The Science Museum
00:00:02 My name’s Nathaniel M and I’m an Outreach Officer at the Science Museum. Our department’s in charge of taking shows and workshops from the Science Museum to the wider community. So, we got out to schools and festivals and other community events. So for instance, we have a, a show called The Super Cool show which is all about playing with liquid nitrogen and changing the temperature of things and that’s something they can’t normally get a hold of. So, it’s kind of a fun experience to go in there and give them something that they’re not normally gonna see and try to get them excited about science.
00:00:32 When I was younger I wanted to be a palaeontologist. I was obsessed with dinosaurs like most children are but I kinda carried it along until I was about 12 or 13. I was really keen on the idea but I’d always acted in school plays and always done very well and really enjoyed it. When I got to about 14 and 15 I took drama for GCSE and I loved it. And along at the same time I was starting to learn different musical instruments and performing in music as well and decided that entertainment in general and performance was the area that I really enjoyed and the, the thing I got the greatest kick out of.
00:01:05 After GCSE’s I took music and drama for A-Level as well as philosophy and psychology. And I was, as I say, quite academic at school. I did get offered various university places and several of my teachers pushed for me to go and do an academic course at university. But I have very supportive parents. My father was in the film industry for a long time and they both felt that I should go and do something that I really enjoyed rather than something that was maybe gonna be a surer way to, to earn some money.
00:01:37 So, I applied to drama school which is incredibly competitive to get in and I was lucky enough to get a place. Drama school, much like the acting industry is incredibly harsh environment at times and you’re constantly doing something that’s actually quite frightening and everyone on your course is quite frightened because they’re all, you’re all doing it together but there’s a sense of competition at the same time. Certainly drama school at times was, I wouldn’t say an unpleasant experience, but I certainly felt like I changed while I was there, grew up a lot and had to gain a kind of thicker skin.
00:02:14 After graduation I did get some work, bits and bobs in various places. I did a small piece for a Shakespeare-based BBC culture show but it wasn’t enough obviously to live on. But I was living at home again and doing part-time work, several part-time jobs and after about eight months I really decided I wanted to move out and have my independence again.
00:02:35 Yeah, I had a few interesting experiences. When I was working for the libraries, one of the local libraries became condemned and they needed to move the somewhat 40,000 odd books out of it. It involved going through each book, scanning it, cataloguing it, and putting it in a specific order to be packed away. There were 40,000 books and I think myself and one other person had two months to do it in, inside a condemned library in February with no heating. That was, yeah, I think it was around that time that I decided that I really needed to kind of change my perspective and maybe look for something that was a bit more formal and had health and safety rules and the rest of it. I think that’s when I started to have enough.
00:03:22 My girlfriend was actually the person that saw the advert for Explainers at the Science Museum. They’re a little like our job. They do do shows but they are in-house. They’re in the Launch Pad Gallery at the Science Museum and they do shows for visiting schools as well as help children and families play on our interactive exhibits. My girlfriend saw the ad and applied for the job for me without me even knowing and I got an interview and went along and got the job and that’s, that was it. I did a year as an Explainer and then moved into the Outreach department.
00:03:51 After I left drama school when I wasn’t acting a lot. I did miss that opportunity and since being in the museum I’ve been given the opportunity to perform in front of people again and, and do things that are impressive and I, I get a buzz off that and a huge kick out of it. ENDS
Being an Outreach Officer at The Science Museum allows Nathaniel to satisfy his love of performance. Supported by his family he studied drama at college but was then forced to take several part-time non acting jobs to survive (including a project in a condemned library!). With the help of his girlfriend he secured a position at The Science Museum where he can perform and making a real difference in the community.
More information about Actors, entertainers and presenters
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Studies script, play or book and prepares and rehearses interpretation;
- Assumes character created by a playwright or author and communicates this to an audience;
- Performs singing, comedy, acrobatic, illusion and conjuring routines;
- Trains animals to perform entertaining routines and may perform with them;
- Introduces and presents radio and television programmes, reads news bulletins and makes announcements;
- Conducts interviews and prepares reports for news broadcasts, current affairs programmes and documentaries;
- Plays pre-recorded music at nightclubs, discotheques, and private functions.
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