Wednesday, 11 April 2012

My Connections Experience

Jessica Bassett, Young Performer, Customs House Youth Theatre

I'm Jessica from The Customs House Youth Theatre and if you are thinking what is it like to be a part of Connections Festival then here is your answer.

Last week I  was very lucky to perform  at Northern Stage  as part of the NT Connections Festival 2012.  It was amazing! As part of the Customs House Youth Theatre we were giving the opportunity to open the whole festival on Wednesday 28th March.

As soon as we arrived on Wednesday we were given bright orange wrist bands and got a tour of the whole building. The tour was very interesting as we got to look around a professional theatre and see what goes on behind the scenes. All the staff involved with Connections were lovely and made us feel welcome as soon as we arrived. But I must admit I just loved the wrist bands it made us all feel we were an important part of the Connections Festival. After the tour we were shown to our dressing rooms, they were very glam with stage lights around the mirrors making us feel like stars. We then had time to chill and make ourselves feel at home. Some of us decided to practice the fight scenes in the dressing rooms to make sure we were ready for our rehearsal.  Can you spot our lovely mirrors and wrist bands?

Once we were all ready and settled at Northern Stage it was time for our technical rehearsal. When we got to our performance space I noticed that our set had arrived, straight away part of the Northern Stage team started to set it up, I just sat back and watched them do their stuff they had it done in no time. We were ready to start! Everything went smoothly as our director Fiona Kelly worked with the lighting and sound team to make sure everything was set for the night's performance.

Now all we had to do was get our costumes on a do our makeup. This was my favourite part of the day everyone was excited and nervous at the same time. I'm sure I had hundreds of butterflies in my stomach. We all worked together making sure everyone looked great before we performed. We even straightened the boys' hair, they complained, but I secretly think they loved it! 10 minutes to go and we played a focus game to get us ready , done some last minute makeup touches and we were all set to go!

Wow! We came off stage and everyone was in another world. Buzzing is not the word! We had just performed at Northern Stage as part of the NT Connections Festival 2012. What an experience! It is very hard to put it into words the feeling I had; I would just encourage anyone to go for it and enjoy it!

But our day was not finished yet! We all put our best dresses on and made our way to the after show party. There was a small stage with a red backdrop and a slick chill out area in the corner. But my favourite part was the games area there was any game you could of imagined guess who, connect 4, giant jenga , twister and that is just a few.  It was a great idea to keep us all entertained. There was also really good music on and we were all dancing away all night we never wanted to stop.

Just before we left we signed to autographs board just to make a mark and say we were part of the Connections Festival 2012. But I know I will never forget being a part of Connections as this has been a day to remember. I would love to come back next year and take part as it has be an unbelievable experience!

Check out The Customs House website here.
Have you got a story from Connections 2012 - why not leave us a comment below?

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