FREELANCERS MAKE THEATRE WORK MEETING: FRIDAY 16st JULY
Chair: Peter McKintosh
Minutes: Alistair Cope (sorry)
Present: Alistair Cope, Peter McKintosh, Prema Mehta, Paule Constable, Jake Orr (leaving early), Steven Hoggett, Athena Stevens, Emma Jayne Park (leaving early), Leo Wan, Leigh Toney, Vicki Mortimer, Susan Kempster, Sunita Hinduja
Apologies: Josie Underwood
It is Leo’s Birthday!!!
Words we like: Mahogany, moist (though it triggers Peter), bubble, morsel, bumblebee, map, zoom, plop, fankle (scottish word for getting yourself into confusion), exuberant
Things of note – Jake likes chocolate in his cereal. EJ’s laugh is a tonic. Freddie Crossley mugs rock!
Updates & reports:
Teabreaks (EJ) – Paul and Tamara (from tea break volunteers) would like to look at bringing in monthly FMTW tea breaks. Do we have capacity?
Jake – this is a great way to provide support to the community while we are in a period of transition
Al – we can do this and keep it light touch
Paule – How do we make sure this is still an ‘FMTW teabreak’ and not just an open zoom room.
EJ – to speak to Paul and Tamara
Al – to sit in on the tea breaks in a rota with other FMTW members availability
BAC / London Mayors event (EJ) – Our role is to be ‘critical friend’ and make sure the call out is accessible. The turn around has been ‘painfully quick’ and conversation within FMTW has been in small groups but we don’t want to say ‘no’ as to not lose agency and momentum.
We have now decided 5 Freelancers from FMTW will be involved in a job share capacity. Jess, Nina (through Jess), Freddie, EJ, Arran. A meeting was held with everyone this week and it was agreed that although the process is quick, we don’t want to slow it down and tie ourselves in knots. A provisional terms of agreement from FMTW to BAC has been written and sent to BAC.
Part of the role of the FMTW freelancer will be to research the process in order to make it ‘better’ next time. This is not just an ‘FMTW stamp of approval.’
Vicki – This is brilliant and the research element will be very valuable.
EJ – We must resist framing any of this as ‘a fix.’ It is a process of learning.
Athena – For change to be sustainable, it must be incremental. It is movement not a moment (as Hamilton would say)
Paule – There are no fixes, there is a shift in process. ‘If you find 500 quick answers, they will all be wrong.’
Sunita – In order for anything to be ‘fixed,’ a problem must be acknowledged. Is there a wholehearted acknowledgement from the industry that freelancers have been treated poorly?
Group consensus – ‘No.’
EJ – This is a big conversation that needs to be talked about. We need to create the conversations and the ‘change making rooms.’
Athena – There is no situation so bad that we can fuck it up some more with our involvement.
Stage Sight away day report (Prema) – Stage Sight recently held an away day earlier this week which could feed into our away day planning.
- Away day was held over 2 half days
- Zoom attendees were welcome – it worked well but group exercises were complicated
- Went in with specific issues and actions to be addressed, not just blue sky thinking
- There is a need for another day which they hadn’t planned for. There is always more to discuss!
- The sessions were facilitated.
- Conversations weren’t recorded but specific outcomes came from the sessions which could be easily summarised for those who could not attend.
Vicki – In regards to feeding back to those who can’t be there, could we take visual notes?- Agreed by the group
Susan – For those of us who can’t make the meeting, could we organise ‘in person’ debriefs rather than piles of notes. A buddy system. With real people. – agreed by the group
Leigh – It was always going to be difficult for everyone to be there. Just important to find a way of bridging the gap to avoid a divide and the extra challenges that will bring up.
Prema – the tech (zoom) side was hard but there are way so including people and for Stage Sight they made it work.
Prema – An away day is ‘social bonding too’ so perhaps we should secure another day/date also .
Process update (Al)
- Talked a lot about Stage Sight ‘away day’
- Spoke about the smaller satellite groups that would meet during the week with their own processes (maybe they only need a whatsapp channel etc) but the whole group would meet on Fridays still for a full update. But we can’t create those until we have a strategy and our away day.
- Josie is to start creating the new, simpler google drive for us all to access.
- We talked about the weekly email that is now going out with all the links to next week’s meeting and polls all in one place. This email will also include links to the live folder on google docs which should include everything we need each week to do our FMTW work.
- Onboarding – Although this will probably fall under the purview of one of the new satellite groups, we discussed the ‘open day’ idea again and how we could use this to reach freelancers we currently aren’t really representing
- How do we make onboarding smoother for new starters? Ideally they would sit within one of the smaller groups rather than have to deal with everything in the Friday meeting. They would grow confidence in the smaller room enabling them to feel they have a voice in the larger room. We would also encourage people to come along and learn. Join the access group to learn about access etc.
Concern was raised about access to the google drive if folders are archived. Josie and Al will endeavour to make sure that all folders and files are accessible to anyone who needs them or wants to see them and we absolutely don’t want anything to be locked away (apart from sensitive data like newsletter subscribers list etc), but just simplified.
Strategy update (Paule)
- We went through all the notes and separated actions/aspirations etc.
- All the post-its have been distilled into 8 overarching post-its.
- Next steps – look at Leigh’s survey results and the wider post-it notes and find priorities, patterns and models. Reactive, short-term, mid-term and long-term.
- Strategy will help prep for the away day event (Steven and Paule to lead)
Good progress was made and some clarity is forming.
Away day – We have a facilitator and we are reaching out to buildings to find a space. Accessibility is a priority and people can send their access needs direct to Josie.
- Paule – where is there space for us all to just chat about the state of things?
- The money raised from the Euro sweepstake has been donated to Show Racism The Red Card and FareShare
- Newsletter – Sunita is to write a letter.
- EJ to follow up with Paul and Tamara and Al about tea breaks
- Do we need to set up a ‘chat’ talking further around the freelancer conversation and the proposed ‘fixes’? EJ, Sunita?
- Leigh to contact those who can’t attend the away day to find out how they would like to be kept briefed about the day.
- Steven and Paule to supply strategy information to inform the away day planning.
- Sunita to ask LAMDA about space for away day.