I started Storytelling PR in 2013. I only know this as 2012 was the last year I didn’t really *do* fringe just supported my friends at Tortoise in a Nutshell with Grit at Bedlam – the summer of the heady joy of the 2012 Olympic Games in LDN.
Over the years since I’ve ticked off a big long list of personal stuff – from ending relationships, ill-advised affairs with decidedly odd people, brilliant adventures with people in Adelaide, Melbourne, Glasgow, London, Edinburgh – I have been so extremely lucky to be able to transfer my skills and personal joi de vie into this mad stupid industry. I have watched proudly as journalists we first knew from blogs grew into trend-setters at big papers and I’ve never failed to be slightly awkward around those writers I really respect – until I realise they are humans too.
I have also sat on the steps outside theatres at midnight with dear friends in theatre companies and heard about assaults they have survived, I have walked to interviews and heard about racism and a underlying fear of it happening each time an artist meets the media, I have sat for a wine with performers who have needed to share the homophobic abuse they received that day. I see deep cracks and deeper flaws in the theatre and live industry. I have become close friends with many of the artists and producers I work with. It has been an extraordinary journey and though I know I haven’t always got it right I have done my best to listen and challenge from the position I have clawed myself up to. And for me, Storytelling ceases to be when that fight and attention to our colleagues and artists isn’t at the centre, and aye, I’ll get it wrong many times more but I know I’ll do right many many times more still.
Storytelling is called Storytelling cos the work we do is bigger than ‘Miriam Atwood’ – Storytelling provides vocation and opportunity for not only our amazing team of PR and Marketing professionals – to every single paid intern, press assistant, thank you for learning with us.
To the current Storytelling team, Emma, Emma (always a double at Storytelling) Eleanor, Erin and Sal – enjoy the lack of me randomly pulling ideas and projects out of nowhere at inconvenient time – you’re just gonna love it. To our two staff now off pursuing new things, Mim and Harry, we’ll always have the broom cupboard Storytelling was first based in.
I mostly wanted to write this as this summer Mim Black has left Storytelling PR for pastures new in Environmental / Climate awareness PR (and mushrooms). Storytelling would not exist without them. Their born-with wisdom, their tenacity and their crazy skills smashing through a to do list – have allowed me to take the risks I wanted to – and at every step pushed me to be more dismissive of system or ideas that could have bound us as ‘just another PR company.’ Mim Black is an extraordinary human and it is entirely my privilege that we spent such insane times together fucking shit up, blagging our way through and crying a lot of tears of happiness and exhaustion. I won’t say I’ll miss her at Storytelling – what I have gained in a sister I will ALWAYS have – and I can’t wait to watch and support her as she makes real change in her new career.
And now, I’m signing off for the first time in 8 years, to start a F*CKING FAMILY – but tbh – my family has always been everyone I sit on the back steps with, those I travel on days off on adventures with, the womxn who have taught me everything I know, those who have sat with me and offered me friendship over and above our working lives, those who have guided me and myself, the journey of learning to listen, authentically, and turn what I experience and what is shared with me, into action. The team who looked to me for guidance and somehow, most of the time, I helped them find the answers. The queer people who from my early 20s saw me as one of them, a lost, camp, pop loving drama queen, the drag artists who knew I was desperately in love with their art and their beauty, the circus performers who tip themselves upside-down 8 times a week and think nothing of it while I gaze open-mouthed, the theatre makers who leave it all out there on stage and then accept my sweaty hug at the end, the journalists who respected me before I respected myself, and the journalists who showed me I didn’t need to be scared of journalists HA (I still am though tbh). I also cannae wait to share this all with my child – and welcome them into this mad world with my beautiful husband and continue to fight for the change I want to see.
Cos change is a coming, in many more ways than one. See you in 2022 fam.