Opportunities Behind the Bright Lights

12 August 2016

Students heard from creative industries professionals across the country in a series of talks hosted in conjunction with the Creative Industry Federation and Arts Council England. 

Why Creative Industries and Arts? This campaign aimed to show students that arts and creative subjects matter to everyone with talks that explained 1) how these subjects build major skills like creativity and problem-solving to be used for any future ambitions 2) these industries need to be open to everyone, as diversity make them thrive and 3) there are a plethora of behind-the-scenes opportunities out there to consider!

Here are more highlights from the campaign. 

Michele Baylis, Emmy nominated make-up artist, blew the students away with her inspirational talk at the Misbourne School highlighting roles behind the screen and stage.

Michele Bayliss


Michele explained how she had grown up in a similar setting to many of the students and set herself a goal and kept fighting to achieve it, not getting set back by other’s comments and knock backs.



The students and teachers alike were amazed by the clients Michele had worked with behind the scenes on different films. The session took on a practical feel as Michele gave a live demonstration of some of the different make-up techniques she has used in the past.


Lisa Rousseau-Bedoch, Controller of Commercial Business Development at the BBC , spoke to students about the development of online video content and working in the media industry. Lisa discussed how content is ever changing and the impacts of the proliferation of technology on how we consume visual mediums.

“The students found the talk very interesting, especially how decisions are made about YouTube content and how it works behind the scenes.”


The TV and Film Director David Evans spoke to a large group of A-Level students about Working as a drama director; his own education and career as well as what ‘creating drama’ means.

The interactive session utilised a script from the well known TV show ‘Downton Abbey’ and showed students the work that goes into production. David’s talk received wonderful student reaction and many students are still in touch for advice about their creative projects.

“I’ll never watch TV in the same way again”


Alistair Spalding, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Sadler’s Wells, spoke to students in Milton Keynes about his journey to date. Having not had the most conventional path to being CEO of a theatre, working in a legal office then becoming a teacher he emphasised the importance of doing something you love.

“When you find what you want to do, it’s like a key fitting into a lock and opening the door.”

Alistair Spalding


All our fantastic ambassadors’ talks have focused on the ubiquity of skills gained from studying creative subjects, the industries’ need for diversity as well as the sheer wealth of unknown opportunities that the sector has to offer.

Key Messages from our Ambassadors 



“Einstein was actually a lifelong violinist and pianist, and would turn to playing music when he wanted to think his way through a complex mathematical problem.”—Marcus Davey, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, The Roundhouse




“The arts allow you to experience other peoples’ lives.”  –Deborah Bull, Assistant Principal (Culture & Engagement), King’s College London and Former Creative Director at the Royal Opera House





“Think outside the box and apply yourself, creativity is the driving focus for future jobs.”—Geoff Mulgan, CEO of NESTA





‘The marriage of disciplines traditionally viewed as ‘STEM’ with creative subjects gives students a well rounded portfolio of skills but is sometimes overlooked by students who only study sciences or arts.’Chris Payne, Senior Game Mechanics Programmer, Traveller’s Tales


Background to the campaign

Back in January we launched our Creativity, Arts and Culture in State Schools campaign which was responding to the call from industry leaders for more students in state schools to be taking arts subjects, given the plethora of opportunities available, the valuable skills they provide for non-arts careers and the need for greater diversity in these sectors to keep them thriving in the UK.

In partnership with The Creative Industry Federation and Arts Council England, the campaign centred on demystifying the array of opportunities that the sector has to offer, as well as encouraging students of all backgrounds to consider these paths to improve diversity across all disciplines. Speakers also emphasised the important transferable skills, from confidence to practical problem solving, that creative subjects give to students no matter what they wish to pursue.

Interested in seeing more about why and which campaigns we host? Visit our campaign page.