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I have always had a very keen interest in acting so after graduating from UCD with a degree in Economics and Psychology I began my research into what acting courses there are on offer in Ireland. After speaking to both family who are involved in the industry and friends who are currently acting students in many different colleges and schools, it was obvious the Gaiety School of Acting has such a prestigious reputation for a very good reason.

Following this I began my research into which of all of the courses the Gaiety had to offer would suit me the most. I had some previous experience and involvement in acting and felt that the Gaiety part-time Advanced Performance year in acting was the perfect match. After an interview and an audition I was delighted to receive and accept an offer of a position in the 2013/2014 class.

We began with a class involving every student in the year; this was a great way to get to know people before being split into two separate groups. We were then allocated our teacher; however, as there are three semesters in the year we would be swapping the teachers for the middle semester. This has proved to be a great opportunity to learn as much possible from two teachers with two different but equally excellent styles. I have loved the experience of obtaining the experience of both teachers and trying to find what different aspects of their individual style works best for me.

During the first semester we got to know each other very well and learn to work together, trying scripts in as many different ways as possible. This was a very interesting task as it really opened my eyes to just how many different ways one small piece of script could be performed. Following this we began our preparation for our first showcase. This showcase consisted of duologues from work completed pre-1900. Once again we were encouraged to experiment with the pieces, rehearsing them in as many different ways as possible to find how and when it felt most natural and comfortable.

Along with this, just working with such old and amazing texts was very educational and challenging, whether it was discussing exactly what Shakespeare meant in a passage of writing or, in the case of the duologue I had to preform, rehearsing a Greek play with an audience of the rest of the class and the teacher who also were involved.

While preparing for our first show case night I was lucky enough to get involved with a small theatre company called The Ofegus Theatre Company who were putting on a show in the Smock Alley Theatre. With the skills as an actor I had acquired so far in the Gaiety School of Acting I earned myself a small role in the play together with being given the job as stage manager. This show ran twice a day for 6 days over the Halloween period. Within that time I felt I learned a huge amount of skills from the wonderful actors involved, gained some vital experience and most of all some invaluable stage time which I felt helped massively with my preparation for the show case night by getting more comfortable with live performance.

The show case night was a great success and very well organised by the school. It was held in the Black Box Theatre which is in the Gaiety School. We all performed our well-rehearsed duologues in front of both groups of students and the teachers.

During our Christmas break, with the skills and confidence I had gained as an actor from the Gaiety School, I was anxious to get involved in anything and everything I could, even if I was just helping and watching. I was delighted to be given a bigger role in a show the Ofegus Theatre Company was putting on in The Mill Theatre. Using the skills I had acquired in the first semester I was now much more comfortable performing. When we returned for our second semester we had swapped teachers. Initially I was somewhat apprehensive about this but very quickly realised that this is an absolutely great idea and allows the students to benefit from the experience of two very different but equally excellent teachers. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far in the Gaiety School of Acting and feel that I am very lucky to have been given the opportunity to be involved with them.

Ian Harding, Advanced Performance Year

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The Advanced Performance course is aimed at those students who are committed to further enhancing their skills as a performer. The course maintains a strong emphasis on performance and the presentation of work while focusing on the individual students’ strengths and weaknesses.

We are delighted to announce our first official Open Day for Full Time and Part Time courses on March 22nd from 10.30am to 2.30pm at our premises on Essex Street West in Temple Bar. Find out more here.

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