Nineteen-year-old Anthony O’Neill first came to college to study Accountancy but something wasn’t quite adding up. After completing his HNC in Accountancy, Anthony decided to swap numbers for scripts and follow his true passion by enrolling on the NC Acting and Theatre Performance course at PASS. Anthony is the recipient of this year’s Karen Gillan Award for Performing Arts. We caught up with Anthony about his college experience:
- How do you feel about being recognised at Prize Giving?
I’m super happy and shocked. I’m still finding it hard to believe!
- What made you choose Edinburgh College for your studies?
I had already studied a course at Edinburgh College prior to beginning the Acting and Theatre Performance course so I knew it was a good place for me to learn. Plus, the Granton Campus is local to where I live and after discovering PASS online, it was a no brainer for me.
- What were you doing before starting at the college?
Right before I started acting, I studied Accountancy, I know – big change! Initially, after leaving high school I studied Engineering at Heriot Watt and quickly realised it wasn’t for me. I then decided to give Accountancy a try and this is when I studied an intense HNC January course at the college’s Sighthill Campus. After completing the HNC, I felt I was still lying to myself and realised I had to do something that I enjoyed doing. This is when I took the leap to completely change career path and begin my studies in the performing arts.
- What has been the best thing so far about studying at Edinburgh College? Any highlights?
Definitely meeting new people, learning new things about acting, voice, movement and having the opportunity to watch the shows in the PASS theatre.
- Have you faced any challenges, either before starting or during your studies? How did you overcome them?
Being new to this type of subject, I had quite a bit of self-doubt and felt a little anxious at times. I just had to constantly remind myself to let go, stop worrying about what others think and have belief in myself.
- If you could give one piece of advice to a student starting at the college now, what would it be?
Really throw yourself into everything because the more you put in the more you’ll get out. Be yourself and have fun with it.
- What are your plans for the future? Are you going on to further study after college or into employment? What is your end goal?
For now, I am going to continue my studies at PASS through the HND course but I have also considered the possibility of applying to a drama school later. After education, I hope to get straight in to working as an actor in as many theatre and screen productions as possible. I wouldn’t say there is a definite end goal for me but at some point in my life it would be cool to feature in a big film or TV series.
- Do you have any messages for the lecturers?
Just a huge thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here, teaching me so many great things and recognising my development over the year. I appreciate all the support that has been given and I look forward to continuing to progress and develop through my time at PASS. Most importantly, I’m in a happy place, I now know what I want to do and have you all to thank for that.
- Looking back, is there anything you would do differently?
Be on top of homework and not leave things until the last minute.
- What are you most proud of that you have achieved while studying at Edinburgh College?
This award has been a nice achievement but I am most proud of myself for sticking at it and always trying my best to learn more and improve.
- Describe your Edinburgh College experience in three words.
New. Creative. Inspiring.
- What does his lecturer say?
Anthony has shown great potential in his acting abilities this year, he is a committed student who is always on time, his work is of an excellent standard and he is grateful for the opportunity to learn. He is hungry to expand his knowledge and skills, and always committed to taking risks and pushing himself. He is a great team player and always the first to champion others in class by not only giving praise but constructive and supportive feedback, towards staff he is respectful, inquisitive and thankful for the opportunities he is given on the course and for believing in him.