We recently had the chance to catch up with ALRA SMTT graduate Rosaria Hollywood about her latest work since graduating. Here is what she shared with us:
ALRA: Hi Rosaria, thanks so much for sparing the time to talk to us about your work. You graduated from the SMTT course in 2016 and since then you’ve had some really interesting work in TV and live shows - can you give us a roundup of the things you’ve worked on in the last year?
Rosaria: Over the past year since graduating I have worked on a number of exciting projects. Most of my work has been at Sadlers Wells Theatre where I am a Casual Costume Technician. I have worked with the following companies: Matthew Bourne, Alvin Ailey, Rambert and Birmingham Royal Ballet.
I have also worked on a live event for Kylie Minogue on the costume department and for Applied Arts and BBC Young Dancer in the wardrobe department.
My theatre projects in the last year have included shows at The Lowry Theatre and the Swan Wycombe Theatre in their Wigs and Wardrobe Department. And I’ve been back to ALRA South to help out for some third year shows: The Wind in The Willows and Hamlet.
ALRA: That’s a lot of credits for one year! What do you have booked next?
RH: My upcoming work this year includes Costume Supervisor for Yank at the Charging Cross Theatre, Costume Assistant for the BBC and Costume Technician for a Disney Cruise Ship.
ALRA: It’s great that you’re so in demand. How did the film/TV work differ from the stage work? Were there more detailed finishes on costumes for example?
RH: Yes, for TV all the costumes you have to give more details to. From the colour of the costume to the final stitching and steaming. Everything on screen is a lot clearer. It’s close up so people notice tiny things.
ALRA: You worked on theatre and film projects as part of the SMTT course at ALRA. How do you feel your training has prepared you for the profession?
RH: I feel my ALRA training has prepared me for the industry by the hours and hard work we had to give, so that once we jumped into the industry we were comfortable and able to work the same hours at the same standard as other professionals.
It also prepared me to be flexible - able to work in different aspects of the industry, the fact we got to work with so many outside freelances gave us all so many connections and how to work with different people.
ALRA: What advice would you give to people considering a career in backstage and technical theatre?
RH: My advice for people wanting a career backstage, would be to not focus on wanting to work as one role - for example Stage Manager. The more you learn about every department – the more employable you are.
This is why ALRA is great, as you get the chance to do everything! I would also advise students to make contacts all the time! Wherever you go, chat to everyone and get a name and contact details.
ALRA: There has been research into gender inequality in technical theatre and backstage work in New York. Do you think this is the case in the UK? If so - what do you think the industry and training centres like ALRA can do to help end this?
RH: Yes I do think this is the case in the UK. There are a mix of genders in different departments but from my experience mostly women are in the wardrobe department and there are mostly men in sound/lighting/fly.
I think this can be changed by introducing opportunities to younger people and within education (secondary schools). Let students of both genders have the chance to work on school productions and participate in all aspects. I believe it's a hard thing to change later in life at university.
We’re really pleased that you’ve set out on such a full career and wish you every success in the projects to come.