an exciting announcement!
I am so humbled and excited to announce that I have received the 2023 Bruce Millar Graduate Fellowship to create my show, A Cocktailer’s Guide to Surviving a Pandemic, which will be produced by Very Rascals. The Bruce Millar Graduate Fellowship is an initiative through The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland “to launch a career or practice with an award of £10,000 for a creative project, performance, phase of research & development, or to launch a creative company.”
The grant process was by some standards a long one, capping in at almost nine months from submission to announcement. It contained two stages: the first was a written application, outlining a detailed plan for the project I wanted to create, how I would manage the project, a general budget and how this grant would further my career and artistic goals. Each section was graded on a numerical scale and if the project received ten or more points out of the maximum twelve available, it advanced to the second stage.
A real gift of the second stage was the support hours it provided. The panel gave detailed feedback on the initial application and included questions to potentially answer in the second stage. It isn’t always usual to get feedback and I certainly found their comments helped guide me in my writing. The second round consisted of a much longer and more detailed written application with appendices and then an in-person pitch with the panel with a post-pitch discussion.
Each recipient also received three hours of support time, which I was able to devote to whatever I felt would be most useful to me in completing the second stage. The application process was intense; I was fortunate to be working full-time in theatre during a large chunk of the second stage writing time and as a single applicant, the workload fell entirely to me. There are good and bad elements of writing alone; part of this project for me is about personal artistic growth and so writing and tailoring this project to help me grow the most as an artist is an important element and therefore could only be completed by me. On the other hand, working in groups is very helpful and there is a greater diversity of ideas. I was fortunate to have some trusted editors and they really helped to shape the specifics. I started off by making notes, then began to write sections and after some edits, made the show description more creative; the panel had encouraged applicants to creatively explore their idea in the writing, so I chose to write the show description in a cocktail recipe format.
The pitch itself was a fascinating experience; stay tuned for the blog where I discuss what that was like and some tips and tricks I learned.
I am excited to get started on creating this show. I know it will be challenging, I trust it will be creatively fulfilling and I can’t wait to see where it ends up. Head to https://www.rcs.ac.uk/meghan-de-chastelain-bruce-millar-graduate-fellowship-2023/ for further details on A Cocktailer’s Guide to Surviving a Pandemic and follow along on Very Rascals Instagram for updates.