After leaving sixth form and completing a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Electrical/Mechanical Engineering, Harry took a gap year to consider his future and decide what to do next. He had been nursing a love of backstage in theatre from an early age, after his initial involvement in supporting a production of Bugsy Malone whilst in Year 7.
Harry quickly realised he had a passion for lighting and special effects and some years later, as a 14-year-old Explorer Scout, had the opportunity to use and develop his skills further, when his Troop put on a pantomime. Harry supported the performance by working alongside a backstage professional Lighting Manager who provided the lighting for the show. After a successful one week run, Harry was quick to ask for some part-time work experience and was lucky to be offered the chance to work alongside the backstage professional in a voluntary capacity.
For the last six years, Harry has continued to grow his backstage skills by working in a voluntary capacity with the lighting professional, and during his gap year he was keen to try and find a way of extending his formal education into this area, providing him with a qualification to enhance the skills already gained through his work experience.
Harry didn’t want to go to university and found out about the National College Creative Industries (NCCI) when he visited the Plasa show in London in 2017. Harry applied and joined the Level 4 Professional Diploma in Technical and Production Practice for the Creative Industries in September 2018. This one-year course is designed to provide individuals with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to work within the production arts industry.
Harry says “When I first started my course at the National College Creative Industries, I really enjoyed being involved in the Graduation Ceremony for the previous year’s students – I was able to design, manage and install the whole pyrotechnic display which was something new and very positive for me. Studying here provides the unique benefit of working alongside big-name clients hiring The Backstage Centre. These opportunities have been really useful in developing my skills further and helping me to decide on a future career in Theatre rather than film and TV.”