Passion for the Performing Arts
As we reach the end of January 2021, we’re well and truly settled into the routine of teaching and learning remotely here at MHSG, and it’s not only our lessons which have gone virtual. On Tuesday 26th January we held our third ‘Insight Into’ careers talk of the academic year virtually.
With over 70 people in attendance on Microsoft Teams, we hosted ‘Insight into Performing Arts’ in order to cast some light on the behind the scenes activity, with our guest speakers sharing their personal journeys and knowledge, as well as the reality of what it’s like working in this creative and varied industry.
The event was part of the Manchester High School for Girls series of ‘Insight Into’ careers talks, whereby alumnae and industry professionals are invited to present an overview of their chosen career to an audience of students and their parents, from MHSG and the wider Manchester community.
Second year Mezzo Soprano student, Mia Serracino-Inglott (Class of 2019) opened our evening. Mia told us about the application and audition process she went through for her BMus at the Royal Academy of Music, and some of the key differences between studying at a conservatoire and studying the same course at a university. Mia shared some key hints and tips to stand out from the crowd, including how to stay positive through the process.
Next up, Olivia Bromley (Class of 2008), shared how she left Bristol University with a degree in Music, and a feeling that she had surrounded herself with a wide variety of incredible performers and artists, but still wasn’t quite sure what her plan was. Moving back to Manchester and knowing she wanted to pursue a creative career, Olivia extolled the virtues of interning for a small theatre production company, who were instrumental in her decision to pursue acting. Later, Olivia decided on further vocational training at the Oxford School of Drama. This gave her the chance to experiment, perform every day and give a showcase, which ultimately landed her an agent – a key component to becoming a professional jobbing actor. Before landing her current role as Dawn in Emmerdale, Olivia explained her move to London, and the reality of being an actor, as well as a ‘resting actor’, which means having no work between roles – something that can be seen as an opportunity to hone your other skills!
Our evening culminated when we heard from Sheena Wrigley, our guest speaker and current Director at the Ambassador Theatre Group in Manchester, to give us a broader view of the business of running a theatre. Having managed many other playhouses in the North of England, Sheena took on this role three years ago and is now in charge of two of the largest theatres in Manchester – the Palace Theatre and the Opera House. Sheena focussed on giving insight into the many different support roles in a theatre, from marketing and finance through to production and technical. After an education in Theatre Studies at university, Sheena progressed from performer to the business side. She shared how common meandering career paths are in the theatre industry, and often, how those in support roles such as accountants and electricians, may never have thought about working in this industry when they first set out on their own training, but are absolutely vital to the success of the every production.
Finishing the session with a round of questions and answers, all our speakers agreed that, though the industry is currently facing many pressures due to Covid-19, the importance of the performing arts is key to society pulling through the hardships we are currently facing, and if you have a passion for the performing arts, and are prepared to work hard to achieve your creative goals, go for it!
If you were not able to attend this talk,
you are now able to watch this insightful event in full here: https://youtu.be/mFuDszBnyDw