theatre maths: choices + choices = risk

                  Trying to keep things in balance!

As an undergraduate drama student I am approaching graduation. Success! I’ve made it. I’ve been through three years intensely studying for my future professional field. Learning as much as possible along the way and beginning to form some true values as to what making theatre is. However, it’s not that easy when being faced with so many choices. 

Being in an arts profession (same as any profession I guess) it is that we have to make many choices. This summer, I have to choose whether I should go to Edinburgh for 6 weeks and put off finding a job for the other 11months of the year or stay south and search for that job. Or, with a few potential work offers at the moment, I have to make some choices as to what I take to help me further my career – turning down paid work for unpaid work, for example. I know very well that I’m not the only one in this situation, which makes me feel better; however, it doesn’t hide the fact that I’m scared of choices and always want someone to make them for me.

“It’s all part of growing up!” I hear you say, and I understand this completely. I know that I do have to decide so I will, but always hoping that fate will take its course and I’ll end up landing on my feet.

The reality is I can’t rely on fate, but instead myself. The performing arts industry is a tough and varied trade at the best of times and to make any kind of success, you have to push your limits and make judgments that you often don’t want to. Although that is also part of the excitement.

Surrounding all of these decisions is the element of risk. If you take a high risk, you make a high gain – while not always, but sometimes.  The definition for risk is “The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger.” – Something that scares me and many others.

Old William Shakespeare didn’t get anywhere without having The Lord Chamberlain’s Men almost being executed and Peter Brook with his cast of The Mahabharata wouldn’t have had anywhere near the success enjoyed if it hadn’t come under some sort of controversy. These, and many alike, took risks to take themselves further in their careers and they serve as an example for all.

So, I have to take a risk in my choices and hopefully will see a return. I may not like what could happen, but I have to trust in myself and other’s ability that it is for the best – even if I may not know it. In my career I know that there will always be risk and this is a place where I want to achieve.

I write this as a tribute, encouragement and testament to my peers in a hope that they will succeed.



Filed under Theatre

2 responses to “theatre maths: choices + choices = risk

  1. Good luck … break a leg!

    PS Take the first paying or subsidised* job that comes along and which does not offend your values. There will be others, and the networking that comes from that job will lead to the next, and so on.

    * subsidised through co-op sharing, stipend or ‘value-added’ via other opportunities, but maybe ‘unwaged.’

  2. Sandy Matthews

    Thanks Kate. I will keep you posted on how things go. Currently writing this from an ‘unwaged’ job – however, contacts are great and enjoying the time spent in a theatre!

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