Posted 28 November 2022

Assistant director Rasheka Christie-Carter on making strides as a working-class creative

Rasheka Christie-Carter’s journey to becoming an assistant director has been led by her steadfast commitment to the craft. Whilst studying for a BA in film, she engaged with industry through practical means – work experience, shadowing and reaching out to veterans in the space. This hands-on tactic succeeded, leading her to work on productions such as To Kill a Mockingbird, My Fair Lady and Bring It On: The Musical. In Rasheka’s eyes, university is a viable option for working-class creatives like herself, who otherwise might not have the time or money to focus on their craft 24/7. Here, Rasheka discusses how she honed her creative skillset early on in life, and the importance of building human connections beyond social media.

Rasheka Christie-Carter

Rasheka Christie-Carter

Job Title

Assistant Director, To Kill a Mockingbird



Selected Projects

My Fair Lady (2022)
Bring It On: The Musical (2021)

Place of Study

BA Film, Ravensbourne University London (2018-2021)

Social Media


What I do

How would you describe what you do?
I’d describe my work as essentially maintaining the vision of the theatre director. A lot of what I do involves checking in on the cast, asking how their scenes went and questioning whether things can be done differently if necessary.

Though there’s of course an artistic element of the role, people management is the most important part of what I do – the artistic stuff comes more from the things I’m learning by working under the director. School can’t really teach you how a director directs, so this is the best way to learn on the job.

“School can’t really teach you how a director directs, so being an assistant director is the best way to learn on the job.”

Would you say you need any specific training for what you do?
You don’t need any specific schooling to assist a director.

But, as someone who comes from a working-class council estate background, university gave me the time to focus on what interested me without having to worry about money.

I remember a great piece of advice I got from a director for TV: “university isn’t necessarily about the course itself, but a time where you can spend three years doing as much paid and unpaid stuff as possible.”

Although I worked part-time at university, I still had so much spare time to get involved with arts events. It’s much harder to do this when you are balancing it with a full-time job.

During my film degree, I got into the Young Vic Director’s Program. I didn’t think directing was possible as a sustainable career until this point.

Rasheka christie carter creativelivesinprogress 08

Rasheka at rehearsals at the Gielgud Theatre in London for To Kill A Mockingbird

Rasheka christie carter creativelivesinprogress 07

“Coming from a working-class background, university gave me the time to focus on what interested me without having to worry about money.”

Can you tell us about some of your favourite projects to date?
Working on My Fair Lady was really fun.

As an assistant director, you watch the show each night, which means you have to watch it 20 times for two to three weeks. You’d think it would annoy you, but I really enjoyed watching everyone sing and dance every night.

Doing my first ever sold-out play at a small pub theatre was another one. I remember thinking – “directing theatre isn’t as scary as I thought it was!”

How I got here

What was your journey like when you were first starting out?
I was one of those weirdos who always sort of knew what they wanted to do – by that I mean, it’s fine if you don’t!

I always knew I wanted to do something within the arts realm. I started off working in community radio and Radio 4 News when I was 18, alongside some runner jobs on TV shows and eventually went to university – already with some contacts.

Then, I spent a lot of my time at university shadowing people. By the time I graduated, I was working on Bring It On: The Musical. At uni, I used the opportunity of having a lot of spare time to direct shows and do as much as I possibly could.

If you could pick three things that you’ve found useful or inspiring to your work or career, what would they be and why?
[Television screenwriter] Shonda Rhimes’ Wikipedia page.

My parents didn’t finish secondary school. I had no guideline for what finishing education and going into the arts looks like. So I looked at her Wikipedia page to tell me how I could shape my pathway into this line of work.

Also, Shonda’s book, Year of Yes. The book is about her saying yes to everything for a year, and has been really formative for me.

What would you say has been your biggest challenge along the way?
Imposter syndrome for sure. Sometimes I find myself thinking: “Huh? Me? Really?”

Also, I have a “baby face” and it’s difficult to get people to take me seriously sometimes. Some people do, but there are others who I’ve had to really work to get them to respect me – but that’s life.

The best thing to remember when you’re in a space where people are much older than you is that new insight is always needed. They need to respond to what’s popular now or the industry will die. Inexperience and youth also have great value.

“Remember that new insight is always needed in the industry – and that inexperience and youth also have great value.”

Rasheka christie carter 04

Rehearsals for Sticks and Stones, a play directed by Rasheka

Rasheka christie carter 03

Rasheka christie carter 02

How important would you say social media and self-promotion are to your work? Do you have any advice or learnings to share?
I personally dislike social media a lot. There’s a value in it for sure, but for me, the real value is meeting people IRL.

There are people who hold keys and access to certain facets of the industry, and it might be better to spend time getting to know that person for an afternoon. I’ve spent most of my time in the industry meeting people, going for coffees and shadowing; that’s how I’ve found success.

Our industry [film and TV] is about human interaction, so it makes sense that this is how you make the connections. That said, I did get my first TV job from cold-calling and emailing. So online is also a good option to reach out to people – just don’t underestimate the power of IRL meetups.

My advice

What’s the best career-related advice you’ve ever received?
This is a funny one. I went through a two-month phase of wanting to work in real estate – of course, I realised it wasn’t aligned with my morals at all.

There was this boring event I attended and interestingly, this rich real estate dude gave me some advice that I still remember. He said: “If you want to work in the arts, spend as much time as you can to hone your craft – volunteering and getting involved with local events.”

It’s weird that it came from someone like him, but I made that advice work for me, even being from a working-class background. It may not be possible for everyone, but if you can, try to hone your skills as early as possible.

What advice would you give someone looking to get into a similar career?
Join youth community groups. I never did that, but wish I did – there are plenty out there. I’m sure connecting with others on social media can also help, if you’re comfortable using it.

University is useful, but a lot of the people teaching there were in the industry five to six years ago. It has massively changed. Speaking to people in the industry directly can be much more helpful.

Also, try and find a creative team to make stupid short films with – and don’t worry, they’re always bad in the beginning. Just get yourself out there and join as many groups as possible.

Theatres also have lots of free workshops. Look them up and go to them. You will learn lots of things from the people there.

Interview by Frankie Faccion
Mention Rasheka Christie-Carter