Student Story: Savraj Nijjer

Savraj (back row, 3rd from left) with his fellow students on the 4 Day Foundation.

We interviewed Savraj, a social housing housing tenancy officer, who recently attended our 5 Day Acting Foundation course.

Savraj signed up for the course in the hope of rediscovering his childhood passion for drama. He gives us an insight on what to expect for the course, how it lived up to his expectations, and how acting has been useful for him to develop his confidence.

I started acting at secondary school. At A Level my passion for acting grew as well as my ability developed taking on full-length plays. I also starred in a musical theatre play devised by all our creative arts teachers who developed the whole play from scratch. Following this I realised I wanted to do acting as a degree. However, with the pressure of my final year with exams approaching and applying for university I decided to do a more media related degree.

I graduated in Film Studies a few years ago. After working a few office jobs I found myself looking for a career that can fulfil my happiness, so I decided to revisit acting as it was my biggest passion growing up. As you do, I searched acting courses in London and came across City Academy. I decided to go with the 5 Day Foundation course as I favoured a course which was more intense and varied to see what I would prefer.

I feel revitalised on a personal level.

My impression of the course was how good it was for me: the word I have been using to describe it to my family and friends is that I feel ‘revitalised’ on a personal level. The course was more than I expected, the variation in classes is exactly what I was looking for. I also think the group were great, with such a range of ages and backgrounds, but also the willingness and enthusiasm from everybody with whatever was thrown at us. I felt we were challenged and taken out of our comfort zones which was great because that iss what make you improve.

I really enjoyed all of the workshops on the course, but if there was one class I found particularly inspiring was the Screen Acting course with Beru. I enjoyed it so much partly due to my own interests after graduating in Film Studies and my ambition to be a director. It was inspiring because it validated methods I knew already, but also taught me a great deal about being an on screen actor, and how things like facial expressions can say so much without dialogue. It gave me further confidence with my off-screen ability, as I observed Beru who is a professional in the field making short movies which is something I would like to do in the future.

I liked all the tutors on the course: they all brought something different to the table with their approach. I really enjoyed movement with Reyes which taught me about levels of tension in a scene and how to achieve them to portray the emotion of a character. I also enjoyed the singing with Elliot covering the importance of using your voice in any kind of performance and I was able to direct the Sweeney Todd song we learnt into a choreographed piece. Moreover, our final class with Jake doing improvisation was fantastic because we had to think on our feet which taught me a lot, especially as I would like to pursue acting and it was relevant to auditions. Additionally, Nadia and Scott for character development were brilliant because it was the most consistent class it reminded me of why I loved drama in the first place, focusing on how to develop a character.

The group were great, with such a range of ages and backgrounds, but also the willingness and enthusiasm from everybody with whatever was thrown at us.

I’ve found that doing acting in my spare time fits in well with my work life because it allows me to be more confident in my approach, especially in moments of adversity. As well as helping me when addressing big groups of colleagues, for example doing a presentation, confidence is definitely something acting gives people in their day-to-day lives. Confidence is key to a lot of aspects in life as doubt can often cause apprehension and not doing what you want to due to the fear of failing. I definitely learnt from the City Academy acting course to let go of the fear and embrace it.

I would definitely like to take acting more seriously, as I mentioned, the course revitalised me. It really helped further validate my passion for acting as well as my ambition to become a director and the course will have helped me, because when you are off screen you have engage well with actors to get your desired vision. I will now be taking necessary steps in my life to pursue a career in acting and film and make my dream reality.

Our 4 Day Acting Foundation course in London gives students the opportunity to develop a variety of acting skills over 4 full days, with specialist workshops in screen acting, movement and improvisation. Find out more about the 4 Day Acting Foundation course here.

To see our full range of acting courses for adults, click here.