I became aware of LOOKOUT in my first year of college when I was offered a spare ticket to attend a show that the LOOKOUT project mentees in the year above me were invited to. Louise and James explained the project to me; it sounded very exciting and I knew that I had to get involved as soon as I was able to the following year. I signed up and was assigned my mentor, Victoria Melody. Vic is a theatre-maker and performer who has a unique and thorough working process with which she devises her shows. She immerses herself in a particular community or culture — from funeral director to beauty queen — and uses her experiences to create her productions. Immediately, Vic and I made a great connection; she was very open, encouraging and keen to help me try things that I had little experience in before.
I am at the beginning of pursuing an acting career and Vic was able to help me with ideas about performance, but also encouraged me to write my own material. This was not something I had particularly considered before but, with Victoria’s help, I devised a short piece for the LOOKOUT virtual sharing. I kept a journal of my experiences in (the first) lockdown, which we then adapted into a short film.
One of my favourite aspects of being involved in LOOKOUT was the theatre productions that we went to see. The first show we saw was Roots by the company ‘1927’. It was a fantastic piece of theatre which incorporated animated projections with live action and music. There were so many different elements to it, and the show felt like it was really relevant to all of us as mentees; whether into visual arts, design, performance, music or the technical elements of production. However, the most exciting part was attending a workshop with the cast and crew the following day, where we got to see how it was all put together!
LOOKOUT allowed me to make many connections; both with those already established in the creative industries and also with my contemporaries. It was great to meet and collaborate with people my age also pursuing creative careers, but each interested in different disciplines.
The project inspired me and has helped me to continue and develop my creativity. Working with Victoria gave me more confidence in writing and I have recently begun a writing project with my cousin, composer Joel Hall, on musical adaptions of stories by our grandfather, playwright and author Willis Hall. LOOKOUT helped me to grow as a performer too, and after completing the project I have continued to take steps forward in my acting career – for example learning more about performing on set by working on a TV series as an extra, signing to The Young Actors Agency and auditioning for drama schools.
Walter studied at BHASVIC and was a LOOKOUT mentee in 19/20.
Originally posted 27th January 2021.