I've just had a meeting about a new filmed interview series that will focus on creative legacy. There is a wealth of people to call upon when it comes to those who have had impact and influence on theatre and performance and we're still mulling over the long, long list.
The aim is to share the lives of others in such a way so that it underlines (once again) that the pathways into working in the entertainment industry are not necessarily route one and talent, tenacity, perseverance and luck all play their part. We also want to properly reflect the reality of working in the business and give those who have sustained a career therein a respectful time to discuss their craft.
The old adage about how the past creates the present and the present determines the future is true for us all. However we can often forget this as we get caught up in the cut and thrust of daily life. We are always the sum of our experience and the great thing about getting older is that you have more and more to draw upon.
The theatre industry provides a continuing education for all that play within it. There is always the opportunity to learn something new whilst doing what you're paid to do no matter how old you are. I suppose this could be termed 'learning on the job'.
Learning on the job is something that begins at a very early stage for most of us. Reflecting back to your younger self I'm sure that there will be very strong links between what you were experimenting with then and what you do now.
This week we present my interview with Meera Syal. Meera is a triple threat: she writes, she performs, she directs. But it is her writing that is the glue between all she does. Like most creative writers she is formally untrained and began by the daily writing of a diary as a young child. The ongoing practice of putting words onto a blank page and attempting to express herself time and again developed a voice and confidence that has enabled her to go on to pen musicals, TV comedy series and novels.
This learning on the job, so to speak, is essential to creativity and often comes about through an individual's curiosity as opposed to being instilled. Perhaps lessons in curiosity should be part of the curriculum? Perhaps we should be encouraging young people to ask questions that don't have answers? Perhaps education should be about adventure and exploration, and not results? Perhaps this might foster a sense of hope in a younger generation that anything is possible and that lifelong learning - on the job - can be the most exciting thing.