I headed down to Ipswich on a brisk February morning, not sure quite what to expect at the end of a very, very, (very, very, very) long journey from The North – only to find a lovely house to stay in – complete with ADORABLE dog, and an office full of wonderful people to meet.
My first day at Gecko was a chance to get settled in the new offices, (that were new not just to me – but to the whole team) and get to know the people working behind the scenes on the day to day running of the Gecko company too. I spent an interesting morning with Joff and Mani finding out a little of what had led them to their career in the arts, as well as spending a lot of time talking about art, theatre and writing in general, and of course about Gecko itself! I was encouraged to ask questions and to learn from the bank of experience each member of the team had and was hugely inspired and encouraged by hearing such varied and different creative stories. Later in the day, I was introduced to my true challenge of the week – organising and taking inventory of what had become a little bit of an unofficial store room within the offices, with a view to making the space more suitable for human habitation at some point in the future! The job was perfect for me, as a keen organiser and spreadsheet formatter!
As the week went on, I continued with my store room reshuffle (something I got very into), as well as spending some time learning about the importance of social media and engaging with a wider audience on various platforms – even being able to lend some insight into the world of YouTube as we considered how the company’s channel could be developed to bring in a larger online viewership. We also spent a surprisingly long time crafting a Valentines Instagram post – something I was amazed was so difficult to get right, as a person who will openly admit to “Instagramming” way too much!
I spent a day sorting through the incredible (and expansive) collection of set, costume and prop elements that Gecko holds in storage, implementing the same cataloguing system I had developed for the store room at the offices to help organise this much larger space. It proved to be a huge undertaking, and a truly unique one – never before have I had to take inventory of a varied selection of plastic dolls in the same stroke as a collection of assorted musical instruments! Nothing else could have given such an insight into the delightfully eclectic creative process behind every Gecko show.
Throughout the whole week, I was made to feel welcome and involved – even when it came down to things like contributing in meetings, working through problems in the office, even to giving an opinion on artworks brought in by a local artist (Amazing!). I was able to apply myself to the tasks I was given knowing I was genuinely contributing to the work of the office and so went home each evening feeling satisfied and accomplished, having had full day of interesting conversation and company.
I finished off a fabulous week by seeing Gecko’s newest show, The Wedding at my local theatre, the Playhouse in Liverpool. The show was sensational, and my experience getting to know a small number of the people who contributed to the creation of it made me feel even closer to the action and gave me a massive appreciation for what had gone on to bring something so complex to life.
What a satisfying way to end my Gecko experience – rounding off a week full of adventures I will definitely continue to draw upon as I continue to pursue my own career!
To find out more about how you can apply to work experience at the Gecko office, please visit our Work Experience page.