Behind-the-scenes experience of life at The Garage was amazing eye-opener for performer Lydia

Experience

We’re all about helping and encouraging young people to grow, not just as performers but as people.

We loved having Lydia Sadd here on work experience. As a young performer who hopes to go to drama school, she described it as an amazing and eye-opening opportunity. This is her story.

My week of work experience at The Garage has been an amazing opportunity for me as a young performer who loves getting involved in all aspects of theatre and the performing arts.

Not only have I been able to see what goes on behind-the-scenes to allow them to deliver high-quality classes and performances to everyone that wants to get involved, I also gained some incredible practical experience. 

I have loved theatre and performance from a young age and after watching theatre shows I realised that I wanted to be on the stage!

I began dance from the age of four which I did for 12 years and participated in some of The Garage’s holiday activities when I was younger. It really sparked my interest for performance, as it allowed me to express myself confidently and freely.

I then realised I wanted my voice to be heard in performance and started to love drama and acting too. I really started to develop these skills in theatre classes at The Garage at 13.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning there. I built extensive knowledge of performance and skills that have carried me through my acting journey.

These classes also built my confidence in myself and my talent. It also allowed me to meet some lifetime friends as I got the opportunity to connect with the peers I worked and performed with.

I had the experience to devise and perform plays in these classes in both the studios and The Garage‘s theatre which is a brilliant, versatile performance space.

More recently I have developed my love for musical theatre through singing lessons, school musicals and British Youth Music Theatre productions.

By doing work experience at The Garage I hope to become a part of this amazing company so I can continue to build my skills in hopes to go to drama school next year.  

Each day of my work experience was different with a mix of administrative, practical and collaborative tasks. My timings for each day changed too, which really reflects the work in this industry and sector.

Each day is distinct as whether you are running a class or audition, have a performance or are attending a meeting, the days can change.

Especially as most of The Garage team lead classes on top of their role as front of house or participation programme manager for example. This made the days more exciting and unique.

I got to work in a range of spaces too, I sourced props in the office, led a workshop in the studio, sat in a staff briefing in the café and organised props in the dance studio.  

My favourite day of work experience was Tuesday as I got some practical and clerical experience. I helped in the office which is a place not many participants or audience members see.

It is so vital for the running of the venue and the company, with so many hardworking people that allow everything to operate the best it can.

I started with some admin tasks. Afterwards I met Sam Webber (Lecturer acting / tutor) to start planning the workshop auditions for that night.

I read through the script which was devised by the talented professionals on one of The Garage’s HNC courses and I identified a section (the prologue) that I would like the work on with the participants. We then discussed some warm ups or activities I might like to run. 

I helped set up the studio for the auditions. I was excited but a bit nervous. With Sam’s support everything ran really well and the participants seemed to really enjoy it.

I led a physical warm-up inspired by Frantic Assembly and then got to participate in the next warm-up that Sam led. We then moved on to the section of the script I was running and focused on the physical movement of this section.

I gave the group some inspiration for the kind of gestures and movement that I would do.

I then played the music and with the energies, objectives and places we had to be by certain points in the music in mind we improvised some physical theatre style movement for that first scene.

The group then moved onto learning some more naturalistic scenes that I watched as they rehearsed, giving any feedback or notes when needed for them to work on.

I joined in with the last activity where we created mind maps and then wrote our thoughts down about the song that Sam played.

Leading and participating in this practical workshop was such a good experience that helped me develop my devising, performing and directing skills and gave me confidence in my abilities and skills.  

Another moment of the week I found really eye-opening was the staff briefing.

All members of the core team gathered in the café to hear presentations from all the teams that work at The Garage – from participation and inclusion to front of house.  

I was amazed by the amount of work that goes on to allow it to run so many classes and performances in such a busy and diverse performance venue.

It was interesting to hear exactly what everyone does and how, by asking questions, giving feedback and advice each team supports each other to create a warm and friendly company.

I discovered just how hard The Garage works to allow classes to be accessible and open to everyone of all ages, but with a focus on young people from all backgrounds.

From SEND classes for those with special educational needs or disabilities and Creative Foundation classes for those that need extra support due to challenging circumstances.

With their exciting sister venue The Workshop in Kings Lynn and lots of in-person classes starting back up everyone was very excited for the new term.  

When looking for work experience I didn’t think I would get the opportunity to work with a company that was so welcoming, hardworking and exciting.

It opened my eyes to everything that goes on behind-the-scenes to allow theatre classes and shows that I had been a part of, to run. I’m sure I will be coming back to The Garage to participate and watch very soon! 

Reminder: Our autumn term of classes has begun, with tasters available until the October half-term. Find out more about those and our accredited courses too.

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