Funding the future - Straight Acting

A place to talk about full time schools and post 16 training.

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lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:09 am

lotsolaffs wrote: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)
Yes and No. Not currently in our town. There is a new college being built that opens in September and they already have a college elsewhere and when I look up about that, the person in charge of drama for the colleges seems to be good, but until the building is actually finished and they have their first cohort of students and I can buy a ticket and watch a show, I can't rule it out or count it in.

There were 2 other colleges around 40 miles away. Unfortunately one of them CAPA in Wakefield is closing after this summer. They were due to move to Leeds and open up a lot more courses, but that has fallen through. Whether they re-open in the future remains to be seen.

The other option is York college and I'm aware their drama department is considered very good, 1 or 2 students from DD's drama department have gone to it.

York/Leeds/Wakefield would all involve a commute and us funding travel costs for 2 years, which I need to plan for on top of anything she does from 18+

She attends a weekly outside of school drama group and will continue to go there also. I have thought about courses in holidays,it's one of the reasons I've booked Tring residential this summer.

lotsolaffs
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lotsolaffs » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:11 am

We have 2 colleges offering a BTEC, one better than the other,we saw 2 shows,a little bit disappointing, another at the better college is in a couple of weeks. A new one is opening this year further away but not sure if the qualification at the end which are RSL.
What a shame about CAPA , I did read about it closing. Totally agree about travelling expenses ,we are in the South East and if we go to the better college fares will be £55 a week (20 miles away), a combination of bus and train 1 1/2 hours each way.
Ours have taster days for Y10 so she is going to those in June to see which she likes.
She might hate them then what?!

lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:21 pm

lotsoflaffs- I bought a ticket to watch a show by the drama dept of our current college last year. But I realised at the interval when I picked up a program, I'd got it wrong and I wasn't watching the sixth formers, I was watching their degree students from the same campus and department. It was dire. I went from thinking it was the biggest waste of £15, to thinking it was the best ever spent as I know for a fact DD will not be going there, not even just for yrs12-13. I ended up feeling sorry for the kids on it, they were clearly on it because it was something they enjoyed, but they were using up their years of entitlement to student loans on something that just wasn't very good.

My DD's school has no sixth form, so in a way that's an advantage to us, as what her school friends do will be scattered about, it won't be she's stopping on at her own school, just because everyone else is. In my head I have 3 or 4 suggestions to her and one of them will be to go to sixth form at a local Secondary which has a bias towards performing arts. They currently run both A level drama and BTEC level 3 performing arts and let pupils do both.

lotsolaffs
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lotsolaffs » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:19 pm

lawn- The backing track stopped during a performance of Cats,it was quickly very apparent that it had vocals on it as the students carried on singing and obviously you could tell the difference,I felt cheated out of my £5.
Brilliant if the 6th form does performing arts,ours stopped 2 years ago. My DD's year was the last to it at GCSE level last year,she was 13,hers is the last year to do dance GCSE this year too so she has been lucky.
We went to a Tring MT day and the facilities are lovely,my DD enjoyed it and will do another.I suppose you have looked at NYT?

lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:11 pm

lotsolaffs wrote:lawn- The backing track stopped during a performance of Cats,it was quickly very apparent that it had vocals on it as the students carried on singing and obviously you could tell the difference,I felt cheated out of my £5.
Brilliant if the 6th form does performing arts,ours stopped 2 years ago. My DD's year was the last to it at GCSE level last year,she was 13,hers is the last year to do dance GCSE this year too so she has been lucky.
We went to a Tring MT day and the facilities are lovely,my DD enjoyed it and will do another.I suppose you have looked at NYT?
I've looked at NYT, but I think DD is too young. She was only 14 at the end of last month. I thought that they could apply from 14, so was thinking that next year would be the first opportunity to apply but I'm sure I was reading something recently and it said from age 15, which means not being apply to apply for another 2 years. Unless I've read it incorrectly?

lotsolaffs
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lotsolaffs » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:44 pm

I think it is at age 14,a girl from our local drama club who has now a place at The Brit school for acting got in age 14,must have been year she was going to be 15?
I'm leaving it for a while,they do some good courses that are open to non members though.

Rhymie
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by Rhymie » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:40 am

Hi,
I have found this site so helpful but for straight acting the info is a bit different so I hope I can shed some light?

1. The straight acting courses at the top schools excluding Arts Ed are fully student financed through student finance England and maintenance grand funded which is means tested but can pay unto 11K for London based students living away from home and with low income. Both UCAS and CUCAS state this very clearly as do the school websites. For straight acting these are the top schools currently.

LAMDA
Central
RADA
RWCMD
Drama Centre (part of St Martins UCL)
RCS
Guildhall
East 15
Bristol Old Vic
The others including GSA and Mountview are more Musical theatre lead.

