Chris McLoughlin – Artistic Development Internship: Final Blog Post

8 Sep

Hello Mouthy followers and family!

As part of my contract to the Mouthy Poets for the post of AD Intern, they asked me to do a final blog post about my experiences with the internship.

So, let’s begin with the professional side of the internship. The run up to Say Sum Thin 10, Mouthy Poets show in February 2016, was probably the most exciting and enlightening period. Mouthy Poets were having a staff shortage, and there was a lot of work to do towards the show. The great thing about this was I could pick up different tasks and learn a lot of skills in a short period. These included assisting writing the copy for the Nottingham Playhouse promotional material, and setting up and facilitating one-to-one’s for Mouthy’s to help them practise their performance, push themselves artistically, and overcome any worries or doubts about performing. This model of 1-1 support is something I will take forward in future projects. The not so great thing about this was it led to quite a lot of stress for the team and interns, which was unavoidable, but made me realise how structure and contingency plans can help an organisation. Also, shadowing Deborah Stevenson was crucial during this period, as it led me to gain skills not only in the organisation of large events, but the techniques to do so with a sense of calm, which was needed due to the added stress. Now, I open most performances with asking the audience to join me in a breathing exercise, just as the Mouthy Poets start their show do to each other before a show.

This balance leads me into how the internship benefited my artistic side. As part of the internship, I helped organise and facilitated a trip to Battersea Arts Centre in London. This helped me to learn how to book gigs, as well as beginning a London presence for my work. Also, the 1-1’s with participants helped my own art a lot, learning how to apply different techniques to different situations.

Moving on to the personal side of the internship, another thing that was provided as part of the internship was life coaching with Anne Holloway, Mouthy Poets’ Professional Development. Although I only took up one of these sessions, it came at a crucial time in my career and my personal life, and the session helped immensely.

Lastly, an addition to the year, I was asked by Hayley Green to shadow a poetry project at Nottingham Emmanuel School with her. This culminated in a showcase during Say Sum Thin 11, along with her company http://www.write-minds.uk/ . To watch these young poets evolve in confidence, life skills and performance was fantastic, and I’m very grateful to have been a part of it.

So, I handed in my MA dissertation and ended my AD internship in the same week , so, to the next step, and a bit of rest I hope!

Chris McLoughlin
Artistic Development Intern

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