Episode 7 Transcript

zoe glen  0:00  
Hi. Hello. Welcome back again. It's Episode Seven, which we were just saying feels...

Billie Grace  0:12  
absolutely mad

zoe glen  0:13  
Unbelievable that we've actually been doing this...since March.

Billie Grace  0:18  
Yeah. It really is. I also just wanted to say, with now nearly seven episodes of us saying hello, we have not once managed to say hello and not at the same time.

That's probably not gonna change, but I just noticed it.

zoe glen  0:38  
It's fine. It's part of the...

Billie Grace  0:39  
it's the brand 

zoe glen  0:40  
it's a thing now. Yeah, it's bringing the chaotic energy. On the seven months of having a podcast?

Billie Grace  0:50  
Yes. 

zoe glen  0:52  
Um, the focus for us this month as a company is kind of thinking to the future about what we want to do with all of the NGC hub stumuff and then apply for funding for such activities.

Billie Grace  1:12  
much funding

zoe glen  1:14  
Yep. 

Billie Grace  1:15  
or rather, much applying

zoe glen  1:18  
Yes. Hopefully much funding. Yes, we manifest the funding.

Billie Grace  1:26  
Today, actually, you know that today that we're recording this there's like, a new moon in something I really need to know. But it's supposed to be like a really good manifestation time. So, so yes,

zoe glen  1:36  
there we go. Manifest funding for us, please. But anyway, we were kind of talking, we were planning our social media. And it was a bit like tricky, because what we're doing at the moment is applying for things rather than doing things. Yeah. And we actually came to the conclusion that it's perhaps useful and important and informative, maybe to kind of chat about, like the process of applying for funding and be transparent with that process and the complexities that can come with it, because you always just see people announcing that they've got funding or that they're doing something, and very rarely someone goes "this month, we're writing an Arts Council application"

Billie Grace  2:31  
But that is what we're doing.

zoe glen  2:33  
Yeah, this month for writing an Arts Council application. Yes, so we thought we'd chat about that today. Because there's also some things that we're considering in terms of working towards kind of best fair practice and considering how things are done in the industry and whether or not that's necessarily the best way that we could be doing things that we would really love some input on. So yeah, we thought we'd kind of chat a bit about what we're planning and open up that conversation a bit today.

Billie Grace  3:06  
Yeah. So what are we planning?

zoe glen  3:10  
So as you may or may not know, depending on...if you've come to the podcast for our website for the NGC hub, you might be aware that it's made up of four parts. So we have the directory, which is what we started with, which is a I guess, database of freelancers, who self identify as having faced, like structural barriers within the industry. And we have a whole mix of performers, designers, people who work under like technical side of theatre, people who do more like graphic stuff. And a particular focus of ours was creating a platform that would let people showcase themselves as multidisciplinary artists, because things like spotlight and such are very, like, give us your acting credits, and so many people who we Yeah, so many people who we knew were like actors, but they also taught and facilitated or they also like draw stuff or teach yoga or do like, a whole load of cool creative activities. So we were kind of focused on making something that could showcase that so we have this directory of artists. So that's part one. This is in no particular order, but that's one part. And then we have the podcast..which you are listening to right this second

Billie Grace  4:48  
it is this.

zoe glen  4:51  
Um, at the moment, this is very like informal chats with us. And then bringing in like collective members people who we, like already know, and have working relationships with who are happy to come and chat to us for half an hour 

Billie Grace  5:09  
for free. Um, yeah, this is a big reason why we need some funding is 

zoe glen  5:17  
Yeah, 

Billie Grace  5:18  
to get to be able to offer a fee to other people who aren't just our mates who won't just like, come on here and chat with us for half an hour.

zoe glen  5:29  
And then we also have events. So we did one event with the wonderful Rachel, who we were looking for events that could be put on without us having funding she was looking for, like space to try out an event. And so that worked. And we're hoping with funding to continue that. Yeah. And then we also have the resource space, which at the moment,

Billie Grace  6:04  
it's under construction.

zoe glen  6:08  
But in its initial iteration, it was one of the first bits we did have the directory type thing. Yeah, it was kind of topical resources. So for example, when we were at the beginning of lockdown, we had a load of resources on partly things like where you could watch digital theatre or like, basics of if you want to, like create digital theatre, but also,

Billie Grace  6:35  
we had like online yoga classes and movement classes and...

zoe glen  6:40  
things that would have been useful in lockdown. Yes.

