Work Experience

Work Experience Blog - Amelie

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In July 2019, Amelie from Kesgrave High School spent a week with us in the office. Here is her diary of the week…

Monday

I woke up this morning feeling incredibly anxious with a twisting feeling in my stomach. Going into a new unknown environment is always a little bit scary. However, when I rang the doorbell at Gecko this morning my stomach was put at ease, I was greeted by everyone in the office with keen energy. I started by familiarising myself with Gecko’s work by watching Taylor’s Dummies. This is an incredibly engaging piece with explosive visual effects - you really should give it a watch. After I had watched this we all went and had a cup of tea in the garden, i got the chance to ask the team some questions so I could get to know them better and the conversation was highly topical, discussing Mamma Mia and Grease as well! Later on I was given the task of sorting the tour dates on the website and making sure they were all up to date. I also had too chose some previous posters of Gecko’s work, which gave me the chance to look through the archives and further engage with the company. Looking forward to the rest of the week.

Tuesday

After having an awful night last night I was feeling down this morning. However, once I got into the Gecko office I felt immediately welcomed and looked forward to being able to take my mind off things and do some work. My first task for today was finding a picture for a new Instagram post about the Company Administrator vacancy. I chose a vibrant one from the Time of Your Life and wrote the caption. After this I co-created the Instagram story advertising the fact that the job admissions need to be in tomorrow. I enjoy working with social media so I found this task enjoyable and I am proud with how it looks. This afternoon I have been collecting data from Instagram insights and compelling them into a spreadsheet. I actually found this quite interesting as it gave me the view on how big Gecko’s work really is.

Wednesday

This morning I sat in on one of Mani and Pippa’s meetings. Here I saw one of Pippa’s many many spreadsheets which enclosed all the bookings for future workshops, which I helped her to update. After that I went to get lunch in town and had my favourite lunch yet: Greggs’ Mexican wrap (I am seriously enjoying the selection of food I have on my lunch breaks). After lunch I joined Pippa and Mani on a BSL (British Sign Language) class where I picked up a few signs including swimming, sandwich, wine, dog and bacon - the essentials! After this class I am interested in learning sign language and will look into where I can - I never thought I would have done that this week and I surprised myself with how interesting I found it!

Thursday

My second to last Gecko day! This week has gone so quickly - I’ve only just been able to wake up on time this morning. Today like my other days I was presented with tasks throughout the day, firstly doing my spreadsheet then compiling questions for a quiz. The quiz settled a bet between Steve and Pippa - but unfortunately they drew (I will have to write another one for tomorrow!).

In the afternoon I had the opportunity to interview Amit the artistic director of Gecko. This was interesting as it gave me more of an insight to Gecko’s creative development process.

Friday

Today is my last day at the Gecko office and I’m honestly going to miss it. Throughout my involvement within a working environment it has been significant to make sure all criteria are met to a high standard but this environment is not pressurised as everyone has been very easy to talk to which lead to some fun conversations.

I would highly recommend Gecko as a week for work experience! 

 

Work Experience Blog - Leah

Over the course of the past week running from Monday 9th July 2018 – Friday 13th July 2018, I have been in an overwhelmingly privileged position to have worked with the office team at Gecko. Particularly because I knew the industry I was about to become a part of was one I aspire to become successful within, an immense wave of anxiety yet excitement was present.  

My first day with Mani and Pippa (Company Administrator and Project/Participation Manager) was very much about settling into a new environment.  Before approaching tasks, I

had a fairly relaxed morning, which consisted of exploring their online platforms, being given a quick tour of their quirky office (that has a number of props from previous shows – awesome!) and the three of us watching The Time of Your Life(also awesome!) which I then reviewed. I was then tasked with forming an updated Gecko contact list to learn about the various roles within the company. This gave me the opportunity to incorporate and develop other skills such as research that was achieved through searching: mails, invoices and the website itself, which took some time but was crucial to ensure all information was reliable.   

When meeting Joff (the General Manager), in similar fashion as to with Mani and Pippa, we discussed the arts by asking each other a series of questions. From this discussion and my ‘interview’ with Rosalind (Executive Producer), I can honestly say this group at the office – and Gecko as a collective – have had such a strong impact but have also been extremely welcoming that even when listening to meetings they encouraged me to ask questions, share opinions and to feel – to some extent – a part of their work. I’ve even expressed my creativity when decorating posters in the corridor, postcards in the office, taking photographs (thanks Mani for your patience when teaching me!), and investigating various web designs/information in preparation for flyers to be used in upcoming performances later in September.  

