DMMF Wellington Arts Excellence recipient James Costello Ladanyi is studying a Master of Arts in Professional Acting at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the United Kingdom. He sends an update after a busy second term.
Spring greetings from (not really very sunny) Bristol!
I am currently on a three week break after finishing my second term at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School – and what a term it was! Despite the intensity and long hours of its predecessor, my second term at drama school was a big step up in every aspect of the acting training:
My days at school became longer as I got into a routine of arriving before 8am every morning for an extended warmup, and more often than not I would stay for an hour after classes concluded at 5.30pm to do extra work in the studio spaces. Classes that we had begun in term one became more complex and arduous, including more technical stage combat, more thorough investigations of acting methodologies (Laban, Michael Chekhov technique, Uta Hagen, to name a few), more complicated dance routines, a heavier load of singing and individual performances, a greater breadth of accent work and an increase in vocal development.
As well as building on the skill sets we have been developing since September, this last term came with a range of brand-new classes and workshops. Sight-reading, motion-capture, movement-based animal studies, embodied-voice and screen acting were just a couple of the many new aspects of performance that we delved into. All this, plus serious hours of work spent developing our own personal marketing plans for entering the acting industry, reading plays, going to see new theatre, and staging two in-house shows – including a ninety-minute adaption of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters (in a mere fifty hours of rehearsal time) – you can see why I am thankful for a short break!
While the last twelve weeks have been utterly exhausting and challenging, the absolute pleasure of the work at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has never dropped off. Every day I reflect on how incredibly fortunate I am to study here, and I continue to be grateful to the Dame Malvina Major Foundation for helping to facilitate my personal development.
That’s all for now; my final term awaits!
James Costello Ladanyi