I have very fond memories of the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre. I was a young 24 year old when I arrived from Romania and wanted to continue my career in theatre (I worked in Bucharest at the Comedy Theatre for four years before coming to the UK)! I came across the course by pure fate as my best friend was working at New Horizons Training Centre in East London and he mentioned to me about the Theatre Technician Training Course that would commence in the autumn of 1990. (So long ago!)
I went through the interview procedure, and although my English wasn’t up to scratch then, my enthusiasm for the job was good enough to get me in. (Hooray for that!) Three months of intensive technical course and English studies followed, as well as my final exams. The tutors were excellent and I will always appreciate their patience with me as I was trying to get to grips with both technical and English language. The course tutors were impressed by my final results, despite my deficiency with the English language, and helped me to get a placement in the Lighting Department at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
There, due to the nature of the way the theatre was operating, I was supposed to do only five hours a day, five days a week. But I approached the then Head of Lighting, Paul Watson, and I asked him if I could do a fifteen hour a day shift, six days a week for the following ten weeks. He gladly agreed and the rest is history.
At the end of the ten week period I was offered a full-time position in the Lighting Department and never looked back.
Half Moon will always be in my heart and I will always be grateful to Half Moon for opening the doors to a wonderful career in my beloved arts industry. The two pictures here: one was taken during the practical assessment of the course and one was taken during the apprenticeship on the stage at the Royal Opera House.