Meet our new team members and hear about their training experience in Andre’s blog!
Friday 4th September 2020
Working for Licketyspit is never easy but fun, never simple but relaxed, and never formulaic but planned. Hello, my name is Andre and I am one of your new Actor Pedagogue (AP) Trainees for Licketyspit; a children’s early years theatre and play company based in Glasgow. In this blog I will be talking about my process and experiences so far with my new colleges, giving an insight into multiple elements of the job like training sessions, line learning, glitches, inductions, 2nd AP and DJ roles so that others can learn from my experiences.
Starting in a new position in any job can be daunting and much like the Scared Koala, Crying Giraffe and Shy Fox, the lead up to the first few days filled me with anxiety. However, soon after starting the first training day, my feelings of dread and doubt eroded as I started to learn what I would be doing as one of two new APs. Going through and learning new exercises, songs, and games that we would do with our participants, I particularly loved taking part in the reflective drawing at the end of each session which was charming. And Jelly on His Head was a funny kind of silly song that gave so much license and agency to let go of any reluctance I had about play. The overall experience of the two weeks training was an incredible development opportunity for me being pushed to learn lines faster and apply detailed corrections, which will be something that I will take with me in my practice as a performer forever. 🐻🐔🐴🐈
Learning all the games, songs and speeches has been a challenging and fascinating undertaking as the creation of the text, and how they have been set up, has been developed since Licketyspit was first formed. Coming into a new company will always take some time, but with the encouragement and support that has already been received I am well on my way to knowing the ins and outs. As an AP I have been given so much responsibility in such a short space of time; like how I have started to lead some of the games and songs like Grandma Grandma, which I can now teach to others in a session. Getting to learn how to play the Licketyspit way has been an absolute joy and I cannot wait too get stuck in as the weeks progress.🔮🎂🌙💃
However, as the days have gone on I have learned of something that has gotten in the way of progress, with glitches and issues on Zoom, freezing screens and poor internet, laptops on their last legs, and new technology, there is a lot to navigate. But with the help and experience of the team every bump in the road has been a small one with quick solutions. The team are ready for anything, and so am I. So, as we all work our way through Zoom, I am sure there will be many more problems to face. But we would not be actor pedagogues if we did not love a challenge!
As trainee APs, there are two roles that we needed to be very familiar with: 2nd AP, who is the main support for the Lead AP, and the DJ, who controls the technical side of our Porridge & Play session. The roles are so different yet so interconnected and integral to the delivery of the Zoom play session, so it is important to always be on the ball, a problem solver and quick learner, which is where the similarities end. Being the DJ is about observing and creating the flow of the porridge & play online sessions, often the DJ will be listening and watching what is going on, standing by and taking action to ensure that the instructions given by the APs are clear and that the sessions are balanced and fair for the participants. The 2nd AP role is about supporting the 1st AP – and the DJ if the moment calls for it – making the role very diverse. It has been about discovering what the needs of the session are and then responding to that; always ready to take the helm. I love doing both roles as I am getting to be a part of making the magic happen in different ways. However, each of the team members involved are all one unit. So only when we are all working well does the porridge & play session look excellent, which is the high quality we all expect for Licketyspit.
Working for Licketyspit is, and I’m sure will continue to be, fun, open, and exciting, with lots of magic moments imaginative play and a dedicated, hard working team. I wish to share many more memories with my colleagues here and I hope to see many more participants benefit from taking part in playing with Licketyspit.