I’m at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, on behalf of the SummerWorks Festival. Its a pretty intense place, as the PACT (Professional Association of Canadian Theatres) is happening at the same time. Intense mostly because it feels like 75% of the Canadian Theatre Community is here … and this is a NETWORKING FESTIVAL. Yes. Crazy. Intense. This is the place to be if you’re looking to sell your shows. This country is so large, that it seems that it is through this network that the rest of the country finds out about what is happening in places other than their home town.
There are pitch sessions, as well as speed dating sessions. (Talk about yourself, your show, etc, in five minutes or less) It’s a scary and exciting place to be. Everyone is here to sell a show or find shows. And you don’t have to be a part of the festival to sell your show.
“sell my show? wha? should I barf now or later?”. Yes. It’s unfortunate, but no matter how hard we try, it seems impossible to escape “the business” of it all. Its hard and confusing at first, but then gets easier, especially if you believe in the work.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that what we are striving to do is to share our work with as many people as possible. Remember, it is about our relationship to the significance of our art.
It’s not necessary, of course, to engage this way. But, if you would like to see your work shared with more people, its important that people get to know you, and know your work.
That said, this is also a place to see some great theatre from across the country, and they have a fabulous industry series curated by the incredible Naomi Cambell. Talking about why, what, how, where and who is creating is so important. I believe that artists stay strong, and their art stays relevant, if they are in a constant processes of learning. Taking in new information. Finding new ways to apply ideas to the work.
Check it out. www.magneticnorthfestival.ca