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Design, Finance and... Spell Checking: Tom's Work Experience at GCT

Tom spent a week working with us at Gosforth Civic Theatre as part of his work experience from school, it was brilliant having him as part of the team so we asked him to write, in his own words, about his experience of the week....

From the 11th to 15th of March 2019, I, Tom Surtees, did some work experience at Gosforth Civic Theatre. The week was possible because my school, being the Duke's School at the NCEA Trust, had organised a week where all of the Year 12 students were off timetable so that we could create work experience placements in order to help us understand what it'll be like when we get jobs in the future. I chose to do it at GCT primarily because I am very used to the positive environment that they have, as I already go to most of their Gaming Social events on Mondays. Plus, I was a part of the Ubisoft Gaming School that was held here in August 2018. Before the work experience week took place, I had practiced numerous times how to get the X21 from my house to GCT (and back) in order to help me gain further independence.

On the first day (Monday 11th), I did some financing and totalling up sales made from the week prior with Joseph, the building manager. Doing this managed to give me a bit of insight as to how businesses work out how much money they have spent, how much they’ve made, as well as how much they owe to suppliers and employees. I also did a sound check with Scott - the marketing, programming and events coordinator - for a short film that was to be screened to the public the next day, as well as some “ticketing” (which is where we see how many people attended a certain event), where we used a website called Eventbrite.

The second day (Tuesday 12th), in my opinion, was my favourite of the five days I did my work experience. I made and scheduled promotional posts for events on GCT’s social media channels, and I also made 2 posters with Scott. I collaborated with Scott for the first one, which was for event listings during April-June 2019. I was quick to point out little mistakes that Scott had previously made, with 3 of them being related to "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse". The first mistake was how he didn't put "(PG)" next to the film's title on the back page of the leaflet like he did with the other films, while the other two were both on the "Cinema" page. These consisted of spelling "Into" as "In to" on the title, as well as spelling "Spider-Man" as "Spiderman" in the film's description.

The second poster was almost entirely my own work, which was a “cinema listings” poster. On it, I included pictures of the films that were due to be shown, and they were in a bit of a “diagonal square” shape. I was very proud of what I had created at this point, which is especially true given how it’s apparently actually going to be published and displayed in the building for the public to see! For both of the posters, I applied my knowledge of formatting techniques, as well as how to make documents look professional, that I had previously learnt in ICT at my school.

During the third day (Wednesday 13th), I took pictures of a rehearsal for an upcoming “Sweet Dreams” show, and then I compiled them all into a slideshow that I made on a movie-making software called “Final Cut Pro” with the help of John, Liberdade's "Creative Genius". I messed around with a number of different transitions, before finally settling on the “diagonal” & “curtain” transitions. In the afternoon, I was working with Bernard and Ross in the cafe/kitchen, where I stocked up the fridges, took out the bins, and loaded/emptied the dishwasher. After I finished for the day, I got a free can of Coca-Cola as a reward (which was very refreshing!).

The fourth day (Thursday 14th) began with me participating in a fitness class that takes place every Thursday, which is lead by Donna, GCT’s health and wellbeing practitioner. In the fitness class, we did some stretching, activities that required some quick reflexes, as well as a lot of running (though I was a bit tired out by the end of it, though). In the afternoon, I began writing up this very blog that you are reading right now, which was a good change of pace compared to what I had been doing the last few days.

The fifth and final day (Friday 15th) started with me doing some admin work with Joseph, but then my Grandma, Grandad, and Auntie Amy popped in for a morning coffee just after we'd started. I was already expecting Auntie Amy to come, but I had no clue that Grandma and Grandad were coming too, so it was a pleasant surprise. The admin work consisted of me entering details like contact info, prices for hiring the GCT venue, as well as invoice dates into an Excel spreadsheet while Joseph read them out from his emails. I guess that for a job like this, two heads are better than one! My day ended with putting up the newly arrived poster that I had made, giving some acting critiques with Kelly during a show rehearsal, publishing this very blog, and giving a box of chocolates and a thank-you card to the GCT staff.

I’m glad that I got to do work experience, because it gave me a general idea of what to expect when I’m older and properly ready for “the real world`”. If I am ever able to, I will use skills that I learned here in my Business studies for my A-Levels at Sixth Form.

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