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It starts with a conversation

This Spring and Summer nitroBEAT and Soho Theatre have been fortunate to have a team of four talented emerging producers and arts managers working with us via placement schemes, MA internships and as volunteers to gain valuable experience of the sector. Introducing Titi Dawudu...

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It starts with a conversation

Titilola Dawudu

Role: Emerging Producer via Tamasha Theatre placement scheme & Assistant Producer 

From a chat with Fin Kennedy, artistic director at Tamasha Theatre to a meeting with Diane Morgan, nitroBEAT’s director and David Luff from Soho Theatre – these conversations have landed me with an assistant producer role and a piece of new writing performed on stage to a near sold-out audience at nitroBEAT bites.

By my own admission, I am not a natural networker in the sense of going up to someone at a networking event with a half-filled plastic cup of warm wine in my hand, nodding along as they go on about their careers and then watch their eyes glaze over as they realise I can’t help them in any way.

What I do best is authenticity. When I speak to someone, I’m genuinely interested in who they are, how they are and not about getting something out of it, and this approach has served me well. Taking to Fin one day at university, whilst studying for an MA in Dramatic Writing at Central Saint Martins, led to the youth charity I work for becoming an associate company with Tamasha. I spoke to Fin about the kind of work Tamasha does, his career trajectory, I asked him for advice and I congratulated him on his impending role into fatherhood. I was genuinely interested. In turn, he asked about the course, the work I do, what plays I like and the issues around the lack of diversity in the arts. Before you know it I was in his office, talking to his staff about my objectives for the year and how Tamasha can support me.

Fast-forward a couple of months and I’m now sitting at Soho Theatre across from Diane, who is director of their resident company. We are talking about the rest of the year’s plans for nitroBEAT and about making more work. We are talking about my writing and how to further develop it. What I’ve been able to achieve by having conversations is an amazing six months of winning awards for my writing, getting a distinction at university, assistant producing for the longest running black theatre company in the UK, seeing my work being staged, going to the Edinburgh Fringe on a producer placement this summer and starting a new theatre project with young people in Croydon.

I’m excited to continue the conversations with Diane and others. I’m proud of being a part of changing the conversations around diversity and other issues. I know some may not lead anywhere, but always being genuine and using who you are and what you’ve got will always get you somewhere.