We caught up with former Swish student, Arthur Janes who had just completed his first term on a 3 year Musical Theatre Degree Course at Bird College of Performing Arts. (Artie’s last performance at Swish was in Shrek where he played the Donkey!)

It’s been your first term of full time drama school – what’s been the hardest part for you and why?
The hardest part is the adjustment from dancing and performing as a hobby on the weekends to a 8am-7pm day of back to back classes, 5 days a week. It’s a challenge but each class varies and so it’s very enjoyable and so rewarding when you reach Friday!

What does a typical day look like?
Most days start at 8:30 and won’t finish until 6:45, with classes in ballet, tap, contemporary, commercial as well as acting through song, singing/ musical theatre technique and individual singing lessons. There’s no designated breaks as such, so it’s mainly a sandwich in the 15/20 minutes, however some days you’ll have a free period to rest and eat etc. But I find the days go quickly because it’s fast paced and I’m enjoying each and every class.

Did you feel prepared once you started or was it a huge shock to the system?
I felt quite prepared because I had spoken to friends who had trained both at Bird and other colleges before starting. My expectations were high and I was set on making sure I gave everything my all, and so far it’s been great!

Is there any advice that you would give to Swish students about to audition?
I know everyone says it, but genuinely just to be yourself and forget about everyone else around you. The auditions I was more successful in were the ones I cared less about comparing myself to everyone else auditioning and actually focused on myself, making sure the audition panel saw who I was as a person and what my strengths were.

Have you studied any shows that you didn’t know of before and now love?
Godspell! For some reason I just hadn’t come across it before but the music in Godspell is something else!