Reasons to Apply – Selina’s list

Blogging again apparently… what year is it, hmmm?

Selina, a Black woman, stands on stage, by a red table with boxes of food, and red postal boxes on the floor.

Credit: Andrew Whittuck
Show: Stilton Mash 2015

Anyway, Hi, Hello, We’re recruiting again – 

Umm… it’s stressful? We have a bunch of support which is good, and it is very obviously, much more stressful if you are job hunting, but it is also just a bit… ‘eeek’ from this end as well.

Three really important roles – Support Worker, Senior Producer and Interim Executive Director. Supporting me, supporting the delivery of the work, supporting the infrastructure that surrounds both me and the work.

NO PRESSURE. For them. Or for us recruiting!

We have a couple of folks helping to spread the word for us atm, which is great – and we’ve had some feedback from them, which is also great – and I wanted to respond to the things they’ve asked, in case people that come across the job without them also wanna ask those things, but… can’t. 

Ok let’s go, let’s go.


Q: Babe, I don’t understand how you’ve written about pay?

A: That’s fair, let me explain it a slightly different way, by including approximate* full-time equivalents (FTE):

Support Worker – £20,625 per year for 2.5 days a week (about £40k FTE)

Senior Producer – £37,000 per year for 4 days per week (about £46 FTE)

Exec Director – £41,600 per year for 4 days per week (about £52k FTE)

If you want a work life balance of 4 days, so on Fridays you can go scuba diving, this can work well. If you like a 5-day working week so you want to take that fifth day and fill it with consultancy or freelance bits, it can also work well. But we have a sort of base rate that we pay everyone, then amounts are added for things like line management, or needing a certain level of experience or sometimes being alone in another country with a very sick AD.

So these jobs might present pay cuts if you’re used to working a standard 5-day week/traditional full-time hours, but there’s a good chance that this is more about a reduction of the time you’ll be expected to work with us, not a reduction of the cash-value of the work. So, please don’t be put off by our approach to sustaining a healthy work-life balance… apply. 


Q: I would love to work with you, I would not like to *live* in Birmingham.

OK, I get that – first of all, reconsider, Birmingham is the best. 

But secondly, I can be flexible about this. We have a studio, in the Jewellery Quarter, in Brum. I am in that space 3 days a week, from about 10 until about 6. If you can also do this, then where you live is none of my business.

Toni-Dee Paul commutes up for her time from Manchester – we cover her travel and accommodation and employ a hunter/gatherer approach to eating (I hunt the best places on Deliveroo, she gathers the food from the door). Our studio is by a Travelodge that has… a certain Jenny Saykwa, and a Bloc hotel that feels like something from a benevolent episode of Black Mirror. We’re also open to other options like airbnbs or aparthotels. And what you do with your 4th day a week is up to you. 

Not you though, Support Worker. That job needs you to be Birmingham based please – lots of the work is travel accompaniment, and days get very long when you’re based in another city.

So Brummie Babes. And non Brummie Babes. Apply. 


Q: This is a Black and Disability led company. I am Black and/or Disabled – but maybe I’m not ready yet – should I apply?

I bet you several thousand pounds a year you are ready, get your application in!


Q: This is a Black and Disability led company. I am not Black or Disabled – so maybe I should not apply?

Are you calling me raci-


Listen – I have worked with many very brilliant people in my time who were not Black or disabled. I have also had people, who were not Black or disabled, who I would have loved to work with NOT APPLY for jobs because they thought it was inappropriate, then tell me this, after a recruitment drive had ended, and we hadn’t been able to recruit, because no one with the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent had applied.

Please don’t do this to me.

If you know our work, and you love our work, if you are willing to live through some inevitable moments of discomfort (we’re human, it will happen) – apply for the job. Do not make these decisions for me, my Board or my team. 

Apply for the job.


Q: I hate the arts, they are sucking the life out of me, I’m leaving.

