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16 Going On 17

So we made it. 2017. We leave behind the doom and gloom of 2016 and try to focus on a more positive, productive and peaceful year ahead.

2017 is ours for the taking and here at Exist we plan to make the most of it.

It’s no secret that 2016 was a quiet year for us. A year of taking stock, getting our shit together and working out where we’re heading. This sounds like a waste of a year, and in all honesty, it’s felt like it at times. Standing still when we so enjoy sprinting forward. But this brief stop in procedures has given us a much clearer view of what’s important to us and things we need to do/change to make the most of what we do.

So breaking it down, here’s what we’ve learnt:

The Edinburgh Fringe- This is our life-blood. We need this to keep us going. Not being in Edinburgh this year was a real trauma for us. That sounds so dramatic. Over-dramatic, of course! It’s not all about the performing. It’s the energy of it, the atmosphere. It’s been the highlight of our year for so long and after making the decision not to go last year, we really paid the price. This is where we meet up with friends, make new friends and get inspired. Hopefully we will return in 2017, even if only as spectators. We need it. We love it. Perhaps we needed a year out to remind us of that… Edinburgh is a fickle mistress and does start to wear you down after a while.

We can do anything- For a small company, we’ve achieved a lot. Sometimes it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing but four years ago we started out without a penny to our name and we made it work. We started writing shows because we couldn’t afford to pay the rights for existing work and now we produce only original work. We do this because we want to and not because we have to. We’re willing and proud to stand up and be counted in every aspect of what we do. We taught ourselves about website design, marketing and producing. We do everything ourselves and, for the most part, we do it bloody well. Yes, yes, I’m blowing our horn, but anyone who knows us will know this is not something we do very often. Sometimes you deserve a pat on the back and when better than the start of a new year.

We can do more- Obviously, can’t everyone. But life does have an annoying habit of getting in the way. We still hold down full time jobs to pay for all life’s boring necessities, so sometimes our work has to come second. This isn’t a choice and I’m sure many artists understand exactly what this feels like. But, that being said, we want to do more throughout the year. We want to get out there as much as possible. Fuck bills… I take that back, don’t want to jinx the year before we’ve got going. Let’s just say we’d like to take a few more educated risks as far as our personal finances go. It’s time to hunt down the opportunities and take them all. We want to be sending more work out into the world and we want it to be out there for longer. This is how you grow after all. Sometimes it’s scary, but at the end of the day… we don’t actually want ‘real’ jobs!

We want to connect- We have great supporters out there. Not just friends and family, but those lovely folk that hunt us down in Edinburgh ever year and come and see what show we’re doing now. We love you for that. There’s no better feeling than someone coming back to see our shows time and time again. But, as a company, we pop up and then go quiet. Obviously, while we’re quiet we’re working hard on new work and planning and sorting everything out. But we don’t want to be quiet. We want to be transparent. We want to let you all know what we’re doing and why and how and all the pitfalls in between. So this is our big new year’s resolution. Not to be quiet. To create all the time and share it with you. And, as you can see, we’re starting this right here, right now! We’re going to do our very best to keep you up-to-date on all the goings on. The good, the bad and the ugly. And if we don’t… kick us! Please! We all know how hard new year’s resolutions can be come February.

So that’s it folks. A little round up of thoughts to start the new year. Needless to say, I’m really excited about 2017 and all it has to offer. And I’ve gone on the record about it, so now I better make it work!

I’ve got a good feeling. It’s in my bones.

Dan x

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