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10 Things I learned about APAM as a “newbie”

APAM, Australian Performing Arts Market, is over…five days of heat, sun, beauty, river, dark boxes, big tents and the occasional champagne, held from 18th February to 22nd February 2014 at Brisbane Powerhouse, Judith Wright Centre, QPAC and QUT Gardens Point. It was excellent, such a huge task to organise our river city with diverse performance spaces. Big congratulations for the organising committee.

Here is a list of 10 things that I learned after attending APAM for the very first time. What you will read is only my opinion, and I am sure some of you will agree and not agree:

1. Pitching your work is a great way of selling: 15-20 minutes of intensive interest from a large and diverse audience. I preferred the pitches over every other available avenue (you also have the opportunity to present as a showcase of 25 minutes, a full length show or a mobile booth).

2. Artists should pitch their own work, not rely on their producers to do so. The pitches I witnessed with artists at the podium seemed, to me, to be more powerful. Of course there was a producer near by.

3. It is crucially important to spend money on documentation: what I witnessed was beautifully presented material, with good quality sound and visuals.

4. It is important to go to APAM just to understand its complexity, then you can return in two years to pitch (if your work is chosen).

5. If you do not get showcased for APAM, find a way to do your show anyway. Keep it short. There were several satellite shows at the market. The artists were delegates at APAM and advertised throughout the festival. There were also several satellite forums outside the program that worked a treat.

6. Genuinely connect with whomever you meet: I had some wonderful conversations with people I did not know, and then was delighted to see them up on stage a day or two later. One veteran suggested that the best way to be present at APAM is to have conversations with whoever is standing there and stop waiting for ‘important people’ to come along.

7. Slowing down when you feel like you need to speed up is an ideal approach: pacing yourself for 5 big days (really 4 full days), requires commitment, tenacity and a sense of humour.

8. Research everyone you can (everyone is in the Delegate book) so you know who you need to chat with. And have good up-to-date business cards.

9. Take snacks. There is little time to eat so make sure you have fruit, nuts, water to keep you going.

10. Enjoy yourself despite the gruelling schedule and the heat.

APAM was fabulous for me: I saw tens and tens of shows, either 15 minute pitches or full length performances. I could not see everything, there was too much, but I experienced so many emotions and ideas, I felt compelled to make this list and encourage artists to attend in the future, even though you may not have anything to pitch.

More artists should attend. Treat it as a Professional Development Week. We certainly need opportunities like this here in Brisbane. And we also need to agitate for a special rate for artists attending for PD. For most artists, $680.00 delegate fee is too high. I am wondering if APAM would consider what “Australia Theatre Forum” proposed last year, a subsidy for the independent artists who attended. Most people who attend APAM do not personally pay that fee, their companies do, but that is not so for freelance artists.

APAM, a great experience. A great experience for all artists, regardless of whether they have work to sell or not.

Thank you APAM. You really excelled to make a fascinating five days of research, inspiration and friendship.

Draft Program for “Writing My Way Forward” Intensive

Reflection/Creation/Performance/Writing My Way Forward

WHAT: Everyone at some time needs to reflect on their life and how they live it in order to re-invent their processes and practice. This 3day intensive is an opportunity to do just that. Using creative arts practices, reflective practice and mindfulness, we will explore/record/perform stories that make up Who I will become in 2014?

WHERE: 434 Grandview Road Pullenvale, 4069.

25 minutes from city along Western Freeway/ Moggill Road which passes Grandview Road. On left hand side, about 1km past the old Pullenvale Hall.

WHEN: 7, 8, 9th February 2014

DRAFT PROGRAM

FRIDAY 7TH FEBRUARY 2014

6.30-9.30pm:

DINNER PROVIDED

The weekend begins with a simple meal prepared by me: BBQ and salad, down in the PlayPen (our old tennis court built when our children were babies!). Please let me know of any diet concerns. I am good with gluten free and dairy free. Let me know about other issues.

