Who’s who: Simon – The 2016 Unlimited Trainee

A photo of Simon

Simon the new Unlimited trainee talks about his first few days at Unlimited and finding his role within the arts…

Hello,

My name is Simon and I’m the new Unlimited trainee. I’m the third trainee and after hearing about my brilliant predecessors, I think I have some big shoes to fill. So far I’ve met lots of people, made friends with Ted the office dog and only got on the wrong tube line by mistake once (pretty impressive for a non-Londoner, right?). Now I can’t wait to get stuck in.

I didn’t know much about Unlimited before I came for my interview but I’m slowly learning a little more each day. The more I learn the more I can see what a great job the team do offering talented disabled artists the funds and support to develop, produce and show ambitious work.

The reason why I was drawn to wanting to work in the arts and what I can bring to them feels a bit like my own personal mystery sometimes. It might be because I saw people working together to make brilliant, challenging and thought-provoking stories out of nothing and everyone seemed to have an awful lot of fun doing it, but that’s just the start of a theory.

I used to think you had to be an actor, artist or musician to contribute to this process but later I realised that many other people lend their skills along the way and that maybe I’m one of those people. I love detective stories and I’ve read lots of Agatha Christie books and like any good detective trying to find out the solution to a mystery and it fit it all together, I did what anyone would do and decided to gather more information. So for years I’ve jumped at every play, exhibition, job, event, free ticket, workshop, volunteering opportunity and internship that’s pinged its way into my inbox. Most of them I’ve enjoyed, some of them I’ve been nervous about and ALL of them were a learning process and one step closer to solving the mystery.

Even at college, on my placement year and at university I still struggled to define my role and it was sometimes frustrating. I knew I liked to be in a creative environment, I knew I liked aiming for big projects and I knew people liked having me in the room (I think… even if I did use all the tea bags… sorry guys… being helpful is thirsty work) but since graduating something has clicked. I realised I like to help remove barriers to the creative process by DOING, popping up and hanging out, helping to overcome the puzzles, queries and stumbling blocks along the way. Helping to push things forward when they are flagging and making sure nothing gets in the way of making each piece of art the best it can be. Maybe I’m still not sure where or what form my particular role in the arts will eventually take but I’m hoping Unlimited might help me find it or at least get one step closer. As a famous Belgium detective once said ‘now we use our little grey cells’…

 

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