Taking The Next Step: Katie On Production Managing For The First Time

 

Katie has just completed her 2nd year studying History and Theology with Religious Studies at the University of Leeds.

“Whilst the society can seem intimidating at first, I promise you we are not at all, just chat to any of us and you’ll see how lovely we are”

I joined Backstage in 2015 with little to no experience of how anything techy worked, but I knew when I came to Uni I wanted to join a society and Backstage had been super friendly at the Freshers’ Fair! Whilst the society can seem intimidating at first, I promise you we are not at all, just chat to any of us and you’ll see how lovely we are. I came to the Backstage GIAG, signed up to the mailing list, replied to the crew call for SMS’ Cabaret a few weeks later and never looked back. Fast forward a year and a half later, and the Production Manager call for the LUU Dance Show was released. I knew I wanted to apply for it since I’d done something similar at school and Stage Managed the Dance Show the year before, and I was lucky enough to be given the role!

“As a first time PM, the experience was stressful at times, but I had a lot of support from Committee who advised me on what to do whenever I got stuck or had any questions”

The clue to what a PM does is in the name – they are the overall managers of a particular show. They are the ones to liaise with the Production Team from the start, to choose designers and pass on all relevant information to them whilst the designers take charge of their areas. The PM also keeps track of the budget, hires vans if required for equipment pickup and return and leads the load in and load out with lots of #delegation. As a first time PM, the experience was stressful at times, but I had a lot of support from Committee who advised me on what to do whenever I got stuck or had any questions, though in general I was fully in charge of making all the necessary decisions and the show in the end turned out amazingly!

“It was a great learning experience within the society and a great way to develop myself. I can’t recommend PMing a show enough”

I absolutely loved the whole experience from start to end, and would recommend PMing to anybody that is stuck into Backstage and wants to take their experience and love for the shows to a new level! It was an incredible way to develop my skills in Backstage and learn some new things – since I mainly take on Stage roles, but I learnt a lot about lights that week. 🙂 I then went on to PM again at the end of the year doing Devonshire Hall’s Into the Woods – this was a different sort of challenge, since musicals have a bigger Production Team who all need liaising with, which was very different from just talking to the Dance Rep! However, it too was a great learning experience within the society and a great way to develop myself. I can’t recommend PMing a show enough, and if you think you have the experience in the society and the knowledge of how we work, I would absolutely say send off the application, since you never know what might happen!

If you’re thinking about applying for a PM role but have questions or need advice, feel free to email committee@luubackstage.com and we will be happy to help you!

Posted on 13th June 2017, under , , , , , by Sarah.

Chris’s Fresher Experience

 

Chris is in his first year studying BA Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Leeds

Prior to coming to the University of Leeds I never had any experience with behind the scenes aspect of theatre. However, after attending music gigs and clubs here in the UK and abroad, I developed a great interest in the lighting of these events and knew I wanted to get involved somehow. So at the freshers fair I found Backstage, signed up to the mailing list, attended the events and have not looked back!! This first year so far has been really enjoyable and look forward to being involved with the society for the rest of my time here.

“At the freshers fair I found Backstage, signed up to the mailing list, attended the events and have not looked back!!”

So far, I have been part of two shows and will be looking to be part of a few more this year. The first show, Little Shop of Horrors, I was one of the lighting assistants. This role gave me the basic understanding of how a show works and gave me the confidence to step up and co-lighting design Dance Comp. Designing the lights for Dance Comp was a very enjoyable and stressful experience at the same time due to several factors that occurred during show week. However, by show night all the stress suffered paid off and it went off with no major disasters.

The next show I was a part of was Exposé, where I was the AV assistant. This is the first opportunity this role was called so I applied for it in order to get a greater knowledge of different areas. The show nights went well with major disasters and by the last show night on Saturday everyone in the team performed brilliantly and it was the best show of the week.

For the next shows I will apply for roles in different areas in order to gain experience in all areas. For example, I will look to be part of the sound, stage and front of house crews for the next shows this year and in the years to come.

“It is very rewarding and all the people you meet are so friendly and easy to get on with.”

I definitely recommend becoming part of this society and being an active member, I will be sticking around a while!! It is very rewarding and all the people you meet are so friendly and easy to get on with.

Posted on 13th March 2017, under , , , , .