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Toni’s story

“Being on this project has helped me”

Name

Toni Tsaera

Role

Technical Assistant at Half Moon Young People’s Theatre

Area or borough

Tower Hamlets

What attracted you to taking part in the project?

I have had a love for theatre since the age of 11, when I started going to the Youth Theatre here at Half Moon. It sparked something in me. From there, I started to do other projects and I found technical theatre, which I knew was for me!

When I heard that Half Moon had started this trainees programme I had to apply! How could I not? There was a variety of different theatre jobs we were going to learn about: Access, Front of House and Lighting. That last one is what gripped me. I knew the team at Hal Moon so it made it easier for me to feel like I could apply and do it.

What challenges did you face in applying?

I didn’t really face any challenges, I just popped Beccy an email to see if I could apply and she sent the application form. It was pretty straight forward from there.

What is it like being on the project and how is it different to what you imagined?

Honestly, it’s a dream! I mean I lost the sparkle I had for technical theatre a couple of years ago but being here has really brought it back. I would say it has definitely given me more confidence.

The support here is amazing! I know that if I was struggling, I could turn to anyone here and they’d help. It is different to what I had imagined because it’s a lot more hands-on, which I really like because with tech you learn by doing. So getting the chance to actually take part in the technical factors is fantastic. Before I started, I was really nervous about using the lighting desk, but now I’ll have a go and have a little play around. I find it the best way to get confident with it.

How has this project changed your relationship with the local area?

I’ve grown up here so I’m very familiar with the area. I do however enjoy the walk to work. It takes about an hour.

What do you think would have happened if you hadn’t taken part?

I wouldn’t have found my spark again; I’d probably be kicking myself for not taking part. I am really glad I had the courage to apply. So many new opportunities have arisen since being here.

Was there anything unexpected that came out of the process for you?

I don’t think so.

Have you built any new relationships that you will continue with?

Definitely, I had the opportunity to shadow the previous Technical Production manager at Half Moon, which I am definitely grateful for.

To find out more about Half Moon Theatre’s Trainee project, see Half Moon Trainees. The programme was funded by our Medium Grant Scheme, part of the Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, co-funded by Westfield Stratford City.

To find out about our funded projects, see our Projects page and get involved.

To find out how to apply for funding, see our Grants page and apply today.

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