A first meeting with the freshers this afternoon and a chance for us to set out our stall for the coming year. I really enjoy this first session it always takes me back to my first day as an undergraduate looking round at the others in the room and realising that they were going to play a very importnat part in the next few years of my life.
Drama is, in some ways, an odd subject at University. It doesn't sit easily in the academic world and yet every year thousands of school leavers apply to take up a place. The crucial difference I guess between our discipline and the more traditional curriculum is that students are so reliant on each other to achieve. Of course the quality of debate in seminars is important, but few other subjects actually rely on teamwork. It's helpful to be in a good cohort.
Each year group has it's own personality, but the key early on is to create a positive culture based on punctuality, investment and hard work. Pride in the work comes soon after, but only if these intial building blocks are put in place. We really believe the best thing to do is to start work and learn quickly to enjoy the surprise of surpassing your own expectation.
We've no idea how these new students will fare. Looking out at the auditorium of faces it's impossible to know what's out there. The future director of the National? An Oscar winning actor? Award winning playwrights? Groundbreaking designers? Theatre Managers? Agents? Administrators? Fund Raisers? Producers? Critics? It's day one. Everything is possible.