When I still had the idea of designing a business card a couple of months ago, I didn’t know what my job title should be.
I suppose this is for several reasons – 1. I don’t know how could one could only have an identity career-wise – maybe it’s just the coming age of “anything could be a career” – e.g. one could be an engineer by day, musician by night and who knows which one will take off first. The idea of being trapped into a single identity in a small piece of paper terrifies me. 2. I am third year into my career, still excited by and exploring a variety of things that I want, can and will do. And I have a vision or even expectation of myself to go beyond the dance/theatre industry. 3. Whilst everyone is a multipurpose monkey in theatre industry (thanks to Cui who invented this phrase), I have to claim that I am good at something, as much as not claim that I know everything. The nature of the industry doesn’t allow job titles to speak for themselves in such way. 4. I don’t want to be just a producer / arts administrator / manager – am seriously past the phase of wanting to be labelled just to sound like a “professional”. In other words, I want to be an awesome person all round who is capable of, in a rather odd imagery, growing like a tree outwards.
So I came up with this little strap line of mine which I finally felt that encapsulated a large chunk of the truth: “the left brain thinker in the creative arts industry” (the last 3 words pending further approval from myself).
I must say I was pretty pleased. Whilst my business card still remained unrealised, this unconsciously got in my head and somehow became a mission. Technology is getting more and more advanced; interfaces are getting more and more intuitive whilst the backend is becoming more and more powerful; the simplest ideas are already changing how people work. Why can’t arts management be just that too? Why do we all have the latest gadgets, but still struggling to manage the tour booking process, spending (or in my opinion, wasting) precious man hours and resources wrangling with emails, excel spreadsheets and web CMS (the so-called “technology”) to set tasks, move forward an agenda and update information?
We could have got experts to come in to solve this problem, but 1. We would rather invest the money into our artistic products since we are not in an industry with shite loads of cash to spare. 2. No one is as knowledgeable and passionate about our problems as us, therefore the perfect solution has to either take a long time to develop, or we have to sort it out ourselves. Proven. Again and again.
Can we make the process of writing a CV or a business plan, booking a tour, keeping dancers and presenters and sponsors in the loop and up to date, or announcing latest news as beautiful and polished as our artistic products, using technology? This, is the mission I speak of – to make arts management, just that (*snaps fingers*).
I think I will enjoy sorting this out, because it is also my personal interest in testing whether a left brain thinker can be trained to think like a right brain thinker, whether the logical and the creative pattern can co-exist in the brain in an almost balanced proportion, and whether the fundamental difference between a PC and Mac actually originated from the thinking patterns of the right VS left brain (who knows where I got this idea from).
My next step is to learn about programming, or to programme, obviously! I don’t think I’m on a bad start since I did have a history of insisting on finding that missing “;” in HTML codes till 4am during high school… Excited !! and hoping to meet a lot of cool people along the way so if you’re not hooking me up with them, at least wish me luck!! )