Behind the scenes of the Awards Ceremony 2015
Hampden Park, 19th March – it’s the day of the Show Racism the Red Card creative competition awards ceremony and I’ve been given some strange looks on my way over - on the subway, on the train, and have even been stopped on the street. The reason- I’m are carrying an empty wooden broccoli box from the grocers that I picked up this morning.
One man stops me just by Hampden smiling and says: ‘You do know that’s empty hen?’ I laugh and then keep walking while he yells that you ‘must have lost everything on the way!’ I respond by simply turning the box upside down.
However, thankfully the box of broccoli was meant to be empty, I may be a bit out of touch with what children like but even I know that giving each child a stem of broccoli or even worse a whole box of the stuff wouldn’t be the ‘star-studded awards ceremony with fantastic prizes’ they had signed up for! However this broccoli box has another purpose, it is being filled with arts materials for James McFarlane School - the winners of the ASL category.
As I walk through the main doors at Hampden I am met with a smile from the woman at the reception desk who sees my slightly frantic appearance and points you downstairs. Arriving, everything it appears has been done, did I arrive on time?
Thankfully the answer is ‘yes’. I am handed a piece of brightly coloured paper that has a pattern on it that resembles tetris – also known as a seating plan. It turns out that trying to fit 250 people into a rectangle shaped space is more complicated than the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle that is brought out at Christmas. (And my family doesn’t let you look at the picture, that is cheating!)
An embarrassingly long two hours later the puzzle is finished – despite following the plan. It turns out that two-dimensional Excel doesn’t really give you an idea of what it will look like in the real 3D life.
Sound testing begins, children’s voices start to be heard out in the Crush Hall, goodie bags are untied and it’s begun. Similar to the seating plan, it’s not how I imagined - everything goes faster than possibly imaginable. There is so much going on, I slightly lose my head, forget where I am, the ceremony gets underway, it has started I finally relax – breathe slightly and then realise that it’s going well, really well. Children are smiling, they seem happy with their prizes and one boy almost bounces off the ceiling because of getting a Celtic ball. It’s not a disaster. Phew.
Then I see a slightly frazzled looking colleague moving in my direction – something’s gone missing. It gets found. The problem appears to be temporarily gone. I listen to the music, look around and tell yourself again: ‘this is actually going quite well’. They’re back – another thing has gone missing – where? I have no idea that prize table appears to have swallowed things. I stay calm and try once again to solve the problem and somehow manage.
Its nearing the end of the ceremony, one school begins the military operation of getting 35 children to leave quietly. I remember, they have parents evening that is supposed to start in half an hour. They swiftly get into two lines outside of the auditorium and file off. I venture back in. Other people are making gestures towards me and I run around trying to help everyone. Running around in a manic fashion without looking like you’re internally having a panic attack is incredibly difficult. It’s all calm on the surface but my word you are kicking like crazy.
Then like that, it’s over. It’s done. People clap and leave the hall, take photos, get signatures and then it’s quiet again. The hall is empty and the rubbish has been picked up. Did that just happen I wonder? The answer: yes. Would i want to do it again? Yes. Am I slightly mad? Maybe. Should everyone enter next year? YES!
But for now, is it time for bed? I’d say so.
By Rebecca Corbett
Creative Competition Intern
Rebecca is a final year Comparative Literature and Theatre student at the University of Glasgow.
She is currently doing a paid internship with Show Racism the Red Card supported by the Third Sector Intern Scotland programme: http://www.3rdsectorintern.com/