Choosing the right drama school can be a tough choice, especially when there are so many options to consider and you don’t know where to start your research. Sometimes a way to get an idea of a school’s success is by looking at their alumni – but that doesn’t always work with a school as new as ICTheatre! So I’ve come to help you out a little bit with our new ‘Meet the Alumni’ series! In each post, I’ll introduce you to one of our ICTheatre Alumni, and give you an insight into their life post-graduation. Because surely the best way to judge a school is by learning about its graduates? And believe me, this bunch are pretty special, although maybe I’m biased (I am one of them after all).
First up on the list, we have 2020 Graduate Becca Bindang, who is a part of ICTheatre’s first-ever cohort as a school. She is 22 years old, an actor-musician as well as a singer-songwriter, and she’s half English, half Malaysian – she actually moved from Malaysia to study in Brighton. An important fact about Becca? “I’m vegetarian, and I’m very passionate about our planet and the climate”. Excellent qualities to have as a human being, and also big inspirations in Becca’s life and work.
Life for Becca recently has been good and busy – she’s been working lots of odd jobs to make sure she can keep on top of her bills, but she’s also made sure to stay focused on her songwriting alongside these things. Especially while in lockdown – with not much else to do but write, she made sure to use her time wisely with her creative projects, while trying to focus on a future outside of lockdown (the dreaded word). I asked how she’s found life post-graduation, pandemic aside.
“It hasn’t been teeming with opportunities, because for a long time there weren’t any, but we’re all in the same boat. For me, it’s been good to focus on myself and what I can create by myself without relying on someone else to provide the work.”
“We recently had an intensive week with ICTheatre, and our teacher Thomasina asked if we felt we’d lost our sparks in lockdown. And many of us said yes, which of course is hard. But we have to remember that even in real life, we wouldn’t have jumped straight into work, so we would need to learn to deal with these feelings anyway.”
Alongside acting, Becca is a very proficient Singer-Songwriter, and this is something she has been focusing a lot of her energy on during the past year. She’s had multiple projects on the go, including her personal music creation, composing for one of the Third Year plays at ICTheatre, as well as a musical project with her housemate and fellow graduate Jess Debenham. She also loves to do a crossword, and makes excellent sourdough –
“we all need non-creative hobbies to relax!”
When it comes to music production, Becca works in many different genres – she may have a performing arts degree, but musical theatre isn’t her only strength! And we can see evidence of this in her work as a music artist, as on 4th June, BINDANG is releasing their first single ‘Selfish’ to all streaming platforms.
Wanting to create a name for herself separate from her theatre career, Becca chose the artist name BINDANG to release her music under, and after all her hard work in lockdown, she is ready to bring one of her singles to the world. The song was inspired by her relationship with her sisters, and how due to massive time differences and a busy schedule, she wasn’t able to keep up with them as well as she wanted.
She wanted them to know that ‘of course I love you and I’m still here for you, but make sure you take the time to focus and care for yourself because I won’t always be around to help you’. She described the song as a “wholesome, summery bop”, very catchy and perfect for those summer evenings (spoiler alert – I’ve heard it, it’s definitely a bop). Fancy a listen? Look no further, the link to pre-save the song is here.
Songwriting is a skill Becca has been developing for years, both before and during her time at ICTheatre.
“Songwriting for me is a free-for-all. There is no set process because songs always come to me in different ways, whether that be with a starting melody, or lyrics that I like, or a stimulus that I want to write about.”
“I just have to go with the flow – and although sometimes I can leave songs for YEARS, I always come back to them eventually” I asked if she had any main inspirations for her songwriting, and her answer was “everything!” (That’s not a real answer Becca come on) “I do genuinely love all sorts of music; I have a very vast taste in what I listen to and what I groove to, and that feeds into my music. So sure, Selfish is an Indie Pop summer bop, but you can find Latin influences in the percussion, and the guitar is very acoustic in style. But in the future, I might release more Soul and R&B style songs as they’re also a big part of my taste, or a big old ballad that will make you weep. I don’t want to be constrained by a genre, I want to keep developing and exploring and seeing where it takes me”
So a talented performer, composer AND music artist? That’s a new kind of triple threat that I’m terrified of. We rounded off our interview by talking about the highs and lows of Becca’s 3 years at ICTheatre. Her favourite part of her time studying was the incredible support system ICTheatre creates around its students.
“With the support of the tutors and admin, we were all one big family. Of course we had our ups and downs, but we worked through them together, and that support made the entire process easier. I know if we all got together tomorrow, it would be like we never left and we’d all slot right back into place”.
Becca’s biggest hurdle to overcome was the amount of work put into finding yourself as an artist. “Our first year was all about being broken down to find who we are – what we are, what our purpose is, what are we trying to say? It’s some of the most important work to do at drama school, but also some of the hardest – and I’m still learning now. You don’t leave drama school perfect and ready to go – you leave equipped with the tools you need to go out and keep growing and learning. This way you will always be working towards your best self”.
And lastly, what was Becca’s advice for surviving drama school?
“Be kind to everyone, be kind to yourself – just be kind. If you need to rest, let yourself rest.”
“You’ll have a great support system around you at drama school, but you need to learn to look after number one because at the end of the day you can only rely on yourself. Not only that, but the energy you give out is the energy you give back. So if you’re being rude to people, they’re not going to smother you in kindness in return. Everyone is going through it, so cut each other some slack and BE KIND. And lastly, don’t forget who you’re at drama school for – yourself. Do what you need to do, don’t compare yourself to others, and focus on your own journey. Only you can do you, and that’s the best way to get there.”
Becca’s single Selfish is out on 4th June 2021, and will be available to stream everywhere – just search BINDANG on your streaming device! You can also follow Becca on Instagram @beccabindang.
Think Becca’s get up and go attitude has inspired you to study at ICTheatre? Head over to our Courses page to find out more and join the #ICTheatreMovement