Luke Baker / Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand

Go Globe'l With Luke

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How now, kind sir, and welcome. I'm Luke (nice to meet you) and I'm GOING TO THE GLOBE THEATRE IN LONDON!

Whoa, I got a touch excited there. Now that all that's out of the way:

I'm one of 24 students selected from over 5500 secondary students to be a member of the prestigious Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Young Shakespeare Company 2014 (SGCNZ YSC 2014). As part of this incredible group of young people, chosen to represent New Zealand, I'll travel to the UK from 4-23 July 2014, where I'll undertake intensive theatre workshops and rehearsals culminating in the public performance of one of Shakespeare's plays on none other than the stage of Shakespeare's Globe, London.

During the three weeks we spend in the UK, we have the opportunity to work with leading tutors and directors, see some of England's best theatre practitioners and experience first-hand the Globe Theatre and the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse!

This experience is not only about developing my performance skills and knowledge of Shakespeare, history and theatre, but also my "ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively, to manage [my] time and energy, to lead as well as be part of a team, to support and accept support, to take direction, to develop a life-long network of like-minded peers, plus gain immeasurable self confidence through the whole experience."

There is also the bonus of performing on arguably the most famous stage in the world, and the birthplace of Elizabethan theatre!

Selection to SGCNZ YSC 2014 means I have to raise aroudabout $8500 to cover all my costs - this includes international and domestic travel and taxes, insurance, course fees, accommodation, meals, theatre tickets and incidental expenses. I've been a busy bee up until now, too, having managed to raise nearly a third of my costs through fundraising and (incredibly humbling) donations. That being said, final payments are due in May and there's only so many garage sales and sausage sizzles a boy can do!

Perhaps your only run-in with the bard was reading through Twelfth Night in fifth form English, but let me assure you, S.Dog's works are so incredibly relevant to society and our lives nowadays that once you begin to peel back the layers of any of his texts you see the world in a whole new way.

By donating to this cause you will realise the impact this experience will have on my life, as well as the countless others I cannot wait to share the excitement of Shakespeare with!

Thank you, and I cannot wait to share more of my journey with you! ♥


  • What an experience!


    It's been nearly two months since I arrived home from Europe, and what an adventure that was. Since you all were so generous in helping me get to the Globe, I figure I'll give a little belated run-down of how it all went!

    First of all, let me just say how impressive the Globe theatre is. Before I went, people told me "it's just got this amazing feeling about it" or "there's something magical about that stage" and I rolled my eyes a little. Stepping into that space, though, feeling and moving on the wooden stage, I can attest to all of the things people said. The most prominent feature that takes your breath away is the shape, because no matter where you are on stage there are audience, quite literally, in your face. If you're on the side of the stage, where in a conventional theatre you wouldn't really be seen, you're right next to audience members; when you're standing front and centre, there are faces at ground level a mere one step in front of you. They're also at eye level, to your left and right, and above you. With the exception of the back of the stage, people circle all the way around you.

    Across the few weeks that we had as a company to prepare our performance, a large part of it was also spent in workshops. We worked with some incredible tutors, all of whom treated us not like students, but like actors. It did take a little adjusting to this suddenly professional approach, but once I got into the swing of things it was impressive how much more work we could get done. Our days were full, from meetings and discussions first thing at breakfast to late night rehearsals or watching evening shows. We saw three professional shows at the Globe (Julius Caesar, Titus Andronicus & Antony and Cleopatra), on top of shows at the National Theatre, and I was continuously blown away by the high standard of performances. 

    As you know, this was all working towards a performance of our own, too. After hours of rehearsal and working (albeit limited in number due to our tight schedule) we moved backstage at the Globe, listening to the audience coming in. Nerves kicked us and we all quietly panicked as the reality of what we were doing set in. Suddenly, we were given the all clear and we marched into position on stage. The performance went off without a hitch, and I felt on fire. I played, amongst other small roles, Marc Antony in the well known funeral scene, mourning over dead Caesar's body ("Friends, romans, countrymen, lend me your ears / I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him"). Strangely enough I don't remember most of the performance, as  I, like many others, found that I went into a kind of auto-pilot mode. The brilliant thing was that we felt so close as a company and so strong in our abilities that we allowed ourselves to do this. I do recall looking at people in the audience, picking on them, delivering lines to them and challenging them. In fact it was the first time that I've ever felt that the audience weren't just spectators, but completely involved in the play - something remarkably unique to the Globe.

    On a more personal level, it's hard to decide what I loved more: performing on stage at the Globe, or bonding with the 23 others in the company. Obviously there was friction occasionally (put 24 teenagers together night and day for nearly a month and you're bound to get some), but not once did that stop us from working together and supporting each other. We developed a real closeness with one another, and this only strengthened our performance. Friends that I made through YSC will be friends that I'll hold onto for a long time to come, and I'll do the same with the skills and lessons I learnt. 

    Next year, I'll be starting an acting degree at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. This, like going to Shakespeare's Globe, is a dream come true. Ideally, I'd love to return to London in the future to work more with the Globe, but I'll focus on my three years in Wellington first. Thank you immensely for your generousity to help me raise the money that I did. I achieved something I'm still in awe of and will continue to drive me to go further in my career. Without getting wishy-washy (or have I done that already?), you invested in my future.

    Thank you, and here's to the future!