2. Foundation courses for the straight acting courses are sometimes considered to be unhelpful, e.g if your DD does a foundation at LAMDA and then doesn't get though the rounds to progress to a degree she has already started training in the LAMDA way, which the other school do not consider an advantage I'm afraid. You should consider this carefully. It is totally different to MT.

3. All of the above take a few straight from school. But It is more likely that it will take 2-3 or sometimes even 4 attempts to get into these BA courses. But that is because there are very few places each year, between 16 at Bristol and 28 at LAMDA and thousands of kids apply from all over the world. If you google drama school blogs you will be able to get clued up on each schools processes from the applicants point of view and these are really helpful.

4. You don't need to be completely immersed in great theatre to get a place and whilst seeing theatre is a good thing, its not the only thing. Now days the straight schools supply actors for all sorts of genres and the biggest currently being the huge increase in TV series (Netflix, Amazon etc all commissioning work) so agents are not only looking to fill theatrical roles but have increasing requirements for screen actors.(although of course there is a massive over supply of actors ones from these schools stand excellent chances of getting roles in top shows) All the straight acting schools teach, TV, Flim and voice for radio and animation work. In fact getting experience or at least increasing her knowledge in this side of the industry would be beneficial.

5. Being fit and well rounded is so important for the straight schools. There is no comparison to normal Uni drama courses. The contact time is between 35 and 40 hours a week! many start the day at 8 with intensive fitness classes and finish well into the evening. These specialist straight acting courses (with the exception of Central) have no or limited academic requirement except that you speak English. Being older is an advantage as the student life of drinking and partying does not happen at these schools. Its serious business.

6. There are of course many privately funded drama schools but with the list above all receiving student loan finance and maintenance money this is where you should probably start.

Hope that helps. I was like you about 5 years ago. My DS is in his 3rd year of auditioning and this year has made final recalls to all of his choices and we are in the middle of these currently, with fingers crossed and nails bitten to nothing. Its been an incredibly hard process, full of heartbreak and full of growth and learning. What it has taught me and I guess him, is that even if you are ready and even if you are full of talent, if you are not what they are looking for you won't get a place regardless. With the average age of the students being 21 -23 most of the successful applicants make the harrowing journey each year and progress a bit further each time. There are so few places and so many talented, fantastic kids that in the end perseverance, gritted teeth and bloody mindedness are the extra skills that will get most of them a place.

Happy to answer any specifics on any of the above schools. Hope some of that was useful.

jennifer1972
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by jennifer1972 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:18 am

Great post!! =D> =D> And finges crossed for your DS this time round!!

possiblypushy
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by possiblypushy » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:23 pm

Thanks for this post Rhymie, very informative.

lawn
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by lawn » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:05 pm

Thank you Rhymie. That was very informative. Could you shed more light on different drama schools teaching in different ways please?

Also, that list is very handy. I'd been trying to compile one for a while and not sure I'd got them all. Handy to know about student finance, but I believe Mountview tuition wouldn't be fully funded via student loan and it's the same for another one I came across, ARLA. I know you haven't listed that one, but thought it might be handy for other people having a read through. Unless I've mistaken something again? I compare non-performing parents having a performing child to what it must be like to be a Muggle and a letter arriving for your 11yo to go to Hogwarts! It's a world I barely understand how it works!

Rhymie
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Re: Funding the future - Straight Acting

Post by Rhymie » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:33 pm

Hi Lawn,
My DS was extremely picky about only wanting to go to one of the top straight schools and didn't want to even try for a school that offered MT and straight combined. He also had a few US ones on his list but there is no point even looking at those until we complete this year.
Mountview is an excellent all round school and I would have liked him to try there, but he felt it had more of a musical leaning and was not considered good enough by acting agents. The issue of funding is around the course. If you study a (BA) honours degree then you are entitled to student England finance. Foundation courses and diplomas are not covered. This may be where the confusion is.

Since the straight schools don't need particular academic grades in order to get a place,(note Central does want C) this should be your first option but of course is the hardest route. Some of the schools are applied for directly, such as LAMDA, Bristol and RADA, whereas others are either through UCAS or the conservatoire part of the site called CUCAS. Each school makes it very clear on their website. As my DS has the staying power of a gnat, I did all the prep work and researched each school and their processes and each years training and then applied with him accordingly.

There are lots of other schools I haven't listed including ALARA, but they are not considered to be in the top 10 (this is simply my DS's opinion), if they offer a fully accredited (BA) honours then you should get funding. The tell tail sign is the contact time, Uni courses don't offer 35-40 hours training a week!

With regard to teaching at each school, the schools on the list I gave you probably differ in the delivery of training, but essentially they all cover similar things, classical and contemporary stage acting, acting for film and TV, voice work, classical dance (such as regency and walz) accents, stage combat etc. If you look at each of the schools websites you will see what they offer and how they all differ slightly. But feel free to PM me if you want any specific info, I have my own opinions about the schools after 5 years of research and now the 3rd year of auditioning. :D

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