Hi my name is Rebecca Cartwright and I’m not from round here. I worked with Vamos for a week doing my Year 10 work experience and oh my, didn’t I have a good one!!!
The first show I saw from Vamos was Finding Joy, three years ago. Within the first five minutes of the performance I leant over to my mum and said ‘Are they going to talk?’ and her reply was ‘Of course they are, well I think so anyway!’ The answer is, no they didn’t talk at all, but still manage to leave me in tears by the end! Ever since then I have loved coming to see Vamos every year; each time taking different friends with us, spreading the word to different people. A lot of whom thought we were mad, recommending a theatre company that doesn't talk and wears masks!! Nobody realised how good it was and how easily the actors could get feeling and emotion across in one face, not even talking.
You may be thinking what on earth can a Year 10 do to help a theatre company, seeing as I’m not old enough to act and really take part. Well I will tell you I had something new to do every day. On Monday I worked in the office and was taught how to understand the computer systems by Kathryn, on Tuesday I went out on tour with the actors to Noble House, Worcester, on Wednesday I went on tour again to St Oswalds Village, Gloucester, on Thursday I helped around the office with Kathryn, Rachael, Charlotte and Sarah; tidying the wardrobes, going out buying things and posting parcels, on Friday I am writing this blog and going into the office this afternoon to help do some research for different upcoming projects. For the days I was touring, we were performing Sharing Joy, a performance trying to involve and entertain all of the people in the care homes and to make their day happy. They performed scenes from Finding Joy along with dances, songs and a parachute! Let’s just say I had a pretty amazing and full week.
Vamos use a computer system called Protouree, which is an amazing system that allows them to keep all of their contacts, info and calendars in one place. When I was using it i was collecting all of the info from different places and inputing get-in and get-out times for performances. If you don’t know what get-ins and get-outs are then a. You are obviously not an actor and b. Have never had to know this random but very useful piece of information. A ‘get-in’ is where the actors/ technicians/ crew go into the venues and start setting up for the shows - this usually takes up to 6 and a half hours to do. A ‘get-out’ is the opposite - removing any lights, props, equipment from the venue ready to shift to the next place - there is usually only 1 and a half hours allowed for this, as things sometimes have to travel a long way. This is why it is very important for everyone to keep tidy during the performance as they only have a short time to pack away after.
Also whilst i was there i was given a lot of responsibilities such as going off into Worcester to post letters and buy things that were needed. These were things i could do that would mean someone else didn’t have to, so therefore saving them time. This also allowed me to learn other skills including knowing how to use the self checkout at the post office to collect stamps and pay, which i had no clue on before, and being confident enough to ask for things in shops (something i never like doing).
I applied for Vamos because having seen their performances and already being very interested in the acting and directing side, i knew i would enjoy it and it would be very useful experience. I applied by email and then i sent a CV and a letter saying why i wanted a place. I have had an amazing week and have learnt so much about various things such as how hard it actually is to run a company but also how rewarding it is when it succeeds.
Thank you Vamos for taking me on and letting me experience so many things I wouldn't have before.