Matt Burgiss

Alex Hughes

Performing Arts graduate

When did you graduate and what degree did you complete?

I graduated in 2014 with a Ba (Hons) Performing Arts.

Tell us about your current role - what does it entail?

Since Graduating from CCCU I have won representation with a London based agent and work as a professional Actor/Singer in Theatre (musical theatre and drama) and TV/Film. As a performer you are self-employed and so have to be very strict with yourself, it’s up to you (and your agent) to find work and secure it in a series of audition processes. Once you have been offered a contract for a specific role it is up to you to deliver what is asked of you by your director, producer and company manager on a regular basis. It’s a performer’s responsibility to ensure they maintain a good level of skill in their craft by always training by themselves when they are not in work. It is also key to keep physically fit as some jobs can be very physically demanding.

What excites you most about your work?

Every day is different, you can be working on a small scale three man tour one day and a week later be on a TV set working around hundreds of others. This job keeps you thinking on your feet and for me personally always makes me want to strive to be the best I can be. Acting provides great opportunities to meet new people and share ideas and techniques. Finally, but most importantly, the most exciting thing about performing is the adrenaline rush you get when you walk out on the stage every night to perform. This is a feeling I have never been able to replicate elsewhere.

What advice would you give students trying to get into your profession?

  • Always be prepared
  • Strive to be the best you can be
  • Get a good agent if you can
  • Be careful who you trust (whilst this can be a fun, exciting industry, it can also be a back stabbing one!)
  • Self-belief is the most important thing you can have (you will go to auditions every day and be rejected, but you have to remember it wasn't because a lack of talent, you obviously weren't right for the part)
  • Be humble (you can be in a west end show one day and unemployed the next)
  • Never give up!
  • And finally when you start getting work... Get a good accountant!

In what ways did studying at CCCU prepare you for your current role?

Studying at CCCU was a fantastic experience, it taught me about all aspects of theatre and performing arts which gave me a respect for every job role. I furthered my practical training with industry professionals, who guided me towards becoming the performer I have grown into since leaving. CCCU gave me lots of opportunities to express myself creatively and qualified people were always there to give advice when I needed it. I feel that CCCU gave me a good insight into what working in the industry was like so I didn't feel blind when I started working in it myself.

Do you have a favourite memory of your time at CCCU?

I suppose a big highlight and proud moment for me was walking out on stage for the first time as the lead role in Zombie Prom which was the end of year show. This was a great feeling and because I was only in my first year it pushed me throughout my studies to work hard so I could hopefully win myself another opportunity like that. I have fond memories of everyone at CCCU. Not only did I make friends for life but I had the chance to work with some fantastic lecturers who helped me in every way they could, something that I will always be thankful for.


Connect with us

Last edited: 13/12/2018 18:34:00