Katie Dunstan, Drama and Theatre Studies graduate, was one of our many brilliant volunteers at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2014. She shares her experience…
The unknown path post graduation an be a somewhat daunting one. As a recent Drama and Theatre Studies graduate, I was looking for an opportunity to be re-immersed within the creative industry, and the Cheltenham environment did not disappoint. As a performer, writer, and avid book lover, I knew that this festival would be of great interest to me, but I was also interested in learning about the running of the festival – and volunteering taught me invaluable, transferrable skills, such as front of house, assisting artists, site preparation, ushering events which I know will be of use to me in the future.
Volunteering at the festival not only enabled me to put into practice the skills, experience and knowledge I have gained over the last four years of study but also gave me the opportunity to participate in a large prestigious event – an experience I would recommend to anyone who is creatively driven like me. Having never been to the festival before, I was extremely impressed by the diversity of events on offer at Cheltenham, re-confirming my belief that literature is always so much more than the words on the page – it is the different worlds that we create for ourselves through our own imagination and interpretation, and the people we encounter along the way. Literature is far more than the books on the shelves of your local bookshop and I urge everyone to visit the festival to see for yourselves.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that I am passionate about working in the Arts, and this festival has just helped to confirm this. Thank you Cheltenham – I hope to see you again.