My traineeship so far: Live Art, London & the importance of a good brew

Posted by: Sian Baxter on Oct 15, 2015

Hello there, I’m Sian Baxter – this year’s trainee – and as I reach the halfway point of my traineeship, Artsadmin have asked me to tell you a little about myself and talk about my time here so far. So here goes…

I graduated from my BA in Theatre and Performance at the University of Sheffield in July 2014 where my lovely personal tutor recommended attending BUZZCUT during my first year of university and (after the worst mega bus journey I have ever experienced) my love affair with Live Art and Contemporary Performance officially began.  During my degree I co-founded immersive theatre company The Bare Project, volunteered at The Lantern Theatre, Forest Fringe, Moor Theatre Delicatessen and joined the BUZZCUT team as well as getting involved with festivals and performances in and around university.

Being thrown into the London lifestyle has been a whirlwind: from learning about different venues and opportunities to drinking overpriced beer and getting lost at least once a day (I seriously lack an inner compass). The traineeship has been jammed packed with stuff so far from assisting on the running of 2 Degrees Festival, attending advisory sessions and Sweatshops, helping with our Bursary Showcases, hunting around East London for a specific size tomato, compiling the E-digest every week (you should seriously sign up if you haven’t already) and loads more.

My personal highlight so far has been working with Tim Spooner and crew on The Assembly of Animals in Edinburgh as part of the British Council Showcase. I think this was due to a mixture of enjoying the responsibilities I was given, having a good working relationship with the venue and being in excellent company. But it hasn’t all been plain sailing; there are times when I feel completely out of my comfort zone and just want to hide away, but that’s what a traineeship is all about. Having 2 dogs in the office, an (almost) endless supply of tea bags and colleagues with a great sense of humour always helps during these periods.

Things I am looking forward to working on soon are Martin O’Briens – If it were the Apocalypse I’d eat you to stay alive and supporting the call out and shortlisting for our next Artist’s Bursary Scheme. Some practical goals I have set myself for the next 6 months are: to explore the role of a programmer/curator, lead an exercise in a Sweatshop without freaking out, do a budget and visit more London venues.

I feel extremely lucky to be in this position and am doing my best to soak up all of the experiences I am being offered while I can. Bring on the next 6 months!  

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