My first year experience in Acting

Edward Conroy joined Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2019 and is currently studying BA (Hons) Acting. He tells us what his expectations were before joining RBC, how much he loved playing Dr. Rank in the psychological realism of 'A Doll's House' and what advice he would give to students starting their first year at RBC in September.

Edward Conroy Headshot

What were your expectations before starting your first year at university?

I was nervous about going to drama school at 18 as I knew that I was the youngest on the course. However, I was also so excited and ready to go and train in what I love to do - in order to make the first steps in becoming a professional. I expected to meet lots of new people not only on my course but in the rest of the conservatoire. I also expected to be challenged on my course, which definitely happened, so I knew that I would love every minute!

How did you find the first few months of university?

Surprisingly, I found it easy to settle in and make friends. The course is very intense and we got stuck in straight away, so I felt comfortable and ready to learn in all scenarios.

What has been the most fun/interesting project you have worked on?

I have loved working on our psychological realism project of ‘A Doll’s House’- I played Dr Rank. It was so much fun to begin to have more of an insight into the methodologies that can be applied to Ibsen’s work. I loved spending lots of time really transforming into a character that had so much depth!

Have you been on any course trips? If so, where have you been?

Yes! We went to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of King John. Such a good experience. We were also meant to have gone to Longleat Safari Park to support our Animal Studies, but unfortunately this was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is the community like in your school?

So caring and positive. I feel safe and proud to be a member of the acting department for the conservatoire! Everyone is so welcoming, respectful and motivational.

Are there any projects/trips/modules you are particularly looking forward to in your second year?

All of them, honestly! I have had such a great first year and cannot wait to start again! If I had to pick one I would say my singing classes, but only because I LOVE to sing!

Is studying at university much different to college/sixth form? If so/if not, why?

It is in the sense that you are responsible for the work you do. If you don’t do the work you won’t get a detention, but it is made clear that you are only sabotaging your own career. The workload is not much different and is manageable if you plan well!

What advice would you give to students who are starting university soon?

Be prepared. Do some reading around the course so you know what to expect. Try and find flatmates if you have any, it makes meeting them for the first time a whole lot easier. Be ready to give your all. For me, I found that I got so much more out of my first year when I was fully committed. Work hard, play hard!

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