Drama is a real degree, so stop saying it isn’t

Benedict Cumberbatch did it

| UPDATED acting actors drama east anglia les miserables norwich Theatre uea uni

My entire life I’ve received constant ribbing for doing the subject that I love. One particularly offensive comment was at a party, meeting a complete stranger and asking each other what we were going to study at university.

When I informed him, he instinctively said: “Ha, good luck getting a job”. I was slightly taken aback  I then discovered Law was his chosen subject and after proving in a very lawyer-like way why he was wrong, subsequently put him in his place.

You see one thing about doing Drama is that we’re very eloquent on our feet. We’re constantly put under pressure and told to improvise. So ask me to debate and I can go for hours – public speaking is not an issue.

How I feel when people slag us off

Most people think Drama is a pointless subject to study. When I asked my coursemates what they thought and whether they were offended, they were actually rather nonchalant – most people didn’t expect anything less. It’s annoying because Drama students are so worn down by constant negative comments they just become immune to them.

Squad goals

I suppose it means we have a thicker skin, but that comes with the nature of the subject. We’re constantly criticised in and outside the subject but you have to take it in on the chin and improve as a performer. Not go home, eat Ben and Jerry’s and cry about it – however much you may want to.

The Drama Studio becomes a second home and 13 hour days mean you might as well bring a mattress and move out of your accommodation. Natural light is something you become immune to, which works for me being redhead, but a pale complexion is common amongst us as we often never see the light of day.

Our days are exhausting

Work hard, play hard might as well be the motto of Drama, and boy do we play hard. Our social life is one of the best at UEA with the amount of drinking, parties and general dressing up (because of course we love costumes).

Whether we’re running from a show to an after-show party, a birthday night out or a general gathering, we are sociable people  and if you want to party with us, locate the Drama corner in the LCR and you’ll always find us there. It’s like people think we’re cliquey or something.

If you want to sit with us, you have to act like us, too. You’ve got to wear tracksuit bottoms (always be prepared to be flexible), carry cigarettes, or if you don’t smoke then carry a lighter and always be prepared to give compliments. Fabulous, darling.

We’re a close community and we stick together. Our course is highly competitive, and out of the 4,000 who apply to UEA each year only 50 get in. Most people I know didn’t have any interviews/auditions to get into uni, yet supposedly our degree is “easy”.

Not only was it the hardest A-Level I did, bearing in mind I did Politics, Economics and English Lit – I have learnt the most random nuggets of knowledge ever. From what bullet proof vests are made of to who invented the windscreen wiper, we’re brilliant in quizzes because we are constantly stimulated with new knowledge in different plays.

We are also very observant and never stop analysing voices, accents, mannerisms and general human behaviour – so watch out, we will eventually impersonate you.

Imagine if you got rid of Arts degrees. You’ve had a long day in labs, researching something mind-numbingly scientific. All you want to do is unwind but wait – you can’t watch a film because they don’t exist. You wanted something light on the brain so why not listen to music? Oh wait, again not available. Why not read a book and get lost in a story? Are you catching my drift? Whether or not you like us, you love our subject.

You love us really

Every subject has a purpose, every subject is relevant and in my opinion no subject is “pointless”. I don’t attempt to understand Science and I don’t expect any scientists to try and get their heads around Bertolt Brecht.

So stop slating Drama students because we’re studying what we want to do, just like you are. Difference is great, so you stick to your mathematical equations and I’ll stick to Les Mis.

End of rant, cue dramatic exit. Lights out.