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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | January 22, 2021

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A Day in the Life: Alex Walsh

A Day in the Life: Alex Walsh

| On 30, Mar 2020

Alex Walsh, an Ancillary Services Officer with the Redland Performing Arts Centre, offers a brighter look on what the pandemic could mean for Australians working in the Creative Industries.

The Creative Industries isn’t just actors, singers, and performers. It’s made up of thousands of Australians – from ticket sellers to bartenders. Alex is an Ancillary Services Officer which, he says, “is a bit hard to describe and remember the name on the spot.”

Basically, he’s responsible for supporting everyone at the Redland Performing Arts Centre (RPAC). This could include first aid kit inspection, fire alarm drills, reordering the colour gel library, tracking with a spotlight, and operating the projector and soundboard. Not to mention helping the LFX and SFX group. Alex describes his role as, “an indoors groundskeeper.”

He got his start in theatre through his sister, after he attended a show put on by her volunteer theatre group. One thing led to another and, before he knew it, they were one member short: “So, with a lot of free time on my hands, I sat down with enough knowledge from my course in Film and Media.”

From there, he worked in a casual position at the Brisbane Powerhouse, and then at RPAC. “It took me a good year for RPAC to see what I can do and give me a part-time job at their theatre, and it’s been great.”

Alex describes what his day looked like before the Coronavirus: “Arrive backstage at ten in the morning, log myself in with keys, read from my planner what I need to do and when, walk over to my supervisor while saying good morning to everyone I walk by, see if there is any updates for today, proceed to tasks, make sure to take a break thirty minutes after midday, continue with my work until three thirty in the afternoon, check in with my supervisor so they know that I am okay, and then drive home.”

Now, he admits, “It’s pretty much the same, just with less people walking around and shows being cancelled left and right.”

But, to Alex, this isn’t the doom and gloom it could be, “It’s sort of a silver lining. We have a lot of jobs to do that we can only do when there are no shows on. It will definitely keep us busy for a couple of months.”

The struggle comes from not knowing what might be happening next, “It’s a little bit scary for being unknown.”

Alex faces the possibility of running out of things to do and, consequently, being drafted to somewhere else. It’s something a lot of Australians can relate to.

However, we can all learn from Alex. Instead of focusing on the uncertain future, we should be concentrating on the tasks we could be doing. Productivity, it seems, might be the best distraction from a pandemic.

Images Supplied by Alex Walsh and Jimmy Malecki