All members of StageCrafts are passionate about performing and love what we do but some of our members have been lucky enough to perfect their craft at top drama schools. Autumn is drawing in and it’s now time for a fresh batch of bright-eyed hopefuls to head off and do the same. The next few years are going to be hard work. You will have to keep up with long days of physically draining work as well as academic research. To top it off, this might be the first time you’ve been away from home. But don’t worry! We’ve got it covered! Here are some titbits of advice from our very own drama school graduates.
Matt has been with StageCrafts from its inception and is our incredible musical director. For the last three years though, he’s been studying musical theatre at the London College of Music. His advice for anyone starting out is to make the most of every opportunity you are given. Take on as much extracurricular work as you can and it’ll all pay off in the end as you’ll have developed your craft as much as possible. He also says to embrace all constructive criticism and shares a quote from his on induction day; “you wouldn’t go to the doctors to find out what’s right with you. You go to find out what’s wrong and what you can do to get better.”
One of the most motivated and talented women I know, Natalie is another StageCrafts original and has often been called upon to be our dance choreographer. Natalie graduated in musical theatre from the Arden School of Theatre and went straight into her first professional production of Parade at the Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester. She would tell anyone heading to drama school to never compare yourself to others. As she puts it; “You are you, and you are special.” Like Matt, she would advise you to be open to what everyone has to offer, be they your tutors or your fellow students. Finally, don’t let your three years slip through your fingers, savour every second of your time there.
We at StageCrafts were lucky to have Lucy’s beautiful, soprano voice join us for our first Christmas concert. Not just a pretty voice though, Lucy is a graduate in acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her advice for new students is to hold on to the reason you wanted to come to drama school in the first place. It can get really tough and there may be times when you wonder if it’s worth it but it is! A practical tip from Lucy would be to take a photo or something that reminds you of a show you’ve done that you loved and it’ll rekindle that passion. She adds that you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to people about how you’re feeling. Your teachers are there to support you and they want to see you succeed.
Possibly our most enthusiastic performer, James has also been a part of StageCrafts from the beginning and went on to study World Performance at East 15 Acting School. He would ask new students to bear in mind that the people you meet now might be people you’ll be working with in the future so remember to network. Also, if you ever get confused, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions because everyone is in the same boat and your fellow students are likely to be thinking the exact same thing. James goes on to echo Natalie's advice, there's no point in comparing yourself because "every experience in individual and everyone is unique."
If you’re a new drama student, we hope these tips will help you in this very important time of your life. You are incredibly lucky to have gotten this far and you are going to learn so much! Above all, enjoy yourself!