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A Freshers Experience!

James is in his second year studying MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

Starting university during the Covid-19 pandemic was certainly something no one had ever experienced in the past. But although there were no shows until the end of my first year, the backstage society still held virtual socials, which allowed me to connect with members who I would soon get to work with on my first show – The Rileys 2021.

Deciding between applying for lighting or sound assistant was a tough decision to make, because I love my music for sure, but at the same time lighting was something new to me which I knew hardly anything about. The closest I had got to lighting in the past was probably the windows media player visualiser.

1 Just finished rigging

I wasn’t sure whether I would like lighting since I had never done it before and I’m not the most creative person, my art teacher from school will tell you that colours were definitely not my strong point. But as we rigged the lights and began programming, I felt like I’d found a new favourite hobby.

2 The view from the lighting desk

Obviously, there was a lot more to the week than this, everything from painting the stage to loading and offloading the van. Working on the Rileys was an unforgettably great week, as it was my first show with backstage society after almost a year of waiting. I was also able to work with a great team of people.

3 Jay testing out the comfort level on stage

It was amazing to see the show come together over the week and how this is made possible. It is something that has always fascinated me from seeing live shows. I wanted to find a way to apply my knowledge of programming and tech from studying computing at A-Level and building my own PC.

Over the summer I spent some time learning MagicQ - the software used to control the lights. It’s certainly a very comprehensive piece of software, but there are great tutorials on YouTube to teach you everything. I’m looking forward to using it for real in the not-too-distant future, so see you there.

4 My natural habitat

By James Bushby


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