Erinna is in her second year of Bsc Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds
“I’ve made so many great friends through this society, and got to do a lot of things I never imagined myself doing.”
The past year with the LUU Backstage Society has been amazing and it definitely made up a huge part of my first year at Leeds Uni. I’ve made so many great friends through this society, and got to do a lot of things I never imagined myself doing. I worked on various events throughout the year with Backstage, such as musicals, dance shows and awards shows, doing everything from set building, front of house and stage crewing, to sound engineering and lighting designing. I was lighting designer for the Rileys 2016, and that was easily the highlight of my year. It was my first designer role and everyone on crew were very helpful and supportive. I got to play around with different lights and also a smoke machine, creating different lighting effects that suit each performance. We also won Best Performance Society!
“Seeing a show turn out to be successful makes all the hard work worth it and makes me feel proud that I was part of the team that made it happen.”
Backstage puts in a lot of work into ensuring that the shows we work on are phenomenal, and all the late nights we spend at the Union making sure everything is ready for these shows are a testament to that. Seeing a show turn out to be successful makes all the hard work worth it and makes me feel proud that I was part of the team that made it happen. It’s what makes me keep responding to the crew calls and coming back. The lovely people in the society are also very welcoming and are joys to be around, and our socials are always fun-filled. We really do work hard and play hard! I spent most of my time in first year with Backstage, and I hope to continue to do so until I graduate from Leeds.
Posted on 8th October 2016, under 2016, blog post, testimonial, the rileys, by D'arcy.
Sorcha studied BA (Hons) Managing Performance at The University of Leeds and graduated in 2016.
On arriving at Leeds I knew I wanted to get involved in theatre in some way, soon into first semester I discovered LUU Backstage Society and decided to give it a go, I signed up to the mailing list and replied to the first crew call that landed in my inbox (Jekyll and Hyde) and never looked back. When I look back at my three years in Leeds, Backstage Society was a massive part of it.
“Stage Managing for the society was an absolute dream, going to rehearsal, sourcing props and then either being on hand side of stage during each show or in the lighting box calling the show.”
Throughout my time in BSS I concentrated more on Stage Management (Being my chosen career path it kind of made sense) than other areas within BSS. Stage Managing for the society was an absolute dream, going to rehearsal, sourcing props and then either being on hand side of stage during each show or in the lighting box calling the show. Each show brought new experiences for myself and everyone else on crew including meeting so many people from both the backstage and the performance side of shows that I would have never had the chance to meet otherwise.
“…I am going to miss hanging out with like-minded people everyday, doing something we all enjoy whether we intend to make a career out of it or are just looking for something to fill our free time before Fruity starts.”
After one year in the society I was lucky enough to be elected as Social Secretary in my second year and Equipment and Safety Secretary in my final year. Being a part of LUUBSS committee for two years was such a wonderful experience as well as being a huge responsibility and hard work, however seeing the enjoyment members were getting out of the society because of the hard work of our committee and and committees before us made all the 3 hour weekly meetings worth it. I could talk for hours about how much I enjoyed being a part of Backstage Society and how much I have learned from the society that has truly helped me with my career and how much I am going to miss hanging out with like-minded people everyday, doing something we all enjoy whether we intend to make a career out of it or are just looking for something to fill our free time before Fruity starts. I learned some great things from Backstage Society and met some of the best friends through it, an amazing society that deserves to be the best in category.
Posted on 15th September 2016, under 2016, stage, stage management, stage managing, testimonial, by D'arcy.
Safi studied his MSc. Engineering, Technology and Business Management degree at the University of Leeds and graduated in 2015.
I joined Backstage Society in October 2014, having arrived at Leeds Uni for my masters degree. For the next 15 months, I crewed over 15 shows; working primarily on sound, I tried my hand at every other department in some capacity. Starting out as a newbie, I moved through the ranks by crewing as Sound Engineer and finally being responsible for two shows as a Sound Designer. I sincerely believe sound is one of the most important elements of any show; in the end, you augment the audience’s experience with what they hear and how they remember it, as they walk out humming show-tunes. I enjoyed the thrill of live-mixing every night; tracking the instruments being played, the cast mic-changes, the sound effects, balancing the band and cast so neither drowns out the other, and the inevitable scurrying to fix feedback loops. At the end of the show, if no one mentions the sound – job well done; you’ve made it sound as natural as possible to your listeners.
“…by end of my degree, I was an Opera-fiend, a Musical-fanatic, a Dance-enthusiast.”
As an active member of 3 societies during my time at Leeds Uni (was on the managing committee for one), my most unique experience came from Backstage Society; I made new friends for life here. You will be greeted by the friendliest people on campus; a close-knit family that makes an efficient crack-team crewing multiple shows over the year. I was never into musicals or plays or performance acts of any kind; by end of my degree, I was an Opera-fiend, a Musical-fanatic, a Dance-enthusiast. With just the sheer amount of people you meet; every show different from the other, over 30 different societies to work with, socials every show night, the house parties, the show meetings and prep-load ins, you are guaranteed to learn something and make new friends, every time you walk into the hallowed venue that is the Riley Smith Hall.
“You could crew every night every show, do only two a semester or just help out whenever possible and attend the socials.”
The most convenient thing with Backstage is, unlike other societies, you can choose exactly how much you want to contribute and commit to. You could crew every night every show, do only two a semester or just help out whenever possible and attend the socials. It helped me forget my dissertation blues as soon as I walked in, and by the time I left, I would still be laughing at a Backstage pun someone made, or just feeling great about how lifelike the fireplace I helped paint looked (turns out I CAN colour in the lines). It was here I learnt really useful life-skills (power-drill? Completed it mate), came to appreciate the performing arts (went on to see Phantom of The Opera at the West End with Backstage – wow), picked up on soundie-skills (with help from the most patient and forgiving members) and came away with some of the best memories of my uni life (“sleeping over” in a make-shift tent in one of the dressing rooms, during a 24-Hr Improvathon for charity).
I sincerely hope you enjoy your stint with Backstage and have as a passionate experience as I did. And then, I’ll see you at the 25th Anniversary Reunion! Balti King for Life!
Posted on 12th September 2016, under 2016, 2016-17, blog, sound, sound design, testimonial, by D'arcy.