Acting Foundation Course – Phoebe’s Story Insight into the summer foundation course
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Acting Foundation Course – Phoebe’s Story

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Phoebe's Story

Phoebe is a first year student on the School’s three year BA (Hons) Professional Acting programme. Having applied unsuccessfully to several drama schools after finishing sixth form, Phoebe decided to complete the ten-week summer foundation programme at BOVTS. Here, she discusses what she learnt and how the programme helped unlock her potential to successfully audition at BOVTS.

Acting Student Phoebe

Why did you choose the foundation course at BOVTS?

Although I’d never applied to BOVTS, I’d auditioned for drama school several times, but kept missing out on a place. I was feeling stuck – even out of touch with acting, because the audition process can feel relentless.

I felt like I needed something to reignite my love for acting. Although I had missed the deadline to apply for the BA programme, I came across the BOVTS summer foundation course and decided to audition. I knew the vibe was right up my street as soon as I walked into the School!

Students in Nicholas Nickleby rehearsals

What were your favourite aspects of the foundation course?

I learnt so much about every aspect of acting and no corners were cut; all the staff were incredibly knowledgeable and caring about our progress. The BOVTS tutors created a supportive and playful environment, allowing us to fully experiment and take risks with our acting, without any inhibitions.

Were there any new skills or methodologies that you were introduced to?

I’d never properly done any clowning or stage combat, both of which really surprised me. The small amount of stage combat I had previously tried had been taught in a linear, step-by-step way but the way Jonathan, the Head of Stage Combat, taught us was pupil-led and it really allowed me to push myself. I quickly developed a love for this part of the craft.

I found clowning so freeing and beneficial to my physicality too. In terms of acting, I learnt an impressive number of techniques – I filled several notebooks, spanning a bunch of different practitioners – so you really leave with a full toolbox!

 

Students relaxing in Queen Square park

How did the foundation course prepare you for auditioning for drama school?

We had audition technique classes working on monologues, specific workshops on performing Shakespearean and classical speeches, and a mock audition with a panel. I felt prepared after doing the classes specifically designed for drama school auditions but more generally, I left feeling more grounded and knowing myself so much more – something I think can help unlock your best acting. I could walk into my next audition feeling totally confident in my abilities, and at ease.

What’s Bristol like as a city in the summer months?

I have totally fallen for Bristol! It is such a cool place and so easy to walk around, with so many different areas with their own vibe in one big city. Sitting on the Downs at lunchtime (and occasionally doing stage combat there too) was probably the best thing about being in Bristol in the summer. There was always something to do at the weekends – I can’t begin to describe how much art, theatre and music goes on in Bristol; it’s so alive!

ⓘ Please note that the BOVTS foundation course is a separate programme from the BA Hons course. Whilst BOVTS believes the foundation course is excellent preparation for auditioning for drama school, there is no automatic entry to Year 1 of the BA course, nor any guarantee of success at preliminary or recall audition.

Further information about the ten week foundation course.

I’m constantly delighted by the talent, commitment and drive of our students. Their curiosity and joy in the work gives us all energy and keeps me on my toes! My goal is to ensure that their voices serve their acting - both in theatre and recorded media. They need to be able to project, learn accents, respond to a wide variety of texts and have a voice that is healthy and be able to sustain long tours and tough filming schedules. This involves them working extremely hard – but having fun as well. When the new students see the final year students in production for the first time I know they’ll come into class the next day fully understanding the high standard they’re working to achieve. Carol Fairlamb, Head of Voice