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What Do You Do With A BA Hons Degree In Performance?


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#1 akb

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:10 PM

I graduated with a good degree in Performing Arts this Summer, and am at a loss as to what to do with it. I started a PGCE in Secondary drama teaching and am really not enjoying it at all. I have had a week in school recently and just felt uneasy and uncomfortable throughout the entire week. I do not doubt for a second that teaching is a fantastic qualification to have but I just do not feel in the right place for this right now. But then I think I would regret it if i gave it up. So I am left thinking what do i do? I have two very pushy parents who will hate me and pretty much disown me if I drop it. And I dont want to let them down but i feel sick and emotional every time I think of teaching.

I know you can't tell me what to do but I just am at such a loss. Do I continue the course and just do it and get it out the way despite how its making me feel? Or do I quit now and look for a job that is more within my reach and enjoyment? And risk regretting it?

I have only just turned 21 and dont want to make doing anything I might disagree with in the future.......

At the same time, what ELSE can you do with a degree in something like performing arts other than TEACH?!?!

Please help!

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:33 PM

If you don't want to teach - don't teach. There is nothing worse for students than a teacher who really doesn't want to be there.

Ask yourself this:

What do I WANT to do? There is plenty to do with your degree, everything from theatre manager, theatre admin, event organising, doing a post grad at drama school to be an actor,  etc etc. Make a list of things you can see yourself doing and then go about finding out what those jobs are officially called and how people doing them started out. I STRONGLY suggest you attend this, it should help you a lot: http://www.masterclass.org.uk/theatrecraft.php (I am not affiliated with this by the way).


#3 Red Momma

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 01:48 PM



At 21 you are still comparatively young and you really should not dismiss taking a Performance course somewhere, and by that I mean a course that teaches you how to  perform.
My experience of a degree in Performing Arts is that it is heavy on theory and very short on the practical experience of performing.
Take a look on the net.  There are plenty of top schools offering a one year course, often with funding (to the best candidates).
This is a good time of year to be considering a course for next Autumn as most good schools will be taking applications now and most close their books to applications suprisingly early.

But please do not teach if your heart is not in it.  
We have all suffered from a bored and boring teacher!!!!

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 02:51 PM

Firstly, we've all been there - during the first term of both my BA in English and my MA in Acting, I wasn't comfortable. I kept bursting into tears, crying myself to sleep and wondering what on earth I was doing there. However, I stuck both courses out and absolutely loved them both in the end. As humans we don't always cope well with change, especially pressurised change. And when you add the weight of expectation on to that - expectations we have of ourselves, those of our parents, friends and even well-wishers who wall post us on Facebook, it can all get a bit much.

But, what I think is that in a few weeks time, when you're more accustomed to being in schools as a trainee teacher rather than a student, you might actually start enjoying yourself. And if you don't, well ok, if in December you feel the same, by all means seriously consider leaving the course. But there's nothing to say you have to teach at the end of a PGCE. You could do it to have extra strings to your bow (people always need teachers, evenin a credit crunch), and then take a GAP year to go off into the world and explore other options and jobs. Remember at 21 you won't ever feel like you know exactly where you're headed. A wise 1990s ock-star turned author once told me that there should be no fear in your 20s - it should be a time for experimentation and bravery. So be kind to yourself and just follow your instincts. But in the same way, don't quit on week 3 simply because you're not enoying yourself. In a few weeks time you might feel differently.
Good luck!

#5 Guest_Guest_Annie_*_*

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE(guest @ Oct 9 2008, 02:51 PM) View Post
Firstly, we've all been there - during the first term of both my BA in English and my MA in Acting, I wasn't comfortable. I kept bursting into tears, crying myself to sleep and wondering what on earth I was doing there. However, I stuck both courses out and absolutely loved them both in the end. As humans we don't always cope well with change, especially pressurised change. And when you add the weight of expectation on to that - expectations we have of ourselves, those of our parents, friends and even well-wishers who wall post us on Facebook, it can all get a bit much.

