Freelancers Make Theatre Work is run by a small voluntary group of freelancers. The group is not fixed but fluid and welcomes participants who are willing to give time. Each week, a different member of the team writes the newsletter...


By Jake Orr

The last few weeks you can’t blink without another announcement of a new theatre season. Actors in audition rooms, creatives in rehearsals, painters painting sets, producers grinding budgets, nature is returning to the theatre ecology.

…so why am I filled with such dread?

It’s easy to see the announcements of freelancers returning to work and to have the international dialogue asking “what about me?”. In a year where our emotional wellbeing has been put to the test, it’s easy to slip into negative thought patterns with theatres opening next month. Core beliefs ringing “I’m not good enough” and “I don’t deserve this”. Seeing jobs advertised and asking “can I still do this?” and “I can’t apply, I’m too out of practice”. That little voice in your head becoming louder and louder until you’re smashing leftover Easter eggs and hugging a copy of Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares whilst watching reruns of Friends.


If the past year has taught us anything, it is kindness. First and foremost, to ourselves. 

The kindness we have found across the pandemic shouldn’t dissolve as soon as theatres reopen. When your brain kicks in with self-doubt, we need to reboot our active kindness. Take a moment, ask yourself ‘what evidence is there to support this?’ and ‘who has said this to me?’ Chances are there isn’t any and you’re your own worst enemy. Take a moment to be kind to yourself. Breathe. Logoff. Go for a walk. Call a friend.

Let’s be honest, the rebooting of the industry comes with pain too. I’m mourning the loss of talent and the shows that never made it to the stage. During those moments of sadness I have to enact kindness. A small act of kindness to ourselves can go a long way.

Kindness doesn’t stop with ourselves either. For those returning to the workplace, congratulations! Take a moment to think about what kindness means for you within the rehearsal room, the office or on the stage. Instead of asking ‘how have you been?’ or ‘how was your pandemic?’ consider asking ‘how are you today?’. You might want to consider what you’re posting on social media too, especially on those first few days. Take a moment before hitting tweet and ask yourself; ‘how is this going to be perceived’, and maybe check in with friends who haven’t had the call to work yet. Those small acts of kindness will go a long way in getting the industry - all of us - back to work in the healthiest way possible.

Bringing kindness into theatre doesn’t cost anything. In fact it should have been there all along. 

So here’s a challenge for you: How are you going to find kindness in your everyday life in and out of theatre? Drop us a tweet on @FreelanersMake – we’d love to hear your ideas.

Call out for YOUR Ghost Shows

Hello everybody, it’s Adele here from the Ghost Show podcast - a new series by Curtain Call and Freelancers Make Theatre Work. We hope you’ve had a great Easter. 

The podcast has been reporting stories from freelancers about their Ghost Shows -  the shows that were thought about, rehearsed and maybe even got to previews before being closed down last year because of the pandemic. 

Since the podcast came out, we've been overwhelmed by the stories that you keep telling us about your own Ghost Shows. 

So much so, we’d love to run a special episode at the end of the series featuring your memories, and we’d like you to get involved.

1.     Simply record an extraordinary memory you have of your own ghost show

We would love to share a memory that you hold most precious of the show you were making or about to make but never got to the stage. 

It should be approximately 2 mins long although there is no minimum length. 

You can record it as a standard voice memo – no need for a fancy recording studio. No need for music, no production: we just want your story pure and simple. 

If you’d prefer to send your memory another way, please either write your memory to us in an email or send a video if you want to send it in the medium of BSL. Just let us know how you’d like it to be communicated and if you'd like someone else to read it out for you. 

You can also submit your memory in the language of your choice.

To protect anyone who does not want to leave a name, we will not include anyone's names in the memories. 

2.     Send it to

The deadline for submissions is Monday 26th April at 10am.

That's it! 


Useful links
Big Freelancer Report
Big Freelancer Report
Mapping the problems facing the freelance workforce and making practical recommendations for change.
Read the report
The Creative Workforce Pledge
The Creative Workforce Pledge
A list of 10 things we believe Metro Mayors need to do to protect the creative and cultural life of their areas.
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New Support Pages
New Support Pages
Useful links outside of the industry in one helpful place where women and men can go for support and advice on abuse and violence.
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