Starting up as a theatre company is hard, not just because you’re essentially setting up a business but because, to begin with, there is rejection to be faced.
Of course, we weren’t naive in thinking this wouldn’t happen. In the performing arts rejection is rife and more often than not, as a new company, you will experience it; that is certain. Whether it be an application to the Arts Council, a festival or theatre residencies, new companies can find it hard to get a foot in the door.
We have personal experience of this, we have been turned down a number of times and it is difficult when reading those ‘we had too many applications’ and ‘please try again next year’ emails to build up the confidence to go at it again; but you must go again.
The saying goes ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and it’s true. The trick is to keep asking, and every rejected application is a lesson to be learned. Go back to it, refine it, ask people in the field for feedback on it and send it again because eventually someone will say yes.
We can’t give too much away at the moment but we have had a ‘yes’ and it feels fantastic. When it was starting to feel like it wasn’t worth the effort we received an email that made it all worth while. So what I am trying to say is that, if you are passionate enough, determined enough and strong enough to keep going when it feels like you shouldn’t then someone will say yes.
Facing rejection is tough, trust me I know, but everyone goes through it in this line of work, and those who succeed are the ones who keep grinding away. It’s not about pleasing everyone, it’s about staying true to yourself and keeping your head up. It gets easier (or so we’ve heard!).
Keep it clean, keep it comic.