Making the most of it

Posted by: Karl Taylor on Apr 9, 2014

For my first blog as the new Trainee, Artsadmin asked me to write about my experiences so far, introduce myself a little and generally write about whatever I like.

So, hello, my name’s Karl Taylor. I’m a young producer and artist (though that’s slightly on ice at the moment), and I graduated from Queen Mary University last June and worked with a bunch of artists and the Live Art Development Agency whilst I was there. I like video games, cooking and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

I’m unsurprisingly a big fan of Live Art and performance but to give you a flavour of the kind of work I like, I’m extremely excited about: Scottee’s Hamburger Queen, Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It: A One Woman Rape About Comedy, Undercurrent Festival in Shoreham-by-Sea (heading there on Friday) and the incredibly wonderful BUZZCUT Festival in Glasgow at the end of April. 

I’m also a total fan of Dickie Beau's work and I pretty much copied The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein for most of my degree. 

So far, the Traineeship’s been great. I’ve been alternating between working on collecting donations for the Museum Of Water, attending advisory meetings and helping to produce a showcase of work by four of the 2013 Bursary Recipients. In-between I’ve been frantically Googling artists, organisations, opportunities, policies and festivals that people are chatting about but I’ve never heard of.

The Bursary showcase was the first big project I had significant responsibility for (besides the E-Digest which I edit so you should all sign up!) so I felt pretty chuffed by how well that went. I worked with Mary Osborn to be a point of contact for the artists and organise their audience bookings and tech requirements. Even though essentially I just moved chairs where they wanted me to, the opportunity to work directly with brilliant artists to help make something extraordinary happen, really nailed why I wanted to work in this industry.

Next up I’ll be focusing on the final preparations for the Museum of Water, gathering water donations (I’ve got my parents to donate two so far) and helping to organise logistics of the exhibition from how the shelves will look to coordinating the programme of talks, installations and water fights which will run alongside it. Also the call out for the 2014 Bursary Scheme has just been announced which is very exciting so I’ll be spending most of my time helping to shortlist those applications.

It’s a pretty damning indication of the situation for people trying to get into the arts that 180 people went for this position and 460 people went for the marketing and administration assistant role last year. It’s hard to get the scene from The Devil Wears Prada out of my head, where Stanley Tucci keeps reminding Anne Hathaway “You know a million girls would kill for this job”. I know how many girls went for this, feel incredibly privileged to be the girl to have got it and so feel a weighty responsibility to make the most of it. I’ll do my best.



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