Drama (Theatre, Film, Television)

May 2013

Where did you Study?

University of Bristol

What did you Study?

Drama (Theatre, Film, Television)

What year did you Graduate?

2012

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Slim, Ickle, Brown Hair (that’s 4 words?)

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

As soon as I had finished my degree and before the end of term, I was immediately on a plane to the US, where I worked my third year at a US Summer Camp (Camp Airy) as Drama Department Head. It was a real retreat after such hard work and was nice that I didn’t have to think about the real world until my return in September.

When I came back from the US I worked at Crow Theatre as an Assistant Producer on a site specific production called ‘Jack the Ripper’s London’. It was very minimal pay and I had to work really long hours doing lots of tasks I didn’t really want to do. I stayed until the end of the show run, then got an internship with Youth Music Theatre UK; I was an intern for five and a half months, before being offered a part time position, fixed term contract. For the last three months of being an intern at YMT I was also interning at Battersea Arts Centre, in producing/production. I was working on a range of projects, whilst taking the lead on their Freshly Scratched festival. I did have to do a lot of bits and bobs and they only covered £5 a day of expenses… For interviews I have had however, people have been very interested that I interned there – I am sure the name has helped me to get more interviews.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

I am working as a Production Assistant for Youth Music Theatre UK. I am also working on an independent theatre project with other graduates from my course to be put on at the end of the year.

I would like to find a more permanent job, which is using my creativity more. I am looking at various producing jobs and would like to get some professional directing experience. I am very interested in both paths.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

I think it has helped me to be a more confident person, which has definitely helped with interviews and to contact professionals for coffee meets. I am definitely far more knowledgeable about the arts because of going to Uni. I think it would have been even harder to have got an internship without having gone.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

In the arts, it is so easy to give up – but I urge anyone who is passionate about what they want to do, not to. It may be a long slog and there may be a lot of crap to do before you make something of yourself, but you have set out on this track for a reason. Even if you have to support yourself with evening or weekend work doing something you don’t want to do, it is worth it for your ultimate goal. If you are not from a big city such as London, don’t feel you can’t ask your friends who are more fortunate to have a base to crash at theirs for a bit. They should want to help if they can. Just make sure you are appreciative. If you are a hard worker, it does go noticed, and whilst it may not pay off in the short term, eventually it will. Keep positive and don’t lose the momentum – I think that is the biggest risk. I find it really helps to talk to others in the same situation so that you know you aren’t alone, because you really aren’t. Everyone who is just out of Uni is in the same boat, unless they are a special exception who has been very lucky. With hard work, luck will eventually come your way.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

I got into work at 10am, where Bad Education were in the building filming their new series. I dealt with several calls from parents regarding queries about the projects their children are on with us this Summer. I put together a pastoral box for an upcoming casting weekend, consisting of skills and details of all the young people on the project. Lots of cutting and sticking, creating photo grids of everyone in the cast!

That’s it. Simon, you have been wonderful.

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