Posts Tagged ‘ company ’

Looking ahead to 2015

It’s been such a long time since we’ve been in touch and we hope you forgive us. Since PROPHESY finished it may seem like we’ve been quiet, but we promise a lot of exciting things have been happening in Baz HQ.

 

With a new year comes a sense of self-reflection and Baz has been no different. As we look towards the future we’ve returned to our values and the mission we set down right at the start. Are they still valid? Are those commitments and promises still relevant? Is the Baz of today the same as that of 2010?

 

We have certainly changed: 2 marriages; a career change; a Baz baby and countless jobs have seen our time grow increasingly more precious, forcing us to focus on how best to protect what we love most about Baz amongst everything else that comes with running a company.

 

Our priority is the development of new and exciting work. To do so requires money. And, oh the irony, our least favourite part is raising the money… Exactly what we need in order to achieve the priority. Fundraising is the hardest and most time consuming part of running an arts company and requires every ounce of energy. It’s a full time job on it’s own requiring a skillset not always compatible with theatre folk. We’ve been incredibly lucky in the level of support, financial and otherwise, that we’ve received over the years from our audiences and friends and we’re determined to honour our promise to pay a living wage to our cast. We’re also determined to do so without pestering those who show an interest in our work and exhausting ourselves. Which is why we’ve been quiet…. We’ve been spending time working out how we can use our skills in order to become financially viable, and consistently so, in order to focus on the best bits of Baz – the work.

 

Excitingly we’ve been working with Teach First; a fascinating charity that trains graduates and supports them through their first years on the job. Alongside their existing program we have developed a series of workshops that we are delivering to their participants. Providing a toolkit of skills, both physical and vocal to improve teacher presence, has been exhilarating and rewarding. Not to mention providing us with a steady income. We intend to build on this side of Baz Ed as well as delivering a pilot scheme for Teach First in both London and Ipswich over the next few months which it is hoped will be rolled out to all new teachers. To help us achieve this we’ve enlisted PJ Crabb as our Education Manager and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the Baz Team. With this now in place we can use our precious time to devote to the next project we’re planning for 2016.

 

The brief was quite simple, and set over a boozy lunch…. It had to be bonkers, European and female. After a lot of reading August Strindberg’s A Dream Play seemed to fit the bill. It ticked the first two boxes straight away and although not written by a woman, it’s sole protagonist is one; a female character that navigates the weird and wonderful dystopian dream-reality. A rare thing in a play written at the very beginning of the 20th Century. We love it. We spent the first half of 2014 exploring it, playing with it and pulling it apart in monthly workshops with the team and a group of invited musicians who have helped open up a whole new world to us. Although workshops are in a hiatus as we concentrate on venues and details and exactly how we want to approach the text, we’re thrilled with the work so far.

 

So I hope that fills you in. We may occasionally forget to blog and post and tweet, but we promise that’s just because we’re so wrapped up in ensuring the future and focusing our time where it’s best placed. We don’t want to be in touch only when we need something. We want a financially stable company with a secure future in order to retain everything we believe is unique and special about Baz.

Advertisements

STOP PRESS . . . . CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT

Baz Productions is incredibly lucky to have such a talented company of actors from which to source our cast, and now we are utterly delighted to announce that those ‘playing’ Macbeth with us this autumn will be:

Scott Brooksbank

Lucy Brueggar

Geoff Lumb

Ffion Jolly

Katherine Newman

We disappear into the depths of the rehearsal room and crypt from September 26th, and can’t wait to show you all what we have created when we emerge on October 18th.

Baz To-Do List….

Isn’t it always the case that everything lands on your desk at the same time? Looking at my weekend to do list, I wish things could be more evenly spaced. But then, where’s the fun in that?

These next 2 weeks BAZ has to achieve the following….

