Life as a Full Time Acting Student at Acting Coach Scotland with Alastair Duncan

FULL TIME ACTING STUDENT DIARY: ALASTAIR DUNCAN

After week two I thought I’d already got my money’s worth from this course. I was so very wrong.  

The last three weeks has been a rollercoaster, ups and downs like an Alton Towers hellride. And I’ve loved every minute. The bar has continuously been raised and I’m happy to say we have all grown with it. The Coaches in our various classes have pushed and encouraged us to improve with very helpful feedback and inspiration in every class. After each day, I am shattered but elated, almost perceptively feeling the skill develop as we continue to push forward. I feel my mind opening and my curiosity piqued daily, unfortunately I still need to sleep.

The practical approach I believe is what I respond best to, that combined with the inner game classes makes things very easy to break down and set goals that can help me develop my skills. If the last three weeks has taught me anything, it is that this is a skill and it can be learned. Talent? You can send that to the moon as far as I care, this is real. I see the whole student body get comfortable and deepen their understanding of this craft. I hear in depth conversations over lunch about technique, playwrights, knowledge of the trade, dreams, how we’re planning to complete our homework, tips and tricks flying between each of us and it brings a smile to my face that we already see each other as contemporaries and peers. And it was about time someone brought a deck of cards, best addition to the common room yet.  We are learning the various building blocks to foster success in this industry, it is inspiring to see us share this knowledge between us, and it will be incredible to see how this inspiring group of people I have the privilege of working with, put these parts together. I feel that I learn as much from them as I do from our coaches.

And that is a beautiful part to ACS. It teaches autonomy of acting. We are not puppets, we are curious wonderful wee human beings. I believe one of the best quotes for me from Mark is “It’s ok not to know, its unforgivable to not want to know”. That certainly struck a chord with me and is one I shall carry with me into the future. It is in that simple twelve word sentence that you find the essence, we are being taught to be our own coaches. To fix things for ourselves. To chase answers. Quite honestly that is refreshing, and I feel it is something almost every educational facility could do with instilling in its students, likely its faculty too. I don’t want to give too much away, but this has been empowering beyond belief. It breaks my heart when I realise that this is only for one year. The worst part of my day is clocking out to go home. Must ask Coach about bunkbeds.

Oh and coming from rural Scotland… I LOVE the smell of no bullshit in the morning…

Smells like victory.

Alastair Duncan

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