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The Path to New Members Rep

Get to know a little bit more about your New Members Rep, Poppy, and her experiences of joining LUU Backstage!

When I arrived at university, it was clear that things were a considerable step up from the bits of tech I had done in high school theatre. I was starting from basically zero knowledge when I showed up to the GIAG event, which turned out to be a great time learning all the basics and meeting some friendly people. This encouraged me to sign up for the first show - FRESh, where I saw how much time, effort, and more time goes into every show. I was a lighting assistant and, while I had been worried that I would be totally confused, I quickly learned my way around with help from the lighting designer and the rest of the folks on the show. Soon, I was hanging up lights and pushing sliders on the lighting desk like... well, maybe not a pro, but better than I was at the start of the week!

After the fun I had on FRESh, it was safe to say I caught the bug and I signed up for another show as soon as I could. This time, I was a sound engineer in 9to5, which meant learning how to set up a band pit, use the sound desk and tape face mics with the other soundies. It was my first proper show with another society, so the pressure was on but of course there was no reason to be nervous - I was taught everything I needed to know. The musical itself was also really good, not that I had much time to watch it when I had to keep an eye on the script!

Poppy and the rest of the 9 to 5 crew!

Between shows, socials, and all the emergency co-op snack runs that come with, I was really starting to get to know some of the people I had met in my first few weeks. Of course, no show goes without some mild peril, such as during dance comp when I lost a crew of dancers minutes before they had to be called to the stage, but with so many people working together, everything turns out alright in the end. More than the fun I had working in different departments and learning new skills, it was the people I met that kept me coming back to the Riley week after week.

Overall, the main thing I have learned this semester is to go for every opportunity, even if it seems a bit intimidating. If you aren't familiar with an area of backstage, it can seem impossibly complicated but until you try, you'll never see what you are capable of. Not to mention, there is support from every direction whenever you need it - on the show and outside of it. I'm sure that next semester will be full of just as many exciting shows, close calls, nights out and meals from the co-op eaten with anything but the appropriate utensils - I can't wait!

Poppy on her way to her first committee meeting!


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