"Performance Technologies and Production (previoulsy Professional Production Skills) was completely different throughout the three years making it dynamic and extremely interesting. The best thing were the skills I developed as they are very transferrable to the real world and sometimes actually made the real world easier because of the preparation the Guildford School of Acting gives you.
I came onto the course knowing next to nothing about theatre but the first thing they do is split you into small groups where you all get an understanding of the industry. Then you take on small roles in or shadow a production and by the end of first year, you form a production team to work on a show. The course is very interactive and they give you time to reflect on what you learn which is really beneficial.
I met many industry experts at GSA and learnt a lot from the experience of working with them.
I specialised in stage management and I was deputy stage manager at the end of my first year for a small black box show called ‘Six Degrees of Separation’. As a stage manager, we had access to a stage management office which was equipped with everything you might need. There were small staff to student ratios. They are hands on, knowable and willing to help but at the same time, happy for us to take the lead and make decisions, letting us discover things for ourselves.
I met many industry experts at GSA. Those who specialised in lighting, for example, would work with a professional to do the lighting design for a show. I worked on two shows which were both directed by associate directors on ‘Matilda’. I learnt a lot from the experience of working with them and I am still in contact with both of them. It doesn’t matter if you mess up, as long as you stay professional, they understand that you are at drama school and still learning.
One thing that was really important to me was the extra work experience I could do throughout my time at GSA. Although a lot of a time I had to work for free, it was absolutely worth it because of the networking and contact building opportunities it provided. Many of the shows I worked on were in Guildford where there are so many theatres to get involved in. I also got the chance to work on a two day show at the Hackney Empire in London, a 1300 seat theatre. I have managed to keep myself quite busy within Theatre since graduating because I was willing to work on these shows.
Professional Production Skills is just great practice for the real world. Having the name Guildford School of Acting attached to you really benefits you when you are going for jobs. I don’t regret a thing about my three years at Surrey and this really hit me at graduation when I was presented with an award for most outstanding contribution which was really unexpected. Coming to the Guildford School of Acting has completely changed my life."
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