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February 2021
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Not very PC

I have not done battle with a windows PC in a while. The days of continually dancing with memory management, temporary folder emptying, defragmentation etc etc. I am not qualified to be anywhere near the run command entering regedit or sys anything! And all because the physical memory in my little windows 10 Acer laptab is running high and yet running very little.

With only 2GB of memory I suspected that might have something to do with it.

For day to day I’m an unapologetic Mac fan.

I made the transition precisely because of the above!

But for additional computing and to keep my basic Windows familiarity skills I or Windows only required services I do have a couple of windows laptops.

So what did I do and did I succeed in making my little laptab functional? Back in the day when all my computing PC tech was with Windows I wanted the most efficient running machine. Every action lowered the optimal. And it never stopped. In the end it was the noise of the cooling fans that turned the page.

I did not miss the registry hacks to force the virtual memory to extend beyond the ‘let windows know what is best for me’ settings  Did those hoops still remain?

Oh boy do they! I actually laughed out loud when I saw the first one. I considered my self a Windows novice going into this. I’d put this toe dip to optimising a Windows 10 machine off for a while. And to launched immediately into a run command to make a change in the registry is hilarious.

I ended up installing a couple of utility programmes. Uninstalling a stealth install from an antivirus company before finally watching some YouTube videos reviewing the make and model finding a vid demonstrating how to install a new memory strip to upgrade from 2GB to 8GB.

I’ll be pleased to return to work on Monday to my low maintenance iMac!

Video Playlist for the useful vids.

Search - Physical Memory high usage Windows 10

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Utilities Applications

  • CC cleaner
  • PC cleaner
  • Wise Memory

Performance for All - one point at a time. Lunchtime Livestream S4 | E1

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The first guests of the series joined me today. UtopiaArts’ Frances Rifkin and Graham Lucas talked 

Fringe, Forum, Small-Scale, Independent Theatre was the focus. Finding a focus on which to discuss Equity’s Performance for All Policy has taken focus in itself.

It’s full of context. It’s extensively referenced. It’s a little booklet with mighty ambitions. It’s scope is incomprehensibly transformative.

One section resonated most as I dissected and reflected on my corner of the industry called Show Business. A section relevant to every other section.

Section 7 on page 20 of the Performance for All booklet - http://bit.ly/equity-fp19

Democratising Funding and Decision Making
All 10 sections of the policy are split in two parts. First a collection of data (stats, quotes and statements) and the second a series of policies Equity want to realise to... in the words of the current political climate... ‘Build Back Better’.

Policies ideals are cited “Autonomous, equitable and accountable funding and creative leadership.” The Performance for All policy asks for an expanded, fairly-balanced, socially responsive, democratic cultural provision with out reductions to funding in the capital. Its talks of rebalancing through an increased arts allocation.

It goes on to reinforce the independent sector... “often innovative and community oriented should be further developed and seen for what it is - An established and key part of cultural provision and source of employment.

The entire gamut from community to commercial. Inner London to the Outer Hebrides.
How that might be approached references a 2016 report

“Contributing to the national cultural policy debate”

http://www.gpsculture.co.uk/next-steps.php

Today’s livestream looked in brief at one element of the policy. It covers film, theatre, tv, Variety and games.

It was conceived before Covid in a pre pandemic digital resistance.

What is next?

Check out the livestream episode

Annotated...

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Neurodiversity Affinity - #Dyslexia and All

West Midlands Neurodiversity Theatre Network met this evening. This was my first time. Thank you Tracey Briggs fellow dyslexia. The host was Birmingham playwright Matthew Gabrelli.

Holly Clark was his guest, a midlands based theatre maker who iscurrently developing an arts council supported project about dyspraxia. She shared with us her experiences working with an access worker to support the completion of her recent successful Arts Council Application.

I was surprised at how at ease I felt. I didn’t want to hide my divergence. I was curious to know how the others would express theirs. I need not have worried. There was a comradely clarity we just knew. I hope the others felt the same. We shared.

I will be looking for a support worker to help align my world view moire patterns I inevitably have to tackle to put pen to paper.

 Links


Neurodiversity Affinity - #Dyslexia and All

West Midlands Neurodiversity Theatre Network met this evening. This was my first time. Thank you Tracey Briggs fellow dyslexia. The host was Birmingham playwright Matthew Gabrelli

Holly Clark was his guest, a midlands based theatre maker who iscurrently developing an arts council supported project about dyspraxia.She shared with us her experiences working with an access worker to support the completion of her recent successful Arts Council Application.

I was surprised at how at ease I felt. I didn’t want to hide my divergence. I was curious to know how the others would express theirs. I need not have worried. There was a comradely clarity we just knew. I hope the others felt the same. We shared.

