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Creatively Christchurch

Cinna Smith – Writer

Television, Writing for Screen

How would you describe what you do? 

I’m a researcher and writer.  My first ‘proper job’ was as a news reporter for CTV, under the utterly chaotic and creative reign of Jim Hopkins. It was great fun.

What was your most recent project?

I currently live in the Far North and work remotely for The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC), a busy community arts hub that stages theatre shows and runs performing arts classes and outreach programmes. I look after their grant writing and marketing.

What project have you worked on that you’re the most proud of?

Researching, writing and producing a TV series that screened around the world was pretty exciting, but it’s equally as satisfying to secure funding for a performing arts programme that helps disadvantaged kids get creative.

What is essential for creatives to have in their life?

For me, it’s peace and quiet, views of nature and a loyal canine companion (who is currently keeping my feet warm).

What inspires you about Ōtautahi?

The people, the landscapes, the reverence for history.

What piece of advice about your creative work has served you well?

Learn how to really listen, not just hear but listen. Everyone has a story to tell.

What’s the biggest misconception about your creative work?

That working in TV is ‘glamourous’. It’s not!

What Christchurch artists do you most admire?

There must be something in the water in Lyttelton – I love the music coming out of there and Bill Hammond’s art.

What artwork/piece of music/performance has taken your breath away?

Most recently, I was blown away by Lyttelton’s Delaney Davidson performing with Northland’s Troy Kingi on their magical ‘Black Sea Golden Ladder’ tour.

What do you wish you’d have known about creative work when you were younger?

You’ll never be 100% satisfied with what you do, but that’s OK.

What’s your favourite hidden secret in Ōtautahi?

Barbadoes Street Cemetery and the Fernery in the Botanic Gardens are my peaceful, happy places.

Journalist, producer, writer


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