi to them. And treat them like people and not Gods. I get so awkward when I meet artists that I admire. I just blurt out that I love their shit and get a bit wanky when I talk about someone’s work. Here, I learned how to tone that down? So, all useful stuff.
I’ve made friends here. Friends that I could hang out with over a drink and ask for advice. It’s been really nice.
I fucking graduated. My parents were in the same room. I graduated with my best friends and James. We had a mad weekend that just felt like it was another night at the SU where we would do stupid dances, run around the place, drink shot, strawpedo, large glass of wine and probs be sick in the loos without trying to be too loud. It was a tough weekend but so rewarding in the end.
I held down three jobs.
I was at the restaurant for 16 hours a week, The Marly 8 hours & a shoe store for 16 hours. All because the restaurant wouldn’t bump my hours up. Some days, I would do, 9.30-5.30 at the shop and then 6-12 at the restaurant. When they realised that I couldn’t be as flexible anymore, they then offered me more hours. Funny that int it? I was doing this, as well as desperately finding an office job to get me out of work that wasn’t stimulating enough. But, loads of places wouldn’t take me because I was working one day a week at the Marly.
Doing that, fucked me over a lot. No one wanted to hire me because I was strong enough to not give up the Marly. I’ve learned loads from this. I don’t regret it one bit…otherwise I wouldn’t have had other freelance jobs come my way. I did it. I fucking did it and stuck to my guns.
Victoria Melody was after an assistant.
She shares office space at the Marly. She offered me a job on a one day a week basis. I mean, she might’ve asked the guys, is Rox any good? And I hoped that they would’ve said, yeah she’s alright! Haha But I def wouldn’t have got this role if we didn’t already have a relationship. I learned very quickly that you can’t just cold call but mentioning people’s names go a long, long, long, way.
So yeah, I’ve met a lot of people with Vic and have worked in a few different places that I probs wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for her. I am learning how an artist funds herself, manages herself as a business as well as ACTUALLY performing and touring. It’s fun. I’ve also brushed lots of hair. I’ve so learned how to manage myself too, financially and organisationally (?)
I landed my first freelance role (that wasn’t through connections.)
Arts Admin and Arts Council websites are your friend. Sign up to their mailing lists and check them once a week. Honestly. I saw that Rhiannon Faith needed a Digital and Sales Marketing Officer for the R&D stages of a new show. I never had that title before but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. (You soon learn that there are 1,001 job titles for the same thing – so read between the lines a bit.)
It’s great being involved in a company who you had no idea about but their work interests you. You just got to keep digging and finding out more stuff. (Which is what I’m sure everyone says.) I’ve made contacts here and I’m happy to have them nearby if I need any help.
I quit the chicken place.
I think I had had enough when we were all asked to sit down on a dirty table during training. They were implying that we regularly don’t treat our customers with enough respect to even sit them at a clean table. Nah. I’m not going to go through and be treated like I’m a fucking thicko. I mean, there are countless other STUPID THINGS I fucking hated about the place anyway. Which, if you have time, can be viewed here.
But yeah, I called it a day, gave in my month notice with no other job to go to. I was petrified.
I got fucking rejected – a lot.
My CV wasn’t good enough. I didn’t have enough experience. My covering letter was too generic. I basically didn’t care enough to work as a receptionist, administrator, sales recruitment for companies who had no interest within the arts whatsoever. Similarly, no one had any interest in me because all I had was theatre work behind me.
Which is a fucking joke because I had vast experience of marketing, administration, promotional and customer service skills, but because it was all centred around theatres, I couldn’t possibly transfer those skills into another sector. Oh just fuck off.
Me and Jamal finally became a company.
YEAH BUDDY! WE FINALLY SORTED IT! Thanks Abby.
I mean, it was stressful to start with. Neither one of us was getting paid, (still aren’t haha) I had four/five projects on the go and we couldn’t respond to the venues quick enough. Butttttt, Flare 15 is next week and we can’t fucking wait. More opportunities to network with people and opening doors for us, we hope. And also to have catch ups with people I have met before. I’ll most likely be snapchatting the festival (roxannecarney).
We have a few tricks up our sleeves, we’ll be making some big decisions about our day jobs, just planning, planning and planning. We’re learning how to manage our time efficiently as well as making sure we can be paid.
I did get a day job.
I work at a baby shop. That’s about it really. But in case you guys were like, Oh my God I hope she’s got a job, hanging on the edge of your seat kinda thing. Don’t worry. We cool.
Me and James landed a flat in Brighton.
AND IT’S A 30 SECOND WALK TO THE MARLY.
That’s all you need to know really. It’s gunna be well difficult moving in and then heading off to Eds. But, I did that last year so, James will be fine. And I’ll just have to deal with the fact that he’ll move ALL the furniture around without me knowing…like last year.
Umm…so that’s kinda where I’m up to. I know a few things that I can’t really say (EVEN THOUGH I’M LITERALLY GOING TO BURST WITH KNOWLEDGE.)
I think it’s just important to keep ploughing through. Aim high, apply for stuff, don’t give into the high expectations and pressures everyone will NO DOUBT put on you. Everyone has to start somewhere. Make a 5 year plan. I got asked about my 5 year plan in a recent interview, I was honest and told my 2.5 year plan. (My PL if you like.)
Oh, and buy like a wall planner and a diary.