Former Rotherham College learner Laura Judge studied Performing Arts Level 3: Musical Theatre. She has since built an impressive career as an actress – with numerous roles in theatre, film and television – as well as teaching drama for a casting agency and launching her own theatre and education company, Double Take Theatre in Education.
Reflecting on the Performing Arts course and the skills she learnt, Laura said:
“Performing arts is a brilliant skill to have. It helps with communication, interviews, and your general demeanour and confidence.
“I learnt all the basics like voice projection, stage presence and stagecraft from my time at Rotherham College, as well as a good attitude and how to work in a team. It was impressed onto us that everyone, from the leading lady right down to an ensemble player, was a cog in a well-oiled machine – and all of us were equally important.
Laura Judge, Level 3 in Performing Arts
“Rotherham College has great teaching staff and links with industry. You can learn your craft in a safe, local environment without travelling far from home.”
“The thing I enjoyed most about my course was the practical work and being taught by really inspirational tutors. Rotherham College has great links with the industry and I got great tuition and help and advice in preparing for auditions.
“I think it’s great that Rotherham has got the College and they have such high calibre staff and tuition and great links with the industry. People can actually come and learn their craft whilst still living at home and in a very safe, comfortable and local environment.
Laura says the variety within acting is something that keeps her drawn to the industry.
She added: “I absolutely adore the industry I work in; I love the fact that you’ll have a job and for a few months that’s your family – and then you’ll move on and meet some more people and do a different job and play a different character. You meet the best, funny, warm, lovely people and intelligent, insightful directors and actors. You can go from having a huge over-played part in a pantomime to a smaller part in a film or television series.”
Although Laura admits the industry is competitive, she says there are lots of different opportunities out there.
She said: “You can go into plays, working on cruise ships or even teaching. There are challenges and you have to be resilient. My advice would be: don’t turn anything down because things that you might not think would benefit you often end up leading to something fantastic. I started out doing student films and they weren’t paid, but I turned them into a showreel, which I was able to use as I went on to get more work. I would also say get out there and network, have a great attitude and never ever leave a job on a bad note – be nice! In this business everyone knows each other and you never know who you’re going to end up working with next.
“It’s a cliché to say believe in yourself, but it’s the most important advice I can offer; you are as good as anyone else – if not even better. All you might be lacking is the confidence. If you believe in yourself and think ‘I’m going to give it my absolute best shot’, the chances are you’ll succeed.”