UPrising: Meet The Professionals!

Your chance to meet and ask questions to professionals from 6 different creative areas

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These articles were written and submitted by young people across Kent, between August 2016 and July 2019. We are no longer adding new articles or maintaining old ones. Read more about Art31.

At UPrising, Sat 15 July, we’re giving you the chance to meet creative industry professionals and ask them your burning questions. Whether you’re into production, directing, social media, acting or just looking for some career inspiration, we’ve got someone for you to meet! Tickets are FREE for Under 25s, so make sure you’ve booked yours here!

Who can you meet at UPrising?

Music Industry

Charlie Andrew – Producer, mixer, songwriter
Charlie Andrew is a Mercury Prize, MPG & Brit Award winning record producer, mixer, songwriter and drummer in Laurel Collective with whom he runs the festival In The Woods. He’s several top 10 albums around the world & worked with wide variety of artists including Alt-J, Madness, Matt Corby, Gin Wigmore and Bloc Party. He has recently finished producing the 3rd Alt-J album, ‘Relaxer’ which was another top 10 record and has set up his own label ’Square Leg Records’ and released albums by Francobollo & Sivu

Chris Hawksey – Director, Republic Events/ City Sound Project
Operating in the music and events industry for ten years, Chris founded the City Sound Project music festival in Canterbury in 2012 with the aim to bring credible music to Kent. After going from strength to strength, CSP is now a well known music festival across the south of England with a habit of showcasing the next big artists – from Bastille to George Ezra to Disciples and more!

Dr Paul James-Richards – Musician / Songwriter / Music Lecturer (Westminster University) / Vocal Tutor
Paul has been a performing musician and composer for over 25 years, touring with choirs, ensembles and his rock-band One Day Elliott who are signed to Engineer Records; an independent label based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. As well as directing school choirs, running musical workshops and working with local theatre groups, he’s currently a guest lecturer and vocal tutor at the University of Westminster, on both the BA and BMus commercial music courses. He has a broad and extensive experience of both the music industry and musical education and has recently completed his PhD.

Envy – Rapper
Writing music since the age of 12 Envy, real name Nicola Varley is well established in the UK Grime/Hip Hop scene. Envy got her first taste of recording as part of a Manchester mixtape series at the age of 17. From this Envy appeared live on BBC 1xtra with DJ Cameo and caught the attention of Radio 1 tastemaker Maryanne Hobbs. Envy’s debut album ‘Set Yourself On Fire’ was released in March 2010 and peaked at Number 3 in the Hip Hop charts. Envy is also an active youth worker, she is passionate about helping the next generation of musicians, songwriters & creatives, supporting a youth led independent record label and radio station. Envy has her own weekly radio show on Unity Radio 92.8FM and is still writing for her future releases as well as other artists.

Harriet Jordan-Wrench – Founder and Director, Secret Sessions
Harriet is a creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of online music platform Secret Sessions. Her work has played a part in the careers of many global superstars such as Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Bastille & Lumineers. Her video channels have amassed over 20m hits online and gained thousands of followers. Harriet knows how to spot talent and bring it to online audiences in a creative way, that holds integrity.

Craig Hayward – DJ, Shapes
Craig Hayward is one half of DJ duo Shapes. Shapes formed in late 2015 and have had a meteoric rise to success, racking up millions of plays on Soundcloud and Facebook. They’ve recently played main stages at South West Four and Southbeats festivals, as well as headline sets in cities across the UK.

James Stonehouse – Sound Artist/Video Gamer
James came into academia later in life. Nevertheless, James was always knee deep in audio equipment and took great pleasure in the sonic arts. In 2009, the University of East London offered his foundation into sound art, followed by a Masters in Composition for Film and Media at the University of Hertfordshire. James has since settled at the University of Kent and in 2015 gained PhD funding to pursue his passion for creating sonic pieces with the use of Video Game technologies. Since then he lectures at all his previous Universities and continues to pursue the arts with childlike wonder, determined to take this opportunity to its full potential and share his obsession with as many people as humanly possible.


