I was asked to complete a SWOT analysis in order to discover ways in which I could improve myself as well as areas that are good and I can use to my advantage. I found this quite difficult despite being an overly critical person, it is difficult to analyse yourself and be open to criticism from not only yourself but others as well.
I’ve been a domestic cleaner, a waitress and currently work as a barmaid. This is all within the last five years. I think that working within the customer service industry has allowed me to use my communicative abilities to work with difficult people, as not everyone you work with is going to be nice. If you are able to make people understand your side of a problem, then it will make working within a team easier.
I’ve also helped by being a props master and dresser on a few shows in Devon. My experience within amateur theatre showed me how you can work with very little and still create a great show, which I think is something that could come in handy as not every show I work on is going to have an unlimited budget. If you can make an amazing looking item out of things that you find or cost very little, then it shows creativity in prop making.
When I was asked to run the props for Willow Tree Theatre Company’s production of Addams family, I was originally just asked to run it for the show weeks and that there was another person who was going to source them but then didn’t do their job. I helped the director source and make as many of the props that we could, and I ended up creating a swan from found materials.
I can make costumes of a wide variety. As I want to go into the costume side of theatre, having the knowledge of how costumes are constructed is invaluable as a costume mistress being able to fix a costume. There may be an issue in the middle of a show where something needs to be fixed quickly and it not being noticeable something has been changed from the original design if the problem is more than covering a hole before the performer goes on to their next scene.
The happiest moment was when I had designed a set for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in my second year at university. I took charge of the build of the set then when it was put it up in the theatre it looked nearly identical to the design, it was a moment of joy and a great feeling of accomplishment. Building sets are not something that I would say I am good at, but having said that I was able to show my ability to lead the team to realise the artistic vision of the designers and the director.
I am a person who is driven to do the best job that I can as I don’t like coming away from a job thinking I could have done more. I think that if you have done the best you can while on a show then it was a good show, even though that doesn’t mean that everything went well. It gives you some areas to improve, at least you can say you learnt something while also putting your all into it.
I think that I have developed a good leadership mentality, there have certainly been challenges along the way where I thought that I couldn’t lead a team, but they have helped me grow that part of myself. I think that I am a determined person and when I set my mind to something I do all that I can to make sure that it happens. I also try my best to get along and work with everyone, even when I don’t necessarily like the person or agree with their work ethic.
My knowledge in technical areas is not as much as I would like it to be and, so I am endeavouring to further that knowledge in my third year by using as many technical things in projects as I can. My physical ability hinders me a lot, it can often limit my ability to complete tasks. I think that this may be why I am leaning more towards costume as theatre, as a costume dresser it is hopefully going to be less physically straining but if not, I can always make costumes even though I am currently starting to experience pain in those areas. I often feel like I can’t do a job, and this will normally mean that I will try to avoid doing that job it is not always that I can’t do it, it’s that I think I can’t and I’m having to try and combat that by doing things I’m not comfortable with.
I felt most frustrated and unhappy when I was supposed to be leading a team and it felt like most of the team was working against me trying to undermine me and questioning me on decisions I had made which then hindered my self-esteem and caused other issues for me when dealing with the one person higher than myself. At the time I was making decisions that I thought were right, but most of the time it was an uphill battle trying to meet the requirements of several different shows. The situation was very challenging, but I did learn that sometimes I needed to have a firmer hand with people that I couldn’t always be nice, and this is something that I hope I will take threw more projects. If I’m in a position where I have a person higher than me telling me what I had to do, then I will be less confrontational as they have other things to deal with as well.
I have some connections in the industry, most of them are of people who aren’t very active currently, so I want to try and get some more if I can before I finish my degree.
There may be some opportunities off the back of city of culture going into the legacy as well as venues hiring casuals. With these opportunities, I will be given the chance to make more contacts. It will also mean that I will gain more experience and knowledge in my chosen profession. By getting a job in my current place residence means I can stay here rather than having to move back home as I will hopefully be able to support myself. If I can’t get a job here or am not able to support myself financially at least I know I have the option of going back to Devon which if I can get a job, there then I will get myself out of debt as well as into the industry, so I see lots of different routes I could go down it’s just a case of looking at the most viable options.
If I want to stay in Hull and work myself out of debt, then I’m going to have to find a full-time job even if it’s something that I don’t particularly like I may just have to deal with it to stay afloat financially.
In our industry, image and reputation is everything as it tends to be it’s who you know not what you know. Also, you are judged on your last job if you do badly then it can then create problems when trying to get another job, as everyone talks in this industry. You must try your best to do everything to a professional standard which as a student can sometimes be difficult.
It is often the case that you’ll have to learn equipment either just before you work with it, or on the job which can be difficult to do when under pressure to get the job done quickly, and there are many different versions of the same thing and don’t necessarily all work the same way. Even though I am looking more towards costume and production parts of the industry, I won’t be able to shy away from technical jobs as I must get into the industry somehow and that may be the way. I’m attempting to challenge myself with the technical side of things as well. Also, a I won’t be looking at designing costumes even though it is something I enjoy a lot of jobs are being merged into one, and often the costume designer is also the set designer and to accomplish a good set design there are a lot of other things I’d have to learn to make it work.