Hometown: East Kilbride, Scotland

Year of Course: 4

 

About You

Tell us a little about yourself such as your hobbies/interests that are related or not related to your course of study?

My weeks are often chaotic: I fill my free-time with as much activity as possible. I enjoy long walks around the old town and going to pubs with my friends. Many of my evenings are spent at the theatre. I’m a member of Creative Electric, a company for young artists to create contemporary pieces of theatre.

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?

The Drama and Performance course is unique in Scotland; no other university offers a course which provides such a broad knowledge of theatre. From the origins of theatre, the evolution of both British and Scottish theatre to contemporary performance techniques; the course offers a stable knowledge in several aspects both practical and theoretical. Lecturers know by first-hand experience how the industry works and thrive to push you in a professional manner. The broad range of modules teach performers, stage-managers, technical, directors and everything in between the skills necessary for their craft, by lecturers who have done exactly what you want to become and offer knowledge to help you advance in that field.

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

I’d like to say I didn’t choose Edinburgh, it choose me. It is such a beautiful city and I was so lucky to be given the opportunity to study here.

Living Away from Home

What are the top three items that you packed that you wouldn’t be without?

  1. My flat is covered in photographs with friends and family.
  2. My MacBook. It is my life, I couldn't go a day without it.
  3. My childhood cuddly toy. 'Dog' had to come! Everyone I know brought their favourite cuddly toy to Uni even if they say otherwise!

Life in Edinburgh

What’s the best experience you’ve had so far in Edinburgh? Are there any hidden ‘gems’ you’d like to share?

My favourite thing about living in Edinburgh is exploring. I live right in the heart of the old town and love going out on walks and peering down old closes and visiting old buildings. Edinburgh has such a rich history and it’s hard not to walk around in amazement at its beauty. One of my favourite places is Greyfriars Kirkyard - on a hot summer’s day, when the Meadows is packed, this is where I go to relax. It has a super view of the castle! It’s also fun to watch all the Harry Potter fans trying to find Tom Riddle’s grave.

"A highlight for me has been the artistic freedom that the course offers. Students are able to let themselves go and really be free when creating performance. I’ve spent days rolling around in fields, covered in glitter, learning how to fight on stage, dancing - you name it and I have probably done it on this course! I’ve met fellow students and now friends that I know I will work with outwith university, putting to practice the skills I have acquired."
James Miller

The Course

Did you attend an Open Day? If so was there any aspect of the University which made up your mind for you?

Yes, getting to meet the course lecturers made my mind up for me. They were able to answer all of my concerns and were extremely welcoming and friendly.

What’s been the highlight of the course so far? What have you learnt, or which particular activity has been the most interesting?

To pick a single highlight would be far too hard. A highlight for me has been the artistic freedom that the course offers. Students are able to let themselves go and really be free when creating performance. I’ve spent days rolling around in fields, covered in glitter, learning how to fight on stage, dancing, you name it and I have probably done it on this course! I’ve met fellow students and now friends that I know I will work with outwith university, putting to practice the skills I have acquired.

Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?

If you are unsure of what part of the theatre you want to be a part of, apply. Even if you are decided on becoming a performer or director, apply. I came to QMU solely as a performer and have since worked professionally as a production manager at a top Fringe production, I have performed at both the Fringe and other festivals, my arts journalism reviews have appeared on professional website… I’m still a performer, but now I have the transferable skills to go anywhere in the industry. The course has made me employable in an industry that is so difficult to get started in. If you have a passion for theatre and a determination to succeed then this course is for you.

Any future plans after graduation?

It's soon, so I better start thinking! My ambition is to continue creating theatre; Facepalm Theatre is a company we’re developing in a current module and it is my hope to continue making theatre with my friends as part of this company. I also have plans to take a solo performance to the Fringe on graduation and hopefully beyond.

Life as a Student at QMU

Are you a member of a QMU club or society? If so, what was the reason behind your choice and what do you enjoy most about it?

I was a member of Cobweb Theatre Company/Society and I was elected Vice-Chair of the society. Cobweb make theatre continually throughout the year and work in a professional context. When I first joined, everyone was very friendly and supportive of ideas and work. With Cobweb I’ve performed in two plays in Edinburgh, Fear and Misery and The Provoked Wife - each were a great success. Cobweb gives the chance for everyone, regardless of course or ability, to come together and make theatre.

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

Enjoy it! Make sure you have plenty of down time and relaxation time. Explore Edinburgh and more importantly, make sure you have a night or two in Hive. I’ve learnt that the best way to get through uni is to have time for yourself and friends amongst your studies.

 

Story published 2016-2017