Former Performing Arts student Beth Taylor has been offered a place at ArtsEd to study Musical Theatre Foundation. We caught up with Beth to find out more about her time at Henley and what she did next.
What did you study at The Henley College?
Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Performing Arts
What attracted you to study at The Henley College?
Henley was the only course in the area that offered what I wanted to do. I travelled from Bucks into the neighbouring county every day, which was great because it was a countryside drive. The college campus was beautiful and the full range of year round acting shows & musicals was great. I loved that the performing arts department had its own building & the life experience/knowledge the tutors had really helped in preparation for the future.
What did you enjoy most about life as a student at Henley?
I enjoyed being in Henley altogether. It’s a lovely town that is a happy place to take your lunch in. In Winter, it’s very Christmassy with various concerts & shows that the students both run & attend. Then when we turn to Summer and the year winds down the events at both campuses make the most of the good weather & wrap up the year nicely.
What did you enjoy most about studying Performing Arts?
With my course we got to meet a lot of different people. From having professional dancers/companies come in and work with us, to having vocal training from industry professionals. Not only did I enjoy meeting these people and learning new skills, but the contacts I made helped me when I left college and pushed me forwards into the work I wanted to be doing.
How did you feel the College supported you with your studies and on a personal level?
The college was always ready to help with everything. Particularly when it came to leaving college, and running our UCAS applications of to universities. We could get help setting everything up, as well as help making sure we did everything possible to get into our top choices.
What is your best memory of your time at the College?
My best memory at college was the first year musical, which at the time was Grease! After months of learning the routines & getting the songs right it became the Christmas show. The costumes were great, and it was so exciting seeing the show pull together from small things such as getting the set painted, to bigger things such as the car we had on stage for Grease Lightning.
Do you feel The Henley College helped you to positively work towards your future goals?
The college gave me tools and contacts that helped me massively in the industry I went into. Without the people I knew through college I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What did you do when you left The Henley College?
In my final year at college I applied to go to drama school, however didn’t get in. After that I was sure I would never get in, but eager to still work in the industry I moved to London and emailed every theatre I knew of asking if they needed any help with anything at all. Eventually I landed a job waiting at The Vaults, in Waterloo. Here I made tones of friends, but also made some great contacts for things like small roles in immersive shows. I continued working at The Vaults, where I progressed to work as a Maître-d and duty manager. Moving up through the job roles also put me in line for some small cameos, and to date I’ve been in a handful of Vaults shows as things such as the murderous maître-d and Genie puppet. Through all of this I got a different job working at Cirque le Soir in SoHo as a walk-about performer. This taught me so much, and again helped me meet new and exciting people. I also learnt new skills, which I found important in making yourself stand out. These skills have led me to work for circus groups, and events where they require aerialists. After taking a year out I decided I wanted to do a costume degree, so applied and got accepted into UAL for the Costume for Performance degree. I started this in the September, and decided that I’d made the wrong decision and I wanted to try to pursue the musical theatre pathway one more time. I left that course, and re-applied the following September to go to drama school. After auditioning for a lot of different schools I received two offers on Musical Theatre Foundation courses and eventually settled on going to ArtsEd.
What’s your advice to students either starting college this Autumn or to those who’ve just left?
Don’t be afraid to take time out before you move schools. When I was at college I couldn’t have imagined taking one year out, and I ended up taking two! It turned out to be the best decision I could’ve made, and made me a much more rounded individual with valuable life experience. Not only did it help me get into the school I wanted to, but it will continue to help me when I eventually leave school and return to the industry as I already have knowledge on how it works and how to get the work.
Find out more about studying Performing Arts with us here.
It's not too late to apply to study at the College from September. Apply now here.