Tobi Gets A Place At The Intermission Theatre


In March 2015, ThinkForward student Tobi went to see a play at the Intermission Theatre. After the play he got talking with the director and they stayed in touch. Tobi was invited in for an interview and an audition for the theatre and was offered a place on their programme.

Our roving reporter Amirah El-Bashary interviewed Tobi to find out more and see how he was doing.

What have you done so far?

“Well there have only been two meetings as we started two weeks ago. The workshops are every other Saturday, but then they will become more frequent to everyday.

But so far we’ve all just met each other and got to know one another. We also went and watched ‘War Horse’ in the theatre, which I really enjoyed! There is another theatre show trip coming up this week, which should be good!” Last week was taster session where we did impro roles, and it was an amazing day! The improv role starter involved us having a letter (which was the prop), and the title was ‘open it’. We also have a Theatre trip tomorrow in Stratford, which I am excited about!

Is there anything about the Intermission Theatre workshops that didn’t reach your expectations? And if so, what were they and how would you improve them if you could?

“No! Everything was and is going to be amazing! Considering my expectations were low; I thought it was going to be terrible but it was above all my expectations.”

What would you like to gain from these workshops?

“I really want to hone my skills and get further knowledge on the acting industry. I also hope to get an agent out of it and gain really good links from Intermission. But most importantly I want to have as much fun as possible!”

What would your advice be to anyone who is looking to get into acting?

“NUMBER 1 – JOIN INTERMISSION THEATRE! Also if you are part of ThinkForward, take advantage of it! ThinkForward is a great opportunity and the people in general that you meet are great! (BIG shout out to Emma!). Another thing is don’t be afraid to ask! So many people can help you and just take up all opportunities that are thrown at you, even if you don’t enjoy it, at least you know you tried.

My process of my application was that I had to apply online, and then I received a text giving me a time and date to come in for an interview. I was being interviewed by a worker at Intermission when Darren the director walked in and started chatting with me. He asked me questions like “why I want to join”, “What do I want to get out of it””.

Where do you see/would like to be in 5 years’ time?

“Well acting is my biggest dream! I don’t mind whether I am famous or not but I just want to be acting somewhere, whether it be theatre of film. If I’m not acting by then, I will just enjoy life while I’m young.”

My final words are to everyone in ThinkForward, it is an amazing company, which have done a lot for me” I am very grateful! It’s cool! Also I’ve learnt the meaning of the saying “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” It has taken a while for me to grow my confidence and do anything! Also I’ve learnt to take chances in life! I’ve overcome a big barrier and I am still working on it, and Intermission is going to help even more.”

By Chloe Parker, ThinkForward Apprentice

ThinkForward Thank You Event!

On Thursday 12th March, I and many other ThinkForward ambassadors had the privilege of attending a Thank You Event, held by ThinkForward at EY. The purpose of the event was to thank those who have donated time and money to ThinkForward, launch the Annual Review, reflect on the last 12 months and look forward to 2015. The event was held at the Ernest and Young building, where 150 guests attended!

Each ambassador had their own job role, from greeting guests at the front desk to asking guests questions for the newsletter. My role was to ask guests the following questions:

1. The ThinkForward logo is a light bulb, when did you have your first “light bulb” moment in your life about your career?

2. What should companies start/stop doing today to address Youth Employment?

3. Many people volunteer with a charity to “give back” but what have YOU gained from ThinkForward?

There were many responses; David Van Eugen (ThinkForward Consultant) said:

1. “I realised I wanted to make a change to the North East.”

2. “I stopped looking and realised that qualifications have a place but companies shouldn’t have too much emphasis on them when it comes to job roles. You can do a job without them. Companies also need to stop and think, and see if THEY’RE ready for young people; not if young people are ready for them.”

3. “I have gained opportunities, work and commitment. ThinkForward has also made me committed and passionate about social mobility and giving everyone the same.”

Barry Duffy (ThinkForward Consultant) said:

1. “I realised a year ago that I and everyone else doesn’t need to be afraid. Go for what YOU want!”

2. “Companies need to start celebrating the diversity of young people.”

3. “This is going to sound cheesy but I’ve seen a difference in myself, a side I didn’t believe I had, ThinkForward brings out the good in you, despite knowing you were capable in a little way.”

Shane Johnston (ThinkForward Ambassador) said:

1. ” Mine happened when I first joined ThinkForward.”

2. “There needs to be more apprenticeships.”

3. “ThinkForward has given me life experience that I will never forget and always will remember and use in the future.”

Jay Dobinson (LSE Apprentice) said:

1. “My first work experience was at Barclays, which I got through ThinkForward. It was for a week and my first office job; that’s when I realised the office life was the future for me.”

2. “The Company I worked for, also work with City Gateway. They hold market like trades where young people are taken on for work experiences and apprenticeships. More companies should do things like this to engage and get more young people in working.”

3. “A Job! A new perspective of life; at first I wanted to work in the military and never imagined I’d be working in a big office like I am now! ThinkForward showed me that jobs which involve posh suits, ANYONE can do it.”

The night was full of laughter and gratitude; many people were thanked for their support and close work with ThinkForward. The coaches also got a special mention from Louise (Progression Coach at Morpeth School) who said they are “the nicest and brightest people to kids”, and “24 more young people have gained employment through ThinkForward, so a big thank you to all the donors, coaches, staff and young people!”

Georgialeigh, a fellow ThinkForward student and apprentice at Bain Capital told me that she “learnt to adapt to different types of working environments and gain confidence” since she has been a part of ThinkForward.

By Amirah El-Bashary, ThinkForward ambassador.

My Boots Half Term Experience

On the first day I just had to make sure the shelves were tidy and bring any products forward, this was so I could get to know the shop floor and where different products go. I also was approached by many customers asking for help, which did make me nervous because I was still learning. But I did get better as the day went on.

The next three days, I learnt the shop floor off by heart due to me having to shelf all the new stock that had arrived. I was up and down shelving and tidying things and I was feeling more confident when customers approached me asking for help or advice.

On the last two days the manager got me doing duties that a work experience student is never asked to do. I was making sales tickets, working in the stock room and organising product labels and making them. As well being told on the last day to work on the tills! I was told by all the staff that I was the first person ever on work experience to work on the tills and the fact the manager was that impressed with me and trusted me that much to give me these jobs, made more confident and adamant in doing well! Working on the tills was my favourite part because I felt part of the Boots team and I was interacting more with the customers and staff.

At the very end, I was having a discussion with the manager and he was giving me amazing feedback and even thanked and congratulated me with a £15 gift voucher to spend! Now I’m hopefully looking to get a job out of it, thanks to the manager!

By Amirah El-Bashary, ThinkForward Ambassador