Tell us about what events you went to as part of your Arts Award:
As part of my Gold Arts Award I went to see and reviewed:
Hairspray at the Cambridge Corn exchange
Observe the sons of Ulster – Headlong at the Cambridge Arts Theatre
Cell – Smoking Apples Theatre Company at the Mumford Theatre Cambridge
Macbeth at the Globe Theatre
Tell us about any organisations you worked with:
I went to the Cambridge Arts Theatre to do a week of work experience. Each day I learnt about different departments within a receiving house theatre such as marketing, box office, development, education, stage door. After I watched Cell by Smoking Apples I got to talk to one of the founders and performers of the company, Molly Freeman. I got to see how the puppets work and she talked to me about the devising process using puppets.
How did you share your arts skills or lead your own projects?
For Gold Unit 2 I produced, choreographed and directed a dance showcase with 8-13-year-olds. I choreographed group dances in styles such as Jazz and Musical theatre. I spilt the participants into smaller groups so that they could work on their own choreographies. I feel that a good leader also has the ability to teach someone else how to lead, so I got the older children to help and support the younger children.
What did you create for your portfolio?
For my Gold Arts Award, I created 2 folders, one for Unit 1 and one for Unit 2. I printed out everything that I did and put them in wallets which went into the folder. Within the folders I divided the project into the sections (Part A, B, C etc) I feel that this really worked for me and helped me to keep organised.
What did you find most valuable about doing your Gold Arts Award?
I have gained leadership, performing, communication and organisation skills (to list a few) which have definitely helped in the transition from secondary school to Hills Road sixth form college. I now believe that I am an independent student with a goal to pursue a career in the performing arts. The research skills I have gained from doing Arts Award, specifically the Silver and Gold arts award are invaluable as I believe I am more aware of arts opportunities and when I come to apply for drama and dance schools. I now have the skills to prepare fully for auditions and choosing colleges.
What did you find most inspiring?
Watching professional arts practitioners was very inspiring as I have taken ideas from their work.
What did you find most challenging?
I found organising the event for my Unit 2 quite challenging as this was the first time I have produced a show.
What are you going to do next and how has Arts Award helped you?
I don't think I would have the ambition and determination to succeed in a career in the performing arts without the Arts Award, which has given me invaluable contacts and methods of gaining contacts within the industry. It has also given me the confidence and drive to have a pro active attitude.
How did you get involved with Arts Award?
In year eight at secondary school, most students were encouraged to do the Bronze Award. I loved the process so much that I continued to do the Silver and then Gold. I was the first person at my secondary school to achieve the Gold.
The support I received from my adviser at Comberton was amazing and the Arts Award (especially the Gold) taught me how to independently run a project of my own and take the lead in doing so.
What are you up to at the moment?
I am currently studying for A Levels in drama, dance and Art. As well as extra dance classes and singing lessons I have recently performed at Fusion Theatre Festival in Cambridge with Elevation Youth Dance Company, at the same event as Hofesh Schechter, Schechter II dancers performed at with their new work ‘Show’. I also performed ‘Ctrl Alt Z’ with Elevation. We have been supporting Alzheimer’s UK to create a piece based on a true story which we are hopefully taking to the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2019. I have performed as part of the curtain raiser for the Joss Arnott Dance company at the Mumford theatre Cambridge. I recently played Verity Taylor with four others in Olwen Wymark’s ‘Find me’ at the Robinson Theatre Cambridge.
At the end of the year, I hope to audition for Musical theatre colleges to study for a degree in musical theatre. I have gained a place to train with Youth Music Theatre UK this summer in Yorkshire. I will be working with professional choreographers, musicians, designers, dance fitness specialists to create a sung-through devised piece of contemporary dance called ‘No Man's Land’.
I have also recently written a book on the History of Musical Theatre and I am working towards my grade 6 drum kit.
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