All About… The Arts VA’s Katie
This week’s Q&A is with, Katie - both a VA and a stage manager, she has a great understanding of the industry. Here, she remembers her childhood ambitions, how she got the theatre bug and what she loves about being a VA...
What was your first job?
My first job was working as a waitress for one of the village pubs. I went on to work in my first theatre job when I was 21, supervising SM students for the Royal Academy of Music - which is amusing considering I had only just graduated after studying Theatre, Film, Television and Literature myself!
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I don’t really remember but my school yearbook had me down for a theatre designer and my career adviser report as a landscape gardener - make of that what you will!
When did you know you wanted to work in the arts?
When I started volunteering at my local theatre in Somerset at 16. We did a bit of everything, backstage, followspots, load-ins, re-lights, selling ice creams, whatever was required. I definitely got the bug and never looked back.
First production you went to see?
The Wind in the Willows at the Bristol Old Vic. I was quite young, but remember the magic created by the characters, set, lighting and costumes.
What is your favourite theatre memory?
I have many great memories but my earliest is in that same local receiving theatre doing an overnight load in and lighting rig. I remember we took turns to have naps under the FOH stairs! The idea of an alternative workstyle and ethic, teamwork and creativity has stuck with me.
What do you like about being a VA?
I like the people and the projects, which is the same reason I love stage managing.
What do you like to do on a weekend?
I like to be out in nature and then cooking and chilling out with friends and family. Failing that, a sauna, sushi, saki, movie and me time!
I’m not really a frequenter of Pret… so I guess, a double espresso.
Coffee or tea?
Les Mis or Phantom?
Phantom (worked on it so I’m biased).
Gin Martini - as dry as it comes.
Favourite holiday spot?
Anywhere with somewhere to swim.
Best way to relax?
Three words to describe you?
According to my oldest friend, I’m like the purple Quality Street: Classic, a bit nutty and soft at heart - way more than three words!
Oysters and champagne.
Dinner party guests?
All my family and friends from around the world in one place.
I don’t really watch TV, but have recently rewatched the complete series of Blackadder.
The Arts News
Check out the full Les Mis tour cast. The show opens in Glasgow next month starring Dean Chisnall (Jean Valjean), Nic Greenshields (Javert) and Katie Hall (Fantine).
Stars from the screen and stage have joined the #BreaktheGlass campaign to help marginalised young people break into the arts. The Arts Emergency revealed that only 16% of people in the creative industries are from a working-class background.
We’d Love to Hear From You!
If you have any questions about Katie or would like to know more about how you could work with The Arts VA, contact Charlie here.