Arts Jobs

Jo Nolan – Managing Director, Screen South
Jo Nolan is MD of Screen South, a Cultural Development Agency supporting Digital, Arts and Heritage with a focus on access for all. Jo has delivered over 200 productions, including award winning features, shorts, music promos as well as live shows and gallery based work. Amongst current projects, Jo heads up the Ignition Random Acts Network centre, an Arts Council and C4 partnership for filmmakers aged 16-24.

Daniel McCormick – Youth Arts Worker
Daniel McCormick is 23 years old and currently working as a community artist with West Dumbartonshire’s Youth Arts Hub called #FreshCreations providing free accessible youth arts provision and creative opportunities for young people aged 10 to 25 years old.  He has been a member of the National Youth Arts Advisory group, NYAAG (previously known as Youth Arts Voice Scotland YAVS) since its beginnings in November 2014. At the Time To Shine UnConvention in Aug 2016 Daniel hosted the events taking place in the Poetry Club of SWG3 Glasgow as well as a panel discussion on inclusion within the arts.

Bethan Tomlinson – Producer, Strangeface Theatre Company / Operations Manager, Ideas Test
Bethan trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama from 1992-5 and has since worked as a touring Performer, Bookshop Assistant, Storyteller, Temp, Live Event Manager at Historic Royal Palaces, Waitress, Writer, Co-director of theatre company since 2001, funded and managed a festival, Workshop Leader, Co-ordinator for a national group of puppetry organisers and sold masks to schools, groups and artists around the world.

Hamish Pirie – Associate Director, Royal Court Theatre
Hamish trained as Resident Assistant Director at Paines Plough & at the Donmar Warehouse. He was previously Associate Director at the Traverse Theatre.

Robert Welling – Actor
Robert trained at Exeter University and Drama Centre London. Since graduating he has worked across a range of theatre styles including puppetry, classical and physical.



Lisa Oulton – Director, Future Foundry
After fifteen years working as a freelancer in the creative industries in a range of roles from artist in residence to project manager Lisa created Future Foundry to develop innovative projects that would introduce young people to alternative models of employment such as freelancing and self-employment. Future Foundry aims to identify and tackle the barriers to progress that young people from a diverse range of backgrounds face when trying to build a professional career in the creative industries. The Student Makers Market is Future Foundry’s flagship project. Offering free stalls and ‘street based business training’ to young creatives aged 16 to 30, the project has delivered markets and training to over 400 young makers in Kent and London.

Emma Reeder – Theatre Director
Emma runs the two older Gulbenkian Youth Theatre groups, and works closely each year with a group from Gulbenkian directing the National Theatre Connections project, as well as being involved in facilitating a number of other community groups and projects. Outside of Gulbenkian, Emma is a lecturer at the University of Kent, and works as a freelance director, storyteller and facilitator across the South East. Emma is passionate about giving young people a voice and a place and means to express themselves.

Erin Laurel Hayhow – Freelance Artist and Designer
Erin Laurel Hayhow is a freelance artist and designer born in Whitstable but based in Berlin. She exhibits both locally and internationally. In 2016, she founded #ARTTALK to help young people manage their own mental health through creativity. The project was a huge success and she is currently trying to get funding for the second project. This was following her project stroke/d, a Fixers campaign she created to raise awareness of aphasia, a condition affecting many stroke victims. Her exhibition was shown at Turner Contemporary and her campaign shown on ITV. In 2016 she created EIRINN, an eco, vegan, recycled, sustainable fashion, product and interior lifestyle brand.

Sam Giles – Freelance Artist
Sam has worked with various art organisations in Kent delivering art based community projects.

Samantha Hornsby – Co-Founder, ERIC Festival
Sam jumped straight from school into the tech startup world, gaining experience in everything from marketing to UX to events management. Now, Sam and her best friend Mae run a successful video production company, LY Productions, and ERIC Festival, a revolutionary new type of careers fair for the creative industries.

Billie JacobinaFashion Designer
Billie Jacobina is a graduate of 2016 from UCA Rochester, who studied fashion textiles print. Billie was selected to show her collection at Graduate Fashion Week 2016. Since showing at Graduate Fashion Week,  Billie has been awarded the British Council GFW Residency Award, where she worked closely with Indonesian brand ‘Lekat’ for 3 months which resulted in a collaboration for Jakarta Fashion Week 2016. Billie also went on to win Fashion Scouts ‘Ones To Watch’ Award for her graduate collection S/S 17 for up and coming designers.



