Currently studying at college, Emily Schofield talks frankly about the fears she has as a young person going into the theatre industry and her plans for drama school.

Before joining London College of Performing Arts in September 2017, I didn’t have much experience to my name. I had been a member of a choir and had toured with them performing ensemble and solo songs, but in terms of actual theatre experience, I was restricted to school productions and professional shows that I’d been lucky enough to see.

Since joining, I’ve learnt so much about myself, both mentally and physically. I’ve seen myself exceed personal limits and found a joy within dance, which I was previously very afraid of. I’ve had the pleasure of doing a couple of public performances at the Santa Dash in 2017 and the Colour Run in 2018 – both at Danson Park. I was also given the opportunity to perform in front of the Mayor and Mayoress last year at a ceremony in the Civic Centre which was a huge honour for me. Aside from that I’ve also done college productions including a pantomime and an end of year summer showcase.

As far as the future and the industry itself is concerned, I know that I am still very naïve in terms of my experience and knowledge. I know too that if I were to step into the industry right now, I would not be ready for it at all. I want to learn as much as I possibly can and for now, education makes the most sense for me before trying to find professional work. I will keep the momentum I currently have going in college so that I can give myself the best possible chance once I’m working on my own. Honestly though, the thought of being out there on my own is terrifying!

I’m expecting a lot of rejection. It’s one thing I’ve heard repeatedly from guest tutors and teachers here at LCPA. You must be prepared for the “no’s” because they’re inevitable and a fundamental part of this industry. As much as I feel mentally equipped for it, I know rejection is still going to hit me hard and that this is something that I’ll never fully understand until I get there. I think this is true of a lot of things within the theatre industry. As much as colleges and training can prepare you, the best teaching you will get will be the things you learn yourself as you work. The theatre industry is constantly evolving and sometimes I forget that it is also a business which, at its core, focuses on money as much as the art. After all, it’s the only way of allowing it to be produced in the first place.

My expectations are that I’m going to struggle, initially. I think there will be tears and possibly a few times where I feel really defeated. However, nothing worth doing is ever going to be easy and the love and passion that I have for theatre will hopefully combat all of the stress and fear that comes from relentless auditions and rejections. It’s not going to be easy but it’s also not impossible and reminding myself that will be a key element in pushing myself to keep going.

If I were to ask someone who has been a professional for a long time any question it would be: how do you find the strength to perform on those days where your mind and heart just aren’t in it? How do you keep the battle going when it all feels too much?

Ultimately, LCPA has really helped me to grow into a performer and the support and knowledge I’ve gathered from here has been irreplaceable. The next big step is drama college on a degree-level course. I’ve got auditions coming up soon but thanks to the help I’ve had so far, I feel a lot more prepared to tackle them as confidently as I possibly can.