A week with Birmingham Hippodrome…

Today’s blog comes from last week’s work experience student Jack Carroll, a Year 10 student at King’s Norton Boys’ School, who tells us more about his time with us…

Work experience at Birmingham Hippodrome is something that I have wanted to do for ages. To work at Birmingham’s biggest theatre, is something that I know will help me in later life when applying for jobs in theatres, whether it be front of house or backstage. It is a theatre that I know well, and have visited on many occasions, to watch shows, and to participate in events and activities.

Backstage at Birmingham Hippodrome

Backstage at Birmingham Hippodrome

I go to a stage school every Saturday based at the Hippodrome, and so know that it is a friendly, welcoming environment, that I would be more than happy to work in. On top of that, I have been on backstage tours, seen many shows, and even performed here, so I am familiar with the theatre, and I know that it lives up to its reputation.

My week at the Hippodrome has been very exciting, but at times very scary. I have helped out in departments such as: Administration, Finance, Box Office, Marketing, Front of House, and Development. All the departments have been pleasant to work in, and great to be a part of.

The things I have enjoyed most have been the jobs involving customer service, such as the Box Office, and Front of House. I liked meeting members of the public, and talking to them about the shows that they enjoy, and why they like coming to the Hippodrome.

I have learned many things about the way a theatre works such as: how to take calls and bookings, how to direct people to their seats, and almost every role in the company, and what they do.

I will take everything that I have learned away with me, and I will be able to use it when applying for jobs in theatres, and when visiting the theatre.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that I would happily take part in again, thank you Birmingham Hippodrome for giving me this opportunity.

There are a very limited number of places left for Work Experience candidates in 2014 and bookings are now being taken for 2015 – for more information click here.

A week in Development…

A couple of weeks ago Hannah Lait joined our Development department for a week long work experience placement during a series of very busy events including a special Fundraising Gala. In our latest blog Hannah writes about her experience…

I first arrived at the Hippodrome with a warm welcome from both Rosie and Judith who work as part of the Development Team based on the 4th floor of the building.  I was then given a tour around the building and tried my hardest to learn the maze of the corridors (which does get eventually easier each day!).  After completing a few of my initial tasks given to me by the Development team, I was then taken on an exciting look behind the scenes of the theatre and my eyes were opened!

Hannah Lait

Hannah Lait

A highlight of my week was being able to help with the Fundraising Gala; a hectic but exciting experience!  There was one key thing I learnt quickly from working at the Gala and that was that timing is crucial, so everything had to go to schedule or it could get a tad tricky. The decorations for the special event were stunning, making it an enchanting sight for the guests and a sight I certainly won’t ever forget.

Another highlight came on Tuesday when I got a backstage tour, one of the most interesting aspects of the Hippodrome I’ve ever seen. From the many bright beautiful costumes and masks used in The Lion King, to the tightly packed store rooms, it’s a wonder how they don’t manage to lose anything and stay organised! I learnt that an incredible amount of work, effort and time is put into the show and that’s what contributes to making it astonishing for the audience.

During my week I was also invited to see the Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School performance as part of the theatre’s education work – it was so lovely to see all the enthusiastic children taking part in different dances, stories and songs from all over the world.  One afternoon I also helped out Front of House which was amazing but extremely tiring.  I loved seeing the show from the front of house point of view because it’s ultimately down to them to make sure everything is right for the audience.

I’ve learnt from the Development team that it’s all about being able to make contact with people, making sure that they see the true importance of how donations can help the Hippodrome and it’s work with Education and Access projects whilst also bringing excellent productions to the city.

I honestly had a fabulous week and am so thankful to of had this experience. It’s gone too fast if you ask me but Hakuna Matata for it is a wonderful phrase…

Hannah Pennick also joined the department for a week, at the end of her placement she wrote…

Hannah Pennick

Hannah Pennick

Work experience at the Hippodrome was an amazing and enlightening experience.  It offered a range of different opportunities which I would never have experienced anywhere else –  from visiting a school, to a backstage tour, to a networking course, and everything in between. I could not recommend an experience like this enough. The Hippodrome is an amazing building with a brilliant group of people working behind the scenes to make everything that the Hippodrome does possible; I had no idea of some of the incredible projects that go on both in the theatre itself and in the local community.

I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity, and want to thank all the staff who made me feel so welcome.

Thanks to both Hannah’s for their hard work during their time with us. To find out more about the work of our Development department and how you can support your local theatre click here.

To take a look at what went on at the fundraising gala in more detail read more here.

Behind the Scenes: Work Experience at Birmingham Hippodrome…

Chris Green is one of Birmingham Hippodrome’s ‘First Night Bloggers’, reporting back on shows and events as part of our £5 ticket scheme for 16-21 year olds. Chris attends the Stourport Sixth Form Centre in Worcestershire where he studies Performing Arts, Music and Film Studies. This week, Chris joins us for a five day work experience placement and will be blogging each day about his experiences…

Chris outside the Theatre on his first day...

Chris outside the Theatre on his first day…

My first day of my work experience at Birmingham Hippodrome started at 10 o’clock; anticipating an exciting week ahead, I was very excited and nervous as I approached the Stage Door on Thorp Street. I was greeted by the Stage Door staff and handed my lanyard and passes for my time at the theatre,  then introduced to Sarah- Administrator for the Hippodrome and my guide for the week.

I was then taken to level six- Administration Level. Packed with desks and computers, printers and members of staff- of course I knew from this moment onwards I was in an office. Sarah then gave me a short tour of the theatre- seeing backstage areas, DanceXchange studios, the Birmingham Royal Ballet therapy/gym room (Jerwood Centre) and the general foyer of the theatre.

One of the most exciting moments of the morning was receiving my timetable for the week-  exploring Press work, Conference and Events, Box office and Technical to name a few. This wide variety of experiences will really give me an insight to what it is like to work in a theatre and I look forward to everything that is on my timetable.

After doing some admin work and my lunch break I find myself here typing my blog, I will keep it updated every day this week to share my experiences and include some pictures of life behind the scenes…

You can follow Chris’s time here at Birmingham Hippodrome by keeping up to date with his blog HERE.

All Work Experience placements are now full for the remainder of 2012 and July 2013. Please CLICK HERE  for more information on joining us for a placement next year.

CLICK HERE to find out more about our FIRST NIGHT scheme.