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Meet Our Performing Arts Students

Harry

Performing Arts, Level 3

“The best thing about Performing Arts at Nescot is the teachers. They’re amazing at what they do, but I also like how they treat us as individuals. They know what our strengths are, what we need to work on and what our career goals are, and they even try to plan our group performances in a way that shows our abilities but also pushes us out of our comfort zone and challenges us to keep getting better.

“I’m Deaf, and I use speech and British Sign Language to communicate. Nescot and the Performing Arts department are really inclusive and welcoming, and everyone has been so supportive. We’ve spoken as a class about Deaf communication and culture, and being Deaf aware by making small changes like making eye contact, or being mindful of background noise. The best thing is that I’m seen as a person and an actor – I’m seen for my ability. The teaching staff are helping me to develop as a performer with strengths and things to work on, just like anyone else. That’s really powerful.”

Chloe

HND in Performing Arts

"I’ve always wanted to do Performing Arts, and Nescot was the perfect choice. I joined at Level 2 – I could sing and dance, but I’d never acted before. I got the main role in our first big performance in my first year. It was tough and I knew I had a lot to learn, but the experience also made me realise that if I put my mind to something then I could do it. After that, I got one of the main roles in our production of Fame. I was proud of myself because I did it despite having a significant knee injury which meant that I had to work twice as hard to get the choreography ready for the stage while learning and practising it in a safe way.

The courses are structured in a really logical way. For example, we call autumn the ‘skills term’, where you might be working on specific things like monologues, duologues or performing Shakespeare. In the final term each year you do a final major project, where we bring everything together. I’m currently directing some first-year Level 3 students in a semi-devised piece. We started with three monologues and created one scene. It’s a great project; I’m learning a lot about directing, which is also making me a better performer. At the same time I can also pass what I’ve learnt on to the newer students. The workload in terms of performances is designed to be like the industry in real life – stressful at times, but a lot of fun.

With each production you get to choose a part and try out for it. The teachers treat it like a real audition and you’re expected to behave totally professionally - they don’t sugar-coat it. You get a lot of coaching throughout the course, from how to prepare for auditions, the details of what to expect and who might be in the room, how to have self-confidence, and also how to cope with rejection or negative feedback. The teachers have really helped me to be comfortable with who I am as a person and as a performer, and they’ve pushed me out of my comfort zone and really helped me to develop.

I’ve had periods of struggling with my mental health ever since I can remember, but at Nescot I’ve learnt to realise my own potential and self-worth. I’ve always felt supported, and I’ve known where to turn when I need some help – nothing is too small to talk to the staff about. The Performing Arts team have also helped me to learn coping techniques, and how to harness my emotions and use them on stage. Coming to Nescot is my safe space.

Nescot is a really welcoming place, and the Performing Arts department is like a family. We all help and support and encourage each other, and we genuinely celebrate other people’s success like it was our own. I would recommend Nescot to anyone. No matter who you are or what your background is, you’ll find your place here."

Photograph of a Nescot student

The teachers treat us like we’re a professional theatre company. We’re expected to audition, learn lines, rehearse, and take constructive feedback to make the best possible show. The thing I’m most proud of this year is getting the lead in Grease. I learnt a lot, and I’ve definitely improved as a performer.