Three challenges and a new business
I stopped touring in 2000, not so much because I wanted to put down my Maglite, but because clients approached me with challenging requests that appealed to my background as an industrial psychologist.
After a successful tour with Wadaiko Ichiro in 1996, Van Baasbank & Baggerman asked me to join them as their technical coordinator. Working with international companies seemed to be a challenge that fitted me like a glove.
I love extraordinary artistic performances, and do everything within my power to provide a performance with the freedom it requires, even on a tight budget. I have long-term relationships with both the creators and the theatres booking the performances, and always keep my finger on the pulse, even when I contract work out to colleagues. Now international producers and festivals know where to find TOT. The Technical Production section on this site speaks volumes.
ICT project management
A second challenge was issued by the Stadsschouwburg Utrecht theatre, who asked me to reorganise the scheduling of the technical department. I initiated a transition from analogue to digital and from departmental lists to a centrally-saved one. This lead to the technical organisation, the central organisational point that processes all the technical information and creates the staff schedules. I implemented an event and a staff scheduling system, which thoroughly satisfied the theatre for many years. The experience that I garnered during that time, which did not go unnoticed, comprises the basis for my business’ second specialty: currently TOT undertakes all sorts of cutting-edge work concerning automation and business practices for numerous clients. The ICT project management section covers this.
Uurwerk staff scheduler
The staff scheduling program I implemented at the Stadsschouwburg Utrecht is not suitable for the entire cultural sector. It is too big, too costly, too inflexible, which is a pity because there was and still is a high demand for an events-guided staff scheduling program which monitors CBA and compliance with the Working Hours Act. After much searching, I came across an alternative in 2005, which I purchased from the developer. I called it Uurwerk and made it TOT’s product. This was the third challenge to cross my path.
In 2002, these three challenges culminated into TOT. Originally, the letters stood for Technical Organisation for Theatre. That’s quite a mouthful, which over the years increasingly fell short in explaining exactly what we do, since TOT does not work for theatre alone. Now the abbreviation suffices.