An Interview with Matthew Lansdell

Meet the candidate for SSC Performing Arts Officer.

Matthew Lansdell is a candidate for SSC Performing Arts Officer, better known as president of Mermaids, better known as “the Christmas Ball people.” In addition to organising Christmas Ball, Mermaids serve as St Andrews’ official performance art troupe. Matthew explains why he is up to the task of spearheading such a massive enterprise:

What draws you to the Mermaids?

I’ve been involved since the first week of my first year. I went to the very first acting Give It A Go day, and I’ve been involved every day since. I’ve been doing theatre since my first day of high school, when I realised how passionate I was about it and how much I love the community. I think through my experience, I’ve seen things that I think would work quite well for Mermaids. Coupled with my passion, I think I could do things that would benefit everyone.

What would you like to see happen within the Mermaids?

I’d like do things like monologue and duet slam nights. Those are things that individuals work hard on, and right now they don’t really have a platform for them. I want to show off individual talents.

Most importantly, I want everyone to feel like there’s a place for them. No matter how little spare time you have, you should be able to get the most out of Mermaids. Currently we have public meetings on Mondays, but those can be quite intimidating for people not heavily involved in the scene. I would introduce a public forum that would have everyone come in and raise concerns and ideas, so we can agree on the direction we want to take.

I also want to work on our alumni relations and outreach, especially with this being our centennial anniversary. I went to the Edinburgh student arts festival this year, and it was a blast to go outside of the Bubble and show off our talent. I’d love to see that expanded to other universities.

Anything you’d like to say to potential voters?

I like to say that everyone is a Mermaid. And technically everyone is, since it’s a Union subcommittee. I’d like to expand and increase opportunities for everyone, and to tell people to come to Mermaids and get to be a part of it while at university. Everyone is welcome to be a part of Mermaids!

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