Working with Babeworld on inaugral Digital Routes programme
6th October 2021
It’s a given that the first time you do something you’re bound to feel nervous.
First times are scary.
I vividly remember my first day at work: I got lost not only on my way to the theatre but inside the theatre itself. Luckily, I managed to bump into half of the company just as I was heading in the wrong direction so I got to our first meeting on time. Score.
I remember being sat around the table feeling like it was the first day of school. I turned around to my left to look at all of the ‘new kids’ and it seemed that I was the only one that was feeling anxious. Everyone seemed a lot cooler than I was, and they all seemed to know their stuff. I felt like everyone else does on their first day: nervous that I wouldn’t be up to scratch.
Our goal was to stage six minutes a day. I remember being sat in rehearsals in that first week thinking we would never manage to achieve that; it felt like we’d been sentenced to ploughing through the film for the next five years. What seemed very straightforward on screen suddenly became a task that would last hours; who should stand where? Will they block someone else? Will they be in the next shot? Who’s filming this? I’d been involved in something of a beta version of the project whilst still at university so the mechanics of it were familiar to me but this was a much larger, more unwieldy beast.
For starters, I’d never had the responsibility of filming someone in this way before. There’s the pressure of getting the right shot at the right time not only because that’s the point of the exercise but because you need to be there to capture someone else giving it all they’ve got. On top of that, you’ve got a very expensive piece of equipment in your hands which if dropped… There were numerous shows were I was definitely more focused on keeping the camera off of the floor than where we were in the film.
There were days where we’d finish rehearsing and my head would feel like it was stuffed with cotton wool. (Nothing that a good debrief in the bar couldn’t solve.) But once we’d gotten into a routine, the whole day would feel like a dance – one that I grew to love very much.
Being away from home wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The show became a home away from home – a safe place where you could laugh and cry with people who were all in the same boat. My favourite part of touring was the surprise reveal of setting foot in a new theatre for the first time. Each one had its own vibe, its own spirit, that almost made it feel like you were doing a completely different show each time.
The first piece of advice I got before going on tour (and the only thing which would give me some impression of what was to come) was: bring your slippers, a yoga mat, and a spare toothbrush.
Let’s just say that my feet were toasty, my knees were sore, and…well, I think Will was quite relieved we never actually got to kiss on stage.
Rehearsal photograph by Ed Waring
6th October 2021