With the flood of recent reality and lifestyle shows swamping Australian television screens, many people will tell you that TV is just not what it used to be.
But one RMIT graduate is helping to bring live sitcoms back-to-life as part of the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Rikki-Lee Butinar, a student in the Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services, is the Production and Floor Manager for WorkSpace, a sitcom based around three off-beat creatives sharing an office in inner-city Carlton.
The show is long-form, scripted, situational comedy, much in the same format as many of Australia’s favourite television shows of the past such as Kath and Kim.
As part of her role as Floor Manager, Butinar juggles a range of tasks including show planning, director assistance, dealing with technical issues, and cuing the audience.
She said studying the course at RMIT gave her a wide berth of knowledge and provided her ample opportunity for hands-on learning, giving her a range of skills that have translated to the real-world work-place.
“The course gave me the opportunity to grow and follow my career path with the right qualifications,” she said.
“A lot of the time we got thrown in the deep end, but it was really fun and the best way to learn.”
Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services Program Coordinator, Simon Embury, said Butinar demonstrates the appropriate level of drive needed to be successful in the entertainment industry.
"Rikki-Lee shows the range of career possibilities that can open for students while studying this Diploma at RMIT," he said.
"Our hands-on programs are designed to ensure students can step straight into industry upon graduation.
"And students are encouraged to gain workplace experience while studying, just as Rikki-Lee is doing."
Butinar also works as Production Assistant and AV Tech with the Pop Up Playground, an immersive story-telling and gaming collective that has performance credits at Melbourne’s Fringe Club and the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
The group is currently in residency at the Bella Union on Victoria Street in Melbourne.
Butinar said studying the course at RMIT allowed her “to play and practice with the best equipment”, which has allowed her to instantly step into a number of different roles in the performance and entertainment industry.
“We have constant support from teachers and lecturers, so when we make mistakes inside of class and out in the real world, assistance is always nearby,” she said.