What should a prospective student look for in a training program? And what qualities do you think candidates would find in your program that is different from others?
Prospective students can come to a strong training program with any number of needs. Students should be ready to dive headfirst out of their comfort zone, but also be completely accountable for their own experience. East15 expects you to want to become the actor you are supposed to be, and you need to be ready to explore new and potentially tricky opportunities to do so. Qualities of East15 that are different from any other program that I appreciate are the holistic and multi-dimensionality of the training. There is no “East15” brand, the brand is whatever makes you your best. Rather than focusing on one dogma or practice or aesthetic, East15 rather instructs its students in a manner of “rubber band acting”, in which the actor is able to express themselves in an enriching way while still able to adapt to wide breadth of the techniques and styles which they will inevitably encounter in the professional world.
The student that would be right for this program is one that is hungry for intense introspection as well as ensemble. The amount of time you spend in classes here (as opposed to America) is a lot longer, and working with others and learning both yourself and them is of the utmost importance. The program has a good international vibe that offers each student the opportunity to meet and understand other cultures. Which I think comes in handy for research in the future, as these people become family and you will always be able to call on each others’ knowledge of different trainings. The classes and hours required is much more intense than any program I’ve done in the states. You will be tired, but you will love the work so it won’t matter.
Since East15 is in the UK, what do you think students need to know before moving to Loughton?
Get a group of fellow students together and get lodging as early as possible. Find lodging with which you will be truly happy. If it’s a difference of £75 per month (~$95.00 USD), take the nicer room in which you believe you’ll be able to truly unwind. You will need it. Find lodging local to the school and don’t move away between school years. If you choose lodging too far away from the school, the commute will become burdensome not only to yourself but to your classmates, fellow actors, and tutors. Bring more of your clothing and leisure items than you may initially think necessary. (Not because you will have much free time, but because you will want more of your home than you may imagine. And some projects will require objects with which you feel personal connection.) If you’re coming from North America, expect wait-times when paperwork is concerned (e.g. bank accounts and international transfers or deposits). Finally, expect to be going non-stop for the entire program, work-wise. In North America, we tend to lean on downtime and weekends in a way that the theatre culture of the UK does not. This is secretly an excellent weapon for a theatre practitioner to learn. You will get your money’s worth at East15 in artistic endurance training if nothing else.
What are your favorite things to do off-campus in your free time?
I love to go into the city. London is great to explore and easy to get to know. Also, if you budget correctly, Europe, with all its cities and countryside, is an easy flight or train away.
At the Loughton campus, the school could not be more perfectly situated. You will be far enough outside of the city to avoid being unintentionally distracted. Loughton is quiet and idyllic which supports study excellently, but the heart of London is a 40-minute tube ride away. It’s the best of both worlds. In Loughton there are some great pubs in which you can unwind and socialize, and Epping Forest which lines the town is absolutely beautiful for jogs or hikes. In the city, nights out in Camden are bustling and fun. Soho (the gay center of the city) is particularly exciting on weekend nights. Chinatown (directly adjacent to SoHo) offers some of the best food in the world. And Dalston, Vauxhall, and Spitalfields have some really great shopping, pubs, restaurants, and particularly diverse nightlife.
Exploring is the absolute best thing to do in London. Give yourself a Friday or Saturday night, get a few friends, start in the early evening, have a pint or two, and just wander. You’ll be amazed at the magical little shops and secrets you can stumble upon. And theatre, theatre, theatre. Almost every theatre offers student discounts (called “concessions” in the UK), and The Globe in particular offers unbelievably cheap tickets for all of their outdoor performances. (Secret tip: Take the backstage tour of the National Theatre. It’s over an hour long, cheaper than a movie ticket and stunning.) Theatre tickets are much more affordable here than in the states so see what you can – download the app TodayTix and thank me later.Posted by URTA Posted on 05 Sep