When I became Head of Acting at a drama school, I discovered some of the students were arriving late so I decided to take action. I gathered the student body together and said, “From tomorrow I shall lock the door at 9am exactly every day. If you are late you will have to go home again.” That caused a bit of discussion.
The next morning, I did as I said I would and closed and locked the door at 9am. Sure enough about 3 minutes later there was a knock at the door and there stood a student. “Sorry, “he said and I noticed he had the look of someone who was expecting me to open the door. But I wasn’t. There followed a discussion in which he informed me that it was irresponsible of me to deprive him of his education, that travel in London was unpredictable, that he couldn’t help being late and so on. I heard him out and then I told him I was not changing my mind about the new rule and he would have to go home. I relocked the door. He was never late again.
About a year later I was contacted by a casting agent looking for a particular type of actor for a play. This student fitted the bill so I put him forward. To cut a long story short he got the part and as a result of that he got a TV film which led to another and then he made several films. He had been so successful he had left the drama school early. A few years later he called me up one evening and said, “You taught me a valuable lesson when you closed that door. I was very angry with you at the time but I came to realise that you were right, I should be on time because it’s not about me it’s about the team and being late disrespects everyone.”
I’ve always thought timekeeping is important so I try to start exactly on time. It may seem a trivial thing but if you are a team player you need the rest of the team to know that you are ready to roll. It shows that you care about what you do and that’s a skill for life.
If you are keen to find out how Theatretrain can transform your life then visit www.theatretrain.co.uk. For 28 years Theatretrain performing arts schools have been teaching children skills in acting, singing and dancing but as you can see from the above we also teach essential life skills. Theatretrain is currently offering all young people between the ages of 6 – 18 years to join our online community of young performers and take our online classes for FREE.