It was 5 years ago this year that I started studying at AMDA, the American Musical and Dramatical Academy, and as I sit here now reflecting on it I realize just how much I have learned and grown thanks to the education which I received there. At the time of my going to college many of my friends were jealous of me because they wanted to study performing arts too, but their parents wouldn’t let them. This has happened for many years and so many parents believe that performing arts is a flight of fancy rather than a proper vocation. I wanted to write this piece about how much studying performing arts has helped me in my life and what it has given me, to show those parents just how beneficial this type of college can be.
I had absolutely no idea about the level of hard work which I would have to put in to my studies at AMDA and it was a real shock when in the first semester the work came in thick and fast. I knew it would be tough but I didn’t expect to be working 17 hour days, 7 days per week. I have friends in med school who didn’t study as hard as me! I was never lazy but I would never have said that I had a hard working ethic, since my time at college however I am a workaholic and I am eternally grateful for that.
Just because we have the confidence to get up on stage and make a fool of ourselves does not mean that we are confident people. In fact more often than not you’ll find that most performers do so in order to deflect from having to open themselves up to people. I was very much in this boat and whilst I had the confidence to get on stage and sing or play piano, put me in a social situation and I would just wilt in the corner. During my time at AMDA however all of this changed, mostly because I was surrounded by people who were just like me, performers who didn’t have much confidence. I am now a completely different version of myself and confidence is something which I pride myself on.
Before I started studying here I was a sensitive soul who really struggled with rejection, all of that changed when I started at AMDA however. The performing arts industry is a brutal one which pits people against each other all of the time. It is essential for anyone who wants a career in this to have thick skin and that is just what they teach you in the college. We regularly had competitions and there was often some very honest, borderline brutal, feedback which we had to endure, the consequence however was that I am now a tough and resilient person and I know that this will make me a better performer.