My name is Jessica, I am a VCAL Intermediate (Year 11) student who is currently undertaking VET Acting (Screen) and undertook a Structured Work placement at Melbourne Polytechnic in Prahan at the David Williamson Theatre. I helped and observed around the theatre whilst they were in the process of rehearsing and performing a live production show of “All of Us or None”.
I developed an interest in theatre and performing with my experiences with the Taylors Lakes Secondary College Production of Grease as a lead. I also participated in the Theatresports Challenge alongside other schools in Victoria, (expanding on my improvisation skills). I also undertook work experience for a couple of days at The Regent Theatre when “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” the musical was on. I have participated in two productions with Taylors Lakes Secondary College; “Bye Bye Birdie” and as mentioned, “Grease”. I am currently a lead role in the upcoming school production of the “The Addams Family”.
I am passionate about the performing arts and hope to pursue it as a career. I want to expand my horizons in learning about behind the scenes and being on stage and the performance process.
Overtime, these experiences have enabled me to see all of the hard work and dedication that is required to reach my dream in life of being involved in the performing arts. The importance of lighting and sound areas, the backstage crew constantly moving of props to change the scene, the hard work involving the hair and makeup and the costume department for making and supplying the actors with different outfits depending on the scene to fit them.
Some of the things I learnt were that everyone works together creating an effective team involving the actors, directors, lighting, sound crew and backstage people required to bring the whole show together. Timing is everything to keep the performance flowing and not rushed. In addition, all of the actors taught me different ways to help with vocal warmups and physical warmups to be ready for a show. Collaboration and communication in theatre are important in building a solid foundation in the theatre, as well as character building and having fun.
It has been so much enjoyable observing and learning about the specifics in theatre and the hard work, commitment and dedication it takes to be in a production, theatre group and being involved in the backstage crew. Especially having an opportunity to work beside and close to the director and the scriptwriter.
On my last day at Melbourne Polytechnic I had an amazing opportunity to watch the entire show and it was magnificent. All of the actors have put a lot of hard work and dedication to learn lines and sing their songs and it turned out to be an excellent show. This interesting and educational experience will be one that I will never forget I would definitely encourage others to pursue if you are passionate about theater, and I would certainly do it again.
Jessica Cachia-Wrigley - Year 11
Undertaking part of their vocational education and training in the workplace provides students with the opportunity to learn in a real work environment
Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is on-the-job training that allows school students to develop their work skills and understand employer expectations. SWL is offered to students undertaking the VET program as part of their VCE or VCAL studies, including School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs).
SWL placements opportunities as mentioned in Jessica’s experience are beneficial in enabling the students the opportunity to enhance their exploration of their pathway prospects, which in turn will foster a positive pathway experience.