Meet The Old Vic 12 - Steph Weller
The Old Vic 12 aims to nurture and develop the next generation of theatre practitioners through offering access and insights into theatre-making, mentoring from industry experts, delivering masterclasses to other emerging artists, and collaborating with each other to create brand new work.
Launched in 2015, we are delighted to be hosting the fourth year of the scheme with 12 exciting new participants – get to know Producer Steph Weller with 12 quick fire questions.
1. What’s your name?
2. What do you do?
I’m a freelance producer, balancing a career in festivals and outdoor work with artist support and project development.
3. Who inspires you?
That’s a tough one – how much space do I have? I’m inspired by anyone who gives it a go, and who offers a hand to lift up those around them. Having someone take a punt on you and encouraging you to succeed – whilst giving you space to (safely) fail and get back up again – is invaluable. I’m always so grateful to all those who’ve done that for me, so try to find ways to do that for others.
4. What can’t you live without?
Being near water – I’ll take any opportunity to look at it, be in it, or float on it. It clears my head. One day I’ll live by the sea. One day!
5. The most surprising thing you’ve learnt about The Old Vic?
How many other projects they do besides the main shows – the Education & Community team are brilliantly creative and so passionate about the work they do with different groups and audiences. And how hard the Development and Events teams work to keep the place going and fund the various projects (including the artist development ones – ta). And how bloody NICE everyone is – I’m starting to think they put something in the coffee…
6. Your favourite piece of trivia?
Wombat poo is cube-shaped.
7. Last show you saw?
It was a new commission for the Reading Fringe Festival – Conversations with Trees, a collaboration between a Norwegian drummer, and two British folk artists. It included clog dancing. It was fantastic.
8. One trick of the trade you’ve discovered?
Respect other people’s time and set expectations to make sure they respect yours – it’s too easy to be all consumed by the work, with the assumption that everybody is on and available 24/7. Communicating when you are and aren’t available (even if it’s just for a day) will ensure others can plan accordingly, and you don’t feel pressured to constantly check your phone. Of course there will be periods when you just need to get your head down and slog it out, but being clear about when you’re available to take telephone calls, when you’ll respond to emails, and setting achievable deliverable dates (for everyone) is all critical for longevity – if you don’t put boundaries around your time, the job will eat you alive…
9. Night owl or early bird?
Bearing in mind I’m writing this at 5am, I think I have to concede that I am now an early bird. Not quite sure when that happened – I blame all those early site get-ins.
10. Your life story in one short sentence?
Took a deep breath and jumped in.
11. In one year you will have…
Two smash hit musicals on my hands, hopefully!
12. Old Vic 12 in one word?
The Old Vic 12 is generously supported for 2018/2019 by:
Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation; Claire Bullus; Nathalie & Nicolas Giauque; Laura & Nigel Mead; The Luscinus Trust; PRS Foundation; The Noël Coward Foundation; Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and The Old Vic Impact Fund.