This will be followed by creative mapping and sharing stories. What we are wanting to dream-on for 2014?

SATURDAY 8TH FEBRUARY (12.30-6.30)

12.30-1.45pm:

SHARED LUNCH PLATE (PLEASE BRING A PLATE OF FOOD TO SHARE)

A late start gives you time with your own family and friends as well as some nurturing-self-time before you come to Pullenvale. We will begin at 12.30pm with check-in and a shared light lunch. I will provide fruit and hot/cold herbal teas.

1.45-6.30pm:

Mindfulness training, ImpulseTraining (gypsy sticks), writing task, visual art-making, more writing tasks, group work and even more writing tasks, interspersed with moving on the floor and collage-as-access point.

There is a swimming pool where you can cool off if it gets too hot. So bring togs, towels and wraps.

4PM: We will have a break for fruit and tea.

6PM: Check out

SUNDAY 9th FEBRUARY (12.30-8.30)

12.30-1.45pm: We begin with a light lunch (I will provide this one): sandwiches, tea, fruit, followed by check in.

1.45pm: Mindfulness training, ImpulseTraining (gypsy sticks), writing, group work, mapping.

4pm: Break

4.30pm: Selecting Place (within the Pullenvale Property) to share your work. Rehearsal: setting up your area.

6.30pm: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: You have the opportunity to host several of your friends for the evening, setting up snacks and drinks for them somewhere in the garden and then performing your new writing to the whole group. This is a unique few hours where we wander the garden, listen to new work beginning to be born, and sharing food and drink.

8.30pm: We finally finish (sometimes it goes over, but we aim to finish around this time).

Some of us will use this workshop to begin new solo performative works or begin a new writing project. Others may use it as a time of reflection and dreaming-on of 2014. It is up to your how you wish to use these three days of immersion. I shall journey with you, providing strategies and interventions to help move you forward.

Some responses to 4change workshops (more testimonials available www.4change.com.au)

“Always positive, always helping us understand in the best way possible to create ourselves in the truest forms of our being. It is life changing and I look forward to coming to class just to see what epiphany I may unearth”. (4change website)

“Has an amazing ability to reach all members of a diverse group with energy and enthusiasm. Has allowed people to grow at their own pace so that the foundations are secure. Challenging and insightful”. (4change website).

“WRITING MY WAY FORWARD” intensive coming up

ANNOUNCING THREE DAY INTENSIVE OF CREATIVE PRACTICE:
“Writing My Way Forward…”

Reflection/Creation/Performance

Reflection/Creation/Performance

Everyone at some time needs to reflect on their life and how they live it in order to reinvent their process and practice. This three day intensive is an opportunity to do just that. Using creative arts practices, reflective practice and mindfulness, we will explore/record/perform stories that make up “Who I will become in 2014″.

The weekend begins with a simple meal 6.30pm Friday 7th February, 2014 followed by reflective practice and sharing. Saturday and Sunday begin at 12pm. We will incorporate mindfulness, creative writing, moving and collage. Sunday night will be an opportunity to show the work you have written with your own invited guests.

Some of us will use this workshop to begin new solo works, something every artist pursues at some time. Others may use it as a time of reflection and dreaming-on of 2014.

Some responses to 4change workshops:

“Always positive, always helping us understand in the best way possible to create ourselves in the truest forms of our being. It is life changing and I look forward to coming to class just to see what epiphany I may unearth”. (4change website)

“Has an amazing ability to reach all members of a diverse group with energy and enthusiasm. Has allowed people to grow at their own pace so that the foundations are secure. Challenging and insightful”. (4change website)

I welcome you to apply:

Cost: $195.00 early bird (by January 24th, 2014)
After that: $260.00 per person
Payment schemes available (of course)
Group size: 12 only
Friday 7th February: 6.30-9.30pm
Saturday 12-6.00pm
Sunday 12-9.00pm
Contact Margi at 4change@iinet.net.au or margibrownash@gmail.com or 0410515637