The Big House: Produce Scheme

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“To support local theatre makers get projects back on track post Covid-19”

I’m very chuffed to share that I have been selected, along with 3 other indi producers in the midlands, to be a consultant producer on this new project. Theatre makers and companies based in the Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire area are eligible to apply, makers and companies who have seen a change in their plans and projects due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns, resulting in new shows or projects being delayed or changed.

If you are eligible, you’ll get a whole package of support designed for you, which may include workshops, one-to-one’s with Derby Theatre staff and up to 12 hours of mentorship with me or one of the other brilliant producers.

You can find out more, including how to apply, here.

Witch Of the Week

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This was a mini interview I did with the brilliant Women in the Arts team! Please go and check out all of the amazing work that they do here. I strongly suggest connecting with them if you are making any form of art in the East Mids. The original interview can be found here.


How did you get into your creative field?


Sometimes you just fall into it! I started out as a performer, through and through. But I think my passion (modest need for control) and drive took over and I carved out a role for myself. I’m now a theatre producer, with some performing on the side. I really had no idea what a producer was a few years ago. The best definition I’ve come across is someone who simply ’gets shit done’. Sometimes it’s difficult on the outside to see why it’s a creative role, but it absolutely is. I think there is a lot of creativity in problem solving, relationship building and collaborating with artists to make a vision come true. Plus, I have some very beautiful spreadsheets. 

What are you working on at the moment?

In Lincoln i’m currently working with Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. I’m the creative producer for One Hundred, a project that celebrates and marks 100 years of women’s suffrage. It’s been a huge learning experience; it’s the first time I’ve led on a project solo, but luckily we’ve formed a super team of local women as a steering group to really guide where the project goes. So it’s been a great balance. The most enriching and empowering part has been meeting so many women doing fantastic things in Lincolnshire, often under the radar! I’ve met with countless artists, engineers, politicians, commercial businesswomen, charity directors… I’ve become really interested in where the arts intercepts with academia, or with local businesses for example. There’s a lot we can learn from outside our own bubble.I think what the suffragettes and suffragists has taught me is that there is power in sisterhood, in diverse skills and a collective aim. One Hundred has really felt like an homage to that. 

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve been working for lots of companies and projects since I graduated, which is brilliant as every day is different! But, I’m hoping to be in a position where I can spark my own projects too; One Hundred has definitely built my confidence to do that.  Long, long term I would love to be running a venue, supporting artists and to be in a position to make positive change in the industry. 

How have you been involved with WITA?

I’m a big fan girl. I haven’t been part of it as much as I’d like, but I got along to the last showcase and was just astounded at the performances, the energy and vibrancy in the room. It was electric. I’m so impressed by the powerhouse of Team WITA and all the women that make it so brilliant and life-changing for artists in this city. I look forward to taking part more and more next year. 

A local artist who’s work you love?

Through WITA and One Hundred I’ve come across the amazing work of Jayne Cooper who is based in Louth. I’m a sucker for simple, bold and unapologetic artwork; Jayne does that in spades. It’s powerful stuff. Please check her out! I’m chuffed to bits that she will be running a workshop as part of One Hundred on 25th Nov, you can book a free place on the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre website. (www.lpac.co.uk)

How can we connect with you?

For quips it’s Twitter @pheebs_wp, for pictures of my dog it’s Instagram @pheebs_wp and you can get in touch via my website: www.phoebewallpalmer.co.uk If you are interested in being part of the One Hundred Project, or to find out more, just email me on onehundred@lpac.co.uk. or join the Facebook Group


Taking the leap…

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This is for anyone considering taking the leap – whether that’s changing career paths, moving city or quitting to go freelance like me. It’s some things I’ve learnt and some thoughts i’ve had…

Freelance producing full time was always a scary prospect to me, and something I really thought I was decades away from. But, a few months ago, I knew something had to give.

I had a particularly busy and demanding Autumn in 2017. For the first time since working in the arts professionally I would say I well and truly burnt out. That is not to say that what I had been working on wasn’t joyous, rewarding and worth the feeling after. What became the problem was the day job – the money job – the thing that meant regular income, security and being able to buy really good coffee.

I dithered for a while, desperately looking for something else but part time instead, something flexible but standard. A safety net. I was certain I couldn’t chance it and I felt a lot of guilt as I thought about leaving my current job. For a long time it was so much more than a day job; this was working professionally within a theatre, with a salary, in the arts! I didn’t want to take it for granted, but I knew I couldn’t sustain it much longer.

It takes a bit of time to know what you’re after. Whether that’s producing like me, or performing or directing etc. If you no longer have capacity left to say yes to what you want to say yes to then something has to go.

So, long story short, I handed in my notice in February, and this is what i’ve learnt:

  1. Cherish Your Support Network. Never have I valued my network more than now. The day job i’m quitting from is managing the Box Office at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. They are my second home. Craig and the rest of the team have undoubtedly been the reason i’ve been able to do what i’m doing. He gave Flickbook it’s first professional opportunity, and that was the first rung of the ladder for us and me as an individual. My Flickbookers are my second family – we laugh, we cry and sometimes we disagree but they are so special to me and we are incredibly supportive of what each other are doing. Boy, do they have my back. And if I were to try and name all of the rest this would get very long indeed, but my point is; nourish your network, be supportive and you will always get support back.
  2. Tell People. This has taken me a while! It wasn’t until September last year that I would have said “I am a theatre producer” – I still find it  bit alien to say it now. But I learnt that if I tell people i’m pursuing producing work then they can start recommending me for things, and that has equaled more work. I thought I was going to get looks of dubiousness when I first decided to go freelance, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, I got “Finally!”
  3. Leap But Avoid Falling. Before I handed in my notice I had made a very sexy spreadsheet. It’s a financial forecast for the coming year with confirmed and expected funds, cash flow and a breakdown of my previous self assessment figures. etc etc. It’s genuinely one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever created. This was what made me see I was ready – I calculated I can live (cheaply) until January 2019 IF I quit LPAC so I can say yes to a couple of other things. I would have only done it if I new I viably could. So i’m not being reckless, but I am being brave, I think that’s the difference.
  4. Gut Instinct. On that note, I have a very good relationship with my gut! I use it from whether to say yes or no to a project or whether to have Cheese Ploughmans or Egg Mayo. It is vital to my decision making process and means that the process itself is usually quite quick. I know if this is the right thing to do, and for me, right now, this certainly is.
  5. Everyone Gets Imposter Syndrome and everyone is making it up as they go along. It’s the moment of thinking “when are they going to find out I have no idea what i’m doing?” I get a moment like this at least once a day. I have learnt to embrace and enjoy its novelty.
  6. Know It Will Be Hard. I am a very practical and realistic person, and I think I know what I have let myself in for… We’ll see. But I know it will be hard work, but that’s definitely what I enjoy most.

Thanks for taking a look at my ramblings. It was good to get that out.