We were thrilled to be joined by Maddie and Emily, two Further Stages students from Stagecoach Woking, for work experience recently. Whilst they were getting a taste of office life, Maddie wrote about what it’s like being in a Stagecoach performance.
Since being at Stagecoach, I have been lucky enough to participate in a few events like Elevate and end of term shows at my local theatre, the Rhoda McGaw in Woking, with my Stagecoach school. We tend to do a main show in the theatre once a year as well as doing Elevate in November every year.
Before an event, there are lots of preparations to be done before even getting to the theatre. These include getting the costumes we are going to be performing in so we can rehearse with them and make sure nothing goes wrong on the day. When getting to the theatre we have to do a tech run on the stage to make sure that all the lights and sound that we need are working as well as to get a feel for what the stage will be like when we perform.
I really enjoy working with costumes and props as they allow me to really feel like I am a part of the show and help me to get into the character. I have had many costumes in the past including sparkly dresses, leotards made to look like shirt and ties, 60s outfits and a costume to make it look like we have been in a fire. However, my favourite costume was a Dorothy dress that I wore when performing a Wizard of Oz piece.
When we did our annual showcase at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre we arrived at the stage door for 12:00pm ready for our weekend of performances that we had ahead of us. We were then taken to our dressing rooms to get ready and put on our costumes and do any makeup and hair that was needed. We then looked at the running order to make sure we knew when we were needed. After that, we had a dress and tech run to make sure everything was ready for our showcase and to make sure we had rehearsed our numbers that we were doing. Before the showcase started, we made sure to have a break to eat something and have a drink. Our matinee show started at 2:30 and our evening performance started at 6:30. After the shows are done we change back into our Stagecoach uniforms and talk to the teachers about how they thought we did. They congratulate us whilst we wait to be collected by our parents.
I really enjoy performing for an audience as I feel like it’s a good opportunity to experience what it would be like if you were going to be in a musical or performing for a bigger audience. It also slowly eases you into becoming more confident about performing in front of people.
My favourite performances that I have done were my first big event that I did for a Red Cross event that was about the Grenfell Tower fire, as well as the most recent performance that I did which was a jazz number to the song Dancing Fool which was really fun to perform and uplifting.
If I was to say anything to new Stagecoach students that were about to do their first performance, I would tell them to have fun and enjoy it. Although it’s very nerve-wracking performing in front of an audience, it is one of the most enjoyable things that I have ever done and once you get past the nerves it’s a very eye-opening thing to be a part of.
Hi, I’m Maddie and I’m 15. I've been a student at Stagecoach for seven years and recently moved up to Further Stages where I have now been for two terms. Dance has always been my favourite discipline as I did ballet from the ages of 3-6, and street dance from the age of seven. I left street dance when I was ten and started gymnastics at 11 which I still do to this day. I really enjoy Stagecoach as it allows me to be myself and bring up new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I didn't start Stagecoach. It’s also increased my confidence and I have made lots of new friends that I enjoy seeing every Saturday.
Now you know about the realities of a Stagecoach performance, have a read of Maddie’s friend Emily’s blog post
about a day in the life of a Stagecoach student.