Talking Moves Series 2 Episode 5: Money Matters

Talking Moves | 12 March 2021

In this episode we talk to Jeanefer Jean-Charles and Lou Cope about money matters.

Money is always an awkward thing to talk about and when what we do is what we love it can feel even harder. But as we navigate our way within a business where we are constantly having to put a price tag on either ourselves – consultancy or advice perhaps – or the artistic work we make, we have to get better at talking about and asking for money.

Jeanefer and Lou talk us through the way they think about themselves, the values they hold and express through their work and art as well as the value they place on themselves. Both share their secrets for pricing up their time – including useful tools and techniques from imaginary assistants to the use of real ones – day rates to annual budgeting. They talk about the benefits of having a portfolio freelance career with financial resilience in mind but also in the loneliness and isolation that comes when working alone or as a temporary guest in an established team.

Together we pondered value in its broader sense: in crediting, having our voices heard and being included. And of course in the drive to do an excellent job as, in a freelance world, we are only ever as good as the last one…

Who's Who

Photo of Lou Cope's head

Lou Cope

Lou Cope is a dance & theatre dramaturg and facilitator who has worked with companies and individuals in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Greece, Sweden, Malta, Turkey, Portugal, Abu Dhabi and across the UK. As well as working with artists, Lou works as a dramaturg to organisations, is Dramaturg in Residence at South East Dance and founder of CoAD – The Centre of Applied Dramaturgy (

Current or recent artistic collaborations include working with: Garry Stewart & Australian Dance Theatre’s Supernature; Aakash Odedra on the Amnesty International Freedom of Speech & ACTA Award-winning #JeSuis; English National Ballet’s ‘My First Ballet’ Swan Lake & Sleeping Beauty; Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Imminent by Daniela Cardim, Embrace by George Williamson & Peter & The Wolf by Ruth Brill; Gary Clarke on The Troth– winner of Herald Angel and Lustrum Awards, COAL – UK Theatre & Critics Choice awards, and the forthcoming Wasteland; Mele Broome on VOID – winner of Total Theatre Award for Dance; Rachel Mars and nat tarrab on the Samuel Beckett Prize winning Roller; Jose Agudo; Stopgap Dance; Rhiannon Faith; & Hagit Yakira.

Past work includes working as dramaturg to: Phoenix Dance Theatre; Scottish Dance Theatre; les ballets c de la b (BE); Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (BE) and Damien Jalet (BE/FR) on the double Olivier Award, and Benois Prize for Dance, winning Babel (words) designed by Antony Gormley – now in its 10th year of global touring; & dramaturgical consultant on Cherkaoui and Gormley’s Sutra.

Lou is also a ‘Practice Dramaturg’ – working with artists to develop their practice outside of productions. Currently she is working with Daniela Cardim, Simone Mousset, Esther Richardson & Roísín Stack.

Lou is a published writer, a workshop leader, and host of Downtime – the podcast series talking to artists about their responses to Covid, their processes and their work.
Photo of Jeanefer Jean-Charles' head

Jeanefer Jean-Charles

Harnessing over 20 years’ experience, Jeanefer is a globally respected Creative Artist and Producer who has worked in over 21 countries, and whose accomplishments appear in the Guinness Book of World Records. Her company, Jeanefer Jean-Charles & Associates, are industry leaders in developing, directing and delivering creative responses for large-scale events and offer ambitious, innovative and empowering responses to client needs.

Jeanefer has designed and delivered artistic solutions for some of the world’s most iconic organisations. Her extensive portfolio includes opening ceremonies, global sporting events, festivals, carnivals and parades. A skilled communicator, Jeanefer is an expert in collaborative working and in delivering a cohesive vision to inspire, entertain and empower.

Her unique creative process and approach to large-scale multiple art form events draw together and bring to life, talents, strengths and shared stories of individuals, organisations and cultures, in inspiring and unforgettable ways.

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