Thursday, 29 October 2015

Reflections on Working Collaboratively Using Social Media

I've found, over the duration of this course, that I have begun to appreciate social media in a way that I didn't previously.

As a performer I made use of Social Media; I used my pages on Facebook and my Twitter account to promote myself and my work, often posting teasers of acts and costumes, and to advertise myself and look for work.

Recently I have been doing a lot of work using social media as a promotional tool for other organizations (and apparently I'm awesome at it - not my words! Honestly!) and I have realised the power of social media to make connections beyond my immediate groups. For example; I am currently working on a festival of new writing, and the production team were at a loss to explain why the opening night had sold out yet the following night was nearly empty. We realised in the morning of the performance that the ticket-sales website had glitched and it was urgent that the links were reset and this information was disseminated immediately and widely. I used Twitter to announce that tickets were still available, making use of hashtags and scheduling tools, and by the time the play began the venue was three-quarters full.
I'm not going to take sole responsibility for this ( :P ) but I feel that by harnessing the power of social media, the message was received and promoted through likes and retweets (honestly, my phone was bleeping constantly throughout the day as people shared the message far and wide!)

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I know this tale isn't necessarily relevant to collaborative working, however I feel it is a good example of the ways in which I have begun to understand the power that social media has as a promotional tool, beyond "look at my pretty costume, book me for work."

I have found that my SIG on Tumblr is a very useful tool as it allows me to make contact with users who share the same interests, again through the use of relevant tags. I was able to follow accounts, and they were able to follow me, despite not knowing each other directly. The information shared on Tumblr is directly relevant to my interests and my inquiry, and the interaction allowed between users enables me to ask or answer questions that have expanded my thinking on the subject I am investigating.

My SIG on Tumblr:

The Facebook group is really handy for asking questions and posting thoughts and updates on progress, and obviously the Skype is handy for group chats and one-to-ones with peers and tutors!

I have also found, in my professional practice, that Google Docs is becoming increasingly useful. I don't know whether this is officially 'Social Media' however it does allow multiple users to work collaboratively on a document or spreadsheet which is handy!

Which Social Media Tools are you finding the most useful?

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

BBC Theatre Season

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this!

The BBC has commissioned a season dedicated to British Theatre, across television, radio and online. It comes at the perfect time for me as I will be writing up my research, drawing conclusions and beginning to summarise my findings and this is simply perfect, considering I'm looking at modern theatre and new writing!

I know it sounds a bit daft, but as I'm coming towards the end of my degree and taking the next step in my career in theatre, this (along with a couple of other things that have happened over the past couple of weeks) makes me feel more secure in the big decisions I've had to make recently, and in the choices I'm going to have to make in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Theatre Thoughts

Time is flying by, isn't it? I can't believe we're at the end of October already!

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I've been having plenty of discussions within my SIG and professional network, and, combined with the reading and research I've been doing, this has led to some very interesting conversations around my inquiry topic!

I am looking into the place of modern theatre within modern society, and it is fascinating to hear people's point of view on this: some believe that theatre is a force for change, others that it is an educational tool for enlightenment and the presentation of different viewpoints to our own. Yet others think that theatre is simply for entertainment and escapism.

This is why I am looking into this topic. Theatre can be all things to all people; who is to say that educating yourself can't also be entertaining and make you think??

I was speaking with an artist a couple of nights ago, who specialises in contemporary art from across the middle east. She was presenting at a gala opening for an arts festival and she said something very interesting: "The role of the media is to make monsters; people need something to be afraid of, to fight against. The role of art is to make the 'other' familiar."
This is a paraphrase as I can't remember her exact words, but it struck me as especially pertinent given her area of expertise; if we take 'art' in its broadest sense, to include theatre as well, then she is saying that by presenting something that is 'other' than our own experience, then we can find areas of this 'other' that we identify with and therefore it allows us to see things from this 'other' point of view.

This is a standpoint I've come across both in my discussions and in my reading.

What do you think??