“I think there was a moment of surreal self-realisation at 3am on a nightshift working the security gate at Glastonbury lighting a fire in a bin”

 This multi-skilled lady has been with us for almost 2 years and is our go-to for anything social media, tech and design.

How did you get to where you are today?

It’s been a long journey full of too many twists and turns to write in one simple Q&A. But here’s a short(ish summary)
After changing my mind about what I wanted to do with my life once or twice a week through GCSE and A-Levels, I made decision to go into live events. I didn’t really know where to start so I went to visit a university course that looked pretty rad, afterwards they invited me back for a second interview and offered me an unconditional place straight up!

I moved away from Hull and worked my butt off the whole way through uni, basically completely unpaid, for two years. I was told creating a network and making a fantastic impression was the only way I would become a success in Live Events, so that’s what I did. You wouldn’t believe the situations you find yourself in when you say yes to every opportunity that is thrown your way. I think there was a moment of surreal self-realisation at 3am on a nightshift working the security gate at Glastonbury lighting a fire in a bin for the 10 or so people who had been kicked out of the festival that night so we could keep warm, that this crazy industry was the industry for me. I’d had my doubts before, low points and breaking points, being a woman in an extremely male dominated industry, working 14+ hour shifts trying to keep up with people who had been pushing flight cases for 20+ years, well it can be overwhelming, especially when you’re doing it for pennies or no money at all. But I knew it was worth it so I stuck at it!
After my student loan ran out, I needed to be paid to live and so started asking for money in return for my time. I did actually get paid for that Glasto gig, but it took me a while to find steady paid work. It wasn’t long until I found myself on local crew teams in theatre where the good money was (£40 an hour for a night shift load out whaaat!?) which eventually resulted with me cutting ties with the festival and live music scene, and went full time theatre-dweller. Through a strange path of meetings and encounters, I was asked to work show after show as a mix of stage crew, stage assistant manager, dresser and wardrobe assistant. I ended up working in costume departments of shows like The Lion King, War Horse, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Bodyguard etc. and stage managing on pantos around the UK.

However, being the constantly indecisive nugget I am, when I was working artist liaison for Hull Freedom Festival we won the 2017 HCC bid so I decided that my new goal was to move back to Hull. I’d fallen back in love with my home city and I wanted to be there to witness 2017 for myself. For various reasons, I officially moved back to the city a few years before 2017, earlier than I’d anticipated so I didn’t leave my events career just yet. I commuted to work from Hull, luckily I was only working West Yorkshire locations at the time.
For a year or so I was sick of commuting and I was getting itchy feet about Hull because I hadn’t made the splash in trying to get work in the city. I was scared to leave behind what I’d worked for to try something new. It wasn’t until I was scrolling through Facebook at midnight one day between work, when an eskimosoup job ad popped up and suddenly I felt confident I could make the leap to changing my career, it was the job for me and I HAD to get it.

I spent a good 2 hours writing out the first CV and cover letter I’d needed to write in a few years, sent over an email to the company and then posted a photo of me doing a one handed handstand on their Facebook wall, because I don’t do things by halves. And hey, what do you know, I got the job! Fast forward two years and here I am. I’m so grateful for the path I’ve carved myself, the opportunities this company has given me to grow and I’m still excited for the future.

Based on your own experience, what advice would you give a girl at GCSE or A-Levels choosing their future path?

My advice would be do what you love and be yourself relentlessly. I spent too much time in my teens worrying about what others thought of me and how I was perceived that often I’d be a diluted version of myself. It wasn’t until I realised, while working with the teams I have, that I had to come out of my shell to succeed. Being beige just won’t cut it. I’ve learnt a lot the hard way, I’ve made tonnes of mistakes and I regret and cringe at many moments in my life, but realistically I wouldn’t be me without them. I’ve always so afraid to slip up or get in trouble. Never apologise for being passionate and never apologise for being yourself.

Who’s your #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday – but really #WCIWD)

My woman crushes are the women around me everyday. There are tonnes of ladies I follow on Instagram and tonnes of famous people who I’d love to highlight, but I want to shine a light on the people we encounter day to day. Every woman has a story, hardship and passion, we need to celebrate that! This week, ask someone their story, you might be surprised!

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