“It has changed my life”
We asked some of our drama school students, supported by NYAT, what a typical day at drama school is like – and particularly what student life is like during a pandemic!
My drama school has taught me that we are all storytellers, and all stories deserve to be told. The training is helping me to uncover the strength and uniqueness of my own body, voice and soul in order to deliver a story in the most effective way. I am learning core skills from industry professionals that will ready me for not only future auditions, but to harness walking through life in general and I would not have been able to access these lessons without the help of the NYAT funding.
We are all storytellers, and all stories deserve to be told.
As soon as I walked into the class I knew this was exactly what I was meant to be doing and where I was meant to be and I think that’s really rare. I’ve been greeted with the most understanding and passionate teachers, who treat me like I am already an established actor. They have taken out the usual, ‘oh when you are an actor…’ and changed it to, ‘you are an actor, it’s your job too…’ and I think without this shift in perspective I would have found myself very stuck on how to move forward in my career!
A day in the life of a drama student? Thankfully we’re back in the rehearsal room 5 days a week right now which I am extremely grateful for. The previous term was extremely challenging. I found it difficult to fully access my imagination on zoom; I was sometimes unable to focus completely on tasks, especially having severe ADHD, I struggled not to drift in and out of certain things and would have to be very strict with myself. So much of what we do is about connecting with someone else which I found hard to do over zoom.
I’ve been able to buy clothing for school, buy self taping equipment, plays to read for showcase material and many other things that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of NYAT.
We did have some amazing projects like a Follies project and the self taping module was amazing and really helped me imagine what life will be like when I’m out of drama school and I’m having to send off tapes with all the challenges that brings. We also got to perform “Knives In Hens” by David Harrower with an amazing director Amy Hodges, that we wouldn’t have got to do had lockdown not happened so I’m grateful for that. Plus it was in small casts of seven, so that was nice to work in small groups. I’d also like to thank NYAT for their continued support, it’s really helped, especially with equipment. I’ve been able to buy clothing for school, buy self taping equipment, plays to read for showcase material and many other things that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of NYAT. Drama school as a whole is a life changing experience and something I’d encourage others to do. So much of it is about playing in the space, realising your mistakes and ‘failures’ are as important, if not more so than when things go well. I’ve grown massively as an actor, sometimes it’s hard to see the growth everyday but when you look across the past 3 years of training, you can see how beneficial it has all been.
Drama school as a whole is a life changing experience and something I’d encourage others to do.
It’s an opportunity to be as creative as possible in a safe space.
A day in the life of drama school is very intense and challenging. It’s an opportunity to be as creative as possible in a safe space. You are encouraged to fail and make mistakes as it helps you grow and develop throughout the training. The staff are amazing and push you to go further even when you already think you are. There is truly no limits, and I can honestly say it has changed my life with the support I have been given by NYAT, this simply wouldn’t be possible.
Joining a drama school as a first year during a pandemic has certainly been eventful! However, learning to adapt to this new style of online teaching has been really rewarding, especially in an industry like the arts which is currently in flux. I’ve had more time to absorb the teachings whilst they become innate within my muscle memory and I’ve learnt certain skills that’ll help me with self tapes or zoom auditions or even online table reads in the future.
In my day to day life at drama school the biggest thing for me has definitely been self awareness and self examination. You have to make sure that when you leave your in-person or zoom lessons, that what was said sticks with you personally. You gota do your own research, your own 10,000 hours, because at the end of the day, you’re the one that’s got to put the work in.
At drama school I am fortunate enough to be able to go in for 3 half days alongside training on zoom everyday. I also have 1-1 singing lessons in person behind a screen. Even though I cannot go into college everyday, zoom has in fact worked out better in some ways as it means that our studio classes are smaller so we get a lot more feedback from teachers and our classmates have grown a lot closer together and we are more than happy to help one another out and are always giving each other feedback. I am still able to have the same, if not more classes than I would on my normal timetable, it is just that 2/3 is online. This does get to me sometimes as I do feel as though I am being deprived of certain aspects of my course, however, the strict precautions we take has meant that we are still able to train as much as possible. It is devastating that the social aspects of drama school have been postponed but as a student going into the industry it has meant that I have become more focused and driven to dedicating all my time to my course as well as resting and taking time to take care of myself. I have also been able to do loads of online workshops with people in the industry from around the world on zoom and with people in current shows such as Hamilton and 9 to 5.
It is okay to be a pandemic student. You are not alone!
I am lucky to be at a school where our wellbeing is priority and it is important in such a tough time to feel safe and supported. I feel secure that our industry is not over and although it is not the way I dreamed to be starting my journey into the industry, I know that I am not falling behind and if anything I am fortunate to have this time to push myself even more and take time to learn about the arts in ways I wouldn’t consider before. It is okay to be a pandemic student. You are not alone!
A day at drama school for me starts at 9:30am. I begin the day with a voice and movement class. The classes are really detailed and fun however we do all have to keep 2 meters from each other in the classes, which can sometimes be a bit tricky or weird, considering how tactile these classes are normally. But we all work it out together. Then after both classes I have lunch and then an acting class until 6pm. At the moment we are working on text work looking at plays such as ”Lungs” and ”Love and Information.”’ This is my favourite part of the day because you learn so much from getting up and doing it yourself and watching other people’s work. The teachers are really detailed and specific to you as well which has helped me improve. It’s a long day as you get home and then do homework/preparation for another class, however I really enjoy it and love the people at my school.