The Poor School

  • User Deleted

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    Hi all

    The Poor School are doing an intensive three week course in the summer, and I was wondering if anyone had done this in the past, and what they thought of it.

    Cheers

    Sue

    • 22nd Apr 2006
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  • Caroline Boulton

    Actor

    The poor school seems to have a mixed reputation, some love it some hate it. My agent hates it and Ive heard others say similar things, Im sure others on this site will have strong opinions either way, good and bad as with most schools. A 3 week intensive Im sure would be good but perhaps look at other schools where opinions arent so strong? Up to you of course but I recommend keep polling other actors and agents etc for opinions before signing up for anything. Its could be a really great school and Ive not been there so I guess I dont know, mayby contact people who have studied there directly. good luck either way!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 0
  • Sandy Jack

    Actor

    the proof is in the name, its a poor school

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 1
  • User Deleted

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    that brings another question to this topic

    do you get what you pay for at drama school?

    is rada the best because you pay a lot

    or

    a little know school where you pay a little

    realy as bad as it is?

    is there a class (rich vs poor) in acting as well as in life

    if you think about

    we all learn the same basic teachings

    (shakespeare etc)

    doe where we learn our stuff effect what auditions

    we can go for or what agents/management look for ie the right school

    well theres stuff to think about

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 2
  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    Sandy as you have never went to the Poor School I find it rather pressumptious of you to make such a comment.

    The reason it is called the poor school is because it is a registered charity where it gives stuydents the opportunity to keep their day job while going to drama school.

    I did the two year actor training I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and I found the training style ideal for me. There are other people who are on this site who I am sure would agree with me.

    I got into several other drama schools but chose to go to the poor school as their teaching styole worked for me.

    If a school works for you then go for it.

    If you relish hard work and appreciate brutal honesty with no pandering to your ego then go to the three week course I am sure you will find it a useful experience.

    Thanks

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 3
  • User Deleted

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    I've heard many, many things about The Poor School and none of them, good or bad, had anything to do with the quality of the training. It seems that the reputation of the establishment as a provider of education has been totally eclipsed by the reputation of the guy who runs it. You decide if that's a good thing or not.

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 4
  • Sandy Jack

    Actor

    i just find the name funny!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 5
  • User Deleted

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    All I can say is that when I auditioned for the poor school all those years ago the guy running it asked me more questions about my parents than my desire to act or acting abilities. In the end I went to a different school which was much more suited to me. I've walked past the poor school on many occasions and the last I looked they still had pics on the wall of past students who had been in Eastenders but now left. And I don't think they're good actors anyway (just an opinion).

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 6
  • User Deleted

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    The Poor School is a good training from what I have heard from friends that have been on the 2 yr course there, but is quite Military!

    The Principal dangles the threat of throwning you off of the course the whole 2 yrs that you are there.

    From what I have heard from people in the industry about their thoughts on Summer classes in ANY Drama School, is that it is a waste of time as it's the school's way of making money when they are closed for the normal term time & Casting Directors etc will not count it as any training.

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 7
  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    yes it is quite military and that worked for me!

    I needed that....... you had no chance to be lazy!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 8
  • Thomas Matthews

    Actor

    I've worked with many talented people from the poor school but thank god i didnt train there. Hard enough woprking your way through three years without looking at that dump everyday. How depressing. But the attitude of many fo the people i've worked with has been great whereas i've heard so many bad things about the guys that run it.

    And agree about the whole summer course for money thing but lets face it having some training is better than none so Sue should definately do something to show she is genuine.

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 9
  • User Deleted

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    I agree that if you have not had any training before, it is a good way of seeing a glimpse of what sort of things a 2 or 3 yr course would offer, but if you are only doing it to show you have done some training for your CV, it will be worthless and a waste of your time & money, as people who are looking to cast will not regard this as training.

    You could always go down the route of trying to get a scholarship from a school or career development loan from your bank to go to schools like The Poor School or The Academy, so you can work during the day Monday - Friday to pay for yourself to survive whilst training!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 10
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks for all the advice. Most appreciated, and certainly food for thought.

    On the line that summer schools are a waste because agents and casting directors don't take it as serious training, is that the same for the 10 week weekend courses that are about too? Is it only the 3/2/1 year courses that one should really consider?

    Cheers

    Sue

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 11
  • Thomas Matthews

    Actor

    Personally i think that most weekend courses are only worthwhile in addition to a post-grad or 2/3 year course. It's not just about going to a reputable school its also about being immersed in that environment day in day out for a pro-longed period of time where you can actualy work towards performance. You're an accountant with how many years experience. Do you think that we as actors could just waltz into the accounting industry having attending a 10 week course - of course its possible but at what level would we be employed? and what are our chances, seriously? Why not afford the level of respect to this industry and train? Seems to me everyone thinks they can act nowadays; whenever i tell people i'm an actor - which i rarely do, all i hear is 'oh, i always wanted to act, i once played mrs frisby the rat when i was eight and therefore was destined for great things only i couldn't be bothered in the end. You obviously seem to be bothered, so why don't you consider a post-grad course, full or part-time. It would cement any talent you do have, place you in an environment whihc would answer your many questions about the industry and give you a year to work out your approach into the industry as a professional with the bonus of a showcase to hopefully get you started. Mixing with every half-arsed wannabe on a weekend or 2 week course hardly , on paper, puts you in the same league as those who have committed themselves for long periods of time on reputable courses.