Throughout the week, it’s been important to make sure all criteria are met to a high standard, but it’s also been an incredible experience to have sensed the light-hearted joys too. For instance, we attended a festival launch event of another company, and had general fun conversations in the office.

The advice given throughout the week has definitely left me feeling much more confident in approaching what seems like a very closed-off industry. And although I have only spent 5 days at the office (…which quite frankly hopefully can say is one day my job!), it’s been an unforgettable learning curve which I’m blessed to have been given, and encourage anyone looking into the business to apply for a space, go to a performance or book a workshop! Thank you.

Work Experience Blog - Lydia

For my work experience I knew I wanted to do something performing arts based. I was recommended Gecko by quite a few people so I decided to apply to do my work experience for a week here after having a look at some of the previous breathtaking work. I am really glad I chose to spend my week at Gecko as I have really enjoyed it and I have learnt so much being here.

Prior to my work experience, I had a short interview with the General Manager Joff which allowed me to introduce myself and gain an understanding of what I would be doing over the course of the week. The interview was informal and quite relaxed which ensured me that my week would be stress-free and enjoyable. As soon as I entered the building on Monday morning, I felt instantly welcomed by Pippa and Mani who gave me a tour around the workplace and helped me settle in. The office is well decorated with many posters of Gecko productions and a number of props in the building that were used in previous shows which I thought was nice addition to the space.

I spent my first morning in the office watching some videos on the Gecko Youtube channel and making myself familiar with the social media pages and the website. I watched a performance of The Overcoat which is an excellent production that toured from 2009-2011. I wrote a review on this piece and analysed it to show my personal interpretation of it. I really enjoyed watching this performance as much like the rest of Gecko’s work, it is very unique and brilliantly crafted to grasp the audience’s attention throughout.

During my work experience, I got the privilege to sit and listen to some meetings. It was interesting to see how everyone worked as a team to discuss and plan how they were going to overcome any dilemmas. I also looked at some of the spreadsheets Pippa created to do with education bookings and used the information to list down the total number of bookings in each category for each year. Doing this made it clear how much the company has grown over time and how the number of workshops has increased a lot. I also got the privilege to handle Gecko’s Twitter page and I created a photo album on Facebook which I found fun being able to discover many different theatre companies and see all the varied performances that will be put on at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We discussed how social media has changed over time and during this I made some social media suggestions to the company.

I had the opportunity to meet the other staff members at Gecko and interviewed the executive producer Rosalind and asked her various questions about her job to gain an understanding of what her role is and how she got to this position. I personally found it interesting listening to her explaining the aspects of her job as this is something I could refer back to if I decide in the future that this is the route I wish to go down. Everyone at Gecko was always willing to answer my questions and always made the effort to help me if was unsure on anything whilst completing tasks which made me feel very comfortable and created a very relaxed environment. Moreover, in group discussions I felt very involved as I was encouraged to share my opinion and also ask relevant questions to the topic to further my understanding. I also spent some time reading reviews of the outstanding show ’Missing’ and gathered some international press quotes to be used for a flyer, and I got an insight on the graphic design and looked at a flyer for the show as well. I suggested possible improvements to be made and got to see how long it takes to actually create a flyer and how it mostly consists of slight tweaking to make sure things look lined up correctly.

Overall, I have had a great experience spending the week at Gecko. As well as getting on with completing tasks I had been set over the week, everyone has been very easy to talk to which allowed me to engage in some fun conversations whilst I have been here. I would recommend Gecko to anyone who is interested as it is one of the best experiences I have had in understanding the world of work, and it is a very relaxed environment to be in, the team really helped to make my week very enjoyable.

After spending my week here, it has made me want to see a Gecko performance live on stage as I loved watching the performances available online and I think I would appreciate it even more now that I have a further understanding of the work that goes into creating a performance. I am extremely privileged to be able to have spent my work experience here at Gecko, I have enjoyed every minute!

