Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

A strange day

It was a really strange day today.

My boss of 5 years, Graeme, left after 33 year at the theatre. I’ve known he’ll be leaving for a while but it’s inevitably very strange when it eventually happens, that sense of the end of an era, a slight sadness that what has been is over. That said it’s also that point of new beginnings which brings both excitement and massive trepidation.

Although working at Unity has been challenging the last few years, I am, in many ways, indebted to Graeme (and Sue) for giving me the opportunity in the first place to work at the theatre. I remember my interview clearly, I was horribly intimidated and wondering if I really wanted to leave my cushy Marketing Officer job – I was nervous, it was blisteringly hot, and I remember wondering if I’d pass out from the heat, also that the window in what was then, Unity 3, seemed really odd.

The interview clearly went well as an hour later as I was on the train they rang me up to offer me the job and I said yes without hesitation. There have been highs, lows, massive arguments (always followed by beer), occasional tears but, without that initial moment of belief I’ve no idea where I’d be. Similarly, the encouragement to tour a show, to direct, to create work owes a lot to Graeme’s quiet motivation – would Gaffer have happened with anyone else there – I wonder. Not many people trust their Marketing Manager to direct a show.

The second part of the day was consumed by my realisation of a minor fuck up on my part. It’s a contract thing, a simple wrong word error, but one that makes a difference. I sometimes wonder how you know when you’ve lost your passion for something and now I think I know. Being immensely fucked off with myself. That’s the measure. That point where you realise you’ve made a mistake and you’re furious with yourself. Lose that and it’s over I suspect. I’ve calmed down, worked out the damage and it’s not a horrendous error, but still, a moment that sharpens.

So a day of two halves.