“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill
I think it’s safe to say that when graduating most people hope to get a job in the industry that they’ve just spent £27,000 studying. I was one of these people. On my graduation day I remember feeling very overwhelmed, turning to my lecturer and saying ‘I don’t know what to do next’. I’d just spent three years of training in Theatre Production, to come out and go into a career of Stage Management or Wardrobe, but I didn’t know if those jobs were what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted Leading Light to succeed but I was also realistic and knew this would not make enough money for me to live off for a long time.
Luckily enough a few days later I was offered my first professional job as a dresser at the Theatre Royal in Bath, I felt it was a sign. So I took the job and for the next nine months I was working as a freelance dresser. Although this was great and I was doing a job that my degree trained me for, I knew it just wasn’t right for me. Alongside all of this I was working with Bel preparing Memories We Lost in the Fire for its launch, festivals and scratch nights. Unfortunately working as a freelance dresser and commuting to work everyday wasn’t quite making me enough money to also support a company.
So, I had a tough decision to make. I knew I had to go back to working full time in a job that had a steady income. For me, that was waitressing. When making the decision to go back to the job I did when I was sixteen, to me felt humiliating, I felt as though I was going backwards in my life rather than moving forward. However as I sit here writing this on the bus on my way to work as a waitress, I see that I’m not going backwards. This sacrifice is a small detour I have to take in order to achieve my dream. Making this detour allowed me to really think about was was best for me and the company. It was at this time that I decided to apply for a Masters in Creative Producing. Again I had to put a lot of thought into the decision to go back to University, but I have found my niche in Producing so in order to make myself more employable and in a position where I can support our company in the best of my ability. Going back to University is something that puts pressure on the company, although in the long run it will hopefully be beneficial, it means Bel will be left to run things more herself, so we now have to make plans that can support each other in our journeys.
With both Bel and I working almost 40 hours a week in a kids play area or restaurant we then come home and spend any little free time we have working in building our company. Although it is exhausting, we have to remember and believe that eventually it will all be worth it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be afraid to take these detours and make these sacrifices because sometimes to achieve your dream it has to be done.