Jess is a member of Queen Mary’s Theatre Company.

The Theatre Company gives students the opportunity to pitch ideas for shows and performances. Jess wanted to direct a musical so had to try and sell her idea to the Company in a short pitch.

She had to show that she had thought of the music she wanted to use, the band that she would hire and the equipment she would need. Her pitch needed to be clear and concise. The Theatre Company also gave Jess the chance to improve her improvisation skills through ‘Flatpack’, a weekly improvisation group.

Transcript

Jess, Theatre Company:In the Theatre Company we have pitch nights every semester so every semester we run a performance festival and within that students elect themselves to direct different plays. You would choose the play that you want to direct and then we’ll hold a pitch night where you put forward which play you want to direct, kind of how big the cast is going to be, what equipment you’re going to need and why you’re going to be good at pitching that and why they should choose you.

Explain and argue clearly and concisely:

My friend and I decided that we were going to pitch a musical together which was quite a big challenge really; we had to think about all the music, the band that we’d have, the cast, acquiring mikes for the performance. There was a 5 to 10 minute limit on the presentation so I had to really think about being concise within it and getting the most information I could in possible whilst at the same time really selling myself and my friend so that they’d want to choose us.

Good judgement:

Through the theatre company I’ve learned how to judge my time really effectively because obviously being in a play is a huge commitment – learning your lines, the whole rehearsal process which can be up to a month and the performance itself and the week leading up to the performance is a really intense week with loads of rehearsals. I think it was really important to be able to balance that with learning my lines as well as having a social life, not becoming a social recluse, balancing that with my job and my degree itself, which is obviously should be the top of my priorities, so it’s really important not to let my study slide throughout it.

Initiative and resilience in meeting challenges:

Although I do drama I can’t stand improvisation, it’s just one of those things that I absolutely hate and within the Theatre Company we have a group called Flat Pack which is all about improvisation. They meet every single week and they play drama games that encourage you to get up and improvise. Although it is in a really safe environment because it’s with all of your peers and it’s quite relaxed – everybody’s really friendly and non-judgemental – it’s still really intimidating. I decided being a drama student I should really gain some improvisational skills so I decided to meet that challenge and I used my initiative by just throwing myself headfirst in to Flat Pack. I showed resilience by going along every single week regardless of the fact that I hated it – I just really threw myself in there. After a month I become really comfortable – I got to know the group of people that I was working with and it became fun. By the end of the year I absolutely loved Flat Pack and I hated missing it when I couldn’t make it to a week’s session.