A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go into rehearsals for “Bingo!” to shadow the Director, Jemima Levick. The placement came about after I applied for the Stellar Quines Board Pioneer position last year. In my application I mentioned that it was a long term goal of mine to have my own theatre company so Stellar Quines got in touch to say that, although the position had been filled, they would like to help me any way they could in continuing my professional development.
Having worked as an actress with Stellar Quines on The Fair Intellectual Club I know first hand what a hard working, exciting and inspiring company they are so I was delighted that they wanted to encourage and assist me. As a first step I wanted to get some experience in the directing side of things which is how the offer to shadow Jemima came about.
I was in rehearsals for 3 days and it was a totally invaluable experience. It was really interesting to see the work that goes on in the rehearsal room from the Director’s point of view and all the elements that they need to think about and navigate when making the scenes in the rehearsal room. Obviously Jemima is not only the Director of “Bingo!” but she is also Artistic Director of Stellar Quines so shadowing her meant I got an insight into just how much goes on in the running of the company too. I don’t think there was one tea or lunch break while I was there that Jemima wasn’t answering emails, approving opening night invite lists, making a pre show playlist or (SPOILER ALERT) working out how to stop a rubber axe from bouncing! I was also invited to sit in on a production meeting which was a whole new experience and a really great chance to see how all the departments came together to make the decisions that allow the production to come to fruition, much of which I had been totally oblivious to as an actress.
The placement has really spurred me on to set some short term and long term goals to help me towards having my own theatre company. Jemima took the time while I was on placement to chat to me about what kind of theatre I would want to make, where, when and with whom and she has offered me further help in thinking about creating a business plan and how to apply for funding opportunities which I am definitely going to take her up on.
I have also been really inspired to find some directing opportunities so I can now put into practice some of the things I have learned from the placement. The whole team involved in “Bingo!” really could not have been more welcoming and I’m so grateful I had the chance to have my placement during rehearsals for such a fun show. After my 3 days getting to nosey at it in rehearsals I also cannot wait to get along and see the finished show! It’s going to be a belter!