East 15 Welcome Day

Now that my place at drama school is out in the open, I can finally blog about it! I auditioned and got a place on the MA Acting at East 15 Acting School (E15) last year and deferred entry for a year to save up. I’m still not there financially, but hopefully with the help of a Professional and Career Development Loan I should just be able to manage it.

East 15 welcome day

Last Saturday was the Welcome Day at the school, where new students are invited to a BBQ and talks – a sort of information day mixed with socialising. We were allowed to bring several guests and one with us into the talks, so my boyfriend accompanied me and drove us up there. I thought it would be good for him to see where I’ll be spending most of my time next year when we’re apart.

I felt reasonably calm when we set off but as we got nearer the nerves began to grow. I hadn’t been in this situation since I’d lived in Madrid for a year when I was 23, meeting so many new people, being in unfamiliar surroundings etc.

Finding housing

A month or so back I set up a Facebook group for the course so we could all start getting to know each other and arrange housing. Through this we got a group of five people together to look for a house, so on the day I met up with my future housemates and viewed two properties. The first house got taken just as we were looking round it, so we spent the following few hours in a bit of a panic about the whole housing situation, but we got sorted in the end. East 15’s housing officer along with the current student helpers on the day were all telling us not to worry, and that we would find something in good time, but it’s difficult not to find the situation a bit daunting.

There was a room where people could go to find potential housemates, another where they could look through housing lists and speak to the housing officer and a local letting agency, and a little tent for the Students’ Union.

The welcome talks

At 1pm all the postgraduate students filed into the Corbett Theatre for a talk by the various tutors. We were advised to start going to the gym – check, cut down on caffeine – check (I’m nearly at the end of week two of no caffeine!), and invest in a decent deodhorant, because with all the movement work on the course we will smell. Nice. We were also asked to wear ‘appropriate underwear’ for class, which included sports bras for the ladies. A reading list and other info was included in an information pack we all received upon arrival.

After this we were shepherded to different rooms for talks with our individual course leaders. Andrea Brooks, course leader for MA Acting, spoke to my group and our guests about the course. She gave the ‘health and safety talk’, where she explained to our loved ones who demanding and physically, mentally and emotionally draining the course would be on us, so they know what to expect whenever they do see us next year.

The guests were then asked to leave the room, and Andrea gathered all of the MA students into a circle, where we went round saying our names and a little bit about ourselves, before having the chance to ask Andrea and some of the current MAs about the course. With an ex policeman, a former fighter and a grandfather on the course just to name a few, I know it’s going to be an amazing year with some fascinating and like-minded people.

I now can’t wait to get started. We’ve got our reading list, some homework (including preparing a presentation about ourselves using any theatrical means), and we’re all raring to go. Roll on September!

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