Since finishing drama school in 1996, I soon discovered that graduates who take up teaching their craft find work opportunities are often sporadic and seasonal. That is to say, there are plenty of teaching gigs during school holidays or on weekends, but there’s not that many opportunities for full-time employment.
There are benefits to this situation of course, one being that you’re never tied down to one place and can take up any acting work that you’re lucky enough to score. However, I always wanted to teach full-time when not acting myself and I’m lucky that NYFA has a preference to employ industry professionals like me and indeed encourage and support all acting endeavors they choose to undertake. That’s because they’re aware that they’ll then bring those rich experiences and industry practices back to the school for the overall benefit of our students.
I’ve always remembered an interview that Kevin Spacey conducted for NYFA, whereby he re-counted a conversation he’d had with the late Jack Lemmon.
A wise and master exponent of his craft, he advised a young Mr. Spacey to remember where it all started for him and to never forget to ‘send the elevator’ of opportunity and learning back down to the next generation(s). That is how I now approach my life and job and I have NYFA to thank for allowing me to do that for our students every working day.