Martin McLean, project manager
Martin McLean is a project manager for Deafinitely Theatre, which produces plays in British Sign Language.
What job do you do?
I’m a project manager for Deafinitely Theatre. We're a small touring company, and we produce plays in British Sign Language for deaf and hearing people.
What previous jobs in theatre have you done?
Originally, I was a self-employed trainer, delivering deaf awareness and sign language courses.
"It can be tough looking for work out there. Look for opportunities to network with others."
After being a trainer for a few years, I wanted a change. I saw an advert one day for a free fast-track course in theatre admin and management, run by the Independent Theatre Council for disabled people.
I’d always been interested in acting and theatre, and I thought to myself ‘why not?’. I got a place on the course and was given a work placement at the Soho Theatre. I haven’t looked back since!
What qualifications do you have?
My qualifications don't have much to do with theatre. I have a degree in genetics (don’t ask!) and a PGCE teaching certificate in post-16 education.
What do you do at work?
It mostly involves sitting in front of my computer. Lots of emails, marketing, organising, planning, and snacking on chocolate.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The job always changes depending on the project I am working on.
I also love seeing the end result of the projects I work on – whether it's a play or a showcase of work.
And the worst thing about the job?
Marketing can be quite unrewarding at times. It can be a little despairing when you email someone about some fantastic project or opportunity, and don't get a reply.
How do I get into theatre?
It can be tough looking for work out there. Look for opportunities to network with others.
For example, I found part-time freelance work with other freelancers, allowing me to build up my experience.
Finally, be persistent with the job applications, and don’t give up!