Showing pupils a glimpse of the wider professional world outside of Fyling Hall is an important part of drama and music education. We encourage pupils to research careers in the creative and performing arts. We also bring in a range of visiting speakers to explain their experiences to classes. Last half term year 10 and year 11 drama and music pupils were visited by Simon Williams, a professional sound and lighting engineer and Charlie Kerr, a technical theatre apprentice.
Insights into Technical Theatre Apprenticeships with Charlie Kerr
First, Charlie Kerr, a local performing arts student, visited year 10 and year 11 drama/ performing arts lessons to talk about his apprenticeship in technical theatre. The course offers the opportunity to learn at world leading London venues including The National Theatre, The Harold Pinter and The Royal Opera House. As one of only 4 people on the course Charlie was able to offer our performing arts students an insight into the interview and practical assessment process. This will benefit pupils applying for any course in the future.
Jayden learnt that the skills of basic technology and computer knowledge would be important to any job role in the creative and performing arts. This is something that Charlie reiterated as crucial as well as a basic knowledge of how the theatre works and the roles available. Charlie did not need to have lots of experience of practical work in the theatre but he did need to be passionate about the role and be willing to learn.
Our classes were also interested to learn about the numerous different roles available backstage and the various of shows that Charlie has worked on. Alba’s focus was on what experience Charlie had had before leaving the Whitby area. Appearing on stage with various local theatre groups including PQA Scarborough allowed Charlie to realise that his interest was in backstage work rather than on stage. The importance of having experience with local amateur groups is something that was stressed to the class some of whom are keen performers with Whitby Apollo Players and Whitby Area Musical Theatre company as well as with local drama and dance schools.
The leap from school or college to a further education course is often a hard one to manage and so Isaac was intrigued by how Charlie got onto his apprenticeship. He explained he “kept his tabs open” on multiple websites, hoping for an opportunity to arise and was instantly updated about changes to a course or job so that he could act on it.
Thank you so much to Charlie for coming into school to share your experiences and insights and we look forward to hearing about your next adventure soon!
Technical Workshop – Lighting and Sound
Later in the half term, Simon Williams, who has worked professionally in lighting and sound tech for many years came to deliver practical workshops for all year 10 and year 11 drama and music students. He was also able to tell us about his latest project Musicport, the international music festival held in the Spa Theatre in Whitby. The focus of the workshops was on lighting and sound skills, working in teams.
Pupils rotated around various stations taking part in a variety of tasks. They learnt how to;
- set up a microphone for a singer,
- design lighting and sound for an arena tour,
- consider how to construct the sound for a musical and
- experiment with lighting units.
It was fantastic to see everyone engaged in the practical tasks, and developing a new understanding of the technical side of performance. We are hopeful that Simon and Charlie will come into school again and help our pupils keep developing their skills.