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.