Reece and I have been talking about our values a lot as we’ve launched REcreate over the last week, but these just aren’t fun social media posts, they’re things we truly value and try to live by.

When Living Your Values Is Life Changing

Reece and I have been talking about our values a lot as we’ve launched REcreate over the last week, but these just aren’t fun social media posts, they’re things we truly value and try to live by. So today I want to tell you a story about Reece and how his commitment to those values has been life changing for me.

Reece and I met on China Plate’s excellent The Optimists course in the heady days of Feb 2020. I remember the exact moment I knew we’d be friends – we were nearly hit by a bus crossing the road and descended into fits of giggles. When Covid shut everything down I reached out to him when I needed help with an Emergency ACE bid for The Good Enough Mums Club (GEMC). 

We worked so well together we brought him on board GEMC as Associate Producer. Then we discovered he only lived a 15 minute bike ride away, so as soon as we were allowed to bubble we had co-working days together. If you’ve ever worked with Reece, you know what a delight this is.

One day a week turned into two, work turned into stay for dinner, that turned into let’s go for lots of what ended up being called ‘Beecher Walks’. We laughed, worked hard, I cried a couple of times and he won Maisie over with Nintendo Switch and Monopoly card games. 

In December Maisie and I went to visit him at New Diorama to say goodbye before he left to see his family in York for Christmas. By the time we’d got home, Boris had locked us down again. Reece hadn’t ever not been home for Christmas but now if he was going to have to spend Christmas in London he was obviously going to spend it with us. So he moved into our flat for the holidays and together we had a brilliant time doing puzzles, dancing in the kitchen and eating an obscene amount of cheese.

Throughout this time we were working to form REcreate, we established our values, based on the things we truly believe will make this industry better. Now here’s the thing, those values aren’t random words, they’re things Reece lives. Which brings us to life changing.

This week we’re producing an R&D of Denise Harrison’s new play Pandora in Cornwall. As a single mum this is exactly the kind of work I’ve been turning down for almost 12 years. There is no way I can juggle being away for a week with being a mum – I just don’t have the support to make it happen. So when we were talking about how we were going to make this work, because Reece needs to be in London for work so he couldn’t go, he said, without a moment’s hesitation, ‘well I’ll just move into yours and take care of Maisie that week’ and that was that. 12 years of barriers wiped out in an instant. Not out of pity, or with reluctance, but because he leads with kindness, generosity and joy, and those things lead to inclusion.

So this week while I’ve been R&D-ing in sunny Newquay, Reece has been on parent duty for a kid that is not his (although he’s apparently renamed her Cecil). This support not only unlocks the potential for me to participate in opportunities previously inaccessible to me but now it also enables me to do my best work and to support others to do the same. 

I just want to say to Reece, thank you for being my confidant, champion, producer, business partner, bestie,and future housemate. You’re the best, thank you for living our values and for making me, my life and my career, better. 

Magical Wolves

Magical Wolves

by Beth Sitek

I think we can all agree that being an independent producer is one of the most elusive & isolating jobs in the arts industry. I didn’t even know what producing was throughout my years at school and university – it was something I stumbled across when my mate asked me to produce their Edinburgh Fringe show for a laugh & some free beer back in 2018. 2 years & 1 pandemic later, I’m questioning more than ever: who are we & what on earth do we do now?

Lyn Gardner quoted a Devoted and Disgruntled event back in February 2020 where producers were described as “magical unicorns … they are magic and they have the answers.” Needless to say Miss Rona rinsed me of all of my magic & I have more questions than answers at this point. Having had no formal training & questions that have only turned into bigger questions, I’ve felt more like a lone wolf than a magical unicorn for the most part of my career. That was before I was exposed to the possibilities of what co-creation, peer support & alliance can bring working as part of newly founded & freelancer led company, The REcreate Agency. 

Having worked as the Associate Producer since March of this year, I’d sum up my experience in a mere three words. I’d have to go with – filling. a. void. It’s been really fabulous to have actual humans to speak to as opposed to keyboard-warrioring my frustrations on Twitter in the hope that someone agrees with me. No but seriously – I had no idea that so much can be achieved through people power & a shared determination to support & develop artists through producing practices that actually care about the people working within them. Particularly now as everything re-opens & buzz words like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ are being thrown somewhat carelessly by organisations who don’t even know the meaning of the words; as though our realities & futures don’t depend upon us being able to participate in an industry that favours those with money, contacts & a formal arts education. 

Emily & Reece talk lots about how REcreate was born & what their inspirations were for its creation, that being; we can do more together than in isolation. This increases our output, (3 producers working across numerous projects simultaneously is pure rocket fuel), but this is not the thing we celebrate. In an industry that tells us to work harder, we’ve decided to work smarter, by working together. The pandemic has shifted the tone of the industry – it feels like a more understanding & empathic environment to work within & this is certainly the case within the REcreate team & how we work with artists as well as each other. That being said, there have been times where freelance artists have been put in precarious positions, taken advantage of & cut off for various reasons by venues, companies and other artists – sadly this is not something that has disappeared, yet. 

The biggest tool REcreate has given me throughout my short time with them is self-belief. I know I am definitely not a magical unicorn. I see producers rather like magical wolves who are just as fluffy but have one hell of a back-bone & work better in packs. We certainly do not have all the answers but more importantly, we are dedicated to finding them out.

© The REcreate Agency