Confessions Of A Drama Student – Committing To What You Want!

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I have always loved the idea of acting.

Even as a small child, I recall having this overwhelming desire to act; being on stage, to me, meant everything.

I also had it drummed into me that acting, as a career, just wasn't an option.

It isn't a safe, secure career, unlike office or shop work, so on leaving school I decided that I wanted to join the police.

That didn't work out.

I then worked in an opticians as an ophthalmic assistant for three and a half years, but left for a job working in a council contact centre. I stayed there for almost five years, but throughout this time, I never felt satisfied.

I felt like I was constantly searching for something, but could never put my finger on what that was.

I studied law for a while and english, I joined various groups for art and sports, but the only time I truly felt like I could be me, was when I was playing someone else.

I joined a few local theatre groups and participated in amateur dramatics and it really was great - but it still didn't quench my thirst and passion for acting professionally.

In November 2014, my new journey began.

My 4 and a half year run at the council contact centre had come to an abrupt end; I no longer had that security, the reason I'd always had drummed into me as being so vitally important.

I found myself at a complete loss as to what I wanted to do with my life.

The first thing I turned to was my education; I had no formal training or qualifications, so the world felt like my oyster.

I decided to go college and the first course I looked at was acting.

Unfortunately, I had left it too late to join that course, it had already started and the waiting list for it was colossal!

I also still had this feeling of uncertainty about acting professionally; limiting beliefs told me it was still too uncertain a business to get into and that I might just not be good enough for it.

So... I took a much safer option.

I studied events management, marketing and PR to gain an HNC qualification, but it was during this study that I hit my 'hallelujah' moment.

You see, as part of my course I had to do a week's work experience placement. I chose my first love of theatre.

I assisted at the NYT Connections Festival and it was whilst watching all these young actors performing, that I realised just how much I missed it.

Travelling home, with thoughts of going back to work that I hated, I blurted out loud, "I can't do this any more!", I just had to act.

As soon as I got home, the first thing I did was fill out an application form for the acting and performance course at Inverness College UHI.

It felt like such a relief to have finally submitted that application, but the wait was a killer!

I wanted to get on the course so badly and feared I may have missed my chance, but several weeks later the letter arrived, inviting me to an audition.

I was on cloud 9!

It really was the best thing that I ever did for myself!

I'm now about 3 months into the course and it is starting to get intense with exams, but I can already feel a vast improvement in my acting ability and my knowledge of acting.

There are still some days when I worry, "have I made the right decision?", "what if I don't make it?", it's only natural.

We really must fight back these limiting beliefs in order to fulfil and enjoy our true potential.

I took a chance when I applied for my course, but I'm so glad that I did.

I'm out of something that I didn't particularly enjoy and I am now doing something that I love.

Being a drama student is tough and it isn't just about showing up to class, reading a few lines and then going back home - as some people believe.

It's about commitment and having the right mindset to tackle it.

My top advice to drama students is to start reading scripts and practice your sight-reading early.

You would be surprised at how many people don't do this.

Practice all of the exercises that you are given on a regular, if not daily, basis and take time out of your day to people watch.

People-watching has been one of the best tools that I've been given as a student. It doesn't cost you a penny to do, but you can learn so much about other people's actions and emotions through doing it.

Above all though, the most important piece of advice I can give to you, is to follow your heart, get out of anything you don't want to be in and chase your dreams.

Do not let other people's negativity and misconceptions get in the way of what you really want!

  • Samantha Rushton

    Kym, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your post above!
    You touch on some really innate fears and stereotypes that I think most people wanting a career in the arts feel. However, by recognising them and dispelling them is so great to hear.

    I totally second also what you said about people watching! So many directors, writers, choreographers and creatives that I meet always talk about it being a great tool and I totally agree 🙂
    All the best for 2016.

    Sam