The tiredness of readiness: Waiting for the green light

In Features, Inspiring people, Opinion by Chris GradyLeave a Comment

I’m really tired this week, and it has taken a while for me to realise (or maybe remember) this particular freelance syndrome which I get when a certain mix of situations arise. Anyone get the same feeling? Let me explain.

I am poised with a mass of projects. I am about to get the green light and hyperlink so I can launch a marketing campaign for two very special performances at The Vaults. I am waiting to know whether I will be in Beijing in November to give a talk and run some workshops on the development of new writers and writing. [Sods law says The Vaults and Beijing dates clash.]

I am waiting for four more weeks to hear whether the Arts Council is going to give me an r&d grant for a project I have been nurturing without funding for two years [and four actors are waiting to know whether they will be paid to be part of this journey]. I am waiting for a press release and small print to be checked so I can launch a six-month project to champion playwrights in the UK. I’m waiting for a meeting with two universities about long-term projects. Oh and I’m waiting with an international partner to know whether we have a two-year contract to run training programmes for theatre and filmmakers in one (or maybe four) cities in a country I have never been to.

I’m poised. I’m waiting. I’m trying to be patient. If all these jobs happen I will be manic and will be looking for my first Scottish paid producing/project managing assistant.

I was asked by a wise mentor a couple of evening’s ago whether I liked the freelance life, or whether I’d rather be employed in a university or somewhere full-time. I have just left the security of working nearly full-time for Mountview, in order to be in my new home, in my office overlooking the water, and get loads of new freelance things happen. I have my carrying case ready for my portfolio – I just have to remain poised and ready to find out what is in the portfolio.

As soon as I know whether one, two, three or all of the projects will get the green light with a loud firing pistol to set me off. Then I can see what other projects I need to look for to complete the mix. And I can work out an answer to the question: “Hi Grady, what are you up to ?”

Starting / re-starting / or just preparing a new portfolio where everything seems out of my hands makes me feel unreasonably tired. Maybe there’s a “on your marks” syndrome. I guess the emergency services are trained to cope with this all the time. Maybe I’d better check in with my last producing assistant/associate who left the freelance producing world to join the police. He’ll be a good wise counsel.

Oh there’s the ping of an email…quick….will it be an answer to one of my questions. Oh how lovely, it’s a bookseller wanting stock of my book. “Your Life in Theatre” .   But I must still keep poised for the other projects to get a “go”…or not.

Chris Grady on Twitter
Chris Grady
Chris Grady is a creative and business life coach who has worked in arts and project management for more than 30 years, running marketing departments and creating festivals and theatres in Bristol, Plymouth, Edinburgh, Buxton, Keswick, London and Bury St Edmonds. He has also run the Vivian Ellis Prize for new musicals, and written Your Life in Theatre, a careers guide for all stages of your career. He is preparing an MA for Theatre Producers with Mountview Academy for Theatre Arts. Chris blogs about arts management at www.chrisgrady.org.
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Chris Grady on Twitter
Chris Grady
Chris Grady is a creative and business life coach who has worked in arts and project management for more than 30 years, running marketing departments and creating festivals and theatres in Bristol, Plymouth, Edinburgh, Buxton, Keswick, London and Bury St Edmonds. He has also run the Vivian Ellis Prize for new musicals, and written Your Life in Theatre, a careers guide for all stages of your career. He is preparing an MA for Theatre Producers with Mountview Academy for Theatre Arts. Chris blogs about arts management at www.chrisgrady.org.