What I do series - Nicola Starkie

What I do series - Nicola Starkie

Have you ever considered a career in theatre but asked, what can I do? or what roles are available? Find out in our new What I Do series!

The theatre is a very exciting and creative place to work with an extensive array of possible career choices open to you.

Here at the Octagon there are lots of team members that work behind the scenes and we will be highlighting some of their roles in our new blog series What I Do

Each week we speak to a different member of our Octagon team who will give you a fascinating insight in to their position here at the Octagon and what they enjoy most about their role.

This week we speak to Nicola Starkie who is one of our Box Office Assistants 

What does your role entail?

I am the face and the voice you see/hear when you are booking tickets for shows, general enquiries, booking our community and youth groups on to their session and anything customer related. I can also be seen helping on the café and ushering on Audio Described Night with the lovely Anne from Mind’s eye.  

How long have you been in this role? 

I have been on Box Office for coming up to 2 years in June, however I have been with the company a lot longer than that. I volunteered from 2010 and then became a Front of House Assistant in 2013 and haven’t looked back since.  

Did you undertake any specific training/get any specific qualifications to help you in this role?  

I have been working in the customer experience since I was 17 (I am 31 now) 

 I do have a BA(hons) degree in Drama from The University of Huddersfield. Patrick Stewart was chancellor at the time- he came and gave a Shakespeare masterclass with us and I shook his hand when I got my degree.  

 What’s a highlight of your job? 

This is a hard one as I love my job- one highlight is my colleagues. During this time while we are out- just shows how strong each department is and how well we can all work together over email and zoom. FOH rock!  The second is the customers- I love seeing, meeting people and getting to create an amazing experience for someone.  

Do you have a favourite production you’ve seen at the Octagon? 

This is another tough question as seen so many amazing productions- but Martha, Josie and The Chinese Elvis is definitely a favourite-especially with cocktails we served on the bar.  

Do you have a favourite production you’ve seennat another venue? 

Another toughie - Oddsocks are a theatre company who are ‘Making Shakespeare such enormous fun’ and I have seen them perform some amazing pieces of Shakespeare in Jersey Zoo. I do love a musical as well- &Juliet was the last one I saw and it was amazing!! 

 Can you tell us about something funny or particularly memorable that has happened to you at the Octagon?

Too many memories whilst working- meeting Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers (tribute acts) but one highlight is meeting the actor Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon, Mad Dogs, Jamestown). His Dad was in Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Max had flown in to surprise his Dad after the show- he borrowed a FOH t shirt and was behind the bar for when the cast came up after the show. I had my picture taken with him and it’s still up in my room now.  

Do you have a favourite production you’ve seen at another venue? 

Another toughie - Oddsocks are a theatre company who are ‘Making Shakespeare such enormous fun’ and I have seen them perform some amazing pieces of Shakespeare in Jersey Zoo. I do love a musical as well- &Juliet was the last one I saw and it was amazing!! 

Can you tell us about something funny or particularly memorable that has happened to you at the Octagon?

Too many memories whilst working- meeting Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers (tribute acts) but one highlight is meeting the actor Max Beesley( Hotel Babylon, Mad Dogs, Jamestown) His Dad was in Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Max had flown in to surprise his Dad after the show- he borrowed a FOH t-shirt and was behind the bar for when the cast came up after the show. I had my picture taken with him and it’s still up in my room now.  

Can you share a quotation from a play or musical that you particularly enjoy or find inspiring? 

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” –William Shakespeare