Generally speaking, how has your career developed since you graduated?
Since graduating last July I have embarked on a new career as a professional actor. I have an agent who represents me and I am also pro-active in finding my own work.
To date I have been employed in a diverse range of performance environments including theatres, museums, photographic studios, short films, TV adverts and a soap opera.
In what ways did the School of Performance & Cultural Industries experience prepare you for your career?
My course and the School’s staff taught me that performance in its narrow definition of “acting” is a job which is part of a massive industry and whilst it is enjoyable and gives one the opportunity and freedom to be creative this is no reason to “sell yourself short”. I have found that the School has a good reputation in the industry and that my qualification carries kudos and is respected by individual professionals and their organisations.
What influenced your decision to attend the School of Performance & Cultural Industries?
The course description which detailed the diversity of available modules led me to believe that the course would offer me not only an opportunity to make theatre but to understand the function of theatre and performance in a much wider context than my previous experience had given me.
What sorts of career services were available?
As a very mature undergraduate of sixty years a “career” in the usual sense of the word was not my main priority so I did not seek as much career guidance as my fellow undergraduates who were all in their early twenties and about to seek their first “real job”. The careers fairs offered by the university naturally catered more for the younger undergraduates who were in a majority.
?How much time per week did you spend studying?
This is difficult to quantify for me as I used my commuting time to read. The course is ideal for those who wish to do more than the standard academic and set rehearsal hours in that it encourages students to spend extra hours devising, writing and rehearsing for performance. Whilst this extra work may not endear the course to some it lays a good foundation for the work expected at MA level or at drama school and for those who, like me, go straight into the performance industries.
How much interaction did you have with other students?
The course work is heavily reliant on interaction and collaboration between students and staff which prepares us for the same ethos in the performance industries.
??Can you share your thoughts on how a student might prepare themselves for a career in acting?
Agents, directors, casting directors, producers and all potential employers are not just interested in your talent and your degree qualification. A large part of your employability factor is your work ethic so a good place to start developing a good one is on this course. Get into good habits. Turn up on time; be prepared; do the work in class and on your own; learn your parts; look after and respect your fellow actors (students) and directors and they will reciprocate. I find that this is how the industry works so get used to doing it now.
In your experience, what are the attributes of individuals who are most successful in (your field)?
See answer to Question 7: above + HARD WORK!!
Thinking back, what were the highlights of studying at the School of Performance & Cultural Industries ?
- Discovering that some of my skills were valued far more than I ever believed they could be.
- The constant encouragement of the staff.
- The collaboration between the great majority of the students