East London Academy of Dramatic Art’s Behsat Ahmet: ‘Question everyone who is put on a higher level of authority’
How did you start off in theatre?
I started out as a contemporary dancer, then worked in physical theatre, subsequently moving on to TV and other theatre projects.
What is the best piece of advice you have for students today?
Practise, practise, practise.
What would you change about training in the UK?
I would take out most theory and instead encourage more practice and cross-disciplinary collaboration and learning.
What is the best part of your job?
Teaching a group of enthusiastic actors.
And your least favourite?
Administration and all the paperwork involved
Who should students be looking up to?
I think students need to be careful not to project admiration or look up to any practitioner or teacher because it promotes a delusional cycle, where certain things are attributed to them. This can reflect back a sense that there is something incomplete or missing in the student. I believe that stepping away from this form of admiration will help them much more through their training by allowing them to settle into themselves and their own experience of awareness. Fortunately, student consciousness is already changing. We are now living in a world where equality is important for all of us and as a result we question everyone who is put on a higher level of authority and power.
What is the one skill that every successful theatre professional should have?
Problem-solving skills. A career in the theatre deals with difficult and constantly changing situations.
Behsat Ahmet has also taught at E15 Acting School and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. He was talking to John Byrne