The first Election Daze event is taking place in Birmingham tomorrow (May 8th) just days after a round of local elections and now just a month before the UK once again turns out to vote.
Lloyds invitation is "Come and have the conversation about politics that you’ve been desperate to have."
This video was my opportunity to share with you the calm reflection in which Lloyd approaches his work as a social artist. As both consumer and creator of culture I agree with Lloyd that it is we who have to determine the parameters of the conversation and take it to those in a position to manifest our cultural conscience.
The question at the centre of all the Election Daze events is, The question we’ll be working on is simple: “What are we going to do about politics?”
I have on occasion been referred to as Mary Poppins, one time when a friend was asked at a party I was also a guest at ‘You don’t happen to have, xxx do you? My friend replied, well I don’t but I expect CJ does! I opened my kit bag and yes I had a whistle! I was visiting friends in York at the time but a stage manager is never truly off duty! It’s deep in our psyche.
The revelation of the whistle about my person prompted - wow you are like Mary Poppins. The word had got around! Yes, I can’t go anywhere without a tool kit and a myriad of items that one day might come in handy.
So what about my digital ‘carpet bag’? Before sharing what’s in it I think a definition of the structure of the ‘digital carpet bag’!
Working on the move the apps you use, how you connect to them and the smoothest transition from desk to devices is important. That is the toolkit for this article.
Equity Members are active on Facebook and Twitter. Many members also have Linkedin profiles. There are other professional networks such as Spotlight, Casting Call Pro or Stage Jobs Pro. Visiting the Online Branch you will always know you are connecting directly with fellow members. From the feedback we have received, that factor is very important to those who have joined. For others for whatever reason don't use Facebook or Twitter.
In the Ensemble Facebook Group recently (a fabulous group for industry professionals working in musical theatre), a member suggested Equity make logo pin badges for members to wear with pride to champion our allegiance to our union. As an annual representative conference (ARC) attendee for several years, I delight in my ownership of such a badge handed out to representatives on registration. I wear mine proudly on my coat lapel.
Members can visit Equity's HQ, Guild House in London and request one but they are not 'merch for purchase'. Not everyone is in central London, it's a major reason why the online branch was conceived. After the recent meeting taking me to head office, I requested some pin badges to give away in a small initiative to encourage Equity Members to opt into the branch and to give existing members a call to action. Drop by, say Hi.
So would you like to be entered into the draw? Here's how it works.
10 names will be drawn at random from the list of names after midnight on 19th Feb
If your name is the first selected from those who log-in and post their name, a parcel will be sent to you with the items in the photo.
Nine further Online Branch Members from the list will receive pin badges and Equity pens.
If you are an Equity advocate, council member, branch chair, secretary or PRO feel free to share even copy and paste this to send to members. Get in touch if you'd like to run something similar. This is a direct link to the Chat Room Thread http://bit.ly/olbgga01
This post appeared first in the Equity Online Branch's Chat Room - written by ME :)
This time last year the online branch working party were making the final preparations for the Online Branch to enter its 6-mth open to all pilot.
We finally opened our digital doors on March 1st [article in The Stage LINK] and following the 6-months period which ended in August 2016 we presented a report on our progress to the September meeting of the Equity Council.
From the conclusion of that meeting and the consequent press releases, [article in The Stage LINK] we have been an official Equity General Branch and open for business. In accordance with the branch's rules, we held an election for a committee and before 2016 closed we scheduled the very first Online Branch Committee Video Meeting.
The 2016 - 2018 committee are
Clifford Lee Evans
Caron Jane Lyon << Moderator / Chair
Rhubarb the Clown
Nana St Bartholomew-Brown
Paul Valentine << Public Relations Officer (PRO)
The nature of the forum facilities we have in the branch (a long and different story) means every conversation appears in the main chat room in chronological order based on the last comment posted. Some topics have a lot of attention (and controversy) and others fell silent after a few members viewed and the subject didn't find traction. To begin the new year I thought it a good idea to perform some housekeeping.
ADDITIONAL FOR THIS POST
As the Moderator and Chair of the branch keeping an active relevant dialogue in the chatroom is a challenge. Facebook Pages and Twitter Accounts are numerous across the Equity membership catering for many interests, The Ensemble Musical Theatre and Tape for Self Tape Facebook groups being two very active digital communities for working entertainment industry professionals. They are easy to access, well frequented and tends to be where the day to day, industry focused dialogue with fellow professionals takes place. Not everyone is in the Facebook club and everyone is at different networks staged of thier career.
