Drama & Theatre Studies alumnus Kristian Lawrence is proof that sometimes you have to think outside the box to get your foot on the career ladder.
Having studied the art of performance at Hope, combined with English Literature, Kristian decided to take a creative approach to job hunting, and is now Media Director at MATE Productions.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
When I left university, I was at a loss for what I was going to do with my life and bounced between part time jobs I wasn't invested in, and was always looking for something closer to acting or film-making. One of the patterns I noticed with pretty much all of these filmmaking companies was that they’re all same; the same buzz-words on their sites, the same cut and paste montage on their show reel. Determined, I set about starting my own independent filmmaking company - irregulargalaxy.co.uk - with zero budget, but striving to make my own mark with originality, genuine passion and honesty. I applied for an audition with MATE Productions to be in an upcoming touring production of Shakespeare's The Tempest, to my surprise they cast me. In passing I mentioned my company, showed them the promo I had made for it, and shortly after they took me on as Media Director for them. The thing I enjoy most about my job is simply the fact that I get to do what I've always wanted to do; act, make films and be creative.
What does your role involve?
As well as acting with the company as a performer, as Media Director, my role sees me creating promotional films and short documentaries to capture the fantastic work that MATE does both onstage and within the community. Among other things, I also liaise with representatives within the creative community to ensure that word of upcoming productions gets around.
How did your course and what you learnt, help you in your role?
What I got out of my time at Hope was more personal, my tutors were so passionate and invested in what they taught and that passion was infectious. I feel like my time at Hope improved me as a person, helped build my confidence to express myself through words and actions, introduced me to concepts I'd never considered, and allowed me the freedom to develop as an individual down the avenues I choose.
What advice would you have for current students preparing for their careers?
If you're not having much luck applying for jobs out in the big wide world, make your own! Look up The Prince's Trust online and get enrolled onto their enterprise course, it's completely free, the information they give you is priceless and the support they offer is outstanding. It's never too late, take chances and don't settle for the sake of an easy life.