I will be looking for a support worker to help align my world view moire patterns I inevitably have to tackle to put pen to paper.
 


#ResetBetter - fix the workplace post COVID.

It’s important to support fellow professionals especially when they also support entry to the profession. Thanks to Mark Shayle, a member of the OLB, Showcaller and a stage manager of many varieties. Our circles move in tandem SM circles over the years and the Equity SM dialogue would benefit from these networks and dialogues I support.

The first event Reset Better @ResetBetter Asked... Could our industry return to a better work/life balance following the Pandemic of 2020/21?

https://resetbetter.wordpress.com/

Reset Better is a grassroots entertainment industry campaign initiated by members of the PMF (Production Managers Forum) following conversations concerning the workplaces we will return to. Can this pause from covid provide an opportunity to make the workplace ‘better’?

The phrase ‘we’ve always done it this way’ has often left many of our co-workers in Stagemanagement burnt out and mentally scarred as they compete in workplaces with long hours, low pay and are often confronted by a lack of respect for their part in creating world beating art.

They have produced a Reset Better Charter & set of Principles to promote a different and improved way of working in the industry. 

I’ll be looking at the charter in a Lunchtime Livestream episode in the next few weeks.

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“Process, practice, change” - A "Reset Better "

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Practical steps to work smarter and in more human-centric ways as we begin to plan the return to our theatres after the pandemic.

The Production Managers Forum and Rose Bruford College combine forces for their second Zoom panel session on the topic of Reset Better , looking at ways we can work smarter and in a more human-centric way as we begin to plan the return to work.

A panel discussion bringing Industry and Education together to look at ways to rebuild our sector with a focus on people.

This was a second session in a series discussing ways forward to change the traditional culture of putting on a show, and outlining a better way of working for everyone.

Reset Better aims are to promote cultural change and challenge the way we traditionally produce theatre. 

The Charter seeks to find ways to promote five-day working weeks, two-session days, job flexibility, and smarter working practices for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Dropped in the zoom chat was The SM Nest @TheSMNEST event taking place directly after.

An opportunity to hear SM share SM stories to SM’s

This was the first in a series of 6 titles CTA - ‘Chance To Ask’ Ballet & Dance Stage Managers. A panel of experts fielding great questions.

Skills most prised, most bizarre prop, sterling insights to being a stage manager specifically working with Dancers. 

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Above is the series 2 topics

Here is their series one playlist

Here is the NestSM socialshttps://linktr.ee/TheSMNEST

The next CTA is ‘Chance To Ask: Immersive and Site Specific Stage Managers’ on the 25th March @6PM. https://fb.me/e/21sTpLB0a


PCM Packages - tied up with a big purple crypto silk ribbon.

Since the start of last years lockdown I’ve had the opportunity to develop the deliverables at the heart of PCMcreative.

TechBox

Bespoke solution to podcast, livestream, create content even host and produce online and hybrid events all in a super secure flight case.

Events

Cloud or Ground hybrid event production with your audience at its core. 

Apps & Technology Play

Innovative research, development with digital and augmented engagement the priority. Gamification, Geolocation, Raspberry Pi, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and further voyages of crypto discovery.

Projects got funding and now I’m doing amazing stuff. I’ve always found it hard to market and promote what I do. I love what I do and those on my projects and the clients enjoy the results. They are beginnings. They are foundations. 
My clients and collaborators shine and thrive. 

Currently active packages I’m working on...

  • 1 day conference
  • 1/2 day workshop series
  • Monthly lecture series
  • Instagram AR mini game
  • QRcode quiz trailNetwork of 6 Raspberry
  • Pi smart screensAudio guide mobile app
  • Ambient Geo visitor eBook

3 phase tech box

  • Media making for social
  • Podcasting, YouTube studio and Web video production
  • Hybrid Event streaming provision 

Also I’m excited about 2 venue (on the ground) based events with blended hybrid capacity are on the drawing board. 

A 1 day workshop and a 3 day Hackathon 

Ooo and to end this post...

a stage production is in early finance planning for funding and investment. I’ve had this potential show in my mind my entire career. It’s hardwired into the name I use for my business. PCMcreative is the burning ambition to produce that show.


Get a Grip - on Analytics

Anicca Digital - Webinar

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“Bringing together Google Analytics and Data Studio for Website Analysis.”

I really need to get to grips with Google Analytics. Into my inbox came a webinar notice from Anicca Digital. Before the lockdown I’d be over to Leicester to a few meet-ups and since working with Spark Arts for Children who are just across the street from where Anicca Digital events took place I’m looking forward to making a two birds one stone journey once lockdown lifts and events begin to happen.

