I’m going to drama school

Straight to the point: at the end of October I’m going to be starting an almost-full-time acting course at LISPA. Woo! Yay! Eek! Scary! Blimey! etc.

To be honest, it was a rather hurried decision and I’m the first to admit I should probably know a bit more about the place and its methods (based on the teachings of Jacques Lecoq) at this stage, but it does feel like the right decision, which is a relief after too long of wondering what to do next. I thought about doing the Access course at the City Lit, which follows on from the Foundation course I’ve just finished, but while a year ago that seemed a distant and desirable goal, it no longer inspires me at all unfortunately. I felt obliged to audition for it, rather than wanting to. Another option would be to do some separate classes at the City Lit or elsewhere and maybe even try to do something, you know, put on a show or something.

Then I heard about LISPA and, because I’ve been enjoying the Mask and Commedia dell’Arte classes so much, its emphasis on physical theatre, and creating work from scratch, sounded appealing. I also realised that the theatre I like most is more physical and, hmm, “unreal,” for want of a more precise word, than some people standing round a sofa talking. Stuff like The Black Rider or Shockheaded Peter or what little I know about Complicite’s work. LISPA might lead me in that kind of direction. (Conversely, I like films to involve as much standing around talking as possible.)

So I applied just before spaces were filled, and I’m in, no auditions required; after the first term they let a percentage of people go, like some fame-less thespian reality show, as a way of winnowing the chaff. Equally, if I hate it, I’ll only have spent one term’s worth of fees and can leave.

So, then, in a few months I’ll be a Drama Student most of the week, which will be very strange. Hell, it’ll be strange not to be at a computer all day every day, never mind what I’ll be doing. My bare minimum expectation is that I can stop my head thinking about websites all the time. I need to be creative in some different way, one that involves more than tapping my fingers and staring into a screen, wrestling CSS and assembling PHP. I can’t wait, and can’t imagine what it’ll do to me. All good, I hope.

Which isn’t to say I’m stopping all this web stuff. I hope to squeeze in as much work as possible between now and the end of October, and fit in some work after classes (being a student layabout, I’ll be finishing at 3.30), and yet more work in the holidays. So do get in touch, before I run away with the circus.


  • Wow!! You’ve certainly got cajones as they say here. Well done, sir!!

  • Good luck with it! I’ve enjoyed reading about your acting classes - I haven’t done any since A-level but used to enjoy Physical Theatre techniques too.

  • Wooah Dude!
    I just hit your site cos I was looking for some pics of BM 2001, and saw this post.. Nice one!
    I look forward to hearing about it when you get going.

    Big love and respect for being so fabulously authentic, good for you

  • Hi Phil,

    I’ve just been researching Lispa prospectives and graduates and your website came up on a google search. I’m a first year Lispian as well, in the afternoon class. I’ll most probably meet you on Monday when we all get together! See you then!


  • Hi Phil,

    I’m thinking of coming to LISPA in a couple of years time, but am terrified of ending up commuting hundreds of miles across London to get to LISPA in the mornings. Is there any local accommodation that you know of, or organisations it may be good to contact re sharing with others at LISPA?


  • Hi Dominique,

    If commuting during rush hour is the biggest problem, one option would be to do the afternoon/evening option — the current first year is split into two groups, one meeting from about 8.30-3.00, the other from 3.00-10.00 (roughly, sometimes less time). I don’t know if they’re continuing this in the future though.

    But if you do want to move closer then maybe contact LISPA and see if they can recommend any landlords/ladies. They also have an online forum which everyone who’s got onto the course has access to, so I think a lot of future students found each other, and accomodation, through that during the summer before starting.

    Hope that helps,