5 months pregnant and the enquiries flood in…


I’m 22 weeks pregnant now and it would seem that my various marketing channels are broadcasting effectively. So much so that in the past week I have had 3 new inquiries in for shows next year or beyond and one confirmed.

The show that is confirmed doesn’t worry me – the designer / director knows that I am pregnant, has had a child herself and I will be co-designing projections so we should be covered. In fact, it’s a huge relief to know that I have something ahead of me and a partner in crime on it. And gives me a response to the usual question: so what are you working on next?

The more interesting conundrum will be the shows that I have yet to attend my first meetings with. For example: I will be going to Cambridge next week to talk about a new project and the first thing that will walk through the door will be my bump! This is, of course, where Knifedge comes in. My gambit will be (more than ever) about how no design is a creation in isolation and that we work as a team at Knifedge with the show production team to realize the design. There are successful precedents for this that I can refer to. But I do wonder how they will react. And if it will make any kind of difference that the contact that I have is female. It certainly went against my chances with the show that I’m co-designing next April as she knew what my first six months with a newborn would be like but I managed to talk her round!

It was strange having photos taken today for an article for the Autumn and trying to establish whether the ‘bump’ should be making an appearance or not. I am of course proud of being expecting and still being capable of doing my job but I need to make sure I’m sending out the right message in any images that appear of me so they need to be timeless and they need to not put off any future inquiries.

From the long-term concerns to the short again: Maternity pay. My accountant and I have worked out that I will be claiming Statutory Maternity pay as a self-employed person. This will afford me around £135 / week.  Naturally this figure has prompted some grown-up conversations with Tom, who will have to bear the brunt of the Mortgage and much of the day-to-day costs for a time. Since I have now shows planned for between now and October, I will most likely start claiming pretty early. It will become less and less possible for me to lead a ‘Theatrical’ life and follow that sort of timetable and I have plenty of show development and business development work to be getting on with and I really don’t know how tired I will become. If it’s anything like he first trimester, I’ll want to be studio-bound with flexibility in my hours!

On a less logistical topic, suffice it to say that Baby Dunn seems to enjoy Musetta’s performance in the Puccini. The movements have changed over the past week from sharp jabs every now and then to s0me more pleasing rolling around. The musical education has certainly begun!

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