“Failure is not an option”

Well, as those of you in Yorkshire will know, when it rains, it really rains.  We were filming most of today, and hadn’t time to dodge the showers so we had one umbrella over the recording equipment and the actors (the young people) had to tough it out.  And they did, brilliantly.  I wasn’t sure that they would take it seriously, but they did really well.

It was a very slow start today.  Only half of the young people turned up, and the others were collected later.  I asked what the outcome of Friday’s meeting was and it was a close-run thing.  As Romeo and Juliet’s behaviour was so out of line in London, they were at risk of exclusion but it was decided that it would undo everything that they had achieved over the first 5 weeks.  They have lost their attendance bonus and are not going to be allowed to go on this week’s trip, but it was felt that it would do a great deal of damage if they weren’t given the chance to finish their work and get their qualification.  At the end of the trip, Juliet discovered that it was one of the staff member’s birthday, when he announced that he was disappointed with their behaviour since it was his big day.  She said she would have behaved if she had known.  She apologised and said that she was embarrassed by how she had acted, which is a big step forward.

We discussed the benefit of treating the young people to a trip to London, when they didn’t seem to appreciate it, but it is all about planting positive memories;  they will always remember it.  It was funny, that although most of them said that the theatre was ‘sh*t,’ when they were interviewed on camera, they all liked it and recounted their favourite scenes.  The fountain was shown to them deliberately as ‘interactive art’ – the outcome was obvious, and the summary was that we should have taken towels and spare clothes for the inevitable.  A different way of looking at the event, perhaps?

It is going to be a tough week for staff and young people alike this week.  We have to get them through their silver awards, a moderator will come and look at their workbooks, and we have to finish filming.  Sue’s point of view is that ‘failure is not an option.’  She is personally paying £1k per day for the filming.  I don’t know if this is what made the ‘actors’ pay attention, or just that they have really bought into it, but there wasn’t much mucking about or even many takes. 

Ting was late today because he was waiting for his clothes to dry; he hadn’t any others.


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