Meeester comes back from work today with a tale of a presentation given to school pupils about careers in engineering by an acting group. You may have seen the like before. Struggling actors pay the rent by being involved in a community or corporate theatre groups and do little skits with a message for money. Traveling minstrels for the modern age.
These outfits are easy targets for blog humour and I am not about to re-live the experience for comic effect, as most importantly it wasn’t me who witnessed it; it was Meeester. I can only relate Meeester’s utter contempt for the whole ordeal.
OK, I am going to take the piss a little.
Meeester comes back with the scenario. The theatre group promise a show that will entice youngsters into the fruitful career of engineering. The main characters are played by an array of mid to later thirties actors. And here’s where it gets bizarre. They propose to outline the advantages of a career in the fast lane of engineering by simulating the characters of:
What the blazes that lot have to do with CAD programmes, building the world’s superstructures and planning civilisations, is anyone’s guess.
My guess is that a bunch of middle aged guys in the education department of a government organisation came up with people that they thought teenagers would respond to. There is no other explanation as to how wrong this whole concept could be. The characters could have been anyone. The list of players could easily have read:
Pete Docherty (“Hey guys a fruitful career in civil engineering could be just the ticket to get me off the smack”)
Big Brother contestant Charley (“I’m not being funny right, but engineering’s well wicked”)
Billie Piper ("I gave up time-traveling and the only decent role I’m ever going to get to plan the pipelines of Eastern
Britney Spears (“When I get clean and git ma kids back, you can bet your ass I’m gonna get my SVQs!”)
Simon Cowell (“Well, I thought that was atrocious. Have you ever thought of going into Town Planning?”)
It wouldn’t matter who was portrayed, as long as “the kids” could relate.
Meeester had to sit through the whole thing. As he watched the good work he had done on careers guidance slowly being unraveled by bad acting and misinformation about what makes teenagers tick, he struggled not to flip.
He even considered injuring himself quite badly with a retractable pencil, so that an ambulance could be called and he could get the hell out, or better; possibly stop the whole performance for the benefit of all..
To illustrate how bad it was to me, he gave the Ant and Dec segment as an example.
Ant: "Wae Aye , man. I fancy a bit o’ that engineering lark. It sounds fantabulous!”
Dec: “Aye Man, but how d' ye get into that like?”
Ant: “Ye can get yer SVQs lad. Ye can gang tae the college!”
Dec; “Fabaroooni! Man!”
He is not joking; this is how it went on. I almost feel like tracking down the lawyers of Ant and Dec to inform them that their names are being used in such a way. I’m not usually one to defend the famous, but in this case, I actually feel that a serious injustice has been done.
Then, as if their audience aren’t alienated enough, some actors dressed as Alex Ferguson, Wayne Rooney and Coleen McLaughlin appear and so some skit about how much folk in engineering are earning and how simple it is to get into the oil industry.
Except Meeester says that they make out
But what must the kids have thought? Are any of them seriously thinking that engineering sounds cool because some no-mark actors badly acted their way through a cringe-worthy representation of famous people they couldn’t give a damn about? Of course they aren’t.
Meeester suggested a far better alternative. Take them to the Shell office car park and let them wander around checking out the Ferraris, BMWs and Mercs of the workers inside. Then show the bank statements of a couple of 19 year-olds who’ve just spent a fortnight on an oil rig.
One good thing has come of the afternoon's presentation though. The five kids that wanted to go to RADA are now applying for proper jobs.