This week, I was made redundant. Now, I have encountered redundancy before, but it was a voluntary position which bore no financial pressures and devoted time towards my studies. Dealing with this redundancy spell, the continuous battles of shock, upset and frustration revolve within the mind. Imagine being knocked off your beautiful horse, helmet sprawled across the battlefield as you crawl towards it, the swords of reality beat you down. Hurts, right? Everyday you experience a different emotion and there is annoying fly buzzing the questions ‘What’s your purpose?’ and ‘What do you do now?’ I can’t deny I’ve spent a few days moping, but today has sprung memories of happiness, determination and hope for my awaiting future.
My dream is to work for the arts, obviously the theatre is the castle, but film, music and exhibitions always inspire my creative heart. Regarding the arts industry as a whole, the freedom to express, adopt a persona or perhaps reveal your true identity is what I admire the most. The power of the arts, whether it is shown on stage, screen or wall, never fails to emotionally move me. However, I was always nervous to share my work with others and terrified of the critics. At the start of 2015, I promised myself to be brave and explore the world and meet the amazing people who exist within the arts industry. My love for the theatre started in 2010 whilst I was studying at Roehampton University. I mainly explored the National Theatre as I was oblivious towards other London theatres. I worked extremely hard to gain my first class degree in Journalism and Creative Writing, but felt detached from my academic work. My portfolio lacked emotion and was constrained by the examiner’s rules. Hence why I created this blog at the beginning of the year, but little did I know about the amazing adventures my blog would bring…
I’m not going to deny I was absolutely petrified of attending my very first #LDNTheatreBloggers Big Meet Up with Official Theatre at Planet Hollywood, London. Being a typical girl and blogger newbie, I like to over analyse, what to wear, what to say and picturing myself in the corner of the bar lips clenched around a straw. I’m a person, who is fine with small groups and sitting in a theatre, but a party scene is no Emma’s land. To be honest, I’m not a massive drinker, I’m quite satisfied with an orange juice, ice cubes and a straw- perhaps it was the nerves and not wanting to make a scene on the train home (Been there, done that, wore it on my t-shirt!!)
Welcomed into the lovely party by Seat Plan’s hosts, I was about to seek sanctuary under Rebecca’s wing, but I instantly spotted a young woman behind her. Out of nowhere, I introduced myself and the funniest thing was her name was Emma too! From that moment, I realised I was going to be absolutely fine and started to become the social bunny, mingling in with the crowds. The problem I had was matching Twitter handles with actual faces. Plus, I have terrible memory (thanks dyslexia!) and survive by gently easing myself into the familiar. This caused me to realise I had only managed to mingle with the left side of the room, not those on the right. Shame on me! Normally, when you feel safe and loved in a particular area of the room, you tend to never leave safe haven.
Following on from this event, I met so many legends, including:
- Rebecca– A social presence I will be forever thankful for and her emails filled with absolute joy
- Anna and Emily – Founders of the amazing Starling Arts and kindly invited me to their celebratory show of 5 years in the business
- Marina– a great young companion, who I have been able to speak to since our Les Mis outing, and introduced me to the joys of Southwark Playhouse
- Caity– another great friend and a friendly face who I will always look out for at any event
I stumbled across the Royal Court theatre as they called upon submissions for their GRIT project. Spending a day, murdering my paper with a scribbled brainstorm, I settled on my creative piece and fired it off into their inbox, ready to be forgotten. I literally had tears in my eyes as my work was plastered over their Facebook and Twitter profiles, along with positive feedback from strangers. I felt a sudden amount of pride, love and confidence to let the world view my work. Funnily enough, my title ‘Rejected Hand‘ feels pretty fitting due to my current position.
More here: http://royalcourtgrit.tumblr.com/
Regarding small businesses closing down, the recent and extremely sad news about IdeasTap closing also plays upon on my mind. Since college, IdeasTap encouraged me to be brave with my creativity, along with the resources and events to become inspired. However, we take many charities for granted and, as consequence, they are forced to close their doors due to funding. Thanks to their supporters, they cling onto hope: #SaveIdeasTap
Great memories of IdeasTap were attending their exclusive events at the Vault Festival and meeting with the legendary Wendy Spon- see my previous blog posts for more. It was also about networking with other creative artists and there is one person I will need to mention here- David Poole. Although the Birmingham to Crawley distance has never fazed us, we continue to support each other through our creative and academic adventures. In December 2014, I even travelled up to Birmingham to meet with David for the very first time. We explored the art exhibitions, Christmas market and even found time to watch the Imitation Game at the cinema. Plus, check out my fascination with the singing lift at the Ikon Gallery…
So…..looking back on the last fours months, those were all unexpected events, just like this redundancy. Yes- redundancy mainly holds negative vibes , but maybe I no longer need to treat it like a gaping wound, but an ointment. Many of my friends have said ‘Emma, it’s a blessing in disguise‘ cue my death glare as a response. I’m coming around to the idea that maybe it is indeed a blessing…a creative blessing. I was sacrificing my creativity and socialising for the sake of convenience. This is my chance to explore my beliefs and to test my determination in order to succeed. Who knows whether I will return to another mundane job to earn the money to fund my lifestyle or, perhaps, my dream career will begin to become a reality. Whatever happens, I AM NOT GIVING UP!