Want to know what life is like at ICTheatre? Well, look no further. In this series I’ll be speaking to different Training Professionals at ICTheatre to discuss their experience of being a part of the #ICTheatreMovement. Up next, we have first year TP Maisie Wild, who is studying Contemporary Musical Theatre at our Manchester Campus.
“Hi! I’m Maisie, and I’m on the Musical Theatre pathway at ICTheatre Manchester. A fun fact about me is that I’ve been on a TV show on Channel 5.” Straight off the bat, Maisie is leaving me in suspense… I want to know what the show was Maisie!
Maisie is one of our first cohort of Musical Theatre students at our Manchester campus – a very exciting title to hold. ICTheatre is still a relatively new school in our industry – the first course was launched in Brighton in 2017, and our Manchester campus joined the crew in 2020 with our new course pathways, by the sounds of things, it’s going pretty well over there (When am I booking that work trip to Manchester…).
“Life at ICTheatre has been amazing; it’s such a welcoming and lovely environment, where everyone is so supportive and it’s like one big family! Life has been crazy since starting, and maybe not exactly what we’d imagined – but what can you do when there’s a global pandemic going on?”
Due to our current climate (I’m not going to say the dreaded word) Maisie’s year group has had to start with much of their learning happening virtually – not the ideal way to start drama school. But thankfully as things have transitioned back to normal Maisie and her fellow Training Professionals have been able to get back into the studios, and take part in the training that they were dreaming of.
Much like Brighton, Manchester is an incredibly creative and fun city, with so much going on for young performers and students alike.
“Training in Manchester has been amazing because it’s a lovely city and such a diverse place to train. There are so many amazing places to go out, and The Dancehouse building where we train is right at the heart of it”
“Plus, in Manchester, there’s always something to do. If you’re looking for an open dance class, you’ll find one. Somewhere new to eat? There’ll be somewhere. A park to chill in in-between lessons? There’s so many, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Not only does it provide us with an excellent place to train, but also an incredible city to explore and grow in.”
Living in a new city always comes with its challenges, and this was no different for Maisie. It’s important to learn about your new environment as quickly as possible. “Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go. It’s such a busy city you never know what could get in your way for being somewhere on time – and punctuality is very important in our industry”
Maisie chose to commute into Manchester this year, which of course brought other issues. “I’ve found commuting to Manchester quite difficult this year, as singing lessons have to take place on zoom. Having to get the train in and out of the city has been tricky at times, but the teachers are so amazing for accommodating this. Fingers crossed things will go back to ‘normal’ soon.”
Practical issues aside, Maisie has had a great first year at ICTheatre, and we’re so excited to see what she and her classmates will achieve next.
“I’ve learnt so much this year about myself as a performer, more than I can count! One of my main takeaways is to just go for things – if something goes wrong, so what? We’re here to make mistakes and everyone is in the same boat, so the more you immerse yourself, the more you’ll take out of it.”
“I think my ICTheatre highlight is meeting everyone at the school and making friends that I will genuinely keep for life. I had such an amazing college experience that I didn’t think I would find friends like it again, but the people I have met at ICTheatre have well and truly proven me wrong.”
Connections like this are so important within our industry – not only for networking once you’re out there, but also to have people in the same boat as you to understand what you’re going through. The performing arts industry is a tough one to crack, but good friends who know the drill will be valuable in keeping you happy (and helping you with those self-tapes).
It’s important to recognise your struggles while you’re training, as these can sometimes be your biggest lessons that you take into the industry. I asked Maisie what her biggest struggle has been through her training so far. “I struggle with trying to not be a perfectionist;”
“at ICTheatre they urge you to make mistakes because that’s how you learn and grow as a performer.”
“I’ve struggled with that a lot, as I try to do things perfectly all the time. But nothing is perfect straight away, and amazing things can come from your ‘mistakes’, so it’s better to embrace them!”
To round off, I asked Maisie about her future at ICTheatre.
“I’m so looking forward to my next two years of training, and I already wish we could have more years here.”
“I’m excited to make more industry connections with the amazing professionals they bring in, and to further my training in all three disciplines. My advice for future training professionals would be to just go for it; don’t worry about comparing yourself to others, or what people are thinking of you, as they’re probably focused on their own worries and think you’re smashing it anyway. Take every opportunity you get to put yourself out there into the industry, because you never know where it could lead.”
Great advice from our lovely Maisie there – I can’t wait to visit her and her classmates in the future (once we’re allowed to travel you know).
Has hearing about Maisie’s experience of being a Training Professional inspired you to grab hold of your dreams and study a course at ICTheatre? If the answer is yes, head HERE to find out more about the #ICTheatreMovement in Manchester.
Author: Charley Morgan, ICTheatre Graduate 2020