Development Assistant - National Theatre of Scotland
Anne-Marie Platt is Development Assistant with the National Theatre of Scotland.
She graduated with a BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Arts from Queen Margaret University in 2011, and also obtained a MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management in 2018.
What sparked your interest in performing arts?
It all started after I watched the behind-the-scenes films of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Lord of the Rings'. I thought acting looked pretty fun. This encouraged me to study drama at secondary school.
I also developed my passion through my local community youth drama group in West Lothian. And, I took part in a summer course with Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow.
After school, I studied for a HNC in Acting and Performance at Telford College in Edinburgh.
Why did you choose to study at QMU?
During my course at college, I realised that although I enjoyed performing, it wasn’t the direction I wanted my career to follow. I knew I wanted to work within the industry but wasn't sure in what area.
I chose the Drama and Theatre Arts at QMU because it offered a broad, rounded curriculum, which covered many different areas of working in the theatre. This allowed me to explore lots of different career options and discover what I wanted to do.
"It was because of the strong practical learning and real-world experience that QMU offered on my undergraduate course that I chose to return to QMU to study for my post-grad as well."
The MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management also offered a broad, practical curriculum designed to give students relevant skills and tools, which could be applied in the real-world arts industry.
What did you enjoy most about your courses?
The thing I enjoyed most about both my courses was the combination of knowledge and practical application. They weren't purely theoretical/academic courses; they had the theoretical elements but these were balanced out with practical work. It's the combination of theory and practice that's been very important and helpful in finding roles after graduation.
"The most important thing I learned from my Drama and Theatre Arts course was that it's okay for you not to know exactly what you want to do or for you to follow just one path."
What are your most memorable experiences of being a QMU student?
My most memorable experiences of being a student are mostly connected to just being on campus surrounded by a varied yet somehow very like-minded group of people, who were all passionate about making a future for themselves working in the arts in Scotland.
Also, just the unbelievable amount of knowledge and wisdom our lecturers held and shared with us.
Tell us more about your career path since leaving QMU.
After graduating from QMU (the first time), I went to study an MLitt in Theatre History at Glasgow University. Following that, I came back to QMU to study the MA Arts, Festival and Cultural Management course. It was through this course that I started working for Puppet Animation Scotland as a Festival Coordinator.
Since then, I’ve worked for the Fringe Society as a Programme and Registration Assistant, and as an Arts Industry Assistant. I've also worked at Space UK as a Box Office Manager; the Edinburgh International Book Festival as a Box Office Assistant, and now at the National Theatre of Scotland, where I am a Development Assistant.
Tell us more about what your role as Development Assistant at the National Theatre of Scotland involves?
My role is very much an all-round fundraising position.
It involves raising funds for NTS’ work through a variety of channels and administrating for the fundraising department.
I manage our membership schemes and organise various events for our donors and members. I handle our data management and communications, and I also work to raise funds through Trust and Foundation applications.
What advice would you give to students and new graduates starting out?
Nothing has to be forever.
"Try new things and if it doesn’t work for you, try something else."
Just because you started out with one career path in mind, it doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind.