The days spent on the TEAM production placement have been the closest things to my ideal days so far.
When I applied for the placement, I was called up and had an over-phone interview with the active and en point Fiona and I was asked what is it that I want to do in the future concerning a theatrical profession;
I answered "Acting, Writing, Directing" and the prompt, but well-measured reply was a nicer way of saying "Well, why the hell are you wanting to do a production placement in 'Production Management' then?"
My reason for wanting to do the placement was because I had had no experience in actually making a show happen. I have been a part of a few shows, but I thought that being present in the setting-up process of such a large-scale production as 'Tide Whisperer' would give me the perfect foundation for comprehensively producing shows of my own.
The experience delivered.
It felt like I'd been given a VIP pass to a movie set, just because of the scale of the production. There was so much to engage with and learn about. Walking from one end of the 'stage' to the other actually involved traversing an entire town - and it certainly kept me fit.
I learnt plenitudes! On the first day I was given a tour of the set and met most of the crew. Asking and learning their names and responsibilities. I made a list, I won't recite it.
If I were to try and give a simple break-down of what I did during the placement: I had, basically, a day with each of the different teams (Technical "Techies" Team, Production Team, Management, Actors, etc.) within NTW, learning how they functioned collectively and independently, and then, towards the show-dates, I spent my time helping groups as and when was required. I think this was an effective approach in learning how to be a Production Manager because I was able to learn 'from the horse's mouth' what were the most pressing issues for that group at any said time.
For me, the funniest professionals were the Techies. They were witty and knew so much about a topic I knew so little about. I really valued their help. A sincere cheers to Lefi, John, Jason, Hedge, Sam and Gareth.
Jacob, being THE Production Manager, was always busy, but always took the time to assign me a role in the latter, busier days when I could have easily been forgotten about. It felt a bit stalkery initially because whenever Jacob strode into the picture, I would immediately watch and take notes.
What's noteworthy is that as a long-time local to Pembrokeshire, I can say with great authority that, in terms of delivering the political and social messages of Tide Whisperer, the site chosen for the production (Tenby) was perfect. In terms of engaging with a community in a pedagogic way, it is my belief that moderate theatre is not the way. 'Tide Whisperer' was given the proud accolade of "radical" by a local, in one discussion and so ticked the top box.
The experience was conspicuously gorgeous, striking! More TEAM placements would be a wonderful idea: my friends were rapt about 'Tide Whisperer'; many saw it, but those that didn't were gleeful, just exhilarated by the notion of a National name propping up such wonderful ideals and ideas.
The time spent working with the National Theatre Wales on 'Tide Whisperer' really has re-affirmed a conviction of mine that over the very next few years I can contribute toward making Pembrokeshire more than just the geographical West-End of Britain!
Add a Comment