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Newsletter Number 5

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Do you think it's a coincidence that the luckiest people are also the most hardworking?

Many of the people we look up to, whether they are celebrities, sports people or people in our industry are often described as lucky. But how much do we know about their journey? Were they lucky or have they actually had a journey of hard work and dogged determination?

We spoke to six amazing people who are incredibly successful in their fields and asked them the following:
“What was your ‘lucky’ break and what was the journey like to get there?”
Here's what they said:

Anthony Alderson, Director of The Pleasance Theatre Trust
It wasn't so much a lucky break, but defining, lucky meetings. Christopher Richardson, who founded The Pleasance, was a teacher at my school and at the age of 16 I was able to get involved. It totally changed my life; we did every job. Later on, one particular piece of advice that has stuck with me was during a period of being a scenic carpenter. The Master Carpenter at the place I worked told me, ’Never turn down a job, if you don’t know what you're doing, there is always someone in this Industry you can call.’ I have lived by that mantra ever since. Never stop taking risks.

Elaine Grant, Head of Access Programmes at Mousetrap Theatre Projects

I went from actor to arts administration when I was offered to manage a performing arts programme at my original performing arts college, I jumped at the opportunity. I had to learn a new set of admin skills and I had no experience, but I was enthusiastic and willing to learn. After eleven years at the college, I was set up perfectly for my current position. My journey was relatively smooth as I consciously positioned myself in spaces of learning and development. I remain curious of the world and the creative industries and I will always look for creative ways to develop both personally and for the work which I love!

George Wood, Managing Director of The Luna Cinema
I was expecting my lucky break as an actor to be the landing of a job in a film, but instead, upon commuting into London to appear in a play, I was knocked off my moped and broke my leg pretty badly. Unable to work for 5/6 months I developed my plan B from my hospital bed. The 'lucky' leg break gave me the push I needed and I invested my life savings in a big screen; we were off. The first screening sold out and was magical. Twelve years on and I often say “had I known how much work would be involved, I’d never have started it!” but businesses like ours are built on 98% hard work and 2% inspiration and luck.  

Emily & LJ Keston, Founders of Keston & Keston / Stagebox
Through co-founding Stagebox, we had years of experience in the children's sector when we were first approached with our 'lucky break' for Keston & Keston. It was because of this experience that we were asked to cast and general manage 150 children for Nativity! The Musical nationwide.  Since then we have developed and launched the first iOS casting app and within a year had 47,000 children registered. It has been a journey and adventure to get here- we have invested in innovation and trusted that driving any change takes time, resilience & unwavering belief.  

Fiona Pearce, Marketing Consultant
I suppose mine did involve a bit of luck; I was on holiday with my sister in New York and we were chatting with a group of people one evening in a “what do you do for a living” style conversation. When we got home I received an email asking if I could send my CV off to an HR Manager within a company where one of these people worked. Several fairly intimidating interviews later, I had turned a lucky meeting into a successful pitch of myself and I was offered the opportunity to run the commercial activity for Holiday on Ice in the UK and Ireland – part of Stage Entertainment at that time. From there I went on to join the theatrical division of Stage Entertainment and spent 12 years working on a wide variety of live entertainment projects, in the UK and around the world.

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