My time at Paddington Arts by Will Stanton, age 17
In year 12 my school gives us the opportunity to do work experience, this is because when it comes to university applications it looks very good. There were many different placements but a lot of them consisted of working at some un-heard of bank somewhere in the middle of God only knows where. As an arts student I wanted something subject appropriate and Paddington Arts was the one that I chose out of the different options.
I eventually had an interview to make sure I wasn’t a lunatic or anything. I arrived at Paddington Arts and was met by the Director Steve Shaw who asked me a few questions about my subjects and aspirations. He then showed me around the building and introduced me to a few faces I would be working with. The interview happened on the 3rd of March and I didn’t start my work experience until the 5th of July gave me a lot of time to research Paddington Arts and see what it was all about.
The month’s passed and as any normal job I was mildly nervous for the first day but also very excited to get started. We began by setting up Apple Macs and Steve showed us the Facebook page and the Youth arts page. We were given many tasks over the first week that included making posters, editing videos, conducting interviews, doing photo-shoots. But for me personally, the second week was when I really got into the work though.
Paddington arts had prepared a show called “Street Life” which was a dance, photography and spoken word based show with the theme of “Street”. The spoken word part of the show was a Play called “The tale of the red balloon” and it turned out that two of the original cast had dropped out, so remembering my interest in acting, Steve came to me and asked if I wanted to be in it. I decided that even though it wasn’t what I had planned on doing, that it was actually the area in which I would like to go into. I said yes and took up the role as a teacher and an ensemble member. Thursday at about 5 o’clock the rest of the cast arrived and I was roped into the show. I tried to get all my lines down as quickly as I could so not to be a burden. I was introduced to the Director Amarni who was very passionate about theatre and whom I very much enjoyed working with. We had until Wednesday to get the whole show sorted which didn’t just include the acting but also incorporating the dances and the photography. The cast sacrificed our daytime on the Tuesday and Wednesday and came in at 12\1 to make sure that we all knew what was going on. The writer of the play (Maxwell Golden) came in and very much helped us all understand our characters on a more emotional level to get the most from our performances. Wednesday night came with the first performance and there was an air of nerves chilling the entire cast, dances and directors included. The first show went without a hitch and simply made me more excited for the second and third show.
The second show was good; I had two friends and my Dad in the audience, which spurred me on. During one of the carnival dance scenes one of the dance directors told myself and my fellow cast members to go on and “improvise”, which was extremely tiring but also very fun.
The final show is coming up and I’m excited but also sad as the show marks the end of my time at Paddington Arts. It has been an amazing experience and an opportunity I couldn’t have wished for. Everyone was welcoming and the whole cast made me feel really a part of it all. I’m extremely grateful for everything that has been thrown my way and I’m happy I picked Paddington Arts.