The Position of Language

ART.ZIP: Do most of your students go to the industry after their graduation?

PB: Most of them. At the end of the year, by September, I would expect over half of them have an agent. The others may find agents later on and there are always those that won’t get agents but still get professional work. Our course is unique in the emphasis it gives to composing, writing, choreographing and playing instruments as well as singing, acting and dancing. That kind of adaptability sustains a career. A small number will decide that they are not going to do perform, they may do something connected to it, perhaps teaching, perhaps working on television in production, a lot of them work as directors, set up their own companies. Several alumni are now working as comedians, song-writers and composers. I won’t say those we take on that they would all end up professional performers, but I would say the majority do. It is also important to realise that people change their profession too; theatre is very unfair, for instance it is greedy for young people and men. There is little doubt it becomes harder as you get older, and tougher always for women.

ART.ZIP: 大部份學生畢業以後都會進入戲劇行業嗎?

PB: 大部份是的。每年九月,也就是學年結束的時候,大概一半的學生能找到自己的經紀人。其他學生畢業不久後也能找到經紀人,而那些沒有簽約的學生也能找到與專業相關的工作。我們的課程特別強調作曲、寫作、舞編、演奏樂器、唱歌、表演和舞蹈,這樣的能力足夠使他們找到一份很不錯的工作。一少部份學生不會選擇表演,但也會挑選與其相關的職業,例如教師、電視台監製、導演、或者成立自己的公司等等。相當一部分校友現在是喜劇演員、唱作人和作曲家。不是所有的學生都會成為專業演員,但其中很大一部份畢業生最後會成為專業演員。值得注意的是人們也會改變自己的職業方向;戲劇行業挺不公平的,譬如說總是喜歡年輕人,還有男性;當你變老的時候就更困難了,特別是女性。

ART.ZIP: How many students do you recruit every year? Do you have any students from China? What suggestions would you give to those who would like to apply for your course?

PB: We have about 20 students a year on my course. Currently we have one Chinese student from Shanghai, and we have had one or two most years I have been here. The really crucial thing for foreign students is that can they stand on stage, act in English and be understood by the audience. That may be a barrier. If someone has a wonderful voice but can’t be understood, there’s little we can do in one year. I lived and taught theatre for some years in Mexico and it was the same there, that we sent people away if their accent was too Brazilian, or they came from countries like Uruguay, which has a very different Spanish. If they could not be understood in Mexico, we couldn’t take them on. Pronunciation of the language is crucial: if it isn’t clear, the audience aren’t going to follow it. English is not an easy language to pronounce. As a composer and musician, that annoys me, so I did something about it I will discuss later.

: 你們每年都招多少學生呢?有來自中國的學生嗎?您會給想要申請這個課程的學生什麼建議呢?

ND7_5792PB: 我的課程每年招二十位學生,自從我來這裡任職以後每年都有一到兩位中國學生,最近就有一位來自上海的學生。對於外國學生來說最關鍵的是他們能否站在台上,用英語表演並讓台下的觀眾明白,這可能是一個難點。如果他有美妙的聲音但卻無法讓台下的觀眾明白,那麼我們很難在一年內使他有什麼明顯的改變。我曾經在墨西哥生活並從事教育,在那的情況也是一樣的,如果他們擁有濃重的巴西口音我們也不能要;或者他們來自烏拉圭這樣有自己獨特腔調的西班牙語國家,如果他們在墨西哥不能被理解,我們也不能選他。語言的準確發音是非常重要的:如果說得不清晰,觀眾就可能跟不上了。英語不是一種容易發音的語言。作為一位作曲家和音樂家,這讓我很苦惱,所以我做了一些舉措,等會我會談到。

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