I feel like I’ve been putting off my entry into the ‘Real World’ for long enough now. After studying my undergraduate degree in Drama at Bath Spa University I enrolled onto postgraduate course, at the same university, in Scriptwriting and managed to get a scholarship! Happy days all round.
I was determined that I was going to pack as much into my Master’s year as possible, and I can happily say that I achieved this target. I wanted to challenge and push myself outside of my comfort zone, both personally and professionally. I signed myself up for The Bath Half. 13.1 miles. Now, for those of you who may know me, you’ll understand how ridiculous this notion is. For those of you that don’t- I avoid all exercise, I have a terrible diet and I’m a smoker (working on it). At the start of my training I could barely run down to the end of my road, but I managed to finish the race- even if it wasn’t in a ground breaking time- and get the coveted finishers’ medal and goody bag I had longed for. That was one thing checked off my list for the year and one term of my Master’s completed.
My next goal was to gain more experience in my field. Going from an active degree like Drama, where you’re constantly stretching into yoga poses or embodying your choice of animal, to a sedentary postgraduate was taking its toll. I needed to be up on my feet and creating something. An opportunity presented itself in the form of The Bath Fringe Festival. I put together a group of writers, we entered our idea for a radio play and we got rehearsals underway. This was my first fringe festival, so when the reviews came in I was rather nervous how our radio play would be received, but we managed to pull four stars out of the bag. Second term: done.
In my third and final term I wanted to really focus on writing my feature film script and making my short film ‘Habitual’, as third term counted as 100% of my overall grade. That being said, an opportunity to be a script reader at Bristol Old Vic occurred and my previous rule went out the window. I helped with reading the scripts that are submitted as part of their Open Session in June, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I knuckled down, I made my short film, I moved out of my uni house and back home and I wrote my feature film. I finished my Master’s after a year of battle cries and angst and for that I am proud.
But, what now?
I can’t deny that there is a sense of anti-climax. I’ve had a wonderful year of learning, writing and being taught by wonderful tutors and I feel far more secure after doing a postgraduate, compared to my fledgling-undergraduate, everything-will-be-fine self. I feel more prepared as to how to go about creating a life for myself in the arts. But now it is about practicalities- my arch nemesis in all things- and figuring out what my next move is. This blog is going to help me figure that out and document the process.
The main challenge I foresee is balancing a ‘regular job’ for income and having enough time and funds to carry on creating theatre, writing scripts and making short films. Either way, I feel motivated to move forward and keep trying.