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Performing Arts Personal Statement

Sample Performing Arts Personal Statement

In Shaffer’s seminal play “Equus”, the 17 year old protagonist Alan struggles with religion, sexuality and aggression and commits unspeakable acts in the play’s dramatic denouement. It was my experience playing this uniquely complex and controversial role in a school production that inspired me most to pursue an acting career. A character as extreme as Alan forced me to explore his every motivation to understand his personality: I lost myself in the process of imagining his past experiences to shape an authentic portrayal, and found the unpredictability and excitement of performance to be an experience unlike any other. This intense approach to dramatic craft has convinced me that studying Acting at a higher level would stretch me both as an actor and a person, in preparation for a future theatrical career.

I have actively participated in every drama opportunity at school, including assisting in the running of Drama clubs and promoting the subject at open days. I have taken lead roles in plays including Berkoff’s “The Trial”, for which I received outstanding performance grades, “Equus”, and “Crazy Capers”- a musical which demanded both singing and acting abilities. I have also gained outstanding performance grades in GCSE and AS level drama, and particularly enjoyed the Dramatic Improvisation unit which developed my skills in this discipline. have watched a number of plays on school trips and found observing the different approaches used in production intriguing: from the innovative puppetry of “War Horse” to the realism of “Black Watch”, modern theatre is constantly evolving new methods to tell stories. I researched the history and production of “Black Watch” and developed a real interest in theatrical depictions of war, and went on to create my own music video for the Black Eyed Peas’ “Where is the Love”, exploring the dramatic potential of war through performance. I also enjoyed the insight into acting for camera, and inspired 5 Media Studies students at my school to cast me as an actor in their music videos. I have also attended many acting workshops, including a vocalization and blocking masterclass at the Globe Theatre and Acting Techniques at Globe Hall; as well as a Steven Berkoff workshop which introduced me to physical theatre, which I am keen to study in more depth at university. I also hope to extend my knowledge of method acting through studying the techniques of Strasberg, who places particular emphasis on exploring a character’s past to inform a performance.

I have undertaken work experience at the Theatre Royal in the West End to learn about the backstage process, and found the unique insight into the unseen work of the theatre fascinating. Working at a music shop alongside my A-Levels has also allowed me to indulge my passion for music; having played the guitar for over 4 years, the chance to help others select instruments and maintain the stock has enjoyable, and I have developed my time management and confidence. I have always enjoyed extreme sports such as skiing and rock climbing, and have arranged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next year; this unique test of my personal capacities will serve me well in working both with others and independently towards my future goals.

I sometimes feel that I have grown up acting every day; during all my activities I am constantly absorbing the emotional and physical traits of other people and situations, and it is perhaps this which has made me so able to tap in to my own psyche to produce real emotions on stage. It is my future to perform, and I have already begun to gather a resource of skills and knowledge which will only be enhanced by further study and practise. The unique opportunities of an Acting degree will be instrumental in achieving my goals of performing around the world and I look forward to the unique challenges and rewards ahead.

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