The Realities of Being a Theatre Blogger.

23 April 2019

I've been reviewing theatre on this blog for 4 years now, first of all where have those years gone! I absolutely love writing about this niche, particularly as I decided not to pursue a career in the sector around the same time. I took my Dance degree at Coventry University did a couple of professional jobs and found that writing about this sector was more of my bag! I absolutely love the theatre and so writing about it is one way of keeping my foot in the door, continue to feed my passion and also enjoy what I do full-time, which is work in a primary school. I'm super fortunate that in the last 4 years I have worked with a staggering amount of different theatres around the region as well as being invited to the home of theatre in the UK, London. 

Being a theatre blogger is truly fantastic, I get to see lots of shows and write about them afterwards but there's also the challenges it presents too! I wanted to share my experiences, the realities of being a theatre blogger for the past 4 years because I know people always wonder how I do it and what I think about it so why not share your experiences.

Photo Credit: KM Photogenic

Great opportunities
I wanted to start with the positives, being a theatre blogger presents fantastic opportunities. I love being able to see some of the hottest UK tours, Kinky Boots and Avenue Q are just scratching the surface for the rest of the year as well as the stuff local companies are producing. I also get to create other content like interviews with cast, rehearsal insights and backstage tours which allows me to capture other aspects of the theatre other than what you see on the stage. We know that productions are a huge team aspect and I love being able to capture that through my blog and its what I want to do more and more of!  

Variety of theatre
Being able to see productions of all genres means I get to see so much variety! I have opened my eyes to so many different types of theatre throughout the past 4 years and I'm so grateful. I wouldn't have seen Shakespeare a few years ago but now I am really engaged in it and would happily see more of it in the future.

Introducing new people to the theatre
What's super fortunate is that with my reviews comes a plus one which means I can bring someone to the theatre. For me and my mum theatre is a shared passion so it's great fun to enjoy that with her, my sister enjoys seeing different shows and such. For my boyfriend, who had only seen a couple of shows prior to our relationship has been catapulted into seeing lots of shows (and many surprise him!) I love that I can share something I enjoy with him. I have begun taking my new colleagues to the theatre too, which is great fun. They get to see what I do outside of the capacity of working with children and I like sharing that with them.

People have booked tickets onto my recommendations
I have had lots of messages throughout the years that my reviews and opinions have encouraged people to book their tickets. I mean that's what its all about, isn't it?

Photo Credit: KM Photogenic

Late nights
One of the challenges for me as I balance blogging with a full-time job is the late nights after the theatre. Sometimes I don't get home until 11pm from a show in Birmingham (and because I'm usually high on the energy from the performance) it can be difficult to get a sensible nights sleep before work in the morning. 

Rushing around
I wonder why I'm so unfit when actually I'm always rushing to a theatre after work. Sometimes I finish at work just before 6 and have to be at the theatre before 7:30 so it's usually a McDonald's for tea and a quick freshen up in the car on the way.  

Mind blanks
Because I write my review once I'm home from work the next day sometimes my initial thoughts on the performance are lost and I find it hard to construct the review I want to. It's therefore important for me to carry around a notebook with me so that I can always jot down something quickly. It can take me a long time to create my review but it's really important I create a review I am 100% with before posting it online. It's as important for it to reflect my opinions truthfully as well.

Organisation is key
One of the biggest realities I've learnt since becoming a theatre blogger is organisation - without it I wouldn't be able to balance everything. It's key that I organise a month ahead on what shows I'll be reviewing so that I can do all the bits I need to do for my review. This includes obtaining press photos, doing my contextual research and cast research and also organise the time around that night so that I have the time to review the show afterwards. I sometimes have shows on in succession over three days in a row so this organisation is paramount for me.

Connecting with a fantastic community
I love being part of the theatre blogging community and it's fantastic! I love sharing my reviews with likeminded individuals and reading their reviews too. It often creates positive discussion, especially if there's news of new tours coming out!

Overall, being a theatre blogger is a positive experience. It has taught me the importance of communication, portraying your voice truthfully and to find ways of having a passion without making it something that can only be successful through a career. I've done a good job doing that during the last 4 years and I'm excited to see what it continues to be during the upcoming months and years.

Thanks for reading!

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