Melissa Benn.
Melissa Benn.

Best seat in the house for Games ceremonies


WHILE most of us will be sitting back enjoying the Commonwealth Games from the comfort of our lounge rooms, former Grafton resident Melissa Benn will be in the thick of the action.

Melissa, who recently finished her Performing Arts degree at the Central Queensland University in Rockhampton, will be in Melbourne as a deputy stage manager helping ensure the opening and closing ceremonies run smoothly.

Melissa said the experience was like a dream come true.

"I'm working with people who stage-managed shows I loved so much, so it's a surreal experience and an opportunity to pick the brains of some of the best people in the industry," she said.

"It's hard work ? we work roughly 15 hours a day with hardly any days off ? but it's been amazing."

Melissa moved to Melbourne three months ago for the position and as the games edge closer, she said the excitement levels were building.

"There's thousands of people involved in the ceremonies ? when you include all the operators and everything ? and with only nine days to go we can't wait," she said.

Melissa applied for the position in May last year and while she will miss her university graduation to be in Melbourne, she wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's the second biggest gig in the world behind the Olympics, so it's pretty special," she said.

And while careful not to divulge any secrets before the performances, Melissa said the ceremonies would be spectacular.

"I've been told all I can say is that I can't confirm or deny anything, but they will be a great show of what Australia is all about," she said.

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