Zaqi Ismail has recently completed his final year on our BA (Hons) Acting degree. Zaqi has signed with agency Shepherd Management, and will be appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer and on our screens in the Autumn in Dr. Who. We spoke to Zaqi about his time at the College.

Why did you choose to study at Rose Bruford College?
A lot of the choices I've been making with regards to furthering my career have been based off of how something makes me feel. How I felt when entering the college campus for the first time influenced my decision on coming here. The beautiful big grounds made it feel like a safe haven or bubble completely focussed to whichever courses people were on.

During the audition process, speaking to various tutors and students, the vibe and attitude of the place was very much to my liking, and I knew I would be hard pressed to find any other Drama School which felt as right.

What advice would you give for applicants preparing for auditions?
To be open to whatever is thrown at you in the room. And when looking where you should audition at, to consider any Drama School. I didn't know much about Rose Bruford before I auditioned, but now as I've finished, I can't imagine there would have been any other place as perfect for me.

What might your typical day entail?
During the first two years, I would generally be in college from around 9am to 7pm, in and out of classes catered to furthering our skills and craft. Once the third year comes around, our time is spent with meeting industry professionals, mock auditions, and of course final year show rehearsals and performances!

How has your training helped with your career progression?
It's given me a greater selection of tools and skills to draw upon and utilise when approaching any project. I've developed a better understanding of myself and the industry, and it's helped in clearing up the realities and the fantasies of being in this business. From early on we were taught that trying and failing was alright, as long as we viewed failing as a means of motivation to get back up and try another way to reach your objective.

How supportive has the college been throughout your course?
Extremely supportive, whether it's to do with my ability and skills, or anything that was personal. Especially in the third year, with regards to Agents and work. I had full support and encouragement.

What is student life like at Rose Bruford College?
Fast paced and exciting. You're constantly on your toes, there's no other experience quite like it. It's one place where work and fun are the same thing.

Have you had any particularly memorable experiences / what has been your favourite thing about studying here?
The extensive movement classes which would be a gruelling mix of yoga, boot camp style fitness and various physical theatre practices, whether that was mime, Lecoq, or just learning how to do flips and running on walls! The physically demanding nature of these lessons which were heavily featured in the first two years really kept you sharp and fit.

 Is there anything that you won't miss when you graduate?
Essays and the stapler constantly going missing!

What work have you got lined up after graduating?
I have a role in season 9 of Dr Who and will shortly be in Malaysia filming a small part in a Channel 4 show. After that I will be taking part in a new graduate company, Pangaean Productions, and taking our show 'This Language' to the Camden and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.

Describe Rose Bruford College in three words
Artistic. Demanding. Alternative. It's the Bohemian Drama School!



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