On Sunday 16th September, eight pupils from Tech club attended Plasa at Kensington Olympia - an annual trade show, organised by the Professional Lighting and Sound Association. The pupils got to see, explore and experience the new event and entertainment technology’s the industry has to offer, ranging from lighting, audio, rigging, staging and AV.
The pupils attended two seminars, the first being “Changeover Madness at a Festival: The lighting control challenges of a festival artist change.” The pupils got to hear from four industry professionals including the production manager for the Montreal Jazz Festival, the stage manager for the John Peele Stage at Glastonbury Festival, the lighting manager for Glastonbury Festival and the lighting and visual designer for the band Muse. The pupils got to hear first-hand the struggles that you can come across, and how best to deal with them, and how a cup of tea can go a long way when working in a field for three weeks!
Miss Thorne and Miss Kerstein were pleased to see pupils engaging in all the activities on offer. Pupils were confident in talking to trades people and industry professionals, demonstrating real knowledge and interest. Amy and Isabella were particularly skilled at acquiring all the freebies, and a competition did arise to who could collect the most promotional lanyards by talking to stall holders about their equipment and services.
The second seminar we attended - “Collaboration and Creative Teams: Working together for the stage” - was hosted by four industry theatre based professionals: Thomas Hescott (Executive Director of Stage Directors UK), Fiona Watt (Honorary Secretary of the Society of British Theatre Designers), Dom Bilkey (Chair of The Association of Sound Designers) and Lucy Carter (Professional Representative on the Executive Committee of the Association of Lighting Designers). Topics covered included how to have and overcome difficult conversations with members of the team while keeping the process open and creative; how it is best to make sure everyone is working together and all aiming for the same goal; the importance of interpersonal skills within design; the importance of being able to step back and throw away your first idea when it is no longer working, however vital it may once have seemed; and how important pre-production is for a show to run smoothly. Michael O’Connor commented on how much this reflected his experiences working as a design student in A level Theatre Studies.
Overall Emanuel’s trip to Plasa 2018 was a success, and all the students said they enjoyed having a tech day out!
Miss Thorne (Performance/Theatre Technician)