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 12
  • Thomas Matthews

    Actor

    Surely a three week course - approx 18 days - is the same as 10 weekends, twenty days? More or less?

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 13
  • User Deleted

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    Yes, Tom, the time is roughly the same for the weekend courses (although I think the 16 hour day on the summer courses is probably longer than the weekend courses, but that's just me being pedantic!). It was the reputation and quality of work I was referring to, which I'm sure differs with each course. But, if they're not taken seriously as someone above says, then there's not much point in me taking them….

    As with Anon's posting above, I can understand your frustration with every Tom, Dick and Harry trying to jump onto the bandwagon. I did audition last year for Oxford School of Drama, but with no success. Soon after that I got my first audition which turned into my first professional job, and applying for drama schools became a back burner, as I was hoping that with training here and there (such as the summer & weekend courses, singing lessons etc) might be enough………maybe me being naïve to the industry!

    However a drama school such as The Poor School or The Actor's Company might suit me better, as it means I can work full time too - just means I need to move to London!

    Anyway, I appreciate all the feedback, and it looks like summer courses etc aren't suitable, therefore has anyone got views on The Actor's Company? I have the prospectus on its way by Snail Mail as we speak………….

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 14
  • Thomas Matthews

    Actor

    Haven't heard much about the Actors' Company but what i have heard sounds very good. I'm sure its very hard work juggling both but if you want it badly enough then you'll do it!

    As all their performances are made open to the public, i'm right on this i hope, i'd recommend going to see something and see if they have an open day. Help make your mind up!

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 15
  • User Deleted

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    Regarding reply 13, I totally agree that training is essential most of the time, however I have friends who are doing extremely well. Better than a lot of people who are trained. I know there are a lot of people who think they can call themselves "actors" because they have done a play or two but at the same time there are many out there with talent who for one reason or another haven't been able to get the qualifications they "need".

    As for weekend/Summer courses. I wouldn't put it on your CV as it's not gonna help you but sometimes people wanna or feel they would benifit from it. Unless you're the worlds best actor ;-) you can never learn too much. Just make sure the course/class is right for you.

    B x

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 16
  • Thomas Matthews

    Actor

    My reasoning behind previous comment was this is called casting call pro for professional actors and not for those confessed amateurs that have decided they would now like to be classed as professional without changing their approach to the industry. This is not to denigrate amateur actors as i have seen some amazing performances, it really is all about how you approach the work you do whether it is a hobby or your profession. However I stand by my comment that to be a professional actor takes more than just deciding one day to pursue it. A good cook doesn't become a great chef overnight by deciding to open a restaurant; someone who writes a diary isn't automatically a writer just because they decide they'd now like other people to read their stuff. Likewise someone who joins a professional acting site but who's profile still mentions amateur theatre obviously has the desire but not yet fully grasped all the other aspects of this industry, apart from the actual acting bit, that distinguishes us from those who take great fulfilment performing up and down the country regularly in amateur productions. And whilst i don't mean to offend, genuinely, i can't help but take some offence myself as we see everywhere around us the lack of work for actors out their as serious drama is replaced by reality wannabees with no discernable talent. As i said there are so many people who want the quick route to fame etc but who aren't willing to put in the hard work. I believe Sue is genuine in her desire to be a professional actress and therefore that's why i mentioned some sort of training so that she gains a greater understanding. As a professional women herself I thought she would understand the remark was intended to offend but to draw a parallel, if i with no discernable financial skills applied for work at her office would she not feel that, ill-prepared as i am and under-experienced, i was wasting her time and offending her intelligence. It's the same argument that you hear from casting directors when people appear in front of them lacking the skills they've stated or looking nothing like their headshots or who are unprepared. This business is a business in the end and by according those that work and pursue it the respect you would give to people in other industries who have worked hard is one of the first signs of professionalism. I think it could do Sue more harm to start going for work she may be unprepared for now rather than consolodating her talent and learning more about the industry through doing a post-grad course or similar before she starts making those sometimes one-take opportunities to meet casting people and companies.

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 17
  • User Deleted

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    ok , i never got a post-grad in acting

    i never got a BA in acting

    i never went to a (so called) acredited drama school

    but

    i have worked long and hard in workshops learning from actors more proffisonal then myself to better myself (please excuse spelling mistakes)

    does this make me an amuter?

    NO

    it means i have taken the long route the rougher path

    does it mean i have learnt less then anyone else

    NO

    but it gives me the creative freedom from not being tied into a way of classical schoolroom thinking in trained actors centres

    to my mind it should not matter where you work or how you trained

    the fact is work and work and work again

    fail 1 audition fail a 1000 but learn every single time

    • 1st Jun 2006
    • 18
  • User Deleted

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    I wasn't in anyway saying that I thought you were wrong. Was simply addressing the fact that there are people who haven't been trained but are amazing at what they do. Generally though, I agree with you and absolutely see the point you're making.

    Suppose i just like to see things from both points of view. I know how easy it is to have an opinion and not want or try to see it from someone elses point.

    xx

    • 1st Jun 2006
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