We're a lovely bunch over here at Arts Award HQ, so over the next few weeks we’ll be running a ‘Meet the Team’ series so you can get to know us a bit better! As well as being great at their jobs, many of the Arts Award team are also talented artists and get up to all kinds of creative stuff in their spare time. So to kick things off, may we introduce Lauren O'Mara, Arts Programmes Operations Coordinator and performing artist extraordinaire!
I work as Operations Coordinator, including working as part of the Arts Award moderation team. As part of my role, I am the ‘face of Arts Award’ as named by some members of staff, as I manage the arts programmes helpdesk. Or even ‘the voice of Arts Award’ may be more appropriate, as you will hear my voice on the phone menu when you call up. Then, if you aren’t sure which option to choose, you’ll probably hear my dulcet, Scottish tones answering your call too! My favourite part about my job is helping advisers through their moderation and hearing about happy young people, from a range of settings, achieving their Arts Award at the end!
I graduated with a degree in dance almost one year prior to starting with Trinity, which included training in ballet, contemporary and jazz plus the opportunity to teach dance in schools and the community. Prior to this I had worked in a busy, local dance school coordinating the classes and working on reception. Before moving to London, when I started at Trinity, I spent three months doing an international student programme at Broadway Dance Centre in New York City (don’t worry, I much prefer London!). For my own personal piece, I did a choreography project which was a theatrical, group performance to One Direction’s catchy number - ‘Kiss You’ (much to the audience’s joy/dismay!).
What’s great about working for Arts Award is that I know I’m supporting thousands of other young people to pursue their love of the arts as well, and follow their own arts passions
As I have performed from a very young age - pointing and tapping my toes for the first time at the age of four - I was worried getting a ‘grown-up’ job would leave a large hole in my life where performance once was. Luckily I live in one of the most cultural cities in the world, and it didn’t take me long to find groups of people like me who just wanted to perform for the sheer love of it. I recently played the role of Cinderella in Streatham Theatre Company’s pantomime; I had a great time and met a great bunch of people. A few members of the Arts Award team came along to watch and support me (with a glittery banner!). And I’ve recently been cast in Cygnet Players’ upcoming production of The Full Monty, which will run from 30 September to 3 October. This was adapted from the well-known British film by the people across the pond, and was made into a Broadway show which is based in Buffalo, New York. There are some amazingly talented people in this show so it would be worth a watch if Putney Arts Theatre is close by! (I would point out that this may not be suitable for younger Arts Award participants!)
In case it’s not yet evident, I love performing arts! The reasons I love it are endless: I love the buzz from performing, seeing a show progress from script to a full production, meeting lovely and talented people, and being involved in something in the community that other people can come along to and enjoy! What’s great about working for Arts Award is that I know I’m supporting thousands of other young people to pursue their love of the arts as well, and follow their own arts passions!