But, what I think is that in a few weeks time, when you're more accustomed to being in schools as a trainee teacher rather than a student, you might actually start enjoying yourself. And if you don't, well ok, if in December you feel the same, by all means seriously consider leaving the course. But there's nothing to say you have to teach at the end of a PGCE. You could do it to have extra strings to your bow (people always need teachers, evenin a credit crunch), and then take a GAP year to go off into the world and explore other options and jobs. Remember at 21 you won't ever feel like you know exactly where you're headed. A wise 1990s ock-star turned author once told me that there should be no fear in your 20s - it should be a time for experimentation and bravery. So be kind to yourself and just follow your instincts. But in the same way, don't quit on week 3 simply because you're not enoying yourself. In a few weeks time you might feel differently.
Good luck!



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Posted 09 October 2008 - 07:50 PM

Its pure coincidence that I'm reading this but there's a reason for everything!

I'm alot older than 21 (I'm 55) and have a pretty mundane job.  I love theatre and am often filled with regret that I didn't have the self-confidence or drive to get into a theatrical career when I was young.   I just didn't have any self-belief, and I didn't stick at anything.  I once started a teaching course but gave it up because of lack of confidence.

My advice to you would be to stick at the course, trying to concentrate on the positives - you must enjoy aspects of it even if you don't like all the things you have to do.  You don't have to go into teaching - there are all sorts of things that you could do which your course might help you towards - working in youth theatre springs to mind (something I would love to do).

You may very well regret it if you give the course up, and although you may never teach, it won't be wasted.  You'll feel better about yourself for sticking with it.  And use this time to explore your potential - there must be opportunites to talk to other academics etc - make the most of it.  Cherish every experience, and don't worry if you find things hard.  You won't always be happy with everything you have to do in life.

You sound like a hard-working, gifted individual with lots to offer and I wish you well.

#7 akb

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 09:32 AM

QUOTE(guest @ Oct 9 2008, 03:51 PM) View Post
But in the same way, don't quit on week 3 simply because you're not enoying yourself. In a few weeks time you might feel differently.
Good luck!



Hi there, thanks all for your advice. I'm still in limbo, perhaps swaying more towards leaving the course. I have been on the course for 2 months now, not 3 weeks which is why I think it's time I made my decision, particularly as if I leave it any longer I will owe fee money back to the folk to who pay fees at SAAS. My plan would be to work any job I can (temping, receptionist, waitressing etc etc) and try some gigging (i'm a singer) for a yr and look at applying to MA acting courses down south?

#8 Red Momma

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 04:22 PM

QUOTE(akb @ Oct 10 2008, 10:32 AM) View Post
Hi there, thanks all for your advice. I'm still in limbo, perhaps swaying more towards leaving the course. I have been on the course for 2 months now, not 3 weeks which is why I think it's time I made my decision, particularly as if I leave it any longer I will owe fee money back to the folk to who pay fees at SAAS. My plan would be to work any job I can (temping, receptionist, waitressing etc etc) and try some gigging (i'm a singer) for a yr and look at applying to MA acting courses down south?



Good for you   - all part of life's rich pattern.
Good Luck
Red Momma


#9 akb

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 02:33 PM

QUOTE(Red Momma @ Oct 10 2008, 05:22 PM) View Post
Good for you - all part of life's rich pattern.
Good Luck
Red Momma



Hiya,

Can someone enlighten me as to the best places to apply for Musical Theatre in London? Also, if anyone is at/has been to a Drama school - what is the dance audition like? This is not my hot spot wink.gif

Thanks guys xx

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 03:06 PM

In no particular order - GSA, Mountview, Royal Academy (for the 1 year post grad), Arts Ed. Italia Conti, Birds and Laines are also reputable - but pretty dance-orientated and not as recommendable as the others. IMO. LSMT - course not accredited and wouldn't be my first choice. Bristol Old Vic do a good 3 year acting course with MT elements.

You have to have had some sort of dance training to be up to the competition at musical theatre course auditions for the good schools, you can't never have danced before.

Check this out:

www.performingarts-auditionguide.com and also read Simon Dunmore's website.





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