The Position of Language

ART.ZIP: Do you have collaboration with the professions of the industry?

PB: At RCSSD we have directors, musical directors, designers, choreographers, and singers, others coming to work with us all the way through the year. Many of them may be professionals I have worked with outside the school, others are new to me. The reason why we get professionals to work with us is that is how the students learn what is required outside. Last year one of my students was chosen to be a lead in ‘The Commitments’, the musical which is at the West End now. So we constantly try to find ways to make the profession see the good standards our students can have. Many of our students go direct from the course directly into good work in the profession like this. But I have to say it is a hard and very competitive industry. A thick skin and determination are sometimes as important as ability.

ART.ZIP: 你們的課程有和業內人士合作的機會嗎?

PB: 在我們學校全年都會有和導演、音樂總監、設計師、編舞、歌手,還有其他專業人士合作的機會。當中有許多都曾經在學校以外和我合作過,但也有很多沒合作過的。我們與業內人士合作的原因是為了讓學生們知道業內需要的是什麼、標準是什麼。去年我的一個學生被選上成為《承諾(The Commitments)》的主演,這部音樂劇現在正在西區上演。我們都會竭盡全力讓業內人士看到我們的學生都具有很高的水準。我們這裡很多學生畢業以後都直接入行,但我不得不說這是一個競爭非常激烈的行業,一點都不容易。有時候厚臉皮、堅韌的意志和能力一樣重要。


ART.ZIP: How do you recruit your students? What kind of students are you looking for?

IMG_6536_01PB: Very good question. It’s really important. Firstly, at undergraduate level, the student can come straight from school, obviously, but at postgraduate level when I teach them, they usually come from a university course. Usually applicants finish a degree, often in theatre or music or dance, but sometimes it’s not a degree like that at all. We get quite a few people from theology or from law or other apparently unrelated subjects. Typically their parents said ‘go and get a proper degree’, but afterwards they say ‘I’ve got my degree, it’s boring, and I want to do something I love, now.’ So then they audition here. They probably spent all their time at university in student performances, so they know how to be on the stage, they know how to act and dance, play instruments, compose, choreograph and even produce shows. They see this one-year course of MA Music Theatre as their chance to see if they can make it to the profession.

ART.ZIP: 你們是如何挑選學生的呢?或者說你們在找什麼樣的學生呢?

PB: 這是一個好問題,因為這個很重要。首先,在本科階段,學生可以從中學畢業后直接申請。但在碩士階段,他們通常要先完成一個大學課程之後再來申請,通常他們已經修完一個戲劇、音樂或者舞蹈表演的學位,但有時候他們的本科課程可能與戲劇和表演一點都不相關。我們有不少學生以前是讀神學、法律甚至是其他一些毫不相關的學科。典型的一類學生是父母要求他們完成一個“正當”的學位,但當完成學業以後,他們就會跟父母說,“我已經拿到學位了,實在很無趣,現在我必須做些我愛做的。”然後他們就來參加我們的面試。他們很可能在大學花了相當多的時間在學生表演上,所以他們知道如何在舞台上表演、跳舞、演奏樂器、作曲、編舞還有劇場製作。他們把這一年的音樂劇場碩士課程看成一個機會,看看自己是否能夠進入這個行業。


ART.ZIP: So they don’t need a relevant degree?

PB: They must have experience. The relevant degree is not so important; it’s experience in performance that really matters. I think experience comes in different ways. In the first year I was here, there was a girl in our audition, she never had a singing lesson in her life, and she couldn’t read music at all. But she has been singing in a gospel choir from the age of three, so she knew all about singing. Because she sang in front of big crowds all the time, and she had a voice of massive size, it was an enormous voice. She could act, because her instincts were learned through regular performance. Her first job was in a musical at the National Theatre. It’s extraordinary and it confirmed to me that to do a music theatre degree you don’t need to read music, you need experience more. Perhaps music should be more about listening than reading, too? Certainly acting is about listening. Anyway, we have many students perhaps from music conservatoires alongside those who cannot read, and they learn from each other the benefits of both. So what our intensive year offers is an experience as deep and as intense as we can make it, backed up by self-analysis and intensive guidance into intellectual, emotional and physical skills. Fitness is crucial. We also help out students to survive beyond the year with us, to be adaptable and to sustain a career throughout a life.

ART.ZIP: 所以申請人不需要相關的學歷?

PB: 相關的學歷不是最重要的,最重要的是表演經驗,他們需要有相關的經驗。我覺得經驗是可以通過不同途徑獲取的。我剛到這裡任教的時候,有一個女孩參加面試,她從來沒有接受過任何歌唱訓練,她也完全不懂聲樂,但是她從三歲開始就在一個福音合唱團唱歌,她知道如何歌唱,因為她一直在一大群人面前歌唱,所以她的聲音很宏厚響亮,她也會表演,她都是在往常的表演裡自學而成的。她第一份工作就是英國國家劇院的一個音樂劇,這很不尋常,但這更堅定了我的想法,修讀音樂劇場學位,你並不需要會讀譜,你更需要的是經驗。或許因為音樂是用來聽的,而不是用來讀的。不管怎麼說,我們很多學生來自公立音樂學校,也有那些連譜都不會的學生,他們都能互相學習,都能有所裨益。所以在這麼短短一年學習裡,我們會給學生提供在強度和深度上都儘量豐富的體驗,還有在智力上、情感上和肢體技巧上的自我分析和高密度的引導支持。學生畢業以後我們還會幫助他們,讓他們日後能夠找到不錯的工作。

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