As part of the Ignite MYAA group and The Touring Network's GET IN programme, Pete Egan discusses his journey discovering what it really takes to get a show on stage.
When I first joined the Moray Youth Arts Ambassadors (MYAA) I was not working much at all in the arts in the area. Joining the MYAA really allowed me to explore the creative industries; this was really interesting as I am more interested in organising events than performing myself. Being part of the MYAA’s allowed me to gain really great experiences and to learn how to work in the creative industries.
Since becoming one of the MYAAs I have been involved in many different projects. Most recently I was involved in the Get In project run by the Touring Network. This project aimed to teach young people how to manage and run a tour. We chose a woman called Kathryn Joseph to tour around rural Scotland. Kathryn Joseph is a singer/songwriter who sings folk music and she has also won the Scottish album of the year award in 2015. With our budget, we were able to put on a performance at all of our venues and to tour her around rural Scotland. Whilst this was occurring the MYAAs helped me with planning and Findhorn Bay Arts would often invite me to their offices to learn from them and to help with advertising and any other queries that I had. This helped enormously and I was able to put on a successful gig with two support acts, this was also the largest gig by numbers of people in attendance.
I was also involved in the Findhorn Bay Festival in 2016 as an intern. Findhorn Bay Arts advertised the position of an intern throughout the festival and one of the ways it was advertised was through the MYAAs. I applied and was successful in getting the position. My role over this period of time was partly to help out with whatever needing doing, whether it was putting up flyers or distributing programmes to helping on the door to stewarding at events. I was also tasked with putting on my own event during the festival on Culture Day. I was asked to create an event called Ignite Presents. This event had talks, panel discussions, live music and even a ceilidh! We also had a stall selling popcorn and drinks to make a small amount of additional income and to provide refreshments. We also had some unexpected challenges on the day which helped me to understand all the challenges of running an event. Overall this experience was fantastic for my own personal development and for giving me great work experience for the future.
I have also been involved in other ways. Throughout the course of the MYAAs programme I have learned to be more confident in myself and as a result, I have put on gigs and events through contacts that I have met through the MYAA. For example, I have run several smaller gigs in Findhorn these were relatively successful and allowed some of the MYAAs to perform to a local and supportive audience. It has also inspired me to look for different ways of putting on shows in the future.