We’ve just finished induction 2020. Here is our administrator, Zoe Denly, as she interviews two of our new actors to find out what they have been getting up to.
Zoe: Hi both, please introduce yourselves
Liam: My name is Liam and I am 18 and have relocated from Birmingham to study on the Actor Development course with Peer Productions
Emma: Hi! I’m Emma! I am 20 years old and I’m originally from Dublin. When I left school, I studied on The Gap Year Diploma at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After taking a year out of the acting world, I am back and ready to work. After Peer, I am hoping to continue my training at drama school.
Zoe: What made you decide to train at Peer?
Liam: Before induction the answer would primarily be to get into drama school – which is rightfully focused on. However, now it is more to learn what it is to be an actor/artist and how I want to use my art in order to be better off.
Emma: I wanted to continue my actor training and I knew Peer had a really great reputation for training fantastic actors (Some of whom we’ve already worked with!) I knew I definitely wanted to work with Peer because they offered lots of performance opportunities. I also love how the work produced here is so important to the health of young people.
Zoe: You’ve just completed your two week induction. How would you describe your first two weeks?
Liam: The two weeks of induction were rewarding, thought provoking and intensive. Within the first two weeks I’ve explored a range of topics such as, movement, voice, how to approach a monologue, devised theatre and how to be a creative artist! From day one I was learning new things about myself, about me as an actor and how I present myself.
Emma: Our first two weeks have been jam-packed! We’ve also been learning about the Creative Practitioner Diploma that we will be working towards throughout the year. At the end of our induction, we had the opportunity to perform a monologue to a West End casting director who gave really helpful feedback, and gave us great insight into the industry.
Liam: One of the highlights for me was being able to watch the devised performances. This encapsulated the two weeks of hard work. Being able to feel free in an environment that you could express yourself in and be vulnerable, in such a short amount of time was very special and is commendable to how accepting and friendly everyone is. To further this, the technical ability that people displayed has really set the bar high.
Emma: One of the most memorable highlights has been getting to perform my own devised piece. We were given the opportunity to develop our own ideas into performances and everyone got to perform their piece to the group. I loved getting feedback from my peers and tutors and I loved getting to know the cohort through work they had created themselves.
Zoe: What was one of the most challenging things about induction?
Liam: The most challenging part of induction is the realisation that I must trust my own instincts and take risks. There is a step up at Peer Productions, I now fully recognise that I am a creative artist/actor and not a “student”. Realising that, within reason, there is no right or wrong meant that I sometimes felt vulnerable or unsure about the decision I made, however, once I overcame this fear and fully committed to the task, I always was able to discover something new!
Emma: I have been struggling with training whilst being socially distanced. There are strict measures in place to protect the cohort and the staff which I really value, but it has been challenging with not being able to touch and get close to people. Acting and theatre-making is really collaborative, so having to stay distanced can be restricting on the work we want to create, but I think it’s a case of adapting to this new normal and I’m sure it will all get easier as time goes on.
Zoe: What are your fellow actors like?
Liam: Meeting new people is aways a daunting task. However, I feel that all of the actors at Peer Productions were able to create an accepting, open and inspirational atmosphere from the get go. I have been able to learn so much about topics that are personal to each individual and I think this is a credit to the diversity amongst us. These opening two weeks has set up an environment for real growth and connections that ultimately allows the standard to be high. I am so grateful to be able to work with 15 talented creatives as well as 15 incredible people.
Emma: Although there is a wide range in age and experience in the cohort, we all have different talents and I am learning a lot from everyone I am working with. We are all talented actors, but there are also dancers, singers, writers and even musicians on the course. This range of talent across the group is so inspiring and I’m really looking forward to learning more about everyone as the year progresses!
Zoe: What are the staff like?
Liam: The staff, as a collective, are so knowledgeable, caring, dedicated, hardworking and the list could go on… From the first two weeks they have managed to create and environment that is safe and enjoyable for us young people to be able to explore and create. They allow us to take the depth of the knowledge that they have obtained in order to better ourselves. They have also challenged us to take more of a risk, to believe in what we think and what we say, to believe that “making a mistake” shouldn’t come with such negative connotations. We’re so lucky to be able to learn and collaborate with these awesome people!
Emma: The staff are so supportive and incredibly approachable, as well as highly skilled in their fields! Between them all, they have a wealth of knowledge and experience both in the UK and abroad which I love. They are really taking the time to understand and get to know us all and I am really looking forward to working with them for the rest of the year!
Emma: I am really looking forward to getting to produce new work and share it with the community. The work at Peer Productions is designed to help young people through whatever struggles the world throws at them, and I am incredibly excited and proud to work and represent Peer Productions. I am also looking forward to digitalising our work so it can reach even more people. I look forward to working with the staff and cohort to create, what I think, will be some truly astounding theatre.
Zoe: Thank you both for taking the time out to answer these questions!