Lucky Performing Arts and Drama & Theatre Studies students at USP College had the privilege of attending a series of virtual workshops with star of film and TV, Daniel Mays, giving them the opportunity to gain a real insight into the world of acting.
Daniel, originally from Essex himself, has been credited in a long list of well-known productions including Line of Duty, White Lines, Des and Code 404, amongst many other film, theatre and TV credits.
The actor joined students from our Seevic and Palmer’s campuses remotely to talk about the effect the Covid-19 pandemic had had on the industry over the past year and to take part in a Q&A session, answering questions about how he memorises his lines, the highlight of his career, the best piece of advice he was ever given, among others.
Daniel gave the students a wealth of insights into acting, which he described as a ridiculously rewarding career with the highs incredibly high. He also gave an open and honest insight into the rejection faced in the industry, urging the young performers to be resilient and not to take rejection personally.
Performing Arts student Sasha Van Reenen, 19, from Canvey Island said:
“It was definitely inspiring and he knows how hard acting can be. The talk was very beneficial for my future and for everyone there. I learnt that it’s important to be down-to-earth and very resilient.”
Performing Arts student Billy Saunders, 18, from Benfleet said:
“I also liked how down-to-earth he was and he gave us some great advice. He told us about jobs that he didn’t get that he thought he would and jobs that he did get that he thought he wouldn’t. He taught me to keep my head high and to keep moving forward.”
Performing Arts students Daniel Locke-Thompson, 18, from Southend, James Loughran, 17, from Westcliff, Stephanie Larking, 18, from Southend and Drama student Emma Wybrow, 17, from Wickford, also had the opportunity to perform a monologue for Daniel and receive feedback on their performance. Students have been unable to perform to an audience as they would normally do as part of their course due to Covid-19 restrictions, so the opportunity to perform, and to be able to perform to an industry professional, was an amazing experience for the students.
Talking about the experience Emma said:
“Today’s workshop was a great experience and it allowed me to learn more about acting and the industry. Daniel Mays was incredible to speak to and offered valuable knowledge about acting and I really enjoyed hearing about his experiences working on film and television sets as well as on stage. He also gave out a lot of great advice about acting and the industry, about resilience and perseverance, which I found really helpful and inspiring. The highlight of the workshop was being able to perform a monologue in front of him and receiving feedback from him, as it was an amazing opportunity to learn more acting skills/tips from an industry professional.”
Principal and CEO, Dan Pearson, said “It was a truly inspirational event led by the very talented Daniel Mays, informing and inspiring our students on how to successfully navigate the rocky road of Performing Arts. Our students found Daniel very likeable and down to earth being a fellow Essex resident”.
Daniel’s virtual visit was part of USP College’s Student CPD Programme, where industry experts are regularly invited to deliver workshops to inspire students towards exciting and rewarding careers. He has also agreed to join the College’s Sector Board for Creative Arts, which provides strategic direction to ensure curricular and extra-curricular learning remains up-to-date with sector developments.