As with many of the occasions I self-promote, this one is also an assignment set by Trinity Laban. The module, Engaging Audiences, encourages us to do just that. Pick an audience and engage it. There’s a whole catalogue of audiences; traditional culture vultures (highly engaged in the arts), family and community focused (some engagement in the arts) and a quiet pint and the match (not currently engaged in the arts) amongst many more.
How you approach each kind of audience member differs, for example, culture vultures will likely respond to advertisements at the place of their previous concert or by word of mouth at such a venue whereas family and community focused need to be engaged at an event around their families’ needs, so if you were to put on a child-friendly concert, you’d put flyers up at the local children’s centre or family friendly cafes to engage them. A quiet pint and the match character takes a little more flair, because they are happy with their environment, they have their friendship groups set up and don’t plan on changing anything so you have to enter their world, make the arts something they are interested in already.
I’ll save my chosen audience target for the essay I’ll have to write this weekend and how I went about engaging them but I will say that the song I chose should engage a number of audiences for different reasons. You’ll never walk alone was originally written for the musical, Carousel, so if you’re into the arts, this is a great song to listen to. For the football fans, you’ll never walk alone is the team song for a number of teams around the world, but most famously, Liverpool football club. The song has become an anthem there and not just for football fans but for anyone in the city who supports the hillsborough foundation and all it’s had to endure over the last 27 years. Most of the stereotypes surrounding people from Liverpool have stemmed from the lies told about the fans, it’s a stigma difficult to shake even now the truth is emerging. But those families never gave up, they kept fighting and now Justice for the 96 is coming. It’s close.
I was careful however, not to focus on hillsborough despite the anniversary coming up on the 15th April because I will get something from this project. I’ll get a little bit of exposure and I’ll get a mark towards my degree so I wouldn’t want to be seen as ‘cashing in’ on something I hold dear to my heart and something that shouldn’t be used for personal gain.
Instead, I asked that people share the song because of what the words mean. To support each other, to build each other up, to want the best for someone and to always be there for them. So often in today’s culture, we have circle of shames in magazines or we laugh at a selfie someone has uploaded because there’s a spot on their chin or dirty clothes in the background. That’s not what life’s about. We are all just trying our best, I say that because I’m sat here with my sleeping ten month old and 4 days worth of unwashed hair hoping no one notices (they will now I’ve written this).
I’ve listened to this song countless times in my life time, as a football fan and as a singer. But singing it made me really emotional and you hear that in the recording. It means so much to the city I was born in and the people who live there. It’s accessible to so many which would explain why there are covers by everyone from Barbara Streisand, Elvis Presley, Frank Sintra and of course the inimitable Gerry and the Pacemakers. It’s just a great song!
To really piece it together, we were lucky that the photo journalist, Gareth Jones, allowed us to use his images after a late night Facebook exchange. We were supposed to use one or two but just couldn’t choose between all of his stunning images of our city, be sure to visit www.garethjonesphotographer.com to see even more.
I’d like to thank you all for sharing and helping me get a degree out of this difficult year juggling motherhood and this workload.
As I said, this is dedicated to my little boy, my Teddy Rex Baldwin… The reason I’ve stuck at it this year is because I never wanted him to feel I didn’t carry out my dreams because he was here. He is most certainly the most important, amazing thing that’s ever been in my life and I would do anything for him but that includes showing him that we can be whatever we want to be with a lot of hard work and determination. I’ll be by his side teaching him every thing I know always.
So here it is: you’ll never walk alone