I feel very lucky to have studied at art college and it has provided me with the perfect springboard to launch my career on stage. I studied at AMDA and I often feel that ex-students don’t quite paint the whole picture when they are discussing their experience after studying at an art college. In fact after reading the AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts reviews recently I realized that there is a lot of information missing with what people have said. I completely agree with the positive information which they have given, but there is more to study at an art college than what people are saying. If you do plan to study at an art college, whether it be at AMDA or another, here is what you need to know.
Studying at an art college is hard work and you will have to be prepared to give everything that you have in order to succeed. I have friends who studied things like geography, languages and philosophy at college and when I used to speak to them it was very clear that I was working harder than them all, not because I wanted to of course, because I had to. Between classes, planning, rehearsing and performing, you just won’t have time to do much else.
When a student studies law they don’t look at the other students as competition for when they become lawyers, in art school however everyone is your competition, and it is very palpable. I trained to be a singer and an actor and it was clear from the very first year that many were looking at me as their competition, and this affects the relationships which you want to make during your time in college. There is no backstabbing or nasty tricks, at least not in my experience, but there is a very fierce competition which you need to use to bring the very best out in you.
Art college sounds like the number one college for partying right? All of those free thinkers and creative people in one place, it sounds like the perfect recipe for a busy social life. If this is what you think then you need to change your mind pretty quickly because it just isn’t like that. Art college will take up far too much of your time and you won’t be able to commit very much of it to going out. The fun will come later, art college is about getting your head down and practicing.
There is nothing more brutal than putting your time and effort into something, pouring your heart out in the process, only for someone to tell you that it isn’t good enough. This is of course a key part of the learning process but the truth is that it is art college is very often brutal on your emotions, and you need to be prepared for it.