Student Thoughts: Performing Arts

What is it like to study our Performing Arts courses? Fresh from their end of year performances we sat down with Emma and DJ to learn about their performance arts journey and aspirations for the future.

Hi to you both, can you start by telling a bit about you and what made you apply for the course?

Emma: I’ve wanted to study this course since high school, and after completing both higher drama and the UAL in Acting and Performance I finally got to study the HNC this year. With the main focus being practical as well as covering a wide range of topics and the quantity of written work, this was the perfect course to prepare me for higher education.

DJ: I originally applied for the HNC course as I’ve always loved to entertain, and I wanted to pursue a career in acting and thought that the course would be a great stepping stone in my journey. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the qualifications to get into the HNC so I was put into the level below, the UAL and I am so grateful.

Emma, you have Tourette’s, has the course impacted you in anyway?  How has your experience been?

Emma: Working on a course like this can be difficult with my tics at times, but onstage I’ve discovered they completely disappear, for me acting is both a passion and an escape.

This year has challenged me socially, our class this year was unexpectedly small requiring us to work even more closely with each other than usual, this has tested all of us I believe, but we’ve pushed through.

Although finally content in the education system, I’ve realised I’m ready for bigger things. I want to be challenged more, work in larger and more stressful acting experiences, and begin my path to becoming an actor in today’s industry.

What about yourself DJ?

DJ: One of the biggest challenges I feel I have faced is that for the course to work everybody as to work as a team, but as our team was so strong and so close it was very easy to get side tracked, because everyone in the course felt like friends it didn’t take much to start talking about something completely off topic.

During my time in the UAL, I feel as I have found myself, in school I was forced to be like everyone else but joining college made me realise I was different and who I really was. I also discovered that I don’t have a chance in the singing industry, but my heart lies with acting anyway.

We’ve also heard, Emma, that you’ve already done some industry work, what have you been apart of?

Emma: I’ve got professional experience working on set of “The Traitors (America)”, acting on camera in the “Rangers FC Xmas Ad (2023)” as well as working with “Unite Students” advertising team in taking photography stills for their websites. These are small roles but ones I’m so grateful to have had a part in!

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

Emma: I dream to perform on the big stages in theatres in London. I would love to be able to experience the impact of each of my performances live! I start my honours degree in Theatre and Film at Queen Margaret University in September, and although terrified, I can’t wait to start the hectic yet exciting university life experience!

DJ: Hopefully if all goes well, I will start the HNC Course in September of 2024 and follow on my studies, after that I am planning on doing my HND in Aberdeen, then finding a UNI to study my Hons, I haven’t found a UNI yet but there’s still plenty of time.

What are the highlights of studying at UHI Moray? 

Emma: The highlight of this course would have to be my lecturers. It’s rare to have lecturers go above and beyond for their students where others wouldn’t. Fraser and Garry have both made a safe, respectful, and very enjoyable class environment, one which, like my lecturers I’ll unfortunately never get again.

DJ: I really enjoyed performing Sweeney Todd. That is a very broad option but I do believe that will be the best thing I have performed and ever will, I am so glad to have met the team I have been working with, and Sweeney Todd will forever be in my heart. I have learned that I am easily distracted even when the study I am doing is something I enjoy, I have also learned I have a strong set of leadership skills as-well as Team-working skills

Our Performing Arts courses are taught in partnership with Out of The Darkness Theatre Company, Elgin’s professional theatre organisation, and prepare students for creative careers in their specific art forms or alternative employment within arts management, teaching and social professions.

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