Belinda Love from The Masques Agency is an agent based in Edinburgh representing professional Scottish and Scotland-based actors. She is also a screenwriter at daemon productions, board member at North Edinburgh Arts, press officer at Girl Geek Scotland, photographer, and a keen advocate of arts and creative industries in Scotland. Here are her first 5 jobs.

1. The Salisbury Centre/Resident Worker
After school I lived and worked at this alternative community located in Newington, Edinburgh. It was overseen by a board of trustees and run by seven people who lived in and administrated the facilities, offering classes in everything from pottery to reflexology. There was plenty of herbal tea, nights spent putting the world to rights in wigwams, and I was proud to become a single statistic in a book: The only under sixteen in the UK to live and work in an alternative community. Gosh I’m a bit weird innit?

2. Mottram Patrick Partnership/Secretary
After a spell studying business administration (and becoming a mother), I worked at this long-established Scottish architects on a work placement which turned full-time. I got on famously with the team of architects and engineers, and was able to gain experience with fee accounts, architects instructions, snagging lists, as well as the fun task of climbing about on scaffolding taking architect’s notes. The best thing about this position was the people by far – a total laugh and they let me play Doom at lunchtime everyday.

3. Edward’s Edinburgh/Duty Manager
A new franchise bar was opening in Edinburgh and they were looking for start-up staff. I’d always thought it would be good to have bar work under my belt as a life skill, and also as a single parent it gave me the opportunity to spend more guilt free time in a pub. Surprisingly I loved it, thought of it as a ship, nae the Enterprise herself, and assumed the position of Lieutenant Worf until one too many promotions meant one too many night shifts for a single woman with a kid of primary-school age. Fun, but couldn’t do it now – it’s a young person’s game. And such a shame the place has the nickname “Nedward’s” now!

4. Freelance / Editorial Assistant & Researcher
An ad hoc job helping out an editor friend turned into an interesting and flexible freelance career editing academic journals and re-editions of fascinating medical textbooks. I did this for over 10 years while studying performing arts and screenwriting, self-diagnosing myself with illnesses (an occupational hazard), learning a good deal about academic writing and referencing, and growing a strong stomach assessing images that only the best surgeons in the world should ever really look at. Interesting job, but not enough fiction and drama for my creative gratification.

5. Scottish Arts Council/Administrator
Despite studying and practicing creative endeavours, I was feeling the pinch and fetched up to the Arts Council as an administrator for a part-time six-month maternity cover which turned into two years full-time during the last interesting period of transition to Creative Scotland. Working across several departments I gained a comprehensive perspective of the arts, film and creative industry sectors in Scotland, and developed an urge to continue championing what I could. Because it was a time of transition, there were plenty of opportunities to get involved in change projects in-house which, being a ‘can-do’ kind of person, always put myself up for. An education indeed.


We’ve asked professionals in creative industries what jobs they have had in the past to get their foot through the door (or at least pay the rent). For more in the “My First 5 Jobs” series look here.