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Learning the Language

September 21, 2009

Shopkeepers automatically dump new stock into their bins; Travel Couriers check their Pax against the actual Billies they can see; and publishers seem very worried about thier “Over Sets.”

Put another way, every trade and profession has its own language and when they overlap – as in theatre and publisher – both parties require phrase books. Even where there is common ground, for example when we both worry about the price of paper,  it means two completely different things. Mr P is literally concerned with the stuff converted from trees. Mr T about whether distributing “paper” (tickets for guests) is ever damaging to the theatrical economy.

It’s also the pace of work which is a culture shock. Theatre works quickly and corrects problems as they go along. Provided the curtain goes up at 7.30 each night, and the mistakes are not too obvious, it happens. More than that, after 3 hours each night and a 6 month run of performances it is all over and everybody moves on.

Publishing is far slower, and strikes me as rather like a tattoo. A good idea at the time, pretty painful in the creative stage; and has to be got right as the results are permanent.

When these two worlds collide, it’s an interesting ride for both parties…

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