Nastasya is 18 and is doing A Levels at St Dominic’s Sixth Form College in Harrow.
I first did work experience here in 2011. We did admin and I did my Bronze Arts Award, all in that week. I remember there was a 100% gig that week that we organised, and that encouraged me to keep helping with gigs after my work experience. I remember there being a really nice atmosphere and just being interested in seeing how it was run. I remember cutting stuff up with Rebecca actually, we made glitter arrows for directions to the gig. I met Jamie and Rebecca that evening during the gig and we started the producers group that summer.
The first Battle of the Bands was the probably the first one that I organised on my own. I felt a real sense of achievement, knowing that I had put the event together. Halloween Oxjam was good as well, there’s so many! Oxjam was great because we all dressed up and looked amazing. We were in the newspaper, it was cool.
I really liked Obsession, HUMI and I am good friends with Jamie Batten who has performed at basically every gig possible! One of the most memorable moments was when Sebastian Blake got up and freestyled with some rappers. It was a mash up of Smells Like Teen Spirit and Billie Jean.
At the beginning the producers group was quite a small group. It was me, Jamie, Rebecca and then Jake joined in September. We learnt to work with each other quite quickly. We learnt from our mistakes, from the gigs that went well and gigs that didn’t. We experimented with different types of gigs. Since then more people have joined and we run a lot more. We know what works and what doesn’t. In the first year we ran 5 gigs but in 2013 we ran 16. I feel quite proud of it because we’ve seen it develop and grow.
I have made a lot of friends and also have learnt a lot about working with other people, and leading the group too. More recently I’ve led groups more independently, supporting less experienced producers. I did Silver Arts Award as well; I learnt how to do henna and I led a gig at St Doms. That was a good experience because it was running it in a completely different environment and working with people that I wouldn’t usually work with. It was different to our normal 100% gigs. The henna has become a bit of a hobby! I did a party and earnt a bit of money from it.
I’ve also helped in a mask making workshop and a comic book workshop for children. We let the children choose what animal they wanted to make or what story they wanted to tell and helped them to do that. They were good to work with a different age group and be in the facilitator role.
I would say HAC has made me more confident to try new things and take on a leading role instead of just going along with things. It’s helped me in college with organising events there like my prom. I have made lots of new friends. It’s made me think about things that I want to do in the future and means that I have lots of options.