Actor, voice-over artist and BBC continuity announcer 

Scott Hoatson is an actor, voice-over artist and continuity announcer with the BBC.  

He's best known for playing Private Euan ‘Rocket’ Armstrong in the BBC TV comedy drama 'Bluestone 42'.

Scott graduated from Queen Margaret University College in 2006 with a BA Acting with Distinction. 

What sparked your interest in performing arts?

Like plenty of performers I know, the signs were there from a young age. I always enjoyed entertaining people; I loved to make people laugh. But, it was playing the role of the Artful Dodger in a primary school production of 'Oliver!' that really lit the fire. 

I attended Edinburgh Acting School in the evenings, and performed in their shows at the Edinburgh Fringe.

I was also involved with Forth Children’s Theatre and the Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association as a youngster.  

Why did you choose to study at QMUC?

When I was looking to study acting the perceived wisdom was that I should head to London and I did audition for some of the London drama schools. But, I realised that I wanted to stay in Scotland and remain connected to its thriving arts scene. 

I was drawn to QMUC during the audition process. The tutors and students who I met were so interesting and enthusiastic about their specialisms and QMUC. It made my eventual decision very easy.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

Definitely performing in student productions in our final year. Rehearsing and opening shows that were directed by revered visiting directors, and the stage being built, lit and stage managed by our contemporaries across all the different theatrical courses in our year was thrilling.

"The most significant thing I learnt was that the art of performing, no matter what, is a team game."

What are your most memorable experiences of being a QMUC student?

We were exposed to lots of different acting techniques, which helped us find what would work for us as individual performers. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the Animal Work class in second year!  

Tell us more about your career path since leaving QMUC.

In my final year, the National Theatre of Scotland was offering one-year contracts to four young actors, and I was delighted to be cast as one of that four. I started working with the NTS a few months before my degree course finished, but QMUC and NTS made arrangements so I could complete my studies. It was a fantastic way to begin my professional career. I worked on so many shows and met some of the most exciting people in Scottish theatre at that time. Since then, I've been fortunate to have played a variety of different roles on theatre, TV, film and radio.

One of my favourite jobs, and a career highlight so far, was being cast as a series regular in the BBC Three army comedy, 'Bluestone 42'.  I played the hapless squadie Rocket. It was a great comedy role in a super show. The show ran for three years and I loved every minute. It was more like a theatrical company than a screen shoot. The cast and crew fostered close bonds. We were together for the first read through in London to the wrap parties months later in South Africa, where the series was filmed.  I’m good friends with many people who worked on the show. 

Tell us more about what you’re currently working on. 

At the moment, I’m playing Harry Potter in the stage production of 'Potted Potter, The Unauthorised Harry Potter Experience', which is being performed in venues in USA and Australia. 

When I’m back in the UK, and if I'm not acting on stage or screen, I work as a continuity announcer for BBC One and BBC Two for broadcasts across the whole of the UK. I transmit live at the start, end and in between programmes for the channels. It involves writing my own scripts and heading into the broadcast booth to voice the programmes as they are televised. Being live means we can be flexible with changes to programmes, timings and sensitive to events and respond in the moment should something unexpected occur.

"There’s literally a big red button I push to speak to the whole country, I try very hard not to hit that at the wrong time!"

What advice would you give to students and new graduates starting out?

Discover what you really like. Watch different theatre, TV shows and films, and listen to the radio and podcasts.

Stay open-minded to roles you might not initially jump at. However, it’s okay to say no to a project if it’s not right for you.     

"Keep your skills sharp, especially in the down time. So, when that self tape or audition comes through, you’re ready to hit the ground running."

Have a go at creating your own work.

Avoid the temptation to compare your career trajectory to your contemporaries. Everyone has a different journey. The ups and the downs. The big jobs and the small ones come to people at different times.  

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