Overcoming Obstacles: Friday Reads

Hello! I’m Scott and I’m the Events and Tech Intern here at Strike A Light and GL4. The job sounds like it covers a lot and that’s because it really does! I could be up scaffolding focussing a light one day and chatting to a venue manager trying to organise an event the next. I have a really wide ranging interest in theatre and events production and this internship lets me try loads of different things which is absolutely perfect. I’ve worked on over ten shows in half a year, been on tour around the country with Filskit Theatre and assistant stage managed with Annie on Pinocchio.

Working at a company like Strike A Light has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time as I’ve been interested in theatre since I was a teenager. Since graduating from my undergrad and MA I’ve worked in TV post-production and front of house in the West End, both opportunities I loved, but theatre making and production is really where my heart is and being able to do it on a day to day basis is amazing.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing though. About a year before starting with SAL & GL4 I developed a serious condition called Ulcerative Colitis. It’s a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease, and I became extremely unwell. I had to leave my work in the West End to have emergency surgery which removed my colon and gave me a stoma (an ileostomy to be precise!). Having both UC and the stoma meant frequent bathroom trips and I began to wonder whether or not I would actually be able to work in theatre or live events.

Six months later I had another surgery to reverse my stoma. Thinking that I would probably never be able to work in theatre I had signed on to do a PhD, but while in recovery I decided to give working in theatre one last push. This is where I found Strike A Light, I told them my story and what I wanted to do and what I got from them was resounding positivity! With little adjustments here and there (and a sick day or two when I’ve needed to go to hospital or I’ve been fatigued) I’ve been able to do all the jobs I’ve set out to do and feel like I can be productive within the industry. I’ve loved working both at SAL shows and GL4 which put on amazing work in the Matson area of Gloucester. 

Ultimately, working at Strike A Light & GL4 is an exciting experience on its own. But what makes it so important to me is finding that there are homes for people with disabilities in the arts. That what seem like impossible obstacles can be overcome with the right support and the right team. 

Scott Hurley