Performing Arts Personal Statement

Sample Performing Arts Personal Statement

Virtually everyone has a vivid memory of the first acting performance they saw that left them in awe and made them aware of the transformative power of performance. My own experience of this phenomenon came at an uncommonly early moment in my life when, as a four-year-old, I watched the Disney film ‘Pete’s Dragon’. It was Jim Dale’s performance as the comically villainous quack Dr Terminus that particularly captured my imagination. I remember being enraptured by the way he was able to simultaneously convey a sense of malice and yet also make me laugh. I determined there and then that I would one day also be an actor and mesmerise people in the same way that Dr Terminus had mesmerised me.

Of course, I am happy to say that both the range of dramatic performances that I appreciate and the breadth of roles I have played myself have gone far beyond over-the-top Disney villains. Since childhood my free time–and as much of my school time as possible–have revolved around either attending amateur and professional theatre performances or immersing myself in my own acting roles. From those early beginnings of Disney escapism my tastes have steadily evolved as I have been exposed to different genres and learnt the fundamentals of dramatic performances, to the point where it is the naturalistic Strindbergian drama and Stanislavskian performance that I am most strongly drawn to. To me there is nothing more compelling than an actor who can utterly persuade you of the reality of their situation and draw you into it.

I have embraced every opportunity to be on stage and participate in dramatic education and training in a bid to continually improve as an actor. Attending Saturday theatre classes at the Central School of Speech and Drama over the past two years has in particular helped to cultivate my acting skills and my motivation to improve further.The process of preparing for the LAMDA Bronze examination served to take my acting skills into undiscovered territories and nurtured my ability to fully immerse myself in a role. I have always believed that observing and truly understanding the dramatic text are essential methods for actors to improve, and preparing for the Marc Antony speech I performed in my examination by becoming thoroughly acquainted with Julius Caesar and attending an RSC performance of the play in Stratford were key factors in me being awarded a Distinction in the exam. That result has given me a sense of vigour as I prepare for the Silver and Gold examinations. I also plan to take the teaching qualification in the future.

The experience of creating my own productions and directing others has likewise aided me in understanding what makes a great acting performance. While studying GCSE Drama I was part of a group that devised a theatre piece that was based on the 2010 student protests; the process of seeking to understand the rage that underlay the demonstrations and harness it into a group acting performance was highly instructive. In AS Level Theatre Studies I wrote and directed a short film, for which I cast fellow students from one of my acting classes. I particularly enjoyed discussing the motivations of the various characters with the actors and motivating them to immerse themselves in their roles. I feel that I improved as an actor through the experience as much as the cast did.

Acting requires an appreciation of real life, and I have sought this out through my part-time job and through completing charity work. I used to volunteer at an RSPCA charity shop, which I enjoyed both because it was a pleasure to be involved with the charity’s cause and because it gave me the opportunity to get to know people from a wide range of backgrounds and appreciate a wide range of mannerisms, body language and speech intonations. Through working at a caf and catering company I have had additional opportunities to meet all sorts of different people, as well as learning how to work with other people and handle pressure.

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