Get into creativity without leaving your day job

Andrea Simpson

Jake Brown is chasing his dreams. NIDA has several opportunities for creatives of any age to explore their potential, including NIDA Open Studios. Applications to audition for these intensive part-time courses is now open.
Get into creativity without leaving your day job

NIDA Open Studios: a chance to explore live and screen work; image supplied

Jake Brown has a successful career as a town planner but has always had a deep passion for the performing arts.  

‘After working full time, I thought to myself, “Is this the rest of my life? Sitting at a desk?"’ Brown told ArtsHub.

‘So I decided I would get back into something I really enjoyed. I went to NIDA Open, and did their Ensemble Course first, and now I’m currently finishing off the Open Studios course.’

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Because Brown’s career path had veered far away from the world of theatre, he was at first unsure which course to take up.

Having studied the information available on NIDA’s website, Brown took advantage of NIDA’s many entry points and auditioned for the Ensemble Course.

‘The Ensemble Course was great – it was my first foray in getting back into acting,’ he said.

‘Then I saw the Open Studios course, which was provided on the Saturdays – it was such a good opportunity to do something I really enjoyed.’

Brown admitted he felt nervous when he auditioned for Open Studios, but since beginning the course his confidence has grown.

‘The year has gone super quick, I haven’t lost anything from giving over one day of my weekend,’ he said. ‘NIDA really teaches you how to be a good creative practitioner and shows you the potential of your skills.’

Tips to ace your audition or interview

Entry into this exciting course is through an audition or interview, with places available for the Actors Studio; Screen Actors Studio; Advanced Actors Studio; Musical Theatre Studio; Directors Studio: Stage and Screen Performance, and Writers Studio: Stage and Screen Performance.

Brown advised future students to think positively when it comes to auditioning for the Open Studios.

‘Be prepared – that’s important,’ he said. ‘Make sure you know what you are going to do. But once you are in that room forget about your nerves. Be part of that room – make that room feel like a positive space.’

Brown added: ‘Your positive attitude will shine through and whoever is judging your audition will notice.’

Brown also revealed that the teachers judging the auditions will often direct the actor.

 ‘My first audition wasn’t great – and then they gave me some pointers to do it differently. And when I did it the second time, I thought “That feels more real.” I felt I was doing a good job and connecting with the audience,’ Brown said.

NIDA Open Studios: a chance to explore live and screen work; image supplied

Running over six months or 12 months, NIDA Open Studios provide a chance for passionate individuals to explore their potential in acting and screen acting, directing, musical theatre or writing.

Available in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, Open Studios are not limited by age and are offered as intensive part-time courses. Creatives aged 15 years and over are encouraged to audition, as are full time workers.

Classes are run over consecutive weekends in order to allow for people’s busy lifestyles.

A Young Actors Studio is also offered for budding actors aged 15-18.

Learn more about NIDA’s Open Studios’ audition dates and locations

 Audition and interview application information is available on each course page. Visit open.nida.edu.au/adults+youth+studios to find the right course for you.

About the author

Andrea Simpson is ArtsHub's Feature Writer and Reviews Editor. Andrea is a Filipino-Australian writer with a love for diverse Australian stories. She is curious about all forms of art, though she has an especially keen interest in the publishing sector.

Andrea has had short stories published in various anthologies, and is currently working on her first novel.  

You can follow Andrea on Instagram @andi_jayyy