Since discovering a QRcode reader on my Nokia N95 in 2007 and Googling QRcode reader, followed by the fact I could create them myself with ease to pursue the paperless dream as an event organiser I've been a QRcode advocate.
The humble QR code has had a bit of a rough ride over the last 10 years through misplaced inception and shirt tails gimmickry without audience consciousness, rather than the QR code being a mechanism devoid of use. Its inherent usefulness has kept its obsolescence at bay.
The success of the QRcode is in the hands of users. Is what is contained beneath it worth scanning? A few disappointing "I could have just typed that in" remarks and the fate of the QRcode was momentarily sealed.
The QRcode came back to my attention with my interest in the rise of Snapchat. The emergence to the mainstream of augmented reality (AR) after PokemonGO took the world by storm for a brief and bright time in 2016 started the trend along with the
This proximity connection and entry to engagement demanded from Spapchat intrigued me. Snapchat not being immediately intuitive seemed to be a feature, users liked. Being in a club with a secret knock is a desirable hurdle, the learning curve to successfully engage seems accepted too. It's those on the outside who complain. A fascinating psychology in the age of usability. I recently stumbled upon Twitter's QR code and scanner tucked away in the profile settings and in Facebook's Messenger.
You don't have to spend money to give a gift that has value to the recipient. More and more of those closest to me expressed an instruction of ' just no more stuff' or requested, 'gifts you can poo', sharing digital assets that have value to me seemed like a good gift. There was also a proliferation of 'I'm not doing cards, I'm donating to charity', or simply 'I'm not doing cards'. Personally, I find cards necessary at Christmas because they help me actually evaluate who I know and who I want in my life. It also makes me reflect on those I've drifted from, and opportunity also for staying in touch with those in my life who are not digital.
I can't deny my Livescribe pen revolutionised how I deal with and cope with text. With Livescribe, I am able to take notes and notate the audio taking place around me. This took away a lot of anxiety I often experience where I need to note down relevant elements but equally, pay attention and be present in a room. Where there is a pressure to produce minutes or notes for circulation, striking a balance between documentation and participation came with a disorientation that prevented me doing either satisfactorily. Then....
I was introduced to Livescribe. I remember it well. The iPad had just launched and a colleague bought hers to a meeting where I bemoaned not being able to justify to myself a very expensive pdf reader! She did then show me her Livescribe pen. I immediately bought one! And now I have an iPad (still 2nd generation) I wouldn't be without either.
Recently however my Livescribe pen has faulted in securing its initial and valued purpose in providing confidence to enable me to 'keep up' with the world as I see it. It's a Dyslexic thing.
The Livescribe display screen is rapidly fading into blankness.
I attended the Stage Management Association's one-day workshop for stagemanagers looking to move up to Company Manager. This was no ordinary workshop. I got my place because an attendee living in Portugal and 9 months pregnant wanted to attend too and I provided digital facilitation via Skype making her attendance possible.
The photo above shows all attendees listening intently.
I'd wanted to try this for a while.
How I did it.
MacBook Pro with Skype installed
Lansing Altec portable speaker
Slik Compact II Tripod
Logitec C920 HD webcam with built-in mic
Lavolta Ergonomic Laptop Table Desk
iPad2 with Skype installed
Bluetooth mobile keyboard
It's not the most elegant solution but with investment in equipment and the right platform, the sky's the limit. The experience was crucial. Can a workshop be attended remotely with maximum value being received by the remote participant? Good audio and video, check. However, Facilitation is the element that makes this work.
Unlike the equipment, participants are not plug-and-play. Those taking part need a little more direction and attention before the event to ensure the venue, event host, those participating and the online event host (me) establish a common understanding and expectations are managed. On this occasion, it was with the course materials, session speakers and provision to dialogue with the participant.
It's easy to forget that the pile of technology on the desk, wires, camera, speaker and screen are a person.
Patricia attended from Portugal via a Skype setup. Once she was 'dialled in' those attending at the venue could see and hear her and vis-a-vera things fell into place. was very happy. But as a Stagemanager by trade myself, I was very interested in the workshop on a personal level. I am currently considering returning to the theatre and the CM role interests me greatly especially with the social media insights I have gained over the last 10 years.
Overview of the day - in case you are thinking of taking the Elements of Company Management course when it runs next.
