The very first Summer Study Abroad – Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London scholarship placement was awarded to Drama student Roma Scarano. We caught up with Roma to find out how she secured her place and what her CSM experience was like.
What is your name and where do live/come from?
My name is Roma Scarano and I’m from the United States, specifically from southern New York.
What is your occupation?
I am currently a third year undergraduate studying Drama at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA).
What course did you study and why did you choose it?
The course I received a scholarship for and studied was Acting Shakespeare with Drama Centre London. For the scholarship I sent in a self-taped performance of a Juliet monologue from the play, Romeo and Juliet. I also submitted a 300 word personal statement explaining “what this scholarship means to me”.
I applied for the course because I am also training to receive my B.F.A. in Drama, at Carnegie Mellon University. The program is described as a “conservatory within a university setting”. Each class size is pretty small with 20 students, including myself, making up the third year class of both actors and musical theatre majors. We are the true definition of a family; no matter what, my class is an ensemble through thick and thin. The beauty of the conservatory program is that we learn so many techniques, styles of acting, and ways to approach our work that it is nearly impossible to find nothing to stash away into your “actor’s tool box”.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
I enjoyed re-visiting basic fundamentals with a new perspective and attitude surrounding my work as an actor. Having two years of training under my belt made it so much fun to go head-in with spontaneity during each exercise and class. I also loved getting to work with a whole new set of performers. It was so refreshing to see new faces and surround myself with artists from all over the world.
How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?
One lesson I learned from my Shakespeare teacher was that if you want to show vulnerability in your work, you need to live a vulnerable life. I’ve struggled with the idea of vulnerability because I am the type of person that pushes my feelings down and ignores them. However, this leads to one dimension characters and if you are an actor reading this, you know that being one-dimensional is one of the most painful things to watch as an audience member. It’s just not human. But since that moment, I’ve been following that advice and let me tell you, it’s definitely opened me up in both my professional and personal life.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking a short course at Central Saint Martins?
DO IT. Take that leap of faith and go with your gut.
What do you believe is integral to the work of an artist, in any discipline?
Always put a piece of yourself in every single piece of art. That’s what makes it unique and interesting, that’s what makes it truthful.
What 3 words best describe your short course experience at CSM?
Intensive. Expansive. AMAZING!