Advice from a graduate: ‘why choose ICTheatre?’

6 August, 2021

Choosing where you’re going to spend three years of your life, training for your dream career is no easy decision to make. With so many options available to you in the theatre and performance world, it can be headache-worthy figuring out where to go and what to choose.

To give you a hand with that decision, I’m here to talk about some of the positives of studying at ICTheatre, with input from 2021 Graduate Mia Longman, and yours truly – 2020 Graduate Charley Morgan.

 

One of the first things to note with ICTheatre is the streaming of the BA, meaning you can tailor your training to fit your performances preferences.

The three pathways are Contemporary Musical Theatre, Acting for the 21st Century and Hip Hop Artistry – so no matter whether you consider yourself a dancer or a triple threat, you’ll be able to choose the course that suits you best.

ICTheatre prides itself on being a course that is ever-growing and changing with the industry – things are not the same as they were 25 years ago, and some teachings can become outdated and stale.

‘Designed by the industry, for the industry’ – with high-profile industry professionals as patrons of the school and tutors that still work alongside their teaching, ICTheatre always has its finger on the pulse of how things are changing in the performance world, meaning graduates leave with their best foot forward for entering the industry.

Alongside this ever-adaptable approach, ICTheatre places a strong focus on making sure you have a business mindset towards your career.

As the industry has changed, it has become more apparent that you can’t always wait for work to come to you; you need to do everything in your power to find it, make it and live it.

There are a lot of actors out there, and the ones who can be forward-thinking and make their own opportunities are the ones who excel and find personal success.

For me, this was one of the most important lessons I left with – a year after graduation and it has become very clear to me how difficult it can be to stay positive in this industry.

I graduated into a pandemic, and there was literally no work for me to look for! But staying positive and creative, and focusing on what I could do to keep my spark alive kept me ready for the industry, and this is a skill I’ll need to use for the rest of my life – acting jobs are not always easy to come by!

Another major benefit of studying at ICTheatre is its commitment to creating industry-standard training that is inclusive for all. Let’s be honest – some of the London Drama School fees can be incredibly expensive, and this isn’t viable for the majority of young actors looking for training.

ICTheatre strives to make their training accessible for people from any background – with fees that are completely covered by Student Finance England, and bursaries available to help with living costs, the world of performance training is opened up to anyone with a passion, which in turn feeds to diversifying our industry as a whole.

Add to this a focus on giving students the chance to try a variety of skills not usually available

during training, such as aerial, puppetry and stage combat, and you’re looking at a school ready to create a diverse body of talent.

I think one of the most important things about choosing where you train is choosing the place you feel the most comfortable – ICTheatre was an easy choice for me for this very reason.

I felt at ease as soon as I entered my audition, unlike some other schools where I just felt scrutinised and under very high pressure.

This didn’t change once I started the course; the teachers are so welcoming and friendly, and the family feel of the school helped me feel comfortable during my training and enabled me to strive to be the best version of myself.

ICTheatre doesn’t push to make a group of performers all the same – instead, they encourage you to explore and develop the skills you excel at and become a polished version of yourself that is ready to face the industry. This is exactly the sort of training I needed, and I’m forever grateful that I chose ICTheatre for this reason.

I asked Brighton 2021 Graduate Mia Longman to give us a little insight into her time at ICTheatre:

 

What made you choose ICTheatre?

“There’s a saying that the right drama school will find you – and that is exactly how I felt with ICTheatre! From the first time I stepped into the building, I instantly felt at home.

I was so excited by the course and the school’s fresh outlook on the industry; plus it meant that I could train in Brighton (the most vibrant and happy city ever) so I was totally sold.”

 

What was your ICTheatre highlight of the 3 years?

“My highlight of ICTheatre has to be my final year play and musical. Both experiences were absolutely incredible and I took so much from both productions. It was a great feeling being able to put my three years of training to the test!”

 

How did you find the course overall?

“I really liked the variety of the course and having the opportunity to have a go at virtually everything. The tutors were second to none and there wasn’t one day where I wasn’t pushed to my limits.”

 

Is there anything you struggled with, and if so how did ICTheatre support you
with it?

“In terms of training, I found the tutors from all departments incredibly supportive, particularly the acting through song and voice tutors. I began my training with a few vocal technique issues which I was immediately made aware of. I received constant guidance throughout my three years to smooth out these issues and now I feel like my singing/spoken voice has completely transformed! I really owe it to the wonderful vocal tutors for helping me to truly discover and strengthen my voice.”

 

What advice would you give to someone looking to study at ICTheatre?

 

“My training professional top tips…

  • What you put in is what you get out (graft!)
  • Be prepared and present in classes
  • Grab every opportunity, even if it is something out of your comfort zone- you’ll never know untilyou try!
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you have a bad day…cancel & continue!
  • Be observant of the world around you
  • Watch as much as you can e.g. live theatre, films, series, concerts
  • Prioritise your mental, physical & vocal health. Be super kind to yourself!
  • Have a life outside the studios- Explore your area, check out the restaurants, bars,parks/seafronts etc.
  • If you want to work, find a part-time job that you’ll actually enjoy and won’t wear you out, you’llneed your energy for the week!
  • Be your fabulous self always and embrace your uniqueness!”

 

So there you have it, some insight from two real-life ICTheatre Grads! Sometimes I think there’s no better way to know what a school is like than to speak to people who have attended it, and I almost wish I’d had information like this when I was on the drama school hunt.

ICTheatre is always happy to help, so don’t be afraid to reach out by email or social media to ask any questions you may have, and don’t forget that the website has bundles of information so you can learn about the school – including the other posts on our blog that tell you all about drama school life.

Think you’re ready to start your journey at ICTheatre? Check out our courses here and get ready to join the #ICTheatreMovement


 

Author: Charley Morgan, ICTheatre Graduate 2020

© 2022 Institute for Contemporary Theatre
All Rights Reserved