Louise Davidson, Intern assistant to theatre director Mick Gordon
What does your role involve?
My position involves taking an active role in workshops that promote character and script development, documenting notes throughout the rehearsal process, looking after the cast and ensuring that the director has all he needs to guarantee efficiency throughout the course of the production.
How did you get into the position in the first place?
Through a mixture of hard work, active networking and being in |the right place at the right |time. I’m so pleased to be part of Ransom’s brilliant internship initiative and I’m loving every minute of it.
Did you always want to work in this sector in some capacity?
I always wanted to do something creative but I didn’t realise how much I loved theatre until my first year of university. Before that I wanted to write novels. I directed my first production while I was a fresher and haven’t looked back since.
What training or previous experience do you have that has helped you in your current role?
I have a BA in English Literature, which has consolidated my communication skills and I have directed several amateur productions over the past three |years, which has given me a definite understanding of what is needed to make a production happen.
I have completed an internship at the Grand Opera House, where I worked in several sectors including marketing, programming and education and outreach.
I acted as an usher and general assistant during the Pick N Mix Festival in association with the MAC and I’ve also acted as a general assistant for Greenroom Productions.
What is your organisation’s role in the local community?
Ransom is dedicated to producing exciting, original work from Northern Ireland’s dramatic talent and to give new, up-and-coming artists experience of a real production process.
And how does your role fit in as part of this?
I enable and facilitate the process by which theatre is made.
What are the biggest rewards of the job? And the biggest challenges?
There are many rewards, like learning new skills and creating new friendships and working relationships but for me the biggest reward is usually to be found during production week when everything starts to come together. You can see your work taking shape, and it’s incredibly rewarding.
The biggest challenge is co-|ordinating everyone and everything so that the production runs smoothly.
What sort of personality and qualities do you need to do your job successfully?
Good communication skills and a sense of humour. You also need to have dedication as you may need to work weekends and long hours, sometimes for no pay.
You need to be resilient but |friendly and have confidence in your own ideas and abilities |but most importantly you have to be prepared to listen to and learn from others whilst working.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There’s a Henry James quotation that says: ‘Try to be someone on whom nothing is lost.’ I’ve always thought that was a great piece of advice.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to do the same job?
Be dedicated, trust your instincts and appreciate those who help you.
Can you tell us what you enjoy doing outside of your work?
I read, I write and I go to the theatre. I also work behind the bar at the Lyric Theatre so I’m kept busy.
Both Sides runs at Crescent Arts Centre as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s until October 28