  • It's nearly London time


    I have two weeks to go, as of yesterday, until I meet with the rest of the group at the Airport and leave for London. It's still surreal, perhaps even more so than before, that I'm actually doing this and I don't think it'll even hit me properly until I'm on the plane (heads up to the people next to me: bring tissues).

    I wanted to give a little update before I fly out, and also before I get uber busy in preparation to leave:

    You'll all be aware that we managed to meet 100% of my fundraising goal here on Boosted, and this will never cease to amaze me. I can't thank you enough for donating to my cause, because your donation was not only monetary but a vote of confidence in my future and that's equally as important to me. Boosted, in combination with a myriad of other things, has lifted my fundraising total higher than I thought it possibly could. After recieving the $2500 from NewstalkZB and ASB Bank I thought that was my share of good fortune for an entire lifetime, but great things kept on coming. I recieved donations in my bank account, cards in the mail with money and some incredibly touching words, hefty donations from the Whangarei RSA trust, even cash donations from customers at work! I organised performances at local resthomes to see if we could keep the ball rolling, and it wasn't uncommon to count up and find over $300 - not bad for a half hour's work! After news that our movie night had to be cancelled I was a little worried that we'd struggle to meet the total, but as I approached those who'd bought tickets to offer a refund most of them told me to keep the money. It has been little events of continuous generousity like these that have not only kept my funds climbing, but encouraged me on, too. Finally, I went to speak with local Lions clubs in the area to see if they could provide any support and help me reach my total. Little did I know that their support would go further than donations made to me on the night...

    About one month ago I sat down with my parents to do the grand tally up of funds and see how close we had got to the total. We knew by then that we were only a couple of hundred dollars short of the total, but were also aware that there were a couple of cheques in the mail still to arrive so we held off saying anything. The day before I was to fly to Wellington to meet with the other YSC members I received those cheques: one each from two of our local Whangarei Lions Clubs, and each was for $500! 

    I am incredibly humbled but excited to say that we've not only met but surpassed the amount we needed to raise. The total now is enough to pay for the whole course, my flights to and from the U.K., travel insurance for my time in London and my further stay in Europe, as well as enough money to buy my parents souvenirs!

    I really owe one massive hug to everyone who has donated, bought cupcakes, spread word and supported me. Without your involvement I wouldn't be preparing to go to London like I am. You can be sure to hear from me as soon as I finish my time at the Globe - maybe even during my time if I can get wifi - so keep your eyes out for an email. In the mean time, thank you, and you'll hear from me soon!

  • WE DID IT!


    I have to start this update by saying HOOOOORAAAAYYYY!!!

    We made the fundraising goal on Boosted and the project is completed! I've just sent off my invoice to receive the funds and it's all thanks to you! It's really quite humbling to have people, especially people you've never met, getting behind you and donating to your cause. It's one thing to provide words of encouragement, but by actually donating towards my project you have contributed in an incredibly real way. I owe you all the biggest thank you, because as of last night's totalling we've successfully reached my fundraising goal - yes, that means that we have managed to achieve ALL of the $8,500 needed for my trip! 

    What an incredible feeling knowing that I've got all the money I need over two months before I even go. When we first started fundraising I had nightmares about having to spend my last few days in the country busking and selling raffles as a last ditch money-gathering effort, but we're far from that now!

    Thank you SO MUCH to each and every one of you for contributing whatever you could. You invested in my future and had faith in me and I am so grateful for that. Don't think that you won't hear from me after this either, because as far as I see it you deserve to see where your money has gone and the fruits that will come out of it. I'll be posting updates on here as well as on my facebook page ( so you can see what's happening.

    Anyway, I really am grateful and cannot wait to share more with you from London.

    Until then,

  • Getting close now, eeeek!


    It's hard to believe that there's only 99 days left until I get on a big plane and fly off to London! I'm already starting to think about what I'm going to take and, let's be honest, how much I can fit in my suitcase before it's too heavy...

    I've got a fundraising movie night up and running, as we were lucky enough to book out a private screening of the new Romeo and Juliet film - the trailer looks awesome! Ticket sales are just getting started, but if you'd like more information about it head on over to my facebook page ( and check it out.

    15 days remaining on Boosted, though! LET'S GET THIS BABY GOING :) Remember that even if you've already donated telling people about my campaign or sharing it on facebook can still make a huge difference! 

    I've just got back from rehearsal for a play I'm in currently, so it's bed time for me now. Goodnight!

    Getting close now, eeeek!
  • A call from Mike Hoskings on Newstalk ZB!


    This morning, after sitting down to enjoy pancakes for breakfaat (this was already a great start to the day) I recieved a phone call. It was Mike Hoskings from Newstalk ZB asking me about my trip to the globe! After mumbling out a few answers about what I was doing and what it meant to me, he told me that ASB Bank and Newstalk ZB's 'Sowing The Seeds Of Sucess' fund was going to GIVE ME $2,500!!!!! 

    I'm quite literally shaking right now, because it's just so incredible to be that much closer to my fundraising goal in such a short amount of time! I cannot thank Valerie Compton ennough for contacting Newstalk ZB and endorsing me; without you this wouldn't have happened!


Luke Baker

Luke is one of the 24 students selected from over 5500 secondary students to be members of the prestigious Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Young Shakespeare Company 2014 (SGCNZ YSC 2014).

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