The nation has recently been in the grip of exam results seasons; A-Levels coming out right in the middle of a long, hot summer holidays, followed just a few weeks later by GSCE results; so the Kings Youth Theatre thought they would get in on the act!
Whilst studying Musical Theatre at Chichester College, as well as working on her future career as an exciting new singer, Kings Youth Theatre Leading Lights student Paige Brooker has also found the time to successfully complete and pass her Gold Arts Award.
The Arts Award Scheme is a range of unique qualifications that supports anyone aged up to 25 to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with and take part in the wider arts world through taking challenges in an art form – from fashion to digital art, pottery to poetry.
The Gold Arts Award is a Level 3 qualification, equivalent to an AS Level which secures the participant extra UCAS points and is the schemes highest recognition of an individual’s abilities as a creative arts leader.
“It has been a busy few years, working on this and college and everything else, so feels great to finally finish it.
I really enjoyed my leadership project; it was so much fun taking over. It was scary and stressful at first, but it was fun in the end. Having something to show, something that I could say “I’ve done that, I directed that, I produced that, I’m pretty proud of that” is really satisfying.
My leadership project was directing a play called “Death in Character”. It was my responsibility to sort out the casting, find the performance and rehearsals venues, outcast cast attendee (stressful!), the costumes, the props, the planning of the rehearsals, and then the actual rehearsing itself, collecting a cow costume, coaching someone through dancing in a cow costume – to name but a few things!
It’s all been worth it though. I’ve learnt a lot! I’ve learnt not to be scared to do things. As I was left to direct this piece as I saw fit, I just had to go for it and hope for the best. I think I debated with my cast some of the time when they questioned as to why we did certain things, and I had to say “no, it’s my idea, we’re doing it, it’s funny, leave it in”. That was only on certain ideas though, not on all of them.
Before I directed “Death in Character” I began the whole experience by co-directing a piece with the Youth Theatre Coordinator which involved me attending a specialist directors weekend at the National Theatre in London. Being there and being able to do that weekend was absolutely amazing. That helped me see what else you had to do as a Director; how much goes into the planning beforehand, the vision and what the director needs to make it possible. So that’s helped.
I would like to direct something else in the future, but I would need to work as part of a team. I couldn’t do it on my own. But the one thing that I know I have learnt from this project is Risk Assessing things– I know that I am now picking up things in everyday life and risk assessing them, even if I don’t need to. Spotting something that is a risk, which needs to be changed, or advising someone that they shouldn’t do something because it’s an unnecessary risk.
Congratulations on receiving your Gold Arts Award, Paige, it’s a real achievement and everyone at the theatre is very proud of you!