Funding the future - Straight Acting

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lawn
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Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:03 am

My DD is 14 in yr9 and her heart set on going to drama school. This would be for straight acting courses rather than MT. I've read and lurked here for a while and trying to understand a world I'm pretty much unfamiliar with.

As I understand it, it's difficult to get on to the straight acting courses at 18. I'm aware that many places are looking for their potential students to do a foundation course first. I realise it doesn't act as a feeder and is no guarantee, but I've seen the issue of foundation coming up a lot recently. Funding this would be an issue. We could possibly find the money for the course but not for living accommodation costs as well. We live in Yorkshire, so daily commuting and her living at home wouldn't be possible, nor do we have any extended family living in the South we could ask for help accommodating.

If (eventually) she was able to get on to a straight acting course. I see a lot are degree courses, so would have access to the student loans, though some such as Arts Ed and Mountview would still have to be disregarded, due to not being able to borrow the whole amount of the tuition fees, so again we wouldn't be able to afford to fund both the difference between loan and cost of tuition plus any help with living costs. I've read about DaDas alot and know you can't have one and a student loan and it depends on the course (diploma or degree) but each time I've read about one it seems to be to do with a MT course, do they even do Dadas for straight acting? I *think* I understand how they work as I've looked at the charts and seen the contribution expected according to household income. Again I believe this is purely towards the cost of the course fees and doesn't include accommodation/living costs so how do people fund them?

I realise DD is relatively young, but I'm asking now so we can financially plan for a few years time. We have an older child at 17 and though what he wants to do is thankfully funded via student loans I'm aware we will still need to help him out. In addition we'll also need to prepare financially for 2 years of train fares to the performing arts college DD would like to go to after GCSEs.

Hoping people can help me with their experiences and knowledge.

debmag
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by debmag » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:03 am

Hello, I have no words of wisdom for you but you're doing the right thing by gathering info together now. I thought I had gathered all the info I needed about funding over the years but things change & pop up from time to time unexpectedly!
Funding is a nightmare isn't it unless covered by student finance. Good luck to you & your DD & keep saving & gathering information.
Deb :)

2dancersmum
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by 2dancersmum » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:14 am

Hi, the DADA awards are applicable to specified qualifications at specified colleges . This does include some straight acting courses and drama colleges. Link follows which lists the qualifications and colleges the DADA awards are linked to
https://www.gov.uk/dance-drama-awards

ACookie
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by ACookie » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:19 am

Bristol Old Vic do a Summer 10 week Foundation, which although isn't HE accredited is obviously led by a well respected Drama School so I'm sure would be valued. It's currently £5500 but obviously only need 10 weeks living and accommodation expenses. Maybe worth doing if a full foundation is out of the question? I'd suggest working for a couple of years after school, getting lots of amateur experience, taking classes etc. and saving!! I've often heard they prefer students with a bit more life experience.

lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:08 pm

Thanks for the responses. I forgot to say she does attend a weekly drama group and has done for the past 4 years and also a weekly MT group but the focus is on singing. She has her name on the waiting list for private singing lessons from the same teacher. In addition she has been taking Lamda lessons in both acting and verse and prose, currently on level 5. I have noticed recently though she hasn't been developing as much as previously despite the Lamda grades going up and her doing well. For this reason I am changing her private lessons to a well respected local teacher, whose emphasis is more on speech than acting and whose speciality is Shakespeare. DD will still continue to attend her weekly group classes at her drama school.

Booking any jobs has been a bit thin on the ground. Though she got offered a part in a professional panto from her very first audition, the production didn't go ahead due to slow ticket sales. She finally did panto in a amateur production last Christmas. Though she is with an agent, that has connections to her drama group, nothing has come up for a long time and I've decided for now she needs to concentrate on the training she does outside of school as well as her GCSE work.

She is booked to go on the Tring residential drama summer school this year. I'll have a look at those links and websites you've mentioned now.

lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:12 pm

2dancersmums - Thanks for the link. I've had a read through. I'm still confused by Dadas though. Do they include an amount towards accommodation/living?

ACookie - Thanks for that suggestion. It's certainly one to keep in mind. Though the fees will have obviously gone up by then, at least it gives me a rough idea of what to aim for saving wise.

lyndahill
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lyndahill » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:40 pm

lawn wrote:2dancersmums - Thanks for the link. I've had a read through. I'm still confused by Dadas though. Do they include an amount towards accommodation/living?

ACookie - Thanks for that suggestion. It's certainly one to keep in mind. Though the fees will have obviously gone up by then, at least it gives me a rough idea of what to aim for saving wise.
They don't include any amount towards living if you earn over £30k. If you earn between the bands stated there is an amount showing that you pay for the Diploma course, the remainder is covered by the Dada. So if your household income is say £46000, you will have to pay £1275 towards the cost of the course (per year)and the remainder is covered by the Dada, but won't get any Maintenance costs. Hope that is a little clearer.

lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:32 pm

They don't include any amount towards living if you earn over £30k. If you earn between the bands stated there is an amount showing that you pay for the Diploma course, the remainder is covered by the Dada. So if your household income is say £46000, you will have to pay £1275 towards the cost of the course (per year)and the remainder is covered by the Dada, but won't get any Maintenance costs. Hope that is a little clearer.[/quote]

Thank you. That is what I suspected. Based on our current incomes DD wouldn't get any financial help towards living/housing costs. It's that what I'm finding seems to be the stumbling block. It's just too expensive to fund DD's rent and bills/food etc for 3 years on top of helping with the cost of the course. The same is the issue with the BA Acting when the tuition cost is more than the amount you can borrow via student loans. We could possibly help with that but not in addition to the cost of living whilst she studies.

