Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Money Angst

Money has been the issue in the office for a little while. Charlotte has been worried that we haven’t got enough now and I’m worried that we won’t have enough in the future.

Charlotte’s concern has been cash-flow. Terrifyingly we now burn through over ten grand in salaries and National Insurance at the end of each month. When we’ve been busy fees for associate artists rack up significantly on top of this. We try and play fair by everyone and pay bang on time, so if fees are slow coming in, as they often are, and our quarterly Arts Council cheque is delayed, as it occasionally is, things start to get tight. This month things have been made tighter still by seven grand spent on airfairs for gigs coming up in the Autumn. Charlotte has been tracking the bank account’s nosedive on line, an air-traffic controller fixated by her screen, making urgent calls trying to arrange in-flight refuelling or at least foam on the tarmac. For the first time in the company’s history we arranged an overdraft facility just in case.

My concern is long term. The meeting with the Big Bond Boss (it turns out there are three and I’ve now met two (one whilst wearing long trousers, one whilst wearing short)) was good. The space started off eye-wateringly expensive, but we have had a further conversation and are now negotiating in the region of breathtaking expense. I’m trying to calculate what we can sensibly commit to and how much we could earn by subletting. This space think feels so critical and yet it's also almost intractable. At night voices in my head mutter about the importance of 'the entrepreneurial gamble' whilst scrolling behind my eyelids is the memorial list of companies crushed by weighty overheads.

This afternoon Charlotte announced she’s navigated us through the cash-flow crisis, which is another triumph for her, but I’m still making phone calls and thumping at calculators with no triumph in sight.


We seem to be on parallel but identical paths; I am in the Charlotte role, glued to my spreadsheets and waking up sweating at night after dreaming of payroll committments.

We have just decided in favour of a tiny, mostly underground office, rather than a larger one, above ground, with windows, for those very same 'overhead suppressing' reasons.

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