With Elly & Emily now at the half way point of their internship, Elly talks about her experience of being an Assistant Producer.
“PUNKIT! An explosive night of music and creativity!” – What a tag line! As a first taste of Assistant Producing, why not start it off with a bang!
Over the last 3 months, 90 year 7 students from Harrold Priory Middle School, Bedfordshire learnt Punkit! an explosive, 20-minute participative music work for massed percussion written by award winning composer Stephen Deazley, featuring internationally renowned percussion soloist Joby Burgess and commissioned by &Co. The students experienced three workshops with Stephen and Joby, and created their own percussion boxes with Graffiti Artist Jason Cool and Illustrator Katie Allen. This all culminated with an event where the students performed alongside Stephen and Joby, and a live band to an audience of parents, students and the public at The Corn Exchange, Bedford.
Whilst working here at &Co. I have quickly learnt to just go with the flow, to try and not get stressed, and attempt to understand what is happening as it unfurls. I have also come to expect the unexpected; like seeing my boss arriving with her car crammed with 20 drums, along with some tonal percussion. (She was unable to replicate this Tetris-style of packing in the later transportation of the instruments).
Accepting that an array of odd requests will be thrown my way has also been a learning curve. I began my day of the event running around the town centre, collecting refreshments and picking up things that had been left at the office, and relaying messages to co-workers. I got a variety of strange looks from passers-by as I headed towards the Corn Exchange with 3 multipacks of water in my arms, a bunch of bananas balanced precariously on top, and paper cups stuffed into my coat pockets.
The day was a whirlwind of confusion once there were 80 children in the building. However, once we ran through the plan of the day a couple of times, and the children began their rehearsal everything began to fall into place. Everyone was briefed of their roles and positions, all the equipment was where it should be, and I was told I could relax…
Or so I thought! I was given a group of children to keep in order as led them into position before they went on stage, which allowed me to use my teacher voice from working as an Art Assistant. Being introduced as ‘This is Elly, she may be small, but she is mighty. Do not get her angry…’ ensured that they listened to me, which gave me a great sense of power!
It was the first day where I truly felt like part of the &Co. team, as this has been the first project where I have been involved with some of the integral stages ahead of the event. I was present for the PUNKIT box workshops at Harrold Priory Middle School, where I assisted freelance illustrator Katie Allen in a typography and collage workshop.
Seeing how the children had worked on their boxes after the session and watching as everything came together for the show, their outfits, the boxes and the enthusiasm of their performance showed me how hard they had all worked over the past 10 weeks, and how passionate they were about the project. This resonated in their performance on stage, and resulted in a confident, loud and proud show, and left everyone with a huge smile on their face!
These first three months of my internship have flown by and I have learnt so much in my short time being here. I can’t wait to see what else I will experience as my time at &Co. continues!