Ok, I'm a bit clearer now on what needs to be done. We need to look at the places where she can apply for student loans for the course and rule out the ones that aren't going to be financially feasible. In the event she doesn't get in straight away, which is what I'm suspecting will happen, she will need to find work and save a contribution to it. I now need to look further into foundation options and if/how they could be funded.

pg
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by pg » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:33 pm

If funds are tight (and they are for all but the most wealthy, aren't they?!) then I wouldn't bother with a foundation course.

Schools look for - and are brilliant at spotting - potential.

You don't need to have done a foundation course to get into drama school.

Although many students are older than 18 when they go , it doesn't mean that schools won't accept 18 year olds. It just depends on the individual applicant.

My ds went to RADA straight from school. He'd been to a local Saturday morning club and done lots of Amdram and shows outside school with mates. Drama at his school at that time was very weak - so he did very little IN schhol. He had done no professional work to speak of. There are others I know with similar stories.

Interestingly though, he thinks he was a bit young- and in hindsight he thinks he might have benefitted from a gap year.

There's a lot you can do in a gap year that needn't cost much money that could help someone prepare for drama school auditions.

1. See as much theatre (of any type amateur/professional) as you can afford. Watch critically and decide what "works and what doesn't.
2. Put on a small scale show or concert - there's so much to learn from being a producer.
3. Keep fit :)
4. Keep your hand in at improvisation.
5. Consider volunteering (or working) at a Fringe/arts festival (doesn't need to be Edinburgh). You usually get to see lots of shows for nothing or at reduced rates. You'll probably also be able to chat to performers in the bar :)
6. Earn some money. (You'll need it).
7. Travel if you get the chance - it broadens the mind so they say :)

lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:53 pm

Hi pg

You posted whilst I was typing. The reason I'm becoming a bit concerned about foundation courses is because it's been discussed a lot lately and what I've been noticing being said is that those that have done a foundation seem to have an 'edge' over those that haven't when auditioning. I'm aware there's no guarantee and it's not a feeder.

DD is aware of how tough it is, she's seen the older students from her drama school try and fail. A couple have gone to do drama degrees at Uni instead, one was offered foundation but it wasn't affordable so is instead doing an acting degree at a Uni (not personally sure about whether I think he's done the right thing)

Having looked at your list, I'm pleased to say we already do some of them and were aware of others, not all though so you've given some ideas.

I've been insistent that DD watches theatre from the time she became interested in acting and watch both amateur and professional. This is made slightly easier because as time goes on, many of the people she knows become involved in a show and we go and watch - hence we were out twice last week at the local theatre, watching an amateur dance show as the boy dancing has just gained a place at white lodge and a professional panto because someone she knows was dancing in it. Now she's 14 I intend introducing her to plays not just MT and panto. The comment 'watch critically' made me smile as I frequently tell DD that whilst I'm watching a show to be entertained, instead she's watching a technical run. :shock:

Improv she loves and though she doesn't attend the class, her drama school offers it as a separate class to take, so that's something to look more into later on.

The rest might/will have to wait till she's a bit older, but there's definitely goals to aim for there - so thank you.

lbm1e14
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lbm1e14 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:15 pm

lawn wrote:Ok, I'm a bit clearer now on what needs to be done. We need to look at the places where she can apply for student loans for the course and rule out the ones that aren't going to be financially feasible. In the event she doesn't get in straight away, which is what I'm suspecting will happen, she will need to find work and save a contribution to it. I now need to look further into foundation options and if/how they could be funded.


As far as I am aware Foundation courses are never funded, certainly not for MT and I doubt straight acting is any different.

Also although you appear to be discounting Dada funded courses it's worth pointing out for the uninitiated that even if a course has DaDa funding available it is the college which decides who can apply for it as each college has access to a fixed pot of DaDa funds. So they generally do a funding audition and decide who can apply for it. The amount that you can then get, if you are awarded DaDa funding, is then means tested. Hence you will see reference on here to people getting a diploma offer with or without funding.

lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:56 pm

lbm1e14 wrote:
lawn wrote:Ok, I'm a bit clearer now on what needs to be done. We need to look at the places where she can apply for student loans for the course and rule out the ones that aren't going to be financially feasible. In the event she doesn't get in straight away, which is what I'm suspecting will happen, she will need to find work and save a contribution to it. I now need to look further into foundation options and if/how they could be funded.


As far as I am aware Foundation courses are never funded, certainly not for MT and I doubt straight acting is any different.

