First off, can I just say THANK YOU so much to everyone who has helped support the company so far. In only 10 days we have raised over 600chf and the link to the GoFundMe campaign has been shared on Facebook 40 times! Thank you!! If you are able to support, please do, and please also continue to share this link to the campaign (and the link to this site too!).
And so, to business. A little bit of history. How did White Rabbit Theatre Company get here? Well, it all happened rather quickly, actually. The idea to start a theatre company is something that's been sitting in the back of my mind for quite some time. In fact, I don't think I can actually pinpoint the day I got the idea. It's just always been there.
I guess, if I really had to think, back in university my friend Meaghan and I used to joke about my starting a professional theatre school and somehow that turned into company (though I suspect it was earlier still). It doesn't really matter though, the idea was there.
In the spring of this year, I found myself with my fingers in a number of pies. I was still reeling from the tail end of assistant directing a production that had swallowed the better part of 7 months of my life. During the production, it was often referred to as being in a war zone, and after it was done I was having trouble adjusting to civilian life, as it were. So, I threw myself back in, against my (and others') better judgement. The above-mentioned pies included:
- Props and set design for the MainStage production at the school where I teach
- Assistant director for an upcoming one-act play (which didn't start until later in the year - June)
- One of the sound operators for a large spring production
- Newly appointed Secretary for the Committee of the Zurich Comedy Club (local theatre group of which I have been a part for several years)
As you can see from the list - set/props design, assistant director, sound operator, secretary - not really consistent in my experiences. I found myself gaining knowledge in a variety of areas. At one point, when I was getting a bit stressy because several productions were coming to performance time, I said (half-joking) to my friend Steve that I was collecting experiences in a variety of areas so I could start my own company. Then I said it less jokingly to my good friend Stephen, and then not jokingly at all to myself.
I was going to start a theatre company. Why not, right?
But the first thing I had to do was figure out if I, as a non-Swiss person, could even have a company in Switzerland. My initial research said no, but I was told to push on and keep digging. Eventually this, as well as my confusion in regards to taxes, led me to get in contact with a financial adviser who specializes in
starting small businesses here in Zurich. She agreed to me with me (and Stephen came too, mostly because I was too chicken to go alone). She was great. Really helpful. And even after the meeting, continued to answer my questions by email throughout the summer.
That meeting was at the very end of June (less than a week after school let out) and everything just sort of snowballed from there. It was the summer holidays, so I had less on my plate and could do more research (I am now best friends with Google Translate). I met a few times with my friend Mari, an amazing designer and all around cool person. She created the White Rabbit logo and gave me some helpful advice regarding the website (which she probably could have done in an hour but took me all day and lost of poor language).
Suddenly, it was the end of August. The new school year had started. I was working on two theatre projects (more pies?) and the website and funding campaign were ready to go live! It's still all quite a blur, but here we are!
(The company actually wasn't supposed to be as public as it is until the end of the month, but more on how I was accidentally outed on Facebook next time).