When I applied for the job I admittedly didn’t really know anything about CoDI, or what I was getting myself into, however the greatest surprise of all was just how rewarding it would be.
Looking back to my first day at Morgan Lane now feels a life time ago, despite actually only being a mere 14 weeks. If you had told me then that by the end of the madness I would be able to recite our CoDI 16 programme backwards I would have laughed, a lot. If you had told me that I would be running the actual shows alone, with only a dwarf disabled weegie and a producer with severe RBF, I would have cried. Today however, despite it all I wouldn’t change a thing… okay maybe the rain and rocking up on 4 hours sleep, fresh off TransPennine’s delightful 7am Manchester direct train, with a 3 day hangover, having to do a mad dash across the city in 15 minutes for some A3 boob print outs, only to be heckled by aforementioned weegie… (see below). Needless to say that was the end of my fringe partying (Day 4 of 25).
Before CoDI, internships meant little more to me than ‘no summer holiday’. After being somewhat blackmailed into growing up by my parents however I now find myself finishing my 14th week of one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. CoDI has gone above and beyond any and all of my expectations. I had heard about internships where you just did paperwork and mundane tasks, where your bosses were always too busy for you and where you wouldn’t return if it was the last job on Earth. CoDI could not have been further from that.
From the very start my wonderful bosses have trusted me and all my ideas, given me full responsibility and been incredibly approachable and appreciative. So a humongous thanks to Heather and Sarah for enabling me to grow as much as I have. A second thanks goes out to all 33 of the amazing CoDI performers this year, who have been a delight to market, and who have taught me about all sorts of dangerous ideas from more plastics to mechanical hearts. Seeing everyone’s hard work come together for the Fringe was incredibly rewarding, which was over before it begun – as the saying goes ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. More thanks to the wonderful Stand team who met all my last minute demands and kept us going each and every day. Last but not least, Susan and Stephen, my other two bosses who gave me a real run for my money when it came to sarcasm, demands and business skills. Each and every day was filled with entertainment thanks to your loving relationship and unique characters!
The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas by definition is ‘debate, discussion and discourse in the company of some of the fiercest intellects that Scotland has to offer – all within a yurt!’. As someone who has been behind the scenes for the last three and a half months however, I can tell you it is much more than that. CoDI is driven by public engagement, and getting researchers to provoke the public into thinking, questioning and debating what they hear. At CoDI the audience is just as crucial as the performer. Getting to sit and watch the shows, and not only hear about the researchers’ dangerous ideas, but the public’s too, was incredibly thought provoking.
In the run up to the Fringe CoDI hold a number of bootcamps for performers, and something that really stood out to me was the sense of community. Everyone who takes part in CoDI is in it together, instead of seeing each other as competitors they see them as team mates. Veterans of CoDI are always there to offer advice and support to newbies. Those who are social media savvy are ready to promote those who confuse grindr and snapchat, you get the picture. So in some ways I was the marketing mother of my 25 CoDI show children, with a grumpy uncle Stephen, that aunt Susan who you’re always surprised to see hasn’t been put in a home yet, granddad John and his Barry White Collection, and grandma Sarah and Heather who are always nagging you to take a day off.
To say that I will miss CoDI is an understatement. Between emails, tweets, designing adverts, transporting signs, rogue presenters (looking at you Thomas – flyering til the very last second) and Susan’s ability to morph from Tiger to Satellite to a (literally) pig headed shop assistant, there was never a dull moment. I have learnt a lot about marketing, running a show and surviving the fringe, and I’ve come to love my dysfunctional CoDI family, but the time has come to say good bye, good luck and thank you so much for everything these last 14 weeks!
(Day 25, not sure if I’m about to cry or die)