Saturday, 20 April 2013

Now what?

written by Toksvig

(If you'd rather listen to this post than read it, here it is as a short video on YouTube

The event on Thursday was brilliant, for so many reasons.

It is always amazing to be in the room with so many people who write and compose musicals. I will never stop loving that, and needing more of it in my life.

And you, the people who came? You were supportive, warm, collaborative, very present in the room, full of passion for this thing we do.

It felt to me like we have been waiting for something that truly represents us, and I think maybe we found that something on Thursday, and I suspect that something is a collaboration between the Writers Guild, the MU, and us ourselves.

So now what? I want three things:

First, I want that sense of community to happen more.

Second, I want to keep the sharing of information going.

Third, I want us to make more connections.

Community - WGGB and MU

After Thursday, discussions are already being held about future collaborative events between the Guild and the MU, aimed at supporting the development and production of new musicals.

I'll keep talking to them, and I encourage you to share your wishes for specific events.

Heads up: they might be members-only events. I'll keep you posted on what they say about who you should join if you feel like you fall between both unions equally, but if you feel more drawn to the Writers Guild or the MU, please do join, and do it now!

Join the Writers Guild here if you feel more drawn to words

Join the MU here if you feel more drawn to music

Know that they do and will continue to work together brilliantly, and with BASCA. (About whom I will put up a separate post, so we can find out more about them.)

Community - us

I encourage you to engage online.

If you don't use Twitter, please start using Twitter.

It's a fantastic resource for stuff like this. It's simple to use. You don't have to follow anyone except @AnotherNibble (unless you want to). You don't have to engage with anything else but this, it won't take over your life, it's easy to use, please do it!

You can also engage here on the blog, and subscribe to an RSS feed that will show you these blog posts via email.

You can engage by emailing me - although I strongly encourage you to use the other methods of engagement, rather than emailing me. If you email me, I can't guarantee when I'll be able to respond.

Online, I'm much faster, and online, we can all respond to each other.

Online, we are far more open and transparent.

Online, other people will see you asking a question, and it will make them feel more confident to ask their own question.


What we need to really make this online resource work is questions. The best contribution you can make is to engage with the stuff you want to know more about.

The more questions we're asking, the more everyone can know what kind of info we need. And the more we can start sharing the stuff we already know with other people.

Twitter keeps it bite-sized.

The blog will be for longer stuff, and not just from me. Anyone is welcome to write something up and I will post it here.

This is a dynamic resource: info goes out of date as soon as it's posted, so let's keep asking and answering the same questions as well as new ones. I think that's how we keep the genre dynamic.


The more open our communication, the more we invite dialogue from our collaborators who aren't writers, the better for all of us.

The more we share our work, especially work in progress, the more visible we are as creative artists, the better it is for ourselves and our work, the more connections we will make, the more the genre will diversify and grow.

When there is very little opportunity for making musicals, it can seem very contradictory, and maybe even self-defeating, to suggest that we should be transparent and open in our process, sharing our ideas for shows and talking about our projects.

In my experience, it is we as creative artists who make the connections we make, much more so than any specific project we're working on.

It's also been my experience that the sharing of ideas doesn't lead to the theft of them. It might inspire another artist to respond to something you're also responding to, but they'll do it in their own, unique way.

Inspiring each other will also make for great connections.

So join your union, come and ask your questions online, spread the word, throw stuff at me if you think it would make a good blog post, and let's get musical theatre moving and changing, growing and exploring...


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