Next Robe Generation (NRG) – a networking community for all lighting students pursuing a career in the entertainment lighting world – brought about a new work experience initiative designed to offer students unique placements.
Lighting Director David Bishop created the opportunity for two NRG students to join Strictly Come Dancing’s Blackpool show lighting crew.
The two students – Clara Sousa-Shaheed and Charlie Bailey – received a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating a production.
Sousa-Shaheed commented: “My time in Blackpool was invaluable. I am so inspired and in awe of the week and the work. Collaborating with an accomplished team, in a unique venue of such scale, whilst gaining essential industry skills is a rare opportunity for a student – and being part of NRG facilitated this!”
Bailey added: “I had an amazing experience and learnt a lot – it was very hands-on! I was involved in rigging and cabling up fixtures, and had the opportunity to observe David and his team programming during rehearsals.”
The NRG students, alongside the lighting team, tended to 122 Robe luminaires throughout the show.
Bishop stated: “This was the first opportunity I’ve had to support students in this way, and it worked superbly well thanks to the support of the production team at Strictly, as well as the team from NRG.”
“Clara and Charlie were far more like full members of the team than work experience students! I applaud their commitment to get stuck in from start to finish, their appreciation of asking questions at the most appropriate times, and the way they immediately bonded with the team,” he continued.
NRG Initiative Manager, Jane Monk, concluded: “It’s an exciting time for NRG! We’ve also introduced a new product training programme as part of the initiative – which now allows us to offer a balanced platform to support students on their lighting journeys, building their confidence and expanding their network of industry contacts.”