I mentioned in my last post that I was lucky enough to have "A very important rundown with a very lovely MA Alumna". That lovely lady happens to be the brilliant Jessica Giannone.
Jessica (BOVTS MA '14 )is a friend from my summer at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2009 who has been instrumental in my journey to BOVTS every step of the way. Jessica is also an incredible talent (nominated for the Falstaff Award alongside Dame Judi Dench), theatre educator, master pie-maker, and star ambassador for the school in NYC - assisting with auditions and Alumni-relations in New York. She’s one hell of a gal and her LOVE for the BOVTS is contagious. You can find out more about what she is up to here: http://www.jessicagiannone.com
Here were her top tips for happiness and health as an International Master’s Student at BOVTS:
See as much theatre as you can! Local highlights are: The Bristol Old Vic, The Tobacco Factory, anything produced out of the school, and the nearby Theatre Royal of Bath… and then, obviously, get to London as often as possible.
Do as much theatre as you can! Be involved in every way the school will let you be. Usher for the Old Vic, audition for grad productions, play ukulele in the cabaret (even if you just learned it), sign up to assistant teach their young students when you can, get to know everyone- it’s a small community fully of deeply-caring people.
Enjoy your time in the beautiful city of Bristol: hit up the many wonderful museums, The Stable - for delicious pizza and a ridiculous cider spread, Grillstock for BBQ, Las Iguanas for a good time, and the pub with the lion by my flat.
Take National Express buses whenever you travel to and from London: they are nice, affordable, and actually leave from the station, as opposed to a random stop on the street.
Always carry cash for a cab.
Make sure to prioritize your health. Living abroad and the changes in climate and moisture, can really do a doozy on your system. Invest in a steamer, anti-mold spray (readily available in Bristol), vitamins, bring a netti pot, get sleep, take advantage of the NHS. Take care of yourself!
When the school gets crowded (after all the other students come back to start their terms), consider walking the ten minutes back to your peaceful flat for lunch instead of staying in the crowded student lounge.
Bring A LOT of plays/ monologues with you! You will probably be asked to prepare a new one almost every week for class. (p.s. I’m still looking for plays, please send recommendations!)
Definitely make sure a lot of them are American, but also grab some good British monologues and a BOVTS stamp of approval on your dialect in those pieces while you are there. *AUTHENTICITY COUNTS, PEOPLE*
Hit up Poundland, Primark, and mostly Wilko for all of your housing needs when you arrive! Try to buy as much as you can when you are there, rather than taking it with you.
Travel during Spring Break - cuz, duh!
Many other top-secret, brilliant tips and notes from her precious time there.
Thanks, Jessica, for these amazing tips and all of your support! It's an honor and delight to join be a part of the BOVTS family alongside you and so many other brilliant theatre makers!
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