Networking Adventure - Leicester Digital Exchange - Oct 2015
All about Buyouts in Stagemanagement - Open Meeting 29th Jan

Is Digital Resistance Ultimately Futile?

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This is about WORK / LIFE balance. What what???

We are all familiar with work and its lovely if it comes hand in hand with pay but 'life' and 'balance' are trickier beasts to lure. Have you had your future changed by the career path you chose? Do you have children? Did children never happen? Did you ever think children would be part of your future? Has having children changed the way you are perceived in the work place? On 28th September Equity hosted a meeting to discuss the event and the new campaign. From the table discussions its seems certainly a YES that many parents are seen differently post child arrival.

PIPA_Equity hangout
Stagemanagers - PIPA meet up

LEFT: photo taken from a remote access location showing the view of the online host.

Providing attendance options other than traveling to venues, especially for meetings that take as long to travel to as the event duration itself is a digital reality with the state of current social technology right now.

As an advocate of 'making good use of the things that I find' hence my other online persona; The Social Media Womble, it is Google's suit of apps that holds great promise especially for collaboration and cross compatibility of most existing mobile and desktop technology hardware.

Google Hangout is Google's video chat and meeting app. For the PIPA Equity Info meeting this facilitated 2 connections with 9 participants (7 at the venue and 2 remote connection visible just within the shaded lower title box in the photo to the left)

Over the last year I've hosted Hangout to run along side Equity events and meeting as well as a series of sessions called 'Meet The Moderator' inviting Online Branch members to login and share their hopes, frustrations and expectations regarding Equity's online and digital offering in an attempt to conceptually establish an online spacial presence where members can meet and connect both socially and for industry sector knowledge insights.

Can we let go of our physical necessity to attribute meaningful experiences to 'being there'? Can we envisage participating remotely with each person being physically located not where the experience is unfolding and recognise the collective propinquity of 'taking part'? Is the disappointment of not being somewhere or the envy of physical experience a human factor we can ever over come?

I proposed a remote audience access option where this Hangout (see photo above) was part. After all the nature of parenting often exclude mums and dads from attending events directly because of childcare responsibilities. The mind set of the venue technical staff closed down the possibility of this being realised at the launch on the 16th resulting from the misleading self determination of the potential of modern social technology provision offered by practitioners such as myself.

I have host live theatre livestream with chat rooms running and been delighted to discuss with viewers the experience of one lady watching theatre while stroking her cat sleeping on her knee, And a couple watching from home with their newborn sleeping soundly. These audience experiences touch me deeply and as a theatre practitioner audience stories in the age of social are what drives every social media platform from Twitter and Facebook to Yelp and YouTube.

It is all to easy to focus of capacity for box office break even but what about the reason we create and perform? To entertain and inform. As a technical arts practitioner and stagemanager I delight in providing access being to the suspension of disbelief on stage with props, lighting or sound to the facility to open the production doors wider than ever before and welcome in the digital viewers and provide more than marketing or web design but a hosted social experience where attending from home or remotely organised satellite event can be as meaningful and being a 'bum on a seat'. 

PIPA - Parents in the Performing Arts Campaign Launch

16th October at Young Vic Theatre, London

Website: http://www.pipacampaign.com/

Manifesto: http://www.pipacampaign.com/manifesto/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PIPAinfo

Equity Childcare Motion at TUC 2015: http://www.pipacampaign.com/equity-childcare-motion/

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