Well 2014. You absolute storm.
Who would have known this year could be so absolutely wonderful when it has also been scattered with so much upset and loss.
What has become prevalent to me this year, is the capacity you have within yourself to achieve the goals you strive for if you really commit to them, despite everything else that’s going on.
Firstly Poleroid. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in a project or supported us this year -whether our smaller projects like Timebomb and our Write It : Mic It’s in Hackney, Manchester and Edinburgh or whether you came to see Free Fall by Vinay Patel at the Pleasance Islington and helped make our first full length run in London a success, we are hugely grateful. We were also really thrilled to get nominated for three Off-West End Awards, it was such a surprise.
Please do keep an eye out for our 2015 projects.
We will hopefully be returning to Wilderness Festival after the fun we had with 2014’s show which included short plays written by Luke Barnes (Chapel Street / Bottleneck) and Phoebe Éclair-Powell (Wink / Royal Court Young Writers Programme).
We also have our new play by North-East writer Andrew Thompson which we’ve been developing with the support of the Arts Council, Live Theatre Newcastle and the Old Red Lion which we are hoping to take into production and we will also be relaunching Write It : Mic It at some point.
Now, in my last blog (8 months ago.. oops) I said I was going to invite some guest bloggers to share their Poleroid experiences. Well, we finally have one and what a perfect person to start us off!
Chris Mann. Actor and Photographer, was a founding member of Poleroid Theatre and has done all Poleroid’s graphic design work from September 2011 until now. Without Chris Mann: his belief, enthusiasm for Poleroid and our aspirations, and our ridiculous photo-shoots where he attempts to decipher my vague ideas for images and promotional stuff, Poleroid wouldn’t have the brand it does today.
So here’s what he has to say:
“I remember bumping into Molly at The Actors Centre just after she had graduated from the Guildford School of Acting. We had the usual talk about how hard it is to get seen for stuff and I did the usual ‘older graduate thing’ and suggested she make her own work.
This was on a Friday.
Molly calls me on Monday and says ‘I’ve booked a theatre, what shall we do?’
Part of me thinks she’s a loony and I need to pretend I’m really busy working on my general American, but then I think, anybody who has this kind of drive to create theatre, is probably worth sticking around for.
We had our first meeting about it all with another GSA graduate Ben Riddle in a pub somewhere in Clapham.
The Poleroid name was born and I volunteered to be in charge of ‘visual stuff’ (a technical term) along side acting in whatever project we came up with.
Molly being the task master decided we needed some marketing, a poster – ‘but a poster for what?’ I said. ‘It just needs to be EDGY Chris’ replied Molly.
And there is the heart of it: One woman striving to use the word edgy (despite its lack of actual meaning) at every possible opportunity.
The next bit is a bit of a blur but it resulted in a show at Theatre503 with a lot of heart (a little edginess) and a great starting point for what has become a creative hub for performers.”
At the end of 2014, three years on from our first show, Chris and I are still working together.
A particular day earlier this year comes to mind in summing up our relationship, when we got the train to Dartford Town Centre in order to reach the Dartford Crossing. This may not sound like much of an event, but it is a MUCH bigger feat than you might imagine, as the town and the bridge are NO WHERE near each other and resulted in Chris and I walking MILES, through various housing estates, over a motorway and me getting changed in an underpass all in an attempt to take some promo shots in arctic conditions. Yes, I am still pretty vague with my photographic ideas and will go to lengths to get what I want (whether than includes stamping hundreds of Peanuts all over Chris’s living room or setting fire to things) but I am trying to use the word edgy slightly less – I think I’m just about out of that phase. Edgy doesn’t always win through.
Although sometimes it does…
Most importantly, three years down the line from graduating, I understand more than ever that only you have the power to change the direction you are headed and achieve the things you want. You have the option to surround yourself and give your time to good, genuine, positive, talented, inspiring people, young and old, old and new, who, if you support and are thoughtful towards, will also support you in doing the things that make you happy and which might get you to where you want to be. We are lucky enough to have these options, and are able to try and live our lives the way we want, but so many people, societies & countries that are struggling for so many reasons and we hear about in the news every day, do not.
Whether it’s… Going to New York… by yourself (and having your first margarita with some bloody awesome people)… Successfully completing a Black slope skiing (terrifying)… Learning how to drive (which you genuinely never thought you’d do)… Take up jogging (ha!) and running 3K (doesn’t sound like much, but MY GOD it is!)… Getting a new acting agent (who are lush) and making sure you act as much as possible in the hope it will pay off (and it does)… Being brave and standing up for what you want… Seeing some inspiring art / theatre / places… Seeing some dreadful art / theatre / places… Deciding to write a TV sitcom with your best friend (www.flat32.com)… Working with and building relationships with companies and people you admire… Listening & giving time to people properly (without looking at your iPhone)… Starting to practise the Violin again… Climbing to the top of a Volcano.
Thank you to everyone who has made 2014 amazing.
You’re brilliant. Merry Christmas.
I read this article written by Ideastap recently… I don’t think it’s exclusively true, but I rather like it.
“A quick look over your friendship group will probably bear this out – the people with cosy homes and loving partners may very well be happier than the single people. I mean, come on, there are wheelie bins more happy than single people. But the single people will be busier – they will be free to say yes to every opportunity, be able to change their plans to suit work demands, be used to socialising with near-strangers and more likely to devote their attention to their own achievements. They get shit done.”