Billie Grace  6:43  
And I think by now everyone is very much done with things being online.

zoe glen  6:50  
Or if, for example, we in like Pride Month, we had resources on 

Billie Grace  6:56  
Oh, yeah. 

zoe glen  6:58  
That kind of thing. So where we want to go with each of those sections, I guess, makes sense to talk about next. So directory, partly, we're hoping that we can grow that network more, that we can kind of host more opportunities for the artists involved to meet each other talk to each other. Yeah, those sorts of things with funding that we can fund, like advertising so that people who are showcased on that can be seen by more people and generally just kind of grow the reach of that part of it. In terms of podcast, we'd be looking to have a 12 months podcast season, so 12 episodes across the year where we can bring in people as guests who have different perspectives to us, because that's the other thing that within the collective we all have a very Eurocentric perspective. Yeah. Which forms our work and is fine. It would be really great to be able to hear from other people.

Billie Grace  8:20  
I mean we're not just eurocentric we literally all studied the same thing. Yeah. At the same in like in the same year. Yeah. Like, we could use some more perspective.

zoe glen  8:33  
But we'd want to be able to pay people for Yes, sharing their perspective with us. So yes, we'd be hoping to do 12 months of paid podcast appearances. Yeah. And then, in terms of events, we'd also be hoping to do an event a month. And our aim with this would be to address the fact that freelancers perhaps miss out on like professional development opportunities that you'd get as compulsory or optional training within more structured like, traditional jobs. So for example, we'd perhaps, like bring somebody in to teach like a Mental Health First Aid qualification would be a good example, because a lot of workplaces offer that. It's a really useful skill for freelancers within theatre to have. Yep. But there isn't necessarily the scope for, freelancers, especially freelancers who are from backgrounds that mean that they haven't necessarily had full access to opportunities to get that training because you'd have to pay for it. 

Billie Grace  9:48  
Yeah.

zoe glen  9:49  
So we'd be hoping to bring trainings like that. for free. 

Billie Grace  9:55  
Yeah. 

zoe glen  9:56  
And then in terms of the resource space, We partly would be with funding able to keep it more updated, dedicate the kind of hours and human power to that. And then, so partly it would be more regularly updated in terms of the practicality type stuff. Yeah. But we'd also be looking to make two zines, across the course of the year.

Billie Grace  10:28  
We said it now. 

Yes. We've committed!

zoe glen  10:33  
Us last week googling like "what are the steps to make a zine", it's gonna be fine.

Billie Grace  10:39  
Like, this is why we need to pay somebody. Basically. Yeah. Because we can't just rely on Google for everything.

zoe glen  10:47  
We don't know how to graphic design. But basically, we'd have kind of rough themes to do with, I guess, working in an inclusive manner within theatre and the arts as a very broad thing. And then we'd be looking to commissioned people to write poetry, draw stuff, whatever, write an essay, whatever

Billie Grace  11:13  
be interesting and creative for us.

zoe glen  11:15  
Yeah. to kind of have a more creative way of people sharing their knowledge and perspective as a creative resource that people can engage with. So yeah, partly we'd obviously want to commission at a fair rate for that. And also, we'd want to pay someone to make it look nice for us. Because as much as we're experts at Canva, by this point, this might be a little bit of our. 

Billie Grace  11:41  
canva abilities...

zoe glen  11:44  
And our kind of prerequisite on who we commission and hire to do these things is that all paid opportunities within the whole initiative, go to freelancers who identify themselves as having faced systematic discrimination, for whatever reason. So that's kind of an overview of where we want to go with this. Yes. That's the big idea.

Billie Grace  12:16  
We don't want this to be like an advert for like, everyone to go tell Arts council to give us funding. Although if you did want to do that, it might work. But that's not what the point is 

zoe glen  12:31  
Like a write in vote! But yes, to be able to do that we need funding. So we basically keep applying until we get it. This is our second time doing an Arts Council application for this project. But the first time we did it was when we still were really only working with directory and the resource space.

