Stage Whispers: The Producer

first_imgIt started so innocently. You went to the show after-party hoping to meet the fit lead, and sensing that your pretentious chat might be deemed lacking, steer the conversation to a safer area; proclaiming yourself more of the ‘practical type’. You keep them happy and get your way. Fortunately, you are good at this. Unfortunately, someone’s noticed. Suddenly the fatal question looms: “have you ever thought about producing?” Were your inner sceptic not so very sozzled on champagne it would have seized muscle control from your flirting centres and thrown you physically out of the door, fleeing the drama scene for the cult it is. But you succumb, as have so many of Oxford’s mass of the directionless-yet-driven, to your deep and abiding terror of saying no.And now you’re supposed to know what’s going on when you’re not even sure how you got to be here. You’ve got Excel help open and it’s not helping, a physicist friend on the phone who claims that the funds for poster-printing, VAT, and amorphous other charges can be understood but only in base 4 quadratics. It will only get better, as inevitably the accumulated mass of all the egos you’re working with drags your entire life into a drama-centred orbit. You have few friends who have not contributed something to one of your shows, whether it be designing your set, lighting, sound, costumes or print; op-ing, building or lending something (so this is how roleplayers with collections of medieval weaponry make friends). The rowers you know are carrying set, the wannabe politicians are ‘marketing assistants’and everyone you ever really cared about is pissed off, because you lied about how much work stage managing, front of housing, and all those interminable little ‘favours’ you begged of them would turn out to be. What a good thing all those theatre managers, techies, a series of succeeding Drama Officers, and half the OUDS and ETC’s committees know you, otherwise you might start to wonder what’s the point.last_img