Simon Pascoe, arts company director

 9 October 2012

Simon Pascoe is director of environmental arts company Red Earth. As a former actor, he says creativity is vital to success.

"I have to be good at brainstorming ideas and project concepts, both written and drawn."


I’m originally from South Wales, but I now live in Brighton.

What job do you do?

I'm self employed as the co-director of Red Earth. We're an international environmental arts company. We create site-specific sculpture installations and outdoor performances tailored to landscape.

What previous jobs in theatre have you done?

My first theatre role as an adult was in Steven Berkoff’s play 'East'.

I've worked as an actor, co-director, producer and writer with a number of theatre companies. I don't act in my current job, but I do occasionally still miss it.

I've also been a freelance mentor and occasional outdoor performance consultant.

What qualifications do you have?

I have a degree in art history.

What do you do at work?

My work involves lots of planning, logistics, application forms, research and site visits, sometimes abroad.

I have to be good at brainstorming ideas and project concepts, both written and drawn.

"I have to be good at brainstorming ideas and project concepts, both written and drawn."

There's usually a flurry of practical work – like construction and rigging – prior to one of our events.

Projects are a mix of our own initiated work and commissions from festivals and producers.

After a 'normal day' at work, I’m often found back at the computer after 10pm when my family are in bed! I've been known to continue working on designs or ideas until about 1am.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Being outside, on-site – being there at the event doing it.

All the hours, days, and weeks are worth it for those 40 minutes.

And the worst thing about the job?

Sitting in front of the computer trying to get work or money. 

How do I get into theatre?

My advice:

  1. Believe in your work
  2. Be honest 
    Don’t let anything blind you to the quality and/or failings in your work.
  3. Persevere
    Don’t be fooled. Apart from the occasional glory, it’s about graft.
  4. Remember it’s never as easy as it looks
  5. Regarding acting: don’t 'just' act – create
    If you can take a genuinely involved approach to the work you're doing, you won't be out of work long.


Simon is part of our theatre experts panel. Ask Simon a question about working in theatre.

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