A Day In The Life Of The PumpHouse Staff – Julia

Have you met Julia?

Julia is our truest bibliophile; our human spell-checker and source of truth and reason. She has a particular affinity for the written word, having immersed herself in readings of English, History and Drama and has an eagle eye for grammar mistakes.

Aside from her impressive literary skills, when Julia is not in the office, you can find her dancing in the dark (quite literally), having a singalong with the guitar and being an all-round resident drama geek. She has a passion for all things creative and puts culture at the heart of her community role here at The PumpHouse.

And I’m sure you were a really great tree in your performance of Snow White, Julia.

Tell us five random facts about yourself

Strictly speaking, I’m a Northumbrian but it’s easier just to tell people I’m from Newcastle upon Tyne. Either way, I’m a Geordie.

I’ve visited 28 different countries and have lived in four of them: UK, NZ, Germany & Japan.

I have been sent to the head teacher for being ‘naughty’ at every school I have ever been to, both as a pupil and a teacher!

I got married in a theatre.

Many years ago I got caught up in a police investigation into an armed robbery. It’s a long story. I didn’t do it – that’s all you need to know.

How did you come to work at The Pumphouse Theatre?

After responding to a PumpHouse Facebook post I started working as a casual box office staff member. Later I took on a part-time administration role and then picked up the Community Engagement Co-ordinator role sometime after that.

What did you study and has it helped you in the role?

I have a BA(Hons) in English Literature & History and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) – English & Drama. I also have a Postgrad Diploma in TESOL. These qualifications led me to a career in education and over the years I’ve worked with students aged from 3 to 60+. My experience, working with such a wide range of people, is good background for Community Engagement and it’s particularly useful when working with the local schools.

When did you start getting involved in the performing arts?

At primary school. I was a tree in a performance of Snow White. My mum made my costume out of a net curtain and green crepe paper and I was embarrassed because the other tree, Donna Potts, had a beautiful tree dress made from brown & green velvet.

After that I was involved in numerous school shows and became a member of Newcastle Youth Theatre.

What do you like about working here?

“Cosy character building nestled in a park setting with stunning lake views.”
What’s not to like?!

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done in your job recently

Organising, and being part of, the mihi whakatau to welcome Rob Mokaraka & Clint Edmonds to The PumpHouse for their production of ‘Shot Bro’.

What time do you wake up in the mornings?

Around 7:00am. I like to go for a walk before work, either at home in ‘Birkendale Haven’, in Takapuna along the beach, or if I’m feeling particularly energetic I walk from home to work.

What do you do behind the scenes that people don’t know?

As well as being the Community Engagement Co-ordinator I’m also the theatre’s office administrator so I do things like taking meeting minutes, ordering office supplies (from companies that offer things similar to these office supplies UK) and paying bills. Fortunately our wonderful treasurer Brenda does all the complicated accounting stuff!

What do you get up to after hours?

Now that both my daughters have disappeared off to university I’ve got a bit more me time which I like to spend walking, singing & dancing. I sing with our fabulous PumpHouse Community Choir and I’m also their guitar accompanist from time to time. I get my dancing fix once a week at ‘Dancing in the Dark Birkdale’. It is what it says on the packet: You dance, in the dark, in Birkdale.

What do you get up to on your lunch breaks?

What lunch breaks?!

What’s your all-time favourite show?

I don’t have one, sorry. I do have a favourite theatre genre though and that is the much-maligned, good old fashioned, British pantomime. Whether it’s a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs in a community hall or a highly-polished, big budget professional job, I just love it! Love the tradition & history; love the costumes, the music, the comedy; love how they operate on different levels for adults & kids.
Can we have one at The PumpHouse please?!

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