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My final major project

My Final Major Project

BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Film, TV and Stage) is full of production projects. You are supported by lecturers on each one. However the third year brings the big one - Independent Production (Cue the dramatic music).

 

Pitching

In order to put on your own production, you have to win the pitch – kind of like Dragon’s Den. You have the opportunity to pitch your idea to the group and try to get your classmates on board. Each person votes on the project that they would like to be involved in. The projects with the most votes get chosen to be produced. Simple.

I co-founded ,with a classmate, the idea of Pretty Prestige - a beauty salon set on the outskirts of London. The play was always going to be a comedy, showing the goings on as customers came and had their treatments done. We wanted to dive into life as a technician as well as clients; so settled on 3 technicians and 3 clients.

I came up with an idea for the plot - I wanted to explore issues surrounding women’s choice and infertility. We settled on this being the main storyline of the play, with other intertwining tales taking place within it.

7 performing arts students holding one another's hands in the air on stage following a performance

Now we had a general storyline and outline of the characters, it was time to put our presentation together. We had many zoom calls (thanks to COVID) where we created our pitch.

Our class ended up with one film production and one theatre show. And guess what that theatre show was? Pretty Prestige! I was so happy when our project was chosen, I reckon my family thought I had gone mad when I was jumping around the dining room.

 

Auditions

Next up, we needed a cast. Time for auditions. These were held over Zoom (of course). I wrote out audition pieces for each character and saw what individual people brought to the roles.

We had to think about who would be the best fit, and cast the show! This was such a weird moment as these characters I’d been picturing in my head where about to become real people.

 

Rehearsals

Right. So now we had a cast, a script and a director. Brilliant. Let’s get rehearsing!

But wait… the pandemic. Cases were rising and we were put into another lockdown. Let’s say, there were tears. (Mostly from me). But we made it work. Rehearsals became zoom calls. We created our characters from our own homes, connected by the internet. Apart from when the wifi malfunctioned, things were going pretty well.

After Easter, we were finally able to come back and rehearse in person. Pretty Prestige was on its feet and coming to life. It was definitely a surreal moment; seeing the script I’d spent countless hours on come to life before me.

Shannon study from home setup

We collaborated with the set design, audio, and film students. It all felt very professional; something I’m extremely grateful for. It was like working in the industry: collaborating with different departments and liaising how we wanted everything to look.

Bowing in Camden was amazing. I really felt like I’d achieved something big you know? And I know I didn’t climb Mount Everest or compete in the Olympics (though, that would be cool). But I really felt like I created something special.
Shannon Performing Arts (Film, TV and Stage) Graduate
A head and shoulders shot of a smiling Shannon, who studies Performing Arts at BNU
Show time

It was here. Show week was upon us. Time to eat a bag of tangfastics (essential energy supply), get that costume on and perform our little hearts out. I was so nervous. Who wouldn’t be? It was my first show. But my lecturers remand supportive. It was like having little cheerleaders cheering us on from the sidelines.

We performed 4 shows at BNU and one at the Etcetra Theatre in Camden. The shows went really well. Everyone loved the play and understood the story! Massive win.

Bowing in Camden was amazing. I really felt like I’d achieved something big you know? And I know I didn’t climb Mount Everest or compete in the Olympics (though, that would be cool). But I really felt like I created something special. Something that delivered serious issues and was funny while doing it. I’ll always feel grateful for this opportunity. Thanks, BNU - You’re pretty cool.

I have made a video documenting some of the process, you can watch this below!

 

 

That’s all from me. If you have any questions for me or any of the other Digital Ambassadors, you can chat to us here. I look forward to chatting with you!