Work Experience Blog - Issy

Despite only spending three days working at Gecko, I feel as if I’ve learned a lot about working in the more admin-orientated side of theatre. I kicked things off by scrolling through Gecko’s website, and familiarising myself with Gecko’s past and present work.

I then spent the remainder of my three days in an office, with a varying cast of interesting people, learning how to use Excel spreadsheets; something I’d been blissfully naïve of before starting at Gecko... ahahah. No, I actually felt as if I was gaining relevant transferable skills, I was pulling together a whole bunch of data from various different places to create a database of information on Schools and Universities, which would be useful for Gecko in the future when arranging tours and organising workshops.

It was also actually quite satisfying to how much data I’d accumulated in such a short period of time. I rounded off my work experience by interviewing Belinda about Gecko, and tried to unravel the mystery behind why the company is called Gecko (Belinda deduced it has something to do with similarities between the physical theatre/unique movement aspect of Gecko and an actual, literal, gecko). She also talked me through their business plan, which was interesting, and gave me an insight into the inner workings of a company.

I’ve enjoyed my time at Gecko, I feel as if I’ve learnt a lot in a small amount of time, and it has definitely furthered my I.T. skills and work place confidence. I’m extremely keen to experience a Gecko show in real life; to see the final product that everyone has helped contribute towards.

Work Experience Blog - Harriet

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I first saw Gecko’s Institute two years and was captivated by the company’s effortless blend of dynamic physical comedy with aesthetically pleasing dance sequences. I went on to create a series of short pieces for my Drama and Performance Studies A Levels, inspired by their eclectic use of styles and techniques. Therefore, when I found out about the Work Experience opportunity, I could not wait to apply.

I was extremely apprehensive on my first day, but Belinda and Pippa were so friendly and made me feel very much at home. I began by having a scroll through the company website, familiarising myself with their work and core aims. This was extremely useful in giving me an excellent bank of knowledge for the tasks I would be given throughout the week.

My first task was to select appropriate quotes from participants and organisers of the many workshops and intensives Gecko runs throughout the year and compile them into a spreadsheet. Reading all the positive comments was lovely and really motivated me to take part in an Intensive in the future, because I have done workshops with Chris Evans in the past and found them invaluable as an aspiring actress and theatre maker.

I also got to update the company’s Wikipedia page, hence why intensely studying the website as my first task was so helpful. I particularly found reading into all the different shows the company has created really intriguing and uncovered that Gecko spend at least two years developing and show and are constantly reinventing their work to maintain its interest and accessibility.

Pippa likewise gave me numerous important research tasks such as planning Amit’s, the company’s Artist Director, journeys for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and looking at various British International Schools and hotels that the company could partner with, as just a few examples. I particularly enjoyed the tasks I was given, as I knew I was making a genuine contribution to the development of the company and they gave me a real insight into the administrative side of theatre. As someone who wants to ultimately have my own company and make my own work, this was invaluable at giving me an understanding of all areas of production such as budgeting and finance.

Before I arrived, Belinda, the company’s General Manager, asked me if there was anything in particular I wanted to learn more about during my time with the company. Based on what I said, I was lucky enough to spend time with both Belinda and Pippa, the Company Administrator, where they talked me through the company’s incredibly complex three year business plan, their Education Outreach and how the company goes about auditioning and hiring performers and their technical team. Belinda and Pippa were so helpful, answering all my many questions and helping me to understand this intricate area.

I completed my internship during the week of PULSE Festival, a theatre festival exclusive to Ipswich that showcases a variety of styles of theatre created by upcoming theatre makers in the run up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I went with Belinda to see Maestro by Kieran Hodgson at the New Wolsey Theatre, a comic biographic tale of his journey from an awkward teenager to a content young adult, set against the backdrop of classical music. Observing all the theatrical people Belinda knew, made me realise the importance of theatre contacts in creating your work and how much this can do for your art.

What I have cherished most from this experience, has been just being in the office. So many interesting theatre people would come and go in the office such as performers, people from the Arts Council, set designers and lighting designers and hearing all the passion and enthusiasm of the performing arts made me realise I do not want to work in any other area, but the theatre. I was particularly star struck, when Amit came into the office!

I have loved my time with Gecko and cannot thank the wonderful team enough for their patience, support and friendly, relaxed, tea-filled office. I cannot wait to see what Gecko gets up to in the near future!

