Work Experience Diary | Celina “It just felt right to be at the Bush”

Our work experience student Celina, from Germany, tells us about her time at the Bush Theatre.

I stood in front of the building for at least five minutes before I entered it, trying to observe the feeling. Nervous, yes. But excited. Which outweighed the tension, luckily. A thousand questions on my mind. Will you understand what they want from you? Will they expect something from you that you simply are unable to fulfil? I realised that the only way to find out was to get in. So that was what I did.

Everybody immediately knew who I was. “Hey, you have got to be Celina, nice to meet you, how are you, can I get you a tea?”. I was impressed right away and this condition went on staying with me. I have never had such a warm welcoming before in my homeland, Germany. It just felt right to be at the Bush. I did not feel unwanted for a second. It was all organised and I had zero problems to get along. Everybody here is so nice, one can literally ask anyone for help. If you seem lost, you will get asked if you need anything. It is just how it works here. No one gets forced to do anything. Very pleasant and comforting.

Bush Theatre. Photo: Philip Vile

Bush Theatre. Photo: Philip Vile

On my first day, after I had been chatted through the basics, I got to read a little about the Bush, getting to know the place where I was about to spend the next 9 work days at better. I adore this institution for giving everybody a chance. The Bush supports new playwrights from all backgrounds. I simply love the concept of everybody being seen as an individual without wanting to change the way one thinks. I read a script of one of the upcoming plays this year, which was an honour. My fears were blown away as I got into my tasks.

I enjoyed being with the literary department. I got to read excerpts from different plays, analysing them and so on. It felt like an English lesson, but way cooler. I am a singer so all that backstage-work wasn’t unfamiliar. Still, I learned so much. I never would have expected the amount of work that goes into one production. I mean like, I knew it was much, but this much? I am still working on getting this into my head.

What brought me a lot of joy, too, was the administration department, where I did calligraphy on cards for all the creatives that worked on a current show. There was a German creative, so I took the chance to write in German. I think it brought joy – which is a great feeling, by the way, when your work and what you do makes other people happy or helps them in any way.

I also got to work in the development, producing and community department, as well as the front of house and right now I am in the marketing department, writing this blog post. Of course there were things that were less fun, like researching charitable foundations, but since it helps keeps the theatre going it was cool to be trusted with this responsibility.

Looking backwards, I felt so accepted. So welcomed. It was beautiful. I have to say, I did feel lost the day before my work experience started, being a sixteen-year old in a huge, foreign city. I was intimidated. But I always had something to do here, which made me feel so much more comfortable and distracted me from the issues I had to deal with outside the office. Whether it was preparing props for the show or writing an application to a charitable foundation, I always had the feeling of being valued. And not only was I valued – it also made so much fun working here, I do not even want to stop.

Yes, of course I miss my home – at least kind of – but this work experience was more than worth it. The people here are so great, seriously. I do not know how to give everything I have learned here back to all the staffs, I’m just so grateful. It seriously made me want to achieve my goal, to become a musical theatre actress, even more. I know now how a theatre actually works, got to see how the business works and the teeny tiny steps that have to be covered before a play hits the stage.

To me, the Bush has an empowering, creative and inspirational atmosphere and is ready to welcome anyone who wants to express their feelings. What a ride. What a community. What a blessing to be given this chance to. I will miss this, as well as the staffs and I simply cannot wait to come back to Shepherd’s Bush to see how much the Bush Theatre will have been growing until then. Thank you all so much!

Find out more about work experience at the Bush Theatre and the work of our community department.