Also although you appear to be discounting Dada funded courses it's worth pointing out for the uninitiated that even if a course has DaDa funding available it is the college which decides who can apply for it as each college has access to a fixed pot of DaDa funds. So they generally do a funding audition and decide who can apply for it. The amount that you can then get, if you are awarded DaDa funding, is then means tested. Hence you will see reference on here to people getting a diploma offer with or without funding.
Hi, sorry that wasn't what I meant. I'm aware that foundation wouldn't be funded. My thoughts seem to be racing ahead quicker than my fingers are typing.

What I meant is that when DD applies for the 3 year straight acting courses, we would need to rule out anywhere that only does funding via a Dada because even if she were to be awarded one, we couldn't afford to fund all her rent and living costs for 3 years plus pay any contribution to the course fees and our household income means she wouldn't get financial help with renting anywhere.

We have the same issue with the BA acting if she can't get student loans for the full tuition fee because again we couldn't pay for both the additional course plus accommodation. eg Arts Ed the course is about £12K per year in tuition fees, of which you can borrow £6k via student loans. We couldn't pay £6K per year for 3 years in addition to helping out with living costs.

That leaves us with only being able to consider courses where the full tuition amount is funded via student loans and she gets a maintenance loan too and then we'd help financially the difference between what she can borrow for maintenance and what it costs her to live whilst studying.

Re - foundation, what I mean is I wasn't aware of the 10 week option mentioned earlier. I need to look at each drama school in turn and see what they offer and what the costs are, before I can say they would all have to be discounted or some can be considered etc.

Does that clarify what I meant? I am thinking of both; which 3 year acting courses could DD apply for and also if she wasn't successful straight from sixth form what if any foundation courses could be considered for her. I know what I mean in my head, but I'm struggling to put it in to words - lol.

lbm1e14
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lbm1e14 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:38 pm

lawn wrote:
lbm1e14 wrote:
lawn wrote:Ok, I'm a bit clearer now on what needs to be done. We need to look at the places where she can apply for student loans for the course and rule out the ones that aren't going to be financially feasible. In the event she doesn't get in straight away, which is what I'm suspecting will happen, she will need to find work and save a contribution to it. I now need to look further into foundation options and if/how they could be funded.


As far as I am aware Foundation courses are never funded, certainly not for MT and I doubt straight acting is any different.

Also although you appear to be discounting Dada funded courses it's worth pointing out for the uninitiated that even if a course has DaDa funding available it is the college which decides who can apply for it as each college has access to a fixed pot of DaDa funds. So they generally do a funding audition and decide who can apply for it. The amount that you can then get, if you are awarded DaDa funding, is then means tested. Hence you will see reference on here to people getting a diploma offer with or without funding.
Hi, sorry that wasn't what I meant. I'm aware that foundation wouldn't be funded. My thoughts seem to be racing ahead quicker than my fingers are typing.

What I meant is that when DD applies for the 3 year straight acting courses, we would need to rule out anywhere that only does funding via a Dada because even if she were to be awarded one, we couldn't afford to fund all her rent and living costs for 3 years plus pay any contribution to the course fees and our household income means she wouldn't get financial help with renting anywhere.

We have the same issue with the BA acting if she can't get student loans for the full tuition fee because again we couldn't pay for both the additional course plus accommodation. eg Arts Ed the course is about £12K per year in tuition fees, of which you can borrow £6k via student loans. We couldn't pay £6K per year for 3 years in addition to helping out with living costs.

That leaves us with only being able to consider courses where the full tuition amount is funded via student loans and she gets a maintenance loan too and then we'd help financially the difference between what she can borrow for maintenance and what it costs her to live whilst studying.

Re - foundation, what I mean is I wasn't aware of the 10 week option mentioned earlier. I need to look at each drama school in turn and see what they offer and what the costs are, before I can say they would all have to be discounted or some can be considered etc.

Does that clarify what I meant? I am thinking of both; which 3 year acting courses could DD apply for and also if she wasn't successful straight from sixth form what if any foundation courses could be considered for her. I know what I mean in my head, but I'm struggling to put it in to words - lol.


Totally clear :) . The whole thing is a nightmare and a minefield and ultimately it's the talent that should matter and not affordability. I only out the bit about DaDa just in case anyone who has not followed previous threads on the subject was under the impression that anyone doing a diploma could get a DaDa.

I wish you both every success.

2dancersmum
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by 2dancersmum » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:25 pm

It most definitely is a minefield and you are very wise starting to look at all the options and finances now. As others have pointed out, not every student on a diploma course will be awarded a DADA - they are limited in number and awarded on potential, not income and accommodation/living costs are separate unless below the income threshold where you might get a contribution.

It is perhaps worth pointing out that living costs vary so much depending on location also . There was little difference between what we had to contribute to my son at university (with a maintenance loan) in the south of England and my DD on a DADA in the north.

lotsolaffs
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lotsolaffs » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:01 am

Have you got a good local college that offers a BTEC in Acting?
You could then supplement it with holiday courses or workshops. I have been researching this for a good while and it is one of our options. (MT)

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