The teachers at school pushed me to do A-Levels and said it was the right thing to do to have a proper career. I didn’t enjoy my courses at all, and after a year I left and came to Nescot to do Performing Arts. I’m so glad I did; this is the perfect place for me.
They throw you straight in at the deep end when you start the course, with a show 12 weeks after starting. It’s amazing to see how quickly you learn. We’re taught not to box ourselves in as people who only dance, act or sing, but to work hard at all the disciplines. We also work a lot on our devising skills. You’re not just learning how to act, dance and sing, you’re learning about the craft of performance. It makes us much more versatile and rounded, and I know it’ll help us in our careers. We also have people coming in to do workshops with us on things like stage combat, and we get the chance to do extra projects like Rock Challenge.
The tutors push you to go as far as you can, whether that’s learning about backstage techniques like lighting or making props, or getting involved in choreography. The shows we’ve put on have been really varied, from Oh! What a Lovely War to the musical Loserville, where I got one of the lead roles. The tutors pack a lot of shows into the year and you might have a final show only 10 weeks after starting work on it. It’s really hard work, but they do it because they want us to prepared for working in the industry. They push us to work as a professional company in all ways, from turning up on time having learnt our lines to how we present ourselves. The tutors also support us when we have auditions outside college, for example by helping us choose an audition piece. They also give us advice about working in the industry. I’ve signed up with an agency, and I’ve also worked on a video shoot where we had to devise a dance on the spot. It was nerve-wracking, but after doing this course I have the self-confidence to do it.
At the end of my first year I won Performing Arts student of the Year in the college’s annual Further Education awards, and on the night I was also chosen to win the Principal’s Prize. It was amazing. The tutors said it was because I worked so hard, but I work hard because I really love the course.
The teachers on the course are amazing, I feel really lucky. They treat us all as individuals. The students all work really hard - it’s not an easy course - and we work really well as a team and all support and challenge each other. All the students in the department, from the first-years to the final-years, go and watch each others’ performances, and we learn from that and from each other. We all put 100% into our shows, as much for each other as for ourselves, and I think it shows. It’s amazing to think how we’ve all changed over the course, as performers and as people. I’m hoping to do the HND here at Nescot next year - there’s nowhere I’d rather be.