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Networking. Oh, networking!

If you’re anything like me,

you can already feel the dread just from looking at the word.

Two days ago, I went on a networking day for queer theatre-makers.

I hated networking even before the pandemic.

Lots of people in one space trying to look successful.

I expected to hate it even more now after 18 months of being only with people I already know.

So, I wasn’t excited about meeting new people.

Here’s a confession:

New people don’t excite me.

It is so rare that I look at someone and think: “Ooh.. I’d love to chat with this person”

At first sight, I think that everyone is either scary or boring (or both).

Look, I *know* that everyone has dreams, fears, humour and vulnerabilities.

I *know* that everyone is a little bit “weird” (in a good way).

I just don’t *feel* it.

Because everyone is working really hard to cover their weirdness.

And they do it so well.

Now, remember that networking event?

So, something really interesting happened:

Before the actual networking section of the day, there was an “open mic” session.

We had the chance to come on stage and had 2 minutes to present an idea we needed help with.

The aim was to find a collaborator who will compliment your skills.

Great plan :)

The line to go on stage was long.

(All theatre people, remember? I think that some just wanted to be on stage)

I went on too

(I actually had an idea)

(but I also enjoyed the stage time, I won’t lie)

And so everyone talked:

About an idea that made them tick.

About something they wanted to do, but haven’t yet.

About something they didn’t know how to do on their own.

They didn’t talk about “all the great things I did in my career”.

But about that one thing they needed help with.

All these people became human in a 40min session.

After 40min it was so easy to talk to each other.

We were all people talking to people.

Why am I telling you this?

I don’t mean you should go and look for queer theatre-makers networking days.

(but drop me an email if you are looking for one).

What I’m trying to say that we sometimes need someone to create an artificial structure for us to seem just normal people again.

In other words:

Sometimes we need a different environment.

And guess what?

I know a place like that.

A place you have access to:

It's an acting class.

(did you guess?)

At the start of a new class, people will still look what they always look to you.

But then 20min into the class and you will already see some silliness coming through.

By the end of the 2 hour acting class you will have seen people being confused, getting excited, being stupid (in a good way), failing, succeeding (and being super proud when they do) and really trying their best.

You will have seen their weirdness and they will have seen yours.

After two hours, you will feel you know them better than you know most of your colleagues.

They might come and speak to you.

Or you might find yourself starting a conversation because you'll have something to say (hint: “I loved your scene when you did…” is a great line)

Want to check some classes out?

and here and here to check out some online options.

Whichever one you choose, you will get the chance to be you r weird self and to see others in all their silliness and vulnerability.

And they’ll be beautiful, I tell you.

Looking forward to seeing you

Really seeing you.



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