Work Experience Blog - Becka

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Working at Gecko has been a great experience for me! My job was mainly office-based so I could receive a sneak peak of behind the scenes of the production work. I had the privilege of meeting some of the team, Belinda, Pippa and Terri, who welcomed me and made me feel at home. Belinda talked me through the safety hazards in case of an accident, which is extremely important.

During the first day, I browsed through Gecko’s website to gain more insight on the company and their past shows. The physical theatre movements were fascinating! They were well put together and it was easy to tell how much effort and time was put into the shows.

On my second day, I had the honour to help make scrapbook for Gecko using past and current show leaflets, posters and newspaper articles. This was my favourite part of work experience because I was able to use my creativity within the job. I also had the opportunity to join in the meeting with Belinda and Steve, who was part of the Ipswich Borough Council. They made me feel relaxed and comfortable because the meeting was in a small coffee shop and it wasn’t extremely formal as I thought it would’ve been.

Belinda had a lovely gesture and talked me through Gecko’s business plan from the past and the future of their productions. I had realised that Gecko is extremely successful because they put a lot of hard-work into their shows and fundings. This is an area I had a lot of respect for. I also had the chance to view the statistics of the audiences when Gecko went on their tour in the UK and internationally.

I was able to help Pippa with typing up databases onto excel for the international promoters, which was enjoyable until my legs fell asleep as I was sitting on the chair for three hours typing everything up onto the computer.

I really enjoyed working with Gecko and I appreciated their hospitality while I was there. I hope I will get another possibility of working in a similar environment in the future!

Work Experience Blog - Alys

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I’ve had a great week with Gecko! I have been based in the office with Gecko’s lovely team – Belinda, Pippa and Thomas – who have been very welcoming and generous with their time.

My week has involved some administrative jobs, as well as the creation of Gecko’s quarterly E-newsletter. Belinda kindly devoted some time to talking me through Gecko’s business plan and funding application to the Arts Council. This gave me a really comprehensive summary of everything that Gecko does. It was an important reminder that community-engaged theatre companies like Gecko don’t just create sensitive and challenging performances, but also operate from day to day by responding sensitively to their working environments, taking care with safeguarding, equal opportunities, environmental impact, etc.

I think my favourite experiences of the week were sitting in on team meetings. It was a great opportunity to hear about Gecko’s current projects and future plans, and really lovely to pick up on the care and protection Gecko extends to its freelance performers. These were discussions with a conscience, interested in the artistic development, confidence, energy levels and workload of Gecko’s performers. From the edges, the theatre industry can often feel intimidating and cut-throat, so it was heartening to see a successful company so invested in protecting and mentoring developing artists.

At the mid-week team meeting, I also had the privilege of hearing Artistic Director, Amit, reflect on Institute’s time at HOME in Manchester, and the success of the workshop he had devised and delivered in collaboration with Mind. It was lovely to witness the generosity and humility of Amit’s approach to the offerings of others, and his joy in the face of other people’s emotional and artistic break-throughs. I will go forward with the absolute certainty of Gecko’s heart for others. The most important lesson of this week, for me, has been that great theatre is not about pushing towards some objective, aesthetic standard of art, but making sure that art is invested in community and human experience, and evolves through interaction and truth-telling.

I have had a wonderful week with Gecko and feel certain that there are wonderful things to come from this company that we all love so much!

This placement has come at an ‘in-between’ time for me. I have just finished an MA at KCL and am now looking forward to spending the festive season on tour as an intern actor with a Birmingham-based theatre company. I am also working on my application to study physical theatre at École de Jacques Lecoq in Paris next autumn. I’m extremely grateful for Gecko’s time, energy, hospitality and welcome. The result is that people like me can keep learning and creating and feel like we have a place and a hope in this wonderful, daunting industry!

Work Experience Blog - Jasmin

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I have always been interested in theatre, even when I was really young and we used to go and watch the rock and roll panto at the New Wolsey Theatre. I have always enjoyed drama and performing, getting the chance to be someone completely different, a made up character. So when I was told I had to choose a work experience placement I knew I had to do something to do with theatre. Then my school offered me the chance to do it at Gecko. To be honest I hadn’t actually heard of Gecko before this, so was not completely sure what it was, however I soon after found out and was extremely excited to be doing my work experience there.

