Now we own rulers! Sarah on her Backstage legacy (and a bit about what its like to be Secretary)

As Secretary you have all the obvious jobs like admin, minuting, filing, maintaining membership records etc. etc. bla bla blaa yawn. As part of the Exec, you’re also responsible for developing and maintaining good working relationships with LUU staff, as without their Help and Support (wahey) we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. This has been fun this year as there have been a lot of new staff who we’ve gotten to know and worked together with on how we can improve our working procedures and how we share our spaces.

TFW your show wins a Riley

I won’t bore you on all things Secretary since Katie who was more invested than I ever was, wrote everything in her blog post last year, which you can read at http://luubackstage.com/2018/03/backstage-secretary-18/. The role is a lot of constant work and sometimes life can get in the way, but the President and Open Seat are always there to help you out – shout-out to Chris and Sian for being my lil Assistant Secretaries this year and taking over at times. Nevertheless, here are some of my highlights from this year:

After handing P&C over to Lucy, I started my new and improved role on committee pricing up the first of many LUU Grants and l i t e r a l l y running around B&Q with Chris and a trolley full of Ryobi goods, so that Backstage was finally equipped with some Fresh New Tools. No more using string dipped in paint to draw straight lines! Now we own rulers! I also organised our first trip to LCOM Freshers’ Fair so that we could spread the good word of Backstage, and organised a nice new bookings calendar so that Committee and PMs could keep on top of what was going on in the Riley.

Cycling away from your degree again Saz?

As always, I have continued PMing, Set Designing, and hiring a HECK load of scaff this year (apologies), and after 3 years of being too scared, finally had a go at Lighting Designing with my Secretary Queen Katie Hayton which was a lot of fun. It’s important to not let committee take over from the reason you joined the society and continue to do shows and try out new roles!

Being on committee is great fun and has given me a nice escape from my degree which I truly h a t e. It gives you the chance to make positive changes to the society, as well as help members improve their skills and move into bigger roles. Although I haven’t done everything I set out to do, I don’t think anyone has ever been able to say that they have, and it’s nice to leave some challenges for next year’s committee!

I’ve had a fab 2 years on committee with some great friends, but now it is about bloody time for me to say my goodbyes (to dat committee lyfe, not the society – fear not. x) and focus on actually making it to 3rd year.

Posted on 24th March 2019.

“Someone please call a retirement home” – Sian on her time as Open Seat

What is an Open Seat, I hear you cry? If you find out, please let me know.

In my time as Backstage’s Open Seat, I realised that the role really can be whatever you want it to be. While everyone else on committee has fixed jobs and goals, I have been floating around picking up odd jobs, doing the things that don’t apply to one particular committee role, and helping out other committee members if their workload is too heavy. For example, there have been times this year where I have planned socials and taken over answering society emails for a brief period.

Sian enjoys picking up odd jobs, such as carrying home a 6ft light-up cross…

Being on committee in general is one of the best things I decided to do in my time at university. It’s definitely a commitment (obviously) but you can get so much out of it, and you get to give back to the society that you love so much!

It’s about seeing the strengths and weaknesses within committee and working out where you can make yourself useful. In this regard, the role of the Open Seat is definitely one that requires flexibility as it can change so often.

Open Seat is one of the roles you can have a bit more fun with than the others — you still have to put in the time and commitment like everybody else, but instead of doing the same job all year, you get to do a bit of everything!  

Having been on committee as Events Officer in the past and a member of Backstage for four years (someone please call a retirement home), I have found it really useful this year to utilise my past experiences and offer guidance to committee when needed. You don’t need to be an expert in every department, but having enough experience or knowledge to offer input is definitely helpful.

Being on committee in general is one of the best things I decided to do in my time at university. It’s definitely a commitment (obviously) but you can get so much out of it, and you get to give back to the society that you love so much!

As a committee member, you will pick up new skills and develop ones you already have. It also allows you to be a friendly face for new members, meaning that you can pass on your stagey wisdom to the next generation of Backstagers.

Whilst being on committee is a dedication, it doesn’t stop you from being able to crew shows, so don’t let that put you off! However, developing a good sense of time management is highly encouraged.

I have loved working as Open Seat this year, so please do apply for it if it sounds like the role for you! We all put so much time and effort into this society, and being on committee is so rewarding.

Posted on 24th March 2019.

The society has enough gaff tape to hold us all together. Lucy on her role as Equipment and Safety Secretary

Lucy proving to everybody that she is in fact taller than the 5ft scaff poles

Lucy is in her 2nd year studying History and Ancient History at University of Leeds

As the role name suggests, I have spent my year ensuring that our society is both well-equipped and safe. This included being the guardian of our radio mics (and crying and sending them away when they break), and the very important task of testing (read: standing on) people’s dubious constructions during load ins (@GreaseLightning, @SpringAwakeningHayBale). I’ve also spent excessive amounts of time on websites such as gaffatape.com and fireprotectiononline.co.uk spending all the societies money (sorry Lily) on ensuring that the society has enough gaff tape to hold us all together.