Alex Walker – Art Director, Films
Alex’s first job in the film industry was 21 years ago at Pinewood studios, having just graduated from Technical Arts design at Wimbledon School of Art in London. Since then she has continued to be involved in helping to create film sets, whether at the beginning as an art dept trainee, or as Art Director on films such as The World is not Enough, Notting Hill, 4 of the Harry Potter films, Fantastic Mr Fox and Frankenweenie. For the past 4 years Alex has been working as a Production designer, working closely with Directors, Producers and Cinematographers on lower budget films.

Joanna Cichuta – Make-up Artist
Joanna Cichuta is a professionally approved TV/Film Make-up Artist working in the industry for over 7 years and fully experienced in Film/TV, Commercials, Music Industry, New Media, Events, Beauty & Fashion Industry. Joanna began her career in London where she trained at City of Westminster College. Joanna has worked with many A-list VIPs, such as  X-Factor producer Kelly Belldegrun, TV presenter Sophie Morgan, Alan Carr, politicians such as Sabina Higgins, First Lady of Ireland, Jack Straw, and many others such as Jeremy Irvine, Robbie Williams, many TV stars, actors, people in sport and media.

Jake Taylor – Technical Manager, Gulbenkian
Jake is currently Technical Manager at the Gulbenkian. He loves technical theatre and runs a lot. 



Letitia Becher – Social Creative
Letitia Becher is a social media creative with seven years experiences in the digital industry. Working for a diverse range of clients from Coca-Cola through to Google with a focus on millennial and gen z audiences. Currently Letitia is freelancing and working in social for ITVBe and has been doing social for ITV’s Love Island.

Esteban Fourmi – Dancer, Choreographer, AΦE
Esteban Fourmi (Le Mans, FR) co-founded AΦE in 2013 with Aoi Nakamura. With the vision to bring the art of dance closer to audiences, the company’s mission is to create experiences that are not bound by a stage. The company’s first major commission WHIST, a dance and Virtual Reality (VR) production (2017) is now on UK and international tour. Esteban has also been performing and making work professionally as contemporary dancers with leading choreographers in Europe such as Jasmin Vardimon Company and Punchdrunk since 2006.

Alaric King – Freelance Designer & Developer
Alaric is a freelance designer and front-end developer, who works closely with music and arts, small businesses and the social sector. He is based on the south coast of England, with clients of all sizes from all over the world. Alaric likes tractors and has arguments with his dog.

Ella Gregg – Community Manager, Secret Sessions
At only 18 years old, Ella has forgone university and began turning her passion for unsigned talent into a career. Ella was head hunted through Twitter (where her personal following exceeds 20k) to be Secret Sessions community manager. In her role, Ella manages a community of over 1,000 emerging artists and plays an integral role in a small team with big dreams

Bradley Sowter – Architecture graduate and filmmaker
Bradley is an architecture master’s graduate, keen amateur filmmaker, animator and freelance architectural visualiser. Bradley has a professional background in high-end residential design and has worked on freelance visualisations for a number of architectural practices. He is also a keen philanthropist.



Judith Carrie – Skills Academy Manager, Creative & Cultural Skills
Judith Carrie is a Skills Academy Manager for Creative & Cultural Skills working in the South East Region. Skills Academy Managers (SAMs) develop, sustain and grow partnerships with organisations and individuals from education and industry, in order to support the long-term economic growth of the creative and cultural industries. SAMs also work to develop a Skills Academy supporter network of training providers and industry professionals from within their region or sector. These networks aim to provide young people with opportunities to enhance their employability. In this, they are responding to a demonstrable demand for jobs in the creative industries.

Annie Moran – Performing Arts Graduate
Annie has just completed her BA Hons in Musical Theatre. Annie was formerly an apprentice at Gulbenkian and will be starting her first professional performing arts job in September.

Vicky Lawrence – Apprenticeship Ambassador
Vicky Lawrence is an Apprenticeship Ambassador for Kent County Council, Skills and Employability team. Her role is to promote apprenticeships and support individuals looking for them. She is doing a level 4 Business Administration apprenticeship herself.