Brantley Rogers

Year of graduation: 2014

Current Employer: Plymouth School of Creative Arts and Theatre Royal

Current Job Title: Drama Teacher and Practitioner

Current Location: Plymouth

“Studying at Plymouth changed my perspective of what theatre and performance could be... I now have the confidence to try things I wouldn’t have done before and the desire to keep developing my practice.”

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

Since completing my studies I have done a number of things. During my first year I was working as many as eight jobs at one time – including working as an assistant practitioner at the Theatre Royal and doing some freelance acting work with Symbiotic Theatre. After a year out I decided to complete my teacher training with the Devon Secondary Teacher Training Group. I continued working for the Theatre Royal alongside this. Upon completion of my teacher training I earned a part-time job as a drama teacher at Plymouth School of Creative Arts. This allowed time for me to do my masters, which I am currently studying at the University, in Performance Training. I have also been performing with my theatre company Blasted Fiction – we’ve performed at a number of fringe festivals around the South West.

Has your career path changed since graduation?

I never really had a clear idea of what I wanted to do when I finished my degree. I wanted to make my own work and I have been able to do that – although I would still like my practice to develop. I have had to work alongside this (currently in the education sector) to support my living costs as it is very difficult to earn a living as an artist.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

I struggle to say no to work, which means I am always busy. The biggest struggle has been juggling multiple jobs and ensuring that I still have time to do what I want to be doing.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

Performing at fringe festivals has been the most exciting and the most rewarding experience so far. I enjoy the risk of making new work and putting it in front of audiences. We’ve had some really positive responses to our work which is always really encouraging. We’ve also learned a lot about the work from putting it in front of audiences which has allowed it the opportunity to continue to grow. I have also really enjoyed the teaching aspect, helping people to develop their own skills set.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

I would have liked to have taken the opportunity to watch more theatre whilst I was studying. I think a lot can be learned from being exposed to lots of different types of theatre and it is something I did not do enough whilst I was studying on my undergraduate course.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Be bold. Take risks. Have fun.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Studying at Plymouth changed my perspective of what theatre and performance could be. When I started the course I was quite narrow-minded, whereas now I feel I am a lot more open. I now have the confidence to try things I wouldn’t have done before and the desire to keep developing my practice.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

I am not sure I could distil it down to one memory. I enjoyed the practical nature of the course most, but I am also grateful for the theoretical side of things as I feel it has encouraged me to be more considered in my approach to making work.

Do you stay in touch with other University alumni or lecturers?

I set up a company (Blasted Fiction) alongside fellow alumni. Whilst we haven’t made any work together in the last 12 months, we keep in touch. As I am studying for my masters I am also working alongside some former alumni who have also decided to come back to Plymouth to study. Throughout my time at Plymouth I have developed a strong relationship with my lecturers.  

Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University, and why?

Definitely. There are lots of positive things Theatre and Performance at Plymouth has to offer, ranging from the state of the art facilities to the level of support provided by staff. I for one am thoroughly glad that I chose Plymouth.

Dance, Theatre and Performance