We’re two weeks in to this year’s course and we’ve asked one of our young actors to share their experience so far. This guest blog comes from Deven Clay (20) who has relocated from Essex to take part in our Actor Development Programme based at South Hill Park Arts Cente in Bracknell. Here’s what she had to say.
These first two weeks of induction at Peer Productions have been nothing short of inspiring. This is not only down to the amazing cohort of young actors we have this year and the bond we have created in such a small space of time, but the support from the industry professionals leading our course which is stunning.
As I’m sure everyone can understand, your first day on any course can be intimidating. Meeting the people you are going to be spending almost everyday with for the next year is scary. However, from the second I stepped into the studio theatre on that first Monday, I knew this was going to be a home away from home. Our Artistic Director Nina and Managing Director Ed had made a circle of chairs in the room, upbeat music was playing, and everyone instantly got chatting. The vibe in the studio at that point was brimming with excitement and anticipation, and it is something I will remember for a very long time!
The induction weeks at Peer Productions are, as Rosie (our facilitation co-ordinator) puts it, “A buffet” of amazing theatre practises. So far, we’ve had workshops in movement, Shakespeare, directing, monologue work, facilitation and so much more. However, something that sets Peer apart for me is one of the first things we explored was mental health and wellbeing. Not only is this intrinsic to a healthy lifestyle but, as young actors who are about to embark on a physically and mentally taxing year, it really highlighted for all of us how much our course leaders care for us as individuals, and that is so empowering.
Something that has really shocked me about Peer Productions is the level of knowledge and connections they have! Not only has Nina written and printed a WHOLE BOOK of drama school knowledge to help us in applying for next year, but we have had workshops led by Peer graduates who have all trained at top drama schools such as LAMDA and Rose Bruford. The insight we have all gained into life as an industry professional within these first two weeks is astonishing and will prove invaluable to us all.
However, in saying this, I feel its important to highlight some of the amazing knowledge we have within this year’s cohort! We have a wide range of actors from different backgrounds, some of which have been on courses at Italia Conti, Guildhall and Central just to name a few! We have some young actors who have experiences with upwards of 16 drama schools, and some who are applying to these schools for the first time this year. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we are all experienced in different ways, and that is AMAZING! We have all begun giving helpful tips on a multitude of things regarding theatre and our artistry, and I’m positive that this is going to improve us all in ways that I am so excited to see!
This week, we are starting cold reads and development of Losing It and Hidden, which are the plays we will be touring later this year and into next year. We are also starting to workshop a play exploring knife crime. Alongside these plays, we will be doing some other creative projects as well as working with Rosie to deliver some facilitation projects. In short, we’re getting busy!! We’re all so excited to jump into these projects, and to use them as tools to develop ourselves as artists and work alongside the amazing team at Peer Productions.
In a nutshell, these first two weeks at Peer Productions have the cohort and facilitators ready and raring to go… Bring on the Peer Productions’ class of 2020!