BLOG: Samantha, HNC Acting and Performance student

From choreography and singing to film sets and production, our HNC Acting and Performance student, Samantha, tells us the ins and outs of pursuing a career in the performing arts.

Hi Samantha! Can you start by introducing yourself?

I’m Samantha, or Sammy, I’m 19 years old and on the HNC Acting and Performance course at Moray College UHI in collaboration with Out of the Darkness Theatre Company in Elgin.

Why did you decide to study this course?

This course was right for me because it was close to home, I was already comfortable with the lecturers and it seemed like the perfect next step in my journey. From a young age I always knew I wanted to study musical theatre/acting and from being on the course this couldn’t have confirmed my future career plans any more.

What were you doing before studying the HNC?

I progressed from the SCQF Level 6 course onto the HNC and the transition couldn’t of been more simple. It was straightforward and not as daunting as I thought it would be.

Was there anything you wish you knew before starting the course?

I wish I didn’t cause myself a lot of unneeded stress over the writing portion of the course as it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be!

What is it like studying at Out of the Darkness Theatre Company (ODTC)?

The lecturers are phenomenal. The course is so full on with practical lessons so we didn’t have much time to sit back and panic or worry about the written work but the support from my lecturers has been absolutely outstanding. Because they had originally been working within the industry, they were able to give advice as to what to expect within the acting jobs I could possibly get after graduating. I also found that their support during exams and performances has been amazing. They all understood how we were all feeling and were perfect to ask any questions or even just if we needed a pick me up, they were there to make us laugh.

Have you had any work experience opportunities throughout the course?

I have had tons of working opportunities! To name a few…

• In the SCQF Level 6 course we were privileged to have the opportunity to work at Brodie Castle as elves for Christmas time. This was a huge opportunity for myself as I am looking into going into children’s entertainment, it gave me a huge insight into what is it like to work with children.

• Another opportunity was the Peter Pan Pantomime with Out of The Darkness Theatre Company. It was an incredible experience as we got to see what it was like behind the scenes of a show and also work on choreography and singing.

• This year I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to work with Out of the Darkness Theatre Company again in doing their Christmas panto! This was all filmed and DVDs were created for local schools which meant I got to experience a film set and understand the works of the camera and also got to go around all the schools in Moray delivering the DVDs.

• I was offered a huge opportunity while on the SCQF Level 6 course when I auditioned for the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. I fortunately got in after performing a monologue that I had learnt in class and my lecturer had helped me gain confidence in.

Where would you like to go with your career in the future?

My ideal career path is children’s entertainment, so my plans after this course is to study musical theatre within UHI. Then my next goal would be to end up getting a contract for a theatre company to sing in multiple shows a week!

How has this course helped you with your future plans?

To work in children’s entertainment I think what’s extremely important is being animated and clear with what exactly your saying and doing next. Communication is vital as well as being a people’s person and Moray College UHI has helped me with this knowledge as it has taught me just how important communication really is.

What has been the highlights of the course?

A big highlight for me is how many likeminded people I have met through studying and also how practical the courses have been, it is the perfect balance of performing and writing. But the biggest highlight I have to say is that throughout the past two years of studying my confidence has skyrocketed, I no longer worry about what others think of my work as I am confident in what I do, I owe all my confidence of my acting skills to my lecturers.

If you could invite any 3 people to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would invite my industry icons: Carrie Hope Fletcher, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh. I would invite them because I have so many questions about the theatre world and I would love to get their advice!

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I think something that people would be surprised to know about me is that when I was 7 I got my head stuck in Buckingham Palace’s gates and nearly had to get the gate cut off so I could get my head out!

What are the top things you have learned over the past year?

Something I have learnt this year is that not everyone will like you and there isn’t anything you can do about it. You just have to always stay true to yourself and never try to change for other people. I also learnt through studying this year that it’s okay to not know the answer to everything, it is okay to ask questions, you’re there to learn.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying at Moray College UHI?

My advice to anyone who is considering studying at Moray College UHI is DO IT!!! You have absolutely nothing to lose. The lecturers are amazing, the facilities are incredible and for me it’s just outside my doorstep so why travel so far away when you get such a high quality of learning right here.

Our HNC courses are designed to meet the needs of employers and can lead straight to a career, or you can top up your qualification to degree level. Find your future within as little as a year with our wide range of HNC courses.