We catch up with Adam Garden who graduated from AFTT (formerly knows as ACTT). He tells us what he has been working on since graduation.
What have you been up to since studying with us?
Alright, so when I was graduating at the end of 2014 I was in rehearsals for Bard on the Beach's 2015 season of The Tempest and A Midsummer Nights Dream alongside Theo Kokkinidis (one of my class mates) and Jill Russ (one of our tutors). I got to play Trinculo in Tempest and Puck in Midsummer.
After a successful season at Balmoral I was invited to reprise my role of Puck at Watsons Bay for Shakespeare by the Bay's production of Midsummer Nights Dream.
As Midsummer was closing I saw my old capoeira teacher on facebook looking for guys for a production of West Side Story at one of my local community theatres (Dural Musical Society). They were about two thirds through rehearsals so I thought I would be in the chorus but as soon as I went to a rehearsal I was greeted by the director, measured by costuming, told I would play Bernardo then was ushered into the green room where the rest of the Sharks were having an accent lesson.
Next I auditioned for Dural Musical Society to be in their next show Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and was given a villain role. The day after the first read I heard back from another audition I did with Alpha Shows over skype. On e of their actors had broken his leg (playing sport) and they need someone asap. I was "lucky" (I made my own luck through networking) that their fights were choreographed by my stage combat teacher. They spoke to him about me and through a recommendation I got the part. I spoke with my director for Snow White and he was happy to let me do the tour and come back (luckily they had almost 4 months of rehearsals scheduled).
So I accepted the role of Gaston with Alpha Shows Beauty and the Beast, then flew down to Melbourne to rehearse for just over a week before going on a three month tour to schools across Victoria, South Australia, New South Whales and Queensland. Then I was straight back into rehearsing Snow White.
I also attained my Intermediate Stage Combat Certificate and performed with the Sydney Stage Combat Demo Team at a wedding which closed out my busy 2015.
2016 hasn't been off to a slow start either, January I studied and performed in the Sydney Art of Combat Intensive 'History of Combat'.
I was in rehearsals for Bard on the Beach's 2016 season of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead and Hamlet since last November and have been performing since January. The Balmoral season has come to a close with Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, but Hamlet will continue to tour until the end of April.
And I'm in rehearsals for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum which will go on after Hamlet closes.
We ask Adam some questions about his time at AFTT.
What did you enjoy most about AFTT?
If I had to choose one thing I enjoyed most about AFTT it would have to be the tutors. They knew what they were talking about, how to communicate it, would offer support when you need it but would push you to be the best you could be. If I could afford it I would be taking extra class' with all of them.
How did AFTT help prepare me for the industry?
By giving me a fantastic skill set , information for further study and a support network of other actors, teachers, directors, film makers and just a general group of other passionate creatives to be able to work alongside while learning the ropes of being a professional out in the world.
What have you learnt that you weren’t aware of before entering the industry?
"You've got to love it". I kept hearing that while studying and it was a little annoying. Duh, of course I do, that's why I'm here. I think it wasn't quite articulated fully however. You can love acting and just do the occasional community play or student film, but if you want to make a real go of acting, you've got to love it, because you're going to build your life around it. I've had to pull out of one of my best friends wedding parties because of a performance (that was cancelled on the night), pick up a side job to keep eating (in a house!), which between working, rehearsing, and performing means I'm working 7 days a week with a few 20 hour days. It's hard. Working, performing, practising, auditioning, marketing yourself, eating regularly, maybe sleeping, staying in touch with old friends, networking and making new friends... It's exhausting and if it's not what you want to do, there are plenty of other jobs to make you miserable that'll pay better.
What advice would you give to current students?
I was once told that I should only take advice from the people I want to be like. Which was nice in theory but there is so much to learn even from people you may not like. Take everything with a grain of salt. Take on every one's advice, but only use what works for you, what you agree with, what makes sense.
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