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My experience volunteering at Bakehouse Theatre

We all know that life gets hectic, and sometimes it seems like you barely have time for work, home, family and everything else, let alone finding the time to volunteering.

Well I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer for a whole bunch of organisations, and I thought I’d share my most recent experience!

My partner was recently in a show with the Unseen Theatre Company, they specialise in adapting Terry Pratchet books for the stage – the one my partner was performing in was ‘The Last Continent’ based out of The Bakehouse Theatre [1].

As with all amateur theatre, they needed volunteers for front of house, the bar, to help with costumes, props, and makeup, all the crazy fun theatre stuff that I don’t normally get exposed to in my day job as a Business Analyst in the Digital Customer Experience team at Beyond Bank [2].

Having never worked a bar before, I figured I’d stick my hand up for that – awesome idea, right?. Well turns out it’s not that hard to tend bar, in fact its fun, you get to meet stacks of new people, both guests and other volunteers, and you are definitely a crowd pleaser.

And I now know how to mix drinks (under the supervision of someone with a responsible service badge of course), and I know how to process a EFTPOS transaction on a mobile machine. Yes, I work at a bank, and have been in the financial industry for 9 years, but until my bar work, I didn’t know how to use an EFTPOS machine!

I also got to see exactly what happens backstage – its madness with costume changes, and in the dressing room, all the actors from each of the shows hosted at the Bakehouse have autographed the walls, and the ceiling – It’s pretty cool.

Also – The cast and crew party on closing night = awesome.

I actually had so much fun, I’ve volunteered for front of house for the next two shows at the Bakehouse.

Through volunteering I’ve expanded my friendship circle to a whole world of people I’d never have had the chance to meet, and expanded my skillset to something totally outside of the standard Business Analyst skillset.

Even when I’d had a crazy day at work, I found volunteering really re-energised me – getting out there and doing something totally outside of my comfort zone was a great experience.

My advice – If you get the chance to volunteer, do it. Even if you have NO IDEA what you’re doing, give it a go. Volunteers are generally pretty nice to each other, and you can be fairly sure that someone will show you the ropes if you get stuck. You never know what you might learn, or who you might meet!