Hello! How was your Christmas? I hope Santa brought you everything you wanted and that you stuffed your faces and had a great break! (In any order).
In this blog post I thought it’d be a good idea to tell you about the sort of things I get up to in a typical week studying Writing, Directing and Performance here at York, since most of you will be coming for interviews in the Department! I’ll also tell you a bit more about the course itself, and my experience of it so far.
I have quite a few contact hours in a week, and factoring in the extra reading and rehearsals for practical assessments, I’m studying for over 20 hours a week, not to mention all the extracurricular stuff I do! My week is generally made up of practical workshops, seminars and lectures, all of which form the bulk of how you’re taught. In between all of this, I fit in going to the library to make sure I’ve read any additional reading that will inform upcoming sessions, and get on with any work I’ve been set too.
Unlike quite a few other courses, the WDP one here doesn’t give you a lot of choice. It does exactly what it says on the tin, and in your second term of first year, you’ll be learning all about acting, directing and scriptwriting, as well as dramaturgy. Once you’ve learnt about these skills, you’ll most likely have decided what you want to develop further throughout the rest of the degree in the various other modules. There isn’t a ‘menu’ style choice of options; you only get to choose a couple of optional modules throughout, which I think is pretty handy, since it focuses your attention and develops your skills in a more specific way. There aren’t any optional modules in first year, since it’s mainly geared to teaching you the necessary skills you’ll need throughout the rest of the degree.
First year was definitely useful in that respect. Coming from A Levels to university study definitely felt like a bit of a jump, especially since it’s more independent. It took me some time to get used to it, but once you’re used to it then it feels great, and you’ll realise just how rubbish school was compared to this bit of your education! And besides, you’re not completely on your own; you have an academic supervisor who, where possible, is matched to your interests, and you meet them at least once a term to discuss your goals, aspirations and anything else you want to mention. If you’re stuck with an idea for an essay or want advice on anything, you can just drop them an email and pop to their office for a chat at any point in the term.
Aside from actually studying, there’s loads of stuff within the Department to get involved in, no matter what course you’re on. The Department deliberately houses three different courses, that can intertwine with one another, for that very reason. There are always theatre productions to be getting involved in, with tons of roles up for grabs; so whether you want to act, direct or stage manage, design the lighting or try your hand at press and publicity, there’s something for everyone. In addition to this, there are always some Film and Television Production students who want actors and people to collaborate with on their assessed and extracurricular projects. The two societies in TFTV (Platform is the theatre one and Film Lab is the film/TV one) are open to all three courses in the Department, so there is always something for you to get involved in. Let’s not forget the annual summer productions that the Department hosts! Directed by members of staff that work with you on a full scale production, they’re some of the highest quality work that the Department produces. Last year’s production was Demons, which I briefly mentioned in my first blog here, and it was incredibly fun. To get an idea of how it all worked, I’ll let you have a read over it on the production’s website: http://demonsyork.com/
There’s also loads of other student societies to get involved in, and they can be a welcome break from all of the studying you get up to.
I hope this post has given you a brief insight into what it’s like to study in the Department of TFTV here at York. As always, if there’s any questions or comments then feel free to pop one down below! In the next set of blogs, I’ll be focusing on what it’s like to generally live here in York, including the nightlife and city, so stay tuned and keep your eyes out for it!
See you in the next post!