On my first day I was greeted by Belinda who then introduced me to everyone, luckily for me there was a show being rehearsed so I got to meet the performers that would soon be starring in that, everyone was so friendly and kind. Belinda also introduced me to everyone in the office, who were equally as nice. I got to see how many people and how much work was behind the shows.

To begin with my tasks included things such as scanning and transferring the scans onto the computer. As the week progressed I was able to do more tasks such as gathering statistics and putting them onto the computer. During the week I also got the opportunity to visit another company associated with Gecko, and help out putting together letters to go out, for their upcoming event, the Spill festival.

Gecko is an amazing place to be, the atmosphere is so nice and everyone is always prepared to help out. It was really nice to see the inside of a company, how many aspects there are to it, and how many people have to contribute in order to make things run properly.

It was great to meet so many new people and do my work experience at Gecko.

Thanks Gecko!


Work Experience Blog - Harriet

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Before I started my work experience at Gecko I was unsure on whether I would like to pursue a career in the theatre when I am older. Luckily over the last two weeks I have had an amazing opportunity to see what it would be like. 

I have always been very keen on theatre both on and off stage. At school I have definitely gone down the theatrical route. I am doing GSCE Drama and dance as well as BTEC technical theatre skills. Also I’m always one of the first to have their name on the sign up sheets for school performances.

When people first meet me I am quite a shy person but that wasn’t a problem for Pippa and Belinda who were both ready with a neighbourly welcome. I started off my first week with simple yet exciting tasks and as the week went on I got a chance to meet a lot of new interesting people within the Gecko team who made me feel like one of them. One of the best things about it was how much I was included and how I was actually making a contribution to the company. Some of the tasks I have done include updating the UK mailing list and scanning documents onto Gecko’s sharepoint. With Gecko there is never a dull day even the most “boring” tasks were exciting and gave me a chance to learn something new. Some people don’t understand or appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes, if someone who has that mindset came to Gecko, within an instant they would understand how important the whole team is.

I would recommend applying for work experience with Gecko because it is a wonderful and happy place to be. It will also give you a fascinating look into the many different roads and pathways within the theatre. The possibilities are endless.

I have enjoyed my experience with Gecko immensely and I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone for making me feel at home. Also a incredibly sad goodbye, I will miss working with the whole Gecko team a lot. 

Work Experience Blog - Bethany

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I was inspired recently to see how Gecko used physical theatre techniques in their production “Institute”. Alongside the humour, powerful physical images, narrative and set, I was fascinated by the unique way Gecko communicates through the universal language of movement as opposed to depending on the spoken word. With my ambition to use theatre in the future as a means of communicating and inspiring those in other countries, Gecko has revealed the effectiveness of physical theatre as a tool of communication and demonstrated that language is not necessarily restricted to a verbal level.

When the opportunity arose for a week’s Work Experience in the Gecko office, I could think of no better place to learn about the business side of managing a Theatre Company, because of my admiration for their performances and their success in taking productions to international audiences.

Both Pippa and Belinda were so lovely and welcoming! Despite their hectic schedule, they always managed to find time to answer my questions or explain aspects of the company e.g. job roles, funding, current projects etc. The week itself included a variety of different tasks; designing a leaflet for the new Admin Internship, updating national and international mailing lists, watching technical rehearsals with the cast at Dance East, and culminating in a sharing of their new production ‘The Wedding’. Although I was expecting to work mainly within the office, I also had an insight into the creative aspects too! I am interested to find out how this piece develops.

From just one week working within the office I realised the amount of organisation, time, work, and multitasking needed in managing the company! The creative would not be possible without the office and I feel that it’s important for anyone with the ambition to set up a theatre company to understand and experience this!

I have left Gecko with a renewed passion for physical theatre and directing, and also a newly discovered respect for the work that goes on behind the scenes in the office.

Work Experience Blog - Harriet

The first time I saw a Gecko show was two years ago, from the very moment the performance started I was in awe! The beautiful expressive movement, the attention to detail and the unique way the show spoke to the audience on an individual basis became the notable starting point to my love of Gecko’s work.

