The World of a Fuel Intern: blog by Matthew Rossi

Posted: 19/03/13
By: Natalie
Tags: Theatre, London, Performance

Matthew Rossi is our current producing intern. He originally hails from Australia, but is now studying an MA in Creative Producing at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He's been with us since January, and will stay until the end of March as part of the practical side of his course. He has very kindly lent us his amusing musings on the life of an intern at Fuel...

'Fuel Dress Code'

The first day at a new job is almost always a nerve-racking undertaking. You do your homework, learn all the names of the staff, get an idea of what they’re working on and try to hazard a guess at the office dress code. Then there are the awkward introductions. “This is Matt, is it Matt or Matthew? Anyway, Matt(hew) is our new, well, he’s going to be helping Hannah on…he’s our new intern.” Hooray!

Not with Fuel. No trying to learn names; I’m not going to the office. No awkward introductions; nobody knows each other. Most importantly, No hazarding a guess at the dress code; I’ve brought three outfits. I’m at Southbank, we’re doing a marketing photo shoot for a new series of podcasts While You Wait. If there was any formality lingering, it was swiftly ushered out the National Theatre rehearsal room door when I was told I would be the candidate to wear the “borrowed” backless hospital gown for the second shot. “Should I wear pants under this?” I ask, not entirely sure of the aesthetic they’re after. “It would be preferable”, Hannah the project manager asserts “but we’d rather it if we couldn’t see your trousers.” Aha, trousers, not pants. They must think I’m some rampant nudist. The first of many cultural differences we will no doubt encounter. Nonetheless I proceed to take my jeans off in front of a group of people I have never met before, all in the name of art.

The afternoon is spent in the office, based in the Battersea Arts Centre in Lavender Hill, where I am shown around the uniquely gentrified (but freezing) Town-Hall building before sitting down to a computer that goes into cardiac arrest when more than two windows are open at a time. Hannah tells me I will be working on the accommodation planning for Inua Ellams’ regional spring tour of The 14th Tale. I get excited about the thought of Inua going on tour, I remember meeting him after his brilliant show Black T-Shirt Collection. He told me he wanted to write a show in which he kisses a beautiful girl. The world of spoken word monologues must be a lonely one. My excitement doubles at the mention of a budget and compiling a spreadsheet with accommodation examples that are within a 5 to 10 minute’s drive from the venue. Without local knowledge of the towns or the best web browsers I’m starting from scratch. Eventually I piece something together that comes in under budget (win) and print it out before 6pm (winning).

by Matthew Rossi