For the last two years, I’ve had an incredible time working at Toi Whakaari (the NZ School of Drama), as a tutor on the Set & Props Construction course.
Although this has officially been a part-time tutor role at 20 hours a week (2 1/2 days), it’s frequently extended beyond that time.
We’ve always had such a diverse range of students in each year group, from a wide variety of backgrounds. The students are such a pleasure to work with, and it’s been wonderful to help facilitate their learning throughout the course.
In addition to my role as tutor, I’ve also been the workshop manager. Through this I’ve been able to reshape the space and the facilities, introduce improved Health & Safety practices, and slowly upgrade many of the tools used throughout the department.
It’s also been excellent to be able to call upon numerous aspects of my background throughout the day with the various Q&As in the multiple builds happening at any time.
Outside of this tutor role, amongst other things I’ve also been a set-builder for the World of Wearable Arts, both for the ‘Up Close’ exhibition at Te Papa, and for the more recent show at the TSB Arena in 2021 that was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid.
I’ve also been helping a very close friend restore an old Bedford bus that will one day become their home. This has involved stripping out all the interior to the bare metal structure, lifting the whole top half of the bus by 300mm for greater headroom, and slowly upgrading the interior with better structural form, insulation, and soon to be added recycled native hardwoods.
Due to the full schedule I’ve not had the chance to update much in this blog for a while, but today feels like a day for reflection.
Although Covid has made a massive impact in so many people’s lives, I’ve been very happy for what’s been happening in my work over the last two years, and I have a lot of pride in what’s been achieved.