The webinar was way beyond my comprehension but I experienced a me webinar platform BigMarker. So many questions there. I do like discovering new tools and setting them against the ones securely in my current toolset.

An archive of previous sessions is a benefit of webinar style services. A link to the archive was posted in the chat. This one caught my eye.

The back to basics

https://www.bigmarker.com/anicca-digital/FREE-WEBINAR-An-introduction-on-how-to-set-up-and-use-Google-Analytics-4-Friday-15th-January-9-00-am

While I watch that and begin my journey here are my notes from “Bringing together Google Analytics and Data Studio for Website Analysis.”

Data studio was the main topic. As it was the first time I’d heard about it I listened best I could and later found it in the Google Analytics Dashboard. Tag Manager is necessary in order to create meaningful reports in Data Studio. 

My attention turned to proverbially starring at the lights and speakers while hoping elements of use would settle in my mind as foundation data on which to build understanding. The goal being to, watch back this webinar and understand it and implement it.

The ‘we are live, hello’ moment got a 4/10 but followed a 10/10 use of polls to evaluate the expertise in Google Analytics in the room. It was good to know I was not alone.

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It was also nice not have camera pressure. I also liked the chat having Public, Private and Twitter as well Q&A, Polls and Handouts.

Propinquity doffs it caps again. A traditional webinar excels for learning. Video conferencing for meetings, Webcasts streaming shows and extending audiences and livestream broadcast for camera to cloud mass reach. The immersion, interaction, participation, relation between stage and screen, audience and studio, the experience between those present impacts the perception.


Time to stream - recap S4:E0 Beginners Call

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Time to streamSeries 4 of my Livestream efforts

I like the immediacy of live-streaming as well as it’s residual on demand after effect.
Bringing togetherness ether people to talk.

Lets talk...
Series 1 was streamed to the PCM Facebook Page, Series 2 also with series 3 to Periscope. Series 4 to YouTube, Periscope and Facebook.

Not sure where the on demand archive is right now. My task for tomorrow’s post is to document the previous series 1-3.

Show Sections

Welcome to Series 4 - Beginners Call.

The last week of normal | 15 - 21 March 2020PCM and 2020

Access and the Pandemic

Lunchtime Livestream Series 4 (recap)

Subscribe / Follow from where ever you are watching.

Get in touch PCM projects - productionoffice@pcmprojects.co.uk

Episode Embed


Me vs Zoom vs Teams

I’m walking away from a prospective project because I have to say NO to working with Teams as an online event platform.

At the start of lockdown I used Zoom for the first time. Over the last 12 months I have become a reluctant advocate. I dislike having to program events using it.

The key is the correct selection of audience vs stage. With Zoom it’s Meeting vs Webinar. If a client forced my hand and insists on the option I feel is unsuitable I have in the past suffered the consequences but feel vindicated when proved right or elated when it holds together and the proverbial curtain falls.

But... what is the solution and at what cost? That’s the dilemma.

Platform’s that solve my problem are costly or raise the technical complexity and the staffing capacity requirements.
It is always about the audience. Will their experience be the optimal. 

I didn’t master Teams in 2020. I have a contentious relation with Microsoft. Those Team advocates who have a potentially a year of similar reluctance, if they feel that way, have it with Teams.

I long to the only digital component to be the extended audience. Camera to cloud will be a joy to return to.

#BackToPhysical where the options are for the audience to be ‘on the ground’ or ‘in the cloud’

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What do I do? turned in to Do you do?

I produce, stage manage and consult. During the pandemic my work has predominantly been as digital stage manger and zoom controller. I’ve also enjoyed learning about and providing accessibility components such as auto generated and real time input closed captions and subtitles. 

That included working with, creating and editing the SRT files which is the file format captioning requires. Learning about the audio description production process as well as the BSL (British sign language) inclusion, either live performances by interpreters or captured on camera to be inserted in the edit Picture in Picture stylie.

The engineers, interpreters and voice artists are amazing and so talented.

So making all the components come together and work seamlessly together is what I do!

I get to collaborate with stunning individuals.

The scope of this digitally-focused SM position with Spark Arts followed a consulted briefing before being invited to submit a proposal and quote. After review and accepting the proposal, I was invited to join their festival team. It covered a 6-week period with consulting, producing, on-demand programming support, engaging the extended online SM team and show control in the main digital auditorium.

It’s led to new conversations and fresh lines of enquiry.

I’m now back on track and on the bigger project working with Cromford Mills in digital visitor experience stuff. Same skills different application but still audience focused.

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