I’ve also spent excessive amounts of time on websites such as gaffatape.com and fireprotectiononline.co.uk

Does this tower look safe to you?


Alongside my role on committee I’ve also enjoyed getting involved in many shows yet again (this blog post is late because I was busy with another one, woops). I chose to take a step back from sound to try out other roles, with particular highlights for me being DSMing SMS’s ‘In The Heights’ and Production Managing the most fun show of the year- Panto.
I’ve had a great time during my year on committee. Having joined the society as a fresher, it was good to be able to step up and play a part in running it and I would recommend it to anyone who can’t get enough of our society! If you have any questions about the role of Equipment and Safety or committee more generally feel free to message me on Facebook or send me an email at equipment@luubackstage.com.

Posted on 15th March 2019.

SMS’ In The Heights

We left December behind for the sunny streets of Washington Heights

Posted on 14th March 2019.

Urinetown

The Riley got a bit boggy for MTs first semester show

Posted on 14th March 2019.

Expose 2019

Posted on 14th March 2019.

Expose 2019

Expose returned this February with their annual Riley show

Posted on 14th March 2019.

All Shook Up

Posted on 14th March 2019.

There is actually a person behind those messages- Lucy publicises her love for Backstage

This is a tad odd as most of you will usually hear from me as the faceless “Backstage” on Facebook, but turns out there is actually a person behind those messages, and that’s me! Publicity and Communications is essentially running our website and all of the social media accounts (yes even the long forgotten YouTube channel) and responding to messages and emails that we receive as a society, which seems super easy right?

Lucy is in her Third Year studying MEng Architectural Engineering at University of Leeds

I had huge plans at the start of the year for newsletters every other week and videos of our shows along with so many other things, and although a lot of that hasn’t been pulled off, this year has been one of our best for getting new members fully on board with the society, which was my ultimate goal with all those aspirations. It’s been so lovely getting to see all of the new faces and watching people make new friends (as I have myself), and I have truly loved this year in Backstage for that reason. I hope you all continue to love it and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store.

I had huge plans at the start of the year…a lot of that hasn’t been pulled off.

You’ll often find me at the top of ladders- I promise I enjoy it more than it seems

This year I have been more involved with shows than ever, and although it may be ruining my degree, it’s been wonderful. From PMing my first show with ‘In The Heights’ to lighting almost every other- intentionally or not- it’s been a pleasure to get to work with so many different people and to see so many shows go up successfully. A particular highlight for me was also being able to go and work at Edinburgh Fringe Festival for 3 weeks in August, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if not for backstage.

As for next year, you’re not getting rid of me quite yet as I still have another year at least at uni, so I’ll be sticking around for the foreseeable future, hopefully getting to see just as many members joining us next year!
I hope whoever takes on this role has just as much fun as I have had this year and manages to pull off a few more of their plans!

Big love to you all x

Posted on 14th March 2019.

So Many Forms- Lily on her time as Backstage Treasurer

Lily is in her second year studying BEng Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Leeds, and is Backstage Treasurer 18/19.

It seems only right that I’m writing this blog post in my home for this year – the cash office. I dread to think how much time I spend in here but at least it has comfy chairs. Becoming Treasurer has greatly enhanced my form-filling skills, to the point that I’ve now memorised the account details for Zig Zig and 3D. So I can’t say it hasn’t been useful!

Sometimes I feel a little like air traffic control, but instead of planes I’m managing payments through all the accounts!

But in all seriousness, my year as Treasurer has been a brilliant way for me to see all the hard work that goes in behind the scenes of our society. Being on Exec has meant I’ve seen what it takes to keep the society running and organised, but also the ways to make the society a better place for its members. I’ve found my role a tricky one at times but it’s all about staying organised and remembering to print your invoices! The role of Treasurer mainly involves keeping on top of payments in and out of all the many accounts Backstage has with other societies. The consolidation of this is the show budget spreadsheet, which has to be constantly maintained to ensure all shows stay within budget and that Backstage get paid! Sometimes I feel a little like air traffic control, but instead of planes I’m managing payments through all the accounts!

I’ve found my role a tricky one at times but it’s all about staying organised and remembering to print your invoices!

This year I’ve also stage managed my first musical, Urinetown, which was a fantastic experience. I always knew I’d be successful in the world of toilet humour but I didn’t know how much fun it would be. I hope that this has set me up well to get involved with some more shows next year, maybe even as PM?. Overall I’ve had a brilliant time as Treasurer and I hope whoever takes over the role loves it as much as I have.

Posted on 12th March 2019.