Amid much wailing and gnashing of teeth in our office, this week we are preparing to say goodbye to our latest Arts Marketing Trainee, Sophie Shears, who is heading off to a role in the marketing department of The Globe. Before we let her go, here’s her look back on her time with us.
The past 9 months have been some of the craziest, funniest and also most challenging months of my life so far. So where do I begin?
I turned up on the day of my interview a bit of a Marlowe Theatre novice. Only having seen a couple of vague images of the theatre from google images (and I have to admit I was a little confused as to why there were two very different looking buildings coming up), I had no real idea of what to expect from the building.
Travelling from Southampton, I decided to drive up the night before and distinctly remember wondering what on earth the very large lit up blue tower was sitting alongside the Cathedral in the skyline – turns out, it was where I would be working for the next 10 months! My first reaction when seeing the theatre from the front was ‘Oh…so it’s kinda a big deal then’, I instantly fell in love with it and after my interview had finished I was even more determined to work in a place like The Marlowe, and with the type of industry professionals that I had met that day.
After being offered the job, I was obviously ridiculously excited – as any longing and ambitious graduate would be. I knew that the job would give me the training and knowledge I needed to begin my dream of a career in arts marketing. What I didn’t know is that my time here would also give me the assurance in myself to be able to confidently lead on both marketing and press campaigns, work independently but also be an important part of a hard-working and vigorous team and most importantly be completely supported by your co-workers in everything you do – even the silly mistakes.
From the hundreds of memories, the thousands of laughs and many hungover mornings in the office, I honestly cannot pick one memory as my favourite. But one that stands out in my mind has to be the day myself and fellow baby-trainee, Katy Atkinson, re-discovered Big Blue (our mascot for the Canterbury Children’s Festival) from hibernation. I’ve never seen, and never will see again, someone so eager to put on a giant character costume in my life. From traipsing up and down the theatre in the costume causing all sorts of mischief, to leading her outside and getting mobbed by tourists wanting selfies with Big Blue – that day will stick with me as one of the most surreal moments at The Marlowe. I remember turning to Katy and saying “We’re actually getting paid to do this…”
But it’s not all fun and games – there are some serious sides to being Arts Marketing Trainee! I’ve had the amazing opportunity to really grasp the knowledge of how to market a whole array of genres, from opera and classical music to smash-hit West End musicals, each individual show has taught me something different about the way we execute campaigns. The role really gives you the chance to start with the basics and work your way up to leading on campaigns and really showing what you can do – and indeed what you have learnt.
I’ve discovered so many things about the world of marketing for theatre, but the best thing about working at The Marlowe for me has been (as I said previously) the ridiculously supportive team that surrounds you every day. Not only have I met great colleagues, who have taught me how the industry works, but I’ve also met some of the best people and friends I could have wished for. So thank you and I’ll just mop up the puddle of tears beneath me before I have to call IT for water damage to my keyboard.