30 of 50

2019 is our 50th anniversary and we are championing some of the people who help make Scottish Ballet a great place to work. Each week we will introduce you to a different career at Scottish Ballet and the person behind it.

As Finance & IT Officer, Brian's role focuses on ensuring that we are always online and ready to go. 

Tell us about your journey with Scottish Ballet so far.

I started working for Scottish Ballet in 2015, just after I moved through to Glasgow from Edinburgh. I’d been working at the National Galleries of Scotland, and was keen to continue working in the arts, so the vacancy came up at the right time for me.

My  original role was in finance, but after a few months I was offered the opportunity of providing in-house IT support as well, so I now spend a lot of my time making sure that our IT systems run smoothly and helping people get the most out of technology. I love how varied it is, and the fact that I get to think creatively about how to solve problems and develop more effective ways of doing things every day at work.

How is working in an IT capacity different in the arts to other industries?

There are a lot “bread and butter” tasks that are the same whatever the industry you work in. But for me, working in the arts is so much more varied – and the breadth of knowledge needed is far greater. So yes I have to know how to make sure someone’s printer is working, and check that the server is ticking over as it should, but I also need to be ready to develop an alternative to WiFi when the BBC needs more bandwidth to livestream an event. 

Scottish Ballet is a really open and friendly place to be, and it feels like everyone is equally valued – I don’t feel like just the IT guy in the background, but part of the whole team. It’s an incredible feeling to watch the productions and see the bigger picture of what the company creates.

It is always satisfying to know that the work I do is supporting something interesting, engaging and creative.

How did you find moving from Edinburgh to Glasgow?

I’d lived in Edinburgh for 16 years, so it was a big wrench to head back to the West. I moved for the right reasons, though – my partner and stepson were here so I didn’t really have a choice! And I love Glasgow, so it has all worked out pretty well.

I hate the physical act of moving house so I have resolved that I am never moving again!

How do you unwind in Glasgow on your days off?

I love the movies, so I can usually be found in a cinema. My secret luxury is a projector and screen, which we set up in our living room to watch films as a family – the dimensions of a Glasgow tenement are great for that.

I also love to cook, and get a load of inspiration from local restaurants – from authentic curries to Greek and Spanish food. I try and offset the calories by playing badminton.

What is your favourite thing about working at Scottish Ballet?

Too many things to count! I really think that the people I work with are the most important thing. We’re lucky to have a great team, everyone gets along and knows what they are doing. And the culture is all about letting people get on with their jobs and do the best they can – so people really shine!

The actual job is also a big part of it. I really like helping people, and it is so rewarding to see the end result of everyone’s work when our dancers are on stage, the orchestra is in full flow, and you really see what the company can create together. It makes me really proud to be part of it. 

Also, as a music lover, it’s wonderful to be able to hear such a range of live music filtering through the building as I work.  

What's your 'get up and go' song?

Ooh, so many to choose from… but I’ll have to go for Here Comes Your Man by The Pixies.