Probably the area in which my knowledge has increased the most as a result of being part of the Foot In the Door programme is that of the Manchester theatre scene. Living in Liverpool, and rarely visiting, I had no idea how much was on offer both in large well-known theatres and in the fringe. I have certainly learnt a lot about the type of companies that are starting to develop in Manchester, the many schemes there are for young theatre makers and even about the geography of it- the many small drama spaces there are dotted around the city. This is certainly a knowledge I hope to use in the future, and has definitely encouraged me to make that train journey through more often!
My education has not just stalled there though; I have also picked many practical skills along the way. Whilst they might not all be entirely relevant to my future goal of being a stage manager, they will certainly make me a better person to work with, for I can now better appreciate the demands a producer has to deal with or why designers are so exacting when it comes to the use of their creations. Having the confidence to speak in front of a group of people, or at least the knowledge that I have done so before without falling apart, will certainly come in handy and is not necessarily something I would have had much opportunity to practice otherwise.
On a more personal level, I have been very lucky in that during my time on the programme I was accepted onto a MA course and so now have a definite idea of what I will be doing for the next year. Even without this though, the initial training week made me really reflect on everything I had done up to this point and what I still hoped to achieve, and most importantly how those two things could be linked. Taking the time to do this helped make my aspirations a lot clearer. I may now be on a training course for the career I want to go into, but, as this experience has taught me, I won’t just rely upon that and will make an effort to keep gaining more experience on the side.
One of the nicest things I have learnt from Foot In the Door is that I am not alone in being new in this field. After many placements shadowing professionals with many years of experience, it was very reassuring to meet a whole group of people who, like me, are just starting off in their careers and maybe are still a bit unsure of the next step.
Well, I hope they work it out and wish them all the very best of luck for the future!