Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Ups, Downs, Dreams and Reality

To begin.

This is not an Arts Marketing blog – for some people reading this that will be nothing but a blessed relief, for others I’m sure you’re now wondering how else I might disappoint you in a distinctly lengthy blog post.

Today’s post is about confidence in one’s creative self (eventually). So if you’re looking for more of an Arts Marketing thing then click here, if you want something about me dying on my ass at a gig click here and if you want to find out what stupid New Year’s resolutions I made that have been ruined by Covid then click here. This post is also very “me, me, me”, so if you don’t like that and want a review of an old game then click here (and also this is a blog, of course it’s going to be like that occasionally/semi-regularly).

Anyone still there?

I’ve had a couple of weeks of feeling a bit useless.

In part it’s the side effect of my job being about selling theatre tickets and we’ve had less than 90 theatre tickets to “sell”, and those were for free, online shows and the whole theatre industry is seemingly, what’s the word, yep, fucked.

In part it’s also a couple of life decisions – the house we’ve been trying to buy since Feb looks like it’s not going to happen (or, at the very least, the person who owns the house we’ve been trying to buy since Feb seems to have changed their mind about moving without telling anyone) – also I’ve become whimsical and started to watch too many videos or TV shows with either dogs (youtube: Beagle puppy from 10 weeks to 10 months), babies (netflix: Working Mums) or, occasionally both.

It feels like my particular bubble has stopped and stagnated and there’s very little to do about it other that wait for our incompetent government of non-caring sociopaths to work out how they can kill more people through ineptitude.

I also find myself with nothing helpful to say that adds to the weight of the powerful political discourse around us all – my thought at the moment, rightly or wrongly, is to listen and then make sure that I, and the people within my sphere of influence make better decisions. There are so many people more eloquent, articulate and informed than me, I wonder if me contributing my opinion is of real value other than bouncing around the echo chamber in which I (and we all to some extent or other) live – a support role seems eminently more sensible (maybe it isn’t).

I’ve also been doing that looking around me thing at the much varied creative output that people have been doing and then feeling massively inferior and unable to know what I could do.

When I was in my early 20’s I didn’t get that sense as much – optimism being the fairer face of what was, in reality, naivety carrying me forward with the belief that I might have something, anything of artistic value to offer. We make decisions of course, mine were to follow what I was good at as a career – Arts Marketing – which seemed more stable and then have the “art” as a hobby. I don’t regret it but I have peers who are Artistic Directors, TV Comedians and acclaimed Videographers and I do wonder, what if. I also increasingly wonder if it’s too late to change now. I sometimes have moments where I wonder if I could and then I chicken out.

Change is (of course) terrifying.
Putting yourself out there is (of course) terrifying.
Sharing something you think is good in publicly is (of course) terrifying.

For me that terror changes. What starts as terror quickly turns to doubt. Then from doubt to anger at not being good enough (based on little or no evidence). Which gets me to the final part of why I’ve felt a bit useless recently. I wrote something. It’s a solo show for me to perform. When I finished it I think it was the most proud I’ve been of something I’ve written.

And then it wasn’t.
Then I found the pile of rejection letters from previous work.
Then it turned to doubt.
Then I asked myself if it’s just self-indulgent crap.
Then I told myself it’s self-indulgent crap.
Then I was angry for writing self-indulgent crap.
Then I started writing an arts marketing blog (read it here)

I can recognize myself doing it – but can’t control it. I sent the script to a few people (at the doubt stage) and while I now regret that, the process of giving it away helped a little, made the fact that I spend months writing it seem a bit less pointless.

Sending it to people not places feels like the easy way to not fully chicken out.

What’s easier still, (I decided today) is if I don’t know who’s read it – Schrödinger’s Play if you will – read by everyone and no-one simultaneously.

So… Here’s the first half.

Read it if you want, or don’t.
Tell me if you want, or don’t.
Critique it if you want, or don’t.

It’s just there. I might put the second half up when I feel a bit better about it or the anger has turned to outright ambivalence about it. If you want to read the rest just ask me.

Oh, finally, it says share this on a button below – don’t – I can’t turn it off for one post but I wanted to keep this post on my facebook 🙂 Ta x



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