A large portion of my time at Warwick has been spent on production teams. I have had lots of different roles working on various musicals and plays– mainly as Producer or Marketing Manager, roles most people barely get to hear about.
There are so many misconceptions about being on a production team. Many people think that those who choose to stay off-stage only do this because they lack the talent to be on-stage. However, my experience on various teams has demonstrated that this is untrue. Production team members are some of the most talented people I have ever met. They have such an exceptional level of skill and determination in their area of expertise that I am constantly being inspired to work harder and be better.
Without this collection of people, the show simply would not go on.
There is such a wide range of people on a production team – from the creative to the more operational roles. Be it the Producer, Director, Stage Manager, Choreographer, Tech Crew, Lighting, Sound, Costume, Set Designer, Props, Marketing or Publicity. Without this collection of people, the show simply would not go on (or if it did, would not be nearly as professional).
For example, in my main role as Marketing Manager I spend my time developing and implementing an effective strategy to promote the show and ultimately sell tickets. This involves the management of the marketing budget, all aspects of the show’s publicity and advertising material, organising sponsorship, events and fundraisers and managing all press and public relations.
I am the faceless entity (often behind a screen) ensuring everything is going well.
At Warwick, I have worked on The Improv Musical, Good Business, Holmes for Rent and I am currently working on Follies, Musical Theatre Warwick’s (MTW) main theatre show. As with all other production team roles, there is a lot of pressure which can be very demanding and time consuming. There are approximately 600 seats in the Warwick Arts Centre theatre; if we have a week of performances and a massive budget, my job is to sell enough seats to ensure we generate the revenue to cover our costs and have enough surplus to carry on putting shows on in the future.
Most of what a production team member does is behind the scenes; thus, no-one ever really knows how hard you are working. Honestly, the only time anyone really talks about the Marketing Manager is when things are going wrong. The aim is to make everything look seamless; I am the faceless entity (often behind a screen) ensuring everything is going well. Reviews do not just magically appear in the local newspapers, events do not organise themselves and sponsorship deals are not mysteriously secured.
Your “thank you” is the knowledge you had an input in something that is much greater than you are.
Most people who knew me before starting Warwick, would never imagine that this would be the sort of thing I would get involved in. Being on the production team for a show was one of the most humbling experiences. You get no standing ovation or curtain call. You will rarely even get a ‘thanks’. Your “thank you” is the knowledge you had an input in something that is much greater than you are. I am on production teams for the sheer love of the job.
While I still love to perform on-stage and have been in a number of shows recently, the experience I have gained being on production teams has actually helped me become a better performer. I am now able to see beyond myself and look at the overall vision on the production.
Being on the production team of shows has been one of the highlights of my time at Warwick. It allowed me to learn about another side of theatre. I grew up always rehearsing for one part or the other but it took coming out of the spotlight to really learn about myself and truly grow in confidence.