What was your first job and was it what you expected?
My first job was at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre playing Hero in Much Ado About Nothing and Calpurnia in Julius Caesar. After the initial excitement of getting the part wore off, it was sobering to realise that the small and secure environment of drama school wasn’t an accurate representation of the Industry; and not having a roof was interesting! Working with experienced actors, most of whom had left drama school a while ago, made me realise that I still had a lot to learn.
I also had the expectation that the job would lead me immediately onto more auditions and it took longer than I anticipated for me to feel that I could make a living out of being an actress.
How do you deal with the inevitable tough competition and rejection that characterises the Industry?
No matter which drama school you went to or how many auditions you attend, every actor will experience the disappointment of not having got the part; even harder when there are bills to pay. However, maintaining a sense of perspective is key. It’s important to recognise what is within your control. Researching and analysing the text is something that you can always do and if you have feedback from a casting director- learn from it. When you do suffer from a setback, it’s important not to be self-indulgent, change what is within your control and move on. Also, if possible, have a plan B.
How important do you think your training at Guildhall was and do you think if you hadn’t gone to drama school that you would be as employable?
Drama school has been crucial, as the training continues to be invaluable to me as a working actress. Yet I know that it’s not the only route and some actors have been successful without having gone at all. What drama school gave me was focus and time. A lot of people are impatient and keen for immediate success. Personally, the time to explore and fail without doing it publicly was hugely important. Additionally, drama school equips students with a variety of tools- specific classes on movement, improvisation, voice and classical texts are indispensable and are vital for every actor. The detailed and rigorous technique that drama school instilled in me, made me less self-conscious and more confident as an actress. The training that I received at drama school is indisputably the bedrock of how I approach the creation of a character today.