Blog: Ellie Clappison Smith

Ellie SquareI am coming to the end of my week of work experience at the Half Moon Theatre, and I have really enjoyed myself. All the staff made me feel welcome and I enjoyed the work I was given as I did a lot of work to do with the new art coming into the gallery.

Monday 12th September 2016

I arrived at the theatre at 9:30 and wasn’t feeling nervous at all as I already knew 2 of the staff, Jackie and Chris, and had helped out at an open day on one occasion before. I walked into the foyer and was immediately welcomed by Chris, who then introduced me to Beccy. She gave me a booklet to read through about the theatre and what I would be doing, and then a sheet to fill out. As soon as had done with the paperwork, I was sent to do some work, which was helping Phil and the artist to hang all of the art work. All of a sudden it was 1 which is when I took my lunch break. At 2 I got back to my work which this time was assigned by Stephen. It was to create a gallery trail for the little children about the new pieces of art. So I went around the gallery looking at the art for ideas on the trail and then began to make it by using a previous trail as a template. I was really glad I was assigned to work with the artist and on the trail as it allowed me to spend a lot of time looking at the art, which interests me as I study both art and textiles for GCSE at school. Also I think I would have found admin computer work a bit boring!! Time crept up on me and it was 4 o’clock, my leaving time.

Tuesday 13th September 2016

I arrived 15 minutes later then yesterday, but Beccy hadn’t arrived so I was assigned to the long but enjoyable task of scanning negative photo films to add to the Half Moon Theatre database of previous shows. Although the process was slow and simple I didn’t get bored as I multitasked and read my book at the same time. When finally the artist arrived with the labels I was asked to organise them, blue tac the back of each one and then check for any mistakes. Once I was done I had to compose an email for the artist telling him the mistakes in the labels and photos I needed for the trail. I then added all the pieces of art work onto a programme that was for the opening night of the gallery and onwards, by typing the labels onto the document and in order. This took me up to lunch time, 1:10. After an hour’s lunch break I was back to work, and helped the artist stick all the labels on the walls next to the corresponding work. I continued to finish the programme which took me up to 5:30 as I really wanted to get it done, then I went home.

Wednesday 14th September 2016

Arrived at 9:55 and started the day by correcting the mistakes in the labels and adding finishing touches to the programme. Then I had to search online to find as many photos of the selling art works for the online store. Then I had to take photos of all the ones I couldn’t find online which I found a bit of a struggle as the light would glare on the pieces but in the end I had all the photos I needed so began to create the document.  This took me to lunch time. After lunch I added finishing touches to the gallery trail like adding pictures and then half an hour of scanning negatives until I was given something else to do. Beccy then assigned me the job of looking through an excel document of schools in London and checking if the details and information was up to date. Then I left at 4.

Thursday 15th September 2016

Thursday was different to the rest of my days as it was the gallery opening so my times were 10 to 7. I arrived at 9:45 and at once me and Beccy walked to a local centre to drop off toys and other items for an under 5s dance workshop. I stayed for the workshop and got to play with the little children and join in which was very enjoyable. When I got back I had to start doing research for craft for the children on the up and coming open day. I had to find out about paper windmills and piggy banks made of plastic bottles. I had my hour break for lunch and then continued with my research by making prototypes of the windmills which I found fun as I was in my element. I then went to the basement with Phil to look for materials to make the windmills and piggy banks and had to make a template of the pig’s ears to be photocopied for the day. It was coming up to 4 and everyone was busy getting stuff done for the open evening, so Euan asked me to sort out the art cart and sharpen all the pencils. I had a bit of time before the opening so I did some more scanning of the negatives to pass time and make myself useful. Then the show began and Chris and Jackie’s daughter, Millie, arrived who is a close friend and how I found out about the theatre. We talked and looked round the gallery when my mum arrived. I was lucky enough to persuade my mum to purchase one the pieces which I am very happy about. I enjoyed the evening a lot and left when the show ended.

Friday 16th September 2016

This was my last day I was quite upset to be finishing the week as I have really been having fun. As yesterday I had longer hours I had a shorter day and could come in later. I arrived at 10:30 and began my last day of work. I started by scanning some more negatives before I was given the laminator to do some laminating Euan gave me the day before. They were tickets and I also had to slice them into the tickets as they were originally on a big sheet. Then Beccy gave me a load more laminating to do, so multitasked and scanned negatives at the same time. It was a simple job but I found it not as boring as I expected. Once that job was done I began writing this blog. Had my usual hour for lunch then came back to writing the blog. I finished and left at 3:30

Overall I have enjoyed this week immensely as everyone was so friendly and the work I was given has been enjoyable. I was always looking forward to the next day and will be sad to leave but I will be coming back as I am helping out with the up and coming open day. I would like to say thanks to all the staff at Half Moon for making me feel welcome and allowing me to have a great time.

Ellie came to us from Kingsdale Foundation School (Southwark) from 12-16 September 2016.