Committing yourself to a year-long course can be a big decision, and it’s understandable to have concerns about taking the leap. Studying acting can be a daunting prospect, but a very rewarding one for actors wanting to advance their skills and develop their craft.
We sat with current Acting students from the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television, Lachlan Ingham and Roel Fiala to find out what their concerns were before studying, and how they feel now they are fully immersed in the course.
Were you nervous before you started, and if so, what about?
Lachlan: I was extremely nervous to jump into this program. I was scared about my school life mixed into my work life and my social life and how exhausting it was going to be. But I knew that if I was serious about being an actor and making a career out of it, I had to realise that I might face rejection and not go anywhere for a while. This is what the school provided with me. The knowledge and confidence to understand that I might not be able to achieve everything I want. But if I throw myself into it I had a better shot than not trying at all.
Roel: I was absolutely nervous before I started this course. Someone having no prior experience or background in acting would feel a mixture of numerous emotions. I come from a background of performance from a musical aspect; in essence having an instrument to hide behind, whereas acting does not have that protection. Accepting that I will not have that security was definitely a shock to me. I remember the day that I actually auditioned; a mixture emotions and insecurities, it was cold and raining which definitely did not help the situation at all. I was set on the idea of performing to people who I do not know and immensely failing and not only wasting my time but their time. But, the school had thought otherwise.
How do you feel now you are fully immersed in your training?
Lachlan: I feel fantastic. I have made such strong relations with the staff and the students of all tiers. I love the culture that AFTT provides for everyone. I have been able to talk to people I never thought I would talk to and I have been able to be a part of projects I didn't think I could do. Working on Shakespeare, accent work, my showreels, my pitch project and a decent amount other projects have all been such amazing experiences that I have been able to share with not only people who I might work with in the future, but also my friends.
Roel: I have never felt stronger or more confident in my entire life. Having this training has taught me a lot about myself but also has further strengthened aspects of myself that I thought were already strong. At first there was immense difficulty in grasping the technicalities of something unfamiliar however when you place all of your attention and focus into the work it does become easier to understand with time. From the first day until now I’ve developed and grown an understanding of performance elements that has allowed me to carry these skills into numerous productions; such as voice work, physicality, movement, singing, and dance, to list a few.
Some people may believe they don’t need comprehensive actor training - from your experience at AFTT, do you believe this to be true and if not, why?
Lachlan: There is this whole idea that you don't need any training to become an actor. If you have the natural talent then you can get jobs straight away. But in my opinion you must always keep learning. AFTT has provided me with the knowledge that will be able to push my career in the direction that I want it to go. When I first started at AFTT I would type cast myself and say "I could only really ever play the brute or the bad guy." Studying allowed me to explore new characters and discover what kind of skills I will need to portray these characters.
Roel: I believe people should receive acting training before they enter into the profession. Similar to the training of an athlete; you train to be better at something, in acting or any other profession, the same mind-set and work ethic can be/must be applied. In addition, training allows you to be in constant communication of your body, emotions, mind and humanity. Training just makes you better, to break your own personal standard.
Keep an eye out as in Part 2 of our conversation with Roel and Lachlan, we talk about looking towards life after graduation.
Find out more about studying Acting or apply now.