City Lit Blog

Inside The Actors Training Company: Q&A with Jermaine Auguste

Story added 24th Jul 2017

City Lit student Jermaine Auguste, from the Actors Training Company course

Want to launch yourself as a professional actor? The Actors training company is an accelerated one year course in the heart of London’s theatre land delivered by professional industry practitioners. 

An affordable alternative to other drama schools, the programme provides the perfect preparation to enter the acting industry. This intensive course allows promising actors of all ages and backgrounds to develop a CV, obtain theatre credits, an industry showcase and showreel. 

It can be tricky to know what to expect from this type of course, so we recently caught up with Jermaine Auguste, from the Actors training company, to gauge his experiences studying and performing at City Lit.


Student Profile: Jermaine Auguste

How would you summarise your time in the Actors Training Company?

My time on the Actors Training Company course has been intense as well as life changing. The course involves a lot of hard work, as we have performed 5 different plays (1 play every 6 weeks) which was a team effort, and involved everyone on the course.

It’s refreshing to work with people of different backgrounds and ages, as everyone has something to offer. It’s an interesting dynamic in that you’ll have some things in common with people, and some things you don’t, but this all helps everyone to feed off one another and offer a different perspective. Our experience on the course definitely brought us together and the success of the ensemble was reliant on supporting and trusting each other, which we did. We have become one big family, from acting through to Tech Team.

Did you have a specific reason for choosing City Lit for your acting course?

I’d heard some good reviews about the course via word of mouth from friends who had previously trained here.

I’d also previously taken a short acting course at City Lit which gave me a flavour of the drama department here, so I had some previous experience with the college before I opted to audition for the Actors Training Company.

What was your route into acting? Has it been a lifelong passion or did you come to it later in life?

I always had vivid imagination and found when I focused and applied myself to a goal I could achieve it and in some instances surpass it. As a child I always had a passion for storytelling but I was constantly deterred from this profession and received no support from my peers.

My real breakthrough came the moment I decided wanted to become a professional actor. I had to put aside the feelings of being hard done by as a child and apply myself NOW as I suddenly realised there was never going to be such a thing as a ‘perfect time’.

How have you found your experiences performing at City Lit? Any highlights, challenges?

It’s like being in the school playground again but with props! I had the opportunity to read and perform some great material.

I think the real huge challenge of this course is to commit to a character, truthfully tell their story and then move on. It’s great training because that is what an actor is required to do. In showcase 2017 I had to perform 3 very different characters in a short space of time. The runtime of the show was 1 hour and I only had approximately 8 minutes to adapt between each performance. Every actor wants to bring life to the dialogue and not just recite it, so it was a huge pressure.

It’s also been fascinating playing both lead and support roles, and embracing the different obstacles that come with both. For instance, with the lead role you may have the responsibility of delivering most of the dialogue but as a support cast member you may have to be sharp on your cues as the other actors rely on you. Cues make or break a show.

What are your plans going forward?

My aim is to secure a suitable agent and begin to book professional work.

After the Industry Showcase I had a real sense of pride. My cast members and I received positive feedback from the Principal, members of staff and agents. The public showcase was great fun and also emotional as the audience is made up of friends, family and students who have been supporting us throughout the course. It was sad to know a great time had come to an end!

Inspired by Jermaine’s story? Develop your acting talent on City Lit’s acting and theatre courses.