What did you want to do when you were growing up? Me? I wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter as I had a talent for sticky-back plastic and making pencil pots from yogurt pots (it’s quite a skill!).
So I can understand how one of our Funstar’s, Kelsie, felt when she visited Haven when she was younger. From the age of eight all she dreamed of was getting up and entertaining on the stage. Read Kelsie’s story below about how her dreams came true…
Hi my name is Kelsie, I’m currently a Funstar cast dancer at Quay West in Wales. This is my second season working as a Funstar for Have. I was at Allhallows in Kent as an Events cast funstar. I can honestly say that this is the best job in the world and it is my dream job.
I’ve wanted to be a funstar (or Haven mate as they were when I was a child!) since I was 8 years old, and although I decided to go to university before auditioning, it was definitely been worth the wait.
I have been going on holiday to Haven sites for as long as I can remember. When I was a child I went to Hafan Y Mor in Wales every year until I was about 12.
And it was here that I decided that being a Funstar is what I wanted to do. I have always loved being on stage but I enjoyed every aspect of my Haven holiday. My parents used to drop me and my brother off at Tiger club at 9 and we’d be there all morning, go and have dinner and then go back after until it was time for tea, then as soon as we’d had our tea we’d be straight into the Bonga Wonga (the kids entertainment venue) for all the evening fun.
We went to everything and joined in with everything. There was also one year where I got picked from the dance floor to take part in the talent show final, but I got major stage fright and ended up performing my entire routine with my back to the audience and the judges!
We were so committed that we even managed to get our 3 year t-shirts , plus one year I won the Rory award for best girl. I absolutely loved all of the characters, particularly Rory, and I have to say I still have a soft spot for him (just don’t tell the others) – as you can see I’ve always loved Haven!
As I got older, I realised being a Funstar changed from being a dream to being the only job I could imagine myself doing. I made a plan – I would audition during my final year at university ready to start that summer.
As an older sister you appreciate Haven in a completely different way to how I did as a child, I would watch the entertainment almost taking mental notes on what the children were finding funny, ready to use at home and in the youth groups at home.
Any time I saw a funstar around the complex I would ask them about the job, what it entailed, if they enjoyed it, what qualifications or experience I needed and of course how I actually could apply. I was directed to www.funstartalent.com where again the more I read about the role, the more excited I got and knew I had to audition.
D-Day finally came. It was time for the auditions. I couldn’t have been more nervous, everything rested on this day.
The team so put us all at ease and we began with dance sessions, acting and improvisation sessions and also an interview.
The waiting was agony but of course I got the job! I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I didn’t!
When I finally started the job I fitted straight in, it felt like home. I can honestly say that there is not a single aspect of the job that I don’t enjoy and when I think how much I’ve grown as a person and as Funstar from a year ago, its incredible.
I feel like i’m constantly evolving, I now present all aspects of the job on a regular basis, can work lighting and sound desks (which considering I am rubbish at technology, is nothing short of a miracle!) as well as all the normal everyday activities.
I also decided this year to audition as a dancer. This audition was more nerve wracking than the first because I now knew how much better the job was than I could ever have imagined. However luckily, I found out that I had got the job the very next morning, and I literally jumped around the house! Being part of show team this year as added something extra special to a job that was already beyond perfection. I would love to continue working with the company to develop my skills. How many people can say at work today= I made a balloon dog, got pegs stuck to my face, had to wear as many pants as I could while pretending to be a hippo and have balls thrown into a basket on my back. Nothing can top this.
To any future Funstars, I can not recommend the job any more highly, it doesn’t feel like a job at all, I feel like the luckiest person in the world – cheesy but true. No matter what, seeing that child smile when they win a prize, see you out and about or get to meet one of the seaside squad is what makes this job so special. And for those who holiday with Haven, I truly hope that no matter how old you are you each take away a smile at the end of your holiday along with all of those precious memories.