Billie Grace  12:57  
And it was very much like, the beginning of it all, and

zoe glen  13:01  
yeah, before it became the NGC hub. So now we're going into it with a much clearer idea of what we want to do, which Yeah, yeah, are doing. We're like, we know, this works. We know, this is interesting, all of that. I mean,

Billie Grace  13:16  
we're probably going to end up doing most of this stuff, anyway. But it would be really very nice. Well, okay, yes, we're going to end up doing most of this stuff anyway. But things like paying people to actually come and contribute won't be possible if we don't have the funding. So that is why very annoyingly to me, personally, we have to do the applications.

zoe glen  13:41  
Um, so yeah, there's a few kind of like key, I guess, like tension points in that process that we, I guess, wanted to like, highlight. And the first is that Arts Council in particular, is a very set form. With very clear guidance, we recommend that you read the  Application guide.  because it does actually give you a lot of information and sets up quite clear expectations. Yes. Yes. Um, and we consider ourselves a very like ethos led company,

Billie Grace  14:24  
Which means that we're constantly trying to fit our ethos and our striving to kind of be the most fair and like, progressive that we can be in with a very established 

zoe glen  14:40  
structure 

Billie Grace  14:41  
structure. Yes. That wants. Yeah. That wants things from us that sometimes we're not entirely comfortable doing.

zoe glen  14:49  
Yes. So it's basically like how do we jump through the hoops that are involved to get funding I think in any industry where you have to apply for funding. Like this is not an Arts Council specific thing. This is like application processes as a concept.

Billie Grace  15:07  
for sure. 

zoe glen  15:08  
Um, like there is set steps, there is set questions, you only have so much control over how you convey your idea, but also not compromising on what is like at the core of the projects. Yeah. And then there's like practical challenges within that as well. So for example, we, I mean, anybody doing an Arts Council application has to provide like a project plan. So it's like, from this date to this date, this is happening from this date to this date, this is happening. You're doing a show? Absolutely fine. You're like, this date to this date. We're like, I don't know, casting it, devising it. Whatever this date to this date is like, tech this date to this date is...

Billie Grace  15:57  
we just skip rehearsals, but that's fine.

zoe glen  16:02  
It's a linear process, is what I'm trying to get at.

Billie Grace  16:06  
This is an ongoing project. That doesn't stop.

zoe glen  16:10  
Yeah so it's like it's got four parts going? all the time. Yes. So trying to fit that into the form because we're like, so for example, during the podcast at the start, we had to be like, okay, we have to record it by this date. And then editing happens on these days. And then this happens on this day. But now it just works like clockwork, like we know, we have to record it by about the 12/13 of the month. Yeah. And then it goes out in the last week.

Billie Grace  16:39  
Yep. and stuff happens inbetween that and it gets done.

zoe glen  16:44  
or , like we, the last week, it's like podcast gets done. And then we plan our social media pretty much. As soon as that tasks done, like, you know, the rolling order things. 

And the thing is...

Billie Grace  16:57  
trying to break it apart is like, breaking it.

Just just back to our notion, hype, because we're still on the notion hype. We're obviously writing this entire thing or notion because we have to stay on brand. Now, it's also just like the best way to do it. We have, I think, like, I don't know how to describe it. How do you describe it? Because it's not like pages, right? But it's like a good three scrolls, right? Three scrolls of just project planning, which are just repeating dates, and not repeating dates, but just like repeating tasks, because it's like, for every month is like okay, now we do this for the podcast. Now. We do the podcast. Now. We do that for the podcast, and we plan it all. And then we do it all over again. And I do that 12 times. And it's

zoe glen  17:50  
Yeah, it's like the thing. Remember how we planned an event last month? 

Billie Grace  17:55  
Yeah. We're doing it again.

zoe glen  17:58  
Yeah, there has been some useful things in it. Like, for example, we kind of realised we had to consider what's a good, like frame of time to plan an event in and we kind of figured if it events going to be April, we want to be planning in like February, because then we have, you know, people know what their availability is in two months time more than in like six months time. Yeah, like, one month doesn't give us enough, like marketing time and runup and all of that. There are some things that we are learning from this.

