“Harry Potter: The Exhibition” or how to be a paid fangirl

I’ve mentioned it in previous articles but I’m getting into it just now. For the past 6 months, I was a roving host at “Harry Potter: The Exhibition”. A week after its official closing, it seemed only normal to share my experience.

Before it all started …

Like I’ve mentioned in my Cursed Child article, Harry Potter has always been a huge part of my life. It was the first novel that I read. It was the first time I truly fell in love with a story. It was my escape when I was sad. My imaginary world that felt like home. Of course, the rational part of me always thought that I would outgrow Harry Potter. But somehow my love for it shifted as I grew up and stayed alive for 16 years now.

So, last April, when I heard my friend had an interview for a job at “Harry Potter: The Exhibition”, I knew I had to try it. We were together when I applied (one day too late). I got to the audition like she did. However, when she got the mail that she was selected, mine said “If anyone cancels, we’ll let you know”. But as you can imagine, I couldn’t have written this article if they hadn’t make the better choice, which is picking me after all.

The job itself

My job was pretty common. I was in charge of scanning people in, entering them in the exhibition and walk around the exhibition, making sure people don’t ruin stuff. But there was some magic into it. I heard some client say that it was “the first exhibition where children explain things to their parent.” And as a former child fan of the series, it was brilliant to see how the passion for Harry’s adventures was still alive after all this time. No matter what age were the visitors, the magic was still there. Everyday, we would see in people’s eyes the feeling they would have if they entered Hogwarts for the first time. Just imagine the reaction.

I have to admit that after a few days, I considered banning the wizarding world from my life. I could hear the Harry Potter soundtrack EVERYWHERE: in the station, in my room, in my food even in my tinnitus. But every time I was too far away from that place, I just wanted some more. I legit wanted to be haunted by that sound that drove me nuts.

The most amazing thing about the job was the colleagues. During our formation, we were told that after awhile, the people around us would feel like family. And it’s true. Every single person I’ve worked with has brought something new into my life. I learned more about myself through them, learned about life through their stories and experience, I even improved my dutch which was much needed.

A beautiful adventure

It’s been now a week since we had to say goodbye to the exhibition. My Facebook have been full of shared memories, blogs and goodbyes from different colleagues. One of them summed my feeling perfectly in one sentence: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

If you missed the exhibition in Paris last year, then missed the better version in Brussels, first of all, you need to redefine your priorities. And second, you need to book your tickets for Utrecht, Netherlands, where the exhibition will be in February.

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