Rob Smith: the man behind the secret door
Our young writers speak to new Ministry Director Rob Smith, getting answers to the questions that matter.
Meet Rob Smith, the Ministry’s new Director, who recently acquired a pair of socks for every day of the month and was once the fastest boy in West Dorset (until the age of 11). We asked the young writers from our Tuesday community club to delve deeper, with probing questions, to find out what makes Rob tick.
Q: Do you like tennis and why?
‘I’ve been known to have the occasional knock about in the height of Wimbledon season, but I wouldn’t put tennis at the top of my favourites list.’
Q: Why did you decided to work at the Ministry? And why did you decide to become a Director?
‘I wanted to work at the Ministry because I love working with children. I’m constantly amazed by children’s imaginations, and the wonderful ways that they see the world. I love being surrounded by brilliant young minds, so where better to work than MoS?’
Q: Do you enjoy writing or its opposite maths?
‘There is a certain satisfaction from finishing off a tricky bit of maths, but if it’s enjoyment we’re after, it’s writing all the way.’
Q: What was your childhood dream?
‘Postmaster by day, saxophonist by night (whilst living in a sports car).’
Q: Who suggested you would be a good director?
‘When I was 14 my drama teacher chose me to go on a residential course. It sparked something in me, being surrounded by like-minded people, and getting to work with a whole range of inspiring professionals.’
‘Ok, so she didn’t suggest I would be a good director. But her taking the time to say that she thought I had potential in something was the beginnings of a career in the arts. So thanks for that Mrs. Bray.’
Q: What’s your favourite story?
‘I’m a big fan of Roald Dahl. It’s not only because he creates the most wondrous worlds with the most playful language, but also because he reminds me of my dear old Granddad. The BFG is probably one of my faves.’
Q: Have you made any books?
‘Sketch books, song books and joke books (mostly).’
Q: How are you going to make MoS a better place?
‘By continuing to listen to our young people, keeping them at the forefront of everything we do, and keeping the ambition and sense of possibility alive.’
‘Work is also underway on a self-sharpening pencil.’
Q: What are your plans for the future?
‘First-up is getting to know our amazing young writers, and all of the people around them that help make Ministry of Stories’ projects so special. I feel incredibly privileged to be working at Ministry and seeing the difference our work makes. So my plan is simply to see how we can bring this magic to more children and young people.’
Q: Who’s your favourite cartoon character?
‘Donald Duck was always a childhood favourite. I remember my dad reading me bedtime stories, and no matter what the book was, at some point the Donald Duck impression would come out.’
Q: Have you had any bad experiences as a child?
‘I remember riding my bike downhill pretty fast and wondering what would happen if I put my foot in the spokes of the front wheel. I found out.’
Q: Do you have any other jobs at the Ministry?
Everyone mucks in at the Ministry. I’m on the rota for feeding Wells (the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies invisible cat), have started some serious research into the offerings of Hoxton Street Market’s lunch time traders, and I’m angling for a promotion to be breadstick monitor soon.