How did you start in theatre?
I started training as an actor at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, then at Identity Acting School and then Stella Adler Studio in New York. As a working actor, I realised it is difficult to be seen by agents and casting directors so I decided to create Rebound Productions and Rebound Training Academy.
What is your advice for students?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Always keep training to maintain your confidence, whether at drama school or by attending workshops.
What would you change about training in Ireland and the UK?
Audition fees for full-time drama schools are really high, as are the fees students have to pay if they are accepted. This results in proper training only being accessible to students from high-income backgrounds. Luckily this is changing with more workshops and part-time drama schools being created so that proper training is accessible to everyone.
What is the best part of your job?
Working with people from all over the world and from different backgrounds, I always learn something from everyone who attends our courses. Our classes are practical, we have a lot of fun, and it is important to me to maintain a good work ethic and a safe space in class, where everyone can be comfortable. It makes me proud when actors are signed by agencies off the back of their showcase performance.
And your least favourite?
Our training programme is fast-paced. We plan, rehearse and perform a showcase in 40 hours over 10 weeks. I direct and produce the showcase by myself so it can be hectic, but I enjoy working under pressure.
Who are the practitioners you admire the most/who should students look up to?
My favourites are Robert De Niro, Daniel Day-Lewis, Viola Davis and Cate Blanchett. They are all versatile and have had great careers across film and stage.
What is the one skill that every successful theatre professional should have?
Perseverance. Don’t stop knocking on doors. In this industry, talent is not everything. If you don’t put the work in, nobody will see you.
Laura Román is the founder of Rebound Training Academy. She was talking to John Byrne