Blog: Shannon Hussain

Shannon HussainHi readers! My name is Shannon, and I am on my penultimate day of my week long work experience placement here at the Half Moon. So far, it has been great. I was welcomed with open arms by all, and have since been treated as a member of staff. It‘s a real self-esteem boost to be treated like an adult every day and I appreciate the work that I have been entrusted with.

My goal was to see what it’s like to work in the theatre industry, and my god, I was wrong. I imagined a theatre to be filled with artsy, flustered people, rushing from theatre to theatre; dropping their diaries which are bursting to the seams with events. In reality, the story is actually quite different. We forget to think, who is behind the planning, advertising, directing, organising and marketing of this event?

Although the lovely people I’ve met work mainly behind their desk, do not be foolish enough to think that I sat bored out of mind while counting how many dead flies I could spy. (There were none). The atmosphere and camaraderie between everyone, from the bubbly Apprentice to the longest serving worker, is so strong it’s hard to capture in words. They welcomed me enthusiastically and I instantly felt at home.

Although I wasn’t doing any big time jobs such as directing or starring in my own play, I did learn values, the importance of desk work and discovered a new found appreciation for the efforts behind the scenes.

I’ve often sat in the Youth Theatre sessions, and have watched their play come alive with great vibrancy and passion. I’ve seen directing be done, sound and lighting prep be done and created props lists, whilst being creative and helping design the set for the Lunar Youth Theatre. I also made a whole bunch of new friends.

I won’t lie and say that I haven’t done jobs which appear to be menial and pointless, but Beccy asks me with such kindness that I’d feel cruel for refusing. Besides, they have an honest intention behind them – it’s not “work experience = slave labour”.

So I guess all in all, my work experience week has been everything I could ask for. I have only one day left, and know I will miss a lot of people with whom I’ve been looked after. Melissa, the lovely woman who spent most of her week with me in tow and hasn’t once gotten annoyed at me (yet), Euan who has been unduly welcoming and great company during my lunch break. Beccy for bringing humour and so many more people whom I cannot list. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon working besides them till the foreseeable future, but until then, a massive thank you for a brilliant week which has given me so many new career paths to explore and an amazing experience.

Shannon came to us from Sir John Cass School (Tower Hamlets) from 7th to 11th July 2014.