The third season of Kynren ends tomorrow evening and draws a close to another summer, and once again what an adventure it has been.
Returning and picking up where I left off this season, after a short break through illness I was raring to go, but in reflection no matter how difficult I found it to be leaving this project, it was the best decision I made in regards to my own health.
This season I came back refocused, refreshed, stronger and more importantly; better, with a completely new mind set to enable me to do exactly what I wanted to do, and that was to pick up where I left off.
Since March 2016, I always had this plan of writing and recording my journey throughout Kynren, and this blog has had some up and down journeys of it’s own.
From the moment you start something new and your enthusiasm takes over, you’re excited to make a difference, and make a positive change in your life and routine, to explore new possibilities and gain new experiences.
And then one day, or a moment within a day, you suddenly wonder if it’s for you, why have you committed yourself to doing it?
I found that with writing at some points within my journey but never with volunteering at Kynren.
Kynren wasn’t my first jaunt into volunteering, but it was my most important one, it has changed me.
Not necessarily about the project, but definitely about the people who are involved in all capacities.
We are all different, yet we are all the same!
The Archers are classed as one big family and we are.
It’s the best descriptive tone that can be portrayed on us.
There are so many of us now that there are still people you catch glances at and think I’ve never seen you before, and they may well be saying the exact same thing to themselves about me too.
Every team knows each other, and to the rest you may feel like distant cousins, but we are all still family.
With writing and this blog, through that initial moment of self-doubt, I continued and it took me onto some amazing opportunities.
Starting with writing my first published article for the official tourism website, This is Durham.
I can still recall taking the opportunity all in my stride and then telling close friends in my Archers circle, how am I going to write this?
They believed in me when I certainly didn’t.
It’s different laying your thoughts out in word form on a page, on your personal page, describing your own personal journey, but to write an article whereby it is published by another source, for those to critic and review it.
I remember writing it the day before my deadline, I won’t ever do that again, the pressure was intense, and many times I thought about contacting them and apologising and saying I can’t do it.
But on that night I took the confidence that my teammates, my fellow Archers had bestowed on me and I wrote an article that really changed my life.
It was submitted, accepted and published for the whole of the internet to read, I couldn’t have done that without the support of the Archers, not at all.
From there it lead onto becoming shortlisted for a National Award in 2017 in the UK Blog Awards and representing Kynren through this blog in a lavish ceremony in Westminster, London, and showcasing our truly amazing show.
It is something I will never forget and treasure forever.
It may seem I have gone off subject a little bit, and I do this regularly in my blog articles, but today there is a reason for it.
When I returned to Kynren this season, I was wanting to come back and pick up where I left off.
I returned back to the show team, having rehearsed the season prior in show team 5, where I was made so welcome.
This season I chose to let the casting team decide which team they decided to place me into; this year it was show team 7.
My original goal was to write and record my journey going team to team each year.
Starting in the Experience team, and then moving onto the Show team and then from there another team and another one each time.
I thought when I returned to the Kynren Project and especially the show team, I would be writing consistently as there would be so much to say, so much to write about, and believe me there absolutely is.
And that is without revealing anything that only the Archers know about.
But this is where it suddenly becomes hard, and difficult, and unexplainable, how on earth do you describe something that leaves you with tingles going up and down your spine, not only thinking it but unable to stop yourself saying out loud “wow”, that overall and emotionally charged proudness that each and every show brings.
You can’t describe that!
You can only see it, live it, and feel it!
This season I have featured throughout every show and I’ll be in the cast for the final show on Saturday night as well.
In each show cast in a number of different roles throughout the summer, sometimes 4, 5 or even sometimes 6 costume changes throughout each show with many other cast members doing the same or even more.
From Romans, Normans, Pennant Knights, Flaming Drummers, Swordsmen, Knights of the Roundtable, English and French Soldiers, French Drummer, Musketeer, Harvester, Miner, World War Soldier, Miners Gala Band, or even a character role within the finale.
I’ve been cast each show in a number of these scenes and a number of different roles per scene throughout all of the shows this season.
I’m already looking forward to finding out which roles I’ll be entrusted to perform in come tomorrow night’s show.
Backstage is a hive of activity as you may imagine, hundreds of actors back and forth on set, quick changes and straight back out for their next scenes, throughout an action packed 90 minute performance that the visitors witness, but seems even quicker for those who take centre stage, it passes by in an instant.
From the moment you first enter the stage it feels like literally just minutes before you take your final bow.
3 years on how does it feel?
Quite simply amazing really, the proudness and excitement that each Archer must feel is immense.
It certainly feels that way for me.
Kynren provides each volunteer with a lift, something to look forward to at the end of each week, and sometimes twice over on double show weekends.
Tomorrow sees our final performance of the season, it will be like no different, every single show is special to us, but yes tomorrow brings even more of an added sense of excitement, we are each raring to go and put on another fantastic show that the audience will leave feeling that exact same wow factor that I had mentioned earlier.
From a family of Archers comes close friendships, a community of people, from those that have been here since it has started and those who have just joined us this year.
Friendships like these you value the people and you will have strong connections with them for a lifetime.
Just a couple of weeks ago Kynren’s volunteers were awarded The Queens Award for Voluntary Service, what an incredible achievement that is for anyone.
This award is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups and, therefore, is a fantastic recognition for all the voluntary effort every single Archer has contributed over all three seasons of Kynren.
What’s left to say apart from my future plans?
Kynren I feel very at home with, I’ve mentioned many times before it has changed me as a person and how I view and value life, giving back is something we all should look to do in life, in whichever way or project you choose to be involved in.
I volunteer in a number of different community projects within my hometown of Bishop Auckland, obviously being in Kynren and also Bishop FM amongst others.
Writing plays a big part in my creativity and it’s something I aim to continue with in the future.
I’ve always said that I was going to roam each team each year, viewing the project and writing about new experiences from a completely different set of eyes.
I have witnessed a completely different aspect of Kynren this year, taking in roles that I have never seen before, especially on show nights.
There are no easy roles in Kynren that is for sure, but there is a role for anyone and all abilities.
I would recommend to anyone to come along and become involved.
A question I am asked virtually every week is where will I be next year.
I actually made my mind up a few weeks ago on where I would like to go next season, but I simply haven’t told anyone, until now.
That answer for now is Show Team 7.
I feel completely at home in this team, I’ve been made to feel very welcome by several faces that I have known and many new ones that I have gotten to know throughout the season.
It’s a team that is very tightly bonded, with lots of camaraderie and banter flowing from the minute you arrive to the moment you leave and then some.
I’ve weighed up all my options throughout the season and I have observed each and all of the teams and I am in complete awe of what each of them do.
Who knows sometime in future years I may join and become their teammates.
But for now, I’m staying loyal to the team I absolutely love being a part of and that is Show Team 7.
Thank you to every single Archer for making Kynren everything that it is, enjoy show number 17, and we’ll see you all on the other side to celebrate the close of another wonderful season.
For more information or to book tickets please visit Kynren’s website:
To read more about Kynren and what it is like to be a part of the cast and crew on the project, please visit my Facebook page: