Post Grad Courses

  • Helen Belbin

    Actor

    I am hoping to do a post grad next year in London at a reputable school, This is partly to learn new skills but also to promote myself and hopefully get a good agent. My original degree wasn't at a very 'prestigious' university so I would like the chance to have a proper 'drama school' experience and hopefully make some good connections. Obviously I am not expecting a miracle but I would be very interested in hearing from others on how doing a post grad has helped/hindered them in any way...

    Cheers in advance,

    H

    • 23rd Jan 2006
    • 1980
    • 27
  • Simon Nader

    Actor

    Hey there,

    I know we're biased as we went there, but I agree with Caroline that the Academy is a great choice. It's cheaper than a lot of the others available and the teaching staff are first rate. The techniques covered are very extensive, but also quite in depth so nothing is just glossed over even with one year to cram it all into. I got so, so much out of it and I'm very glad to have gone there because no matter how good you think you are before training, how experienced you are, it is nothing to how you will feel afer you graduate. I know there is a stigma attached to drama schools that are not accredited, but if you have to pick one of them out, make it The Academy.

    A lot of people have been recommending ALRA too I see, and I know they are very well thought of right now. Feels like a weird hippie commune when you are there though! To be honest, the fees priced me out of it after I was offered a place, but not a DADA. However, if you can afford it, go for it!

    Good luck with whomever you choose and I hope this has been of some help. I swear, I'm not on commission!

    All the best,

    Simon

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 20
  • Helen Belbin

    Actor

    You guys will probably know my friend Holly then? I was touring with her in Italy last year. She will have been on the same course as you by my reckoning.

    I did audition for them last year and the people seemed really nice and Holly had recommended it aswell. I didn't take my place though as I had decided on Central.

    Cheers for your feedback though.

    Best wishes.

    H

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 21
  • Simon Nader

    Actor

    Yes indeed, Holly Sinfield! She was one of our coursemates, and a bloody good actress too. I hope she sung in front of you at least once. Far too good a voice. Damn talented people. Hate them!

    Simon

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 22
  • Emily Chugg

    Actor

    Hi There

    I also went to ALRA and it was the best year of my life, however, it is only a year which I felt was not nearly long enough. Try and do at least 2 years if you possibly can (LAMDA and Bristol Old Vic.)People in the industry don't always treat a post grad with the same regard as a 3 year. E.g much bigger and better agents went to the 3 year showcase then the post grad when I graduated.

    Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama also do an excellent post grad... which is also very cheap.

    Good luck!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 23
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi all

    Yet again an extremely relevant argument!

    There will possibly be claws at dawn for me writing this, but while everyone's postgrad appetites are roused, I have a place at East 15 on their MA course, which (surprise surprise) I couldnt afford to do this year so they allowed me to defer it til next year. I have moved home to North Wales from London to save, but while here a number of the shorts I made while living on pot noodles in London for a year came through, and I have bagged myself an agent off the back of them. While I havent got a job yet through my agent she seems to be working hard for me, and as March becomes nearer and nearer (when East 15 are going to call me to see if I'm still up for it) I am wondering whether the money I am saving is better spent on just moving back to London as an actress rather than a student actress?

    My predicament is similar to the original posting, in that while I attended Rose Bruford College, I studied on the European Theatre Arts course, which I loved but still made the decision that I wanted to do 'mainstream' acting and consequently feel a bit of a 'fake' sometimes! Any thoughts?

    Helena

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 24
  • Hugh Osborne

    Actor

    If I can just add some comments as to the value of doing a post-grad course, the overwhelming advantage I have found is that the contacts a given drama school has, built up over many years, are a huge resource for any beginner actor. In my own case, in the eighteen months since graduating (from BOVTS), I've had eleven months work in the business, plus the odd day here and there. The eleven months were due entirely to the school's contacts: one job was from a casting director who had attended the graduating showcase, the other was via a recommendation from another casting director.

    Incidentally, do you have to train in London? I was lucky - to put it mildly - that Bristol is a member of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama (I think LAMDA and RADA are the other two drama schools involved). This meant, on having been offered a place, I became eligible for student loans (irrespective of how many I already had), and had ALL my fees paid for me. Without that, I could not have afforded to go at all.

    Equally, does it have to be a post-grad course? My one regret about my training was that I only did the one-year course, as opposed to the two-year. And had I been a year or two younger, I would have opted for the three-year. Certainly I have already encountered some q. influential casting directors who have an irrational prejudice against post-grad courses. Good luck in any case. x

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 25
  • Helen Belbin

    Actor

    helena,

    good point. i originally thought of doing a post grad 2 years ago and was only going go through with it if i wasn't getting the kind of work i wanted. i've now decided that i want to do it regradless.

    i suppose you have to go with your gut feeling. if you feel that your agent is going to get you the kind of auditions you want then cool, but if you think you'd benefit from more study then go with the post grad option.

    a couple of members have mentioned about agents/directors etc not being interested in post grad showcases or not wanting to meet post grad actors. i don't have the experience to comment on that but i hope it's not exclusively the case!

    best wishes,

    Hx

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 26
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hello!

    I did a one year post grad course at a v reputable school. I still can't make up my mind whether or not it was a good thing to do. If I could forget about how much it cost me, then I would say yes, the training was great, it was fantastic fun - what a fabulous way to spend a year of your life.

    However, practically speaking, it's a hell of a lot of money. And what do you actually get from the course? You will leave most schools without a voice tape or show reel and perhaps with some contacts, but whether or not it would be the equivalent to a years auditioning and networking, I don't know. In addition, it was definitely the case for me that our showcase was too late in the year to attract many agents, and to be honest, we definitely got the impression that agents weren't as interested in postgrads.

    It is also said that postgrad courses are money spinners for colleges, and that institutions don't invest as much time and support in their one year students as they do in their BA students. At my school, this was the case. But that might not apply across the board.

    I would say, if you have a spare £15-20 grand (don't forget living expenses) then great! You will learn loads and it is great training for so many professions, let alone the entertainment business! But a post grad course does not necessarily provide the answers. Having a good name on your cv is a help, but it's not everything!

    Good luck with your decisions/applications

    xxx

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 27