Theatre and Performance Practice BA student Amy Vinten chats to us about the highlights of her course, her work as a London Met Success Coach and her future plans.
Did you come straight from school, or did you do something else in between?
I’m a mature student. After finishing my A Levels, I worked in customer service for eight years, did various other work experience and completed short courses in various subjects such as cake decorating before deciding to go to uni to follow my dream of acting.
What led you to London Met and this course in particular?
In the online description for the course, it said that they welcome mature students, so that caught my eye straight away. It also said that the course was new which was exciting; it offered so much variety with the different modules, and it provided opportunities to meet and work with all sorts of people from the industry, which I think is so important.
Have you gained any work experience or done any placements while you've been here?
That’s one of the best things about this course… the opportunity to do all sorts of things! Already I’ve taken part in filming a video as reference for an animated film being produced for Camden Council. The film is promoting family support workers who help parents with very young children with severe difficulties. I’ve also helped to run a theatre workshop for Clean Break – a women’s theatre company that helps to change lives, working with women who are ex-offenders or who come from a difficult background. We also talked to the ladies about the course and London Met to give them an idea about it if they wanted to apply in the future.
Last year I attended the Bilingual Acting Workshop in Paris with one of my course tutors and some classmates. This was an intensive acting workshop with three amazing American tutors.
What do you like best about your course?
I like that we get to meet and work with different people such as writers, directors, actors, producers and various teachers. I also like that we get to try out different things such as puppetry, acting, dance, voice, set building, tech, directing, marketing and dramaturgy. We get to visit amazing places too – I’ve been to the National Theatre Studios, the Royal Court Theatre, and Paris to name a few.
What are the facilities like here?
We don’t have our own theatre space therefore we’re limited to performing in small rooms that we work in every day [editor's note: see London Met's new planned courtyard and theatre]. We do have a prop room, furniture room and costume room though which is great.
Did anything surprise you about your course or London Met?
I think the openness surprised me a bit. We’re encouraged to try new things and if they fail, then that’s ok! Because it’s a small group of students working closely together, we’re honestly like a little family which is lovely!
What are your career plans?
I’ve always wanted to be an actor and being at London Met has only cemented that further. However, working with companies such as Clean Break, I’ve discovered that I’m interested in drama therapy and helping people. At London Met you create a strong portfolio of skills to be able to do anything confidently in the industry.
Can you tell us a bit about your work as a Success Coach – what it involves and how you've found it?
Working as a success coach for the past year has been fun and interesting. I wanted to be a Success Coach because I want students to have a friendly face to turn to if they’re worried about something. I think it’s good for students to have people to talk to without fear of being judged. Tasks have included helping with the new Year One students academically and personally if needed. This has included holding workshops with them to get to know each other, and holding coursework workshops. The students have my email address and can ask me questions or advice whenever they want to. It’s difficult at times to know if you’re giving out the right advice, but having the support from tutors and other Success Coaches is great.
What's your favourite student night out?
Well, as my course is pretty hectic, physical and exhausting, most of the time I don’t have the energy or time to really go out after uni. Although after a show we do like to go to the nearest pub to celebrate and relax!
Can you tell us a bit about whether you're in halls, at home or in a shared house, and what it's like?
I’m living at home with my family. I live in north London so it’s very easy for me to travel in to Uni. I enjoy living at home and feel very lucky that I am able to; I don’t think I’d enjoy the stress that comes with living in halls at this age!
Any advice or tips for new students?
Don’t worry so much! And plan! If you try and plan when to do essays and coursework so you’re not awake at 3am finishing off an essay every time, you’ll probably enjoy it more… even though we’ve all been there! Talk to people, socialise, you never know who might be able to help your career in the future. Make the most out of your opportunities because three years go by very quickly!