Billie Grace  18:33  
We are....we're just also moaning about it.

zoe glen  18:38  
Yeah. And then yeah, it's like calculating the whole budget and kind of knowing that you're just making projections and that like stuff obviously. shifts. Yeah, for sure. Anyway. But we're learning we're trying but there is the practicalities of articulating that we know how to do something that we definitely know how to do because we've been doing it.

Billie Grace  19:06  
Yeah. But like making somebody believe that but I guess it's just like, yeah, applications in general. But um,

zoe glen  19:13  
yeah. Sadly, we can't just write trust us. Here's our website. And then.

Billie Grace  19:24  
And yeah, very upsetting that we can't just do that. I know.

zoe glen  19:30  
But it's fine. But yeah, on that. We're then kind of trying to do a budget and decide on fees for things because we have partly like, what do we pay ourselves or anyone else who might get involved in like, admin time? We're partly kind of on the front-foot here because we've been doing a lot of the tests already. So we can be like, Okay, how long does it take to update this on the website? How long does it take to edit this or whatever. Like we know, yes. Which is helpful, but

Billie Grace  20:03  
refer back to we already been doing this. So trust us. Yeah.

zoe glen  20:08  
Um, is deciding on, like hourly pay for that kind of thing. What is fair pay for asking somebody to come on a podcast? Because you have things to consider there. And like, it's probably takes around an hour, I'd say. We can be very flexible with people, but of like, we probably spend 20 minutes to half an hour being like, what do you Is there anything you definitely want asked? Is there anything.. Any specific things you don't want to ask? Is there any Like what? Yeah, is the rough shape of this conversation? And then we record for, there's only like, half an hour. 40 minutes?

Billie Grace  20:47  
Yeah. But there's also like to take into consideration and planning before that, and like, getting in contact with the people and talking about, you know, this sort of initial stuff. Which is also, labour, like,

zoe glen  21:01  
yeah, like admin time on both sides. And then it's also like, once something's a podcast, it's then I guess, like, distribution, almost, you know, it's not like they come for an hour, and that's being paid for their time. It's also not like, we are paying them to be able to host their knowledge. Yeah. As part of our podcast for Yeah. Like the foreseeable future. So that needs considered in that as well. And then it's like, what is fair fees for like commissioning stuff for a zine. And we had a big kind of back and forth about whether we have like a set fee per thing. It doesn't matter if it's like visual art, a poem and essay, all of that. It's like this is how much like, Yeah, kind of trying to deconstruct that, I guess, like hierarchy of what forms of art are worth? 

Billie Grace  21:58  
Yeah.

zoe glen  21:59  
Well, because we're not sure it's actually reflective of like, 

Billie Grace  22:02  
we just don't think it's maybe correct 

zoe glen  22:04  
skill and or time, it's just that some formats of art are privileged as being like,

Billie Grace  22:12  
yeah

zoe glen  22:13  
worth more than others. Yeah. And yeah, on that, it's kind of like, while we're aware of, like, fair pay guidelines, like London living wage, all of those sorts of things, and we can look at what big like institutions pay other companies pay what we've been paid as like freelancers on jobs look like talk to our like, kind of peer group, all that kind of thing. We're also very cautious to be like, we've decided on this because it seems to be industry standard, because so much of what we're saying is that the industry is not necessarily operating fairly, in a way that is, best practice, or in a way that reflects how the actual freelancers that we'd be employing value their time and work. Yeah. Um, yeah, we're basically very keen to speak to people about what they consider to be fair,

Billie Grace  23:16  
we would love to know what your I guess what your maybe experience? Well, if you want to share with us, like what your experiences have been with actual, like situations?

zoe glen  23:29  
Yeah, that's who you think is doing it well, as well, like, yeah, if you've had a really great experience or something that felt like a very fair and good process. Yeah. With like, a company or whatever, we'd love to hear about that. And then kind of use that knowledge to inform our decisions as well. Rather than being like, well, this is standard, so we will uphold the standard because that's not going to get anybody anywhere. Yeah,

Billie Grace  23:57  
we're a bit done with the standard. So, um, please, yeah, we would love to know, like, if you have a idea of, you know, how much you would ideally be charging for your work. And we want to ask that and like, please don't undervalue yourself. Like, how much do you genuinely think if you could ask for the amount that feel fair? completely fair to you? What would that be? And what for? Because we we really, I think, need to know that. And yeah, we're not saying that we'll be able to provide that but we are definitely working towards that, and trying to.

