Our C&E Apprentice Looks Back On His Time At The Belgrade

Posted on 9 September 2016

Anthony Forward, current Community and Education Apprentice, finishes his apprenticeship today, and we wish him the best of luck in the future. Here he looks back on his year at the Belgrade.

My time here at the Belgrade Theatre has been a journey of self-discovery, with new talents found, reaching new heights, there has been laughter and empathetic tears. I can say my experience has been like a time machine, memories of past, present and future. I’d recommend to any emerging artists, in local or surrounding areas to strive for opportunities such as this.

3 Highlights

• Getting to personalise and organise events for the Community & Education team, such as the annual Christmas party for participants.
• I got to technically light my first show, and see some participants act out some of my life story, through a story telling performance/documentary, which involved our CYT participants and collaborative members of Warwick University, through an international project covering countries such as Greece, India and Taiwan.
• Liaising with professional artists and practitioners from all over the world. This was during the Belgrade’s 50th anniversary of Theatre In Education, part two of the Inspiring Curiosity festival. It really feels special being involved with the birthplace of Theatre in Education, in relation to where I’m heading with my career.

3 Challenges

• I have a very clear passion for performing arts, so I think a challenge for me at the beginning of my journey was not giving the participants all the answers and let them be educated.
• I was very conscious of the age ranges I was working with (8 years old to 50+), when in the creative space. So progression in my professional conduct has flourished miraculously.
• Time management at the first hurdle was a challenge for me, because I was doing support/teaching work over a spread of 7 different groups, while maintaining my day to day jobs within the office and balancing my academic work as part of my study. Apprenticeships are not for the faint-hearted.

3 things I’ve learnt

• There is are fair amount of technical ability needed in the nature of this job and study, I have overcome obstacles in that sense, such as Microsoft Excel.
• I’ve learnt how to successfully run and compose a performing art’s workshop as a drama practitioner, on several occasions.
• How to receive critical feedback and apply within my work successfully.

Future prospective: If you asked me 12 months ago if I was going to go to University, I would have said no. Now this October, I will be going to Coventry University to do a BA in Theatre & Professional Practice. I did not have much faith in myself when I first started as I was suffering from a lot of anxiety and depression due to a health diagnosis that caused a temporary state of unemployment. During the process of job searching, I saw this opening, then I applied instantly. Out of all the other jobs, this was my passion, my love, after being away from the arts for so long, that urge had risen to the surface with a vengeance. I wanted to repay the Belgrade Theatre for all their kind efforts, as this place was a sacred sanctuary for me as a child, a chance to be who I truly am, be accepted. I wanted to give that gift to the younger generation, because performing arts is one of the only forms of expression we have in this day and age in such a corporate society. I have touched many lives during this process, changing them for the better, and I’m glad I got to give back. Thank you.