• Cast and contract our lovely actors

• Raise a final £3,000

• Promote Poetry competition and collate entries to pass to Wendy Cope and Lachlan MacKinnon

• Get our draft programme back from the designer and make amends

• Pass programme and ad/sponsor list to the media company to start selling space

• Meet with PR company to check we’re on track

• Confirm the teachers attending the Twilight session happening on the 12th September

• Write thank you letters to recent donors

• Announce and find musicians for pre-show set

• Meet with Arts Council

• Hold our first production meeting

• Draft the Macbeth press release

• Arrange ticket confirmations

• Write and send out newsletters

I’m sure I’m missing something….. I swear I’m a couple of bullet points short….. nope. It’s gone. Rubbish.

But it’ll be fine…. Really. It’ll certainly be interesting. When the action point from Wednesday’s meeting was ‘let’s just get some more money’, Sarah calmly yet decisively stated ‘Yes, let’s just do that’, as if it was the most simple thing in the world to achieve that we just overlooked. We dissolved into giggles. She seemed so sure, we have made that her action point. When we met on Tuesday I’m assuming she’ll have ticked that one off… Or coloured in one of her weird little triangle thingies she draws next to points.

Looking at the above and knowing that’s just a fraction of what to come, it’s exciting. I don’t know about you but I love a good list. Sometimes, in order to really make myself feel better, I add things to the list I’ve already done, just so I can tick it off.

Yes, let’s just do that.

FLYERS!!! It’s the flyers…. I KNEW there was something else.

The Baz Office

Like a fabulously fashionable pop-up restaurant in the heart of Soho that appears and disappears in a flash, visited only by achingly hip exclusive diners in the know that makes you feel utterly out of touch when it completely passed you by – The Baz office is equally as underground and even more fun…

Whether held in a rush post day-job on the 5th floor café in the Royal Festival Hall with laptops and bottles of water, at Emma’s flat with exploding veggie curries and piles of envelopes to stuff, or chez Catherine, which more often than not involves a copious amount of wine, Baz meetings have become an important part of what we do. Whether we keep on track with over ambitious agendas, minutes and deadlines, or whizz off on the most elaborate of tangents and fantasy plans, Baz meetings are where we’ve dreamt up our best, and our most stupid, ideas. On reflection, our most stupid ones seem to have been in direct correlation to the amount of wine consumed. Either way, they’ve left us galvanised, full of possibility and with a solution to every obstacle in our way.

From little germs of ideas to big bold statements, the meetings have nurtured and developed our plans and become almost as creative as the workshops. Constantly alive, Baz meetings are where we work hard to achieve our goals, support each other, back each other up and encourage each other (and therefore Baz) to be better and to dream bigger. The party in January was the biggest of these dreams to date, and we achieved far more than we ever had hoped for, raising over £2700 in cash on the night, a testament to our planning. And not afraid to go one step further, within a week of it being over, we were back in our powwow dreaming up the next thing – our showing in April.

Of course, this has all been achieved with the help of others, the actors who constantly inspire us and the lovely people who come along to our meetings to help, and thank god for them all. From observers blown away at our dedication and organisation, to those who’ve silenced the stupid giddy ideas with single raised eyebrows that see us dissolve into giggles, and others we’ve pounced on to pick their brains and suck dry all their knowledge, they’ve kept us on track and make us even more determined.

One day Baz dreams of having its own office; a dedicated space that doesn’t double as a kitchen or a living room. It will have 4 walls to scribble over and tons of space and filing cupboards, we’ll be there 8 hours a day and maybe there’ll be a good looking sandwich guy to deliver lunch (if we’re lucky), there’ll be desks for all, a stationary cupboard with an endless supply of envelopes, paperclips and working pens, and a magical agenda we actually get through, but frankly, I reckon it can wait…. Whether it pops up early Saturday mornings with a croissant, or involves weekday 2am finishes coupled with paper-cuts and wine, Baz has everything it needs for now. Ideas. Ambition. Drive. Promise. No need for a permanent sign above the door, we’re the ultimate pop-up.

And yet it’s even better than that… It’s the best office I’ve ever worked in and beats any try-hard-clipboard-carrying-clone-copying-Soho-hangout. Each meeting of the Baz office is unique, and each one takes us one step closer to our goals.