Mastana - Get Involved
Mastana, the flagship event of the Cambridge University Hindu Cultural Society, is Cambridge's largest annual Asian cultural arts show. It is an exposition of world music, a melting-pot of traditional Asian dances and vibrant urban beats, and a stage for colourful comedy. All proceeds from the show go to charity.
What's it like being on the Committee?
Being part of the Mastana team is an amazing experience, and is like nothing else that you'll experience in Cambridge. You'll learn about the running and management of a large, professional-standard arts production, meet and work with people beyond your course and college, many of whom will soon feel like family! You'll learn about yourself - your strengths and weaknesses - and develop skills that will impress employers. You'll have a chance to perform on stage in the fabulous committee dance - a real bonding experience! Above all, you'll have more fun, laughter and "jokes" than you could imagine!
What positions are available?
The Mastana committee is composed of several teams. We have co-chairs and an advisory team already, but we need you to make up the main teams - Acts, Marketing, Finance, Tech and Secretary. The teams work on separate tasks, but the whole committee meets together weekly to liaise and update each other on progress. Everyone shares the common aim of making the show a success and raising as much money as possible for charity!
The positions available are outlined below so take a quick look. Applications for Mastana 2013 will open soon so check back regularly for more information.
The Marketing team is responsible for the look of the show; commencing with the logo, they go on to produce committee stash (e.g. hoodies), the professional standard A1 poster, full-colour programme, flyer and website, liaising also with Tech to produce the show trailer. After this, they pick the most effective forms of publicity, such as stalls in market square, newspaper coverage and flyering and involve the whole committee in promoting the show.
Members of this three / four - strong team need to be the most creative people on the committee. An interest in art and design, an appreciation of colour and aesthetics and attention to detail will all help, as will experience with photo-editing software, web design etc. - but this is by no means essential, as your advisors are on hand to teach you. You will develop a whole host of design and IT skills that would serve you well in any future profession.
The Acts Team co-ordinates the performances shown at Mastana. The team of four / five people will come up with creative ideas for the theme of the show and individual items, hold auditions, choose and combine performers and oversee their rehearsals.
Experience in music, dance and comedy drama are often useful - the broader the better - but a general appreciation of the performing arts and a critical eye will suffice. You'll need the ability to communicate with performers, whether it be to tell them they need more rehearsals or offer them a confidence boost. Creative vision is a bonus. This is the one of the most time-consuming roles, so organisation is key!
The sponsorship team negotiate the exchange of advertising space to get as much funding as possible to support the show and its cause. Closer to the show, this will also involve managing ticket sales. As all the proceeds from the show are donated to charity, this really is a rewarding experience: a few successful deals could make the world of difference for those helped by our chosen charities.
It's a great opportunity to develop your persuasive skills as you are essentially selling the show to companies, whilst making important contacts. Having personal contacts with companies would be very useful, though this is not essential.
Mastana would not be possible without the exciting music and the electrifying special effects that make it such a spectacular and popular show. The tech team controls the sound and lighting of the show, with each performance requiring individual music tracks, special effects and lighting sequences. The stage manager will also be part of the Tech team, ensuring smooth transitions between acts. The most important part of your role will be in the last few weeks leading up to the show where you will have to produce a technical script for the entire show, to make sure everything runs smoothly on the night itself.
Previous members have often begun with little experience in this field, but have gone on to successfully learn all that is needed and more, gaining valuable knowledge. An appreciation of performing arts is useful, as is an attention to detail and the ability to work calmly under pressure on the night.
The secretary will set the agenda, take minutes for every meeting, and carry out any other admin work needed and organise the show after-party, whilst ensuring that all the other teams are effectively communicating with each other.
This role is perhaps less time-consuming than some of the others, and hence is perfect for those wishing to be involved with the show, but have heavy workloads. Good organisation, enthusiasm and patience are key qualities.
It is the extraordinary talent of our performers which make Mastana the biggest cultural arts show in East Anglia. You will be entertaining an audience of more than a thousand as well as raising huge sums of money for charity. This really is a unique and rewarding experience through which you will meet people from such a wide variety of backgrounds, and are sure to come away feeling proud and excited about having been involved with something as wonderful as Mastana!
We welcome acts from all corners of the world; Mastana truly is a multi-cultural show. We are looking for Dancers, Actors, Compères, Script writers, Choreographers, Directors, and any other performing talent.