Finding your passion at University: How university helped me embrace my individuality

Recent Drama and Performance graduate Remy tells us about her University journey:

I did not want to go to University: at all!

Throughout sixth form I felt ostracised and let down by my experience of the education system and wanted to get out as soon as I could. I even lost passion for the subject I loved; Drama, which made me even more confused and frustrated. Restricted, alienated and generally just super miserable, what was I going to do now?

After a range of unsuccessful University visits I happened to find myself at one of the University of Worcester’s Open Days: it was a light bulb moment for me. My Mom said she hadn’t seen me so happy or with so much drive for years. I had found the course and University for me and I didn’t see it coming at all.

I loved Drama, but I always felt that there was something missing. I was never fully satisfied in the work I did and couldn’t figure out why. In one of my first lectures at University my lecturer announced that there will be no acting in his module, and I was confused. This was a Drama course, right? But then I remembered this was a Drama AND performance course. I learnt that performing is not acting. Performing is a whole art in it’s own right, and something I engaged with better than traditional acting.

Kit Harrington meeting Drama and Performance students to discuss his work

Throughout University I was gaining more confidence and skills exploring so many amazing and unique forms of performance, from Puppetry and Mask performance to Dance techniques and Theatre and Sexuality. In my third year I did my Contemporary performance practices module and I inexplicably had another lightbulb moment.

I’d loved art but was no good at traditional painting or drawing. I loved unpicking hidden meaning in English literature but felt restricted not being able to do anything practical with my findings. I loved devising performances and unspoken work within Drama but was forced to do word heavy plays with big emphasis on characterisation. This module taught me that performance art was my both my craving and my calling. Why paint when I have a body for a canvas? Why preach a hidden meaning when you can show people to decipher themselves? Why preach when I can perform? Why act when I can create art?!

One of my performances

There was no stopping me now! The more into my work I got, the better I became. Through the support of lecturers I explored extreme forms of theatre. Having the ability to explore such unique forms of performance with the encouragement of lecturers made me feel accepted and motivated. That my unusual ideas were not only valid but amazing works of art.

University lead me to my passion and allowed me the space to explore and create freely to find it. What others saw as problems with me, University taught me were gifts. I wasn’t weird, I was unique and my bizarre ideas, perspectives and unusual ways of thinking made work that nobody else could have thought of. School taught me I needed to fit into a tight box. University taught me to tear down the box walls.

And as good old Shakespeare said ‘all the worlds a stage’ so what I learnt in theatre, I learnt in life; “Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary.” Uta Hagen.

My journey:

  • Loved drama but never felt I’d found my niche
  • Low, un-confident, lost, weird and that I didn’t belong – my ideas were too extreme etc
  • Worcester offered such a large array of modules to pick from, felt liberated and free – puppetry, physical theatre, contemporary performance practice, sexuality in performance
  • As soon as I did that contemporary performance practice module everything just clicked
  • The more into my work I got the better I got – support of lecturers and classmates, freedom to explore extreme forms of theatre with encouragement
  • Future connections with practising artists through the course allowed me to further pursue my goals
  • I learnt that what I thought were problems were actually gifts

Wherever you are right now, you can find people like you, who understand your dreams.