Introducing Madeleine Wilson, Arts Manager and Producer for Theatre and Dance, as well as a bunjee jumping daredevil and seasoned festival-goer.
Hi Madeleine, could you tell us a bit about what you do?
I work as an Arts Manager & Producer for Dance/Theatre companies. It is head-spinningly varied - from project producing, event & tour management through to artist and audience development. I love getting unusual performances seen by broad audiences: I've supported a one-man show out in Tipperary, worked with cinemas in Germany & Switzerland to showcase Europe's first live-streamed film, hosted an artist photo shoot out at a shipping yard and am about to start working on dance/skater workshops for young people, held at underground Turkish baths in the South East.
You studied at Central St. Martins, what was the most valuable thing you learnt during your studies?
To embrace your madness. I studied Fine Art & Performance: one of my colleagues once cut a hole in the floor from the top of the building to the bottom and poured paint through it. I arrived at my class one day and my colleague Ron had strapped himself to the ceiling. Another day he was dressed as a giant toothpaste. I made installations with actors and dancers dressed in baking paper. We drew, painted and made every day - it was heaven...you realise everyone is a bit bonkers.
What motivates you to make the work you produce?
On another note - there are so many great things about the digital age we’re in (freelancing being one of them!), but it's vital we don't isolate ourselves. Live performance is an antidote for spending time in front of screens; it’s about connection. There's nothing else that evokes the feeling and thrill of live performance.
It seems you’re a fan of floor 6, what is it that attracts you to this part of PLATF9RM?HANG ON - there's another floor?! Kidding...the light up here is lovely and the people too.
What drew you to coworking at PLATF9RM?When I worked for an organisation our team popped here to use your lovely meeting rooms - but I was always more intrigued by what was going on at PLATF9RM - there are so many interesting people and businesses. The moment I went self-employed I signed up. I really appreciate being around other freelance folks.
Would you recommend coworking to other freelancers in the theatre or dance industry?I’ve only been freelance for about 6 months and it was terrifying at first. But, I absolutely love it because now I can work on a number of different projects with amazing organisations and they all coexist. You can get isolated very quickly as a freelancer, but being here you notice all the time that people are energised by their work, they actually want to come to work - the optimism is so exciting. There’s a real entrepreneurial spirit and community. It’s almost a lifestyle choice, I can't recommend it enough.
Brighton’s pretty special and there’s a different appeal for everyone, what is it that you love about the city?Well I'm from here (I know, a rare breed) so my perspective is probably a little different...but there is definitely something magical in the water...the characters, the creativity, I used to work at the Theatre Royal on New Road and swear there was more drama offstage than on!
What’s the most dangerous sport/activity you’ve done?I lived on a banana plantation in Uganda for a little while and took part in a bungee jump over the Nile - it was terrifying and spectacular. Ironically, the dangerous part was finding out the instructor preparing my equipment was an alcoholic...but I try not to think about that!
You’ve been a part of loads of festivals and other experiences during your years in the arts, anything you’d recommend going to?Ooh, I love performance festivals. If you have the inclination then Manchester International Festival and In Between Time festival are some of the UK's finest. Tanztage in Berlin is definitely worth a look - I saw the Invisible Center of Contemporary Dance (Iran) who rehearse in secret, they are from Tehran where dancing is largely seen as an erotic act and is highly censored.
If you want to be a member at our space, get in touch for a tour and trial.