Bobbi Blaza started our BA Acting course in 2017, after completing our Foundation Course in Acting. From the beginning, she always knew that drama school was the right path for her. Fast forward a few years of determination and a lot of hard work later, she tells us about her experience in her final year industry showcase!
Three years spent training, a good five weeks spent endlessly flicking through plays and three weeks of rehearsals have all led up to our industry showcase…and it was all over in the blink of an eye! It’s quite a weird feeling having performed and waiting to see if any agents have taken an interest (although luckily for us, we still have one round of shows left to take our minds off things) but looking back on all of the hard work that was put in and really seeing the effect that our training has had on us as individuals makes it all worthwhile!
Showcase is a very hectic and potentially stressful time of year – before Christmas we were asked to find at least ten scenes each to bring in, ready to perform and cast with the people we felt would play those roles the best. That seemed like a pretty huge ask but I found that once I got into the swing of things, I began finding potential scenes much more easily. It was also great looking back through plays that I’d either forgotten existed, ones that I’d used for various years of drama school auditions, or some old favourites that were fun to revisit. It was also a great opportunity to expand my reading list as lots of my year suggested scenes from some plays that I’d never read before! Then came the task of making sure the scenes were cut down to a decent length, as we had a limit of one minute per person within the scene.
During our first week back after the Christmas break, we pitched all our scenes to our course director. The first couple of days were pretty tough – it’s quite surprising how quickly we got through all our first few scenes. Most people had at least two or three that worked really well, but we were still spending a LOT of time in the library trying to find more material. As the week went on, it was a bit easier to find scenes, as we could really see which qualities the selected scenes had. One of the benefits of having 30 people looking at the same time was that there was always someone on hand to suggest something that could potentially work! After all our scenes had been shown, we then selected two each out of the ones that our director had said yes to, cast them, learned them and then came back the following week and performed them. After that, it was down to our director to decide on casting. It was quite a nerve-wracking experience, especially having lots of different scenes that I felt worked very well for me, but I was quite reassured as I knew that I would definitely have a scene to perform in and I knew it would be a great fit, whether it was one I had brought in or not – I think that definitely helped me keep a level head!
After that, we completed three weeks’ worth of rehearsals before we performed two shows in Birmingham and one performance at the Soho Theatre in London. Those weeks went by so quickly, and it still feels odd that we’re now finished with showcase and starting on our final round of shows. The first few days after we’d performed in London felt like being in limbo – it’s a waiting game now to see if any agents have taken an interest, although the more proactive we can be during this time the better.
There’s a lot of pressure on people to get an agent after the industry showcase, but a lot of it is very much out of our hands. All we can do is find a good scene and work on it to perform to the best of our ability. Fingers crossed we all get what we want out of this, but it’s not the end of the world if not. What’s important to remember is that those agents have only seen a small snapshot of what each of us can do; and not the significant progress we’ve all made over the last three years.