Valid and fair, I say this several times a week. If, like me, you are still here – I think these are good jobs for that sense of justified rage and ennui, cus we are *genuinely* trying to find ways to make things better, starting from where we are.

We try, really hard, to make working together joyful. We are committed to finding ways to be our whole, weird ass selves in these roles. It’s a really, really exciting time to come on this journey with us, and grow a new company. You still have to work under capitalism and in the arts, there is no escape. But I think we’re good people to fight a good fight with. 

So, you know. Apply. 


Q: You’ve been really quiet fam, are you even making work?

First of all, you are rude, in a way that reminds me of my Associate Director, Toni-Dee, so I think you’d fit right in.

Secondly YEH WE HAVE.  We had to do the whole ‘we’re an NPO now, shall we build our organisational stability’ thing this year – but within the next year we’ll be making

  • a new theatre/show opera for the Yard and some other secret partners
  • hosting a little international symposium
  • making the first iteration of a new VR work about music videos and charisma
  • making a new sound work up North and putting down the roots for a Christmas Show, and
  • actually getting a certain musical up on its feet.

We aren’t yelling about it because WE DON’T HAVE TIME! We are busy as hell.

You think we need to shout more about what we’re doing? I agree, come and join the company, then we’ll have the capacity to do that. If you would like a nice shiny document with more info about the projects, email and ask us for one. It will force me to make the document you are asking for. I’ll swear the whole time I’m adding the jpegs, but I will make it. 

Then, you should apply. 


Q: I’m almost convinced – one last thing – you say you want ‘significant experience’… what does that mean? 

I think a big thing in the arts is the difference between small companies – where a few folks do it all – and big companies, where jobs are separated out, and people are experts on perhaps one very specific bit of a role – like fundraising, or marketing or tour booking, or logistics. We’re in the former, rather than the latter. 

One of the challenges of this, is that if you have not been in a senior position in a big company, sometimes you come with lots of unknown unknowns, and it’s harder for us to pitch support and line management correctly for you. Another challenge is that someone might come from a company even smaller than ours, with a ‘I’ma do it all’ energy, because they’re used to having to do that. Really delicate biz.

I say all this, because when you’re figuring out if you’re experienced enough to apply, this really comes into play. You might have come from a small organisation for five years, and have this really broad, hands-on knowledge that means that actually, with some guidance and line management, you would absolutely flourish. You might have spent a couple of years doing lots of different kinds of jobs in venues that also give you that knowledge. You might have worked your way up in an organisation, which gives you really targeted knowledge of producing or directing from multiple vantage points. 


Selina and Toni-Dee, both young Black women, on a stage set. Toni holds a film clapper board.

There are so many different answers to what a producer is, what an experienced producer is! My advice? Look at the job description. Can you do those tasks? If the answer is yes, apply. If the answer is no, ask yourself – “do I have a clear sense (that you can articulate in your interview) of what I will need to learn or develop to be able to do that thing?”

If you can?


I’ll probably do another one of  these at some point, as more responses come in. We’ll host surgeries on each job online:

Support Worker: 15th January (this coming Monday! Here’s the link to sign up)

Senior Producer: 24th January 

Exec Director: 25th January

so folks can ask us further questions. We’ll probably record that and put it online too!

Email us! Don’t be a stranger, stay in touch. If you’re curious, if you have the smallest of inklings – apply.

I’ve kept the tone here silly and playful and a little bit flippant, because that’s me, and that’s the company really. But I’m so serious about applying, and wanting this process to be open to all, and found by the right people. 

Apply, fam. 




*General Manager Hilary butting in. We say *approximate full time equivalent, because STL is in the process of finding new ways to articulate and define the relationship between the company and its staff, and our expectations of, and commitment to, each other, in a way that centres care and wellbeing. Until that process is completed with the Board, not all our Ts and Cs are directly comparable to what is commonly accepted eg full time hours (which is more variable than you’d think, anyway!)   

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