This week I was doing my second week of work experience and because of my interest in theatre and the creative arts I decided to get in contact with Contact, to do it there. I have had an incredible week and I have seen and done more than I could have asked for. Day 1 saw me working with the creative development team and seeing what it takes to be a theatre producer, it was a lot harder than I expected but Keisha (who was looking after me) gave good advice and I managed to complete some tasks. Keisha also set me up doing the bronze Arts Award, which has been great fun. That evening I dropped in on Monday and Media drop, where I took part in some activities like: word association; performances; rhyming challenges and I also got to watch and hear what the other participants have been getting up to (some fantastic performances and music).
Day 2 was a Tuesday and I was with the finance team (Christie and Cynthia). I was doing math with Christie, as we were counting and logging into the system the takings of the bar. He sneaked in a little memory test when he had finished doing the first day of takings in front of me and then asked me to do exactly as he had done but for the next three days. From memory. I managed it, but it was tough. Then Cynthia and I went through some invoices and I logged some into the system, I did about 20 (but it felt like 200). I wasn’t bothered though because it was actually quite fun and interesting. I tried not to make any mistakes, but I did, luckily Cynthia was watching and she corrected them for me. That night I took part in Young Identity, the poetry group. I enjoyed listening to all the participants’ great (amazing in fact) poetry. Yes, I did take part, but I am terrible at writing poetry. That didn’t stop me from having a good time.
Wednesday saw me working box office with Wes and Ceri. Ceri had to go to see to some off-site stuff, but Wes and I had a great time we had a lot in common and had a really good conversation. That didn’t stop him from giving me a list of tasks to complete and I learned to use their system (Spektrix). I cross-checked a lot of shows making sure no one had double booked and he showed me how to make a press-release. When I was working with Ceri she showed me how Contact manages their Twitter account, which I really found very interesting. That evening I went to my first CYC (Contact Youth Company) workshop and I was deeply interested, because I am a member of a youth theatre and I have done workshops before, but I have never really seen a workshop quite like it. I learned a few new things and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
Thursday was day 4 and I was in programming. This was interesting because I got to see how shows are chosen and how they are booked. I even got to watch a play myself which I reviewed and brought up in the two hour long programming meeting which made me feel like I had made a good contribution. That night I once again went to a CYC meeting which I enjoyed again, but I took some photos this time on the behalf of Keisha and I got to hear more about their next show.
As I am writing this I am on Day 5 and I am sat in the marketing office. I am looking forward to many things today: tasks I have to do in marketing; my work experience presentation; Queer Contact launch and the two shows I am going to see.
Overall it has been great week and it’s given me a great insight into the working world and Contact Theatre.
Joseph P – work placement student