Ed, you are currently in your 3rd year of training at Italia Conti on the BA (Hons) Acting Programme. How has your time been?
It’s been pretty incredible. Many highs and lows to be honest but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’ve made some amazing friends and worked with some brilliant people, the time has just flown by. I can remember my first day like it was last week! It’s been really hard work but worth every second of it.
How do you think the training has been beneficial to you now on the cusp of your career?
For me especially, the training has been invaluable. Before I came here, I had this idea in my head of what acting was. It turned out that I was quite wrong and it took the tutors quite a while to bash it out of me! It’s amazing to think what I’ve learnt over the past three years and how the training has shaped me into an actor. There are things that I’ve been taught here that before I came I had no idea where even essential tools for actors! I’ve been so lucky to have been taught by some of the best at Conti and the teachers here have always gone the extra mile to help ensure that we are prepared for what lies ahead in our careers. It’s been so great to know that I have teachers and friends here that are willing to help and offer guidance now as were starting to enter the industry. Having performed our showcase recently at the Duke of York’s theatre it was amazing to see how the individual elements of your training begin to pay off in performance.
You recently flew to Belgium to film for the BBC? What was that for and how was it?
It was a BBC period drama called ‘The White Queen’ set on the war of the roses between the Tudors and the House of Lancaster. It’s a ten part series that begins in May on BBC1. It was such an incredible experience. I was treated like royalty from start to finish and it was a great insight into how working on a film set goes. There is only so much your training can prepare you for and the rest is actually getting out into the industry and working professionally. It was quite literally like a Hollywood film set; meeting famous actors that I’d watched on the TV was very daunting, but I think I just about managed to keep my cool and engage a certain degree of professionalism! But as far as a learning experience went it was fantastic, and it taught me a lot about myself and the ability I have to work under pressure which I was never aware of before.
What has been your most embarrassing and what has been your best moment over the 3 years?
My best moment over the past three years was definitely finding out I’d got the BBC job. We were all together as a year filming our film project. I found out I’d got down to the last two and had been waiting for two weeks before the call came through. Everyone went ballistic and there was a considerable amount of crying (mainly from me) which just shows how strong a friendship group our year has formed over the past three years. Everybody was so supportive and I’ll never forget that. The most embarrassing moment is definitely a charmer. I was reading a scene with Sophia Nicholson in a sight reading class when I all of a sudden sneezed abruptly. I didn’t think anything of it until Sophia started crying with laughter. I soon realized that snot was dangling all down my face and top. Delightful…..
What advice would you have for anyone auditioning at or starting at drama school in September this year?
If you’re auditioning this year my advice would be to keep at it and draw everything you can from each experience. Audition practice is invaluable and you will very quickly learn from each one building you’re confidence each time. If you don’t make it in that year then don’t give up. Keep trying, it will happen eventually. If you’re just beginning school then my advice would be to 100% lap up every piece of the training; no matter how ridiculous it may seem. I think one of the most important things I have learnt at drama school is that it’s quite often the small parts of you’re training that you don’t regard as being that important which can make all the difference in moulding yourself into a professional actor. That, and never mess with a stage manager, you WILL lose!
What shows do you have left to do at Italia Conti?
I’ve got one more show left before graduating. It’s ‘A Small Family Business’ by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by the wonderful Kate Williams. It will be performed around the end of June time.
What’s your plan upon graduating?
Well I signed with my agent back in December, so the plan upon graduating is to build upon my early success. I’m just going to keep on auditioning and meeting casting directors in the hope that I can land another job. That and catching up on a lot of sleep I’ve been deprived of over the last three years!
Read more about The White Queen here:
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