I am currently in my third year studying Theatre and Drama at the University of South Wales.  For a independent professional development module I had to undertake a work placement with a company from the arts sector. I was asked ‘If there were no limitations, where would your dream placement be?’  My answer ‘Gecko! ‘

As you can now imagine, arriving at the Gecko office was very nerve racking. However the moment I stepped into the office I was welcomed with friendliness and open arms by both Pippa and Belinda. My week consisted of meeting a lot of the staff and creative team, sitting in on incredibly interesting meetings, assisting with writing the E-Newsletter, pulling material together for funding applications, and helping with other administrative tasks. I felt a true part of the Gecko team and benefitted from seeing a side of the company that most audience members don’t take into account. From spending my time with Gecko I have a greater understanding of the vast amount of work, time and detail that goes into running a internationally recognised theatre company, as well as an insight into the work that happens away from the stage which has an equal impact and value.

Gecko have been my inspiration to pursue a career in Physical Theatre, and I owe a debt of thanks to the team for having me for the week. I would recommend anybody with an interest in theatre to apply for a placement, as the benefits of my week have been endless.

Work Experience Blog - Kieran

We were absolutely thrilled to have brilliant A-Level student Kieran travel 40 miles each day all the way from Essex to spend his half-term with us at Gecko. Here’s a blog from him about his thoughts on the company.

When viewing a Gecko show without having any prior knowledge of their work or process, it is easy to believe you have slipped into an imaginary world where advanced physicality and emotional integrity are now the leading forms of communication and means of storytelling. It is quite easy to forget whilst being emerged into Gecko’s art that we are, in fact, onlookers from the stalls or through a screen. It is due to the hard work and acute planning of Gecko’s staff and creative team that this dream-like effect is possible. Whilst completing voluntary work experience at their Home Office based in Ipswich, I gained an insight into what most audience members do not consider – the logistical workings of a physical theatre company.

It was whilst I was completing my Drama AS Level that I became increasingly aware of the fact that I should begin to consider my performance possibilities and theatrical practices once I leave school. After much deliberating, and I am still deliberating I might add, I came to the realisation that an insight into the behind-the-scenes efforts and organising that makes theatrical works possible would be a great step to take. I was already a fan of Gecko’s work and style so I thought work experience under their wing would be extremely beneficial; I was right.

Although the train journey may not have been desirable, I live about 40 miles away from Ipswich and it took over an hour, the placement itself was certainly desirable and I would definitely regard myself to be incredibly lucky having had the opportunity of seeing wonderful people like Pippa, Luke and Belinda work first hand. My week involved a variation of tasks from website development to data-basing to subtitling, all of which made me aware of the amount of time administrative and marketing processes take – not to mention the necessary attention span also needed. The technological skills I have gained will, no doubt, come in handy in my professional and personal development whilst also reinforcing my knowledge on how companies operate.

A notable, and perhaps the most important, quality I have witnessed all week is Gecko’s resilient attitude to the upkeep of standards and branding in order to further their dramatic discipline and to keep artists like Amit Lahav able to do so. I finish my, seemingly brief, week at Gecko with a rejuvenated love for performance, with a more advanced understanding of what it means to work in the arts and with a revitalized excitement for my future in the arts. I would thoroughly advise anyone to apply for such an experience.

Work Experience Blog - Molly

When my high school assigned me the task of finding a work experience placement, for two weeks, I began researching different theatre companies to apply to, since I am interested in the dynamics of how large theatre organisations operate. Since I already had positive acknowledgement of Gecko I began studying their website and became very interested in their worldwide work and the different aspects of the company.

After completing my research, I sent a work experience placement request to Gecko expressing why I was contacting them, my personal interest in working part-time for the company and skills which I held that I could use to complete certain tasks appointed to me. In which followed Belinda Farrell, Gecko’s General Manager, contacting me to set up an interview to meet her and discuss why I wanted to experience Gecko and what I would be completing during my time there.

On my first day Belinda, introduced me to the layout of Gecko, the different offices at the New Wolsey Studio where I would be working, the kitchen and the studio itself. I was introduced to the team of staff whom work there and to the specific people I would be engaged with for my following weeks. I was briefed on where the fire exits are, the hours I would be working and who to report to if I have any problems, worries or concerns. I was given an agenda of tasks to complete over the following week, which also contained basic contact information.