zoe glen  24:34  
Yeah, we want to at the very least take a step down that path between what like artists and freelancers would consider best and fair practice or how they'd I like ideally want things and the industry standard, like we're not going to be able to achieve the like, ideal ideal overnight, but we if we have that information, we can we can start to move towards it. So, we've been, by the time this goes out kind of asking on our social media over the last few weeks, a few specific questions that I guess we'd like to do a bit of like, my brain is saying market research, but it's not that. But like, research in the field of what people would like so that then we can apply for funding to do it as close to that as, as possible. Some of the specific things that we're interested in are, yeah, like, what would you consider fair for like an hourly like fee to be on a podcast? Considering all the things we mentioned earlier of like the the podcast then exists beyond that hour of your time? If somebody was commissioning you to make a piece of art for Zine, what would be a fair rate, we're also interested in how long feels fair to be given to do something. Yeah. Specifically, when thinking about creating the Zine, if a piece of art was commissioned based on a short pitch, because we also don't want people to have to, like, make things or put loads and loads of effort into what is an application process to be included in something like that. So if you've made a short pitch, and then been commissioned to make a piece of art, how long would you want to have as turn around? for creating that? Yeah. And then we'd also love to know what free kind of skills development professional development, training events would be kind of most beneficial? Like, what do you feel would be beneficial to your practice your like, well, being as a practitioner, and the people in kind of more traditional jobs, or perhaps just getting this harder to access as a freelancer? Yep. Um, and also, just any other thoughts on what we're trying to do? 

Billie Grace  27:10  
Yeah, I would love to, I feel like there's something interesting about thinking about, like, sorry, something interesting in thinking about how much is actually like, what is actually fair pay for artists of all kinds, and why. And I, I have definitely, often fallen into the trap of, you know, you know, when you have like, you're applying for a job and they ask you like, what your fee would be, or your I don't know, you're being commissioned for something, and they ask you what your fee would be. And then I'm always going to be the person like googling, to see like, what the standard is, so that I don't like, ask for too much, or whatever. I don't think I've actually sat down with myself to think about what I actually believe would be a fair fee for that, without this trying to fit into the standard. And I'd really love for that to be spoken about more. And for people to maybe think about that, just to be aware of that a little bit more. Maybe I'm the only one who isn't aware of that. I don't know. But But basically, yeah,

zoe glen  28:18  
like, we're aware that industry standards don't mean that they are fair standards. Yeah, and we don't want to fill in an application and commit ourselves to doing a project in a way that upholds that standard, we'd much rather commit ourselves to doing a project in a way that takes a step towards a more ideal way of working. It's fair for everyone. So we'd really love if you have any thoughts. If you can either find us on social media, we are at the Not-God complex on Instagram, and Facebook and at not god complex on Twitter. And there will be posts, there are specific questions that you can share your thoughts on, or you can send us a message our messages are open on all of those things, or you can send us an email at thenotgodcomplex@outlook.com. Yeah, and we really appreciate your thoughts and contributions and love to hear from you. We also always welcome podcast suggestions. Yeah, let us know what you want to hear in the following episodes.

Billie Grace  29:21  
And,

zoe glen  29:33  
yeah, thank you for listening.

Billie Grace  29:36  
Thank you for listening. And please come interact with us because we want to know what you're thinking. 

zoe glen  29:41  
Yeah. Talk to us! 

Billie Grace  29:43  
And I feel like it's been somewhat everyone's just been a zombie in the heat. And I'm just like, please, can we have some interaction? Now again, please,

zoe glen  29:50  
talk to us.

Billie Grace  29:51  
Come back.

zoe glen  29:52  
Talk to us. We're trying to make things better. Yes,

Billie Grace  29:55  
yes. Yes. and we want to hear from everyone. Yes.

zoe glen  30:00  
Because the more voices we can consider the fairer we can be can be yes. Yeah. Cool. Thank you for listening. We'll speak to you next month. Yeah. On a different topic

Billie Grace  30:12  
that is yet to be decided.

zoe glen  30:14  
Yeah. Cool. Bye