Alice Bartholomew and Daisy Bellis
Generally speaking, how has your career developed since you graduated?
Since graduating last July we have set up a theatre company called Magpies Three. We started writing together in our third and final year of studies. We have continued to develop work and have been performing in the Leeds area.
In what ways did your PCI experience prepare you for your career?
The opportunities that PCI offer in terms of the expertise of the staff, the facilities and the way the course is designed have contributed to the way we are now working as a theatre company. Having the opportunity to work independent of the staff in self directed sessions enabled and generated an individual responsibility to make something work. This way of working, in order to produce material, is fundamental to us still.
What influenced your decision to attend PCI?
Alice: I had never intended to study in Leeds, but I remember on the day of my interview being impressed by the facilities PCI had to offer. The way the course was spoken about and the opportunities it had to offer helped make my decision. Daisy: The course is as practical as it is academic, and this really interested me. Being able to theorise and research as well as create and perform work was a very important factor for me. The location of PCI also informed my decision.
What sort of career services were available?
The University has a supportive careers advice centre. Throughout the year various talks, workshops and fairs run giving advice and guidance for life post University.
How much time per week did you spend studying?
Timetables varied thought the three years. Doing a course with a practical element means at certain times during the semester the hours you spend in University increase. What you put into the course will effect what you get out of it.
How much interaction did you have with other students?
This was something truly great about PCI. Interaction with other students isn’t just encouraged, it is fundamental to your learning.
Can you share your thoughts on how a student might prepare themselves for a career starting out as a theatre company?
Being completely honest, at the moment we both still work in order to pay the bills and fund our company. Therefore the first piece of advice i’d give is to not forget why you are doing what you are doing and to be realistic.
In your experience, what are the attributes of individuals who are most successful in (your field)?
Determined, creative, passionate and driven.
Thinking back, what were the highlights of studying at PCI?
Meeting likeminded individuals who shared common interests with regard to the arts and creative industries. Working alongside staff who are truly passionate about what they are teaching. Also the friendships (as clichéd as it may sound) – the other students were not only great to work with throughout the three years, they are now some of my closest friends.