The year got off to a characteristically highbrow start as our brand new columnist Nicola Robey wrote about her addiction to reality TV.
It was also way back in January that we spoke to Zawe Ashton about her varied career as actor and writer, from Jackanory to the Royal Court.
Also that month, our partners the National Youth Theatre teamed up with Shine Drama to give emerging scriptwriters the chance to “Write to Shine” in a masterclass programme with producers and script editors…
NYT jetted off to tour China with 10 IdeasTap members. Plus, IdeasMag spoke to former NYT member Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock, Never Let Me Go) about RADA and losing her Geordie accent.
Another British gem, Maxine Peake (Shameless, Little Dorrit, Red Riding), talked to us about getting into character and about the day RADA called to say they would accept her.
From stage to page, actor-turned-novelist David Nicholls told us about learning how to “get inside the heads” of his characters. One great tip: “don’t worry about them being likeable – we’re extremely tolerant of our friends”.
Good timing, as our partners the Old Vic New Voices gave IdeasTap members the chance to showcase their talent in New York on The TS Eliot US/UK Exchange. Back home was the Coming Up festival, our underground collaboration with Old Vic New Voices.
We teamed up with the National Student Drama Festival to give students the chance to win £1,000 to take a show up to Edinburgh.
IdeasMag talked to director and actor Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, Submarine) about getting into filmmaking and being “the coolest man in London” (according to the NME).
This month also saw the launch of our first ever Intern brief – the chance to intern at IdeasTap HQ and get paid for it.
In April we announced the winner of the IdeasTap Photographic Award, Pierfrancesco Celada. We got together with our partners Magnum Photos to give away the £5,000 prize and an internship at Magnum in New York and caught up with Pierfrancesco before he set out.
In an interview published posthumously, we got a vivid insight into the strains of working in a war zone from Tim Hetherington, a filmmaker and photojournalist who was killed by a mortar bomb while reporting in Libya in April.
This month saw the arrival of Actor X, who launched his anonymous column with a foray into sex scenes that had us hanging on his every word. It’s been a beautiful seven-month love affair with the badly behaved thesp.
It was a good month for filmmakers. We interviewed Archipelago director Joanna Hogg and teamed up with the Barbican to give animators the chance to get their film screened as part of the exhibition Watch Me Move: The Animation Show.
They were watching us move at Wembley as over 200 IdeasTap dancers performed at the UEFA Champions League final, televised worldwide.
Meanwhile in the IdeasTap Spa, members were queuing up for Script doctors, CV clinics, portfolio reviews and talks from seasoned arts practitioners.
… was star-studded. We spoke to Anne-Marie Duff in her Old Vic dressing room about getting into character. Jason Isaacs of Lucius Malfoy fame talked to us about storytelling and funding and we grabbed a video interview with Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg.
We also talked to Quentin Tarantino’s long-term collaborator, producer Lawrence Bender, about starting out broke and convincing Al Gore to make An Inconvenient Truth.
Some great advice all round and in traditional style, we backed it up with cash. We launched the rent-free Creative Space brief – which invited select members to use our office space – and began our hunt for the IdeasTap columnist to take over from Nicola Robey. Enter John Nugent with a stellar debut column on cleaning dog shit and being an intern.
Meanwhile, we were waving off the intrepid Roses as they began their 3,000-mile Race Across America to raise money for IdeasTap.
As Coming Up Later took over the Old Vic Tunnels, we interviewed Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy – the pen behind The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire – who spoke elegantly about voice.
Playwright Katori Hall talked about her Olivier award-winning play The Mountaintop and about writing for theatres both sides of the Atlantic. And Submarine author Joe Dunthorne – winner of the Curtis Brown Prize – told us about writing novels with graphs.
What better time to welcome director Mark Rosenblatt to the Spa as honorary Script Doctor? Oh, and Edinburgh Fringe veteran Richard Herring gave us his tips on taking a show to the festival.
Image: Camilla Greenwell
In early August, IdeasTap headed to Edinburgh. We gave each of our Ideas Fund Edinburgh winners – The Bridge Theatre Company and RashDash Theatre (above) – £10,000 to take their shows up, and bundled photographers and reporters onto the train to report back.
The marvellous Josie Long gave us her stand-up tips from the Fringe and Assistant Editor Nell Frizzell documented the lot with a glorious Upstaged double bill.
Meanwhile, in Sheffield the National Youth Theatre was keeping things smooth with SLICK, an epic, site-specific performance about global waste.
Moving from stage to screen, we heard from Mark Kermode about what it takes to be a film critic: “if you’re shipping around for something that seems like a good idea, film criticism isn’t it”.
In September we gave 40 top creative graduates the chance to take part in onedotzero’s award-winning education platform, onedotzero_cascade – and a good time was had by all.
Meanwhile careers advice came thick and fast from household names of the acting world. We talked to Golden Globe-winning Sally Hawkins about stage fright and to ex-NYT member and Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery about preparing for a role. Olivier-nominated Hayley Atwell told us about drama school and failure.
Olivier Award-winning playwright and 24 Hour Plays alumnus Mike Bartlett gave aspiring writers some excellent tips, while in the world of film, Morgan Spurlock – the brains behind the Oscar-nominated Super Size Me – shared his advice for young filmmakers.
To coincide with his directorial debut, Tynannosaur, Paddy Considine was joined on camera by leading lady Olivia Colman. You’ll know her from Peep Show, whose co-creator Sam Bain we also caught up with. He told us what makes a good sitcom and why “enormous rage” is important.
Meanwhile actor Robert Sheehan (aka Nathan in Misfits) gave us audition tips and here at IdeasTap HQ, actor Con O’Neill gave an audition workshop at the Spa.
It was a month of record breaking: the 24 Hour Plays OVNV got more entries than ever before and we hit 50,000 members. A video interview with the world-famous photographer Rankin and another with dancer and choreographer Akram Khan made it an autumn to remember.
After all that it’s little wonder headshots at the Spa were booked out for November. As were sessions with See-Saw Films (the company behind The King’s Speech and Shame) and a “How to make a short film” Q&A.
As you lot lined up for careers sessions, we talked to star of stage and screen Jemima Rooper about starting young and skipping drama school. Meanwhile America Ferrera – best known as the star of Ugly Betty – talked about getting ready for the London stage in Chicago, and Hugh Bonneville told us about starting out with the NYT and why it’s all about the script, darling.
This was also the month when our first-round Sky Arts Ignition: Future Fund winners were announced: animator Phoebe Boswell and opera director Daisy Evans (above) who each won a staggering £30,000 to develop their projects.
Radio legend Jo Whiley was on the judging panel for Sky Arts, so we snatched a few of her broadcasting tips and heard about what she is looking for in the applicants.
As we sealed our partnership with the BFI, we talked to Carol Morley, the director of docu-drama Dreams of a Life, about making one of the most talked-about British Films of the year – starring Zawe Ashton, who we interviewed in January (see above).
David Hurn – the celebrated Magnum photographer – told us what he looks for in his students.
And we chatted to Chris Goode, "British theatre's greatest maverick talent" (according to the Guardian). He gave advice to young theatre makers and discussed his creative process, while acclaimed playwright Simon Stephens also shared some tips. He spoke about his latest play, The Trial of Ubu, and set us to work with some excellent writing exercises.
So that’s it. We’ll be doing our homework over the holidays (and bribing the teachers), aiming for 10 out of 10 next year.