The Backstage Centre are delighted to share the stories from two former students at South Essex College, who have both gained openings in the world of entertainment since completing their studies on the National College for the Creative Industries, UAL level 3 Performing and Production Arts; Live Events and Theatre Production pathway.
Here is Kane Crocker’s story.
“My name is Kane Crocker, I am 19 years old, I studied National College for the Creative Industries UAL level 3 Performing and Production Arts, Live Events and Theatre Production pathway, from 2018 until 2021 for which I received a Distinction*, Distinction and Merit and this is my story.
Before coming to South Essex College I studied Technical Theatre at school for my GCSEs. I was also involved in performances for the school, and some for the Towngate Theatre, Cliffs Pavilion and Palace Theatre.
I chose this college because I loved what I did in my GCSEs as a sound technician, and I saw that South Essex College could provide me with an opportunity to learn more so that I could be capable of putting on live performances in a theatre.
The college helped prepare me for the workplace as the tutors let us get on with our work and only intervened if necessary. So, if something was going wrong, or they saw potential hazards they would mention it. We would then think of ways to prevent something from happening, or how we would fix something.
Since completing my course I have been working at Thameside Theatre as a sound technician and sometimes oversee other things. I have also worked at The Barns at the High House Production Park.
I first worked at Thameside doing a pantomime, ‘Dick Whittington’, as part of the stage crew. While doing a scene change, I overheard on the ‘comms’ (headset communication system) that there was a sound issue, and I took it upon myself to fix this sound issue whilst doing a scene change. This made me get recognised by the manager of the theatre, who then employed me at the theatre as a sound technician.
My job entails making sure all the equipment is in the theatre and set up a day before rehearsals begin. I make sure all in-house equipment is ready for rehearsals. I also ensure rehearsals run smoothly and if anything goes wrong, I know how to improve it, or how to fix it. I make sure the performance/show runs smoothly without any hiccups.
I think the best thing about doing further education is that the tutors and staff at the college treat you like adults, not children, and therefore it showed us what it would potentially be like once we finished college and went out into the real world. Also, we got to use more advanced equipment than we would have used in school. The equipment I used in college is what I now use within the theatre industry, therefore I knew what I was doing.
My greatest achievement is being able to work in a theatre, as it is a hard industry to find work in, and being able to do a job that I love.
My ambitions are to keep working in the theatre and being able to put bigger performances on such as working in the West End of London.
I would recommend South Essex College as there is a wide range of different courses and the tutors are nice and friendly.”
Theatre Production course brings Daisy a step closer to West End dream, here is her story.
“My name is Daisy Willow Eve, I am 18 years old, I studied Theatre Production at South Essex College from September 2019 until June 2021, and this is my story.
I decided to study at South Essex College as I was previously at Gable Hall School and took an interest in music technology which led to developing a passion for the world of theatre and live arts. My brother had completed the Theatre Production course and spoke highly of it, so I decided the course was something I wanted to do.
My tutors created an environment in which we felt like we were in the workplace. There was professional practice, this is where we were taught to be professional around clients.
I gained many skills including confidence, knowledge in the technical aspects and how to work alongside others. The equipment at college was a great foundation to start learning with.
Since completing my course I have been accepted onto a technical apprenticeship at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. My apprenticeship title is a technical apprentice, so I am involved in all aspects of technical theatre. This can be anything from helping build the stage to programming the lighting of a show. Once I complete my apprenticeship I would love to work in the West End.
I would recommend my particular course to anybody who is interested in theatre tech. My tutors at South Essex College made my experience at college a positive one.
The course has given me the confidence to believe I could apply for my apprenticeship. It has also given me the confidence to work alongside crew and clients.”
To apply for the course both Kane and Daisy completed, click the link here.
For further information on all the training available at South Essex College, the University Centre South Essex and Adult Training, simply browse through the prospectuses below.
Training at The Backstage Centre can be found here.