My first day tasks included learning how to use the computer system, how to answer the telephone; answering, transferring and taking messages, to proof the read new website and to start this work experience blog.

Throughout the week, I continued to develop the website by transcribing videos, made so the content and information of Gecko can still be reached even by people whom have trouble hearing the communication on the videos and/or whom can’t play the videos, which really showed me the widespread of people Gecko is available for.

On my last day, I was given a fascinating tour around the New Wolsey Theatre, where I was shown where the cast and creatives work, create and plan. It really opened my eyes, as did Gecko, about the amount of people, time and consistent change it takes for shows to run.

I was also very lucky enough to be able to watch many rehearsals, for an upcoming new project. Watching Amit Lahav (one of Gecko’s founders and Artistic Director) and Rich Rusk (Associate Director) create a piece of physical theatre with amazing performers, like Chris Evans, is a masterpiece in itself. The amount of detail, changes and time put into creating a ‘Gecko Show’ is a powerful life experience to watch. If the performers were an orchestra and Amit and Rich were the conductors then, the roof of the building would be blown off, because of the amount of energy that is created by the intricate impact of noise and connected movement. The amount of laughter (A lot from Amit) laced through Gecko, explains greater than words the impact Gecko has on the people who work and create there. The name ‘physical theatre’ does no justice of Gecko’s construction, the experience you have when watching ‘Gecko generate art’ is mind blowing and imagination extending. The passion that the performers put into their work alone makes the performance travel from brilliant to majestic.

I am very thankful that Gecko gave me the opportunity to explore its world and to give me the experience of working with great people in a social, upbeat and rewarding environment.

I would strongly recommend everyone and anyone to sign up to their mailing list and to contact them if you would like to do your work experience here and/or if you would like your school to do a workshop here, either option will bring you an amazing ‘Gecko Experience’ in the land of physical and visual theatre.

Work Experience Blog - Sean

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Technical whizz-kid Sean from Chantry Academy describes his week’s work experience with Gecko, as well as his process organising it. 

I was assigned by my high school to try sort out my work experience. I already had a good idea in mind I wanted to do something photography based. So I asked my school if they had any on the system but the only place they had was a photo processing shop. I kindly declined the offer because it didn’t interest me. So I carried on looking and I knew I wanted to do something artistic so I thought about theatre and I like drama so I thought I’d give it a go. Once again I asked my school and they gave me the details I needed. So during the summer holidays I called up New Wolsey Theatre to find out, they had no idea what I was talking about and no placements. After the holidays I went back to school to try sort it out and they got me a place with Gecko. I went home and looked on their website; I got excited about it quite fast.

On Monday the 7th of September I turned up at New Wolsey Studio and knocked on the massive red doors. A young lady Pippa ‘the aunt that doesn’t stop working’ took me on a tour of the building and where I would be working. A kitchen, where a lot and I mean a lot of tea is made, a small lounge/meeting area, all the offices and where I should go if I were ill or if I needed any medical help. I was shown where the fire exits were and the studio upstairs. The whole building was quite compact but very nice people I met; the intern whom I spent most of my time with and showing him some stuff. The first day quite enjoyable talking to Belinda ‘the mum of the office’ about why I wanted to come to Gecko. Then Luke ‘the older brother that will be leaving the nest soon’ also known as the Intern. We were talking about camera settings that he would need for an interview with Amit ‘the alpha papa also the founder’ I was also looking at the website in further detail and watched a couple of Gecko performances. I found them amazing and delightful to watch and then further discussed the performances with the office and why I liked them.

The next day I helped Luke out with his camera and then started to dig in to trying to put transcripts onto Vimeo without doing it by hand and we sorted that. That night Belinda got me a ticket to go see Sweet Charity with them. It was amazing I met Amit and he’s so lovely. The next day Pippa had some work for me to do with mailing lists and I did that for 2 days (it was a lot of work okay!) I then got working on transcribing some videos. I learnt a lot listening to the videos hearing what people had to say about Gecko and how Gecko has grown dramatically.

Overall Gecko is a wonderful company and it’s such a nice working environment. The people I met along the way are great, everyone was polite and kind and I wouldn’t mind coming again. I can highly recommend coming to do your work experience here and work with these lovely people. I wouldn’t mind working for them myself.