Festivals from the other side

This trip to Korea marked the first time that I had ever been invited to a festival as a producer/director rather than a performer, and I found the difference to be a profound one.

As a performer, a typical festival is little more than a networking party interrupted by your scheduled performance times, but as a producer/director you are on the job every minute that you are awake.

In general, I was impressed by the quality of the shows at the Chuncheon Mime Festival.  With high production values and relatively smooth organization, the festival staff gave a good impression.  I was happy (if a little bewildered) to find that the auditorium was full for our three-and-a-half conference on "Contemporary Circus in Canada."

But the work is stressful, and doesn’t let up.  Meeting companies, meeting organizers, pitching projects, listening to project pitches, collecting informations, seeing shows, collecting DVD’s, buying beers for people, drinking the beers they buy for you, etc.

I saw about fifteen shows in four days, and we walked away with three contracts in development.  Coupled with our development in Taiwan, we have a schedule that spans into 2009.  Not bad for one year’s planning.

My real focus right now is on the preparations for the new production in Taipei for this autumn.  I am anxious for rehearsals to start; time seems to drag, and I am rapidly depleting my savings.  It is like watching sand spill in an hourglass.

What is frustrating is the inability to discuss or even hope for future projects.  Once things get underway, the theory is that they will feed into one another, providing a steady cash flow.  Waiting for that huge machine to start churning away is what kills me right now.  I just have to tell myself that if Ican get through the next seven weeks, everything will be all right.

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