This year, Wimbledon welcomed our first ever BA Acting and Performance students to the college. Introduced alongside BA Contemporary Theatre and Performance, these new courses aimed to challenge conventional notions of actor training and develop performers who thrive on collaboration and who want to be highly experimental in their approach to performance making.
With the term in full swing, we spoke to student Karola Kosecka, who shared with us her experience of the course.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m an international first year student studying BA Acting and Performance at Wimbledon College of Arts.
Originally, I'm from Poland, which is where I would say my adventure with theatre started at around the age of 9 years old. Through attending a youth club, I joined an acting group where we started performing on stage and from there I just fell in love and discovered theatre was my passion.
How did you find out about Wimbledon College of Arts?
Initially I was thinking about applying for acting courses in Warsaw. At the same time one of my friends from Poland started studying a fashion course at UAL. When I came over to visit her, we got talking about theatre and I realised the teaching system in London suited me much better.
I decided to look for courses at UAL and found out they had recently started this new course, which seemed a perfect fit.
What made you choose the course at Wimbledon?
I had applied to a few acting courses elsewhere, but what attracted me to the BA Acting and Performance course at Wimbledon was that I got the impression the course was more experimental and expressive. Other universities I looked at placed more emphasis on traditional acting skills and techniques. Then I met course leader Richard Allen and if further confirmed my choice, as he spoke a lot about collaborative work in groups, which is my preferred learning style.
What has the course been like so far?
The first 2 weeks were very hard for me as it took a while getting used to the fact that my first language wasn’t other people’s first language. But then as I began to gain more confidence I really enjoyed getting to know all the other students on the course.
I’m really enjoying the movement classes and theatre laboratory days. We are always told there are no mistakes in the studio, which really creates a feeling of freedom to express yourself and challenge yourself to explore new ideas.
We have just started working on Faust, a tragic play by Goethe, and what I like about it is that we’re given the freedom to interpret the play and explore the themes in our own unique, different ways using movement.
What advice would you give to someone applying to the course?
When I was writing my personal statement, I spoke a lot about what acting means to me, how it inspires me and has shaped me as a person. I think colleges like Wimbledon want to learn more about you and how passionate you are in dedicating yourself to the craft, rather than just listing all the skills you’ve developed. So just be honest about who you are and what you want to become. Be true to your experiences and feelings and give examples of things that have inspired you.
If you could describe life at Wimbledon in 3 words, what would they be and why?
Liberating – I really feel I can be myself here and there are no boundaries to what I can achieve.
Inspiring – because I’m finally in an environment surrounded by likeminded people who share the same passion and goals. Everyone bounces off each other, it’s just a real collaborate community feel which is encouraging.
Explorative – we are given the freedom to talk about everything and everyone’s voices and perspectives are always heard.