Blog: Anisa Taznim

I started my work placement on a Monday. There’s not really much to say about Monday apart from the fact that it’s always probably dull and boring, however during my work experience week at this cosy little theatre just off the side of Commercial Road, I was proven wrong about any Monday ever. On the other hand, I was still dreading the essay I had to hand in on the first day back at school. Fun. Nevertheless the hours I spent working at the theatre made me forget about all the stress of school work. The irony was evident. There was more drama in school than the theatre and I was fairly thankful to be away from Act 1, Scene 2 of “Oh my god, what is Pi?!” and enjoy myself at my temporary workplace.

On the first day of work, I arrived a little too eager and a lot earlier than I calculated. As I checked my watch and pressed the buzzer, I suddenly felt dread running through me. What if I accidentally trip, roly-poly up the stairs, through the floor and break someone else’s bones within the first 30 seconds of arriving? It would be a disaster. But, as I took my first step into the theatre and out of the cold, autumn environment, a warm atmosphere of hospitality greeted me at the automatic doors. I was given a tour of the place, and met all the staff, who greeted me with smiles. Beccy explained what I would be doing throughout the week and ironed out any cause for wrinkles on my forehead and all feelings of anguish disappeared. I sat through a technical rehearsal of ‘Map of Me’ and clapped at the end shamelessly, even though I was literally the only one watching. The actors thanked me humbly. At around 4, I ushered some students into the theatre and watched the performance with many others from my age group. The performance had hardly any faults and was a pleasure to watch. Later, I helped hand out and retrieve feedback forms, this made me more comfortable to interact with strangers and gain much more confidence to communicate with the general public. Everyone was very nice.

Tuesday was actually a quiet day. As soon as I arrived, I got started on my review of ‘Map of Me’ which excelled my writing skills as I interpreted the show and made judgments surrounding the plot and methods used. My review would then be put up on the website. I was then introduced to more staff members who greeted me with the same cordiality that I received on the first day. After that I was asked to record my impression of the play which would also be on the website, at first it was a little intimidating but after Stephen talked me through what was going to go on the video and told me that it doesn’t have to be just one take, I was reassured once again. All thoughts that I might break something whilst simultaneously talking and throwing up were gone. At around 3:30pm, I devised a few tweets for Half Moon’s Twitter account commenting on ‘Map of Me’. It was a very hard process as the limitation of characters was something I had to consider. I observed the Eclipse Youth Theatre session for children and joined in with some games and helped a group who were acting out the story – Under the Juniper Tree. I watched the rest and I must admit a lot of the ideas they came up with, were far too clever for me to think of. They were wonderful.

The office was very quiet on the Wednesday. Apart from the mutter of the audience who had just watched the recent show, there was barely any noise. I found myself enjoying the gentle pitter-patter of the computer keyboards around me. After two days of a busy timetable, I could relax on the third. Or so I thought… After my lunch break, I cracked down on a very big pile of paper that had information to be entered into a spreadsheet on the computer. Luckily for me, I’m like the superhero Flash when it comes to typing on a keyboard, and I was done just before my arms were about to fall off. Observing the Equinox Youth Theatre session was also good fun and I actually managed to join in with the children on some games. I watched them produce snippets of a play that were based on the same stories that the previous group did, expecting the same sorts of plays; however, the children managed to surprise me for the second time. Once more, they were a joy to be around.

I started the next day running. Pft, I don’t run, let me rephrase that… I was power-walking down Troon Street; worried that I wouldn’t make it to the theatre on time. I made it five minutes early. *Fist pump*. Then as soon as I could, I settled down and tried to learn the art of tweeting by reading Stephen’s edits of the tweets I earlier created. It’s harder than you think. After a while, I made my way to Bonner Primary School for the After School Drama session, the class was much smaller and made brilliant zombies.

Now it’s my last day – Friday and the time just seems to be zooming by. I can’t help but think, I will miss this week of spontaneity when I go back to school to hand in that dreadful essay.

Anisa came to us from Mulberry School (Tower Hamlets) from 12th-16th October 2015