This time last week (written 6th Aug 2016) Dan and I were building bookcases, the weekend prior constructing desks. As I write this, I have a bookcase filling with books and a small step closer to unpacking the many boxes not just those from the old house but boxes already filled and in some cases never unpacked when I moved into the last house. It's brought me to a place where I can tackle head on the sometimes crippling sentimental attachment to the palpable nostalgia and memories evoked when in the presence of the items. In a world where we define ourselves by experiences, keeping these things reminds me of who I am, where I have been, and the evidence is the contents of the boxes. In themselves, they were selectively retained well at least not thrown away at the time, and now my active cache is full! There has to be room for 'now' life.
In recent years the accumulation of physical items has been reduced by the collections of files, documents, photos, videos, spoken audio and music in digital form. Some sit on the Internet my AudioBoo, my Instagram accounts, my Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and iCloud. Then there are the offline digital archives on external hard drives and old media storage, cassettes, floppy discs, CD-ROM (read only memory) and as the final bastion of the analogue legacy, paper.
I realised this wasn't about choosing what memories to keep it was about optimising the storage. What space can I afford this sentiment, this record? Can the resonant importance assigned to the physical stuff be digitised? It's only relevant to me. When I am gone, the objects will become just things. Without 'my context', they are inconsequential unless they have a cultural importance. That is a rare thing and not what any of my ephemera has.
(pic above) My ‘Small Things’ collection - TIMEHOP 6th May 2015
#69unbox is about reducing items to digital files and occupying less physical space. Initially taking photos and on occasion with a collection of related bits, recording video. I can not capture the sentiment, that is within me, the recollection of moments, the knowledge gained, the lesson learnt they are me. I guess I feel the experience in a fresher way returning to the objects and have greater clarity than relying on the continued perception that my memory is inadequate. It's my source material!
Using the hashtag started a dialogue between myself and the innate desire to keep everything for fear of it's not yet realised necessity. This is, I know is untrue of a lot of what I have.
The first task is to identify the genuinely intangible, ephemera (my small things collection) and photograph them (some I am keeping) and if not retained, disposed of, or prepared for digitisation.
I think Round One will occupy me throughout August.
Yes, you are reading that correctly! From March to May 2016 I was commissioned as The New Optimists Social Media Producer. They wanted someone to 'DO' social media. With the budget I received this is what I did. I cam up with the title Social Media Producer.
That is producer, not maker. Whats the difference? In this blog I hope I can explain.
"Producers play an integral role in the television, film and video industries. A producer will oversee each project from conception to completion and may also be involved in the marketing and distribution processes. Producers work closely with the directors and other production staff on a shoot...the producer deals with all the practical and political aspects of keeping a project running smoothly, so that the director and the rest of the team can concentrate on the creative aspects."
Now, a producer in these terms is a scoped role far more extensive than I delivered to The New Optimists but the sentiment of how I approached the commission are reflected in the tasks producers carry out. To me a social media person is integral, sees a project through from concept to completion, may be involved with marketing and works closely with the direct and production staff. As a social media person the reputation and portrayal of the project online and understanding the multitude of social media accounts distributing context appropriately while nurturing an audience is an important part of what I do. Pre - Performance - and Post. Legacy is is important to me too.
Being new to the organisation my first task was to understand who they "The New Optimists" were, what resources thay had for me to work with and what their overriding expectation of social media output was going to be.
The expectations were to
provide contextual resources relating to each song in the musical to be tweeted in real-time during performance
raise the profile of the project to attract audience
build a simple web presence to begin separating The New Optimists main website from their Narrativium creative project based work.
support the creative and production team with social media output
As producer I was able to step back from the creation of the social media out of necessity, with the budget little time was available for editing or considered composition. For example, I requested company members write a short blog post each. I took the text, accented the posts with a photo before publishing the posts on the The Optimists website.
All the blog posts were tagged StopFoodCrime - Read them HERE - that tagged category produced a URL from the website containing only those posts tagged StopFoodCrime.
With a limited budget the effective use of folksomony is extremely valuable. Hashtags are folksonomic. User defined terms to provide quick access or knowledge retrieval.
My second task was to make it all happen with as little impact on the creative production process as possible. I want to iterate that this role was not about marketing or advertising, it was about defining an audience and a legacy. What happens next to this project is unknown to me but my objective was to deliver a collection of media to act as a beacon online for what ever comes next... at a guess the further work of raising a general awareness about Food Crime and the work that is on going to protect the integrity of out food supply, globally.
Wow, big stuff when you see it in writing like that.
So... understanding. For every project or client I build a digital scrapbook. This is a page hosted on my PCM website where feeds and content embed widgets can be collected.