What I do
I work at London Dungeons as a displays assistant. This means I have to do loads of different things throughout the day. I have to use lots of different skills on a daily basis to make sure everything at the Dungeons runs smoothly. I create and look after different exhibitions for our customers and create costumes and props for the performance members of staff to use. I’m responsible for making sure all of them know how to use the make-up so they can create a gory and fun Dungeon character to scare everyone that comes to visit!
How I got my job
I studied production within theatre design at the BRIT School about 15 years ago. This give me the qualifications I needed to pursue a career in the arts, which is something that I’ve always wanted to do.
I worked at London Dungeons before I had this role in the Dungeon keeper department, entertaining our guests that visited and operating the rides. I then applied for a position that became available in the props department, and with the creative qualifications I had in prop-making, make-up and my passion for a gory dungeon challenge, I was successful and got the job!
What I love about my job
My job is really varied, which means it’s exciting and different every single day: one day I could be teaching the performers how to apply their gory make-up and then next I’m creating severed legs and arms and other Halloween props! My department also assists with making props and settings for photoshoots throughout the year. My personal highlight was dressing and creating a set for an event with rock ’n’ roll legend Alice Cooper!
What’s difficult about my job
My job can be difficult at times when we’re creating the props, because we try to make every item interesting and fun to look at. The body organs, for example, are made from a special type of rubber, which is soft and rubbery to touch, but looks like it’s wet! It’s really cool to look at but it can be quite difficult to use. Sometimes we have trouble trying to make our props look somewhere between gory, fun and too real, but we’re always happy with what we make in the end! We also do some experimenting with our products when we’re trying to work out the best way to create a prop that we can make in the future. This can be a difficult and long process if it doesn’t work too well but it means we can find the best materials and won’t have to hunt through everything afterwards.
Where to start
If I were to start again, I would study production within theatre design at degree level and make use of the qualifications I would get from there. I would offer myself to theatres and other performance companies to gain loads of practical experience in the field before applying for jobs in the creative field. Then I would keep at it until I got my dream role!