We are delighted to feature our very first guest blog, courtesy of Young People Development Group member Jessica Margaret Kinsella…

We are delighted to feature our very first guest blog, courtesy of Young People Development Group member Jessica Margaret Kinsella… A committed supporter of The Youth Zone, Youth MP candidate, blogger, Student Governor…Jessica has given us something of sneak peak behind the scenes at Blackburn Youth Zone’s official launch, back in February…!

Jessica Kinsela
Jessica Kinsela

So… we had an amazing turnout for the opening of The Youth Zone, there were MPs, councillors, families and even HRH Prince Edward! What’s classier than that?

The Blackburn Youth Zone team have worked really hard putting together all the pieces to make sure Blackburn Youth Zone is perfect for young people within the borough, so I and the performers had to make sure that we put just as much effort into the opening!

The question is… how did we make it work?

I first got involved with Blackburn Youth Zone when they were recruiting Sports Coordinators for The Youth Zone. After that I then decided to try my hand at the drama workshop which would be used in the opening. I met lots of new people who had similar interests to me and together we worked closely and decided on what we would do on the opening.

So what work did we put into creating it?

Well it wasn’t easy, however, we were taught by amazing session leaders on how to give good poker face, and how emotions can be shown without using our faces. We decided that we would be wearing animal mask heads so this was a perfect practise for the big opening.

So after weeks of practise and nerves of steel we finally made it to the big night. I felt like I was about to jump off the Empire State Building, that rush in your tummy, the fear of the unknown.

I didn’t know what to expect, I presumed people would be shocked and weren’t they just! I had people going “oh, my” and I was a little tentative to begin with. I just walked around guests, making sure I was seen to begin with as we were still a little nervous, it was so different to rehearsals! The second time round I wasn’t nervous at all, just scared I would hurt someone because the masks were huge and I could barely see! Nevertheless after a few laps I decided to play it a little more confident, dancing with some guests, taking their drinks, creeping them out to the max. Most were encouraging and became involved, while others shied away, intimidated by the “strange” creature I was.

Then we had the big performance.

If we didn’t have such a strong bond with the dancers and vocalists then the performance wouldn’t have been as perfect as it was. The dancers fulfilled the expectations of the audience spectacularly. Whilst the vocalists took the stage, myself and the other animals got up and performed a little jiggle and the guests loved it. The applause proved that. The other performers and I felt so elated that we had lived up to the expectations of those watching.

So a fantastic turnout and the guests LOVED the new Youth Zone. We were told without our help we couldn’t have pulled off the finale, however without the Blackburn Youth Zone team support, we couldn’t have done it. So THANK YOU!

By Jessica Margaret Kinsella