Happy New Year!
Today's blog kicks off our new series where you get to know our Board a little better, starting with Vanessa Moon, our Chair of Trustees. Vanessa has been a friend and Advisor to Insane Root for many years and we are thrilled to have her support. Read on to find out more about her background, how she'd survive on a desert island, and the lessons she's taken from 2020...
How did you get involved with Insane Root?
I love live theatre and noticed a massive buzz and rave reviews around Bristol about Insane Root and their themed productions performed in unusual venues. As a result, I have now been to all productions bar their first one and have loved each one! For me, it is an opportunity to be in a unique space such as under the suspension bridge or an old swimming pool or crypt and see and watch amazing quality theatre productions.
My first foray was to see Orpheus and Eurydice in the vault below the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
It blew me away! The atmosphere at the venue was incredible and when the lights went out, we were in pitch black under the bridge. So, I followed the team on Facebook and started to respond to every request they sent from venue search to asking for connections. With my business hat on, I felt (and hoped) that I could help. Everything grew from there and I started to become a trusted friend and then was asked to become Chair. For me, it is the opportunity to see something wonderful in a space that I never would have considered, and then understand more about the piece of theatre being presented.
Tell us a bit about your background?
I am Managing Director of Moon Executive Search and in 2021, we will be celebrating our 21st Birthday. We work nationally and internationally on confidential search campaigns and have built up a great bank of trusted clients over the years.
I also hold a number of advisory board roles: I am a CBI South West Regional Council member, an advisory board member on the Faculty of Business and Law Advisory Board at the University of the West of England, a Trustee at The Royal West of England Academy and Master of the Guild of Guardians for 2019/2021. I also sit on the International Strategy Board for the City of Bristol Council and I am a Founding Signatory with the Women in Business Charter.
As my father was in the army and was regularly posted to new places, my early life was spent moving house to new cities and countries. This gave me an opportunity to see different people, places and cultures and enriched my education by teaching me the importance of openness, equity, inclusion and access for all. As I was always the newcomer, I resolved to have the values in my business that echoed that fairness and inclusivity. Also, as my childhood moves created a lot of uncertainties, it is now extremely important to me that people are properly supported, involved and recognised for their contributions.
What is the best piece of theatre you've ever seen?
I love seeing highly visual and dramatic shows such as Cirque du Soleil and the Blue Man Group.
I like to see different theatre so theatre that amazes me, which is maybe why I love Insane Root so much!
Have you found any positives from the experience of 2020 (and beyond!) - any new hobbies or skills?
Yes, two positives – I have taken up yoga and love it! It has really helped with strength mindset, posture and balance.
Also, from a work perspective, I have seen how attitudes to working from home have changed and how companies have been positively adopting this new way of working - this has heightened their trust and value in their staff. There has also been an openness about feelings and as a very private person, that is a new one for me.
What is your favourite season?
Christmas of course! Mainly the over-the-top decorations and lights and the focus on caring for family and friends.
What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
A good moisturiser, all the works of Elena Ferrante (counting as one item!) and my favourite song ‘what becomes of broken hearted?’ by Jimmy Ruffin.
What is one thing you are really bad at?
Anything practical like sewing or reading instructions. Everyone says so!
Finally, what are you most looking forward to as the Chair of Insane Root Theatre CIO?
Supporting Hannah and Justin as they move forward with their plans and seeing what wonderful venues and productions they have in store for us over the coming year!