I wanted to create a good impression a good start. What we wear is who we are. Lately I've been back to back in rehearsals up early, home late or not home at all with a bag fit for my purpose ranging from baggy clothes for rehearsals to presentable Press night attire.
But what to wear to Hull Truck Theatre on my first day as part of our successful bid for this project. Did I now need to dress for this success, reassurance or purpose? Would I need to wear a cape as the title Change Maker suggested? No. No cape. I came as I am.
I wore my Grandpappy’s cardigan. It reminded me of where I'd come from, how he and my Grandmummy on my mother’s side and my Grandad on my father’s had travelled so far from home so I could do what I do now. I come from a family of hard workers who rolled with the punches, pushed forward and strived to achieve like many here in the UK. I come from a family of migrants who have contributed to the UK in more ways than one. I wrapped my hair in my scarf from a beloved friend, the print on the scarf depicts New York, my little visual continual prayer for my sisters and brothers in the US. I put on my red shoes as I continue on my journey might as well wear pretty shoes whilst doing it, right? I've had my bag of stuff by my side for a while with all kinds of training and tools and lessons learnt or repeated and a bag of memories. Hidden Gems Productions, the Theatre Company I run with Marcia Layne, forms a strong foundation and I wore with pride the good wishes and sense that were sent this morning and for the rest of my journey in Hull.
It feels like I’m boarding a big ship moving towards something really special with Mark Babych and Janthi Mills-Ward at the helm. I’ve been more than welcomed, there is a reason why this Theatre won the regional Yorkshire and Humber Most Welcoming Theatre Award.
For this journey I'm on board for 2 years and together with Hull Truck Theatre have written a development programme for myself as Artistic Associate which will also support the Theatre’s commitment to cultural change. We've placed at the heart of the project a commitment to contributing to the overarching drive for that cultural change in the theatre sector. I will be attending meetings as part of the Senior Management Team as well as Board events. I’ll be spending time with the departments learning about their causes for challenges and celebrations. I’ll be attending rehearsals with Mark Babych and watching his process, I’ll also be visiting directors across the region.
As part of the specific cultural change plan we will look at the following three areas Talent, exploring the opportunity for increased diversity at drama schools, drama groups and Agents. The work with audiences will be tied with the development of audiences already happening at Hull Truck Theatre and I will be inviting audiences both into the theatre and traveling to where they are in order to share my Research and Development days to explore a wide range of scripts with fellow creatives. This is part of my preparation to make work here in 2018.
As ever I’ll be wearing… who cares let’s do this! Its time.