Emma Cambridge, 32, has appeared in TV dramas including The Messiah with Ken Stott and Mo with Julie Walters for Channel 4. She has recently completed a BA (hons) degree in inclusive performance at Chickenshed, where she now works. She has most recently been appearing in a seven-week run as one of the baddies in The Twelve Days of Christmas at Chickenshed, north London, where she has played many parts, including the lead role of Alice – a part that was specially created for her by writer-director Chris Bond (Blood Brothers, Spend, Spend, Spend) – in the musical Alice on the Underground. Here are her five tips for passing a degree in performing arts…
1. Be confident
Focus on your work. You deserve your place on the course, but now you’re doing it you have to take your studies seriously – remember that you are working towards an important qualification.
2. Listen to your teachers
Your teachers and tutors are all there to give you advice, and they want you to succeed. Make sure they know if you are finding anything difficult, or if you need any extra help.
3. Plan your time
It’s tempting just to focus on your practical work, but make sure you leave enough time for any written and coursework. Don’t leave things until the last minute – try giving yourself an earlier deadline than the real one in case anything goes wrong.
4. Always be learning
I think it’s very important always to be researching the particular types of work you love, and to be observing other actors and how they work. Go to the theatre, watch films and TV – and see this as part of your education. (It’s a good excuse, too.)
5. Study somewhere you love
Choose somewhere that will suit you and where you feel comfortable. There are lots of courses and loads of colleges, so do your research, go to college open days and read all the information you can. I’ve been so happy studying – and now working – at Chickenshed, and I want everyone else to enjoy their studies too.